3GPP specifications revision control

Mobile networks such as GSM, UMTS, and LTE are based on 3GPP specifications; a lot of them (~ 3148). These are the reference documents when trying to understand or implementing any part of the mobile networks. They also evolve with time as details get corrected, features are added, or new radio access technologies such as New Radio (i.e. 5G) are released. Keeping track of the versions and added features is not an easy task, particularly when you are not working on them directly.

During the OsmoDevCon 2018 I gave an overview on how the versioning of the 3GPP specifications is handled. I also released a tool which puts the 3GPP specifications in a git repository, allowing to easily search through them (e.g. using grep), and track or find the changes between versions. The recording of the presentation is available here, and the slides are available here.

Note 1: at the end of the presentation I got confused and answered the question wrongly. The timer does help when foreign networks block mobile phones from re-registering to your home network.

Note 2: since the presentation I discovered the 3GPP specification database. This will be very useful for enriching the commit messages. I will update this post once this feature has been implemented in the 3GRR tool.