Creating GSM Users Association (GSMUA)

Harald Welte laforge at
Mon May 29 08:14:07 UTC 2017

Hi Mychaela,

sorry for the late response.

I think there is a legitimate need (for decades!) to represent the
users at entities like GSMA or (much more importantly) the 3GPP and
ETSI.  3GPP (and lesser extent ETSI) is where the relevant specifiations
are written.

Such an user representation would have a role to
* identify where (new) specifications infringe on users rights
* make sure the industry at least hears about what's in the best
  interest of users before they discard all of that and implement
  whatever they want anyway
* Raise public awareness about new proposals for specifications that are
  particularly problematic from a user point of view, therby assert
  pressure on the standardizations body before it is too late (spec

The areas that I can think of are mostly related to privacy, data
protection, and general "digital rights".

However, doing the above is fundamentally a lobbying organization, and
requires significant funding, starting from membership fees to the
relevant standard bodies, to paying for all the related travel expenses
to attend the relevant meetings, and people with lots of time on their
hands to read the respective draft standards, etc.

I think it would be great to do something here, but I think we as the
"super technical, ultra nerdy" people working on Free Software (and
harwere) in the telecom sphere are typically not in posession of the
right skillset to do so.  It's much more about social skills than about
technical skills.

Regarding your proposal: It seems like a contradiction in terms to me if
you establish something called an 'user association' while your interest
is (at least partially) to represent "boutique manufacturers" regarding
IMEI allocations.  That's not really of the interest of a *user*.  I
think the least concern of a user is how and where a manufacturer gets
his IMEI allocated.  Yes, I agree there is something that can be done
regarding TAC allocation (like IEEE OUI / MAC address allocation or USB
vid/pid allocation).  But that's not a topic for users.

- Harald Welte <laforge at> 
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                  (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)

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