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4G LTE Advanced Tutorial

- overview, information, tutorial about the basics of LTE Advanced, the 4G technology being
called IMT Advanced being developed under 3GPP.

LTE Advanced Tutorial

Carrier Aggregation

Coordinated Multipoint - CoMP

LTE Relay


LTE HetNet

See also


With the standards definitions now available for LTE, the Long Term Evolution of the 3G services, eyes are now turning
towards the next development, that of the truly 4G technology named IMT Advanced. The new technology being developed
under the auspices of 3GPP to meet these requirements is often termed LTE Advanced.

In order that the cellular telecommunications technology is able to keep pace with technologies that may compete, it is
necessary to ensure that new cellular technologies are being formulated and developed. This is the reasoning behind
starting the development of the new LTE Advanced systems, proving the technology and developing the LTE Advanced

In order that the correct solution is adopted for the 4G system, the ITU-R (International Telecommunications Union -
Radiocommunications sector) has started its evaluation process to develop the recommendations for the terrestrial
components of the IMT Advanced radio interface. One of the main competitors for this is the LTE Advanced solution.

One of the key milestones is October 2010 when the ITU-R decides the framework and key characteristics for the IMT
Advanced standard. Before this, the ITU-R will undertake the evaluation of the various proposed radio interface technologies
of which LTE Advanced is a major contender.
Key milestones for ITU-R IMT Advanced evaluation
The ITU-R has set a number of milestones to ensure that the evaluation of IMT Advanced technologies occurs in a timely
fashion. A summary of the main milestones is given below and this defines many of the overall timescales for the
development of IMT Advanced and in this case LTE Advanced as one of the main technologies to be evaluated.


Issue invitation to propose Radio Interface Technologies. March 2008
ITU date for cut-off for submission of proposed Radio Interface Technologies. October 2009
Cutoff date for evaluation report to ITU. June 2010
Decision on framework of key characteristics of IMT Advanced Radio Interface Technologies. October 2010
Completion of development of radio interface specification recommendations. February 2011

LTE Advanced development history

With 3G technology established, it was obvious that the rate of development of cellular technology should not slow. As a
result initial ideas for the development of a new 4G system started to be investigated. In one early investigation which took
place on 25 December 2006 with information released to the press on 9 February 2007, NTT DoCoMo detailed information
about trials in which they were able to send data at speeds up to approximately 5 Gbit/s in the downlink within a 100MHz
bandwidth to a mobile station moving at 10km/h. The scheme used several technologies to achieve this including variable
spreading factor spread orthogonal frequency division multiplex, MIMO, multiple input multiple output, and maximum
likelihood detection. Details of these new 4G trials were passed to 3GPP for their consideration

In 2008 3GPP held two workshops on IMT Advanced, where the "Requirements for Further Advancements for E-UTRA"
were gathered. The resulting Technical Report 36.913 was then published in June 2008 and submitted to the ITU-R defining
the LTE-Advanced system as their proposal for IMT-Advanced.

The development of LTE Advanced / IMT Advanced can be seen to follow and evolution from the 3G services that were
developed using UMTS / W-CDMA technology.


Max downlink speed 384 k 14 M 28 M 100M 1G
Max uplink speed 128 k 5.7 M 11 M 50 M 500 M
Latency 150 ms 100 ms 50ms (max) ~10 ms less than 5 ms
round trip time
3GPP releases Rel 99/4 Rel 5 / 6 Rel 7 Rel 8 Rel 10
Approx years of initial roll out 2003 / 4 2005 / 6 HSDPA 2008 / 9 2009 / 10 2014 / 15
2007 / 8 HSUPA

LTE Advanced is not the only candidate technology. WiMAX is also there, offering very high data rates and high levels of
mobility. However it now seems less likely that WiMAX will be adopted as the 4G technology, with LTE Advanced appearing
to be better positioned.

LTE Advanced key features

With work starting on LTE Advanced, a number of key requirements and key features are coming to light. Although not fixed
yet in the specifications, there are many high level aims for the new LTE Advanced specification. These will need to be
verified and much work remains to be undertaken in the specifications before these are all fixed. Currently some of the main
headline aims for LTE Advanced can be seen below:
1. Peak data rates: downlink - 1 Gbps; uplink - 500 Mbps.
2. Spectrum efficiency: 3 times greater than LTE.

3. Peak spectrum efficiency: downlink - 30 bps/Hz; uplink - 15 bps/Hz.

4. Spectrum use: the ability to support scalable bandwidth use and spectrum aggregation where non-contiguous
spectrum needs to be used.

5. Latency: from Idle to Connected in less than 50 ms and then shorter than 5 ms one way for individual packet

6. Cell edge user throughput to be twice that of LTE.

7. Average user throughput to be 3 times that of LTE.

8. Mobility: Same as that in LTE

9. Compatibility: LTE Advanced shall be capable of interworking with LTE and 3GPP legacy systems.

These are many of the development aims for LTE Advanced. Their actual figures and the actual implementation of them will
need to be worked out during the specification stage of the system.

LTE Advanced technologies

There are a number of key technologies that will enable LTE Advanced to achieve the high data throughput rates that are
required. MIMO and OFDM are two of the base technologies that will be enablers. Along with these there are a number of
other techniques and technologies that will be employed.

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex, OFDM OFDM forms the basis of the radio bearer. Along with it there
is OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) along with SC-FDMA (Single Channel Orthogonal
Frequency Division Multiple Access). These will be used in a hybrid format. However the basis for all of these
access schemes is OFDM.

Note on OFDM:

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex (OFDM) is a form of transmission that uses a large number of close spaced carriers that are

modulated with low rate data. Normally these signals would be expected to interfere with each other, but by making the signals orthogonal

to each other there is no mutual interference. The data to be transmitted is split across all the carriers to give resilience against selective

fading from multi-path effects..

Click on the link for an OFDM tutorial

Multiple Input Multiple Output, MIMO: One of the other key enablers for LTE Advanced that is common to LTE
is MIMO. This scheme is also used by many other technologies including WiMAX and Wi-Fi - 802.11n. MIMO -
Multiple Input Multiple Output enables the data rates achieved to be increased beyond what the basic radio bearer
would normally allow.
Note on MIMO:

Two major limitations in communications channels can be multipath interference, and the data throughput limitations as a result of

Shannon's Law. MIMO provides a way of utilising the multiple signal paths that exist between a transmitter and receiver to significantly

improve the data throughput available on a given channel with its defined bandwidth. By using multiple antennas at the transmitter and

receiver along with some complex digital signal processing, MIMO technology enables the system to set up multiple data streams on the

same channel, thereby increasing the data capacity of a channel.

Click on the link for a MIMO tutorial

For LTE Advanced, the use of MIMO is likely to involve further and more advanced techniques including the use of
additional antennas in the matrix to enable additional paths to be used, although as the number of antennas
increases, the overhead increases and the return per additional path is less.

In additional to the numbers of antennas increasing, it is likely that techniques such as beamforming may be used
to enable the antenna coverage to be focused where it is needed.

Carrier Aggregation, CA: As many operators do not have sufficient contiguous spectrum to provide the required
bandwidths for the very high data rates, a scheme known as carrier aggregation has been developed. Using this
technology operators are able to utilise multiple channels either in the same bands or different areas of the
spectrum to provide the required bandwidth. Read more about Carrier Aggregation, CA

Coordinated Multipoint : One of the key issues with many cellular systems is that of poor performance at the
cell edges. Interference from adjacent cells along with poor signal quality lead to a reduction in data rates. For
LTE-Advanced a scheme known as coordinated multipoint has been introduced. Read more aboutCoordinated
Multipoint, CoMP

LTE Relaying: LTE relaying is a scheme that enables signals to be forwarded by remote stations from a main
base station to improve coverage. Read more about LTE Relaying

Device to Device, D2D: LTE D2D is a facility that has been requested by a number of users, in particular the
emergency services. It enables fast swift access via direct communication - a facility that is essential for the
emergency services when they may be on the scene of an incident. Read more about Device to Device

With data rates rising well above what was previously available, it will be necessary to ensure that the core network is
updated to meet the increasing requirements. It is therefore necessary to further improve the system architecture.

These and other technologies will be used with LTE Advanced to provide the very high data rates that are being sought
along with the other performance characteristics that are needed. . . . . . . . . . .

LTE CA: Carrier Aggregation Tutorial

- 4G LTE Advanced CA, carrier aggregation or channel aggregation enables multiple LTE
carriers to be used together to provide the high data rates required for 4G LTE Advanced.
LTE Advanced Tutorial

Carrier Aggregation

Coordinated Multipoint - CoMP

LTE Relay


LTE HetNet

See also


LTE Advanced offers considerably higher data rates than even the initial releases of LTE. While the spectrum usage
efficiency has been improved, this alone cannot provide the required data rates that are being headlined for 4G LTE

To achieve these very high data rates it is necessary to increase the transmission bandwidths over those that can be
supported by a single carrier or channel. The method being proposed is termed carrier aggregation, CA, or sometimes
channel aggregation. Using LTE Advanced carrier aggregation, it is possible to utilise more than one carrier and in this way
increase the overall transmission bandwidth.

These channels or carriers may be in contiguous elements of the spectrum, or they may be in different bands.

Spectrum availability is a key issue for 4G LTE. In many areas only small bands are available, often as small as 10 MHz. As
a result carrier aggregation over more than one band is contained within the specification, although it does present some
technical challenges.

Carrier aggregation is supported by both formats of LTE, namely the FDD and TDD variants. This ensures that both FDD
LTE and TDD LTE are able to meet the high data throughput requirements placed upon them.

LTE carrier aggregation basics

The target figures for data throughput in the downlink is 1 Gbps for 4G LTE Advanced. Even with the improvements in
spectral efficiency it is not possible to provide the required headline data throughput rates within the maximum 20 MHz
channel. The only way to achieve the higher data rates is to increase the overall bandwidth used. IMT Advanced sets the
upper limit at 100 MHz, but with an expectation of 40 MHz being used for minimum performance. For the future it is possible
the top limit of 100 MHz could be extended.

It is well understood that spectrum is a valuable commodity, and it takes time to re-assign it from one use to another in view -
the cost of forcing users to move is huge as new equipment needs to be bought. Accordingly as sections of the spectrum fall
out of use, they can be re-assigned. This leads to significant levels of fragmentation.

To an LTE terminal, each component carrier appears as an LTE carrier, while an LTE-Advanced terminal can exploit the total
aggregated bandwidth.

RF aspects of carrier aggregation

There are a number of ways in which LTE carriers can be aggregated:

Types of LTE carrier aggregation

Intra-band: This form of carrier aggregation uses a single band. There are two main formats for this type of
carrier aggregation:

o Contiguous: The Intra-band contiguous carrier aggregation is the easiest form of LTE carrier
aggregation to implement. Here the carriers are adjacent to each other.

Contiguous aggregation of two uplink component carriers

The aggregated channel can be considered by the terminal as a single enlarged channel from the RF
viewpoint. In this instance, only one transceiver is required within the terminal or UE, whereas more are
required where the channels are not adjacent. However as the RF bandwidth increases it is necessary to
ensure that the UE in particular is able to operate over such a wide bandwidth without a reduction in
performance. Although the performance requirements are the same for the base station, the space,
power consumption, and cost requirements are considerably less stringent, allowing greater flexibility in
the design. Additionally for the base station, multi-carrier operation, even if non-aggregated, is already a
requirement in many instances, requiring little or no change to the RF elements of the design. Software
upgrades would naturally be required to cater for the additional capability.
o Non-contiguous: Non-contiguous intra-band carrier aggregation is somewhat more complicated than the
instance where adjacent carriers are used. No longer can the multi-carrier signal be treated as a single
signal and therefore two transceivers are required. This adds significant complexity, particularly to the UE
where space, power and cost are prime considerations.

Inter-band non-contiguous: This form of carrier aggregation uses different bands. It will be of particular use
because of the fragmentation of bands - some of which are only 10 MHz wide. For the UE it requires the use of
multiple transceivers within the single item, with the usual impact on cost, performance and power. In addition to
this there are also additional complexities resulting from the requirements to reduce intermodulation and cross
modulation from the two transceivers

The current standards allow for up to five 20 MHz carriers to be aggregated, although in practice two or three is likely to be
the practical limit. These aggregated carriers can be transmitted in parallel to or from the same terminal, thereby enabling a
much higher throughput to be obtained.

Carrier aggregation bandwidths

When aggregating carriers for an LTE signal, there are several definitions required for the bandwidth of the combined
channels. As there as several bandwidths that need to be described, it is necessary to define them to reduce confusion.

LTE Carrier Aggregation Bandwidth Definitions for Intra-Band Case

LTE carrier aggregation bandwidth classes

There is a total of six different carrier aggregation, CA bandwidth classes which are being defined.


A 100 1
B 100 2
C 100 - 200 2

NB: classes D, E, & F are in the study phase.

LTE aggregated carriers

When carriers are aggregated, each carrier is referred to as a component carrier. There are two categories:

Primary component carrier: This is the main carrier in any group. There will be a primary downlink carrier and
an associated uplink primary component carrier.

Secondary component carrier: There may be one or more secondary component carriers.

There is no definition of which carrier should be used as a primary component carrier - different terminals may use different
carriers. The configuration of the primary component carrier is terminal specific and will be determined according to the
loading on the various carriers as well as other relevant parameters.

In addition to this the association between the downlink primary carrier and the corresponding uplink primary component
carrier is cell specific. Again there are no definitions of how this must be organised. The information is signalled to the
terminal of user equipment as part of the overall signalling between the terminal and the base station.

Carrier aggregation cross carrier scheduling

When LTE carrier aggregation is used, it is necessary to be able to schedule the data across the carriers and to inform the
terminal of the DCI rates for the different component carriers. This information may be implicit, or it may be explicit
dependent upon whether cross carrier scheduling is used.

Enabling of the cross carrier scheduling is achieved individually via the RRC signalling on a per component carrier basis or a
per terminal basis.

When no cross carrier scheduling is arranged, the downlink scheduling assignments achieved on a per carrier basis, i.e.
they are valid for the component carrier on which they were transmitted.

For the uplink, an association is created between one downlink component carrier and an uplink component carrier. In this
way when uplink grants are sent the terminal or UE will know to which uplink component carrier they apply.

Where cross carrier scheduling is active, the PDSCH on the downlink or the PUSCH on the uplink is transmitted on an
associate component carrier other than the PDCCH, the carrier indicator in the PDCCH provides the information about the
component carrier used for the PDSCH or PUSCH.

It is necessary to be able to indicate to which component carrier in any aggregation scheme a grant relates. To facilitate this,
component carriers are numbered. The primary component carrier is numbered zero, for all instances, and the different
secondary component carriers are assigned a unique number through the UE specific RRC signalling. This means that even
if the terminal or user equipment and the base station, eNodeB may have different understandings of the component carrier
numbering during reconfiguration, transmissions on the primary component carrier can be scheduled.

4G LTE CoMP, Coordinated Multipoint Tutorial

- 4G LTE Advanced CoMP, coordinated multipoint is used to send and receive data to and from
a UE from several points to ensure the optimum performance is achieved even at cell edges.

LTE Advanced Tutorial

Carrier Aggregation

Coordinated Multipoint - CoMP

LTE Relay


LTE HetNet

See also


LTE CoMP or Coordinated Multipoint is a facility that is being developed for LTE Advanced - many of the facilities are still
under development and may change as the standards define the different elements of CoMP more specifically.

LTE Coordinated Multipoint is essentially a range of different techniques that enable the dynamic coordination of
transmission and reception over a variety of different base stations. The aim is to improve overall quality for the user as well
as improving the utilisation of the network.

Essentially, LTE Advanced CoMP turns the inter-cell interference, ICI, into useful signal, especially at the cell borders where
performance may be degraded.

Over the years the importance of inter-cell interference, ICI has been recognised, and various techniques used from the
days of GSM to mitigate its effects. Here interference averaging techniques such as frequency hopping were utilised.
However as technology has advanced, much tighter and more effective methods of combating and utilising the interference
have gained support.


The concepts for Coordinated Multipoint, CoMP, have been the focus of many studies by 3GPP for LTE-Advanced as well as
the IEEE for their WiMAX, 802.16 standards. For 3GPP there are studies that have focussed on the techniques involved, but
no conclusion has been reached regarding the full implementation of the scheme. However basic concepts have been
established and these are described below.

CoMP has not been included in Rel.10 of the 3GPP standards, but as work is on-going, CoMP is likely to reach a greater
level of consensus. When this occurs it will be included in future releases of the standards.

Despite the fact that Rel.10 does not provide any specific support for CoMP, some schemes can be implemented in LTE
Rel.10 networks in a proprietary manner. This may enable a simpler upgrade when standardisation is finally agreed.

LTE CoMP - the advantages

Although LTE Advanced CoMP, Coordinated Multipoint is a complex set of techniques, it brings many advantages to the user
as well as the network operator.

Makes better utilisation of network: By providing connections to several base stations at once, using CoMP,
data can be passed through least loaded base stations for better resource utilisation.

Provides enhanced reception performance: Using several cell sites for each connection means that overall
reception will be improved and the number of dropped calls should be reduced.

Multiple site reception increases received power: The joint reception from multiple base stations or sites using
LTE Coordinated Multipoint techniques enables the overall received power at the handset to be increased.

Interference reduction: By using specialised combining techniques it is possible to utilise the interference
constructively rather than destructively, thereby reducing interference levels.

What is LTE CoMP? - the basics

Coordinated multipoint transmission and reception actually refers to a wide range of techniques that enable dynamic
coordination or transmission and reception with multiple geographically separated eNBs. Its aim is to enhance the overall
system performance, utilise the resources more effectively and improve the end user service quality.

One of the key parameters for LTE as a whole, and in particular 4G LTE Advanced is the high data rates that are achievable.
These data rates are relatively easy to maintain close to the base station, but as distances increase they become more
difficult to maintain.

Obviously the cell edges are the most challenging. Not only is the signal lower in strength because of the distance from the
base station (eNB), but also interference levels from neighbouring eNBs are likely to be higher as the UE will be closer to

4G LTE CoMP, Coordinated Multipoint requires close coordination between a number of geographically separated eNBs.
They dynamically coordinate to provide joint scheduling and transmissions as well as proving joint processing of the
received signals. In this way a UE at the edge of a cell is able to be served by two or more eNBs to improve signals
reception / transmission and increase throughput particularly under cell edge conditions.

Concept of LTE Advanced CoMP - Coordinated Multipoint

In essence, 4G LTE CoMP, Coordinated Multipoint falls into two major categories:

Joint processing: Joint processing occurs where there is coordination between multiple entities - base stations -
that are simultaneously transmitting or receiving to or from UEs.

Coordinated scheduling or beamforming: This often referred to as CS/CB (coordinated scheduling /

coordinated beamforming) is a form of coordination where a UE is transmitting with a single transmission or
reception point - base station. However the communication is made with an exchange of control among several
coordinated entities.

To achieve either of these modes, highly detailed feedback is required on the channel properties in a fast manner so that the
changes can be made. The other requirement is for very close coordination between the eNBs to facilitate the combination
of data or fast switching of the cells.

The techniques used for coordinated multipoint, CoMP are very different for the uplink and downlink. This results from the
fact that the eNBs are in a network, connected to other eNBs, whereas the handsets or UEs are individual elements.

Downlink LTE CoMP

The downlink LTE CoMP requires dynamic coordination amongst several geographically separated eNBs transmitting to the
UE. The two formats of coordinated multipoint can be divided for the downlink:

Joint processing schemes for transmitting in the downlink : Using this element of LTE CoMP, data is
transmitted to the UE simultaneously from a number of different eNBs. The aim is to improve the received signal
quality and strength. It may also have the aim of actively cancelling interference from transmissions that are
intended for other UEs.

This form of coordinated multipoint places a high demand onto the backhaul network because the data to be
transmitted to the UE needs to be sent to each eNB that will be transmitting it to the UE. This may easily double or
triple the amount of data in the network dependent upon how many eNBs will be sending the data. In addition to
this, joint processing data needs to be sent between all eNBs involved in the CoMP area.

Coordinated scheduling and or beamforming: Using this concept, data to a single UE is transmitted from one
eNB. The scheduling decisions as well as any beams are coordinated to control the interference that may be

The advantage of this approach is that the requirements for coordination across the backhaul network are
considerably reduced for two reasons:

o UE data does not need to be transmitted from multiple eNBs, and therefore only needs to be directed to
one eNB.

o Only scheduling decisions and details of beams needs to be coordinated between multiple eNBs.

Uplink LTE CoMP

Joint reception and processing: The basic concept behind this format is to utilise antennas at different sites. By
coordinating between the different eNBs it is possible to form a virtual antenna array. The signals received by the
eNBs are then combined and processed to produce the final output signal. This technique allows for signals that
are very low in strength, or masked by interference in some areas to be receiving with few errors.

The main disadvantage with this technique is that large amounts of data need to be transferred between the eNBs
for it to operate.

Coordinated scheduling: This scheme operates by coordinating the scheduling decisions amongst the ENBs to
minimise interference.

As in the case of the downlink, this format provides a much reduced load in the backhaul network because only the
scheduling data needs to be transferred between the different eNBs that are coordinating with each other.

Overall requirements for LTE CoMP

One of the key requirements for LTE is that it should be able to provide a very low level of latency. The additional processing
required for multiple site reception and transmission could add significantly to any delays. This could result from the need for
the additional processing as well as the communication between the different sites.

To overcome this, it is anticipated that the different sites may be connected together in a form of centralised RAN, or C-RAN.

4G LTE Advanced Relay

- 4G LTE Advanced relay technology, how LTE relaying works and details about relay nodes,

LTE Advanced Tutorial

Carrier Aggregation

Coordinated Multipoint - CoMP

LTE Relay


LTE HetNet

See also


Relaying is one of the features being proposed for the 4G LTE Advanced system. The aim of LTE relaying is to enhance
both coverage and capacity.
The idea of relays is not new, but LTE relays and LTE relaying is being considered to ensure that the optimum performance
is achieved to enable the expectations of the users to be met while still keeping OPEX within the budgeted bounds.

Need for LTE relay technology

One of the main drivers for the use of LTE is the high data rates that can be achieved. However all technologies suffer from
reduced data rates at the cell edge where signal levels are lower and interference levels are typically higher.

The use of technologies such as MIMO, OFDM and advanced error correction techniques improve throughput under many
conditions, but do not fully mitigate the problems experienced at the cell edge.

As cell edge performance is becoming more critical, with some of the technologies being pushed towards their limits, it is
necessary to look at solutions that will enhance performance at the cell edge for a comparatively low cost. One solution that
is being investigated and proposed is that of the use of LTE relays.

LTE relay basics

LTE relaying is different to the use of a repeater which re-broadcasts the signal. A relay will actually receive, demodulates
and decodes the data, apply any error correction, etc to it and then re-transmitting a new signal. In this way, the signal
quality is enhanced with an LTE relay, rather than suffering degradation from a reduced signal to noise ratio when using a

For an LTE relay, the UEs communicate with the relay node, which in turn communicates with a donor eNB.

Relay nodes can optionally support higher layer functionality, for example decode user data from the donor eNB and re-
encode the data before transmission to the UE.

The LTE relay is a fixed relay - infrastructure without a wired backhaul connection, that relays messages between the base
station (BS) and mobile stations (MSs) through multihop communication.

There are a number of scenarios where LTE relay will be advantageous.

Increase network density: LTE relay nodes can be deployed very easily in situations where the aim is to
increase network capacity by increasing the number of eNBs to ensure good signal levels are received by all
users. LTE relays are easy to install as they require no separate backhaul and they are small enabling them to be
installed in many convenient areas, e.g. on street lamps, on walls, etc.

LTE relay used to increase network density

Network coverage extension : LTE relays can be used as a convenient method of filling small holes in
coverage. With no need to install a complete base station, the relay can be quickly installed so that it fills in the
coverage blackspot.

LTE relay coverage extension - filling in coverage hole

Additionally LTE relay nodes may be sued to increase the coverage outside main area. With suitable high gain
antennas and also if antenna for the link to the donor eNB is placed in a suitable location it will be able to maintain
good communications and provide the required coverage extension.

LTE relay coverage extension - extending coverage

It can be noted that relay nodes may be cascaded to provide considerable extensions of the coverage.

Rapid network roll-out: Without the need to install backhaul, or possibly install large masts, LTE relays can
provide a very easy method of extending coverage during the early roll-out of a network. More traditional eNBs
may be installed later as the traffic volumes increase.
LTE relay to provide fast rollout & deployment

LTE relaying full & half duplex

LTE relay nodes can operate in one of two scenarios:

Half-Duplex: A half-duplex system provides communication in both directions, but not simultaneously - the
transmissions must be time multiplexed. For LTE relay, this requires careful scheduling. It requires that the RN
coordinates its resource allocation with the UEs in the uplink and the assigned donor eNB in the downlink. This can
be achieved using static pre-assigned solutions, or more dynamic ones requiring more intelligence and
communication for greater flexibility and optimisation.

Full Duplex: For full duplex, the systems are able to transmit and receive at the same time. For LTE relay nodes
this is often on the same frequency. The relay nodes will receive the signal, process it and then transmit it on the
same frequency with a small delay, although this will be small when compared to the frame duration. To achieve
full duplex, there must be good isolation between the transmit and receive antennas.

When considering full or half duplex systems for LTE relay nodes, there is a trade-off between performance and the relay
node cost. The receiver performance is critical, and also the antenna isolation must be reasonably high to allow the
simultaneous transmission and reception when only one channel is used.

LTE relay types

There is a number of different types of LTE relay node that can be used. However before defining the relay node types, it is
necessary to look at the different modes of operation.

One important feature or characteristic of an LTE relay node is the carrier frequency it operates on. There are two methods
of operation:

Inband: An LTE relay node is said to be "Inband" if the link between the base station and the relay node are on
the same carrier frequency as the link between the LTE relay node and the user equipment, UE, i.e. the BS-RN link
and the BS-UE link are on the same carrier frequency.

Outband: For Outband LTE relay nodes, RNs, the BS-RN link operates of a different carrier frequency to that of
the RN-UE link.

For the LTE relay nodes themselves there are two basic types that are being proposed, although there are subdivisions
within these basic types:
Type 1 LTE relay nodes: These LTE relays control their cells with their own identity including the transmission of
their own synchronisation channels and reference symbols. Type 1 relays appear as if they are a Release 8 eNB to
Release 8 UEs. This ensures backwards compatibility. The basic Type 1 LTE relay provides half duplex with
Inband transmissions.

There are two further sub-types within this category:

o Type 1.a: These LTE relay nodes are outband RNs which have the same properties as the basic Type 1
relay nodes, but they can transmit and receive at the same time, i.e. full duplex.

o Type 1.b: This form of LTE relay node is an inband form. They have a sufficient isolation between the
antennas used for the BS-RN and the RN-UE links. This isolation can be achieved by antenna spacing
and directivity as well as specialised digital signal processing techniques, although there are cost impacts
of doing this. The performance of these RNs is anticipated to be similar to that of femtocells.

Type 2 LTE relay nodes: These LTE relaying nodes do not have their own cell identity and look just like the main
cell. Any UE in range is not able to distinguish a relay from the main eNB within the cell. Control information can be
transmitted from the eNB and user data from the LTE relay.


Type 1 Yes Inband half duplex
Type 1.a Yes Outband full duplex
Type 1.b Yes Inband full duplex
Type 2 No Inband full duplex

Summary of Relay Classifications & Features in 3GPP Rel.10

There is still much work to be undertaken on LTE relaying. The exact manner of LTE relays is to be included in Release 10
of the 3GPP standards and specifications.

4G LTE Device to Device, D2D

- 4G LTE Advanced device to device, D2D communication for high data rate local direct
communications using LTE devices.

LTE Advanced Tutorial

Carrier Aggregation

Coordinated Multipoint - CoMP

LTE Relay


LTE HetNet
See also


One of the schemes that is being researched and considered for 4G LTE Advanced is the concept of Device to Device

This form of communication using the LTE system is used where direct communications are needed within a small area.

LTE D2D communications is a peer to peer link which does not use the cellular network infrastructure, but enables LTE
based devices to communicate directly with one another when they are in close proximity.

One of the particular applications where LTE device to device communications is for the emergency services. With
proprietary systems like TETRA being expensive to maintain because of the separate infrastructure required, the LTE is
becoming increasingly attractive as a result of cost, and performance. The main issue is that of reliability.

LTE device to device communication is also being investigated for applications where peer discovery is required for
commercial applications in the presence of network support.

LTE D2D was a feature that appeared in LTE REl 12.

Benefits of D2D communications

Direct communications between devices can provide several benefits to users in various applications where the devices are
in close proximity:

Data rates: Devices may be remote from cellular infrastructure and may therefore not be able to support high
data rate transmission that may be required

Reliable communications: LTE Device to Device can be sued to communicate locally between devices to
provide high reliability communications especially if the LTE network has failed for any reason - even as a result of
the disaster.

Instant communications: As the D2D communications does not rely on the network infrastructure the devices
could be used for instant communications between a set number of devices in the same way that walkie-talkies are
used. This is particularly applicable to t e way communications may be used by the emergency services.

Use of licensed spectrum: Unlike other deveice to device systems including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc, LTE would
use licensed spectrum and this would enable the frequencies to be used to be less subject to interference, thereby
allowing more reliable communications.

Interference reduction: By not having to communicate directly with a base station, fewer links are required (i.e.
essentially only between devices) and this has an impact of the amount of data being transmitted within a given
spectrum allocation. This reduces the overall level of interference.

Power saving : Using device to device communication provides energy saving for a variety of reasons. One
major area is that if the two0 devices are in close proximity then lower transmission power levels are required.

LTE D2D basics

4G LTE device to device, D2D would enable the direct link of a device, user equipment UE, etc to another device using the
cellular spectrum. This could allow large volumes of media or other data to be transferred from one device to another over
short distances and using a direct connection.. This form of device to device transfer would enable the data to be transferred
without the need to run it via the cellular network itself, thereby avoiding problems with overloading the network.

Other examples of direct communication include Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, etc. Networks can be formed in many ways.
LTE device to device, D2D concept
The D2D system would operate in a manner where devices within a locality would be able to provide direct communications
rather than transmitting via the network. The cellular infrastructure, if present, may assist with issues like peer discovery,
synchronisation, and the provision of identity and security information.

LTE D2D issues

The addition of the LTE D2D or device to device communication capability impacts the whole of the network and is therefore
not a trivial addition, Issues like authorisation and authentication are currently handled by the network and the overall LTE
system would need to be extended to accommodate device to device to communication without the essential presence of
the network.

Another issue would be that of direct communication between devices that are under subscriptions with different operators,
although this is unlikely to occur in the event of public service or emergency services.

LTE Advanced Heterogeneous Networks, HetNet

- LTE heterogeneous network, HetNet technology, how LTE HetNets work and details about
their operation and deployment..

LTE Advanced Tutorial

Carrier Aggregation

Coordinated Multipoint - CoMP

LTE Relay


LTE HetNet

See also


LTE heterogeneous networks, HetNet are fast becoming a reality.

Within LTE and LTE Advanced, operators see the need to very significantly increase the data capacity of all areas of the
network while also reducing the costs as cost per bit rates are falling.

Whilst LTE HetNet technology is starting to be defined, many operators are seeking to utilise the concepts to ensure that the
delivery of service to the users meets expectations under the very varying conditions and scenarios that users are placing
on the networks.

LTE heterogeneous network basics

To achieve this LTE and LTE Advanced operators need to adopt a variety of approaches to meet the needs of a host of
scenarios that will occur within the network.

Different types of user will need use the network in different places and for different applications. Coupled to this operators
introducing LTE and LTE Advanced networks will have many legacy systems available. In any LTE heterogeneous network it
will be necessary to accommodate other radio access technologies including HSPA, UMTS and even EDGE and GPRS. In
addition to this other technologies including Wi-Fi also need to be accommodated.

These solutions for LTE heterogeneous networks need to incorporate not only the radio access network solutions, but also
the core network as well. In this way a truly heterogeneous network can become functional.

To ensure the best use is made of the available capabilities, all the various elements need to be operated in a manner that is
truly seamless to the user. The user should be given the best experience using the best available technology at any given
time. The performance and hence the user experience should also be very much the same whatever the location and
whatever the application.

Note on Heterogeneous Networks, HetNet:

The concept of the Heterogeneous Network or HetNet has arisen out of the need for cellular telecommunications operators to be able to operate

networks consisting of a variety of radio access technologies, formats of cells and many other aspects, and combining them to operate in a seamless


Click on the link for further information about Heterogeneous Networks, HetNet

LTE HetNet features

There are a number of features for LTE that can be incorporated into an LTE heterogeneous network above and beyond
some of what may be termed the basic wireless heterogeneous network techniques..Although they could conceivably be
used with other forms of wireless heterogeneous network, they are currently found in LTE.

Carrier aggregation: With spectrum allocated for 4G networks, operators often find they have a variety of small
bands that they have to piece together to provide the required overall bandwidth needed for 4G LTE. Making these
bands work seamlessly is a key element of the LTE heterogeneous network operation.

Coordinated multipoint: In order to provide the proper coverage at the cell edges, signal from two or more base
stations may be needed. Again, providing the same level of service regardless of network technology and areas
within the cell can prove to be challenging. Adopting a heterogeneous network approach can assist in providing he
same service quality regardless of the position within the cell, and the possibly differing cell and backhaul
technologies used for the different base stations.
Heterogeneous networks are now an established concept within LTE networks. The requirement to provide a better level of
coverage and performance in a greater variety of situations means that a greater variety of techniques is required. Making
all the different technologies from radio access networks to base station technologies and backhaul paths all come together
needs careful planning. Early cellular systems had a far more standard approach, where base stations were characterised
by the mast and antennas. Now a much greater variety of approaches is needed.