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WCDMA Fundamentals

Henry A. Vasquez


Module Contents
Standardisation and frequency bands

Main properties of UMTS Air Interface

Overview of Radio Resource Management (RRM)

Module Contents
Standardisation and frequency bands
Standardisation of 3G cellular networks IMT-2000 frequency allocations UMTS FDD Frequency band evolution

Main properties of UMTS Air Interface Overview Radio Resource Management (RRM)

Standardisation of 3G cellular networks

ITU (Global guidelines and recommendations)
IMT-2000: Global standard for third generation (3G) wireless communications

3GPP is a co-operation between standardisation bodies

ETSI (Europe), ARIB/TTC (Japan), CCSA (China), ATIS (North America) and TTA (South Korea)





3GPP2 is a co-operation between standardisation bodies

ARIB/TTC (Japan), CCSA (China), TIA (North America) and TTA (South Korea)

CDMA2000 1x
CDMA2000 1xEV-DO


GSM 1800

IM T-2000

PCS unlicensed

Mobile Satellite

IMT-2000 frequency allocations

Mobile Satellite







Mobile Satellite


Mobile Satellite

Mobile Satellite

Mobile Satellite

2000 2050






IM T-2000




Mobile Satellite

Mobile Satellite

2200 MHz

UMTS FDD Frequency band evolution

Release 99
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX 1920 1980 MHz 1850 1910 MHz 1710-1785 MHz 1710-1755 MHz 824-849MHz 830-840 MHz 2500-2570 MHz 880-915 MHz 1749.9-1784.9 MHz 2110 2170 MHz 1930 1990 MHz 1805-1880 MHz 2110-2155 MHz 869-894MHz 875-885 MHz 2620-2690 MHz 925-960 MHz 1844.9-1879.9 MHz UMTS only in Europe, Japan US PCS, GSM1900 GSM1800 US 2.1 GHz band US cellular, GSM850 Japan

New in Release 5 New in Release 6

New in Release 7
GSM900 Japan

Module Contents
Standardisation and frequency bands

Main properties of UMTS Air Interface

UMTS Air interface technologies WCDMA FDD WCDMA vs. GSM CDMA principle Processing gain WCDMA codes and bit rates

Overview of Nokia Radio Resource Management (RRM)

UMTS Air Interface technologies

UMTS Air interface is built based on two technological solutions

WCDMA FDD is the more widely used solution

FDD: Separate UL and DL frequency band

WCDMA TDD technology is currently used in limited number of networks

TDD: UL and DL separated by time, utilizing same frequency

Both technologies have own dedicated frequency bands

This course concentrates on design principles of WCDMA FDD solution, basic planning principles apply to both technologies

WCDMA FDD technology

Multiple access technology is wideband CDMA (WCDMA)
All cells at same carrier frequency Spreading codes used to separate cells and users Signal bandwidth 3.84 MHz

Multiple carriers can be used to increase capacity

Inter-Frequency functionality to support mobility between frequencies

Compatibility with GSM technology

Inter-System functionality to support mobility between GSM and UMTS

WCDMA Technology
f 5 MHz

WCDMA Carrier
3.84 MHz

Users share same time and frequency

5+5 MHz in FDD mode 5 MHz in TDD mode

Direct Sequence (DS) CDMA


WCDMA 5 MHz, 1 carrier

TDMA (GSM) 5 MHz, 25 carriers

Secuencias de ensanchamiento

Principios de CDMA

CDMA combina 3 secuencias de ensanchamiento para crear un cdigo nico. En el receptor las secuencias se utilizan en el orden inverso que en el emisor Las 3 secuencias son generadas en ambos extremos y necesariamente no son utilizadas simultaneamente

Principios de CDMA

Secuencias de ensanchamiento
Walsh Codes: (64 disponibles)
64 chips de longitud dura 1/19200 Seg Ortogonales mutuamente

PN Short codes: Se usa por pares (I + Q)

Longitud de 215 --- dura 26mS aprox
Se genera en registro de desplazamiento (15 bits)

PN Long Code: 1 disponible

Longitud de 242 --- se repita cada 40 dias
Se genera en un registro de desplazamiento (42 bits)

Principios de CDMA

Funciones Walsh En CDMA cada smbolo es expandido con los 64 chips de los cdigo de Walsh Luego, por cada bit de data se tendrn 64 chips de salida.

Principios de CDMA
Cdigos Offset de Pseudo Ruido (PN Offset)
Son secuencias binarias con caractersticas aleatorias. Si un mismo cdigo PN es cambiado en el tiempo (time offset), se obtienen dos cdigos que son casi ortogonales. Para agregar el offset a un cdigo PN y crear secuencias cuasi ortogonales, se usa un sistema enmascaramiento. Con diferentes time offsets, se lograrn tener varias secuencias cuasi ortogonales.
Generacin de cdigos de pseudo rudo

Seq A: 0010 1011 0011 011

Seq A: 1011 0011 0110 010 4 chips offset

Principios de CDMA
Cdigos Offset de Pseudo Ruido (PN Offset)

Se usan tres cdigos PN en CDMA: 2 Cdigos Cortos y 1 Cdigo largo La secuencia corta PN sequence posee 32,768 bits, utiliza offset de 64 bits y un total de 512 time offsets,
La transmisin toma 26.667 ms por cada ciclo. PN offset se utiliza para identificar las celdas y sectores

Receptor / Correlador CDMA

UMTS & GSM Network Planning



Differences between WCDMA & GSM

High bit rates
Carrier spacing 5 MHz

200 kHz

Frequency reuse factor Power control frequency

Quality control

1 1500 Hz
Radio resource management algorithms

118 2 Hz or lower
Network planning (frequency planning)

Frequency diversity

5 MHz bandwidth gives multipath diversity with Rake receiver Load-based packet scheduling Supported for improving downlink capacity

Frequency hopping

Packet data

Services with Different quality requirement s

Timeslot based scheduling with GPRS Not supported by the standard, but can be applied

Downlink transmit diversity

Efficient packet data

Multiple WCDMA carriers Layered network

1 - 10 km

F3 F2 F2 F3
200 - 500 m 50 - 100 m

Macro BTS

Micro BTS

Pico BTSs

CDMA principle - Chips & Bits & Symbols

Bits (In this drawing, 1 bit = 8 Chips SF=8)


Baseband Data



Spreading Code


Spread Signal



Air Interface
+1 -1



Energy Box
Energy per bit = Eb = const
Originating Bit

Received Bit

Duration (t = 1/Rb) Higher spreading factor Wider frequency band Lower power spectral density BUT Same Energy per Bit

Spreading & Processing Gain

User bit rate
Power density (Watts/Hz)

Unspread narrowband signal

Spread wideband signal


Bandwidth W (3.84 Mchip/sec)

W const 3.84 Mchip

Processing gain:


W G p dB R

Processing Gain Examples

Voice user (R=12,2 kbit/s)

Power density (W/Hz)

Gp=W/R=24.98 dB Spreading sequences have a different length Processing gain depends on the user data rate

Frequency (Hz)

Packet data user (R=384 kbit/s)


Power density (W/Hz)

Gp=W/R=10 dB

Frequency (Hz)

Transmission Power

Power density Frequency

High bit rate user


Low bit rate user


In WCDMA two separate codes are used in the spreading operation
Channelisation code Scrambling code

Channelisation code
DL: separates physical channels of different users and common channels, defines physical channel bit rate UL: separates physical channels of one user, defines physical channel bit rate

Scrambling code
DL: separates cells in same carrier frequency UL: separates users

DL Spreading and Multiplexing in WCDMA

Pilot Radio frame = 15 time slots


BCCH User 1 User 2



User 3 SUM

User 1




User 2


3.84 MHz RF carrier

User 3



3.84 MHz bandwidth

DL & UL Channelisation Codes

Walsh-Hadamard codes: orthogonal variable spreading factor codes (OVSF codes)
SF for the DL transmission in FDD mode = {4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512}

SF for the UL transmission in FDD mode = {4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256}

Good orthogonality properties: cross correlation value for each code pair in the code set equals 0
In theoretical environment users of one cell do not interfere each other in DL In practical multipath environment orthogonality is partly lost Interference between users of same cell

Orthogonal codes are suited for channel separation, where synchronisation between different channels can be guaranteed
Downlink channels under one cell

Uplink channels from a single user

Orthogonal codes have bad auto correlation properties and thus not suited in an asynchronous environment
Scrambling code required to separate signals between cells in DL and users in UL

Channelisation Code Tree

SF= 1 SF= 2 SF= 4
C4(0)=[1111] C8(1)=[1111-1-1-1-1] C2(0)=[11]

SF= 8

C16(0)=[......... ...] C16(1)=[......... ...] C16(2)=[......... ...] C16(3)=[......... ...] C16(4)=[......... ...] C16(5)=[......... ...] C16(6)=[......... ...] C16(7)=[......... ...] C16(8)=[......... ...] C16(9)=[......... ...] C16(10)=[......... ..] C16(11)=[........... ] C16(12)=[....... ....] C16(13=[........ ...] C16(14)=[....... ....] C16(15)=[....... ....]



C8(3)=[11-1-1-1-111] C 0(0)=[1 ]

C8(0)=[1-11-11-11-1] C4(2)=[1-11-1] C8(5)=[1-11-1-11-11]

C2(1)=[1-1] C8(6)=[1-1-111-1-11] C 4(3)=[1-1-11]


Physical Layer Bit Rates (DL)

S preading factor Channel symbol rate (ksps) 7.5 15 30 60 120 240 480 960 2880 Channel bit rate (kbps) 15 30 60 120 240 480 960 1920 5760 DP DCH channel bit rate range (kbps) 36 1224 4251 90 210 432 912 1872 5616 Maximum user data rate with rate coding (approx.) 13 kbps Half rate speech 612 kbps Full rate speech 2024 kbps 45 kbps 105 kbps 128 kbps 215 kbps 384 kbps 456 kbps 936 kbps 2.3 Mbps 2 Mbps

512 256 128 64 32 16 8 4 4, with 3 parallel codes

W RSymbol SF

Rb _ phy 2 RSymbol
(QPSK modulation)

Physical Layer Bit Rates (DL) - HSDPA

3GPP Release 5 standards introduced enhanced DL bit rates with High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology
Shared high bit rate channel between users High peak bit rates Simultaneous usage of up to 15 DL channelisation codes (In HSDPA SF=16) Higher order modulation scheme (16-QAM) Higher bit rate in same band
16-QAM provides 4 bits per symbol 960 kbit/s / code physical channel peak rate

Coding rate Coding rate 1/4
QPSK 2/4

5 codes 600 kbps

1.2 Mbps

10 codes 1.2 Mbps

2.4 Mbps

15 codes 1.8 Mbps

3.6 Mbps

3/4 2/4 16QAM 3/4 4/4

1.8 Mbps 2.4 Mbps 3.6 Mbps 4.8 Mbps

3.6 Mbps 4.8 Mbps 7.2 Mbps 9.6 Mbps

5.4 Mbps 7.2 Mbps 10.7 Mbps 14.4 Mbps

Physical Layer Bit Rates (UL) - HSUPA

3GPP Release 6 standards introduced enhanced UL bit rates with High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSUPA) technology
Fast allocation of available UL capacity for users High peak bit rates Simultaneous usage of up to 2+2 UL channelisation codes (In HSUPA SF=2 4)
Initial expected capability 1.46 Mbps

Coding rate 1/2 3/4 4/4

1 x SF4 480 kbps 720 kbps 960 kbps

2 x SF4 960 kbps 1.46 Mbps 1.92 Mbps

2 x SF2 1.92 Mbps 2.88 Mbps 3.84 Mbps

2 x SF2 + 2 x SF4 2.88 Mbps 4.32 Mbps 5.76 Mbps

DL & UL Scrambling Codes

DL Scrambling Codes Pseudo noise codes used for cell separation
512 Primary Scrambling Codes

UL Scrambling Codes Two different types of UL scrambling codes are generated

Long scrambling codes of length of 38 400 chips = 10 ms radio frame Short scrambling codes of length of 256 chips are periodically repeated to get the scrambling code of the frame length
Short codes enable advanced receiver structures in future

Scrambling Codes & Multipath Propagation

Scrambling code C1


Scrambling code C2

UE has simultaneous connection to two cells (soft handover)

RAKE Receiver
Cell-1 Rx Cell-1 Rx Cell-1 Rx Cell-2 Rx t Delay 1 Code used for the connection Delay 3
Delay 2

Finger Finger Finger Finger


Combination or multipath components and signal from different cells

Channelisation and Scrambling Codes

Channelisation code Usage Uplink: Separation of physical data (DPDCH) and control channels (DPCCH) from same terminal Downlink: Separation of downlink connections to different users within one cell Length 4256 chips (1.066.7 s) Downlink also 512 chips Different bit rates by changing the length of the code Number of codes Number of codes under one scrambling code = spreading factor Orthogonal Variable Spreading Factor Uplink: (1) 10 ms = 38400 chips or (2) 66.7 s = 256 chips Option (2) can be used with advanced base station receivers Downlink: 10 ms = 38400 chips Uplink: 16.8 million Downlink: 512 Long 10 ms code: Gold code Short code: Extended S(2) code family Spreading Yes, increases transmission bandwidth No, does not affect transmission bandwidth Scrambling code Uplink: Separation of mobile Downlink: Separation of sectors (cells)

Code family

Physical, transport and logical channels in the network

Module Contents
Standardisation and frequency bands

Main properties of UMTS Air Interface

Overview of Nokia Radio Resource Management (RRM)
Load control Admission Control Packet Scheduler Resource Manager Power Control Handover Control

Radio Resource Management

RRM is responsible for optimal utilisation of the radio resources:
Transmission power and interference Logical codes

The trade-off between capacity, coverage and quality is done all the time
Minimum required quality for each user (nothing less and nothing more) Maximum number of users

The radio resources are continuously monitored and optimised by several RRM functionalities
service quality
Optimization and Tailoring

cell coverage

cell capacity

RRM Functionalities
LC Load Control


For each cell

AC Admission Control PS Packet Scheduler RM Resource Manager PC Power Control

HC HO Control

For each connection/user

Load Control (LC)

LC performs the function of load control in association with AC & PS LC updates load status using measurements & estimations provided by AC and PS Continuously feeds cell load information to PS and AC;
Interference levels (UL) BTS power level (DL) Load change info Load status



NRT load


Load Control Load Status

Load thresholds set by radio network planning parameters

Overload threshold x Load Target threshold y


Load Margin


Normal load


Free capacity

Measured load

Admission Control (AC)

Checks that admitting a new user will not sacrifice planned coverage or quality of existing connections Admission control handles three main tasks
Admission decision of new connections
Take into account current load conditions (from LC) and load increase by the new connection
Real-time higher priority than non-real time

In overload conditions no new connections admitted

Connection QoS definition

Bit rate, BER target etc.

Connection specific power allocation (Initial, maximum and minimum power)

Packet Scheduler (PS)

PS allocates available capacity after real-time (RT) connections to non-real time (NRT) connections
Each cell separately In overload conditions bit rates of NRT connections decreased

PS selects allocated channel type (common or dedicated) PS relies on up-to-date information from AC and LC Capacity allocated on a needs basis using best effort approach
RT higher priority

How the AC, LC and PS work together

Resource Manager (RM)

Responsible for managing the logical radio resources of the RNC in co-operation with AC and PS On request for resources, from either AC(RT) or PS(NRT), RM allocates:
DL spreading code UL scrambling code

Code Type Scrambling codes

User separation

Downlink Cell separation

Spreading codes Data & control channels from same UE Users within one cell

Power control (PC) in WCDMA

Fast, accurate power control is of utmost importance particularly in UL;
UEs transmit continuously on same frequency Always interference between users Poor PC leads to increased interference reduced capacity

Every UE accessing network increase interference

PC target to minimise the interference Minimize transmit power of each link while still maintaining the link quality (BER)

Mitigates 'near far effect in UL by providing minimum required power for each connection

Power control has to be fast enough to follow changes in propagation conditions (fading)
Step up/down 1500 times/second

Uplink power control target

Minimise required UL received power minimised UL transmit power and interference
Target: min(Prx1) min(Prx2) About equal when Rb1 = Rb2 Ptx1 Ptx1



Power Control types

Power control functionality can be divided to three main types

Open loop power control

Initial power calculation based on DL pilot level/pathloss measurement by UE

Outer (closed) loop power control

Connection quality measurement (BER, BLER) and comparison to QoS target RF quality target (SIR target) setting for fast closed loop PC based on connection quality

Fast closed loop power control

Radio link RF quality (SIR) measurement and comparison to RF quality target (SIR target) Power control command transmission based on RF quality evaluation Change of transmit power according to received power control command

Power Control types

Open Loop Power Control (Initial Access)

Closed Loop Power Control

DL Outer Loop Power Control

UL Outer Loop Power Control


BLER target

Power control in HSPA

In HSDPA (DL) the transmit power from base station is kept constant and the signal modulation and coding is adapted according to the channel conditions
2 ms interval 500 Hz

The power control of HSUPA channels in UL utilise both
Fast closed loop power control Outer loop power control

Both work according to similar principles as the dedicated channel power control

Handover Control (HC)

HC is responsible for:
Managing the mobility aspects of an RRC connection as UE moves around the network coverage area Maintaining high capacity by ensuring UE is always served by strongest cell

Soft handover
MS handover between different base stations

Softer handover
MS handover within one base station but between different sectors

Hard handover
MS handover between different frequencies or between WCDMA and GSM

Soft/softer handover
UE is simultaneously connected to 2 to 3 cells during soft handover Soft handover is performed based on UE cell pilot power measurements and handover thresholds set by radio network planning parameters Radio link performance is improved during soft handover Soft handover consumes base station and transmission resources
BS1 Received signal strength
Soft handover




BS3 Distance from BS1

Hard handover
Hard handovers are typically performed between WCDMA frequencies and between WCDMA and GSM cells GSM/GPRS GSM/GPRS
Inter-System handovers (ISHO)


Inter-Frequency handovers (IFHO)





WCDMA RNC dimensioning

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Evolution of HSPA maximum peak bit rate

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Module 1 WCDMA Fundamentals

Summary Radio interface technology of UMTS is WCDMA with FDD and TDD versions

WCDMA networks can be built on European, US-based and Asian/Japanese frequency bands
WCDMA air interface utilises combination of two spreading codes Radio Resource Management is responsible of efficient utilisation of radio resources while offering required quality of service to users

Sistemas 3G

Sistemas 3G

UMTS network structure

Access Stratum contains the message flows and procedures needed to establish the connection between the MT (mobile terminal) and network (roughly RNC in this case). Serving Stratum handles message flows and procedures where the USIM+MT (same as UE, user equipment) and the network establish a service. Service in this context means, for instance, setting up a bearer for further purposes. These message flows are transferred transparently over the Access Stratum. Application Stratum is the 'layer' handling message flows and procedures related to the user's applications. Hence its scope is wider. For example, the UE has Internet browser and requests a certain URL to be downloaded. The UMTS network only provides the 'pipe' (Serving Stratum), but the real HTML page is downloaded from the Internet service provider.

Sistemas 3G

The network management layers through the network

Sistemas 3G

Relationship between the RAB and the RRC

Sistemas 3G
The radio access bearer (RAB) contains a service connection between the UE and the core network. A subscriber in UMTS may have several RABs and these are combined into a radio resource connection (RRC) across the air interface. There are basically two types of information: the user information and the control information. In the case of the RAB, the data (for instance a voice call or video) is the user plane.

Sistemas 3G

OSI model adaptation to UMTS

Sistemas 3G

Implementation of the transport layers Uu (air) interface

The transport plane of the Uu interface covers the three lowest layers of the OSI stack. Layer 1, the physical layer, uses WCDMA-FDD/TDD technology. The Layer 1 is controlled by Layer 2, the data link layer. The structure of Layer 2 in the Uu interface is a bit exceptional when compared to the other interfaces. Layer 2 has two sublayers in the Uu (air) interface, MAC and RLC. MAC (Medium Access Control) physically implements radio link management, that is, radio link set-up, maintaining the physical radio channel configuration, error protection, encryption and radio link deletion. The functionality of the RLC (Radio Link Control) is similar as in normal Layer 2. This means mainly flow control-related activities like for instance data block sequencing.
The Layer 3 of the Uu interface contains functions needed for the transport plane control. The control entity is called Radio Resource Control (RRC). RRC manages the physical layer and its activities whenever required. If, for instance, a radio link is to be set up, the RRC gives a command to perform this activity. The command is delivered via RLC to MAC, and MAC performs the activity. Finally, the radio link set-up is carried through the Layer 1.

Sistemas 3G

Transport plane in the Uu interface

Sistemas 3G

Iub, Iur and Iu interfaces

Iub transport plane

Iur interface transport plane

Sistemas 3G

Iub, Iur and Iu interfaces

Iu-CS interface transport plane

Iu-PS interface transport plane

Sistemas 3G
Control plane ( Serving Stratum) Iub interface control plane (NBAP - Node B Application Part)
In the Iub interface the control plane is maintained by the signalling protocol NBAP (Node B Application Part). In order to a dapt the NBAP properly on top of the AAL5 (ATM Adaptation Layer 5), some convergence protocols are required.
Note: In this chapter the term convergence protocol(s) means signalling protocols making adaptations between two protocol layers in general.

Iub radio network control plane

Sistemas 3G
Iu interface control plane (RANAP Radio Access Network Application Part)
In the Iu interface the control plane is maintained by the signalling protocol RANAP (Radio Access Network Application Part).

Iu interface control plane

Sistemas 3G

RAB and CN domains

Sistemas 3G

Bearer between the UE and core network circuit domain

Sistemas 3G

Bearer between the UE and core network packet domain

Sistemas 3G
User plane ( Application Stratum)
The user plane signalling takes place between the application(s) of the UE (user) and the destination over the physical connection established over the transport plane by using the facilities the control plane offers. In the Uu interface the user plane consists of the DPDCHs (Dedicated Physical Data Channels) allocated for the connection (and the data they carry, naturally).

Iub user plane

Sistemas 3G

Iu interface user planes for CN circuit and packet domain

Sistemas 3G