You are on page 1of 7

Contribution to the WWRF17 Meeting

1 WG or SIG to which this Contribution is submitted:


State which of the categories a) f) on the front page of the CfC this Contribution is addressing:

Identifying new research areas

Title of research item

RAN Enhancements for Advanced Multimedia Broadcasting and Multicasting Services

Contact details of author/submitter

Rainer Hoeckmann University of Applied Sciences Osnabrueck Postfach 1940 49009 Osnabrueck Phone: +49 541 969 3800

Subject area (WG/SIG and subtopic (as of CfC) where appropriate)

WG4 New Air Interfaces, Relay based Systems and Smart Antennas Several subtopics will be covered

Relevance of the topic to the above subject area

The IST project C-MOBILE (Advanced MBMS for the Future Mobile World) intends to present its identified research directions for RAN.

Preferred presentation form:



see below

RAN Enhancements for Advanced Multimedia Broadcasting and Multicasting Services

E. Alexandri1, J. Antoniou2, T. Clessienne1, A. Correia3, R. Dinis3, E. Hepsaydir5, 4 6 6 4 3 1 R. Hckmann , H. Schotten , C. Sgraja , R. Tnjes , N. Souto , S. Wendt

France Telecom, Univ. of Cyprus, ADETTI, Univ. Appl. Sci. Osnabrck, 5 6 Hutchison 3G, Qualcomm

AbstractMobile multimedia services like goal notification for football fans by Multimedia Messaging Service (one club = one channel) and mobile television require efficient technologies in order to distribute multimedia contents simultaneously to large mobile user groups. UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) Release 6 has standardised MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Services) for the first time. This paper discusses issues for evolving mobile broadcast services with higher bandwidth and more flexibility. The document discusses the future research directions concerning RAN enhancements for the provision of advanced Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services. A particular focus is given on the RAN enhancements addressed in the European project C-MOBILE.1 Index TermsImproved Directions, RAN Evolution MBMS Support, Research

I. INTRODUCTION Mobile multimedia services like goal notification for football fans by Multimedia Messaging Service (one club = one channel) and mobile television require efficient technologies in order to distribute multimedia contents simultaneously to large mobile user groups [1][2]. UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) Release 6 has standardised MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Services) for the first time [3][4]. The C-MOBILE project deals with enhancements to MBMS radio and core network capabilities in future wireless cellular networks, mobile broadcast service infrastructure capabilities and convergent architecture. This paper is based on the first deliverable [5] by the Work Package 3 RAN Enhancements of C-MOBILE [6]. In section II, the status in standardization is reviewed and specific RAN enhancements are classified. Section III summarizes concepts and technologies currently under discussion in standardization and section IV concludes the discussion. II. TECHNOLOGIES AND CONCEPTS FOR 3GPP EVOLUTION A. WCDMA based MBMS Evolution in 3GPP With the 3GPP Release 99 and Release 5 standards being
This contribution is the result of work done as part of the IST CMOBILE project (IST-2005-27423) [6].

frozen, enhancements can be applied on the receiver side or on certain non-standardized algorithms. Relevant techniques are: Interference cancellation (IC) in order to mitigate intercell and/or intra-cell interference, as it is interesting for HSDPA Release 5. Adaptive IC scheme that allow for an intelligent trading of receiver complexity vs. performance are worth to be studied. Receive diversity for an improved coverage and/or in order to reduce the transmit power at the base station. Receive diversity schemes designed for interference nulling. This advanced technique does not optimize for SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) via maximum-ratio combining, but for the SINR (signal-to-interference and noise ratio). Improved HSDPA scheduling, traffic-channel switching, RRM. Since the standard does not specify these algorithms, more sophisticated proprietary solutions can be applied C-MOBILE will consider various possibilities to enhance the MBMS Release 6 performance, and consider concepts and technologies already listed in the Release 7 Study Item MBMS Release 6 Evolution, comprising techniques such as: Selection and Soft Combining. Advanced counting procedures for a more efficient utilisation of system resources, in order to avoid congestion resulting from uncontrolled terminal feedback. Better MBMS mobility support and optimizations for MBMS reception during cell change. Improved ptp-ptm (point-to-point vs. point-tomultipoint) switching, for optimized overall cell throughput as well as to guarantee a certain QoS at the UE. Optimizations for scenarios where the RNC does not know whether the UE supports the MBMS ptm reception in the CELL_DCH state. Provision of an MBMS dual receiver to permit joint ptp and ptm reception, or the handling of MBMS services on different frequencies. The study of MBMS on the HSDPA transport channel. Finally, broadband MBMS support based on MCWCDMA will be considered. Page 2 (7)

3 There are various scenarios where MBMS services might be delivered on unicast bearers. It is expected that there will be an HSPA evolution, and that HSDPA+ bearers might be used for MBMS service support. B. LTE based MBMS evolution in 3GPP The overall target of the 3GPP long-term evolution (LTE) of 3G is to arrive at an evolved radio access technology that can provide service performance on a par with current fixed line access. As it is generally assumed that there will be a convergence towards the use of Internet Protocol (IP)-based protocols (i.e. all services in the future will be a carried on top of IP), the focus of this evolution should be on enhancements for packet-based services. An OFDMA air interface has been selected for LTE. One of the LTE requirements is to deliver enhanced MBMS, where C-MOBILE will study and make necessary proposals to 3GPP for LTE. In the LTE architecture as it was proposed, the network nodes GGSN, SGSN, and RNC will be merged into a single central node, the Access Core Gateway (ACGW). The ACGW terminates the control and user planes for the user equipment (UE) and handles the core network functions as they are provided by GGSN and SGSN in Release 6. Link LayerLTE suggests a new link layer concept: packet-centric link layer. The concept foresees two Layer-2 ARQ protocols, the RLC protocol which contains ARQ functionality, and the hybrid ARQ (HARQ) protocol embedded in the medium access control (MAC) layer and operating between the base station and the UE. This is expected to allow for more efficient scheduling decisions. DownlinkOFDM. In OFDM-SFNs (single frequency networks), the signal from all base stations will appear as multi-path propagation and thus implicitly be exploited by the OFDM receiver. In addition, frequency domain adaptation is made possible through the use of OFDM and can achieve large performance gains in cases where the channel varies significantly over the system bandwidth. Information about the downlink channel quality obtained through feedback from the terminals, in order to appropriately select the output power level, channel coding rate, and modulation scheme by the scheduler. UplinkSingle-Carrier FDMA. For uplink transmissions, an important requirement is to allow for power-efficient user-terminal transmissions by lowering the PAPR (peak-toaverage power ratio) in order to maximize coverage. Singlecarrier FDMA with dynamic bandwidth is therefore preferred. Slow power control, compensating for path loss and shadow fading is sufficient as no near-far problem is present due to the orthogonal uplink transmissions. MIMO SolutionsTo fulfil the requirements on coverage, capacity, and high data rates, various multi-antenna schemes need to be supported as part of LTE. In addition, it is necessary to consider multi-antenna technologies as a wellintegrated part of an evolved radio access rather than an extension to the specification. Since the deployment of LTE requires new spectrum, Page 3 (7) some operators might not be in the position to migrate LTE from the very beginning. Other operators already indicate that they will deploy LTE in hotspots first and handover the users to WCDMA in other areas. A third group plans to deploy LTE from the very beginning with full coverage. In addition, there are options to use currently unused spectrum for stand-alone MBMS support that shall however be closely tied to a 3G system. These MBMS solutions could be deployed in parallel to any other deployment strategy providing full or restricted coverage. III. RAN ENHANCEMENT TECHNIQUES A. Improved RRM 1) Dynamic Service Area Definition & Resource Allocation The MBMS Service Area is defined as the area where MBMS data of a specific MBMS session are transmitted. The MBMS Service Area is statically configured in the RNC in Release 6, and research is needed to investigate the advantages of using dynamic MBMS Service Area definition together with mechanisms to achieve this goal. In addition, to improve the overall system capacity, an MBMS service delivery into a handset can be scheduled when the network is less loaded. 2) Improved Packet Scheduling HS-DSCH is currently used for unicast services due to its point-to-point nature, but the rich features such as adaptive coding and modulation (ACM), fast scheduling, hybrid ARQ and short TTI, make the HS-DSCH a good candidate for multicast services. Users belonging to the same MBMS group will have the same H-RNTI (HS-DSCH Radio Network Temporary Identifier). Further research has to study and propose algorithms for the packet scheduler in the base station defining how to use the CQI reported by the MBMS UEs. The study should also quantify the benefit of using MBMS on HS-DSCH. Streaming is one of the most expected MBMS services. A typical feature of streaming applications is that they do not require as strict and small delay bounds as conversational applications do. The use of a receiver buffer makes a streaming application resistant against latencies. In order to avoid under- and overflows and therewith packet loss, the scheduler must have the information of the state of the receivers buffers. As the HSDPA-related MAC functionality resides in the base station, fast per-TTI packet scheduling (PS) in coherence with the instantaneous radio link quality is possible. Two types of fairness of the scheduler can be considered: Fair Scheduling and Unfair Scheduling. A simple type of channel non-adaptive scheduling, known to allocate the access times fairly, is the Round Robin (RR) scheduler. However, although the time allocation of RR is fair, the performance is mostly not very encouraging in fading environments. Improved schemes for efficient packet scheduling are therefore of relevance.

4 3) New Retransmission Schemes Hybrid ARQ is well defined for unicast services. In the case of multicasting, there could be many variants. Suppose a frame is to be delivered to a number of users in a multicast group. After the initial transmission, some users may have successfully decoded the message, while the other users still require retransmissions. Upon the reception of ACK/NACK feedbacks, the base station will either schedule retransmission for the NACK users or decide to stop the transmission, since a majority of users have already got the frame. The first approach, i.e., the error free data delivery required by the file download service, can be guaranteed by unicast sessions to be set up at the end of the multicast session for file repair. 4) Enhanced ptp-ptm Switching MBMS channel type switching is also possible as per 3GPP Release 6 of the standard. During an ongoing session, the RNC can decide to switch from ptm to ptp per cell. As usual the standard does not specify the parameters to be used by the RNC to make this decision (it is worth highlighting there may be ptm data delivery between BM-SC, SGSN, GGSN and RNC, while ptp at the radio level). Further investigations are needed for efficient mechanisms to switch from ptp to ptm and vice-versa: The RNC can set up a ptp (unicast) or ptm (multicast) radio bearer depending on several parameters, such as the number of the MBMS users in a cell. The number of MBMS users per service and per cell can be worked out through the MBMS Counting mechanism. MBMS Counting relies on the MBMS Counting Response message sent by the UEs, when they receive a request for counting. If the UE is in idle mode, the RRC connection establishment procedure will be used for counting purposes, while if the UE is in connected mode the Cell Update procedure will be used. Counting can be even activated during an ongoing MBMS session. In that case the procedure is called re-counting. In order to avoid that a large number of UEs set up a RRC connection or send Cell Up-date as a response from the counting request, the UE is requested to access the net-work randomly. Further investigations concern the impact of different channels for ptp and ptm modes such as HS-DSCH (ptp) and DSCH (ptm). If a ptm bearer is chosen, then the transport channel to be used will be FACH. If a ptp bearer is selected, then the transport channel which can be used is either DCH or HS-DSCH. Also, the role of power in the switching decision between ptp and ptm cell modes will be studied, in the case that power is an efficient metric such as, for example, when switching between DCH and FACH. 5) Improved MBMS Counting 3GPP specifications address the issue of ptp-ptm switching by means of the MBMS counting mechanism. However, the counting process was initially developed without considering the possibility of using macro-diversity techniques in ptm common channels, and MBMS users are counted independently in each cell. Some extensions to this counting process are proposed in this document as well as a discussion about the criteria method used by this mechanism. We propose to analyze radio resource management methods concerning the efficient usage of the current UMTS radio resources for broadcast/multicast kind of services. MBMS counting should be used to decide whether the identical MBMS service should be transmitted in a ptp or ptm mode to a group of users. The proposed strategy is based on the total transmit power in a cell. Macro-diversity combining for ptm connections is crucial for MBMS, as improving significantly the received signal quality at the receiver and therefore offering a substantial de-crease in transmit power. In a multi-cell transmission, instead of avoiding interference at the cell border, all the neighbouring cells are used to transmit the same information synchronously to the UE, which requires an extended counting scheme. As a final remark, a hybrid MBMS counting mechanism based first on the number of UEs and then, if applicable, on the instantaneous transmit power of both ptp and ptm transmission modes should be considered for study. While maintaining the same MBMS counting mechanism mode for a large group of users, this may provide a more accurate decision method being worthwhile in terms of radio resource availability. 6) MBMS Cell Throughput Enhancements Research projects, such as C-MOBILE, have to investigate how to increase the MBMS throughput. For example, it is proposed to specify the behaviour of UEs with a dual receiver. These UEs will be able to receive simultaneously dedicated services on one frequency and MBMS services on the other frequency. Cell throughput could also be investigated in terms of efficient admission control mechanisms that would consider QoS considerations including both service differentiation and the bimodal nature of the cells (i.e., ptp or ptm). Efficient Admission Control schemes will consider the selected channels used and the handover specific requirements, and can also be hybrid in nature to handle the change of cell mode from ptp to ptm and vice versa, to achieve the best possible cell throughput. 7) Multicast Mobility Support The user shall be able to continue receiving MBMS services throughout the MBMS service area in which the service is provided. For example, in the case of handover and assuming that a certain multicast service is offered in the target cell, it should be possible for the user to continue the session in the target cell. It is possible that data loss will occur due to user mobility. If the service is not available in the neighbouring cell towards the user is moving, he should be informed of that. Research is needed to investigate how to realize the handover and to propose improved RRM schemes.

Page 4 (7)

5 8) Dynamic Feedback for MBMS Common Channels The introduction of MBMS provides multimedia services to a large number of subscribers. The main barrier is the inability of FACH to deliver MBMS services efficiently to its multicast groups. The proposed power control algorithm aims at overcoming the shortfall of FACH by improving on its power transmission efficiency. The traditional FACH was not created to deliver multimedia services to UEs. FACH must be recognized differently as a new common channel together with the proposed power control algorithm, which aims at efficiently reducing transmission power in order to efficiently utilize the available band-width. MBMS Optimized Transmission Schemes 9) Non-Uniform Hierarchical Modulation In a wireless communication network, depending on the link conditions in broadcast and multicast transmissions, some receivers will experience a better signal-tointerference-and-noise ratio (SINR) than others, and thus the capacity of the communication link for these users is higher. A very simple method to improve the efficiency of the network is to use hierarchical signal constellations (also called embedded or multi-resolution constellations) which are able to provide unequal bit error protection. In this type of constellations there are two or more classes of bits with different error protection, to which different streams of information can be mapped. Depending on the propagation conditions, a given user can attempt to demodulate only the more protected bits or also the other bits that carry the additional information. By using non-uniformly spaced signal points, it is possible to modify the different error protection levels. Depending on the UE position in the cell, the users will demodulate the received signals either as 64QAM (being discussed for HSPA+), 16-QAM, or QPSK. These techniques are interesting for applications where the data being transmitted is scalable, and can be split in classes of different importance. In the case of video transmission, for example, the data from the video source encoders may not be equally important. The same happens in the transmission of coded voice. 10) QoS Differentiation & Multi-Resolution Broadcast Sharing channels is one of the most important aspects in network optimization. In scalable media, a base layer can be provided to satisfy minimum requirements, and one or more enhancement layers can offer improved qualities at increasing bit/frame rates and resolutions. This method significantly decreases the storage costs of the content provider and enlarges the effective MBMS coverage area. Common scalability options are temporal scalability, spatial scalability and SNR scalability. Spatial scalability and SNR scalability are closely related, with the difference of an increased spatial resolution provided by spatial scalability. SNR scalability implies the creation of multi rate bit streams. It allows for the recovery of coding errors, or the difference between an original picture and its reconstruction. Spatial scalability allows for the creation of multi-resolution bit streams to meet varying display requirements and constraints for a wide range of clients. It is essentially the same as SNR scalability, except that a spatial enhancement layer here attempts to recover the coding loss between an up-sampled version of the reconstructed reference layer picture and a higher resolution version of the original picture. B. Repeating Strategies & Ad-hoc Networks New topological approaches like multi-hop solutions and repeating allow for an increased coverage of high rate data transmission. Repeating can provide path loss savings and can take advantages of the spatial diversity and the broadcast nature of wireless networks. This will also allow for delivering high data rate multicast content like MBMS to large and spatially distributed user groups. The relatively small regions covered by repeaters allow for reduced transmitting powers with accordingly reduced interference. The objective of this activity is to increase coverage for high data rate transmission by covering remote areas and to enable high data rate transmission for nearby but shadowed areas. This enhancement of the region with high data rate reception could be realized stepwise and also temporarily by installing repeaters at locations where there is a special need. Repeaters can act as gap fillers for shadowed locations (e.g. inside of buildings). It has to be investigated whether repeater networks can benefit from macro-diversity. Especially, this could be the case with OFDM. Strategies and algorithms for adaptive repeating could extend the high data rate coverage with minimal additional interference. The repeaters in a communication system could possibly be used to deploy cells with dynamically configurable sizes and forms, allowing for adapting the cell structure to the user distribution and demand for high data rate services. C. Exploitation of Location Information As mentioned above, efficient mechanisms to switch from ptp to ptm and vice-versa should be researched. Positioning information can further be used to guide the setup of a ptm radio bearer to serve a group of users close to the base station and a ptp bearer for a single user at the cell border. In addition, the exploitation of location information should be investigated to trigger a handover at optimal positions so as to make the most use of the base station transmit power when the UE is moving from a ptm cell to a ptp cell and vice versa. This work item is fostered by the fact that mobile terminals are expected to support GPS (or assisted GPS) in the future. D. MBMS Mobility Management A further research topic is the examination of the interaction of mobility procedures and MBMS to identify and better understand major limitations and key issues that may influence the performance of the MBMS feature, and to anticipate eventual problems in its deployment. Concerning interaction of MBMS support with existing mobility procedures, it will be important from an operator point of view (especially in an initial deployment phase) that areas where MBMS is deployed may coexist with areas where MBMS is not yet available.

Page 5 (7)

6 E. Receiver Baseband Enhancements Research might consider but will not be limited to the techniques presented below. 1) Interference Cancellation The use of interference cancellation schemes (here the term interference is used in a broad sense, including multiple-access interference, inter-symbol interference, inter-antenna interference, etc.) allows significant performance improvements in most cases. Interference cancellation schemes can be implemented in a linear or iterative way and eventually combined with iterative channel decoding. Intelligent schemes that trade receiver performance vs. complexity would be of particular interest. In general, interference cancellation will be beneficial for both WCDMA based systems and LTE. 2) UE Receive Diversity C-MOBILE will consider the performance of receive diversity on MBMS as an option, in the course of developing new features. 3) Advanced Decision-Directed Channel Estimation In wireless communications, the mobile propagation conditions lead to channels that distort the amplitude and phase of the transmitted signal. This distortion has to be estimated and tracked when performing coherent detection in the receiver. An alternative are systems employing noncoherent detection, but this incurs significant performance degradation. Therefore, most of the mobile communications systems employ coherent detection and require that the amplitude and phase distortions caused by the channel have been correctly estimated. A common technique for obtaining estimates of the channel response is the transmission of pilot symbols along with the data. However, channel estimation can be a complicated task due to: the pilot symbols being severely affected by noise and interference the number of pilots in a frame being limited (to avoid a substantial loss of data rate) the power spent on the transmission of pilots being kept at a low level To compensate for these limitations, advanced receiver configurations are suggested, based on the turbo-processing concept. Channel estimation requirements are especially higher for large non-uniform constellations and/or multiantenna scenarios. F. Transmitter Baseband Enhancements 1) Advanced FEC Mechanism In this working item, we may study the use of advanced coding schemes for scalable media applications and hierarchical coding and modulation. Raptor codes would be an interesting option. 2) Macro Diversity & Soft Combining In the downlink, two main cases of macro-diversity can be distinguished, depending on whether the base stations are synchronized or not. In the synchronized case, the user can employ a single receiver to demodulate the superimposed signals. This makes it possible to realize a particular structure known as Single Frequency Network (SFN). With macro diversity, the diversity gain increases, but these benefits are sensitive to temporal synchronisation. In fact, in order to avoid interference between OFDM symbols, the cyclic prefix is usually longer than or equal to the maximum time spread of the multipath fading channel. When the base stations cannot be assumed to be synchronized, different receiver chains will be needed to demodulate the signals from the distinct base stations. This is still very complex. The technique of macro-diversity can also be used by selecting the best cell base-station in terms of the path-loss and shadowing (selection combining), in order to further mitigate the adverse effects of interference. 3) Space-Time/Space-Frequency Coding & Beamforming We can use multiple transmit/receive antennas to improve the diversity. However, it is more interesting to use the multiple antennas to increase the data rate, while maintaining (or even improving) the power requirements. An issue that has to be considered with these techniques is the increased receiver complexity and the fact that the correlation between antennas should be relatively low. Depending on the availability/quality of channel state information (CSI) at the base station, the downlink data rate can be improved by either open-loop or closed-loop spatial multiplexing, in the form of Space-Time Coding (STC) or transmit beamforming. In addition, OFDM-based systems as discussed for LTE further allow for the use of SpaceFrequency Coding (SFC). While STC does not require knowledge of the downlink CSI, beamforming can exploit partial or full knowledge about the channel, in order to improve the receiver SNR and therewith the data rate. An interesting solution is a hybrid scheme adapting to the CSI quality. While beamforming is well-studied for point-to-point (ptp) links, fewer and quite recent results are available for multicast beamforming on point-to-multipoint (ptm) links. The differences are the following. Typically, beamforming schemes for multicast are designed in a way such as to maximize the minimum receiver SNR among all users belonging to a certain multicast group, in order to optimize for the minimum achievable QoS. However, the group size plays an important role in such an optimization. As it has been shown recently, the multicast capacity goes to zero as the number of multicast user tends to be large. The same argument applies to the special cases of multicast beamforming and open-loop STC, where the latter does not require transmit-side CSI and is, by construction, capable of supporting multicast users. Such as efficient ptp-ptm switching can help to improve the total system throughput, also an advanced spatial processing at the transmitter which adapts to the group size, user location profile, and channel conditions of the multicast users can be highly beneficial. Although the multicast capacity which concentrates on the worst-case user goes to zero as the group size becomes large, the good-case users could actually achieve a much higher data rate and service quality. Non-uniform Page 6 (7)

7 hierarchical signal constellations are capable of adapting to different channel conditions and providing different QoS levels to the multicast users. Together with advanced spatial processing at the transmitter, they are an effective means of increasing the overall throughput. 4) Optimized Pilot Information For performing coherent detection at the receiver, it is necessary that the amplitude and phase distortions caused by the channel are correctly estimated. With this aim, pilot symbols known by the receiver are usually transmitted along with the data. The receiver performance will depend on the channel estimation quality, which in turn depends indirectly on the pilot structure. Therefore, several modes of pilot transmissions together with advanced receiver configurations (capable of enhanced channel estimation) should be evaluated. IV. CONCLUSION Mobile broadcast services are attractive for mobile users and offer new service opportunities for mobile operators. In order to efficiently support mobile broadcast services, 3GPP has standardised Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services in UMTS Release 6. This paper identifies RAN enhancements for MBMS support in current and future system. The CMobile project investigates three reference systems. First, systems based on WCDMA technology as they have been already deployed or follow the evolution tracks in 3GPP. Secondly, LTE (Long-Term Evolution) compatible systems based on OFDMA and SC-FDE access technology will be addressed. Finally, so-called future systems whose network topology and access technology is open and that allow for new concepts will also be studied. Research projects, such as C-Mobile, are ensuring the evolutionary roadmap of MBMS. REFERENCES
[1] [2] M. Bakhuizen, U. Horn: Mobile Broadcast/Multi-cast in Mobile Networks, Ericsson White Paper, 2005 R. Tnjes, U. Horn, F. Hartung: Business and Technology Challenges for Mobile Broadcast Services in 3G, 12th WWRF Wireless World Research Forum, Toronto, 4-5 November, 2004. TS 23.246, Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS); Architecture and functional description 3GPP TS 25.346 Introduction of the MBMS in the Radio Access Network (RAN) C-MOBILE Deliverable D3.1 Research Directions and Technology Roadmap for RAN, June 2006. C-MOBILE Project Website:

[3] [4] [5] [6]

Page 7 (7)