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Rev.

A 08/12
VoLTE DEPLOYMENT AND
THE RADIO ACCESS NETWORK
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
August 2012
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
SPIRENT WHITE PAPER i
CONTENTS
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Dedicated Bearers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Semi-Persistent Scheduling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Robust Header Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Discontinuous Reception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Transmission Time Interval Bundling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
LTE Voice and Legacy Voice Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Considerations for LTE UE Developers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
1 SPIRENT WHITE PAPER
VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
INTRODUCTION
One promise of Long Term Evolution (LTE)
is the availability of a relatively flat, all-IP
access technology that provides a bandwidth-
efficient method of delivering multiple types
of user traffic simultaneously. Indeed, the
ability to deploy Voice over IP (VoIP) services
such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE), while also
allowing high-rate data transfers, is one of the
principal drivers for the evolution to LTE.
In the context of deploying VoLTE, a lot of
emphasis has been placed on the realization
of an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and its
associated Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) in
a wireless environment. Undeniably, IMS and
SIP are key to deploying VoIP services such as
VoLTE in LTE networks.
It is IMS that provides the interconnect and gateway functionalities that allow VoIP
devices to communicate with non-VoIP devices or even non-wireless devices. SIP
defines the signaling necessary for call establishment, tear-down, authentication,
registration and presence maintenance, as well as providing for supplementary services
like three-way calling and call waiting.
Without SIP signaling, or at least a proprietary equivalent, it would not be possible to
provide VoIP telephony services. Without IMS or its equivalent, VoIP services would be
limited to establishing calls between two VoIP users on the same network, and would
not allow calls to users on parallel or legacy technologies. Therefore, it is no wonder
that recent User Equipment (UE) testing and measurement has focused on two areas:
The UEs ability to establish and maintain connectivity with an IMS network,
including all of the registration, authentication, security and mobility associated
with this connectivity
The UEs conformance to SIP signaling protocol and SIP procedures/call flows,
including any number of extensions that may be used in different deployment
scenarios
CORRESPONDING LITERATURE
WHITE PAPER
IMS Architecture:
The LTE User
Equipment Perspective
REFERENCE GUIDE
IMS Procedures and Protocols:
The LTE User
Equipment Perspective
POSTERS
LTE and the Mobile Internet
IMS/VoLTE Reference Guide
SPIRENT WHITE PAPER 2
VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
Voice over LTE
Objective: To deliver carrier-grade (or telco-grade) voice
services that are perceived by subscribers to be as
good as, if not better than, legacy circuit-switched
voice services.
However, to focus development and testing only on these two areas would overlook
the most significant goal of VoLTE: to delivery carrier-grade (or telco-grade) voice
services that are perceived by subscribers to be as good as, if not better than, legacy
circuit-switched voice services. This concept fundamentally differentiates VoLTE from
other VoIP services. Deploying IMS and SIP will provide VoIP service in an LTE network,
but VoLTE raises the bar to provide the carrier-grade voice service that is the vital
objective of LTE networks and operators.
Ensuring carrier-grade voice requires the marriage of IMS and SIP with a number of
LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) features. It is this combination of IMS, SIP and RAN
features that ultimately provides the carrier-grade VoLTE experience. The remainder
of this white paper will identify this set of RAN features and how each of these features
improves the quality of VoLTE service.
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
DEDICATED BEARERS
One might ask why any of the many existing VoIP clients could not be installed on an
LTE UE and used to provide carrier-grade voice services. The answer is competition for
resources. As we all know, over-the-air bandwidth is a finite and precious commodity,
even with the increased spectral efficiency offered by LTE. We also know that the
number of applications using IP data and the total amount of data bandwidth these
applications consume continues to grow at an exponential rate. Each of these
applications and their associated data must compete for that finite bandwidth.
From a networks perspective, the encoded voice packets generated by an off-the-shelf
VoIP client are notionally indistinguishable from the data traffic associated with an
email download, viewing a YouTube video, web browsing, or any number of a host of
other applications. The network will attempt to multiplex all of this generic packet
data traffic, not only from a single user but from all users, onto a single shared channel.
In LTE, these channels are the Physical Downlink and Physical Uplink Shared Channels
(PDSCH/PUSCH). Residing in these physical channels will be at least one Evolved
Packet System (EPS) bearer. The EPS bearer provides a logical connection between the
UE and a Public Data Network (PDN) Gateway (PDN-GW). Typically, a Default EPS Bearer
will be established to provide a logical connection between the UE and an Internet
PDN-GW for the purpose of delivering this generic data traffic between the UE and one
or more application servers (e.g. web server).
One downside of the Default EPS Bearer is that there is no control over quality of
service. A best effort strategy is used to deliver all of the generic traffic between the
UE and the Internet PDN. When the finite resources of the network are overwhelmed,
data traffic queuing takes place, leading to unforeseeable latency or dropped packets.
This is obviously undesirable, or even unacceptable, for real-time applications such as a
voice call.
Dedicated Bearers
Benefit: Dedicated Bearers allow VoLTE audio traffic to be
separated from all other traffic and delivered with a
higher QoS level
SPIRENT WHITE PAPER 4
VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
To overcome the best effort delivery of all indistinguishable traffic over a single EPS
Default Bearer, LTE introduces the concept of an EPS Dedicated Bearer. A Dedicated
Bearer allows certain types of data traffic to be isolated from all other traffic (for
example, VoIP traffic from FTP file download). Each Dedicated Bearer (there can be
multiple Dedicated Bearers establishing virtual connections to one or more PDN-GWs)
is associated with a Traffic Flow Template (TFT). A TFT defines which traffic, based
on source/destination IP addresses and TCP/UDP ports, should be delivered on a
particular Dedicated Bearer. Typically for VoLTE, after SIP signaling is used to establish
a voice session and negotiate the session parameters (e.g. which audio codec, bit rate,
transport protocols and ports will be used for audio), an EPS Dedicated Bearer between
the UE and an IMS PDN-GW is established for the express purpose of transporting
encoded voice packets. Refer to Figure 1 for an example of the traffic usage of a Default
Bearer vs. a Dedicated Bearer.
Further, each Dedicated Bearer can have different service quality attributes specified.
In LTE, a combination of Resource Type (Guaranteed Bit Rate vs. Non-Guaranteed Bit
Rate), Packet Delay Budget (the maximum acceptable end-to-end delay between the
UE and the PDN-GW), Priority (which can be dropped when network resources become
scarce) and Packet Error Loss Rate (the maximum acceptable rate of IP packets that are
not successfully received by the PDCP layer) are used to define a set of QoS (Quality of
Service) Class Identifier (QCI) levels, refer to Table 1.
Figure 1: EPS Bearer: Default vs. Dedicated
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
Table 2 provides a definition of standardized QCI values. A Dedicated Bearer
established to carry VoLTE traffic may typically be assigned a QCI value of 1, indicating
a guaranteed bit rate (largely consistent with the fairly predictable output of a vocoder),
a maximum end-to-end latency of 100ms and a maximum tolerance 10
-2
for IP packet
loss. Traffic on a Dedicated Bearer with QCI=1 would be prioritized over all best
effort traffic on the Default Bearer.
As other applications are deployed in the future, multiple dedicated bearers may be
used, each with a different QCI value. For example, a video telephony implementation
may choose to transport audio using a Dedicated Bearer with QCI=1 and place video on
a different Dedicated Bearer with QCI=2. This would indicate that both audio and video
should be prioritized over best effort traffic. It also indicates that audio traffic is more
important to deliver with lower latency (100ms packet delay budget vs. 150ms) while
video traffic is more sensitive to packet errors (10
-3
packet error loss rate vs. 10
-2
).
QCI
Resource
Type Priority
Packet Delay
Budget (ms)
Packet Error
Loss Rate Example Services
1 GBR 2 100 10
-2
Conversational Voice
2 GBR 4 150 10
-3
Conversational Video (live streaming)
3 GBR 5 300 10
-6
Non-conversational video (buffered streaming)
4 GBR 3 50 10
-3
Real-time gaming
5 Non-GBR 1 100 10
-6
IMS Signalling
6 Non-GBR 7 100 10
-3
Voice, Video (live streaming), interactive gaming
7 Non-GBR 6 300 10
-6
Video (buffered streaming)
8 Non-GBR 8 300 10
-6
TCP-based (WWW, email, FTP)
9 Non-GBR 9 300 10
-6
Table 2 Standardized QCI Values
Attributes for QoS Class Identifier (QCI)
Attribute Description
Resource Type Guaranteed Bit Rate vs. Non-Guaranteed Bit Rate
Packet Delay Budget Maximum acceptable end-to-end delay between the UE and the PDN-GW
Packet Error Loss Rate
Maximum acceptable rate of IP packets that are not successfully received by
the PDCP layer
Allocation Retention Priority
Value assigned for scheduling when capacity is reached, with 1 being
highest level
Table 1: QoS Class Identier for LTE
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
SEMI-PERSISTENT SCHEDULING
As mentioned above, shared channels (PDSCH/PUSCH) are used at the physical
layer to transport the data carried by the logical bearers. Since these channels are
shared amongst all of the users on an eNodeB, there must be a way to allocate these
channels to avoid multiple users trying to simultaneously use the same resource. In
the frequency domain an LTE carrier is divided into a number of subcarriers (currently
anywhere from six to one hundred depending on the bandwidth of the LTE carrier). In
the time domain each subcarrier is grouped into 0.5ms time slots during which either
six or seven of OFDM symbols can be delivered, depending on whether the system is
using normal or extended cyclic prefixes (inter-symbol guard periods). See the 3GPPs
TS 36.211 document for details. This results in a time-frequency grid of subcarriers and
time slots (refer to Figure 2). A grouping of twelve subcarriers in one time slot duration
is known as a Resource Block (RB). An RB is
the minimum allocation of the LTE physical
layer resource that can be granted to a UE.
A pair of physical control channels is used to
grant RBs to UEs operating on the network.
The UE uses the Physical Uplink Control
Channel (PUCCH) to request allocation of the
PUSCH, and the UE is granted both uplink and
downlink allocations via the Physical Downlink
Control Channel (PDCCH). The PDCCH
identifies which subframes (a subframe is
two slots) a UE should decode on the PDSCH,
and which UEs are allowed to transmit in each
uplink subframe on the PUSCH.
Since every RB on the downlink and uplink
must be granted, VoLTE introduces a
challenge: granting control channel overhead
becomes too great for the necessary persistent
and near continuous allocation of RBs to
deliver the relatively small packets typical of a
VoIP-based conversation.
Figure 2: LTE Physical Layer Resource Block
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
Semi-Persistent Scheduling (SPS) was introduced to minimize granting overhead
for applications such as VoLTE. SPS takes advantage of the fairly consistent and
predictable transmission pattern of VoLTE packets (e.g., a VoLTE implementation might
typically be sending an encoded voice packet every 20ms) to make a persistent grant
of uplink and downlink RBs rather than scheduling each uplink and download RB
individually. A persistent grant removes the need to make a separate grant for each
20ms of encoded audio. A Radio Resource Control (RRC) message is used to establish
the periodicity of the recurring RB grant. The green boxes in Figure 3 illustrate the SPS-
scheduled RBs for a VoLTE call. As shown by the orange box in Figure 3, additional RBs
can be dynamically scheduled for data traffic while SPS is enacted (e.g. enable a web
page download while on a VoLTE call).
One potential downside of SPS could occur in situations where there is silence during a
VoLTE conversation. If the SPS grant is maintained during silent periods, physical layer
resources are wasted. That is why SPS is semi-persistent; when it makes sense, an
SPS grant can be cancelled. If the UE does not transmit audio packets over a number of
network-defined transmission opportunities, the uplink grant will implicitly expire. On
the downlink, the network has the option of using an RRC message to cancel the grant.
Thus the right balance can be struck between reducing control channel overhead and
maximizing efficiency in the use of shared data channels.
Figure 3: Semi-Persistent Scheduling
Semi-Persistent Scheduling
Benefit: SPS greatly reduces the overhead associated with
scheduling small and periodic VoLTE audio packets,
thus reducing processing overhead and providing
more bandwidth to accommodate additional users
SPIRENT WHITE PAPER 8
VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
ROBUST HEADER COMPRESSION
Typical VoLTE calls consist of relatively small encoded audio packets being transmitted
every 20ms. In fact, the size of the encoded data is smaller than the headers for the
protocols that are used to transport the encoded data. Real-time Transport Protocol
(RTP) is a standardized packet format used for media streams such as VoLTE audio. The
User Datagram Protocol (UDP) then provides a transport-layer mechanism for the RTP
stream between two Internet Protocol (IP) endpoints. In the case of VoLTE, this would
be between the IMS voice client in the UE and a Media Gateway in the IMS core. Finally,
an IP layer is used to establish network interworking. In the case of IPv6, which is
typically used for VoLTE deployments, the combination of RTP, UDP and IP headers can
be around 40 to 60 bytes long.
To reduce the size of headers used to deliver VoLTE audio, Robust Header Compression
(RoHC) is employed. RoHC is used over the air interface to conserve the precious
bandwidth of the radio access network (refer to Figure 4.) RoHC takes advantages of
the redundancy of some headers in various protocol layers, as well as the redundancy
of information contained in the headers of subsequent packets in the same audio
stream, to greatly reduce the size of the header overhead. The 40 to 60 bytes of header
length can be reduced to as little as 3 to 4 bytes. With RoHC enabled, a VoLTE encoded
audio transmission using the Wideband-AMR codec is reduced from around 75 bytes to
around 35 bytes.
Figure 4: RoHC Compression and Decompression at the UE and eNodeB
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
It should be noted that there are actually multiple usage profiles defined for RoHC:
Profile 0: Uncompressed Packets that cannot be compressed with the
following profiles
Profile 1: RTP Compress packets using IP/UDP/RTP protocol headers
Profile 2: UDP Compress packets using IP/UDP protocol headers
Profile 3: ESP Compress packets using IP/ESP protocol headers
Profile 4: IP Compress packets using IP protocol headers
Profile 7: RTP/UDP-Lite/IP Compress packets using RTP/UDP-Lite/IP protocol
headers
Profile 8: UDP-Lite/IP Compress packets using UDP-Lite/IP protocol headers
The above example of VoLTE transmission compression ratios assumed the use of RoHC
Profile 1.
Robust Header Compression
Benefit: RoHC can achieve a nearly 50% reduction in the
size of VoLTE audio transmissions, thus decreasing
bandwidth needed for any single call and increasing
the overall number of users on an eNodeB site
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
DISCONTINUOUS RECEPTION
Packet-based voice services such as VoLTE encode periods of audio conversation
(VoLTE is typically 20ms periods) and then rapidly burst-transmit the encoded period of
audio to the receiver for decoding and playback over the 20ms period. When viewing
over-the-air transmissions, it is apparent that each encoded audio packet transmission
is followed by a period of no transmission.
Discontinuous Reception (DRX) takes advantage of these silent periods to turn off the
RF receiver of the UE, as well as other entities such as A/D converters and digital signal
processors associated with downlink demodulation. This reduces the drain on the
devices battery and increases talk and standby usage time. RRC messaging is used to
enable DRX and establish the UE receivers on/off pattern.
Given that the network established the DRX pattern, it will know when the UE is
monitoring the PDCCH and know when to schedule downlink data to the UE. Selection
of the DRX pattern must carefully be determined based on the latency requirements of
the application and the need to receive any possible retransmissions. Having too long
of a sleep period may lead to latency greater than the desired performance based on
the QCI value in use. Refer to Figure 5 for an illustration of a DRX pattern.
Figure 5: DRX Pattern
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
DRX can also operate in one of two different modes: Long DRX and Short DRX. Long
DRX has the UE receiver disabled for a longer period of time, and could be applicable
during periods of silence in the conversation when audio packets are sent less
frequently. However, when audio is consistently present, Short DRX can be used and a
cycle can be mapped to the periodic arrival of audio packets. Switching between Long
DRX and Short DRX is controlled by the eNodeBs MAC Layer and/or an activity timer at
the UE. Refer to Figure 6 for an illustration of Long and Short DRX.
Figure 6: Long and Short DRX
Discontinuous Reception
Benefit: DRX helps save the UEs battery life during a VoLTE
call by allowing the UE to turn off its receiver in
between reception of audio packets
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
TRANSMISSION TIME INTERVAL BUNDLING
LTE introduces a shorter Transmission Time Interval (TTI) than was offered in previous
cellular technologies. Specifically, a 1ms subframe is defined as the TTI. Since
resource scheduling is done for each TTI, a smaller TTI facilitates low over-the-air
latency for real-time applications. VoLTE is an example of an application that benefits
from this short 1ms TTI.
However, the short TTI does lead to uplink issues in select scenarios, most notably at
the edges of eNodeB coverage. When an eNodeB detects that a UE is at a cell edge
where reception is deteriorating and the UE cannot increase its transmit power, the
eNodeB can initiate TTI bundling via RRC messaging. In essence, this means the UE
will increase the error detection and correction associated with each data transmission
by transmitting over multiple TTIs (for example, bundling four consecutive TTIs). With
this enhanced error detection and correction, overall latency is less than when using a
single TTI.
Figure 7 shows how TTI bundling helps deliver lower-latency VoLTE data at cell edges,
where data errors are expected. Rather than wait for the HARQ process (normal HARQ
interlace period is 8ms) to ask for a retransmission of data with new error detection/
correction bits, TTI bundling assumes that data will need to be retransmitted. In
TTI bundling a number of data packets are pre-emptively packed into a single HARQ
interlace period. Each packet contains the same source data coded with 4 different sets
of error detection/correction bits. Also, HARQ retransmission adds HARQ ACK/NACK
overhead that TTI bundling does not.
Transmission Time Interval Bundling
Benefit: TTI Bundling increases the uplink efficiency at cell
edges by using multiple bundled TTIs to transmit
increased error detection and correction data
Figure 7: Effect of TTI bundling on latency
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
LTE VOICE AND LEGACY VOICE SERVICES
While IMS-based VoLTE, deployed with the RAN features mentioned above, will provide
a high-quality voice experience when a user is in LTE coverage, consideration must also
be given to these same users when not in LTE coverage or when leaving LTE coverage.
This is especially important given that most initial LTE deployments will not be as
ubiquitous as the underlying 3G coverage. This will certainly lead to situations in
which a UE on an active VoLTE call will need to transition that call to a legacy network
as the UE roams out of LTE coverage.
In early deployments of LTE, there are two general approaches to handling scenarios
when the UE moves out of LTE coverage: single radio solutions such as Circuit-Switched
FallBack (CSFB) and dual radio solutions such as Simultaneous Voice-and-LTE (SVLTE).
With either interim approach, voice traffic is being handled by the legacy circuit-
switched networks and they are not, at the root, LTE solutions.
A second phase in LTE voice evolution introduces VoLTE and utilizes a single radio
solution that seamlessly maintains voice service as the UE moves in and out of areas
with LTE coverage. This involves completing a seamless handover from VoLTE to
legacy circuit-switched voice technology. Often referred to as Single Radio Voice Call
Continuity (SRVCC), this allows a UE, at the proper time and with the proper direction
from the network, to handover and retune from LTE to a legacy GSM or UMTS network
(or even a 1X network in the case of legacy 3GPP2) and simultaneously transition
the audio stream from VoLTE packet-switched delivery to GSM/UMTS (or 1X) circuit-
switched delivery. This provides for a cost-effective UE (a single radio design is used)
that can perform voice services in the most efficient manner (VoLTE when in LTE
coverage; circuit-switched otherwise) and deliver a positive user experience (calls are
maintained even when the UE moves out of LTE coverage). Refer to Figure 8 for an
illustration of a network topology supporting SRVCC.
Single Radio Voice Call Continuity
Benefit: SRVCC provides for a quality user experience
by maintaining voice calls when VoLTE becomes
unavailable due to loss of LTE coverage
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
This is not without complications, however. Implementation of SRVCC must take into
account that the network and the UE are trying to accomplish at least three non-trivial
tasks in near simultaneous fashion while minimizing any disruption to the real-time
voice call that is in progress:
The UE must retune to a new frequency (and most likely retune to a new band)
as it switches from LTE to the legacy network
The UE must acquire and begin transmitting on the legacy network
Both the network and the UE must transition from delivering audio packets via a
packet-switched solution to a circuit-switched delivery
As a result of this complexity, commercial deployment of SRVCC is not expected until
2013 at the earliest.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR LTE UE DEVELOPERS
Every one of the RAN and mobility features mentioned above is not only needed to
make carrier-grade VoLTE deployments a reality, it also requires implementation
within the UE to complete deployment, presenting a new level of complexity in UE
development and testing. UE engineers will need virtually unlimited configurability
of IMS procedures and SIP signaling to verify the incorporation of RAN features in the
UE and the management of mobility scenarios and handovers that will occur between
LTE and 3G technologies. For each of the RAN features described in this paper, some
considerations for UE developers are listed below. Although not exhaustive, this list is
meant to provide a broad view of the complexity involved in UE development in pursuit
of carrier-grade VoLTE.
Figure 8: SRVCC in an LTE + UMTS deployment
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
Dedicated Bearers:
At the end of the SIP negotiation to start a VoLTE call, the Evolved Packet Core (EPC)
of the network will initiate the Dedicated EPS Bearer Context Activation Procedure
to establish the bearer for the audio traffic. The UE must be able to complete this
procedure and use the Dedicated Bearer.
SPS:
The UE must be able to support RRC messaging specifying periodicity of recurring RB
grant; SPS-Config Information Element is described in detail in the 3GPPs TS 36.331
document. The UE will also need to manage switching on/off SPS based on Data
Quality (QCI) and traffic. SPS behavior is defined in 36.321.
RoHC:
The UE must be able to support compression and decompression of header information
for different traffic types: UDP, RTP, IP as defined in the IETFs RFC 4995 (for RTP & UDP)
and RFC 4996 (for TCP/IP).
DRx:
The UE must have ability to switch between long and short DRx in response to all the
relevant timers (as defined in TS 36.321).
TTI Bundling:
The UE must be able to transmit over multi TTI and receive, per TS 36.321. Note that
while many discussions of TTI bundling treat the bundle size as an arbitrary even
number, TS 36.321 defines TTI_BUNDLE_SIZE as 4.
SRVCC:
The UE must be able to complete the LTE to legacy network handover as well as change
its audio traffic from packet-switched to circuit-switched.
IMS Network Emulation:
Support of all necessary functionality for successful VoLTE deployment requires a
network emulation test solution that provides complete integration of IMS infrastructure
emulation, a fully implemented and configurable EPC and a programmable eNodeB
implementation. Further, the network emulation solution requires incorporation
of multiple radio access technologies (LTE plus WCDMA/GSM) along with the tight
coupling of the EPC to generate and coordinate the mobility scenarios necessary to
verify the UEs SRVCC implementation.
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VoLTE Deployment and the Radio Access Network
The LTE User Equipment Perspective
SUMMARY
IMS and SIP are necessary technologies for deployment of VoIP in an LTE environment,
but it is ultimately the introduction of LTE RAN features that creates the differentiation
between VoLTE and VoIP. Specifically;
Dedicated Bearers allow for the prioritization of VoLTE audio packets over all
other best-effort traffic
Semi-Persistent Scheduling reduces the complexity and overhead of the
continuous allocation of downlink and uplink physical layer resource blocks to
transport the audio traffic
Robust Header Compression reduces the bandwidth associated with the
headers used to transport relatively small encoded audio packets
Discontinuous Reception helps conserve battery life of the UE during a VoLTE
call
Transmission Time Interval Bundling overcomes the limitation of using short
(1ms) TTIs at cell boundaries
SRVCC provides the mechanism to maintain an active voice call as a UE moves
from LTE coverage to legacy networks
While much focus has been placed in testing a UEs IMS connectivity and SIP signaling
conformance, ultimate success of carrier-grade VoLTE deployments will depend on fully
integrated testing of a UEs signaling along with the negotiation, establishment and
usage of the associated RAN features mentioned above.
As discussed in this paper, carrier-grade VoLTE presents unique technical challenges
and considerations for the UE engineer. Spirent is a global leader in LTE device testing
and is well positioned to assist in addressing the challenges and test requirements
early on in the development cycle. Spirents CS8 Device Tester provides all of the
components necessary to support development and testing of a UEs VoLTE capability
during the research and development phases of the UE lifecycle.
This white paper is the third in a series of tools aimed to educate and support UE
developers as they contribute to the deployment of IMS/VoLTE. Please see Spirent
website (www.spirent.com) for other free white papers, recorded seminars, posters and
other resources that may be helpful to the UE developer.