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Question 1 - Discuss Spectrum Management.
While people have long known about electromagnetic energy and have experimented with its effects, it is only within the last century or so that it has come to be thoroughly exploited by humans as a naturally occurring resource for communication and other purposes. We use it in our homes in the form of commercial electricity to run our dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and other appliances (alternating current (AC) in North America has a frequency of 60Hz). We also use radio energy to cook food directly in our microwave ovens (microwave energy in the 2GHz band), to open our garage doors (40MHz), and for playing with remote controlled cars and model airplanes (75MHz). With so many different types of devices using the radio spectrum, the problem of unwanted interference needs to be managed. You may have experienced unwanted radio interference, perhaps when watching television and somebody in another room starts up the vacuum cleaner or a power tool. The disruption to the signal on the TV is interference, and in some cases it could be more than a minor nuisance when, for instance, it interrupts radio communications for emergency services dispatch such as police, fire or ambulance. Radio interference is a problem related to both the physical properties of the radio spectrum and to the equipment used to transmit and receive radio signals. Together, these combined factors place constraints on how effectively spectrum can be shared among different users. Based on the current understanding and accepted practice, the radio spectrum is widely considered a finite natural resource that is infinitely renewable. In other words, it is possible to run out of usable frequencies in the spectrum because of congestion and interference from many users making demands for it. This possibility leads to a situation of spectrum scarcity. Unlike some other natural resources, however, the radio spectrum will never be depleted over the course of time because the moment a radio system stops transmitting, that frequency becomes available for someone else to use it. The radio spectrum is therefore a renewable resource. This possibility of frequency sharing or frequency re-use is very important for the design of mobile phone networks and for the prospects of future radio technologies.
Question 2 - Explain FDMA and TDMA concepts. Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) FDMA is a channel access method used in multiple-access protocols as a channelization protocol and it separates the spectrum into distinct voice channels by splitting it into uniform chunks of bandwidth. It is particularly commonplace in satellite communication. To better understand FDMA, think of radio stations. Each station sends its signal at a different frequency within the available band. FDMA is used mainly for analogue transmission. While it is certainly capable of carrying digital information, FDMA is not considered to be an efficient method for digital transmission.
Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) TDMA is a channel access method for shared medium networks. It allows several users to share the same frequency channel by dividing the signal into different time slots. TDMA is used by the Electronics Industry Alliance and the Telecommunications Industry Association for Interim Standard 54 (IS-54) and Interim Standard 136 (IS-136). Using TDMA, a narrow band that is 30 kHz wide and 6.7 milliseconds long is split time-wise into three time slots. Narrow band means channels in the traditional sense. Each conversation gets the radio for one-third of the time. This is possible because voice data that has been converted to digital information is compressed so that it takes up significantly less transmission space. Therefore, TDMA has three times the capacity of an analogue system using the same number of channels. TDMA systems operate in either the 800 MHz (IS-54) or 1900 MHz (IS-136) frequency bands. TDMA is also used as the access technology for Global System for Mobile communications (GSM). However, GSM implements TDMA in a somewhat different and incompatible way from IS-136. Think of GSM and IS-136 as two different operating systems that work on the same processor, like Windows and Linux both working on an Intel Pentium III. GSM systems use encryption to make phone calls more secure. GSM operates in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands in Europe and Asia and in the 1900 MHz (sometimes referred to as 1.9 GHz) band in the United States. It is used in digital cellular and PCS-based systems. GSM is also the basis for Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (IDEN), a popular system introduced by Motorola and used by Nextel.
Question 3 - Explain the three basic communication modes.
There are three basic communication modes: 1) Simplex modes 2) Half duplex modes 3) Full duplex modes Simplex modes: When in simplex mode, a radio network transmits in one direction only, or unidirectionally. Typically, this means a single transmitter can communicate to one or more receivers. An example of a simplex mode network is broadcast radio or TV, where the network is designed with a powerful transmitter providing wide area coverage for many receiving devices. Half duplex modes: When a radio network is half duplex mode, however, it is capable of two way, or bi-directional, communications. This means that the network will consist of two or more transceivers capable of both transmitting and receiving radio signals. However, it is important to note that a halfduplex communication mode also means that radio signals can flow only in one direction at a time. A contemporary example of a half-duplex mode network is the ‘push to talk’ walkie-talkies that can be purchased at local electronic retailers. As described above, early MTS systems are operated in half duplex mode. Full duplex modes: In full duplex mode a radio network is capable of simultaneous bi-directional communications. This means that the network will be designed around two or more transceivers capable of sending and receiving radio signals at the same time. Mobile phone service today operates in full duplex mode, which as you can imagine creates additional demand for spectrum and therefore encourages the search for means of increasing the spectral efficiency of the radio network. Whereas simplex mode can operate using a single radio channel, both the half duplex and full duplex modes require two ‘paired’ channels per transceiver, which effectively doubles the number of frequencies needed to operate a network using either of these modes of communication.
Question 4 - Explain the three components of a basic cellular system.
A basic cellular system consists of three parts as listed below: 1) A Mobile Unit 2) A Cell Site 3) A Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) The mobile unit (Mobile telephone) contains a control unit, a transceiver (combination of Transmitter and Receiver), and an antenna system. Whenever a mobile unit wants to setup a call, it contacts the cell site of the particular cell in which it exists at that time. The cell site consists of control unit, antennas, power plant and data terminals. The cell site is infect acting as an interface to the MTSO. After the mobile unit contacts the cell site, the cell site in turn contacts the MTSO which processes the call further depending on whether it is a mobile to mobile call or mobile to fixed station call. For an easier understanding the whole concept explained above is given in Figure 3.2 and figure 3.3.
A little thought from you will indicate that a fixed subscriber to mobile call originates through the telephone exchange and passes through the MTSO and cell site towards the mobile unit.
Question 5 - Explain circuit switching and packet switching techniques.
A basic technical distinction between mobile data networks is whether they are circuitswitched or packet-switched. As a rule of thumb, all analogue and early 2G digital PCS networks provide circuit-switched data services. Newer technologies, such as 2.5G and 3G networks will also offer packet-switched service. Here are two basic definitions of these terms: Circuit-switched is ‘a type of network that temporarily creates an actual physical path between parties while they are communicating. Packet-switched is ‘a type of network in which small discrete units of data are routed through a network based on the address contained within each packet. Circuit-switched data services are like using a home telephone and a modem to connect to the Internet. It is first necessary to dial a phone number to establish a connection. Once connected, the line remains open until the session is over and the customer decides to terminate the call. Circuit-switched services are usually charged for by the amount of time that the customer remains connected to the network. This means that a longer call, even if very little data traffic is actually passed across the connection will cost more than a brief session where lots of data is transferred. Packet-based data services are sometimes called ‘always-on’ connections. This term is used because data is transmitted in separate packets rather than as a single continuous packet. As a result, a mobile phone can send and receive data in discrete bursts without the need to maintain a continuously open connection with the network. This eliminates the need to establish a dedicated circuit, which means that more users can share the data connection. The packets of data contained in each burst will find their proper destination with address information contained in them. Packet-switched services are typically billed by the quantity of data traffic that a customer transmits and receives from their mobile device, usually measured in kilobytes or megabytes.
Question 6 - Explain different wireless protocol requirements.
The general requirements for wireless protocols supporting wireless LANs are as follows: The low cost is achieved by simple implementation and the use of standard multipurpose modules and components. Modularity and re-configurability in all stages of system design are the key elements to meet these requirements. The QoS requirements for the data-transfer service of the MAC protocol include support for user-defined traffic types and connection parameters. The protocol must support real-time data-transfer services. The wireless LAN can be used both as an extension and as an alternative to a wired LAN. Therefore, for interoperability requirements, the changing topology of a wireless network, inadequate security and reliability of the medium and protocol-specific management functionality must be hidden from the network user, that is, from legacy Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) applications. Wireless medium does not provide the same level of confidentiality and user identification as a wired system. A wireless coverage area cannot be reliably defined or restricted. Actions at the MAC layer have to be taken to provide a secure data-transfer service. An unlicensed and globally available frequency band must be selected for the system. The architecture of the MAC protocol should follow a master–slave hierarchy as the centralized control and management enables an easy and efficient support of QoS parameters and an access point for outside network resources. To guarantee the low cost, efficient resource management and guaranteed QoS, the number of simultaneous users in a single wireless LAN cell can be restricted according to the target environment. The requirement for low power consumption follows from the usage of battery powered portable network equipment, for example, laptops. A wireless network adapter should not significantly shorten the operating time of a portable terminal. Therefore, the MAC protocol should be capable of turning off the transceiver during idle periods without missing any relevant transmission.
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