SC2/WG2 N2118



A contribution on the characters defined in the ETSI GSM SMS standard has been submitted to ETSI/SMG4 by Ericsson. The contribution proposes that the character tables are complemented by lists of identifying names and hex codings according to ISO/IEC 10646-1, in the style of the new ISO/IEC 8859.


The contribution was discussed in the ETSI/SMG4 (3GPP TSG-T WG2) meeting in Helsinki 1999-09-07. There was then also the opportunity to present some information on the various coding schemes of JTC 1/SC 2.


Extract from meeting report:


2.1                        Doc T2-99678


This document proposes that a table should be added to 03.38 to give a verbal description of each of the characters contained in the 7 bit default alphabet table. The verbal description proposed is based on internationally recognised standard descriptions. The document however did not include a description of the characters from the 7 bit default extension table. The meeting agreed that a CR should be produced by Ericsson for the next TSG-T2 meeting. Mr Novak agreed to do this.


Mr. Larsson who produced T2-99678 also gave a presentation on the need for ETSI to consider aligning its future work on alphabet tables/ character sets for MMS with work being carried out in ISO. This view was well received and SWG3 will take the opportunity to share discussions on any such work with ISO to take advantage of ISOs experience. Mr Larsson will report this favourable response to ISO. It was agreed that Mr.Harris and Mr. Larsson would act as technical co-ordinators as the need arises. Mr.Larsson distributed paper copies of his presentation to SWG3 and agreed to send Mr. Harris an electronic copy for onward distribution.


There was a general feeling that for MMS, it would be better to use alphabet/character coding mechanisms defined by ISO ( e.g. UTF8 ISO/IEC 10646 ) rather than perpetuate the use of the GSM 7 bit default alphabet. UTF8 appears to also be a better alternative to UCS2 and could therefore provide one coding scheme for MMS.