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LTE is gaining pace as the days pass by and everyday we hear some sort of milestone achieved by some company

towards
the ultimate aim of LTE product. RRC is one of the main components of Layer in the LTE protocol stack just as it was in
UMTS. Certainly LTE RRC looks simpler in terms of the no of states and off course the length of the RRC document. Below
are some of the important changes in LTE RRC and its difference with the UMTS system.

RRC State: In LTE there is only 2 RRC states i.e. RRC_IDLE and RRC_CONNECTED whereas in UMTS system RRC has a 5
state i.e. IDLE, CELL_FACH, CELL_DCH, CELL_PCH and URA_PCH. One of the reasons why we dont have CELL_FACH and
CELL_DCH state is because there is no concept of common and dedicated transport channel in LTE. In LTE the data
transfer will be done through the defined shared transport channel. Therefore this will simplifies the RRC State machine
handling and improves RRC performance. This will also simplify the RRM algorithm which decides RRC states.

Signalling Radio Bearers: In LTE there is only three SRB is defined i.e. SRB0, SRB1 and SRB2 whereas in UMTS system RRC
has 4 SRBs i.e. SRB0, SRB1, SRB2 and SRB3 (optional).
SRB 0: In LTE SRB 0 use RLC TM entity over CCCH logical channel in DL whereas in UMTS system it SRB 0 is sent on RLC UM
entity over CCCH logical channel in DL.

MAC entity: In LTE there is only one MAC entity which needs to configured whereas in UMTS system there is 4 different
MAC entity based on different type of transport channel i.e MAC-d (DCH), MAC-c/sh (FACH, DSCH), MAC-hs (HS-DSCH) and
MAC-e (E-DCH). In UMTS system the state machine which is handling MAC configuration is quite complex. During state
transition from CELL_FACH to CELL_DCH or CELL_DCH to CELL_FACH lots of signalling was involved. In LTE, since there is
only one MAC entity which is easier and simple to configure and thus have very simple State Machine.

Radio Bearer mapping: In LTE Radio bearer mapping would be much simpler than the UMTS system because of there is no
common and transport channel defined in LTE.
In LTE there is no RRC connection mobility defined like cell update and URA update.

Domain Identity: In LTE, there is only one domain identity i.e. PS domain and which is implicit no need to specify
anywhere in signalling unlike UMTS system which has CS domain and PS domain. Because of a single domain in LTE the
signalling overhead and complexity in RRC design has been reduced.

System Broadcast Information: In LTE, MIB includes a limited number of most frequently transmitted parameters and SIB
Type 1 containing the scheduling information that mainly indicates when the SI messages are transmitted where as in
UMTS system, MIB includes the frequently transmitted parameters was well as scheduling information.

Channels: In LTE RRC there is no need to define the downlink transport channel configuration in the RRC Reconfiguration
message as it uses only shared channel. This will reduce signalling message size effectively. All DL-SCH transport channel
information is broadcasted in system information.
Power Consumption: The above point introduces another very critical feature of DRX calculation since all DL data is on
the shared channel. E-NB can tell the UE when to decode/listen over the radio frame. This will optimize UE power
consumption.

Paging Type: Since there is no CELL_FACH and CELL_DCH state in LTE there is only one type of paging required where as
in UMTS system there is two type of paging defined.
Reconfiguration: In LTE there is only one reconfiguration message to reconfigure all logical, transport and physical
channel where as in UMTS system there are number of reconfiguration message i.e. RB reconfiguration , TRCH
configuration, PHY configuration. Thus there is less signalling message or overhead in LTE for the reconfiguration.

Reduced Latency: Since there is no RNC or NBAP protocol in LTE, this reduces the latency of the RRC connection
establishment and RB management procedure.
Single UE identity: Since there is only one shared MAC entity, there is no need to define URNTI, ERNTI, HRNTI, SRNTI etc
in LTE.

No Activation time: In LTE, there in no need to define activation time. Because of this there are lots of synchronizing
complexity in 3G-RNC systems i.e. Synchronizing Radio link procedure based on activation time, synchronizing between
the various MAC entity. This reduces significantly latency during establishment and reconfiguration of radio bearers.
RRC State: In LTE, there in no need to specify the RRC State in RRC message.

CQI Reporting: For network control mobility, there is one feature which become very important and critical i.e. CQI
Reporting. As in LTE the CQI reporting should be fast and correct for taking decision for mobility.

Signalling connection release: There is no signalling connection release procedure in LTE, since there is only one domain
i.e. PS domain. Also the UE context is shared between the MME and ENB and if UE is active in ENB then it should be active
in MME also.