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Technical Paper

4G Mobile

New data services, interactive TV and evolving

Internet behavior will influence mobile data usage.
Long sessions in always-on mode will force a re-think
of radio access technology to achieve the required –
but not easy to attain – capacity (Gbit/s/km_) at low
cost. The ideas presented in this article can increase
capacity by a factor of 500 with regard to expected
cellular deployments. Coverage will be based on
large umbrella cells (3G, WiMAX) and numerous
pico cells interconnected to provide the user with
seamless high data rate (several Mbit/s) sessions.
Scalable and progressive deployments are possible
while protecting the operator’s long-term investment.
The 4G infrastructure operator will mix several
technologies, each of which has its optimal usage.
The connection to one of them will result in a real-time
trade-off which will offer the user the best possible
service. Some tools that genuinely improve the user’s
multimedia quality of experience (availability,
response time, definition, etc) are also presented in
this article.


D. Rouffet, S. Kerboeuf, L. Cai, V. Capdevielle

4G will deliver low cost multi-megabit/s sessions
any time, any place, using any terminal.

oice was the driver for second-gen- ing applications. Figure 1: Service evolution vision
eration mobile and has been a con- Mobile terminal
siderable success. Today, video usage (laptops,
and TV services are driving forward third Personal digital Sender
generation (3G) deployment. And in the assistants, hand- Human Machine
future, low cost, high speed data will drive helds) is expected VoIP Video relay broadcasting time
forward the fourth generation (4G) as to grow rapidly as Videophone/conference Video supervision

short-range communication emerges. they become more Interactive games Human navigation
Internet browsing
Service and application ubiquity, with a user friendly. Fluid Chat Information service
high degree of personalization and syn- high quality video Visual mail/audio mail Music download

Text mail
chronization between various user appli- and network reac- Permit
ances, will be another driver. At the tivity are important delay
Remote control Location information

same time, it is probable that the radio user requirements. services, distribution
access network will evolve from a central- Key infrastructure Recording to storage devices: systems, etc.
voice, video, etc. Data transfer
ized architecture to a distributed one. design require- Consumer electronic
ments include: fast device maintenance
Service Evolution response, high ses-
Support for real-time and non-real-time services
The evolution from 3G to 4G will be sion rate, high
Source NTTDoCoMo
driven by services that offer better qual- capacity, low user
ity (e.g. video and sound) thanks to charges, rapid
greater bandwidth, more sophistication return on invest-
in the association of a large quantity of ment for operators, investment that is in As a comparison, the expected best per-
information, and improved personaliza- line with the growth in demand, and sim- formance of 3G is around 10 bit/s/Hz/km2
tion. Convergence with other network ple autonomous terminals. using High Speed Downlink Packet Access
(enterprise, fixed) services will come The infrastructure will be much more (HSDPA), Multiple-Input Multiple-Output
about through the high session data distributed than in current deployments, (MIMO), etc. No current technology is
rate. It will require an always-on connec- facilitating the introduction of a new capable of such performance.
tion and a revenue model based on a source of local traffic: machine-to-
fixed monthly fee. The impact on net- machine. Figure 1 shows one vision of Dimensioning objectives
work capacity is expected to be signifi- how services are likely to evolve; most Based on various traffic analyses, the
cant. Machine-to-machine transmission such visions are similar. Wireless World Initiative (WWI) has
will involve two basic equipment types: issued target air interface performance
sensors (which Dimensioning targets figures. A consensus has been reached
measure param- A simple calcu-
eters) and tags lation illustrates the Figure 2: Dimensioning examples
(which are gen- order of magnitude.
erally read/write The design target Number of subscribers/km2 10000 10000
equipment). in terms of radio Peak usage 20 % 20 %
It is expected performance is to Spacial efficiency 30 % 20 %
Various efficiencies (e.g. MAC) 40 % 30 %
that users will achieve a scalable Average service rate (kbit/s) 128 1000
require high data capacity from 50 to
rates, similar to 500 bit/s/Hz/km2 Required capacity (Gbit/s/km2) 2.13 33.33
those on fixed (including capacity Available bandwidth (MHz) 50 100
networks, for for indoor use), as
Required radio performances bit/s/Hz/km 2 42.7 333.3
data and stream- shown in Figure 2.

2 - Alcatel Telecommunications Review - 2 nd Quarter 2005 www.alcatel.com/atr


around peak rates of 100 Mbit/s in Figure 3: Multiple overlay architecture

mobile situations and 1 Gbit/s in
nomadic and pedestrian situations, at Service Internet Gateway
adaptation Router
least as targets. So far, in a 10 MHz spec- Slice manager
trum, a carrier rate of 20 Mbit/s has
been achieved when the user is moving
at high speed, and 40 Mbit/s in nomadic Worldwide
use. These values will double when Macro mobility
MIMO is introduced. Clearly, the bitrate Fixed 4G Gateway Enterprise
networks networks
should be associated with an amount of
spectrum. For mobile use, a good target radio Node(s) Gateway
Switch access
is a network performance of 5 bit/s/Hz, controller
rising to 8 bit/s/Hz in nomadic use. controller Satellite
hub Broadcast
DVB-H DAB access
access RNC
Multi-technology Approach point controller
Many technologies are competing on the
NodeB base access
road to 4G, as can be seen in Figure 3. Terrestrial point
repeater station
Three paths are possible, even if they are
more or less specialized. The first is the WiFi and indoor "cellular" slice localization "hot spot/zone" 4G coverage
evolution UniRAN (3G+) & broadcast slice slice WiMAX outdoor & indoor
3G-centric path, in which Code Division
Multiple Access (CDMA) will be progres-
sively pushed to the point at which ter-
DAB: Digital Audio Broadcasting
minal manufacturers will give up. When DVB-H: Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld
this point is PAN PAN: Personal Area Network
Terminal S/W AdHoc
reached, another PSTN: Public Switched Telephone Network
technology will RNC: Radio Network Controller
be needed to
realize the requi-
red increases in capacity, and can be designed without any OFDMA
capacity and constraints on coverage continuity. This Orthogonal Pico cell A good
data rates. is known as pico-cell coverage. Only the Frequency Divi- example of a pico
The second use of both technologies can achieve sion Multiplexing cell is a WiFi
path is the radio both targets (Figure 4). Handover (OFDM) not only coverage. By
LAN one. Wide- between parent coverage and pico cell provides clear extension, a pico
spread deploy- coverage is different from a classical advantages for cell has a radius
ment of WiFi is roaming process, but similar to classical physical layer around 50 m and
expected to handover. Parent coverage can also be performance, but the associated
start in 2005 for PCs, laptops and PDAs. used as a back-up when service delivery also a framework base station is
In enterprises, voice may start to be car- in the pico cell becomes too difficult. for improving similar to a WiFi
ried by Voice over Wireless LAN layer 2 perform- access point. It can
(VoWLAN). However, it is not clear Key 4G Technologies ance by propos- be deployed
what the next successful technology Some of the key technologies required ing an additional indoors or outdoors.
will be. Reaching a consensus on a 200 for 4G are briefly described below: degree of free-
Mbit/s (and more) technology will be a
lengthy task, with too many proprietary
Figure 4: Coverage performance trends
solutions on offer.
A third path is IEEE 802.16e and
802.20, which are simpler than 3G for the >8U
10-25 U
equivalent performance. A core network
15 to 40 U
evolution towards a broadband Next
Bearer 3G
Generation Network (NGN) will facilitate oriented 3G+ > 500 U
the introduction of new access network evolution
technologies through standard access
gateways, based on ETSI-TISPAN, ITU-T, Parent coverage
25 U 50 U and pico cell
3GPP, China Communication Standards
Association (CCSA) and other standards. Packet
How can an operator provide a large and WiMAX
Bearer WiMAX
number of users with high session data oriented 4G
rates using its existing infrastructure? At
least two technologies are needed. The 100 U > 500 U Nano
first (called “parent coverage”) is dedi- coverage

cated to large coverage and real-time Packet WiFi WiFi SRR

services. Legacy technologies, such as oriented SRR evolution > 1000 U
2G/3G and their evolutions will be com- U = bit/s/Hz/km2
plemented by WiFi and WiMAX. A second
New bands New sites
set of technologies is needed to increase

www.alcatel.com/atr 2 nd Quarter 2005 - Alcatel Telecommunications Review - 3


Figure 5: OFDM principles eral modems at a given Base Trans-

ceiver Station (BTS). SDR makes this
reconfiguration easy.
10 MHz Bandwidth In the context of 4G systems, SDR
FFT Sub-carriers will become an enabler for the aggrega-
Guard tion of multi-standard pico/micro cells.
Intervals For a manufacturer, this can be a power-
ful aid to providing multi-standard,
Symbols multi-band equipment with reduced
Frequency development effort and costs through
simultaneous multi-channel processing.

Multiple-input multiple-output
FFT: Fast Fourier transform MIMO uses signal multiplexing between
multiple transmitting antennas (space
multiplex) and time or frequency. It is well
suited to OFDM, as it is possible to process
Figure 6: Alcatel test-bed performance roadmap independent time symbols as soon as the
OFDM waveform is correctly designed for
Mbps the channel. This aspect of OFDM greatly
simplifies processing. The signal transmit-
20 MHz Air interface design
8 bit/s/Hz
ted by m antennas is received by n anten-
and verification
• Larger bandwidth by simulation nas. Processing of the received signals
200 • MAC & MIMO joint optimization 160 Mbit/s may deliver several performance improve-
• Robust MIMO to correlation ments: range, quality of received signal and
10 MHz and Doppler • MIMO-OFDM
optimization: higher spectrum efficiency. In principle, MIMO is
5 bit/s/Hz order modulation, more efficient when many multiple path sig-
• MIMO-OF DM improved channel
100 100 Mbit/s 100 Mbit/s coding nals are received. The performance in cel-
• MAC layer
• Advanced MIMO lular deployments is still subject to research
detector and simulations (see Figure 6). However,
4 bit/s/Hz
it is generally admitted that the gain in spec-
50 40 Mbit/s 40 Mbit/s
2 bit/s/Hz
trum efficiency is directly related to the
minimum number of antennas in the link.
Test bed development
20 20 Mbit/s 20 Mbit/s
Interlayer optimization
2004 2005 2006 2007 The most obvious interaction is the one
between MIMO and the MAC layer. Other
MAC: Media Access Control
interactions have been identified (see
Figure 7).

dom. Using ODFM, it is possible to exploit resource allocation (increasing the capac- Handover and mobility
the time domain, the space domain, the fre- ity), but also enables cross-layer optimiza- Handover technologies based on mobile
quency domain and even the code domain tion of radio link usage. IP technology have been considered for
to optimize radio channel usage. It ensures data and voice. Mobile IP techniques are
very robust transmission in multi-path Software defined radio slow but can be accelerated with classical
environments with reduced receiver com- Software Defined Radio (SDR) bene- methods (hierarchical, fast mobile IP).
plexity. fits from today’s high processing power These methods are applicable to data
As shown in Figure 5, the signal is split to develop multi-band, multi-standard and probably also voice. In single-fre-
into orthogonal subcarriers, on each of base stations and terminals. Although quency networks, it is necessary to recon-
which the signal is “narrowband” (a few in future the terminals will adapt the sider the handover methods. Several tech-
kHz) and therefore immune to multi-path air interface to the
effects, provided a guard interval is inserted available radio Figure 7: Layer interaction and associated optimization
between each OFDM symbol. OFDM also access technology,
provides a frequency diversity gain, at present this is • OFDMA
improving the physical layer performance. done by the infra- • Smart antennas
It is also compatible with other enhance- structure. Several • MIMO
ment technologies, such as smart antennas infrastructure gains
• Optimized MAC scheduling algorithms (e.g. MUD)
and MIMO. are expected from
• Robust and scalable transmissions
OFDM modulation can also be SDR. For example,
employed as a multiple access technology to increase network • Network selection (e.g. ABC)
(Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple capacity at a spe- • Usage of cache
Access; OFDMA). In this case, each cific time (e.g. dur- • Pico station and associated deployment
OFDM symbol can transmit information ing a sports event), • IP mobility
to/from several users using a different set an operator will • Meshed networks and ad hoc routing
of subcarriers (subchannels). This not reconfigure its net-
only provides additional flexibility for work adding sev- ABC: Always Best Connected MUD: Multi User Detection

4 - Alcatel Telecommunications Review - 2 nd Quarter 2005 www.alcatel.com/atr


niques can be used when the carrier to is shown in Figure 8. At the entrance of the ently: one base layer (30 kbit/s), which is
interference ratio is negative (e.g. VSF- access network, lines of cache at the a robust flow but of limited quality (e.g.
OFDM, bit repetition), but the drawback destination of a terminal are built and 5 images/s), and two enhancement flows
of these techniques is capacity. In OFDM, stored. When a terminal enters an area in (50 kbit/s and 200 kbit/s). The first flow
the same alternative exists as in CDMA, which a transfer is possible, it simply asks provides availability, the other two quality
which is to use macro-diversity. In the case for the line of cache following the last and definition. In a streaming situation, the
of OFDM, MIMO allows macro-diversity received. Between the terminal and the terminal will have three caches. In pico cel-
processing with performance lular coverage, the parent cov-
gains. However, the imple- erage establishes the service
mentation of macro-diversity dialog and service start-up
Figure 8: Pico cell network design
implies that MIMO processing (with the base layer). As soon
is centralized and transmis- as the terminal enters pico
sions are synchronous. This is cell coverage, the terminal
not as complex as in CDMA, caches are filled, starting with
IP Backbone
but such a technique should the base cache. Video (and
only be used in situations Cache audio) transmissions are cur-
making IP
where spectrum is very rently transmitted without

scarce. Cache error and without packet loss.
L1/L2 However, it is possible to allow
Caching and error rates of about 10-5 /10-6
Uni or
Pico Cells N-Casting and a packet loss around 10-2
Memory in the network /10-3. Coded images still con-
and terminals facilitates serv- tain enough redundancy for
4G d-cov AN
ice delivery. In cellular sys- error correction. It is possible
tems, this extends the capa- to gain about 10 dB in trans-
L1/L2 Cache
bilities of the MAC sched- storage mission with a reasonable
uler, as it facilitates the deliv- increase in complexity. Using
ery of real-time services. the described technologies,
Resources can be assigned multimedia transmission can
to data only when the radio provide a good quality user
conditions are favorable. This experience.
method can double the RAP
capacity of a classical cellular Coverage
system. Coverage is achieved by
In pico cellular coverage, MAC adding new technologies
high data rate (non-real-time) Cache (possibly in overlay mode)
services can be delivered even IP and progressively enhancing
when reception/transmission is density. Take a WiMAX
interrupted for a few seconds. deployment, for example:
Consequently, the coverage Pico cell network design first the parent coverage is
zone within which data can be MT: Mobile Terminal
deployed; it is then made
received/transmitted can be denser by adding discontinu-
designed with no constraints ous pico cells, after which
other than limiting interference. Data cache. A simple, robust and reliable pro- the pico cell is made denser but still dis-
delivery is preferred in places where the tocol is used between the terminal and the continuously. Finally the pico cell cover-
bitrate is a maximum. Between these cache for every service delivered in this age is made continuous either by using
areas, the coverage is not used most of the type of coverage. MIMO or by deploying another pico cell
time, creating an apparent discontinuity. coverage in a different frequency band
In these areas, content is sent to the ter- Multimedia service delivery, (see Figure 9).
minal cache at the high data rate and read service adaptation and robust The ultimate performances of the var-
at the service rate. Coverages are “discon- transmission ious technologies are shown in Figure 10.
tinuous”. The advantage of coverage, espe- Audio and video coding are scalable. For Parent coverage performance may vary
cially when designed with caching technol- instance, a video flow can be split into three from 1 to 20 bit/s/Hz/km?, while pico cell
ogy, is high spec- flows which can be transported independ- technology can achieve from 100 to 500
trum efficiency,
high scalability
Figure 9: Example of deployment in dense traffic areas
(from 50 to
500 bit/s/Hz), high
capacity and
lower cost.
A specific
architecture is
needed to intro-
duce cache mem-
ory in the net- Parent coverage Parent coverage with discontinuous pico cells Continuous pico cells coverage
work. An example with MIMO

www.alcatel.com/atr 2 nd Quarter 2005 - Alcatel Telecommunications Review - 5


ETSI- TISPAN). This generic architecture

Distributed architecture integrates all service enablers (e.g. IMS, Denis Rouffet is Head of
An architecture with a large number of network selection, middleware for applica- Strategic Projects in the
decentralized connections to the core tions providers), and offers a unique inter- Research & Innovation depart-
network. face to application service providers. ment, Chief Technology Office,
Marcoussis, France.
Network selection Conclusion (Denis.Rouffet@alcatel.fr)
The process of associating one or more The provision of megabit/s data rates
service networks with a user terminal. to thousands of radio and mobile termi-
nals per square kilometer presents sev- Sylvaine Kerboeuf is lead-
eral challenges. Some key technologies ing a research group in the
bit/s/Hz/km?, depending on the complex- permit the progressive introduction of Research & Innovation depart-
ity of the terminal hardware and software. such networks without jeopardizing ment, Chief Technology Office,
These performances only refer to outdoor existing investment. Disruptive tech- Marcoussis, France.
coverage; not all the issues associated nologies are needed to achieve high (Sylvaine.Kerboeuf@alcatel.fr)
with indoor coverage have yet been capacity at low cost, but it can still be
resolved. However, indoor coverage can done in a progressive manner. The key
Liyu Cai is leading a research
be obtained by: enablers are:
group in the Research & Innova-
tion department, Chief Technol-
• Direct penetration; this is only possi- • Sufficient spectrum, with associated
ogy Office, Alcatel Shanghai
ble in low frequency bands (signifi- sharing mechanisms.
Bell, Shanghai, China .
cantly below 1 GHz) and requires an • Coverage with two technologies: parent
excess of power, which may raise signif- (2G, 3G, WiMAX) for real-time delivery,
icant interference issues. and discontinuous pico cell for high
• Indoor short range radio connected to data rate delivery.
Véronique Capdevielle is
the fixed network. • Caching technology in the network and
leading a research group in the
• Connection via a relay to a pico cel- terminals. Research & Innovation depart-
lular access point. • OFDM and MIMO. ment, Chief Technology Office,
• IP mobility. Marcoussis, France .
Integration • Multi-technology distributed architec- (Veronique.Capdevielle@alcatel.fr)
in a Broadband ture.
NGN • Fixed-mobile convergence (for indoor
The focus is service). deployed using two main products: base
now on deploying • Network selection mechanisms. stations and the associated controllers.
an architecture Terminal complexity depends on the
realizing conver- Many other features, such as robust number of technologies they can work
gence between transmission and cross-layer optimiza- with. The minimum number of technolo-
the fixed and tion, will contribute to optimizing the gies is two: one for the radio coverage
mobile networks performance, which can reach between and one for short range use (e.g. PANs).
(ITU-T Broad- 100 and 500 bit/s/Hz/km 2. The distrib- However, the presence of legacy net-
band NGN and uted, full IP architecture can be works will increase this to six or seven.

6 - Alcatel Telecommunications Review - 2 nd Quarter 2005 www.alcatel.com/atr


3GPP 3rd Generation Partnership
4G resp 3G 4th (resp. 3rd) Generation
BAN Body Area Network
BBNGN Broadband Next Generation
BTS Base Transmission Station
CCSA China Communications Standard
CDMA Code Division Multiple Access
DFS Direct Frequency Selection
ETSI-TISPAN European Telecommunication
Standard Institute –
Telecommunications and Internet
Converged Services and
Protocols for Advanced
GGSN GPRS Gateway Support Node
GPRS General Packet Radio Service
GSM Global System for Mobile
HSDPA High Speed Downlink Packet
IEEE Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers
IETF Internet Engineering task force
ITU-T International Telecommunication
Union – Telecommunications
LAN Local Area Network
MAC Media Access Control
MIMO Multiple Input Multiple Output
NTT Nippon Telegraph and
Telephone Corporation
OFDM Orthogonal Frequency Division
PAN Personal Area Network
P-CSCF Proxy Call Session Control
QoS Quality of Service
RAN Radio Access Network
SDR Software Defined Radio
SFN Single Frequency Network
SNR Signal-to-Noise Ratio
VoWLAN Voice over Wireless LAN
WIBRO Wireless Broadband
WiFi Wireless Fidelity
WiMAX Interoperability standard of IEEE
802.16 (e)
WRC World Radio Conference
WWI Wireless World Initiative
WWRF Wireless World Research Forum

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