Friedhelm Hillebrand

Hillebrand earned his Masters of Science degree in communication engineering in 1968 from Germany’s RWTH Aachen University. In 1970 he began his career at Deutsche Bundespost Telekom. Beginning in 1976, he was involved in the development of the Pan-European packet switching network Euronet and then project manager for DATEX-P, the German public X.25 packet switching network.

Building on these experiences, Hillebrand turned next to contributing to the foundations of GSM, the Pan-European digital mobile communication system. From 1984 to 1992, his team contributed to the GSM standard and led the implementation of Deutsche Telekom’s GSM network.  Notably, Hillebrand proposed inclusion of a simple and low-cost messaging capability that would be supported by all networks and native on every mobile device. As a result of Hillebrand’s persistence, Short Message Service (SMS) was adopted as a universal feature in the GSM standard.

From 1996 to 2000 he was Chairman of ETSI’s Technical Committee SMG (Special Mobile Group), which was responsible for the standardization of GSM and UMTS. This work was done in close cooperation with ANSI T1P1 and Chinese institutions. Working with as many as 250 delegates, 11 committees and 50 working groups, the SMG elaborated the GSM evolution and the basic parameters of 3G, integrating contributions from operators and standards bodies around the globe. Hillebrand successfully initiated the integration of all GSM and 3G related work into 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project).

Since 2002, Hillebrand has provided consulting services to large manufacturers and network operators concerning patents in mobile communication.