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A Comparison Study of 3G

System Proposals: cdma2000


Emre A. Yavuz and Dr. Victor C. M.

University of British Colombia
Vancouver, BC


To discuss the similarities and the

differences between the two radio interface
proposals, ARIB/ETSIs WCDMA and TIAs
cdma2000, for future mobile multimedia
communications (IMT-2000) by comparing
the technical features of each proposal.


The motives behind the efforts to increase

capacity and the data rates, the standardization
efforts of ITU and other bodies.
The similarities between the two proposals.
The differences that are affecting the performance
of the systems.
The main issues in detail to find out the benefits
or the drawbacks that those issues bring to each


To extend 2nd generation capabilities (voice and

low/medium rate data) to introduce multimedia
and new supported services such as support for
high bit rates and introduction of packet data/IP
access into mobile communications.
To find standards and recommendations to
develop a mobile communication network with a
service quality similar to fixed network.

Similarities (1)

Coherent downlink and uplink.

Fast power control on downlink as well as uplink.
Variable length orthogonal Walsh sequences for
downlink and uplink channelization in order to
separate users.
Variable spreading factor to achieve higher rates
and to support blind rate estimation for simple
services (e.g. voice).

Similarities (2)

Turbo codes for higher data rates.

Convolutional codes used as baseline.
Complex QPSK spreading on downlink.
Soft handoff and mobile assisted inter-frequency
hard handoff procedures.

Differences (1)

1. Downlink RF Channel Structure - while the DS

technique is used for both channel structures, cdma2000
also uses multicarrier cdma technique. The advs. are:
Achieves the same type of system performance
that a conventional signal carrier would provide.
Allows backward compatibility with IS-95.
Although DS is more spectrally efficient in the vehicular
environment than MS method, its only slightly better or
comparable in the pedestrian and indoor environments.
Differences (2)
Spectrum Efficiency (RL/FL)
(users/MHz/cell) for voice
Service Environment (Mbps/MHz/cell) for data

Multicarrier (MC) Direct Spread (DS)

Vehicular 29 / 28.2 29 / 45.1

Pedestrian 42.1 / 45.8 43.2 / 45.3
9.6 kbps
1% FER Indoor 38.9 / 32.5 34.7 / 33.6

Mixed 34.1 / 34.6 35.7 / 46.1

Vehicular 0.176 / 0.094 0.209 / 0.138

Packet Data
76.8 kbps Pedestrian 0.253 / 0.099 0.264 / 0.111
10% FER
Indoor 0.218 / 0.064 0.226 / 0.070

Differences (3)

2. Chip Rates - Rates of 3.84 Mbps and 3.6864 Mbps

are assigned for WCDMA and cdma2000, respectively.

3. Power control - both systems have similar open and

fast closed loops other than the rates they are using:
1.6 kHz for WCDMA vs. 800 Hz in cdma2000.

Differences (4)
4. Frame lengths - 10ms/20ms (opt.) for WCDMA,
20ms for data and control / 5ms for control information
on control channels for cdma2000.
5 & 10ms frame lengths are appropriate for cont.
messages and low-delay data applications.
End-to-end delay is less for 10ms, but it reduces
time diversity and increases SNR requirement.
20ms based frame length is considered as the
basis for voice and data applications and provides
better overhead percentage. (11% as opposed to

Differences (4)
5. Coherent detection - no common pilot for downlink in
WCDMA, common continuous and auxiliary pilot
channels for downlink in cdma2000.

Time and code muxed pilot Downlink (F-PICH) & common

symbols in the downlink and auxiliary pilot (F-CAPICH)
uplink, respectively. channels.
Primary and Secondary pilot Additional channels; downlink
channels . dedicated aux. (F-DAICH),
transmit (F-TDPICH) and aux.
transmit diversity pilot
(F-ATDPICH) channels.

Differences (5)
6. Channel multiplexing in uplink and downlink

Combined IQ and code Code muxed control, pilot,

mux. solution (dual fundamental & supplemental
channel QPSK) in uplink channels in both uplink and
to avoid EMC problems downlink.
with DTX.
Time muxed dedicated
channels (DPDCH and
DPCCH) in the downlink.

Differences (6)
7. Spreading for both downlink and uplink

Var. length orthogonal Var. length Walsh seq. for

sequence for ch. channel separation and
separation and Gold seq. M-sequence 215 in
218 for cell and user downlink.
separation in downlink. Var. length orthogonal
Var. length orthogonal sequences, M-sequence
sequence and Gold 215 and 241 for user
sequences 241 for user separation.

Differences (7)
8. Base station synchronization - Asynchronous and
synchronous base stations are used synchronously in
WCDMA and cdma2000, respectively.
quick in acquisition and requires highly stable
neighbor detection. timing references.
Suits better for battery needs higher complexity.
saving techniques. performance issues for
permit the operation of hard, inter-frequency
common overhead and handoff.
signaling channels into soft
Differences (8)
Sync. channels - two subchannels for WCDMA limits
the search of long codes to a subset of all the codes.
Broadcasting channels - the frame structure for
cdma2000 reduces battery consumption.
Paging channels - cdma2000 has a quick paging
channel for informing mobiles to listen to the paging.
Others in downlink - DPCCH and DPDCH to F-DCCH
and F-FCH, channels that can not be corresponded to
each other, PDSCH, F-PCCH, F-CACH.
Others in uplink - DPDCH to R-FCH and R-SCH,
DPCCH to R-PICH and RDCCH etc.

Overview and Conclusion

The motives and the standardization efforts of

ITU and other bodies.
The similarities between the proposals.
The differences that are affecting the
The main issues in detail to find out the
benefits or the drawbacks that those issues
bring to each proposal.