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LTE whitepaper

LTE whitepaper

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Published by Karthik BR
LTE Technology
LTE Technology

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Published by: Karthik BR on May 29, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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LTE: Long Term Evolution of 3GPP
Karthik Budigere Ramakrishna Nagasai Panchakarla Binoy Chemmagate Shourov Kumar Roy
 Email: kbudiger@cc.hut.fi Email: npanchak@cc.hut.fi Email: bchemmag@cc.hut.fi Email: skroy@cc.hut.fi
3GPP is in the process of defining the long termevolution (LTE) and long-term evolution advanced LTEAdvanced)for gaining the 4G technology status, in order tomaintain the future competitiveness of 4G technology. Themain targets for this evolution concern increased data rates,improved coverage, reduced latency and interworking withother telecom technologies. This paper discusses about theoverview of LTE and talks about the network architecture,protocol architecture and mobility features of LTE.
 Keywords-LTE,3GPP,4G Technology.
 Long Term Evolution (LTE) is the standardizationprocess for mobile communication systems by ThirdGeneration Partnership Project (3GPP). It is the step towards4G technologies and to ensure the competitive advantage of 3G technologies for the future. It has evolved from itspredecessors like GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, HSPA toachieve high data rates, low latency with an all IP Network Architecture rather than circuit switching model of itspredecessors. LTE along with System Architecture Evolution(SAE) comprise of Evolved Packet System (EPS) in whichcore network and radio access are packet switched. The basicidea of the LTE framework is to develop a system highthroughput, low latency and optimized packet data trafficwhich is achieved by multiple access techniques, bandwidthscalability, channel structure and network architecture. In thenear future, deployment of LTE based mobile servicesprovides various challenges and opportunities for theoperators and equipment manufacturers. LTE can coexistwith earlier 3GPP technologies and supports both frequencydivision duplexing (FDD) and time division duplexing(TDD).
LTE’s spectral efficiency is increased by four times
when compared to UTRA, ten times improvement users percell when compared to WCDMA radio access technologiesbecause of MIMO and improvements in architecture,signaling and round trip delays.The key features for LTE development are
High spectral efficiency.
Low latency.
Simplified network and protocol architecture.
Coexisting with earlier 3GPP technologies.
Flexible use of frequency bands and variable bandwidthsupport.
Inter-working with other systems.
Support for both FDD and TDD.II.
 The standardization process for LTE began at 3GPPToronto workshop, 2004. At which various views andproposals were contributed by various operators for theevolution of then existed UTRAN (UMTS Terrestrial RadioAccess Network). Subsequently in December 2004, 3GPPstarted study to develop framework for evolution to achievehigh data rates for both uplink and downlink transmissions,low latency, by which voice applications and real timeservices will be improved greatly, and packet optimizedtechnologies. The target was to have data rates three to fourtimes of Release 6 HSDPA levels and two to three times of HSUPA levels. In 2007, E UTRA (evolved UTRA) wasapproved from study stage to first technical specifications.The feasibility study set the peak data rates with 20 MHzbandwidth for DL and UL are of 300 Mbps and 75 Mbpsrespectively. The peak data rates for uplink and downlink from HSPA to LTE are given below figure 1 (UMTS Forum2008).
Figure 1. Uplink and Downlink rates compared from HSPA to LTE(UMTS Forum 2008)
By passing many legacy requirements of UMTS/HSPA,3GPP releases 7 and 8 allows introduction of simple flat IPoriented architecture coined as HSPA+ (High Speed PacketAccess) and then LTE. HSPA+ served as a bridge betweenHSPA and LTE. The concept of all IP network is hinted asearly as Release 4 by 3GPP. The first LTE basespecifications are specified in 3GPP Release 8, December2008. The key features of Release 8 are as shown in thefigure 2. The specifications development was continuedfurther and on December 2009 Release 9 was frozen. Stage 1specifications development work for Release 10 is going onat present.
Access SchemeUL SC-FDMADL OFDMABandwidth 1.4,3,5,10,15,20 MHzMinimum TTI 1msecSub-carrier spacing 1.5KHzCyclic Prefix Length Short: 4.7µsec, long: 16.7µsecModulation QPSK,16QAM,64QAMSpatial Multiplexing Single layer for UL per UEUp to 4 layers for DL per UEMU-MIMO supported for ULand DLIn LTE the higher data rates are achieved by newtechnological solutions in the radio interface and accessnetwork like orthogonal frequency division multiplexing(OFDM), multiple input / multiple output (MIMO), high ratemodulation etc, which were agreed in Figure 1. LTE Release8 Features the 3GPP workshops and have been standardized(UMTS Forum, 2009). LTE uses air interface according tothe demand adaptively rather than fixed shared resources,this increases the efficiency of the air interface.
 Multicarrier air interface
As specified in 3GPP Release 8, LTE uses completelynew radio access network. It uses OFDMA based modulationand multiple access scheme for the downlink and SC-FDMA(Single Carrier Frequency division multiple access) for theuplink. To achieve high data rate, relatively low cost andpower efficient hardware, OFDM based technology ischosen. SC-FDMA is similar to OFDMA and since its morepower efficient, it can be used in hand held devices withbattery power. In OFDMA, 20 MHz channel is subdividedinto many sub channels and are assigned to different users.These sub channels are used to send data simultaneouslygenerating high data throughput. The high throughput is alsorelated to modulation of data, different modulationtechniques are used to transmit the data. They are QPSK,16QAM, and 64QAM for downlink and BPSK, QPSK,8PSK and 16QAM for uplink.
MIMO basically make use of multiple antennas to senddata and multiple antennas to receive. Transmission is doneby converting serial bit stream into multiple parallel substreams and sending via multiple antennas using same timeslot and same frequency band. Receiver separates the substreams from mixed signals. Thus high data throughput isachieved. MIMO minimizes the effect of noise also and
increases the utilization of spectrum. Shannon’s law is
maintained in each individual radio link but collectivelyMIMO can exceed it. Information loss by a singletransmission can be reduced by sending same information byusing multiple antennas for transmission and multipleantennas for receiving.
 Bandwidth scalability and Multi Band 
LTE system provides flexible bandwidth utilization withdifferent carrier bandwidths ranging from 1.25 MHz to20MHz (more specifically: 1.4 MHz, 5 MHz, 5 MHz, 10MHz, 15 MHz and 20 MHz). 15 KHz sub carrier spacingremains same for all the above options. LTE can be rolledout in
any 3GPP system’s frequency bands which include
International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000)core bands (1.9-2GHz), its extension bands (2.5GHz) as wellas 850-900MHz, 1800 MHz and Advanced WirelessServices spectrum (1.7- 2.1GHz). 900 MHz frequencies canbe used in rural areas in which the optimal cell sizes can belesser but where as acceptable performance can be achievedfor cell sizes of many kilometers. Higher frequency bandscan be used in urban areas where as cell sizes will be smallerbut provides high speed mobility. But because of thiscomplex situation arises for the operators because of theinterference between various generations and differenttechnologies coexisting in particular frequency bands.Interference is inevitable because of closeness of GSM900band and UMTS900 band. In future 2G, 3G and LTEnetworks have to coexist and this causes more co-channeland adjacent channel interference.
 Evolved Packet Core(All IP)
Evolved Packet core (EPC) is designed for seamlessinterworking with IP based communication networks withsimplified network architecture. It is completely packedbased which provides end to end IP connection from mobiledevice to core network and vice versa. Multimedia andcircuit calls are mainly handled through converged IMS (IPMultimedia subsystem) core which is recently termed asVoLTE (voice over LTE). . IMS, was first introduced in3GPP release 5 standards, is an SIP (Session InitiationProtocol) based session and service platform to delivermultimedia applications over broadband networks. Themain challenge in VoLTE will be implementing certainminimal set to quality requirements for voice, SMS andsupplementary services. The functionalities of RNC havebeen moved to eNodeB which connects directly to evolvedpacket core. EPC offers inter working, connectivity,mobility and handover various 3GPP, 3GPP2 technologiesand also with wifi, fixed line broadband technologies etc.The network architecture is discussed in the subsequentsections.
ARCHITECTURELTE has been designed under the assumption that allservices would be packet-switched. This is the reason whyLTE is not following the circuit-switched model of earlier
systems. LTE’s aim is to provide seamless IP connectivity
between User Equipment and Packet Data Network withoutcausing any disruption to the applications of end usersduring mobility. LTE (Release 8) architecture contains E-UTRAN (Evolved-UMTS Terrestrial Radio AccessNetwork) accompanied by an evolution of the non-radioaspects termed as System Architecture Evolution (SAE).SAE includes the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) Network.Thus, LTE and SAE together build the Evolved PacketSystem (EPS) that contains fully packet-switched corenetwork and radio access network.UE (User Equipment), E-UTRAN and EPC (all togetherthe Evolved Packet System) represent the Internet ProtocolConnectivity Layer as shown in Figure 2. This layer isoptimized only for IP based connectivity. All services willbe offered on top of IP. In Figure 2, the ServicesConnectivity layer is shown as well which includes theoperator services and internet. IMS (Internet MultimediaSub-System) can be used in the Services Connectivity Layerto provide services on top of the IP connectivity layer. IMScan provide Voice over IP and interconnectivity to circuitswitched networks through its media gateways to supportvoice service. One of the big architectural changes inLTE/SAE architecture is that circuit switched nodes andinterfaces available in the earlier 3GPP architectures are notpresent in the E-UTRAN and EPC of LTE/SAEarchitecture.
Figure 2. System Architecture of LTE Network 
EPS network is comprised of the Core Network and theAccess Network, where the core network has many logicalnodes and the Access Network has one node named as theevolved NodeB (eNodeB) which connects to the UserEquipments (UEs). User Equipment means a device thatconverts media to and from UMTS LTE radio signals and itcan be of different types of devices ranging from mobiletelephone to digital televisions.
The Core Network 
The key goal of Evolved Packet Core is to enhanceservice provisioning as well as to simplify internetworkingwith non-3GPP mobile networks. The features of EPCpromise an all-IP core network with flat architecture thatsupports higher throughput, lower latency as well as supportfor mobility between 3GPP (GSM, UMTS etc.) and non-3GPP (CDMA, WiMAX etc.) radio access technologies.The core network (EPC) has the following logical nodes,
Packet Data Network Gateway (P-GW)
Serving Gateway (S-GW)
Mobility Management Entity (MME)
Policy and Charging Resource Function (PCRF)
Home Subscriber Server (HSS)
Packet Data Network Gateway (P-GW):
P-GWworks as the mobility anchor point for the inter-networkingwith non-3GPP technologies such as CDMA 2000 andWiMAX networks. P-GW is also responsible for the IPaddress allocation for the User Equipment (UE). It does theQoS enforcement for Guaranteed Bit Rate bearers and flowbased charging depending on the PCRF (Policy Control andCharging Rules Function) rules. It also performs thefiltering based on TFTs (Traffic Flow Templates).
Serving Gateway (S-GW):
S-GW works as themobility anchor for inter-working with other 3GPPtechnologies such as GPRS and UMTS. Also when an UEmoves between eNodeBs, S-GW serves as the localmobility anchor for the data bearers. It performs someadditional functions in the visited network, such as,collecting information (e.g. volume of data sent to orreceived from the user) for charging and legal interception.
 Mobility Management Entity (MME):
MME is thecontrol element in EPC that takes care of the signaling partbetween the Core Network and UE. MME also handles thesecurity functions for both signaling and user data.Thefunctions of MME can be categorized as follows,
Functions related to bearer management: It includes theestablishment, maintenance and release of the bearers.Session management layer in the NAS Protocol (Non-Access Stratum Protocol: It runs between the UE andCN) handles these functions.

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