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Carrier Aggregation
ITU ASP COE Training on « Wireless Broadband Roadmap Development”

Pr. Sami Tabbane
11-14 September – Bangkok (Thailand)

I. Introduction: Trends in broadband wireless systems and Spectrum pressures II. Carrier aggregation in LTE-A and other similar systems using carrier aggregation (e.g., CDMA2000). Integration of carrier aggregation in the standards III.Carrier aggregation and performance IV.Cognitive radio: generalization of carrier aggregation concept V. Conclusions



I. Introduction


State of art of existing WB System
Standardization bodies
ITU-T: Definition of the characteristics of the generation (2, 3, 4, …), validation of proposed standards and allocation of spectrum, 3GPP: European standardization body (“GSM” family), 3GPP2: North-American standardization body (“CDMA” family), IEEE: data networks standards (“802.xx” family), …


8 carrier HSDPA. Also includes quad-carrier operation for HSPA+. Provides support for GSM/EDGE/GPRS/WCDMA radio-access networks. Defines EPC. Also includes optimization of MBMS capabilities through the multicast/broadcast. single-frequency network (MBSFN) function. higher order modulation and MIMO.0 – 5 Mbit/s 3G basic 150-350 kbit/s 100 kbps 1 Mbps 10 Mbps 100 Mbps 3GPP systems. IMS enhancements. Enhanced multimedia support through Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Services (MBMS). Release 7: Evolved EDGE. Radio enhancements to HSPA include 64 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) in the downlink DL and 16 QAM in the uplink. First steps toward using IP transport in the core network. Full ability to use IP-based transport instead of just Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) in the core network. as well as reductions in call set-up delay for Push-to-Talk Over Cellular (PoC). Includes dual-carrier HSPA (DC-HSPA) wherein two WCDMA radio channels can be combined for a doubling of throughput performance. femtocell support. Release 11 Interworking . increased capacity. Initial VoIP capability. Release 8: HSPA Evolution. Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) integration option. Performance enhancements. support for regulatory features such as emergency userequipment positioning and Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS). Performance specifications for advanced receivers. and evolution of IMS architecture. Continuous Packet Connectivity (CPC) enables efficient “always-on” service and enhanced uplink UL VoIP capacity. September 2010 3 . EPC enhancements. First phase of Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). Building on Releases Release 99: Enhancements to GSM data (EDGE).11/09/2012 State of art of existing WB System Typical user data rates LTEAdvanced LTE 5 – 60 Mbit/s 30 – 300 Mbit/s HSPA 1. and better resistance to interference. Text adapted from 3G Americas White Paper. Release 9: HSPA and LTE enhancements including HSPA dual-carrier operation in combination with MIMO. Specifies HSPA+. Release 5: HSDPA. improved spectral efficiency. simultaneous use of MIMO and 64 QAM. Majority of deployments today are based on Release 99. Specifies OFDMAbased 3GPP LTE. Uplink MIMO study Release 10 LTE-Advanced meeting the requirements set by ITU’s IMT-Advanced project. Release 6: HSUPA. Non voice emergency communications. Release 4: Multimedia messaging support.3GPP EPS and fixed BB accesses. M2M.

11/09/2012 Releases and bitrates expectations 7 Peak data rates in LTE and LTELTE-A 8 4 .

Hybrid ARQ -… 10 5 .Fast scheduling .11/09/2012 Theoretical spectrum efficiencies LTE is the most spectral efficient wireless technology but it cannot be expected that early LTE deployments achieve this theoretical spectral efficiency.MIMO and beamforming .Link adaptation . 9 Main LTE data rates improvement techniques: .

11/09/2012 LTE physical layer User #1 scheduled ∆f=15kHz User #2 scheduled User #3 scheduled DL: adaptive OFDM – Scheduling channel and link adaptation dependent in the time and frequency domain UL: SC-FDMA with a dynamic bandwidth (pre-coded OFDM) – PAPR Better spectrum efficiency – Reduced UL interference (allows intra-cell orthogonality) Flexible bandwidth (with resolution of 180 kHz) – Possibility to deploy in bandwidth of <5 MHz to 20 MHz Multiple antennas. interference rejection – High bitrates and higher capacity Harmonised FDD and TDD concept – FDD and TDD maximum spectrum sharing Maximum UE capacity: BW = 20 MHz frequency 180 kHz frequency TX RX <5 fDL fUL 5 10 15 20 MHz FDDFDD-only Half Half-duplex FDD fDL fUL TDDTDD-only fDL/UL Link adaptation 6 .and RX diversity. antennas lobes. TX. RBS and terminal – MIMO.

11/09/2012 Example of link adaptation MIMO and Beamforming 7 .

11/09/2012 Fast scheduling Scheduling depending on the channel Hybrid ARQ Principle: Reuse of the errored frames for the decoding of the retransmissions. Loss of the frame #2 => retransmission request Link layer Physical layer + Storage in the HARQ buffer 2 error Combines the errored frame with the retransmitted one Time 16 8 . Drawback: Requires a large buffer.

Carrier aggregation in LTELTE-A and other systems 17 LTELTE -A improvements (1) 18 9 .11/09/2012 II.

11/09/2012 LTELTE -A improvements (2) 19 Impacts of various techniques in improving the data rates 20 10 .

10. 5. A carrier aggregation capable UE can simultaneously receive and transmit in one or multiple component carriers. Each component carrier is fully backward compatible to Release-8/9. each carrier is called a “component carrier”. It also allows the coexistence of Release 8 and 9 UEs together with Release-10 UEs. As a result. possibly each of different bandwidth. 21 Carrier aggregation in LTE Carrier Aggregation (CA): multiple component carriers are aggregated and jointly used for transmission to/from a single terminal.11/09/2012 Carrier aggregation in LTE Release-10 carrier aggregation supports the following features: Peak data rates of 1 Gbps on downlink and 500 Mbps on uplink. This backward compatibility to Release 8/9 allows the technologies developed for LTE Release-8/9 to be fully reused in Release-10. There are up to five component carriers. which is very important for seamless system transition from Release 8 and 9 to Release 10. 15 and 20 MHz). LTE carrier aggregation can support operation on transmission bandwidths of up to 100 MHz by aggregating five 20 MHz carriers.4. Up to five carriers can be aggregated. Each component carrier can have any of the bandwidths supported in LTE Rel-8 (1. allowing for transmission bandwidth up to 100 MHz backwards compatibility where. each component carrier (CC) uses the release-8 structure. 3. which can be aggregated. 22 11 .

11/09/2012 Key Features in LTE Release 10 100 MHz Support of Wider Bandwidth (Carrier Aggregation) CC f Advanced MIMO techniques • Extension to up to 8-layer transmission in downlink • Introduction of single-user MIMO up to 4-layer transmission in uplink Heterogeneous network and eICIC (enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination) • Interference coordination for overlaid deployment of cells with different Tx power Improvement of cell-edge throughput and coverage Relay Coordinated Multi-Point transmission and reception (CoMP) LTELTE -A features for increased bitrates 24 12 .

The activation/deactivation of the secondary carriers is done by the serving NodeB through physical layer signaling. in 8C-HSDPA the transmissions are independent. Mitigate the relative inefficiencies that may be inherent in wireless deployments in non-contiguous or narrow (5 MHz or less) channel bandwidths.11/09/2012 Carrier aggregation benefits Maximize the total peak data rate and throughput performance by combining peak capacities and throughput performance available at different frequencies Provide a higher and more consistent quality of service by load-balancing across frequencies and systems. often spread across different spectrum bands. The 26 uplink signaling is carried over a single carrier. The carriers do not need to be adjacent. 25 Carrier aggregation in HSDPA 8C-HSDPA is a further extension of the multicarrier operation with eight carriers. Similar to the 4 carrier feature. 13 .

Carrier aggregation performance 28 14 .11/09/2012 HSPA + LTE Carrier Aggregation Same mechanisms as the intra-RAT carrier aggregation schemes. It bring similar data rate gains: Data rates of carrier aggregation UEs boosted by utilizing unused resources from overlapping cell(s) operating on different carrier(s) Data rates of all UEs improved by fast (TTI level) load balancing 27 III.

Far-off UE are better served with a low frequency carrier and near cell center UE with a high frequency carrier. 15 .11/09/2012 Carrier aggregation impact on throughputs Improves average cell throughput both in uplink and downlink due to more 29 efficient utilization of radio resource by statistical multiplexing Inter-band Carrier Aggregation enables to benefit from different Interpropagation characteristic of different frequency bands Carriers at different frequency bands have different propagation losses and different interfering systems. 30 Inter-band Carrier Aggregation provides more flexibility to utilize fragmented spectrum allocations.

10MHz LTE and 2x5MHz HSPA before refarming) 31 UE capabilities and carrier aggregation 32 16 .11/09/2012 Average downlink data rate before and after refarming of one HSPA carrier (assuming low-to-medium system loading.

11/09/2012 Different types of carrier aggregation in LTE (1) 33 Example of carrier aggregation in different frequency bands 34 17 .

11/09/2012 Componant carriers after carrier aggregation 35 Symmetric/Asymmetric carrier aggregation in LTE 36 18 .

Inter modulation and cross-modulation within the UE device when multiple transmitter and receiver chains are operated simultaneously. C. 37 Spectrum Aggregation Scenarios for FDD 38 19 . Intra-band aggregation with non-contiguous component carriers Multiple CCs belonging to the same band. Inter-band aggregation with non-contiguous component carriers Carriers in different operating bands are aggregated. Countries where spectrum allocation is non-contiguous within a single band. B. Intra-band aggregation with frequency-contiguous component carriers Contiguous bandwidth wider than 20 MHz.11/09/2012 Intra/Inter-band carrier Intra/Interaggregation in LTE (1) A.

11/09/2012 Intra/Inter-band carrier Intra/Interaggregation in LTE (2) 39 Intra-Band Carrier Aggregation RF Intraparameters with 2 aggregated carriers 40 20 .

– Add a Carrier Indicator Field (CIF) to DCI. and PHICH) are updated to support cross-carrier scheduling. 42 21 . 41 Downlink Multiple Access Scheme with CA • • • Downlink OFDMA with component carrier (CC) based structure One transport block is mapped within one CC Parallel-type transmission for multi-CC transmission – Cross-carrier scheduling is possible–DL control channels (such as PDCCH. E.: classes D.B. & F are in the study phase.11/09/2012 The 6 LTE carrier aggregation bandwidth classes Carrier Aggregation Bandwidth Class A B C Aggregated Transmission BW Configuration ≤100 ≤100 100 . PCFICH.200 N.

44 22 . In heterogeneous deployment scenarios. and the peak data rates can be up to 400 or 800 Mbps. The average data rates can reach 80 or 160 Mbps. 43 CA between operators The system bandwidth will increase substantially. the performance can be better since flexible frequency reuse can be arranged between local area nodes to provide better inter-cell interference coordination. Carrier aggregation provides almost as high spectrum efficiency and peak rates as single wideband allocation.11/09/2012 Advantages of CA Lot of permutations and combinations. some of them are a bit more difficult to implement due to interference problems caused (intermodulation products of transmitted signals on different frequency bands). up to 80 MHz For two cooperating operators with 2*20 MHz each. Only intraband carrier aggregation is supported in uplink in LTE Release 10 (higher range of band combinations will be supported in later releases).

45 Drawbacks of CA (2) • Interference coordination. bandwidths.11/09/2012 Drawbacks of CA (1) Loss in throughput: by the vulnerability due to channel aggregation or bonding in LTE-A and HSPA+ networks. • Radio planning constraints. • UE compatibility (frequency bands. Channel aggregation is susceptible to about 70% loss of throughput in LTE networks and about 11-15% in HSPA+ networks compared to systems with no aggregation or bonding. …). •… 46 23 .

Cognitive radio: generalization of the carrier aggregation concept 47 The origin: Apparent Spectrum Scarcity Spectrum Holes Spectrum measurement across the 900 kHz –1 GHz band (Lawrence. KS.11/09/2012 IV. USA) 24 .

MA. USA) 49 The Idea: Dynamic Spectrum Access Fill with secondary users 25 .11/09/2012 RF Spectrum Occupancy Spectrum measurement across the 928 – 948 MHz band (Worcester.

and modulation strategy) in real-time. transmit-power.” S. with two primary objectives in mind: • highly reliable communications whenever and wherever needed. Haykin. IEEE J-SAC..11/09/2012 White Space Concept 51 Cognitive Radio: Definition “Cognitive radio is an intelligent wireless communication system that is aware of its surrounding environment (i.g. outside world). carrier-frequency. • efficient utilization of the radio spectrum. 26 .e. 2005. Feb. and uses the methodology of understanding-by-building to learn from the environment and adapt its internal states to statistical variations in the incoming RF stimuli by making corresponding changes in certain operating parameters (e.. “Cognitive Radio: Brain-Empowered Wireless Communications”.

by machine-controlled negotiation between systems Automated frequency coordination between licensees Opportunistic spectrum use by unlicensed devices while protecting incumbents from harmful interference 53 Terminology • Primary User (PU): – Licensed user – Has exclusive rights for the spectrum • Secondary User (SU): – Unlicensed user – Opportunistically utilizes the white spaces – Has to vacate the spectrum band as soon as a PU appears – Also called cognitive user 54 27 .11/09/2012 Cognitive Radio Cognitive radio technology is expected to improve spectrum access through: Increased spectrum efficiency of licensed spectrum users Secondary markets by allowing licensees to lease their spectrum access e.g.

communication is achieved through the simultaneous use of multiple LTE carriers called Component Carriers (CCs) enabling broadband transmission exceeding 20 MHz. Carrier Aggregation (CA) technology is introduced by the 3GPP to support very-high-data rate transmissions over wide frequency bandwidths (e.. up to 100 MHz) in its new LTE-Advanced standards. In CA. 56 28 .11/09/2012 Example of OFDM Carriers Selected for Use That Fall into Available Spectrum Spectral Adaptation Waveforms T I M E Frequency Conclusions To achieve up to 1 Gbps peak data rate in the downlink and 500 Mbps in the uplink in future IMT-Advanced mobile systems.g.