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Wireless communications the fundamentals

T G Hodgkinson
The primary aim of this paper is to provide an overview of wireless communication fundamentals, and the approach used considers them within the context of the following four categories radio propagation, wireless air interface, advanced antenna systems and interference effects. In addition to this, a representative set of mobile systems are compared to show that their differences are primarily due to them having different combinations of channel transport, modulation scheme and regulatory constraints on transmit power, channel bandwidth, operating frequency and channel duplex.



Wireless communication systems are not new, but they have been continually evolving for many years, especially in the area of mobile communications. First generation analogue mobile systems began to emerge in the late 1970s and in the early 1980s work began on what was to become the second generation digital GSM system. In the early 1990s migration to the second generation system started to gain momentum and within two years all of the major European operators had started to operate commercial GSM networks. During the mid-1990s, ground work preparations started that would eventually lead to the development of third generation systems and the first commercial network was launched in early 2000. More recently, mobile WiMAX has begun to emerge and there is a growing interest in its potential as an alternative to the other mobile networks and their planned migration paths. When third generation systems began to emerge this coincided with the appearance of the first Wi-Fi systems, which have the key difference of having been designed primarily for indoor operation in licence-exempt spectrum rather than outdoor operation in licensed spectrum. However, it was not until the IEEE802.11a, b standards were ratified in the late 1990s that Wi-Fi began to be widely adopted. Since then these systems have continued to evolve and grow in popularity. Comparing the evolution paths of the various mobile systems it will be found that the trend has largely been one of migrating from analogue to digital, and from kbit/s operating speeds for first generation systems through to the low Mbit/s rates for third generation systems, with migration to 100s of Mbit/s being on their fourth generation evolution paths. For Wi-Fi, the trend has been a migration from low

Mbit/s rates to low 100s of Mbit/s. However, the advances that have been made in both mobile and Wi-Fi systems to date largely reflect technological advances that have enabled increasingly advanced fundamental wireless communication concepts to become practically viable. Therefore, these advances are, in principle, generally applicable for use in any type of wireless system. For this reason, the aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the wireless fundamentals, which will be approached within the context of the block diagram shown in Fig 1 using the following four categories:

radio propagation, wireless air interface, advanced antenna systems, interference effects.

A high-level consideration of a representative set of current mobile and Wi-Fi systems will be then used to argue that their performance differences are largely a reflection of different regulatory constraints and the fundamental limits set by thermal noise, advanced modulation schemes and the channel transport technique used.


Radio frequency propagation

All wireless systems, whether they use licensed or licenceexempt spectrum, operate in exactly the same physical environment and hence they are all susceptible to the same fundamental propagation characteristics. All of these will affect performance in some way, but the ones that have the most significant impact are:
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Wireless communications the fundamentals

input data stream




wireless air interface

RF interference received antenna array signal power antenna array RF propagation channel transmit power

wireless air interface

receiver demodulation decoding recovered data stream

thermal noise

Fig 1

Block diagram of a wireless communication system.

path loss increase, dB

propagation path loss, received signal fading, uplink/downlink channel duplex, wideband channel transport techniques.


12 8 4 0

Each of these aspects will now be considered in more detail.


Propagation path loss

0 2 4 frequency, GHz 6

At the most basic level of consideration, propagation loss is proportional to both the frequency used and the distance travelled. Its dependence on frequency is shown by the plot1 in Fig 2 for the 1 to 6 GHz frequency band expressed as an increase on the loss at 1 GHz. The main point to note is that over this 5 GHz frequency range the path loss difference is almost 15 dB. The loss with distance is equal to the distance travelled raised to the power of the propagation coefficient, which for free space propagation is equal to 2. In practice, however, empirical path loss models are derived by curve fitting to measurements and the propagation coefficients for these models typically lie in the range 2.5 to 4 for urban macrocells and 2 to 8 for micro-cells. The extent to which this increases relative path loss with respect to that of free-space propagation can be appreciated from the plots in Fig 3. These clearly show that, as the propagation coefficient increases, the relative difference in path loss becomes increasingly significant with distance. For example, doubling the propagation coefficient gives a loss difference of 20 dB at 10 m, but at 1 km this increases to 60 dB. Consequently,
The results plotted were derived using the simple propagation loss model L = 100log(d ) + 20log(frf ) 147.6, where L is the path loss in dB at a distance d from the transmitter, is the propagation coefficient and frf is the radio frequency used. The final term, including its sign, is the numerical value of 20log(4/c ), where c is the speed of light. Note that all rangerelated calculations in this paper have been derived using this model.

Fig 2

Increase in propagation path loss with respect to the 1 GHz value as a function of operating frequency.

practical operating ranges are significantly smaller than would be achieved with ideal free-space propagation.
60 =4

relative path loss, dB

3.5 40 3 20 2.5

10 distance, m



Fig 3 Difference between empirical model calculated propagation path loss and ideal free-space propagation ( = 2) for a range of propagation coefficients ().


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Wireless communications the fundamentals


Received signal fading

Unfortunately, there is a drawback to the use of empirical propagation models for calculating path loss, which is that for a given distance from the transmitter the predicted loss is the same for all directions of propagation. This is an issue because in practice different propagation directions experience different levels of clutter (buildings, trees, etc), so their path losses differ over a given distance. This causes a statistical variation in path loss, which is known as shadowing or slow fading. Therefore, an operating margin is needed to ensure that the probability of falling below the minimum acceptable received signal-to-noise ratio is acceptably small. The shadowing fade margin is plotted in Fig 4 as a function of this probability, which is known as the shadowing fade outage probability, for a range of location variability2 (LV ) values typical of a macro-cell.
50 shadowing fade margin, dB LV = 12 40

multipath reflection



Fig 5
30 20 10 0 0.01 8 5

Line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight propagation conditions.

0.1 1 outage probability, %


Fig 4

Shadowing fade margin versus percentage outage probability for a range of location variability (LV ) values.

There is also another form of fading to take account of which is known as multipath or fast fading. This type of fading occurs when the antenna detecting the main radio signal also receives reflected versions of itself from obstructions such as buildings, hills, etc (see Fig 5). Because these multipath signals are time delayed with respect to each other, and possibly also frequency spread due to the Doppler effect [1], the resulting constructive/destructive interference causes the received signal power to fluctuate with time. The statistical nature of these fluctuations is characterised by whether or not the propagation path is line-of-sight (Ricean fading) or non-line-of-sight (Rayleigh fading) and also by the value of the channel delay spread, which is a parameter that depends upon the particular propagation environment. Table 1 shows typical delay spread values for a range of different propagation environments.
Table 1 Typical delay spread values for a range of different operating environments.
Environment Indoor micro-cell Open area Suburban macro-cell Urban macro-cell Typical delay spread (s) 0.001-0.05 < 0.2 <1 1-3

To counteract the performance variation caused by the statistical nature of multipath fading, which depends upon the number of reflections received and their relative powers and phase relationships, an operating margin is needed to ensure that the probability of falling below the minimum acceptable signal-to-noise ratio threshold is acceptably small. This fade margin is equal to the difference between the threshold signal-to-noise ratio and the mean value needed to achieve a particular multipath fade outage probability. Figure 6 shows the relationship between multipath fade margin and outage probability for Ricean (solid lines) and Rayleigh (dashed line) flat3 fading channels. The factor associated with the solid lines, which is known as the Ricean K factor4, represents the ratio of line-of-sight power to total multipath signal power. The plots in Fig 6 show that for non-line-of-sight conditions and relatively low values of outage probability there is significant benefit to be gained from using fade mitigation techniques to reduce the amount of margin needed, whereas for line-of-sight the benefit diminishes as the main signal becomes increasingly dominant over the multipath signal power. In principle, fading can be mitigated by using time, frequency, space, code, angle-of-arrival and polarisation diversity techniques section 4 considers some of these in more detail.
2 Location variability is the name used for the standard deviation of the random path loss variations caused by shadowing. 3 Flat fading occurs when the spectral components of the modulated carrier are affected equally, whereas frequency selective fading occurs when they are affected unequally. 4 If K is set to zero in the Ricean distribution the resulting expression is identical to the Rayleigh distribution.

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Wireless communications the fundamentals 40

k = 0 (Rayleigh)

30 fade margin, dB 2 20

susceptible to inter-symbol interference and frequency selective fading unless equalisation techniques are used to counteract them. Several channel transport techniques have emerged for use in cases where the channel bandwidth exceeds the value beyond which inter-symbol interference and frequency selective multipath fading effects cannot be ignored. Specific examples are direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS), orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), single carrier, frequency domain equalisation (SC/FDE) and orthogonal frequency code division multiplexing (OFCDM).

5 10 30 0.1 1 outage probability, % 10


0 0.01

Fig 6 Multipath fade margin versus percentage outage probability for a range of Ricean K factors.

Direct sequence spread spectrum


Uplink/downlink channel duplex

In practice, the propagation characteristics are not necessarily the same for both the uplink and the downlink because the radio spectrum allocation process for licensed spectrum specifies which one of two modes of operation is to be used these are known as frequency division duplex (FDD) and time division duplex (TDD). The difference between them is that the former uses different frequencies for the uplink and the downlink, whereas the latter shares a single frequency. The advantages of time division duplex are that the same channel propagation characteristics apply for both the uplink and the downlink and their bandwidth ratio can be dynamically adjusted to match changing operating conditions. Frequency division duplex, however, has the advantages of providing better isolation between the uplink and downlink and in some instances potentially has a greater operating range due to using a narrower bandwidth receiver than a TDD system (see section 6 for more details).

This is a single carrier technique that frequency spreads the baseband modulation signal so that it fills the whole of the channel bandwidth. This is achieved using frequency spreading codes that are ideally designed to have a shorter correlation time than the various multipath delay differences. Provided this requirement is satisfied, the individual multipath signals can be separated out if an appropriate receiver is used (e.g. RAKE receiver [1]), thus enabling the individual multipath signals to be extracted and combined in a way that improves overall performance by effectively removing the inter-symbol interference.


Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing


Wideband channel transport techniques

If channel bandwidth is increased to enable higher datarates to be used, a point is eventually reached where the inter-symbol interference5 caused by the time offsets between the main signal and its multipath reflections cannot be ignored, and the point at which this occurs depends upon the channel symbol6 rate and the delay spread characteristics of the propagation environment. For symbol rates that are much smaller than the reciprocal of the delay spread, inter-symbol interference becomes negligible and the fading is flat. For the converse situation, inter-symbol interference cannot be ignored and the fading is frequency selective. Consequently, increasing channel bandwidth causes single carrier systems to become increasingly more
5 Inter-symbol interference is when a data bit overlaps a time-slot containing a different data bit. 6 Data bits transmitted over the RF channel are conventionally referred to as symbols to distinguish them from input data bits. This is because a symbol usually represents several input data bits (see section 3.2).

Unlike DSSS, this is a multi-carrier technique that transports data over the channel by distributing it across an underlying frequency multiplex. The basic principle involved is that the larger the number of carriers (tones) used, the lower the data rate they each have to carry. So, by using an appropriate number of carriers the symbol duration can be made to be significantly longer than the multipath delay differences, and hence reduce the level of inter-symbol interference and also create channels that have flat fade characteristics. Furthermore, the inter-symbol interference can be completely eliminated by the introduction of a cyclic prefix [2] provided its duration is longer than the channel delay spread. However, this is at the expense of increased channel overhead.


Single carrier, frequency domain equalisation

Like DSSS, this is a single carrier transport technique that uses frequency domain equalisation to overcome the impracticality of using time domain equalisation to counteract multipath fading in wide bandwidth channels. Overall, SC/FDE, which also has a media access variant known as SC-FDMA7, gives similar performance to OFDM for essentially the same overall level of complexity, but because it is a single carrier transport technique it has the advantage of having a lower peak-to-average power ratio than OFDM, which has certain cost advantages.
SC-FDMA is an extension of single carrier, frequency domain equalisation (SC/FDE) that accommodates multiple-user access.


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Wireless communications the fundamentals


Orthogonal frequency code division multiplexing

bandwidths, the difference in maximum tolerable path loss is 30 dB. The noise performance of practical receivers is usually worse than the thermal noise limit due to receiver losses and the additional noise introduced by electronic amplification. This causes a further reduction in the maximum tolerable path loss and by an amount equal to the ratio of actual noise power to thermal noise power, which is known as the receiver noise figure. Ignoring specialist receivers, such as those that use cryogenic cooling, wireless system receivers typically have noise figures in the range 1 to 10 dB.

This is a transport technique that adaptively exploits both frequency and time domain spreading to maximise performance according to the particular operating environment. Essentially, it adaptively exploits OFDM to provide frequency spreading and DSSS to provide time spreading, and current claims are that it will improve on the performance of current OFDM systems.


The performance of the wireless layer can be broken down into five relatively independent component parts, which are:

Wireless air interface


Channel modulation schemes

receiver thermal noise, channel modulation schemes, channel coding techniques, scheduling and adaptive modulation coding, media access control.

The individual impact that these components have on performance will now be described in more detail.


Receiver thermal noise

The emphasis so far has been on the fundamental factors affecting transmission distance. But the potential benefits of using advanced modulation schemes as a means for increasing the data rate transmitted over a fixed channel bandwidth is also an important consideration. A point worth noting is that although these modulation schemes enable higher data-rate transmission to be achieved without any increase in receiver bandwidth, and hence noise power, the received signal power still has to be increased to maintain the desired level of performance. The reason for this will become clear later in this section. For a given channel bandwidth, significant data-rate increases can be achieved by using multi-level digital amplitude and/or phase modulation schemes. These schemes are known as M-ary amplitude shift keying (ASK), M-ary phase shift keying (PSK) and M-ary quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), where M represents the number of modulation levels, or symbols as they are also known. However, QAM should not be thought of as being distinct from the other two because it is effectively a combination of M-ary ASK and 4-ary PSK; the latter is also known as quadrature PSK (QPSK). The fundamental principle behind multilevel modulation is that a sequence comprising a predetermined number of consecutive data bits is replaced by the appropriate symbol from the symbol alphabet being used for the coding process. This is illustrated in Fig 8 for a Grey code mapping of two binary input bits into QPSK symbols; when Grey code mapping is used, adjacent symbols are only different by one binary bit. The outcome of this is that the effective data rate actually transmitted over the channel is equal to the symbol rate multiplied by the number of bits-per-symbol. Consequently, the improvement in effective data rate, or spectral efficiency as it is also known, equals the number of bits represented by a symbol.
This is also referred to as additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN). This includes some of the channel bandwidths being considered by the WiMAX Forum.
9 8

The performance of an ideal communication system is limited only by the presence of thermal noise8 at the receiver, which is a natural phenomenon that cannot be eliminated. Unfortunately, thermal noise power increases with receiver bandwidth, so any increase in the latter will require an increase in received signal power to maintain a constant value of signal-to-noise ratio, and hence error probability. Consequently, the maximum tolerable path loss decreases with increasing receiver bandwidth. The increase in noise power with receiver bandwidth is illustrated by the plot in Fig 7 over a bandwidth range typical of wireless systems that operate in the 1 to 6 GHz frequency band9. The main point to note is that, for this range of receiver

increase in noise power, dB




10 20 increase in bandwidth, dB


Fig 7

Increase in thermal noise power as receiver bandwidth is increased.

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Wireless communications the fundamentals

binary input pair 0, 0 0, 1 1, 1 1, 0

QPSK symbol phase (rads) increase in S/N, dB /4 3/4 -3/4 -/4

data-rate increase = log2(M-ary) 30 20 10 0 QAM PSK ASK

Fig 8

Grey code mapping of binary input pairs into QPSK output symbols. Fig 10

16 M-ary



The black dots in Fig 9 show modulation constellations for BPSK, 4-ary ASK, 8-ary PSK and 16-ary QAM and it is clear that the M-ary schemes have a smaller symbol separation distance than that of BPSK. This separation distance is known as the Euclidean distance, and the received signal-to-noise ratio is proportional to this distance squared. Therefore, it follows from Fig 9 that M-ary modulation schemes will give worse performance than BPSK unless their average received energy per bit is increased to the point where their Euclidean distances become equal to that of BPSK. The increase in energy per bit needed for the Euclidean distance to become equal to that of BPSK is effectively the performance penalty associated with using M-ary modulation, and Fig 10 shows this penalty for the various M-ary modulation schemes. Comparing the performance penalty and spectral efficiency figures it will be seen that with the exception of 4-ary PSK, any improvement in spectral efficiency is always at the expense of having to increase the received signal power, which effectively reduces the maximum tolerable link loss. For example, increasing the spectral efficiency by a factor of six reduces the maximum tolerable link loss at worst by approximately 23 dB (64-ASK) and at best by approximately 8 dB (64-QAM). So far the emphasis has been on modulation schemes that improve spectral efficiency, but if maximising the transmission distance is more important M-ary frequency

Signal-to-noise ratio increase relative to BPSK modulation for a range of M-ary ASK, PSK and QAM modulations.

shift keying (FSK) should be used. However, this is at the expense of a significant reduction in spectral efficiency. For example, 64-FSK improves on the BPSK signal-to-noise ratio by approximately 4 dB, but this is at the expense of requiring five times the channel bandwidth.


Channel coding techniques

With the exception of M-ary FSK, all of the aspects considered so far are such that the desired error probability can only be achieved by maintaining the received signal-tonoise ratio constant. In the case of channel coding, however, the fundamental aim is to enable the desired error probability to be achieved at as low a received signal-tonoise ratio as is practically possible. The difference between the signal-to-noise ratios needed for uncoded and coded transmission to operate with the same value of error probability is known as the coding gain, and its actual value depends upon the particular coding scheme used (e.g. block, convolution, turbo, space-time) and its finer design points (e.g. delay, number of states, constraint length). In general, the nonlinear relationship between received signalto-noise ratio and probability of error results in coding gain being a relatively complex function of the type of coding used, especially when error correction is supported. However, in general, coding gain is approximately equal to

data-rate increase 1 (ref) 2 3 1.8 E b 1.6 E b 4 1.6 E b

4E b





Fig 9 Symbol constellation examples for BPSK and a range of M-ary modulation schemes showing their Euclidean distances in terms of the mean energy per data bit (Eb ). The date-rate improvement with respect to that of BPSK is also shown. The black dots represent the number of channel modulation symbols used by each of the modulation schemes.


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Wireless communications the fundamentals

the product of its code rate and the minimum Hamming distance [3]; in its simplest form the latter is equal to the smallest number of bit differences between the different code words. Table 2 shows typical coding gains that can be achieved when using convolution or turbo coding with binary modulation schemes. Under some operating conditions these coding schemes are also combined with repetition coding, which simply involves sending the same symbol multiple times, to give further performance improvements but at the expense of reducing the effective data rate. However, in practice, coding gain is bounded because there is a minimum received signal-to-noise ratio, known as the Shannon Limit [4], below which it is impossible to design a coding scheme that can perform with an arbitrarily small probability of error.
Table 2 Typical coding gains for convolution and turbo codes and typical increase in bandwidth needed to achieve the gain.
Example Convolution code Turbo coding Coding gain (dB) 49 13 Bandwidth increase (times) 23 2

modulation coding combined with destination-based scheduling, which selects the destination with the best channel conditions at each moment in time, enables data to be sent at rates that on average are higher than would have normally been achieved. With the appropriate algorithm, this type of scheduling can be used to avoid transmitting over channels that are experiencing a significant level of fade, and under certain operating conditions this can be exploited to provide a form of diversity known as multiple user diversity gain [5]. Ignoring any implementation and control overheads, the ideal data rates for various combinations of the above adaptive modulation and coding rates for channel bandwidths in the range 1 to 20 MHz are given in Fig 11. This shows that under ideal conditions, data rates in the range of approximately 1 to 90 Mbit/s are achievable for a bandwidth range of 1 to 20 MHz. In practice, due to link layer overheads, these ideal values are reduced typically by 25% to 35%.
90 64-QAM 64-QAM 16-QAM 64-QAM 16-QAM 30 QPSK QPSK

The basic underlying principle for achieving coding gain, irrespective of the particular coding technique used, is that a predefined number of data bits are replaced by a code word comprising a larger number of bits the ratio of data bits to code word bits is known as the coding rate. Unfortunately, for binary modulated systems, coding rate increases the channel bandwidth needed by an amount equal to the reciprocal of the coding rate. However, with the appropriate combination of coding and M-ary amplitude and/or phase modulation, which is known as coded-modulation, the improved spectral efficiency of multilevel modulation compensates for the reduction caused by coding. For example, using 8-ary PSK in conjunction with a 2/3 rate code avoids the need for any increase in channel bandwidth. However, M-ary modulation schemes require larger signalto-noise ratios than binary modulation, so for codedmodulation the gain is smaller than can be achieved with binary modulation, and typically by an amount similar to the values given earlier in Fig 10.

2/ 3

ideal data rate, Mbit/s


10 15 5 channel bandwidth, MHz


Fig 11 Ideal data rates for various adaptive modulation and coding combinations as a function of the available channel bandwidth.


Media access control


Scheduling and adaptive modulation coding

Using dynamically adaptive control techniques with the modulation and coding schemes previously outlined it is possible to improve on the overall average link capacity that would be achieved otherwise. This is known as adaptive modulation coding and is achieved by using advanced link adaptation control techniques to dynamically choose the modulation scheme and coding rate that best matches the instantaneous channel conditions. For example, higher order modulation and coding rates, such as 64 QAM with a 5/6 rate code, are used when the signal quality is very good, but as the signal deteriorates the modulation order and code rate are reduced as necessary until the point is reached where no further adjustments can be made. Adaptive

Media access control is used to enable multiple users to access the same channel, and in general there are three distinct access categories fixed assignment, random access and demand assignment. For the fixed assignment option user transmissions are controlled by the base-station. Common examples of this option are time division multiple access (TDMA), frequency division multiple access (FDMA), code division multiple access (CDMA) and orthogonal frequency domain multiple access (OFDMA). For the random access option, users with relatively bursty traffic profiles compete for access to the radio channel, so some form of collision detection/avoidance control is necessary, which introduces an additional overhead. A common example of this option is carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance (CSMA/CA). For the demand assignment option, users are assigned a channel on demand, which for bursty traffic profiles can greatly improve the number of users that a base-station can support. Dynamic TDMA and packet reservation multiple access (PRMA) are examples of this
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Wireless communications the fundamentals

option. Typically, licensed spectrum systems use the fixed or random assignment options, whereas licence-exempt systems typically use the random access option, which has the disadvantage of significantly reduced spectral efficiency at higher traffic loads.


interference suppression gain (this is considered later in section 5) .

Array gain


Advanced antenna systems

So far, although not explicitly stated, it has been assumed that the wireless system comprises only a single antenna at the transmitter and receiver. However, significant performance benefit can be gained without any increase in either transmit power or channel bandwidth by using multiple antennas at the transmitter and/or receiver. There are four possible antenna configurations single-in singleout (SISO), single-in multiple-out (SIMO), multiple-in single-out (MISO) and multiple-in multiple-out (MIMO), where in refers to the transmit antennas and out refers to the receive antennas (see Fig 12). In general, multiple antenna configurations offer a means for increasing system coverage and/or capacity and this improvement comes from one or more of the following gains, which generally have to be traded off against each other depending upon the particular operating conditions and their different channel knowledge requirements:

Array gain is effectively a performance enhancement that an antenna array can provide when propagation conditions are such that there is very little multipath fading. In other words there is a strong line-of-sight path and fading characteristics are at worst Ricean with a high K value. Under such conditions received signal powers can effectively be considered to be deterministic rather than randomly varying. This improved signal certainty significantly reduces the fade margin needed (see Fig 6) and also enables an antenna array to exploit constructive and destructive signal interference to provide beam forming (see Fig 19). This requires that the transmitted signals are identically modulated and that the antennas are separated typically by half the wavelength of the transmitted signal. If the antenna array is used at the transmitter, as in the MISO configuration, the direction of the transmission beam is dynamically controlled by adjusting the relative amplitudes and phases of the signals driving the antennas so that the transmitted signals add constructively at the desired destination antenna. When this is the case the resultant received power will be greater than the sum of the individual received signal powers. This increase in power is the array gain provided by the transmit antenna array and for the MISO configuration operated under conditions of constant

array gain, diversity gain, spatial multiplexing gain,




Fig 12

The four possible antenna configurations.


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overall transmit power, the gain achieved is equal to the number of transmit antennas used. If the antenna array is used at the receiver instead of the transmitter, as in the SIMO configuration, the direction of the reception beam is dynamically controlled by adjusting the relative amplitudes and phases of the different antenna signals prior to combining them in the receiver. This effectively focuses the reception beam on the source of the transmission. With the appropriate delay settings these signals combine coherently and, as in the case of transmit array gain, the resultant received signal power is greater than the sum of the individual signal powers from each antenna. This increase in power is the gain of the receive antenna array, and for the SIMO configuration, assuming the received signal powers are equal, the gain is equal to the number of receive antennas used. It is clear from Fig 12 that the SIMO and MISO configurations are effectively special cases of the MIMO configuration, and therefore, given that for most, if not all, practical cases the beam width at the receiving antenna array will be wider than the array width, the array gain for the MIMO configuration is ideally the product of the transmit and receive array gains. In other words it is equal to the product of the number of transmit and receive antennas used.

40 Poutage = 0.01% 30


fade margin, dB





4 6 diversity gain, dB


Fig 13

Fade margin as a function of diversity gain for a range of outage probabilities (Poutage).


Diversity gain

When operating conditions are such that there is no line-ofsight path and the fading characteristics are predominantly Rayleigh, which is typical of urban environments, the beam forming needed for array gain deteriorates to the point where most if not all of the array gain is lost. In addition to this there is also a significant increase in the amount of fade margin needed to ensure that the outage probability is acceptably small (see Fig 6). Under these operating conditions, the performance enhancement provided by the various antenna configurations is that they reduce the amount of fade margin needed rather than increasing the effective received signal power as in the case of array gain. This fade margin reduction is achieved using diversity, which typically requires an antenna separation of at least the coherence wavelength [4] of the channels to ensure that the received signals have independent fading this is a wider spacing than used for array gain. Diversity gain can be achieved using selection, switched equal-gain, or maximal ratio combining techniques [1], and, although the last gives the best performance, the spread of their respective received signal-to-noise ratios needed for a given outage probability is approximately only 2 dB. Diversity reduces the amount of fade margin needed because the diversity fade outage probability is equal to the without-diversity value raised to the power of the diversity gain, which is defined as being equal to the number of independent signal paths between the transmit and receive antennas. Figure 13 shows how the multipath fade margin

reduces with diversity gain for a range of outage probabilities for the case of equal received signal powers and Rayleigh fading channels. It is clear from these plots that increasing diversity gain gives diminishing returns. Consequently, the most significant reduction in fade margin occurs at the smaller diversity gains and by an amount that increases with decreasing outage probability. The reduction in fade margin compared with that of a SISO antenna configuration for identical operating conditions can be considered to be the amount by which the received signal power is effectively increased by diversity gain. The SIMO, MISO and MIMO antenna configurations can all provide diversity gain but they differ in how they achieve it. The SIMO configuration exploits the space domain to provide receive diversity and the gain achieved is equal to the number of receive antennas used. The MISO configuration, however, must exploit both space and time to provide transmit diversity. This involves using space-time coding techniques, but with appropriate coding it is possible to achieve a transmit diversity gain that is equal to the number of transmit antennas used. For the MIMO configuration it is still necessary to use space-time coding at the transmitter, but the overall diversity gain is now equal to the product of the number of antennas used at the transmitter and receiver.


Spatial multiplexing gain

A fundamental difference between the MIMO and SIMO/ MISO antenna configurations is that MIMO has several independent pairings of transmit/receive antennas. Consequently, multiple independent data streams can, in principle, be simultaneously supported in the same frequency channel, hence system capacity is increased. Under ideal operating conditions this increase is equal to the number of independent data paths, which has an upper limit value that is always equal to the smaller of the number of
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transmit/receive antennas. This increase in capacity is known as spatial multiplexing gain. The key benefit of spatial multiplexing is that it is able to increase the effective channel transmission rate by exploiting random fading. Consequently, it requires a very rich multipath environment, so it works best when there are no direct line-of-sight paths between the transmit and receive antennas as is the case for diversity but the exact opposite of the conditions for achieving array gain. Unfortunately, spatial multiplexing gain has to be traded against diversity gain [6]. This can be appreciated by taking the view that spatial multiplexing and diversity have to share the various paths available between the transmit and receive antenna arrays, which means that as more paths are used for spatial multiplexing there are less available for diversity use. Therefore, the gain of one is increased at the expense of the other, which means that a trade-off has to be made between system capacity and the amount of fade margin. Their interdependence is shown in Fig 14 for 2 2, 4 4 and 6 6 MIMO configurations.

The interference caused when using different frequencies is known as adjacent channel interference. It is caused by signal power spilling-over into the adjacent channels, and possibly ones beyond those, especially their adjacent ones, which are known as the alternate channels. This type of interference is caused by transmitter/receiver imperfections associated with practical modulation characteristics and the limitations of practical filters. Generally, this type of interference reduces with increasing channel separation and is usually managed by mandating frequency guard bands and power spectral masks to which practical transmitter/receiver designs must conform. The performance margin needed to offset adjacent channel interference is determined by the ratio of interfering powerto-receiver thermal noise power10, as is shown in Fig 15.

interference margin, dB



diversity gain, linear


5 0 -10


array size 6 6

0 10 5 15 -5 interference to noise power ratio, dB


10 22 0 0


Fig 15 Adjacent channel interference margin as a function of the ratio of interfering power-to-receiver thermal noise power.

2 4 spacial multiplexing gain, linear

Fig 14

Trade-off between spatial multiplexing and diversity gains for a range of antenna array sizes.


All wireless systems are susceptible to radio interference, but if all extraneous sources are ignored it only leaves adjacent channel and co-channel interference to consider, which are interference sources that have to be traded against practical design and spectral efficiency considerations. Both these sources of interference become an issue when the coverage provided by a transmitter is geographically close enough to the coverage areas of other transmitters for their transmissions to affect each other. The performance impact of this inter-cell interference depends upon the relative magnitudes of the mean received signal power of the desired signal and the total power of the interfering signals and whether or not their frequencies are different. In addition, adjacent and co-channel intra-cell interference can also occur depending upon which type of media access control is used and whether or not the cell has been divided into a number of different frequency sectors (see Fig 17).
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Radio frequency interference

The interference that is created when using the same radio frequency is known as co-channel interference and its impact on performance is a more complex process than for interference caused by adjacent channels. This is because, in addition to introducing the need for an interference margin, which is derived in exactly the same way as for adjacent channel interference, it also modifies the amount of fade margin needed. This is because co-channel interference causes the received signal power to fluctuate with time in exactly the same way as multipath fading and for exactly the same reason. Consequently, the combined impact of cochannel interference and multipath fading on overall performance is dependent upon their joint statistical behaviour. The outcome of this dependence is a modified relationship between outage probability and fade margin. This can be appreciated by comparing the fade margin plots in Fig 6 with the modified ones in Fig 16, which were derived for Rayleigh (dashed line) and Ricean (solid lines) flat fading channels in the presence of a single Rayleigh faded interferer. Although both sets of plots still exhibit similar trends, they show that the modified fade margin decreases
This assumes the coarse approximation of treating interference power as if it is an additional thermal noise source within the receiver.

Wireless communications the fundamentals 40 cell cluster F3 F3 F2 10 10 30 F5 F6 0 0.01 0.1 1 outage probability, % 10 F1b F1a F1c co-channel reuse distance three-sector cell F1 F7 F4 F5 F6 F2 F1 F7 F4

K = 0 (Rayleigh) 2 5

modified fade margin, dB



Fig 16

Modified fade margin versus outage probability.

less rapidly for higher K values and that there is no difference between the plots for the Rayleigh faded channel. From an intra-cell interference perspective, the type of media access control used to enable multiple users to simultaneously use the transmission medium is another potential source of either adjacent or co-channel interference. For example, when using frequency division multiple access, adjacent channel interference can occur between the multiplexed sub-channels. On the other hand, when using code division multiple access, co-channel interference can occur due to the noise-rise effect [7], which is caused by the loss of spreading code orthogonally and requires the use of transmit power control to ensure its impact on performance is kept within acceptable limits. In principle, inter-cell co-channel interference could be avoided completely by never reusing frequencies, but this is impractical and very spectrally inefficient. For cellular systems this problem has traditionally been addressed by grouping a specific number of different frequency cells together to form a cluster pattern, which is then duplicated as necessary to achieve the desired coverage see Fig 17. However, because cluster size determines the shortest possible distance that can be achieved between cells using the same frequency, which is known as the co-channel reuse distance, cluster size should, ideally, be made as large as possible so that the co-channel interference is made to be as small as possible. However, increasing the former reduces spectral efficiency. This trade-off is illustrated in Fig 18. The solid line plot shows the amount by which the co-channel reuse distance increases with cluster size relative to that for a single cell cluster; and the dashed line shows how the spectral efficiency of a cluster comprising non-sectorised cells decreases with its size. For example, a seven-cell cluster increases the co-channel reuse distance by a factor of approximately 2.5 times, but reduces the spectral efficiency by approximately 86%. For sectorised cells the spectral efficiency is worse than shown in Fig 18 because for nonsectorised cells the number of frequencies per cluster is

Fig 17 A cluster pattern example showing the co-channel reuse distance for a seven-cell cluster where F represents the cell frequency. An example of a sectorised cell is also given.

equal to its size, whereas when they are sectorised this increases by an amount equal to the number of sectors per cell. Unfortunately, the approach of using cluster frequency reuse patterns to control co-channel interference is only really suited to systems where there is a high degree of design control and supporting regulatory constraints, which is more representative of systems that use licensed rather than licence-exempt spectrum. For the latter it is anticipated that the interference situation will generally be worse, mainly because there are no constraints on technology, channel selection or number of users. Consequently, new wireless innovations in general, and increasing user/device density in particular, will tend to create an interference environment that is increasingly more varied and less predictable than currently encountered in licensed spectrum. However, systems that use antenna arrays should experience some level of co-channel interference sup4 co-channel reuse distance improvement, linear 100 80 60 2 40 1 20 0 10 spectral efficiency, %

6 cluster size, N

Fig 18

Co-channel reuse distance and spectral efficiency as a function of cluster size.

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Wireless communications the fundamentals

pression, which in principle should be of benefit to both licensed and licence-exempt systems, although it may be more predictable for the latter. For example, if beam forming is used at the receiver, co-channel interference is reduced because any interference originating from outside the beam coverage area is reduced by the array signal processing see Fig 19. This has the additional benefit of also suppressing multipath signals produced by reflections from objects that are located outside the beam coverage area hence channel delay spread is also reduced. Similarly, if beam forming is used at the transmitter, any interference originating from sources outside the beam coverage area will be reduced. If a receive antenna array is used to provide diversity gain rather than beam-forming array gain, cochannel interference reduction is still possible, but this has to be traded against diversity gain.
desired user signal interfering user signal

Overall, there is a continuing trend towards using as low a frequency reuse factor as possible, with the ultimate aim being to use only one frequency so that the maximum possible spectral efficiency is achieved. When this is the case, co-channel interference becomes more variable due to increased interference levels and it becomes the limiting factor for increasing network capacity. Co-channel interference mitigation is an area of ongoing research and potential areas for future improvements are interference suppression offered by advanced antenna systems, exploiting characteristics of OFDM to enable fractional frequency reuse11 [3] and advanced signal processing techniques along the lines of the single antenna interference cancellation method being considered for GSM [8]. Whether or not advances in these areas will result in techniques emerging that will be equally applicable in both licensed and licence-exempt spectrum remains to be seen.


System performance insights

multipath reflection

beam-forming antenna array

The overall performance of any wireless system is determined purely by the design options and operating conditions considered in this paper. However, if propagation effects and the benefits of coding and advanced antenna systems are initially ignored, the resulting system performance is effectively dependent only on channel transport technique and modulation scheme used, and regulatory constrained parameters, which are transmit power, channel bandwidth, operating frequency and channel duplex. Table 3 contains information relating to these aspects for a representative set of mobile
11 This is the technique of enabling different sub-channel groupings of OFDM sub-carriers to be used by different cells at their edges to minimise co-channel interference between them. This is particularly beneficial for systems with a frequency reuse of one.

Fig 19 Example of beam forming being used to maximise the desired user signal while at the same time minimising the unwanted interfering user signal. Table 3
Wireless system GSM GPRS EDGE CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev 0 Rev A Rev B Rev C* UMTS HSDPA HSUPA HSOPA LTE Mobile WiMAX (IEEE802.16e) Wi-Fi IEEE802.11b IEEE802.11g

Comparison of the features of a representative set of mobile and Wi-Fi networks.

Duplex Channel modulation schemes GMSK12 8-PSK BPSK QPSK 8-PSK 16-QAM 64-QAM BPSK QPSK 8-PSK 16-QAM 64-QAM QPSK 16-QAM 64-QAM BPSK QPSK 16-QAM 64-QAM Channel coding Channel bandwidth, MHz 0.2 Sub-channel Bandwidth concatenation Sub-channel concatenation Channel transport

Uplink Frequency, power, GHz W 1 1.8



Yes: fixed





1.25 (Future 1.2520)

Yes: variable#

Channel concatenation






5 (Future 1.2520)

Yes: variable#







Yes: variable# Yes: fixed (802.11b) No (802.11g)








# variable indicates sub-channel bandwidth is variable depending upon the spreading rate/level of sub-channelisation used * this revision has been named Ultra Mobile Broadband


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systems, and it shows that all of them have evolved to the point where they use some level of M-ary modulation and that channel transport is tending to become predominantly DSSS or OFDM. Also, although not shown in Table 3, they all have plans to introduce advanced antenna technology in the future. Overall, these trends suggest that these mobile systems are all on a convergent evolution path and insights into why can be gained by considering the fundamental reasons for their current performance differences. To enable the required high-level fundamental performance insights to be gained, a relative rather than absolute comparison will be used to compare and contrast the various systems listed in Table 3. And the baseline performance metric that will be used for this will be the operating range they would achieve if they were binary modulated at the maximum rate their channels can support. The advantage of such an approach is that, with appropriate assumptions about operating conditions, aspects such as operating margins for mitigating propagation and interference effects, dependence of minimum acceptable receive signal-to-noise ratio on service type, system enhancements from advanced modulation, coding, antenna gain/advanced antenna systems can all effectively be normalised out and hence be ignored as necessary. Although all of these factors will affect absolute baseline performance values, they do not affect the following features of this comparison method (these are shown diagrammatically in Fig 20):

and then only if the receiver can effectively match its bandwidth to that of the service rate. Using the propagation model referred to earlier (section 2.1) with the propagation coefficient set to 3.3, the information in Table 3 was used to calculate the baseline operating range for the listed wireless systems. The results are given in Fig 21(a) referenced to that of GSM, and they clearly show that the trend is for the baseline operating range to fall with increasing channel bandwidth. This simply reflects that receiver noise power is increasing with channel bandwidth. The results in Fig 21(b) show the overall range factor component parts associated with the difference in channel bandwidth and the combined effect of the difference in operating frequency and transmit power. It is clear from these results that the component representing the combined effect of operating frequency and transmit power has a very similar effect on all of the systems apart from GSM and CDMA2000, which, although different from the rest, are themselves very similar. The reason for this is that they have a similar but higher regulatory power limit than the other systems. This also explains why CDMA2000 has a better baseline range than a 1.25 MHz channel WiMAX system.
1.0 overall range factor 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 GSM 2000 CDMA WiMAX1 UMTS WiMAX2 Wi-Fi(b) Wi-Fi(g) (a)

the baseline operating range is the range limit for the maximum possible data rate that can be supported by the channel bandwidth without resorting to M-ary modulation schemes, using M-ary modulation schemes enables operation at data rates higher than the channel bandwidth, but operation is restricted to region A in Fig 20, operation beyond the baseline range, in other words operation in region B in Fig 20, is only possible for service rates that are less than the channel bandwidth

1.0 component range factors 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 GSM 2000

channel bandwidth component frequency and power component

opening margins, advanced antennas and coding flex these boundaries

range improvement region available only to receivers that can match their bandwidth to that of the service rate Tx A B

CDMA WiMAX1 UMTS WiMAX2 Wi-Fi(b) Wi-Fi(g) (b)

region where data rate can exceed channel bandwidth

baseline operating range

Fig 20

Diagrammatic representation of the baseline comparison metric used. Tx represents the transmitting device.

Fig 21 (a) shows the overall range factor baseline results for the representative set of mobile systems and (b) shows its two component parts. For convenience the wireless systems are given in order of increasing bandwidth and the two WiMAX entries represent its two extreme values of channel bandwidth.

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Wireless communications the fundamentals

channel bandwidth range factor

Although receiver noise power increases with channel bandwidth it only degrades the effective received signal-tonoise ratio for systems that use TDM or simple forms of OFDM (sub-channelisation not supported). This is not, however, the case for systems that use DSSS or the more advanced forms of OFDM (those that support subchannelisation). The reason for this is that in the case of DSSS systems increasing the spreading rate is effectively equivalent to reducing the receiver bandwidth, and hence noise power, which improves the received signal-to-noise ratio; and in the case of OFDM systems it is because using a subset of the available OFDM tones increases the power per tone, assuming constant transmit power, which increases the received signal-to-noise ratio. If the spreading rate and level of sub-channelisation are variable, the receiver bandwidth can be considered as being matched to the service rate and hence maximises the received signal-to-noise ratio. This capability is supported by CDMA2000, UMTS and WiMAX, but not by Wi-Fi because the OFDM version (IEEE802.11g) does not support sub-channelisation and the DSSS version (IEEE802.11b) uses fixed rate spreading at a rate that provides no noise power reduction benefit for service rates less than 1 Mbit/s. Assuming the limiting cases of using only one WiMAX OFDM tone or in the case of CDMA2000 and UMTS using one of their higher value spreading rates, which in all three cases equates to a service rate of approximately 10 kbit/s, the overall range factor improvement is as shown by the dark grey columns in Fig 22(a). To aid comparison with the baseline results in Fig 21(a), which are plotted against a different vertical scale, they have been reproduced in Fig 22(a) using dashed line columns to represent them. Comparing these two sets of results clearly shows that variable rate spreading/sub-channelisation can provide significant improvements, and provided the ratio of channel bandwidth to spreading rate equals the service rate the improvement is both maximised and independent of channel bandwidth. The Wi-Fi results, however, show that there is no improvement for IEEE802.11g and that for IEEE802.11b the improvement is less significant than for the other systems. This is because the IEEE802.11b spreading factor effectively equates to the spreading rate that would be used for a 1 Mbit/s service rate whereas the other systems have effectively used the optimal value of spreading rate/ sub-channelisation for a 10 kbit/s service rate. The associated improvement in the channel bandwidth component is shown by the grey columns in Fig 22(b), and for the same reason as before the relevant baseline results in Fig 21(b) have been reproduced using dashed line columns to represent them. Comparing these two sets of results clearly shows that being able to match the receiver bandwidth to that of the service rate improves the channel bandwidth range factor significantly. Also, comparing the dark grey and lighter grey column results in Fig 22(a) and (b), respectively, clearly shows that the overall range factor
24 BT Technology Journal Vol 25 No 2 April 2007

2.5 overall range factor 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0 GSM 2000 CDMA WiMAX1 UMTS WiMAX2 Wi-Fi(b) Wi-Fi(g) (a) 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0 GSM 2000 CDMA WiMAX1 UMTS WiMAX2 Wi-Fi(b) Wi-Fi(g) (b)

Fig 22 (a) shows the overall range factor improvement (dark grey columns) achieved by matching the receiver bandwidth to the service rate compared to the baseline results (dashed line columns. (b) shows the channel bandwidth component improvement (light grey columns) compared to the baseline results (dashed line columns). For convenience the wireless systems are given in order of increasing bandwidth and the two WiMAX entries represent its two extreme values of channel bandwidth.

improvements largely reflect those of the channel bandwidth component (although the improvement appears to be larger for CDMA2000, this simply reflects that is allowed to use a higher transmit power). In general, for service rates significantly smaller than the channel bandwidth, the ability to use variable rate spreading/sub-channelisation improves significantly on the baseline operating range. For example, GSM channel bandwidth is eight times that of a typical voice service rate, so its operating range is approximately half of what would be achieved if it were able to match receiver bandwidth to that of the service rate (see Fig 23). By way of another voice service example, CDMA2000, UMTS and WiMAX will always exceed the operating range that can be achieved by an IEEE802.11b voice service by at least a factor of four (this is derived by dividing the appropriate overall range factor values in Fig 22(a) by the IEEE802.11b value). Receiver noise considerations also show that for overall equivalent bandwidth and very similar operating conditions,

Wireless communications the fundamentals 1.0 0.9 range factor, times 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5

4 6 2 8 channel bandwidth increase, times


Fig 23

Reduction in operating range as a function of the increase in channel bandwidth.

an FDD system could in some cases have a performance advantage over a TDD system. This is because the bandwidth of a TDD receiver has to be twice that of an FDD receiver. For example, for constant transmit power, doubling the bandwidth of an OFDM receiver would halve the power per OFDM tone, whereas for a TDM system it would double the receiver noise power. Under such operating conditions the operating range for an FDD system would ideally be 1.2 times that of the equivalent TDD system. However, TDD has the advantages that the uplink to downlink bandwidth ratio can be dynamically adjusted and its channel characteristics are generally identical for both directions. So far the discussion has essentially concentrated on the impact of receiver noise on operating range, but the baseline comparison metric can also be used to gain insights into system capacity. In principle, capacity can be increased by concatenating channels and/or sub-channels and also by using M-ary modulation schemes, all of which have been used either individually or in combination to improve the performance of the systems listed in Table 3. However, as will now be explained, these three approaches are not all capable of giving the same increase in data rate and in all but one case the increase is achieved at the expense of operating range. For systems that use TDM sub-channels, the data rate can be increased by concatenating them and ideally this would not cause any reduction in operating range. The reason for this is that the receiver noise bandwidth for such systems is usually determined by the channel bandwidth, as is the case for GSM, and therefore concatenating subchannels does not change receiver noise power. However, the increase in data rate that can be achieved is limited because this can never exceed the channel bandwidth. If the data rate is increased by concatenating channels, rather than sub-channels, receiver noise power increases in proportion to the number of channels concatenated, so there is a loss of operating range if total transmit power is assumed constant;

effectively this is no different than increasing the channel bandwidth. An example of using channel concatenation is 3xEV-DO which concatenates three 1.25 MHz channels, and Fig 23 showed that increasing the bandwidth by a factor of three reduces the operating range by 30%. Overall, because the data-rate increase that can be achieved using either sub-channel or channel concatenation is limited by the number of channels available for concatenation, to operate at data rates beyond this limit M-ary modulation has to be used. However, this increases the minimum acceptable value of received signal-to-noise ratio (see Fig 10), which reduces the operating range. Figure 24 shows the range reduction for M-ary PSK and M-ary QAM modulation expressed as a fraction of the range that would have been achieved with BPSK modulation. Using Figs 23 and 24, it will be found that for a given increase in data rate, the range reduction caused by using M-ary QAM is never worse than that caused by increasing the channel bandwidth to support the equivalent data-rate BPSK system.
1.0 range reduction factor 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 4 8 16 M-ary 32 64 QAM PSK

Fig 24

Range reduction factor as a function of M-ary PSK and QAM for a range of M-ary values.


This paper has provided an overview of the design choices and fundamental communication concepts that determine the performance of wireless systems. In addition to this, it has also considered the fundamental baseline performance differences between a representative set of mobile systems and argued that these are primarily due to them having different combinations of channel transport, modulation scheme and regulatory constraints on transmit power, channel bandwidth, operating frequency and channel duplex. Consequently, it is anticipated that as these systems evolve their technological differences are likely to disappear which suggests that they are on a convergent evolution path that will eventually result in their baseline differences being dictated purely by regulatory factors.


1 Saunders S R: Antennas and Propagation for Wireless Communication Systems, Wiley (1999). 2 Mobile WiMAX Part I: A Technical Overview and Performance Evaluation, WiMAX Forum (February 2006). 3 Proakis J G and Salehi M: Communication Systems Engineering, Second Edition, Prentice-Hall (2001).

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Wireless communications the fundamentals 4 Sklar B: Digital Communications: Fundamentals and Applications, Prentice-Hall (2001). 5 Eskafi F H: Multiuser Diversity and Opportunistic Beamforming in Wireless Networks, Berkeley http://caleng.berkeley.edu/archive/ 2006spring/ 6 Barbarossa S: Multiantenna wireless communication systems, Artech House (2004). 7 Holma H and Toskala A: WCDMA for UMTS: Radio Access for Third Generation Mobile Communication, Third Edition, Wiley (2002). 8 Nickel P and Gerstacker W: Single Antenna Interference Cancellation using Prefiltering and Multiuser Joint Detection based on the MAlgorithm, Conference International Symposium on Telecommunications (2005) http://www.lnt.de/lmk/publikationen/IST05_Nickel. pdf

Terry Hodgkinsons research interests have covered many aspects of telecommunications and associated technologies over the past 30 years. This has included researching into optical, ATM and IP communications concepts, but more recently he has been concentrating on researching the potential opportunities/threats that could be created by future Wi-Fi/WiMAX wireless systems and pervasive communication environments. His research has been recognised by several external awards, the most notable being a DSc Higher Doctorate and the 1984 OptoElectronic Rank Prize. He has published extensively over the years (over 90 papers, 3 book chapters and 18 patents) and has held several advisory roles associated with European collaborative projects and international conference technical committees. He is a member of the IET and IEEE, and is also a Director of the Mobile VCE.


BT Technology Journal Vol 25 No 2 April 2007

Unless otherwise stated, copyright of the papers appearing in the BT Technology Journal is reserved by British Telecommunications plc. The views of the contributors are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board nor of the BT Group. Mention of products and services available from suppliers outside the BT Group does not imply an endorsement. The papers in this Journal describe processes, products and services that may be the subject of patents or patent applications. The Journal is indexed/abstracted in ABI Inform.