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With the standards definitions now available for LTE, the Long Term Evolution of the 3G services, eyes are now turning towards the next development, that of the truly 4G technology named IMT Advanced. The new technology being developed under the auspices of 3GPP to meet these requirements is often termed LTE Advanced. In order that the cellular telecommunications technology is able to keep pace with technologies that may compete, it is necessary to ensure that new cellular technologies are being formulated and developed. This is the reasoning behind starting the development of the new LTE Advanced systems, proving the technology and developing the LTE Advanced standards. In order that the correct solution is adopted for the 4G system, the ITU-R (International Telecommunications Union - Radiocommunications sector) has started its evaluation process to develop the recommendations for the terrestrial components of the IMT Advanced radio interface. One of the main competitors for this is the LTE Advanced solution. One of the key milestones is October 2010 when the ITU-R decides the framework and key characteristics for the IMT Advanced standard. Before this, the ITU-R will undertake the evaluation of the various proposed radio interface technologies of which LTE Advanced is a major contender.
Key milestones for ITU-R IMT Advanced evaluation The ITU-R has set a number of milestones to ensure that the evaluation of IMT Advanced technologies occurs in a timely fashion. A summary of the main milestones is given below and this defines many of the overall timescales for the development of IMT Advanced and in this case LTE Advanced as one of the main technologies to be evaluated. Milestone Issue invitation to propose Radio Interface Technologies. ITU date for cut-off for submission of proposed Radio Interface Technologies. Cutoff date for evaluation report to ITU. Decision on framework of key Date March 2008 October 2009 June 2010 October
where the "Requirements for Further Advancements for E-UTRA" were gathered. WCDM HSPA A HSDPA / HSPA+ (UMTS HSUPA ) Max downlink speed bps Max uplink speed bps Latency round trip time approx 384 k 14 M 128 k 5. NTT DoCoMo detailed information about trials in which they were able to send data at speeds up to approximately 5 Gbit/s in the downlink within a 100MHz bandwidth to a mobile station moving at 10km/h. and maximum likelihood detection. multiple input multiple output. Completion of development of radio interface specification recommendations. LTE Advanced development history Date 2010 February 2011 With 3G technology established. The scheme used several technologies to achieve this including variable spreading factor spread orthogonal frequency division multiplex. As a result initial ideas for the development of a new 4G system started to be investigated.7 M 150 ms 100 ms 28 M 11 M 50ms (max) LTE Advanced (IMT Advanced) 1G 500 M less than 5 ms LTE 100M 50 M ~10 ms . The development of LTE Advanced / IMT Advanced can be seen to follow and evolution from the 3G services that were developed using UMTS / W-CDMA technology.913 was then published in June 2008 and submitted to the ITU-R defining the LTE-Advanced system as their proposal for IMT-Advanced.Milestone characteristics of IMT Advanced Radio Interface Technologies. Details of these new 4G trials were passed to 3GPP for their consideration In 2008 3GPP held two workshops on IMT Advanced. MIMO. The resulting Technical Report 36. In one early investigation which took place on 25 December 2006 with information released to the press on 9 February 2007. it was obvious that the rate of development of cellular technology should not slow.
3.OFDMA / SCCDMA CDMA CDMA FDMA FDMA LTE Advanced is not the only candidate technology. Latency: from Idle to Connected in less than 50 ms and then shorter than 5 ms one way for individual packet transmission. with LTE Advanced appearing to be better positioned. 4. However it now seems less likely that WiMAX will be adopted as the 4G technology. LTE Advanced key features With work starting on LTE Advanced. Although not fixed yet in the specifications. there are many high level aims for the new LTE Advanced specification. 7.1 Gbps. offering very high data rates and high levels of mobility.15 bps/Hz. Mobility: Same as that in LTE Compatibility: LTE Advanced shall be capable of interworking with LTE and 3GPP legacy systems. Spectrum use: the ability to support scalable bandwidth use and spectrum aggregation where non-contiguous spectrum needs to be used. . 6. 2.500 Mbps.30 bps/Hz. a number of key requirements and key features are coming to light. WiMAX is also there. uplink . Cell edge user throughput to be twice that of LTE. 9. 8. Spectrum efficiency: 3 times greater than LTE. 5. Currently some of the main headline aims for LTE Advanced can be seen below: 1. uplink . Peak spectrum efficiency: downlink .3GPP releases Approx years of initial roll out Access methodology WCDM LTE HSPA A Advanced HSDPA / HSPA+ LTE (UMTS (IMT HSUPA ) Advanced) Rel Rel 5 / 6 Rel 7 Rel 8 Rel 10 99/4 2005 / 6 2003 / HSDPA 2008 / 9 2009 / 10 4 2007 / 8 HSUPA OFDMA / SC. Peak data rates: downlink . These will need to be verified and much work remains to be undertaken in the specifications before these are all fixed. Average user throughput to be 3 times that of LTE.
Normally these signals would be expected to interfere with each other. These will be used in a hybrid format.802. Along with these there are a number of other techniques and technologies that will be employed. This scheme is also used by many other technologies including WiMAX and Wi-Fi . MIMO and OFDM are two of the base technologies that will be enablers. However the basis for all of these access schemes is OFDM. It also means that single frequency networks. This means that when the signals are demodulated they will have a whole number of cycles in the symbol period and their contribution will sum to zero . This is achieved by having the carrier spacing equal to the reciprocal of the symbol period. but by making the signals orthogonal to each another there is no mutual interference.11n. MIMO . Note on OFDM: Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex (OFDM) is a form of transmission that uses a large number of close spaced carriers that are modulated with low rate data.in other words there is no interference contribution. LTE Advanced technologies There are a number of key technologies that will enable LTE Advanced to achieve the high data throughput rates that are required.These are many of the development aims for LTE Advanced. OFDM forms the basis of the radio bearer. Additionally having data carried at a low rate across all the carriers means that the effects of reflections and inter-symbol interference can be overcome. where all transmitters can transmit on the same channel can be implemented. Along with it there is OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) along with SC-FDMA (Single Channel Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access). if some of the carriers are lost due to multi-path effects.Multiple Input Multiple Output enables the data . Their actual figures and the actual implementation of them will need to be worked out during the specification stage of the system. Click on the link for an OFDM tutorial One of the other key enablers for LTE Advanced that is common to LTE is MIMO. then the data can be reconstructed. The data to be transmitted is split across all the carriers and this means that by using error correction techniques.
In additional to the numbers of antennas increasing. the overhead increases and the return per additional path is less. MIMO technology enables the system to set up multiple data streams on the same channel. By using multiple antennas at the transmitter and receiver along with some complex digital signal processing. the use of MIMO is likely to involve further and more advanced techniques with additional antennas in the matrix to enable additional paths to be sued. MIMO provides a way of utilising the multiple signal paths that exist between a transmitter and receiver to significantly improve the data throughput available on a given channel with its defined bandwidth. it is likely that techniques such as beamforming may be used to enable the antenna coverage to be focused where it is needed. However many of the features and technologies have been trialed and are ready to be incorporated into the .rates achieved to be increased beyond what the basic radio bearer would normally allow. and the data throughput limitations as a result of Shannon's Law. Click on the link for a MIMO tutorial For LTE Advanced. it will be necessary to ensure that the core network is updated to meet the increasing requirements. It is therefore necessary to further improve the system architecture. thereby increasing the data capacity of a channel. With data rates rising well above what was previously available. Note on MIMO: Two major limitations in communications channels can be multipath interference. although as the number of antennas increases. LTE Advanced Summary The full specification for LTE Advanced the new 4G technology also referred to as IMT Advanced is still some while away. These and other technologies will be used with LTE Advanced to provide the very high data rates that are being sought along wit the other performance characteristics that are needed.
while an LTE-Advanced terminal can exploit the total aggregated bandwidth. LTE Advanced non-contiguous carrier aggregation LTE may not have access to sufficient levels of contiguous spectrum to carry the required data using contiguous LTE carrier aggregation techniques. Yet despite this it will take many months after the finalization of the standard for LTE Advanced before equipment is available and networks start to be deployed. each component carrier appears as an LTE carrier. this alone cannot provide the required data rates that are being headlined for 4G LTE Advanced. Using LTE Advanced carrier aggregation. Possible bands included: • • • • • 450-470 MHz 698-862 MHz 790-862 MHz 2.standard. To achieve these very high data rates it is necessary to increase the transmission bandwidths over that used by the first releases of LTE. While the spectrum usage efficiency has been improved.6 GHz . 4G LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation : LTE Advanced offers considerably higher data rates than even the initial releases of LTE.4-3. Using this processes several carriers are aggregated on the physical layer to provide the required bandwidth.3-2. Some new bands were identified for use by IMT / IMT Advanced technologies at the World Radio Conference in 2007. To an LTE terminal. The method being proposed is termed carrier aggregation or sometimes channel aggregation. it is possible to utilise several carriers and in this way increase the overall transmission bandwidth. LTE carrier aggregation basics In order to provide the required data bandwidth. several carriers may be used in a process called carrier aggregation.4 GHz 3.
Coordinated Multipoint requires close coordination between a number of geographically separated eNBs. Additionally the LTE bands may not be large enough in many countries to enable contiguous spectrum use. LTE Coordinated Multipoint is a method of transmitting to or receiving from a user equipment using several base stations. 4G LTE Advanced CoMP : LTE CoMP or Coordinated Multipoint is a technology that is being developed for LTE Advanced. it will be constrained and limited to a number of specific scenarios. This means that even though LTE carrier aggregation using non-contiguous spectrum will be supported. but as distances increase they become more difficult to maintain. 4G LTE CoMP. and in particular 4G LTE Advanced is the high data rates that are achievable. They dynamically coordinate to provide joint scheduling and transmissions as well as proving joint processing of the received signals. It is for this reason that non-contiguous LTE carrier aggregation work is on-going. Essentially. Not only is the signal lower in strength because of the distance from the base station (eNB). LTE CoMP turns the inter-cell interference into useful signal. especially at the cell borders where performance may be degraded. 4G LTE CoMP. but also interference levels from neighbouring eNBs are likely to be higher as the UE will be closer to them. Obviously the cell edges are the most challenging. and only supported by the most advanced terminals. LTE CoMP basics One of the key parameters for LTE as a whole. In this way a UE at the edge of a cell is able to be served by two or more eNBs to improve signals reception / transmission and increase throughput particularly under cell edge conditions. This has a number of advantages in terms of data throughput.These allocations are not yet confirmed and they may not be available on a worldwide basis. These data rates are relatively easy to maintain close to the base station. while possible is challenging in terms of its implementation. LTE Advanced carrier aggregation using non-contiguous spectrum. In essence. Coordinated Multipoint allows two modes of operation: .
. As a result. different eNBs. etc. The network determines which eNBs can be sued to transmit to a given UE dependent upon path loss indications .• • Joint simultaneous transmission of user data from multiple eNBs to a single UE Dynamic cell selection with data transmission from one eNB To achieve either of these modes. The UE receiver processing and reporting is the same as for a transmission emanating from a single eNB. These details include from which eNBs and also information about the transmission details . all the processing is accomplished by a single node to enable sufficiently fast processing to occur as well as coordination of the transmissions at the different points.from which eNBs.these indications are gained using the reference signals from the UE that are available even in the earlier releases of LTE. Downlink LTE CoMP LTE CoMP generates the main issues within the downlink where a number of scenarios may arise: • UE responds as for single point transmission: Using this approach. although it comes at the price of increased signal processing. Terminals provide channel status information: The second alternative for downlink 4G LTE CoMP. highly detailed feedback is required on the channel properties in a fast manner so that the changes can be made. coordinated multipoint is for the UE to provide channel status for all the downlink channels it can see. the terminals are not aware of the fact that transmissions are emanating from several geographically different points. This can be used to improve the signal processing. Coordinated Multipoint. Terminals have details of eNB transmissions: using this approach for 4G LTE CoMP. This system provides diversity gains similar to those found in broadcast single frequency networks.e. • • . RF power utilisation within the network is improved and this has the overall advantage of reducing interference. The other requirement is for very close coordination between the eNBs to facilitate the combination of data or fast switching of the cells. For the network. channel and transmission weights. while retaining the processing as for a single point transmission. i. the terminals or UEs are provided with details of the transmissions from the different ENBs.
LTE relay basics LTE relaying is different to the use of a repeater which re-broadcasts the signal. The use of technologies such as MIMO. OFDM and advanced error correction techniques improve throughput under many conditions. but LTE relays and LTE relaying is being considered to ensure that the optimum performance is achieved to enable the expectations of the users to be met while still keeping OPEX within the budgeted bounds. . The idea of relays is not new. with some of the technologies being pushed towards their limits. etc to it and then re-transmitting a new signal. but do not fully mitigate the problems experienced at the cell edge. it is necessary to look at solutions that will enhance performance at the cell edge for a comparatively low cost. the signal quality is enhanced with an LTE relay. coordinated multipoint requires the application of the relevant signal processing within the receiver. However all technologies suffer from reduced data rates at the cell edge where signal levels are lower and interference levels are typically higher. In this way. The aim of LTE relaying is to enhance both coverage and capacity. 4G LTE Advanced Relay : Relaying is one of the features being proposed for the 4G LTE Advanced system. Need for LTE relay technology One of the main drivers for the use of LTE is the high data rates that can be achieved. LTE CoMP.Uplink LTE CoMP For the uplink. One solution that is being investigated and proposed is that of the use of LTE relays. It is very similar in concept and application to the macro-diversity schemes used in previous cellular systems. The concepts of this are well established. rather than suffering degradation from a reduced signal to noise ratio when using a repeater. demodulates and decodes the data. A relay will actually receives. As cell edge performance is becoming more critical. apply any error correction.
that relays messages between the base station (BS) and mobile stations (MSs) through multihop communication LTE relay types There are two types of LTE relay being proposed: • • Type 1 LTE relay nodes: These LTE relays control their cells with their own identity including the transmission of their own synchronisation channels and reference symbols. the UEs communicate with the relay node. Any UE in range is not able to distinguish a relay from the main eNB within the cell.For an LTE relay. Type 1 relays appear as if they are a Release 8 eNB to Release 8 UEs.infrastructure without a wired backhaul connection. The LTE relay is a fixed relay . The exact manner of LTE relays is to be included in Release 10 of the 3GPP standards and specifications. for example decode user data from the donor eNB and re-encode the data before transmission to the UE. There is still much work to be undertaken on LTE relaying. which in turn communicates with a donor eNB. This ensures backwards compatibility. Type 2 LTE relay nodes: These LTE relaying nodes do not have their own cell identity and look just like the main cell. . Relay nodes can optionally support higher layer functionality. Control information can be transmitted from the eNB and user data from the LTE relay.
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