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5G Overview &

Technologies Training
Abhijeet Kumar
Acronym and Abbreviation Full Name
EN-DC E-UTRAN-NR Dual Connectivity
gNB NR eNodeB
SgNB Secondary gNodeB
MeNB Master eNodeB
HO Handover
PCell Primary Cell
SCell Secondary Cell
PSCell Primary SCell

This is about one of NR deployment options where LTE work as a

master and NR work as a secondary cell (In 3GPP terms, this is
about EN-DC (EUTRA-NR Dual Connectivity) / MR-DC with EPC as
described in 37.340). In this configuration, UE get connected to
LTE network first and then connected to NR via RRC Connection
Reconfiguration process. Further details on lower layer process is
yet to be studied, but just looking into the conentents of
RRCConnectionReconfiguration would give you some general idea
about the mechanism.
Overview of Mobility Management


2: MeNB handover
1: SgNB change

Mobility Management

NSA SgNB change


SA Redirection

InAcitve & Idle Reselection

Overall RAN architecture of EN-DC can be illustrated (this is based on 37.340 - 4.3.1 and 4.3.2). As you see here, UE is
communicating with both LTE eNB and NR gNB in Radio side, but all those communication (signaling and data) are going
through LTE core network. Though not shown in this illustration, I would point out that LTE eNB and NR gNB are using
their own PHY/MAC (i.e, independent MAC Scheduler)).
As you see here, in case of data plane both Master Node(LTE) and Secondary Node(gNB) has direct interface with LTE
corenetwork(S-GW), but in case of control plane only Master Node(LTE) has direct interface with LTE core network(MME).
Now let's read the picture. If you take a close look at the illustration and just describe it in words, you would get the descrition as follows.

•For C-Plane
• There is an interface between MN(Master Node : MeNB in this case) and the SN (Secondary Node : En-gNB in this case). This
interface is called X2-C.
• There is an interface between MN and CN(Core Network : MME in this case). This interface is called S1-MME.
• There is NO direct interface(connection) between SN and CN
•For U-Plane
• There is an interface between MN(Master Node : MeNB in this case) and the SN (Secondary Node : En-gNB in this case). This
interface is called X2-U.
• There is an interface between MN and CN(Core Network : MME in this case). This interface is called S1-U
• There is an interface(connection) between SN and CN. This interface is called S1-U.
Types of NR(SCG) addition in EN-DC(LTE+NR Interworking)
In ENDC(Eutra NR Dual Connectivity), LTE would become a MCG(Master Cell Group) and NR would become a
SCG(Secondary Cell Group). MCG work as the anchor and UE performs initial registration to this anchor cell
group, and this anchor cell add one or more Secondary Cells (SCG). In 36.331-, there are three
different types(ways) of adding SCGs to the LTE anchor cell as follows.
Type 1 : Reconfiguration with sync and key change
• Perform RA Procedure to PScell
• Reset NR MAC
• Re-establish NR RLC
• Re-establish NR PDCP
• Refresh NR SCG security
Type 2 : Reconfiguration with sync but without key change
• Perform RA to the PSCell,
• Reset NR MAC
• Re-establish NR RLC re-establishment and
• Re-establish PDCP data recovery (for AM DRB)
Type 3 : Regular NR SCG reconfiguration without Sync / SCG Security
• Does not perform RA to the PScell
• Does not refresh NR SCG security
• Reset NR MAC
• Re-establish NR RLC
Overall Signaling Procedure

This section is about how to add NR cell(Secondary Node) to an existing LTE

Cell.(Master Note). Overall signaling flow is illustrated below. This flow is
based on 37.340 - 10.2.1 except the step 6-0 which is added by me. As you
may notice,the process is iniated by MN (Master Node : LTE eNB in this case)
and final confirmation is done by MME.
Idle Mode Mobility
Idle Mode Mobility
5G UE states
Connected Mode Mobility
The slide below shows an overview of the different mobility functionalities and which
network functions they are typically handled by.
NR mobility in connected mode can be divided into:
Mobility with RRC involvement
o cell level mobility (PCI change)

Mobility without RRC involvement

o 'beam' level network controlled mobility (beam management) within same cell (PCI)
The mobility events from 3GPP Rel 14 are shown and described in the figure
Out of many possible options, 3GPP has decided to use CSI-RS, SRS and SSblocks for
mobility and beam measurements.
NR mobility can be divided into two levels:

a higher layer mobility, similar to traditional event based layer 3 mobility, using
RRC measurements, events and procedures, between nodes that are not
synchronized in layer 1 and 2 (e.g. controlled by the same baseband). This is
referred to as an handover between cells or beams.

a lower layer mobility based on Beam Management (e.g. beam switch,

beamforming etc) between synchronized nodes (i.e. not a handover between
Step 1 : MN (Master Node : LTE eNB) send SgNB Addition Request to SN (Secondary Node :
NR gNB in this case). LTE eNB forward following informations to NR gNB.
•E-RAB Characteristics (E-RAB Parameters, TNL address information)
•The requested SCG configuration information including the entire UE capabilities and UE
capability coordination result
•The latest measurement result for SN to choose
•Securiy Information to enable SRB3
•In case of bearer option that requires X2-U between MN and SN
• X2-U TNS address information
•In case of SN terminated split bearers,
• the maximum supportable QoS level
Step 2 : (If SN decided to accept the request), it sends SgNB Addition Request Acknowlege
performing followings
•Allocate the necessary radio resources transport network resources
•decides Pscell and other SCG Scells and provide the new SCG radio resource configuration to
•In case of bearer options that requires X2-U between MN and SN
• provides X2-U TNS address informations
•In case of SCG radio resources being requested
• provide SCG radio resource configuration
Step 3 : If NR gNB accept the SN addition request and provides all the necessary information
to LTE eNB, LTE eNB generate RRC Connection Reconfiguation message carrying all the
necessary information and send it to UE. This message carries NR RRC
Connection Cofiguration in it so that UE can figure out the necessary configuration information
for NR gNB.
LTE RRC Configuration

The major role of RRC in LTE-NR Interworking(more specifically ENDC) is to add NR as a secondary cell to LTE
Anchor cell. The major IE(information elements) related to this process are
These few IEs has very complicated structures in it and carries so much information. Basically they carries all
the information that combines MIB, SIB and RRC Configuration messages in standalone NR. I will take a while
to get the detailed understanding on each and every elements of informations in it. Followings are rough
summary of informations carried by the RRC Connection Reconfiguration message.
Step 4 : After UE received RRCConnectionReconfiguration, it checks if all the
configurations in the message is doable in UE side, it sends
RRCConnectionReconfigurationComplete message. This message includes NR RRC
Response as well.

Step 5 : Once MN (LTE eNB) received RRCConnectionReconfigurationComplete from UE,

the MN informs SN(NR gNB) that UE has completed the reconfiguration procedure.

Step 6-0 : Based on the information contained in NR RRCConnectionConfiguration within

RRC Connection Reconfiguration message, UE detects SSBlock(PSS, SSS and PBCH) of NR
gNB. For the details of SSBlock, see SSBlock page.

Step 6 : Once it successfully detects PSS, SSH, PBCH of NR gNB, it performs RACH
procedure to PSCell of the SN (NR gNB). UE aquire all the information required for RACH
procedure from RRC Connection Reconfiguration message instead of SIB, this process is
described in RACH Process for LTE-Interworking(SNDC) .
5G/NR - SS Block

SS Block

SS Block(SSB) stands for Synchronization Signal Block and in reality it

refers to Synchronization/PBCH block because Synchnronization signal and
PBCH channel are packed as a single block that always moves together.
The components of this block are as follows :
•Synchronization Signal : PSS (Primary Synchronization Signal), SSS
(Secondary Synchronization Signal)
This is just two major components of SS Block and it carries a lot of details.
Followings are the topics that will be explained in this page.
•LTE SS Block vs NR SS Block
•Details on NR SS Block
LTE SS Block vs NR SS Block

Following illustrations shows some high level differences between LTE SS

Block and NR SS Block (In LTE, we didn't use the term 'SS Block', but LTE
also use PSS/SSS and PBCH which can be called as SS Block).
Time Domain transmission pattern of SS Block in NR is more complicated than LTE SS Block
(Actually LTE has only one pattern of SSB Transmission in Time Domain as shown in LTE Frame
Structure. In LTE, the subframe number and OFDM symbol number within the subframe is always
same in any cases). In NR, there are many different cases of Time Domain pattern of SSB
Transmission as illustrated below.
When we need RACH ?

There are many situation that triggers RACH process. The list of cases are
summarized in 38.300-9.2.6 as follows. The first half of the list(i~iv) is same
as in LTE case. The second half of the list would be NR specific. We don't
have RRC_INACTIVE state (item v), On-Demand SIB transmition(item vii) in
LTE, we have a primitive types of BeamFormaing / BeamManagement in LTE
but not as sophisticated as in NR(item viii). We do have CA(SCell addition) in
LTE but we don't trigger RACH in any of CA activity in LTE(item vi).

i) Initial access from RRC_IDLE;

ii) RRC Connection Re-establishment procedure;
iii) Handover;
iv) DL or UL data arrival during RRC_CONNECTED when UL synchronisation
status is "non-synchronised";
v) Transition from RRC_INACTIVE;
vi) To establish time alignment at SCell addition;
vii) Request for Other SI
viii) Beam failure recovery.
Intra-MeNB Handover
In 5G RAN1.0, if the source SgNB is not UE MeNB SgNB
released by the MeNB when an intra-MeNB
handover takes place, an intra-MeNB handover
with SgNB is performed. 1. LTE A3/A4 Measurement Control
1. 1&2: The MeNB sends an LTE
intra-frequency/inter-frequency measurement
2. LTE A3/A4 Measurement Report
configuration to a UE and receives
measurement reports from the UE, 3. SgNB Modification Request
determining whether to trigger an intra-MeNB
4. SgNB Modification Request Acknowledge
2. 3&4: The MeNB sends a SgNB Modification 5. RRC Connection Reconfiguration (LTE intra-MeNB
Request message (that contains updates in Handover)
UE contexts, for example, of encryption
settings after the LTE cell handover) to notify 6. RACH

the SgNB of updating the UE context. The

SgNB reconfigures the related parameters 7. RRC Reconfiguration Complete
and sends a response to the MeNB. 8. SgNB Reconfiguration Complete
3. 5&7: The UE is handed over another cell of
the MeNB.
9. Preamble
4. 6&9&10: The UE performs an RACH process
based on the MeNB-sent reconfiguration to
10. RA Response
access the cell of the SgNB.
If the SgNB is already released when an
intra-MeNB handover takes place, the handover
is performed without SgNB. After the handover
is complete, the MeNB initiates a SgNB addition
process toward the SgNB.
Inter-MeNB Change with SgNB
Inter-MeNB Handover
Source Source Target Target
1. In 5G RAN1.0, inter-MeNB MeNB SgNB MeNB SgNB
handover with SgNB is not LTE A3/A4 Measurement
supported. This is because: Configuration
LTE A3/A4 Measurement
The message for a handover from Report Handover Request
the source MeNB to the target
Handover Request Acknowledge
MeNB does not contain the PDCP
R15 configuration in the RRC Connection SgNB Release Request
AS-CONFIG IE or the configuration (LTE HO/NR Release)
SgNB Release Request Acknowledge
of the NR SgNB. As a result, the RACH
target MeNB cannot have the RRC Connection Reconfiguration Complete Path Switch
configuration of the NR SgNB in
UE Context Release
Option 3/3X scenarios and therefore
UE Context Release
cannot initiate a SgNB addition
request to the NR SgNB. The NR B1 Measurement Configuration
related specifications for inter-MeNB
NR B1 Measurement Report
handover are still under discussion. SgNB Add Request

SgNB Addition Request

2. In 5G RAN1.0, in an inter-MeNB Acknowledge
RRC Connection Reconfiguration (NR Addition)
handover, the SgNB is deleted
and then the target MeNB adds it RRC Connection Reconfiguration Complete SgNB Reconfiguration
after the handover is complete. Complete
3. In 5G RAN1.0, if the MeNB does
not receive a SgNB release RA Response

request when an intra-MeNB

handover takes place, the
handover is performed with
SgNB. Inter-MeNB Change Without SgNB
SgNB Change
(With measurement configuration)

(With measurement configuration)

1: Delivers measurement

2: Performs neighboring cell

measurements and reports (Measurement report) SgNB information Transfer

measurement results.

3: Makes a SgNB change


4: Sends a SgNB change