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ITU/BDT Regulatory Reform Unit

G-REX Virtual Conference

Wireless Technology and


Interference Analysis
Dale N. Hatfield
Adjunct Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder

April 25, 2005

Agenda
• Introduction
• Brief Review of Two Previous Virtual
Conferences
• Radio Communications Systems
• Radio Propagation - Basics
• Interference Analysis
• Summary and Final Comments

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Introduction
• Previous Sessions:
– Introduction to Spectrum Management
• 28 February 2005
• Purpose: to provide an introduction to the topic of
spectrum management from a policy perspective
– Wireless Technology for Non-engineers
• 17 March 2005
• Purpose: to provide non-engineers with a basic
background in telecommunications technology in
general and wireless technology in particular

Introduction
• This Session
– 25 April 2005
– Purpose: to complete discussion of radio
systems and address the topic of
interference analysis
• Next Session
– 30 May 2005
– Purpose: to present “real world”
experience with various aspects of
spectrum management reform

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Brief Review
• I–Introduction to Spectrum Management
– Answered question “what is spectrum,” discussed nature of the spectrum
resource and its importance, defined spectrum management and
discussed goals, introduced the major functions associated with the topic
and the institutions involved, and defined important terms
– Talked about the traditional administrative approach to spectrum
allocations, reviewed various techniques for awarding scarce licenses,
and discussed ways of finding spectrum for new services and growth in
existing services
– Reviewed constraints and criticisms of the traditional administrative
approach and discussed proposals for reforming that approach –
including proposals and actions to put increased reliance on marketplace
forces in the management of the resource and to expand the use of an
unlicensed, “spectrum commons” approach

Brief Review
• II–Wireless Technology for Non-Engineers
– Reviewed basic concepts, identified and discussed motivation for seven
major trends in telecommunications
– Noted overall combination leading to situation where voice, data, image
and video applications are carried on an all digital, packet-switched,
broadband, low latency network or platform with wireless technology
allowing users to communicate anyplace, anytime, in any mode or
combination of modes; used evolution of commercial mobile radio
services as an example
– Provided some additional technical groundwork including discussions of
the characteristics of analog signals, the concept of bandwidth, filters and
various transmission media
– Intended to discuss radio communication systems in more detail but was
unable to do so because of lack of time; will pick up at that point today
after a more detailed review of the role of filters (because of their
importance in interference analysis)

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Brief Review
• Filters
– Filter: In electronics, a device that transmits only
part of the incident energy and may thereby
change the spectral distribution of energy:
• high-pass filters transmit or pass energy above a certain
frequency
• low-pass filters pass energy below a certain frequency
• bandpass filters pass energy of a certain bandwidth;
• band-stop [or notch] filters transmit energy outside a
specific frequency band

Source: Federal Standard 1037C

Brief Review
• Filters (Continued)
High-pass Filter

fo

Low-pass Filter

fo

Band-pass Filter
f1 f2

Stop-band or Notch
Filter
f1 f2

Increasing Frequency

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Brief Review
• Filters (Continued)
– Filters shown on the previous page are “ideal”
filters in that they exhibit:
• Zero attenuation where signals are to be passed
• Infinite attenuation where signals are to be rejected
• Perfect transitions from one to the other
– Perfect filters can only be approached and only
at increasing cost
– Implications for spectrum management (e.g.,
guard bands)

Radio Communications Systems


• Outline
– A Radio Communications Link
– Some Introductory Notes
– Modulation and Demodulation
– Building Blocks of Transmitters and Receivers
– Modulation Techniques – General
– Modulation Techniques – Digital
– Improving the Spectral Efficiency of a Link
– Multiple Access Techniques

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Radio Communications Systems

• A Radio Communications Link

Antenna Antenna

Transmission Line Transmission Line

Transmitter Receiver

Radio Waves

Radio Communications Systems

• Some Introductory Notes


– A pure carrier wave conveys no information
and occupies “no” bandwidth
– A carrier can be used to convey information
by changing one or more of the three basic
characteristics of the wave – i.e., amplitude,
frequency or phase – in a process called
modulation

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Radio Communications Systems

• Some Introductory Notes (Continued)


– Modulation of a radio wave inevitably causes a
spreading of the signal in frequency; a radio
signal conveying information occupies a range
of frequencies called a channel
– In general, the more information that is
conveyed in a given amount of time, the wider
the channel must be

Radio Communications Systems

• Some Introductory Notes (Continued)


– As a general proposition, signals that are spread
over even wider channels (relative to the
bandwidth of the information being conveyed)
are more resistant to noise and interference.

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Radio Communications Systems

• Modulation and Demodulation


– Definitions
• Modulation is the process by which the information
to be transmitted (e.g., voice or music) over a radio
link is impressed upon the carrier wave
• More formally, modulation is “the process, or result
of the process, of varying a characteristic of a
carrier, in accordance with an information-bearing
signal” (Fed. Std. 1037C)

Radio Communications Systems

• Modulation and Demodulation


– Definitions (Cont’d)
• Demodulation is the process by which the
information that is transmitted over a radio link is
extracted from the carrier wave
• More formally, demodulation is “the recovery, from
a modulated carrier, of a signal having substantially
the same characteristics as the original modulating
signal” (Fed. Std. 1037C)

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Radio Communications Systems
• Transmitter and Receiver – Basic Building
Blocks

MOD AMP DE-


AMP MOD
INFO
OSC

INFO

Transmitter Receiver

Radio Communications Systems


• Modulation Techniques (Time Domain)
Amplitude Time

Unmodulated Carrier
(e.g., 900 MHz)

Modulation
(e.g., 1 kHz)
Audio

Amplitude
Modulation

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Radio Communications Systems
• Modulation Techniques (Time Domain)
Amplitude Time

Unmodulated Carrier
(e.g., 900 MHz)

Modulation
(e.g., 1 kHz)
Audio

Frequency
Modulation

Radio Communications Systems


• Modulation Techniques (Frequency Domain)
Amplitude

Frequency

UnmodulatedCarrier
Amplitude
Carrier and Sidebands

Amplitude Modulation
Amplitude
Carrier and Sidebands

Frequency Modulation

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Radio Communications Systems
• Digital Modulation (Frequency Shift Keying)
Amplitude

Time
Unmodulated Carrier
(e.g., 900 MHz)

Modulation
(Digital Signal)

0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1

Frequency
Shift Keying
(FSK)

Radio Communications Systems


• Digital Modulation (Phase Shift Keying)
Amplitude

Time
Unmodulated Carrier
(e.g., 900 MHz)

Modulation
(Digital Signal)

1 0 1 1 0 1 0

Phase Shift
Keying (PSK)

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Radio Communications Systems
• Digital Modulation Techniques
– Amplitude Shift Keying or Modulation (ASK)
– Frequency Shift Keying or Modulation (FSK)
– Phase Shift Keying or Modulation (PSK)
• Combination/Refinements of Above
(Examples)
– Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK)
– Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) - a
combination of phase shift modulation and
amplitude modulation

Radio Communications Systems


• Improving the Spectral Efficiency of a Link
– Semaphore Example
Code: =1 =0

Signals
Sent

1 0 0 1 1

1 sec 2 sec 3 sec 4 sec 5 sec Time

Note in this example there is one change (symbol) per second and each symbol
is encoded with one bit (zero or one); one symbol per second = one baud

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Radio Communications Systems
• Improving the Spectral Efficiency of a Link
– Semaphore Example (Cont’d) 00

Code: 11 01

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Signals
Sent

00 11 10 00 01

1 sec 2 sec 3 sec 4 sec 5 sec Time


Note in this example there is one change (symbol) per second and each symbol
is encoded with two bits; one symbol per second but two bits second

Radio Communications Systems

• Improving the Spectral Efficiency of a Link


– Semaphore Example (Cont’d)
• The transmission rate can be increased by encoding
more bits per movement (symbol) but at the penalty
of making it more difficult to discern the actual
change; hence encoding more bits per symbol makes
the signal more susceptible to “interference” such as
fog or atmospheric variations

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Radio Communications Systems
• Improving the Spectral Efficiency of a Link
– Link spectral efficiency is specified in terms of the
number of bits-per-second per Hertz of bandwidth
– The link spectral efficiency can be increased by
encoding more bits per symbol (as in the case of the
semaphore example)
– Improving the link spectral efficiency in this
manner is referred to as going to “higher level
modulation”

Radio Communications Systems


• Improving the Spectral Efficiency of a Link
– As in the case of the semaphore, going to higher
level modulation makes the link more sensitive to
errors caused by noise or interference
– Greater susceptibility to interference may mean that
the links (stations) must be moved further apart
which may reduce system spectrum efficiency (less
frequency reuse)
– Since spectrum is scarce, spectrum efficiency is an
important topic for regulators and operators of radio
systems

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Radio Communications Systems
• Multiple Access Techniques
– Multiple access techniques allow multiple users
to share a common communications medium
(e.g., a block of radio spectrum or the
bandwidth on a coaxial or fiber optic cable)
– Different methods
• Frequency Division Multiple Access
• Time Division Multiple Access
• Code Division Multiple Access
• Carrier Sense Multiple Access
• Polling Protocols

Radio Wave Propagation – Basics


• A Radio Communications Link

Antenna Antenna

Transmission Line Transmission Line

Transmitter Receiver

Radio Waves

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Radio Wave Propagation – Basics
• Simple Propagation Model
Signal Strength

Signal Strength Versus Distance

Desired Signal

Signal-to-Noise Ratio Noise Level

Distance

Radio Wave Propagation – Basics


• Characteristics of Different Frequencies
– Some Factors Vary with Frequency
• How fast the wave weakens with distance
• Size of efficient antennas
• Ability of the waves to penetrate buildings
• Ability of the waves to penetrate through trees and
other vegetation
• Reflectivity of various objects to the waves

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Radio Wave Propagation – Basics
• Characteristics at Different Frequencies
Frequency Wavelength Interesting Typical Uses
Properties
10 kHz 30 km Waves Communication with
(20 miles) penetrate submarines
significant
distance
into water
100 kHz 3 km (2 miles) Navigation
1000 kHz 300 meters AM broadcasting
(1 MHz) (1,000 feet)
10 MHz 30 meters Ionospheric CB radio,
(100 feet) reflection HF broadcasting
100 MHz 3 meters FM broadcasting
TV broadcasting
1000 MHz 30 cm (1 foot) Cellular radio, top of
(1 GHz) UHF TV band
10 GHz 3 cm (1 inch) Blocked by Satellite TV,
intense rain point-to-point
communications,
radars

Radio Wave Propagation – Basics


• Propagation Modes and Impairments
– Impairments
• Attenuation – weakening with distance
– Inverse square rule (e.g., doubling the distance decreases
received power by four)
– In real world, attenuation is greater
• Reflection
– Multipath
» Echoes or “ghosts”
» Fading
» “Intersymbol interference”

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Radio Wave Propagation – Basics
• Propagation Modes and Impairments
– Impairments
• Receiver noise/thermal noise
• External noise
– Natural sources (e.g., lightning)
– Man-made sources (unintended radiators such as
automobile ignition systems, florescent lights, personal
computers)
• Interference from other radio systems

Radio Wave Propagation – Basics

• Propagation Modes and Impairments


– Recall that the information carrying capacity of
a channel depends upon the bandwidth and the
ratio of the received power of the desired signal
to the power of the noise and interference in
that bandwidth (i.e., the signal-to-noise-plus
interference ratio)

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Radio Wave Propagation – Basics
• Examples of Impairments

Phone Receiving
Direct Wave

Phone in “Shadow” Phone Receiving Partially


Of Building Phone Receiving Absorbed Direct Wave
Direct and
Reflected Wave

Radio Wave Propagation – Basics


• Classical Transmission Chain of a Radio
System
Analog Signal Radio Transmitter Chain Transmit
Antenna

Discrete
Source Channel
Information Modulator
Encoder Encoder
Source

Noise Propagation
Binary Channel
Stream Interference (Multiple Paths)

Source Channel
Destination Demodulator
Decoder Decoder
Receive
Antenna
Received signal Radio Receiver Chain
Source: Adapted from Evci

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Radio Wave Propagation – Basics
• Noise Limited and Interference Limited Range
Field Strength

Noise

Distance

Station A Station C Station B


(Desired) (Undesired) (Undesired)

Interference Analysis
• Background
– A definition of interference:
• The effect of unwanted energy due to one or a
combination of emissions, radiations, or inductions
upon the reception in a radio communications system,
manifested by any performance degradation,
misinterpretation, or loss of information which could be
extracted in the absence of such unwanted energy
– More simply – “unwanted reception that disrupts
communications”
– Importance of interference analysis

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Interference Analysis
• Background (Continued)
– Unless some interference is accepted, no wireless
communications could occur; the spectrum would
have little or no value; total avoidance of
interference is impractical and counter-productive
– Hence, policy-makers must deal with notions like
harmful interference, permissible interference,
acceptable interference, etc. and accept its
statistical nature
– Examples

Interference Analysis
• Sources of Interference
– Cochannel Interference
– Adjacent Channel Interference
– Out of Band Emissions
– Spurious Emissions
– Intermodulation
– Receiver Desensitization

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Interference Analysis
• Cochannel Interference

Interfering or Undesired
Signal

Desired Signal

Transmitter B
Both Transmitter A and Transmitter B
are operating on the same channel causing
cochannel interference if the geographic
spacing is not sufficient
Transmitter A

Interference Analysis
• Adjacent Channel Interference
Output Signal
Power
Idealized “Perfect” Filter

100%

Actual Filter

50%

Lower Desired Upper Frequency


Adjacent Channel Adjacent
Channel Channel

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Interference Analysis
• Adjacent Channel Interference – “Near-Far”
Problem
Desired Signal

Undesired Signal on
Adjacent Channel

Transmitter B

Transmitter A and Transmitter B are operating


on channels adjacent in frequency; when the
receiver is far from the desired transmitter and
very close to the undesired transmitter,
Transmitter A adjacent channel interference is exacerbated

Interference Analysis
• Spurious Emissions:
Emissions on a frequency or frequencies which are outside the
necessary bandwidth and the level of which may be reduced
without affecting the corresponding transmission of information.
Spurious emissions include harmonic emissions, parasitic
emissions, intermodulation products and frequency conversion
products, but exclude out-of-band emissions.

Source: Federal Standard 1037C

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Interference Analysis
• Intermodulation:
The production, in a nonlinear element of a system, of frequencies
corresponding to the sum and difference frequencies of the
fundamentals and harmonics thereof that are transmitted through the
element.

Input Output Input Output

F1 Ideal F1 and F2 F1 Non- F1,F2, F3, and F4


“Linear” Linear
F2 Device Device
F2
F3 = F1 + F2
F4 = F2 – F1
Source: Federal Standard 1037C

Interference Analysis
• Intermodulation (Continued)
– Receiver
– Transmitter
– Other
• Receiver Desensitization

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Interference Analysis
• Simple Interference Analysis
– Requirements for the analysis
• Known values or assumptions regarding the
characteristics of the interfering transmitting system
including, for example, location, transmitter power, type
of modulation (i.e., waveform), spurious signal levels,
and antenna characteristics)
• Known values or assumptions regarding the
characteristics of the victim receiving system including,
for example, location, required co-channel and adjacent
channel D/U ratios and antenna characteristics

Interference Analysis
• Simple Interference Analysis
– Requirements for the analysis (Continued)
• A model for predicting the propagation loss between
the desired transmitter and victim receiver and
between the undesired transmitter and victim
receiver
• Additional information necessary for using the
propagation model (e.g., information on the
intervening terrain)
• Notes on link margins, “worst case” case analysis,
and required D/U ratios

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Interference Analysis
• Simple Interference Analysis
– Illustration
Undesired Interfering Signal

Desired Signal

Interference Analysis
• Complex Interference Analysis
– Existing licensed links

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Interference Analysis
• Complex Interference Analysis
– Existing licensed links with unlicensed devices

Interference Analysis
• Utility Curves (Notional)
Utility
Total Utility

Total Utility of
Licensed Service

Total Utility of
Unlicensed Devices

No. of Unlicensed Devices

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Interference Analysis
• Prior Technical Constraints
• Recent Technical Advances and Their Role in
Spectrum Reform
– Software Defined Radios
– Adaptive antennas
– Space-time processing
– Interference cancellation
– Space division multiplexing
– Ad hoc networks
– “Intelligence at the edge”

Summary and Final Comments

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Contact Information
Dale N. Hatfield
Adjunct Professor
Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program
University of Colorado at Boulder
Engineering Center - ECOT-311
Campus Box 530
Boulder, CO 80309-0530
Main Tel: +1 303-492-8916
Direct Dial: +1 303-492-6648
Fax: +1 303-492-1112
Email: dale.hatfield@ieee.org
or hatfield@spot.colorado.edu

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