Appendix: UMTS fundamental concepts
1.1 What is UMTS?
UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) represents the choice for the 3rd Generation Global Mobile Communications System in several countries/regions including almost all European countries, Japan and Australia. 3rd Generation mobile communication systems are intended to provide advanced global services to the customer, either circuitswitched (e.g. speech and new services like video calls) or packetswitched, new mobile multimedia services (e.g. streaming/mobile TV, location based services, Downloads, multi-user games and many more) giving more flexibility for the operator to introduce these new services to its portfolio and from the user point of view, more service choices and a variety of higher, on-demand data rates compared with current 2-2.5G mobile systems. The “global” feature means that the system is designed to reach global coverage (if required) through the use of Satellite Links, Macro-cells, Micro-Cells and Pico-Cells. From the Standards point of view, UMTS is a mobile communications system standardized by the 3GPP and the specifications are at the present time in their Release Number 6. The mobile operators that bought 3G licenses in Europe have already deployed their UMTS W-CDMA (Wideband CDMA: the chosen multiple access technology for UMTS) based networks, although the coverage is still not comparable with the currently huge, transnational coverage of GSM-GPRS networks. In fact, at least in the first years of deployment, UMTS networks are going to rely on GSM networks to reach zones where there is still no UMTS coverage, using a technique called Inter-RAT (RAT: Radio Access Technology) handovers. About the UMTS services, some commercial services have been available for the general customers, in the concrete case of The Netherlands, since the last year.

1.2 Technical characteristics
Technically speaking, the radio-access part (also called “the air interface”) is the most important difference regarding to the so-called 2-2.5G systems (e.g. GSM, GSM+GPRS). Instead of using the FDMA-TDMA combination (i.e. carriers and timeslots per carrier) as the access technology like in GSM, UMTS uses Wideband-CDMA, a technology based on the Direct Sequence (DS) Spread Spectrum principle. Direct Sequence makes reference to the usage of a special code to separate the signals (opposite to “frequency hopping” which is the other Spread Spectrum


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For the UMTS public mode (W-CDMA). e. probably using a layering approach. mobile station to base station transmission) and downlink (i. In practice.g.e. special sequences of bits) and not by timeslots as in TDMA (timeslots in W-CDMA systems timeslots are not used for user separation. In W-CDMA Systems. TDD uses the same frequency but different timeslots for each type of connection (UL-DL) and W-CDMA in TDD mode is intended to provide private indoor low-range communications. using different carriers for micro-cells and macro-cells. the mobile transmits in one frequency and receives in another). the way the uplink (i. high-capacity network. the original information signal is spread in the frequency domain within the wider frequency range of the W-CDMA channel. FDD is used for large outdoor cells because it can support more users than TDD mode. it is important to mention that CDMA requires two kinds of codes for its operation: channelization (spreading) code and 2 . in CDMA systems. such as the so-called Hierarchical Cell Structure (HCS) scenarios. UMTS CAPACITY SIMULATION STUDY method and which is used for instance in Bluetooth technology). COSME. Another characteristic of W-CDMA is that the users share the complete frequency spectrum of near 5 MHz per UMTS channel all the time during their communication. but to support periodic functions. Spread Spectrum means that because of the special signal processing method of CDMA. an operator needs 2 to 3 channels (2x5x2 or 2x5x3 MHz) to be able to build a high-speed.A.e. Figure 1-1: Allocated UMTS spectrum in The Netherlands About the code usage. we can see the allocated spectrum in the concrete case of The Netherlands [Umtsworld].e. UE reception of power control commands each timeslot). the choice has been the FDD mode.e. which uses different frequencies for both uplink and downlink (i. In general. base station to mobile station transmission) connections are separated is referred either by FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) or TDD (Time Division Duplex) modes respectively. users belonging to a cell are separated by codes (i.F. In the next graph.

that is. whereas the channelization codes do.3 Channelization (Spreading) codes In UL direction (UE transmits and Node B receives). in the next section the code usage is explained both in UL and DL. and varying the number of chips per information bit we obtain different user speeds). in other words is “spread” over the UMTS bandwidth channel (hereby the name of “spread spectrum”). The main difference in the frequency domain between both kinds of codes is that the Scrambling codes don’t modify the bandwidth of the Information Signal. channelization codes are used to separate physical data and control (i. Therefore. 3GPP calls the Rate of the channelization code as the Chip Rate. In time domain. the effect is the change of rate of the information signal. The purpose of the channelization (spreading) codes in both UL and DL directions is to separate channels from a single transmitter. The next figure helps to clarify the effects of the channelization code in both frequency and time domain. 1. whereas the purpose of the scrambling codes is to separate transmitters (also applies to both UL and DL directions). As this is something very important in order to understand how UMTS works. the result is a signal with a bit rate equal to the chip rate (the reference chip rate in UMTS is fixed to 3. after the channelization code is applied to the information signal. the Bandwidth of the information signal changes (in frequency domain) to a higher bandwidth. Once a channelization code is applied to the information signal. UE Receives).e.scrambling code. channelization codes are used to separate connections to different users within one cell (users of the cell are sharing the “code tree” of that cell. although physically the chips are also bits (although of higher frequency (smaller period) than the data or information bits). the pool of DL code resources of the tree). To distinguish from the Information Rate. In DL (Node B transmits.84 Megachips / sec. signaling) channels from the same terminal. the transmitter is the mobile whereas in Downlink the transmitter is the Base station). 3 Beneficiario COLFUTURO 2003 . The usage of these codes depends on the direction of the communication (in Uplink.

0 means no orthogonality and 1 means full orthogonality. in the frequency domain. some of the orthogonality property is lost. The number of chips used for each data bit is known as the spreading factor (SF).2) (A1. Also. which is a factor that varies between 0 (full orthogonality. This is had into account in CDMA capacity equations with the so-called orthogonality factor. That’s why in DL for instance. Where Data Rate coded channel means that this data rate has into account the overhead introduced by coding techniques and it doesn’t corresponds 4 . in Time Domain: SF = Chip Rate / Data Rate coded channel And also. UMTS CAPACITY SIMULATION STUDY Bandwidth of baseband Power Bandwidth after spreading 1 Voltage -1 f t Figure 1-2: Effects of the channelization code in Time and Frequency domain The codes used for the channelization operations must have a special property called orthogonality. where W = Bandwidth of the spread signal [Hz] and R = Bandwidth of baseband data [Hz]. Orthogonal code means that the inner product of the code with the codes from the other users (called crosscorrelation property) or the product of the code with a shifted version of the code itself (called auto-correlation) has to be as small as possible.F. full interference)*. These codes are also known as OVSF (Orthogonal Variable Spreading Factor) codes. However in some other references. no interference) and 1 (no orthogonality. Summarizing. the signals must be properly synchronized in time. for instance [Holma]. in Frequency Domain: SF = W / R (A1.1) *: This definition is in line with the definition in Wines simulator documentation. COSME. SF = W / R. For orthogonality to work. due to multi-path propagation.A.

in the reception side the same transmitter’s channelization code is applied and that allows the receiver to reconstruct the original transmitted signal. In Uplink.4 Scrambling codes Scrambling codes separate different mobiles (in uplink) and different Node-B cells/sectors (in downlink). 1. Data bits TX SIDE RX SIDE Recovered bits Transmission medium Σ Spreading code Spreading code Scrambling code Scrambling code Figure 1-3: Simplified Transmission and Reception process in UMTS 5 Beneficiario COLFUTURO 2003 . in the sense that without the transmitter’s channelization code available. The codes used for scrambling codes are known as Gold codes and there are two versions (long and short) depending on the features of the terminal/Node B either one or another version is used. whereas with SF=256. but in Downlink this number is limited to 512. the following schematic illustrates in a simple way the process of transmission and reception in UMTS involving all the elements mentioned. the data rate of the spread signal would be 15 Kbps. the number of codes available is in the order of millions of codes (that guarantees no code shortage when trying to separate the transmitting users). W-CDMA also involves a certain degree of security. Summarizing.directly to the information rate (unless the coding factor is 1 of course). otherwise the cell-search procedure shouldn’t be possible to solve in a reasonable time. the data rate of the spread signal would be 480 Kbps. it is almost impossible to reconstruct the original signal. Therefore. If we have a low spreading factor it means that it is consuming more code resources from the code tree and the bit rate is higher. the number of codes (given by the maximum SF) is a scarce resource that can be in shortage and therefore must be carefully considered in any capacity analysis. thus preventing tampering attacks in the air interface. in Downlink. Finally. This is a code that does not affect the transmission bandwidth which was already transformed by the usage of the channelization code. This is important to know because it is a common source of mistakes in calculations. for instance with SF = 8.

denoted as Eb/No.F. is obtained by dividing the signal power by the information (baseband) bit rate.A. denoted SIR. The signal-to-interference power ratio. and the interference power by the total RF frequency. and N-1 interfering signals with total power equal to S*(N-1). new methods have to be developed to estimate capacity and coverage of the W-CDMA system. 1. The desired signal is shown in the graph as a continuous line and the rest in dotted lines.5G systems as GSM-GPRS. The interference sums up to (N-1)* S. N users Figure 1-4: Derivation of the SIR and Eb/No relationship The demodulator of the Node B processes one desired signal S. UMTS CAPACITY SIMULATION STUDY As the radio access part has changed with respect to previous 2-2.3) The bit energy to noise ratio. COSME.5 The processing Gain. SIR (Signal to Interference Ratio) and Eb/No concepts in UMTS [Vourekas] Consider a single-cell CDMA system with N users where ideal power control is applied and consequently the signal from all the users reaches the node B demodulator with the same intensity S (figure 1-4). is then: SIR = S 1 = (N − 1)S (N − 1) (A1. 6 .

2). becomes: SIR = Eb − Gp No (A1.7) The following figure summarizes graphically this physical process. So after de-spreading process: Eb = SIR ⋅ GP No In another form: (A1. we see that the definition of Gp is equivalent to the definition of SF.3).6) SIR = 1 Eb ⋅ GP N o (A1. we derive a relationship between the SIR and Eb/No that also involves the processing gain.S Wrf EB 1 R = = ⋅ N o ( N − 1)S ( N − 1) R Wrf (A1.4) and (A1. The processing gain is a Gain achieved at the receiver during the de-spreading process and it is due to the fact that the W-CDMA receiver can sum-up coherently the multiple copies of the original data generated by the multi-path propagation.5). by means of a special receiver technique known as Rake Receiver. we can say that the high data rate transmissions have low processing gain (low spreading factor).6.1) Equation (1. making the equivalence between SF and Gp.5) with (A1. (A1.4) In the last part of equation (A1.1). Therefore. when the quantities are expressed in dBs.3) and the second term is defined as the processing gain: Gp = TotalSpreadBandwidth Wrf = InformationBitRate R (A1.4). the first term is equal to the signal to interference ratio (as defined in equation A1.5) Comparing (A1.6. From the equations (A1. 7 Beneficiario COLFUTURO 2003 .

3GPP just had to use different nomenclature than the IS-95 community). the CDMA equations regarding capacity also use this important figure as it is going to be shown in a later section. Ec/Io and Ec/No are the same thing. COSME. the baseband (own) signal needs to be typically a few dB above the interference and noise power. 8 . This quantity is of capital importance because the quality targets are always expressed as a function of Eb/No as can be seen in the analysis presented in [Castro] where the Bit Error Rate probability is derived in terms of this figure. Rb Figure 1-5: Physical meaning of SIR and Eb/No [Vourekas] To put a practical example: consider a speech signal with a bit-rate of 12. As the quality targets are expressed as function of Eb/No . UMTS CAPACITY SIMULATION STUDY W Tx antenna W RF output f 0 Data.F.15 ⋅10 = 25dB ⎜R ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ ⎝ b⎠ ( ) After despreading. in dB or SIRtarget + Gp = Eb/No in dB W Eb/No Noise & interfering signals RF input Rx antenna Ec/Io This is negative! f f0 Rc W= 5MHz Spreading Code 0 Data.A.2 ⋅10 3 ⎟ ⎟ = 10 ⋅ log 3.2 kbps and Rc= 3. So Rb=12. This required signal power density above the noise power density after despreading is designated as Eb/No.84 ⋅10 6 ⎞ 2 ⎟ ⎜ = ⋅ G p = 10 ⋅ log⎜ 10 log ⎜ 12. Rb Rc f0 W= 5MHz f0 Spreading Code Ec/Io + Gp = Eb/No. Then the processing gain of the signal is: ⎛ Rc ⎞ ⎛ 3. and it is also known as Ec/Io (In fact. The required signal power density below the interference power density before despreading is designated as SIR (Signal to Interference Ratio).2kbps.84 Mchips/sec.

within any given channel bandwidth (chip rate) we will have a higher processing gain for lower user data bit rates than for high. an addition in dB scale. With high data rates some robustness of the WCDMA against interference is clearly compromised. what exactly does SIR of –20dB mean? It means that the signal can be buried far below the interference. ⎛ Ec ⎞ ⎛ Ec ⎞ Ec 1 10 ⋅ log⎜ ⎟ = −2 ⇒ N = 10 2 ⇒ N o = 100 ⋅ Ec ⎜N ⎟ ⎟ = −20dB ⇒ log⎜ ⎜N ⎟ o ⎝ o⎠ ⎝ o⎠ Thus the required wideband SIR is so tolerant that the signal can be buried in interference of a power density that is 100 times larger! Still is that SIR good enough for the signal to be recovered. That means that after despreading the resulting baseband signal must be 5dB above noise in order to be successfully reconstructed at the decoder. Therefore. we have to remember the equation (all quantities in dBs): SIRtarget + Gp = Eb/No (A1. In fact for our example the chip power density signal is 100 times smaller than the noise +interference level. In other words: SIR + G p = Eb / N o ⇒ ⇒ −20dB + 25dB = 5dB (Gains or ratios that are expressed in dBs can be added and subtracted. In the dB scale multiplication is translated into addition). In case the Eb/No < 0 there is no detection at all. It is then multiplied with the processing gain. Summarizing. 9 Beneficiario COLFUTURO 2003 . But. This follows also from equation A1.7. the required wideband SIR must 5 dB minus the processing gain. If now the processing gain is not large enough the resulting Eb/No will be too small and will not “rise” above the interference. Compare this with the 9 to 18 dBs of SIR required for good voice quality in GSM systems [Holma].For speech service Eb/No is typically in the order of 5dB. SIR“target” = 5dB-25dB = -20dB. As we have seen so far.8) Expressed in dB the received SIR is negative.

On the contrary. including UTRAN and Core Network. the capacity in terms of number of supported users per cell is modified) and the cell-size (coverage) would be reduced (phenomena known as “cell breathing” effect). as the interference should be taken into account already in the coverage prediction. because if the interference level is high in some cells (because the interference contribution of many users sharing the air interface and probably using different data rates). COSME. then it is clear that capacity influences coverage and a separate planning of capacity and coverage cannot be performed. it is presented here just for the sake of the architecture completeness but its analysis is out of the scope of this study. the minimum power level of the incoming signal at the receiver in order to be detected) can be assumed as a constant.6 UMTS Architecture (Rel99) The following section aims to introduce shortly the network elements and interfaces of the UMTS architecture (Release 99).e. in UMTS the sensitivity of the base stations is a random variable that depends on the number of users and the bit rates / services being used at any given time.e.A. and then capacity is dimensioned as a second step (capacity in a GSM cell it is given by the number of available channels. 10 . then the Eb/No level of some links is not going to be enough to make their signal to “rise” above the interference level and therefore the call would be dropped (i.F. The Core Network however. 1. as it can be done for instance in other mobile systems such as GSM where first predictions of the path loss are evaluated in order to ensure the coverage of the desired area. UMTS CAPACITY SIMULATION STUDY This fact gives us the first impression of why the Interference levels in the network are so important in the radio planning process of UMTS systems. This is the main reason why in UMTS capacity and coverage planning cannot be separated processes. which is a function of the reuse factor and the number of carriers per cell [Umtsforum6] and therefore the sensitivity level at the base stations (i.

) The UE. the UE consists of two parts. UE UTRAN Iub Node B RNC Iu-CS MSC/V CN CS-Domain GMSC . Therefore.. as defined in [21. UTRAN (UMTS Radio Access Network) UTRAN is a logical grouping that includes one or more Radio Network Subsystem (RNS).. the main components of the RNS are explained. which is the logical interface (known as Uu interface in 3GPP specifications) between the UE and the Node B. the ME which is the radio terminal itself. In the following section.página anterior siguiente página CS Networks (PSTN. only one RNS is simulated. RNS2) are depicted in the figure 4. Node B The Node-B is analog in functionality to the BTS in GSM networks. etc).. It performs radio functions related to the “air interface”. A RNS is a sub-network within UTRAN and consists of one Radio Network Controller (RNC) and one or more Node Bs. Some of its main tasks are the implementation of Radio Resource 11 Beneficiario COLFUTURO 2003 . Node B Iub HLR Iur RNC . For simulation purposes. analog to the SIM cards of the GSM phones but with some advanced extra-features (secure downloading of applications..905] is the mobile equipment with one or several UMTS Subscriber Identity Modules (USIMs). possible inclusion of payment methods. Medium Access Control) and control of the Node Bs is performed by the RNC. Iu-PS SGSN GGSN Uu (air interface) ..... Higher layer functions (e. and the USIM which is the “smartcard”. Node B Iub PS-Domain Simulation Scope Figure 1-6: UMTS Architecture (Rel-99) UE (User Equipment) PS Networks (Internet.g. Two of them (RNS1.. Its main function is to provide the radio link between the UE and the UMTS network.

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