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LTE Uplink Delay Constraints for

Smart Grid Applications


Spiros Louvros2, member IEEE, Michalis Paraskevas1, 2, Vassilis Triantafyllou2, Agamemnon Baltagiannis3
1
Computer Technology Institute and Press Diophantus (CTIP), Greece
2
Computer and Informatics Engineering Department, Technological Educational Institute of Western Greece
3
University of Patras, Greece

AbstractLTE cell planning requires special constraints in


case of smart grid applications. Cell planners decide about II. BUFFERING BEFORE SCHEDULING DELAY
the cell coverage mostly based on worst radio conditions (cell ESTIMATION
edge) acceptable level of minimum throughput, but not on A generalized queue system is considered, with one
delay constraints which are of extreme importance for smart
single server (MAC scheduler), m channels (RB resources)
grid solutions. In this paper a semi-analytical approach for
in parallel, finite queue length, Poisson packets per
uplink cell planning with delay constraints for smart grid
applications is proposed, using theoretical outputs from
second (although lately has been found that other
analytical mathematical models combined with real distributions fit the packet arrival, Poisson is still a very
measurements from drive test. good approximation) and service time 0. Moreover transit
time effects are neglected on this analysis. In order to have
Keywords - LTE; smart grid; uplink delay queue system in equilibrium we do suppose that per 1 ms
TTI always m > . Define n the probability of existing n
I. INTRODUCTION packets in queue at a given time and pn the probability
that zero packets exist in the queue as long as n packets
Long Term Evolution [LTE] is the evolution of High exist in the server at given time , overall probability
Speed Packet Access [HSPA] cellular networks towards 4G analytical solution n will be [8]:
[1]. Lately, on international literature, there are research
papers and technical reports for LTE applications over
( m )( z z1 )( z z2 ) ( z zm )
smart grid networks [2-4]. However effective EUTRAN
zn = (1)
(1 z1 )(1 z2 ) (1 zm1 ) 1 z m e (1 z )
n
radio delay and latency constraints are never considered so n =0
far on international literature regarding cell planning
algorithms; nevertheless it is extremely important to
include delay constraints into cell planning analysis since To analytically calculate n it is needed to expand the
LTE 3GPP standards and smart grid IEC 61850-5 standards right part of (1) into the Laurent series around z = 0, where
[5] define strict restrictions on radio delays. In this paper n for n = 0, 1, 2,,n will be the coefficients of zn after the
we propose a methodology of correcting initial cell expansion is performed. Consider the case of m = 1 (MAC
coverage planning using delay constraints, based on a semi- scheduler considers each packet as a unique SDU service
analytically evaluated relation among packet transmission input) the numerator is degenerated into a simple
delays, cell edge path losses, MAC retransmissions and real polynomial of order one with one single real root
drive test measurements. MAC scheduler provides uplink
decisions mainly based on RB measurements per resource 1 1

block (RB), required Quality of Service received from core
n =0
n z n

n =0
mz = 0
n =1 (2)
network (Quality Class Identifier QCI) [6] and cell load
conditions including interference and availability on RB ( 0 + 1 z 0 z 1 z ) = 0 z = 1, 0 0
together with fast scheduling [7]. Rest of the paper is
organized in the following way: in section II we present The polynomial expansion coefficients, after expanding
service buffering delay estimation before MAC scheduler the polynomial into Laurent series around z = 0 and
functionality. In section III packet transmission/ substituting / = as the utilization factor, are becoming:
retransmission delays over air interface are considered. In
section IV the proposed cell planning algorithm with
emphasis on smart grid delay constraints is analyzed in
( z ) = nzn =
( 1)( z 1) =
concrete steps, where all calculations are detailed and (1 z )
analytically explained. Finally on section V conclusions are n=0 1 ze
summarized. = (1 ) + ( 1) (1 e ) z + (3)

+ ( 1) ( e ( 1) e 2 ) z 2 + ....
From expansion the general term is calculated as:

n ( k )n k
n = (1 ) ( 1)
n k
ek
k =1 ( n k )! (4)
n ( k )n k 1
+ (1 ) ( 1) e k
nk

k =1 ( n k 1)!
k n

Average expected delay is calculated as:

W = n n (5)
Fig. 1. Mean expected buffering delay (ms)
n =1
where nTs is the number of transmitted bits per RB
Average expected delay is plotted in fig. 1 against depending on Link Adaptation Modulation Scheme. nRB is
offered load = /, where is the arrival rate of packets at the average allocated number of 180 kHz RB blocks per Ts
the buffer and the service rate of packets from buffer to transmission interval. nAP is the spatial multiplexing rank
scheduler system. and finally n and m are two integers indicating the average
number of Ts units of time one MAC packet is not
scheduled by scheduler and the average number of
III. SCHEDULING TRANSMISSION DELAY ESTIMATION retransmissions one packet should undergo due to channel
conditions respectively.
IP packets will be segmented into many RLC/MAC
Signaling Data Units (SDUs) to be mapped into OFDM RB
and transmitted over air interface. Between user equipment IV. CELL PLANNING ALGORITHM
(UE) and eNodeb each MAC packet is supposed to be
transmitted completely over the air interface before starting In order to include the delay smart grid constraints into
transmission of next MAC packet in a time transmission the nominal cell planning procedure, design steps should be
interval duration of Ts = 1ms due to Hybrid ARQ (HARQ) considered introducing metrics to conclude average delay.
MAC functionality. Moreover multiple consecutive Substituting all these metrics into (6) the average scheduler
resource blocks nRB might be selected from MAC scheduler delay is estimated. Adding also the expected average
for uplink transmission, minimizing the transmission buffering delay the planners have an estimation of the
latency and improving the UE throughput. Our analysis will maximum expected radio delay for a service at cell edge.
be based on transmissions of IP packets over RLC/MAC Based on IEC 61850-5 [5] standards for Advanced Meter
blocks based on channel conditions [9]. Suppose that an IP Infrastructures smart grid applications planners could check
whether they are compliant with RDelay restriction, where
packet of average length MI be fragmented in such a way
RDelay is the expected cell range due to delay constraints,
that the resulting MAC packets of variable length (due to
(Fig. 2). Following the analysis on nominal cell planning
link adaptation modulation & coding decisions) Mmac with strict throughput constraints RThroughput [13] LTE cell
contain a fixed number of Mover header bits per packet [10]. coverage range prediction for outdoor Urban coverage of
In such a model MI packet will be segmented into 95% was roughly estimated to be d = 125 m. We should
MI / Mmac total number of RLC/MAC packets with MI + follow explicitly the proposed steps for d = 125 m cell
MI / Mmac Mover total number of transmitted bits. range to validate our analysis on delay constraints. Cell
Considering non-ideal radio channel conditions, in such a Planning analysis follows:
scenario, the transmission time needed to completely
transmit the IP packet will be increased due to eventual A. Path loss evaluation
retransmissions and non-scheduling periods of time. It is
important to remember that scheduler link adaptation (LA) Cell planners, during nominal cell planning, should
function will decide about non-scheduling periods and evaluate a cell range RThroughput that fulfills certain
MAC packet sizes based on Quality Class Identifier (QCI) throughput constraints. Following this assumption we
priorities and uplink measurements. The expected average could calculate expected worst scenario pathloss Ltarget. Our
whole IP packet transmission time would be: analysis should be based on certain defined pathloss models
for LTE in international literature. A well defined formula
for 2.5 GHz LTE microcell outdoor to outdoor coverage is
M I + M I M mac M over
WMac = Ts + ( m + n ) Ts (6) [9]:
nAP nRB nTs
39+ 20log ( d [ m ]), 10 m< d 45 m
10
L[ dB ] = (7)
39+ 67log10 ( d [ m ]), d > 45 m

At worst radio conditions (cell edge user at d = 125 m)


[8] pathloss is calculated to be (7) -101.5 dB.

B. Noise floor per RB


Noise NRB per resource block is considered to be the
background wideband noise mostly created by Thermal
Noise Power Density in dB/Hz, calculated from
Boltzmanns constant kB = 1.38 x 10-23 J/0K and the
absolute temperature in Kelvin T = 290 0K to be -174
dB/Hz and for 180 kHz resource block bandwidth it is
calculated as -111.44 dB, [13]. Fig. 3. Absolute Inter-cell Interference

that is validated from most LTE handsets on market.


C. Uplink Interference per RB Considering typical cell bandwidth configuration of 20
Interference is considered to be inter-cell interference MHz, meaning 100 available number of physical resource
from a neighbour cell UE transmitting on the same resource blocks, the available power per resource block is 1.5 W /
block on same TTI. It could be calculated either from 100 = 0,015 W = 11.76 dBm . Hence the expected received
mathematical assumptions [15], or simulation results or real uplink power per RB on the eNodeB antenna, considering a
network measurements. From our perspective we do typical Kathrein directional antenna gain of 18 dBi, will be
consider that it is more accurate to have an average Pr [dBm] = PUE + GR Ltarget = 11.76 dBm + 18 dBi 101.5
estimation of inter cell interference per resource block at a = - 71.74 dBm. From (8) and figure 3 for Pr =< -100 dBm
given path loss from real drive test measurements. During estimated interference is considered to be IRB = -119.6
drive test for 20 MHz band cell configurations, different dBm.
uplink received power levels Pr per RB have been reported
and the appropriate plots of Absolute Interference per RB
D. Uplink estimation at cell edge
vs. cell edge Path Loss Ltarget have been created, Fig. 3. The
analytical mathematical functions after curve fitting are An adequate cell planning restriction is to select
expressed from up to bottom as: specific SINR target 0,target higher than expected eNB
receiver sensitivity. The eNB receiver sensitivity, SeNodeB, is
2 3
480.631+9.850 Lp 0.08 L p + 0.0002 Lp defined as the minimum uplink received power on base
2 3 station required to correctly decode uplink RB with 10-10 bit
292.047 + 4.683 L p 0.0372 Lp + 0.000087 Lp error rate [13]:
I [ dBm ] =
264.84 +3.832 Lp 0.03 L2p + 0.000073 L3p (8)

142.8+ 0.2315 Lp + 0.002 L2p 0.00002 L3p figure + RBBW + 0,t arg et (9)
SeNodeB [dB] = NTPDF + N eNodeB

At worst cell conditions we do suppose maximum UE where NTPDF is the thermal noise power density,
uplink power of PUE = 31.76 dBm = 1.5 W, an assumption calculated analytically from Statistical Physics Boltzmanns
constant kB = 1.38 x 10-23 J/0K and absolute temperature in
Kelvin T = 290 0K , to be - 174 dB/Hz. N eNodeB
figure is the
eNodeB noise figure which defines a degradation of SNR
due to RF components in an RF signal chain (2 dB for
uplink) [13,14] and RBBW is the resource block bandwidth
of 180kHz .Substituting into (9) we get SeNodeB = -119.44 +
0,target dB. Considering a pre-selected link budget at cell
edge from (7), then a specific required SINR target could
be calculated as [13] and [15]:

Lt arg et [dB] = PTUE , RB


SeNodeB M LNF LBL
,s
(10)
Fig. 2. IEC 61850-5 standards 0,t arg et = 144.45 Lt arg et M LNF LBL
= 1 in (6). One sub-frame contains 14 X 12 = 168 resource
elements (RE) and two OFMD symbols (24 RE) of the
subframe are allocated for sounding reference signals.
Available user plane bits per RB in (6) is considered to be
nTs = (168-24) x 2 = 288 bits/ ms.

G. MAC scheduling subframe intervals


During drive test on cell edge for 20 MHz bandwidth, an
FTP file of 3Mbyte = 24 Mbits was downloaded from an
intranet Teledrom AB server. Considering UE to be ideally
scheduled every subframe by MAC scheduler without
retransmissions, then according to the estimated number of
transmitted bits per RB on cell edge, nTs = 288 bits/ ms, the
expected max rate for cell edge user should be n RB 288
kbps. Then minimum downloading time should be
Fig. 4. BER measurments, TU3 model 24Mbits/( n RB 288 kbps). From drive test the reported
average total downloading session service time, considering
where MLNF is the log-normal fading margin, given by non ideal conditions with initial transmissions,
Jakes formula, for 95% coverage calculated to be 6 dB for retransmissions and non-scheduled periods, was estimated
Dense outdoor, 8.4 dB for Urban indoor or 10 dB for Dense to be 4.425 s. This means that the non-ideal contribution on
Urban Indoor [8]. LBL is body loss which could be latency of retransmissions m and non-scheduled time
considered either as 2 dB for handset palm-top or 0 dB for periods n is (m + n)Ts = (4.425 24Mbits/( n RB 288
lap-top [8]. Target 0,target is considered extremely important kbps)) s = (4.425 24Mbits/(19 288 kbps)) s = 0,039 s.
since it will affect the decision upon selection of the
number of resource elements on uplink scheduling and
MAC link adaptation software module. Expected uplink H. Average number of HARQ MAC retransmissions m
target at cell edge distance (10) is estimated to be target = The average number of retransmissions m is a function
34.95 dB of the physical packet error rate. Let p be the packet non
successful probability (error probability). Non successful
E. Average number of uplink RB probability is related to the MAC packet length Mmac and
the bit error probability pb as [9]:
Based on the target 0,target on cell edge, the number of
allocated resource blocks nRB is calculated considering
uniform power distribution of nominal UE power PUE over p = 1 (1 pb ) M mac (12)
all transmitted resource blocks. This is an assumption
which is validated for most LTE handsets on the market During nominal cell planning, target and consequently
[11]. Following basic link budget reasoning: bit error probability pb have very low values, hence the
average number of retransmissions is approximated as [9]:
PUE
received
PUE , RB ( Lt arg et nRB ) m
1
= (1 pb ) mac (1 + M mac pb ) ,
M
pb = 1 (13)
0,t arg et = = 1 p
noise +int erference ( N RB + I RB )
(11)
PUE
ceiling nRB = From (13) it is obvious that retransmissions depend
Lpath ( N RB + I RB ) 0,t arg et explicitly on the bit error probability pb and on the average
size of the MAC packet Mmac. To calculate pb most
The average number of uplink allocated RBs is researchers rely on simulations. In our paper instead we did
estimated to be ceiling[nRB] = 19, where ceiling[x] is the initiated drive test measurements in an urban environment
function selecting the maximum integer number x from an which is highly dispersive using a test e-NB of Teledrom
analytical calculation. AB with a rooftop car antenna to remove car penetration
losses. Real data have been collected using TEMS
investigation Data Collection software and statistical
F. Transmitted bits per RB counters have been reported using Operation &
Number of transmitted bits per RB nTs could be easily Maintenance GUI Ericsson tools. An LTE UE category 4
calculated considering the worst case of cell edge UEs. In with typical characteristics of max uplink bit rate = 50
such a case MAC scheduler [10], [14] will allocate QPSK Mbps, uplink higher supported modulation 16 QAM with
modulation (2 bits per symbol) with TX diversity, thus nAP spatial multiplexing 22 or QPSK with TX diversity has
been used [11]. In Fig.4 BER vs. blocking probability has highest contribution to MAC delay is produced by MAC
been plotted. Test drive was compliant with the Typical scheduler delay which is a function of Signal to Noise and
Urban channel model (TU3 model, 3Km/h) requirements Interference ratio .
[12]. Throughout the drive test the average Eb/N0 has been
reported to be equal to 30 dB, indicating thus a relative ACKNOWLEDGMENT
good quality. From Fig. 4 Eb/N0 = 30dB corresponds to an The related activities that led to these results were
approximate pb of 0.06. Ericsson statistical counter funded by National Funds (CTI: Technical Consultant of
pmUeThpVolUl in units of [kbits] measures uplink MAC MoE 2014, Work package: Study of use of "clean"
SDU volume and finally Ericsson counter network access technologies in a school environment).
pmUeThpTimeUl in units [ms] provides the period of Also, authors would like to express their gratitude to P.
MAC volume measurements in ms. From TEMS Kostopoulos, C.E.O. of Teledrom AB, Sweden, for its
investigation, during drive test, MAC reported prompt support on setting up LTE eNB for the Drive Test.
measurements have been calculated to be pmUeThpVolUl
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