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1. What is the difference between LTE and SAE and how is related to E-UTRAN, EPC and EPS?

Solution: LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the work item within 3GPP responsible for the specifications of
the radio access network (RAN), called E-UTRAN. SAE (System Architecture Evolution) is the work item
within 3GPP responsible for the specifications of the core network (CN), called EPC (Evolved Packet
2. How many and which nodes does the user data has to go through in EPS?
Solution: The user data only goes through two nodes (eNB and P/S-GW). In cases when the P-GW and SGW are in separate nodes (after inter MME pool HO) it will be three nodes. This is to be compared to at
least four nodes in Release 6 (NodeB, RNC,SGSN, GGSN).
3. Which node handles mobility in connected mode?
Solution: eNodeB
4. Which node handles mobility in idle mode?
Solution: MME
5. Why is the DL data rate higher than in UL? How much higher is is?
Solution:It is 4 times higher due to that SU-MIMO with Spatial Multiplexing and data rate multiplication is
used in DL. This cannot be used in UL since the UE:s are assumed to only have one tx antenna in the early
6. How is EPS in 3GPP Release 8 simplified compared to Release 6? List at least three things.
Solution: Fewer nodes (no RNC), fewer signaling messages, shorter messages, fewer UE states (IDLE and
Connected), only one idle mode area concept (TA).
7. Which two functions are used for error detection and error correction respectively?
Solution: CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) is used for error detection and FEC (Forward Error Correction)
is used for error correction.
8. Why do we need interleaving?
Solution: Interleaving distributes the bursty errors introduced by the radio channel. This helps the FEC
(Turbo or Convolutional) decoder to correct the errors. The FEC decoder cannot correct too many
consecutive errors.
9. Why is OFDM not used in uplink? Which method is used instead? Mention one benefit with that method
compared to WCDMA uplink.
Solution: OFDM has a high Peak-to-Average-Power-Ratio (PAPR), since it is a sum of many narrowband
signals. SC-FDMA has much lower PAPR and is therefore used in UL. SC-FDMA enables an orthogonal
UL (within the cell) which reduces the UL intra cell interference compared to the non-orthogonal UL in
10. List three radio interface solutions that contribute to the spectrum flexibility?
Solution: Six different bandwidths (1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz),support for TDD, FDD and HD-FDD and
support for deployment in a variety of frequency bands.
11. Which duplex mode is suitable in an unpaired spectrum scenario? What is the drawback with this
duplex mode?
Solution: TDD, which has the drawback of some extra overhead loss due to guard periods at the switching
between DL and UL.

12. How can HD-FDD be beneficial? What is the drawback?

Solution: HD-FDD is useful when the cost of the UE must be kept low. Since the UE does not have to
receive and transmit at the same time with this duplex method, a duplex filter is not needed (compare to
GSM which follows the same principle).
13. What is a resource block?
Solution: A Resource Block (RB) is a time- and frequency resource that occupies 12 subcarriers (12x15
kHz = 180 kHz) and one slot (= 0.5 ms). RBs are allocated in pairs by the scheduler (then referred to as
Scheduling Blocks).
14. What is a tracking area?
Solution: A TA is a set of cells used for idle mode mobility. The UE sends TA update when it moves to a
new TA. The UE can belong to multiple TAs.
1. How is the UE getting information that it is scheduled?
By reading the PDCCH (this is valid for both UL scheduling grants and DL scheduling assignments).
PDCCH contains DCI(DL control information), which indicate 3 different messages:1. Uplink scheduling grants for PUSCH
2. Downlink scheduling assignment for PDSCH
3. TPC command for PUSCH and PUCCH
2. In which node is PDCP located and what are the tasks of that protocol?
PDCP is located in the eNodeB and handles encryption of user data streams and reordering at handover.
Each radio bearer also uses one PDCP instance. PDCP is responsible for header compression (ROHC
Robust Header Compression) and ciphering/deciphering. Obviously header compression makes sense for
IP diagram's, but not for signalling. Thus the PDCP entities for signalling radio bearers will usually do
ciphering/deciphering only.
3. What is a resource block?
A Resource Block (RB) is a time- and frequency resource that occupies 12 subcarriers (12x15 kHz = 180
kHz) and one slot (= 0.5 ms). RBs are allocated in pairs by the scheduler (then referred to as Scheduling

4. What are two radio interface solutions that increase the spectrum efficiency ?
Higher order modulation:-LTE support all types of modulation schemes like QPSK,16 QAM, 64 QAM that
results in high data rate
MIMO:- MIMO increase data rate by doubles in 2*2 and 4 folds in 4*4 case.
5. How large is a Resource Block?
12 subcarriers 15 kHz = 180 kHz in frequency domain and one slot (0.5 ms) in time domain
6. What is the smallest unit the scheduler can allocate? What is the name of that unit?
Two consecutive Resource Blocks (RBs) which is called a Scheduling Block (SB). The duration of it is 1
ms and its called TTI(Transmission Time Interval).
7. Why is the Cyclic Prefix (CP) needed?
In order to reduce the ISI (Inter Symbol Interference) and ICI (Inter Carrier Interference) in time dispersive
Insertion of cyclic prefix prior to transmission improves robustness in time-dispersive channels and
Spectral efficiency loss. The Length of cyclic prefix is 4.7microsec in normal case.The CP is copy of the
last part of the symbol in order to preserve the subcarrier orthogonality. This is possible since the FFT is a

cyclic operation, but it is required that the time dispersion of the radio channel is shorter than the CP

8. List some benefits and drawbacks of OFDM

Benefits: flexible bandwidth usage, frequency diversity, robust against time dispersion, easy to implement
Drawbacks: Sensitive to frequency errors, high PAPR(Peak to Average power ratio), introduces overhead
9. On which physical channel is the MIB sent? On which channel is the SIBs sent?
MIB is sent on PBCH and SIBs on the PDSCH.
MIB(Master information block) is static part of SI is transmitted on the BCH, which in turn is carried by
PBCH. Its transmission period is 40ms.
The MIB contains e.g. number of antennas, system bandwidth, PHICH configuration, transmitted power
and scheduling information on how the SIBs are scheduled together with other data on DL-SCH.
10. How can the uplink be orthogonal within a LTE-cell when WCDMA is not?
The resources within a cell are never allocated on the same frequency at the same time in UL (in DL when
spatial multiplexing is used resources can be allocated simultaneously at the same frequency on different
Which node handles IP point of presence?
The P-GW
2. Which node handles IP address allocation?
The P-GW
3. Which node handles charging per UE and intra LTE mobility anchor?
The S-GW
4. Which node handles subscription data?
The HSS (Home Subscriber Server)
5. Which node handles Authentication, NAS(Non Access Stratum) signaling and paging?
6. What is the Converged Packet Gateway?
A combined P-GW and S-GW (also called SAE GW) based on the SmartEdge 1200 platform.
7. Which node (function) is handled by SAPC?
PCRF(Policy and Charging Rules Function)
8. Why is MME and S-GW pooling used?
There are two main reasons: redundancy and load balancing.
9. How is telephony services typically handled in LTE/SAE?
By IMS and MMTel, where the control logic of the telephony service is handled by the MTAS in the
service layer.

10. Why is the MGW needed?

In order to convert between CS and PS networks.
What is LTE?
LTEi (Long Term Evolution) is initiated by 3GPPi to improve the mobile phone standard to cope with
future technology evolutions and needs.
What is goal of LTE?
The goals for LTE include improving spectral efficiency, lowering costs, improving services, making use of
new spectrum and reformed spectrum opportunities, and better integration with other open standards.
What speed LTE offers?
LTE provides downlink peak rates of at least 100Mbit/s, 50 Mbit/s in the uplink and RAN (Radio Access
Network) round-trip times of less than 10 ms.
What is LTE Advanced?
LTE standards are in matured state now with release 8 frozen. While LTE Advanced is still under works.
Often the LTE standard is seen as 4G standard which is not true. 3.9G is more acceptable for LTE. So
why it is not 4G? Answer is quite simple - LTE does not fulfill all requirements of ITU 4G definition.
Brief History of LTE Advanced: The ITU has introduced the term IMT Advanced to identify mobile
systems whose capabilities go beyond those of IMT 2000. The IMT Advanced systems shall provide bestin-class performance attributes such as peak and sustained data rates and corresponding spectral
efficiencies, capacity, latency, overall network complexity and quality-of-service management. The new
capabilities of these IMT-Advanced systems are envisaged to handle a wide range of supported data rates
with target peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbit/s for high mobility and up to approximately
1 Gbit/s for low mobility.
What is LTE architecture?
The evolved architecture comprises E-UTRAN (Evolved UTRAN) on the access side and EPC (Evolved
Packet Core) on the core side.
What is EUTRAN?
The E-UTRAN (Evolved UTRAN) consists of eNBs, providing the E-UTRA user plane
(PDCP/RLC/MAC/PHY) and control plane (RRC) protocol terminations towards the UE. The eNBs are
interconnected with each other by means of the X2 interface. The eNBs are also connected by means of the
S1 interface to the EPC (Evolved Packet Core), more specifically to the MME (Mobility Management
Entity) by means of the S1-MME and to the Serving Gateway (S-GW) by means of the S1-U.
What are LTE Interfaces?
The following are LTE Interfaces : (Ref: TS 23.401 v 841)

S1-MME :- Reference point for the control plane protocol between E-UTRAN and MME.

S1-U:- Reference point between E-UTRAN and Serving GW for the per bearer user plane
tunnelling and inter eNodeB path switching during handover.

S3:- It enables user and bearer information exchange for inter 3GPP access network mobility in idle
and/or active state.

S4:- It provides related control and mobility support between GPRS Core and the 3GPP Anchor
function of Serving GW. In addition, if Direct Tunnel is not established, it provides the user plane

S5:- It provides user plane tunnelling and tunnel management between Serving GW and PDN GW.
It is used for Serving GW relocation due to UE mobility and if the Serving GW needs to connect to a noncollocated PDN GW for the required PDN connectivity.

S6a:- It enables transfer of subscription and authentication data for authenticating/authorizing user
access to the evolved system (AAA interface) between MME and HSS.

Gx:- It provides transfer of (QoS) policy and charging rules from PCRF to Policy and Charging
Enforcement Function (PCEF) in the PDN GW.

S8:- Inter-PLMN reference point providing user and control plane between the Serving GW in the
VPLMN and the PDN GW in the HPLMN. S8 is the inter PLMN variant of S5.

S9:- It provides transfer of (QoS) policy and charging control information between the Home PCRF
and the Visited PCRF in order to support local breakout function.

S10:- Reference point between MMEs for MME relocation and MME to MME information

S11:- Reference point between MME and Serving GW.

S12:- Reference point between UTRAN and Serving GW for user plane tunnelling when Direct
Tunnel is established. It is based on the Iu-u/Gn-u reference point using the GTP-U protocol as defined
between SGSN and UTRAN or respectively between SGSN and GGSN. Usage of S12 is an operator
configuration option.

S13:- It enables UE identity check procedure between MME and EIR.

SGi:- It is the reference point between the PDN GW and the packet data network. Packet data
network may be an operator external public or private packet data network or an intra operator packet data
network, e.g. for provision of IMS services. This reference point corresponds to Gi for 3GPP accesses.

Rx:- The Rx reference point resides between the AF and the PCRF in the TS 23.203.

SBc:- Reference point between CBC and MME for warning message delivery and control
What are LTE Network elements?
eNB interfaces with the UE and hosts the PHYsical (PHY), Medium Access
Control (MAC), Radio Link Control (RLC), and Packet Data Control
Protocol (PDCP) layers. It also hosts Radio Resource Control (RRC)
functionality corresponding to the control plane. It performs many
functions including radio resource management, admission control,
scheduling, enforcement of negotiated UL QoS, cell information
broadcast, ciphering/deciphering of user and control plane data, and
compression/decompression of DL/UL user plane packet headers.
Mobility Management Entity
manages and stores UE context (for idle state: UE/user identities, UE mobility state, user security
parameters). It generates temporary identities and allocates them to UEs. It checks the authorization
whether the UE may camp on the TA or on the PLMN. It also authenticates the user.
Serving Gateway
The SGW routes and forwards user data packets, while also acting as the mobility anchor for the user plane
during inter-eNB handovers and as the anchor for mobility between LTE and other 3GPP technologies
(terminating S4 interface and relaying the traffic between 2G/3G systems and PDN GW).
Packet Data Network Gateway
The PDN GW provides connectivity to the UE to external packet data networks by being the point of exit
and entry of traffic for the UE. A UE may have simultaneous connectivity with more than one PDN GW for
accessing multiple PDNs. The PDN GW performs policy enforcement, packet filtering for each user,
charging support, lawful Interception
and packet screening.
What are LTE protocols & specifications?
In LTE architecture, core network includes Mobility Management Entity (MME), Serving Gateway
(SGW), Packet Data Network Gateway (PDN GW) where as E-UTRAN has E-UTRAN NodeB (eNB).
See LTE protocols & specifications for specification mappings.
Protocol links are as below

Air Interface Physical Layer

GPRS Tunnelling Protocol User Plane (GTP-U)

GTP-U Transport

Medium Access Control (MAC)

Non-Access-Stratum (NAS) Protocol

Packet Data Convergence Protocol (PDCP)

Radio Link Control (RLC)

Radio Resource Control (RRC)
S1 Application Protocol (S1AP)
S1 layer 1
S1 Signalling Transport
X2 Application Protocol (X2AP)
X2 layer 1
X2 Signalling Transport
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What is VoLGA?
VoLGA stands for "Voice over LTE via Generic Access". The VoLGA service resembles the 3GPP Generic
Access Network (GAN). GAN provides a controller node - the GAN controller (GANC) - inserted between
the IP access network (i.e., the EPS) and the 3GPP core network.
The GAN provides an overlay access between the terminal and the CS core without requiring specific
enhancements or support in the network it traverses. This provides a terminal with a 'virtual' connection to
the core network already deployed by an operator. The terminal and network thus reuse most of the existing
mechanisms, deployment and operational aspects.
What is CS Fallback in LTE?
LTE technology supports packet based services only, however 3GPP does specifies fallback for circuit
switched services as well. To achieve this LTE architecture and network nodes require additional
functionality, this blog is an attempt to provide overview for same.
In LTE architecture, the circuit switched (CS) fallback in EPS enables the provisioning of voice and
traditional CS-domain services (e.g. CS UDI video/ SMS/ LCS/ USSD). To provide these services LTE
reuses CS infrastructure when the UE is served by E UTRAN.
How does LTE Security works?
The following are some of the principles of 3GPP E-UTRAN security based on 3GPP Release 8

The keys used for NAS and AS protection shall be dependent on the algorithm with which they are

The eNB keys are cryptographically separated from the EPC keys used for NAS protection (making
it impossible to use the eNB key to figure out an EPC key).

The AS (RRC and UP) and NAS keys are derived in the EPC/UE from key material that was
generated by a NAS (EPC/UE) level AKA procedure (KASME) and identified with a key identifier

The eNB key (KeNB) is sent from the EPC to the eNB when the UE is entering ECMCONNECTED state (i.e. during RRC connection or S1 context setup).
What is IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)?
The 3GPP IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology provides an architectural framework for delivering
IP based multimedia services. IMS enables telecom service providers to offer a new generation of rich
multimedia services across both circuit switched and packet switched networks. IMS offers access to IP
based services independent of the access network e.g. wireless access (GPRS, 3GPPs UMTS, LTE,
3GPP2s CDMA2000) and fixed networks (TISPANs NGN)
IMS defines a architecture of logical elements using SIP for call signaling between network elements and
Provides a layered approach with defined service, control, and transport planes. Some of IMS high level
requirements are noted below:
The application plane provides an infrastructure for the provision and management of services, subscriber
configuration and identity management and defines standard interfaces to common functionality.

The IMS control plane handles the call related signaling and controls transport plane. Major element of
control plane is the Call Session Control Function (CSCF) , which comprises Proxy-CSCF (P-CSCF),
Interrogating-CSCF (I-CSCF) and Serving-CSCF (S-CSCF). The CSCF (Call/Session Control Function) is
essentially a SIP server.
The IMS transport plane provides a core IP network with access from subscriber device over wireless or
wireline networks.
How does measurements work in LTE?
In LTE E-UTRAN measurements to be performed by a UE for mobility are classified as below

Intra-frequency E-UTRAN measurements

Inter-frequency E-UTRAN measurements

Inter-RAT measurements for UTRAN and GERAN

Inter-RAT measurements of CDMA2000 HRPD or 1xRTT frequencies

What is Automatic Neighbour Relation?
According to 3GPP specifications, the purpose of the Automatic Neighbour Relation (ANR) functionality is
to relieve the operator from the burden of manually managing Neighbor Relations (NRs). This feature
would operators effort to provision.
How does Intra E-UTRAN Handover is performed?
Intra E-UTRAN Handover is used to hand over a UE from a source eNodeB to a target eNodeB using X2
when the MME is unchanged. In the scenario described here Serving GW is also unchanged. The presence
of IP connectivity between the Serving GW and the source eNodeB, as well as between the Serving GW
and the target eNodeB is assumed.
The intra E-UTRAN HO in RRC_CONNECTED state is UE assisted NW controlled HO, with HO
preparation signalling in E-UTRAN.
How does policy control and charging works in LTE?
A important component in LTE network is the policy and charging control (PCC) function that brings
together and enhances capabilities from earlier 3GPP releases to deliver dynamic control of policy and
charging on a per subscriber and per IP flow basis.
LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) EPC includes a PCC architecture that provides support for fine-grained
QoS and enables application servers to dynamically control the QoS and charging requirements of the
services they deliver. It also provides improved support for roaming. Dynamic control over QoS and
charging will help operators monetize their LTE investment by providing customers with a variety of QoS
and charging options when choosing a service.
The LTE PCC functions include:

PCRF (policy and charging rules function) provides policy control and flow based charging control

PCEF (policy and charging enforcement function) implemented in the serving gateway, this
enforces gating and QoS for individual IP flows on the behalf of

the PCRF. It also provides usage measurement to support charging

OCS (online charging system) provides credit management and grants credit to the PCEF based on
time, traffic volume or chargeable events.

OFCS (off-line charging system) receives events from the PCEF and generates charging data
records (CDRs) for the billing system.
Refer following whitepapers for more details.
Introduction to Evolved Packet Core
Policy control and charging for LTE networks
Quality of Service (QoS) and Policy Management in Mobile Data Networks
What is SON & how does it work in LTE?

Self-configuring, self-optimizing wireless networks is not a new concept but as the mobile networks are
evolving towards 4G LTE networks, introduction of self configuring and self optimizing mechanisms is
needed to minimize operational efforts. A self optimizing function would increase network performance
and quality reacting to dynamic processes in the network.
This would minimize the life cycle cost of running a network by eliminating manual configuration of
equipment at the time of deployment, right through to dynamically optimizing radio network performance
during operation. Ultimately it will reduce the unit cost and retail price of wireless data services.
How does Network Sharing works in LTE?
3GPP network sharing architecture allows different core network operators to connect to a shared radio
access network. The operators do not only share the radio network elements, but may also share the radio
resources themselves.
How does Timing Advance (TA) works in LTE?
In LTE, when UE wish to establish RRC connection with eNB, it transmits a Random Access Preamble,
eNB estimates the transmission timing of the terminal based on this. Now eNB transmits a Random Access
Response which consists of timing advance command, based on that UE adjusts the terminal transmit
The timing advance is initiated from E-UTRAN with MAC message that implies and adjustment of the
timing advance.
How does LTE UE positioning works in E-UTRAN?
UE Positioning function is required to provide the mechanisms to support or assist the calculation of the
geographical position of a UE. UE position knowledge can be used, for example, in support of Radio
Resource Management functions, as well as location-based services for operators, subscribers, and thirdparty service providers.
How many operators have committed for LTE?
List of operators committed for LTE has been compiled by 3GAmericas from Informa Telecoms & Media
and public announcements. It includes a variety of commitment levels including intentions to trial, deploy,
migrate, etc.
What is Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC)?
Along with LTE introduction, 3GPP also standardized Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) in
Release 8 specifications to provide seamless continuity when an UE handovers from LTE coverage (EUTRAN) to UMTS/GSM coverage (UTRAN/GERAN). With SRVCC, calls are anchored in IMS network
while UE is capable of transmitting/receiving on only one of those access networks at a given time.
How does Location Service (LCS) work in LTE network?
In the LCS architecture, an Evolved SMLC is directly attached to the MME. The objectives of this
evolution is to support location of an IMS emergency call, avoid impacts to a location session due to an
inter-eNodeB handover, make use of an Evolved and support Mobile originated location request (MO-LR)
and mobile terminated location request MT-LR services.
Release 9 LCS solution introduces new interfaces in the EPC:

SLg between the GMLC and the MME

SLs between the E-SMLC and the MME

Diameter-based SLh between the HSS and the HGMLC

How does Lawful Interception works in LTE Evolved Packet System?
3GPP Evolved Packet System (EPS) provides IP based services. Hence, EPS is responsible only for IP
layer interception of Content of Communication (CC) data. In addition to CC data, the Lawful Interception
(LI) solution for EPS offers generation of Intercept Related Information (IRI) records from respective
control plane (signalling) messages as well.
What is carrier aggregation in LTE-Advanced?

To meet LTE-Advanced requirements, support of wider transmission bandwidths is required than the 20
MHz bandwidth specified in 3GPP Release 8/9. The preferred solution to this is carrier aggregation.
It is of the most distinct features of 4G LTE-Advanced. Carrier aggregation allows expansion of effective
bandwidth delivered to a user terminal through concurrent utilization of radio resources across multiple
carriers. Multiple component carriers are aggregated to form a larger overall transmission bandwidth.
What is Relay Node and how does Relaying works in LTE-Advanced?
For efficient heterogeneous network planning, 3GPP LTE-Advanced has introduced concept of Relay
Nodes (RNs). The Relay Nodes are low power eNodeBs that provide enhanced coverage and capacity at
cell edges. One of the main benefits of relaying is to provide extended LTE coverage in targeted areas at
low cost.
The Relay Node is connected to the Donor eNB (DeNB) via radio interface, Un, a modified version of EUTRAN air interface Uu. Donor eNB also srves its own UE as usual, in addition to sharing its radio
resources for Relay Nodes.
Question 1: Which of the following scenarios would produce the highest user data rate?
a. 16 QAM, Coding rate 95%, 2X2 MIMO
b. 64 QAM, Coding rate 95%, 2X2 MIMO
c. 64 QAM, Coding rate 33%, 2X2 MIMO
d. 64 QAM, Coding rate 33%, Tx Diversity
Question 2: What is the maximum theoretical user data rate in a LTE network with a 5 MHz channel
a. 1.1 Mbps
b. 1.7 Mbps
c. 42.5 Mbps
d. 170 Mbps
Question 3: Which of the following number of LTE RBs could NOT be allocated to a UE in the uplink?
a. 1
b. 4
c. 7
d. 9
Question 4: What would be the peak uplink rate at the MAC layer of a UE using 25 RBs, 64 QAM and a
coding rate of 95%?
a. 10 Mbps
b. 20 Mbps
c. 40 Mbps
d. 50 Mbps
Question 5: Which of the following LTE traffic types DOES NOT use TCP?
a. Web browsing
b. Email
c. Video Streaming
d. Voice
Question 6: Which TCP port does a server listen to for FTP accesses?
a. Port 1.
b. Port 20.
c. Port 21.
d. Port 80.

Question 7: Which of the following criteria are regarded as acceptable for voice over LTE?
a.Tr <80 msec and lost/delayed blocks <10 %
b.Tr <80 msec and lost/delayed blocks <1 %
c.Tr <10 msec and lost/delayed blocks <8 %
d.Tr <10 msec and lost/delayed blocks <1 %
Question 8: In an LTE system if high interference is at the edge of the bands then which channel below is
expected to get impacted the most?
Question 9: What is the maximum value of RSRQ that can be reported by UE ?
A. 0 db
B. -3dBm
C. +3dBm
D. -1 dBm
Question 10: The NAS messages are exchanged between?
A. UE and enode B
B. UE and MME
C. MME and SGw
D. enode B and MME
Question 11: Which of the SIB contains information necessary for the UE to camp on a cell ?
Question 12: The UE Context on the enodeB can be torn down by?
Question 13: Which Link connects one MME to another MME?
A. S11
B. S10
C. S1
D. S4
Question 14: What is the main drawback of using TCP for real time applications?
A. Incurs costs to the operators
B. Due to its handshake behavior, it is not suited for real time applications - More delay, Loss etc
C. TCP does not support QoS mechanism
D. All of the above