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Performance Evaluation of a Low-Complexity OFDM UMTS-LTE System

Ammar Osman and Abbas Mohammed

Department of Signal Processing, School of Engineering Blekinge Institute of Technology Ronneby, Sweden

Abstract— Research towards meeting the higher demands for higher data rates was the main reason for the birth of an evolution technology towards the 4 th generation mobile communication systems. This evolution to the current 3 rd generation UMTS systems was given the name E-UTRA/UTRAN Long Term Evolution (LTE) by the 3GPP. This paper analyzes the requirements for this evolution and evaluates the performance of the OFDM-LTE system under different propagation impairments (AWGN and multipath fading channels involving Pedestrian and Vehicular scenarios) in terms of bit and symbol error rates (BER and SER) for different modulation formats.

Keywords-UMTS-LTE, MIMO, OFDM, Multipath Models, Pedestrian and Vehicular, SER, BER.

Channel

I.

INTRODUCTION

The high demand for higher data rates nowadays for mobile wireless communication systems for supporting the wide range of multimedia, internet services has gained a significant attraction around the globe from mobile researchers and industries. The third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)

organization, as an international collaboration project, has been working on evolving the current third generation (3G) mobile

telecommunication systems towards the future

generation.

3GPP is also working extensively to improve the UMTS standard to cope with the ever-evolving future requirements including efficiency improvement, services enhancements, exploiting the new spectrum opportunities, lower costs and better integration with other standards. All these factors lead to the birth of an evolution to the current 3G systems.

3GPP LTE (Long Term Evolution) is one of the 3GPP projects, where the main focus is to ensure continued competitiveness and to improve the UMTS standard to cope with future requirements. The work on the evolution of the 3G mobile systems started with the Radio Access Networks (RAN) evolution workshop [1], where a feasibility study on the Universal Terrestrial Radio Access and UMTS UTRA Network (UTRA and UTRAN) Long Term Evolution was carried out.

In [12] a research on Physical Random Access Channel (RACH), an analysis of the proposed new air interface for the LTE UL with several channel models has been studied. However, downlink is not considered. In [15] the choice of an appropriate MIMO scheme is still an open discussion in the standardizations bodies. References [3, 7, 5, 12] all deal with

4 th

978-1-4244-1645-5/08/$25.00 ©2008 IEEE

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the OFDM based systems but they did not consider the features and requirements of LTE. Many technical requirements with the consideration of MIMO solution are addressed in [8].

The use of the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) on the downlink was specified to provide UMTS-LTE more robustness and flexibility in its use of the proposed spectrum allocations than the conventional current 3G systems. OFDM has gained a tremendous interest in recent years because of its robustness in the presence of severe multipath channel conditions with simple equalization, robustness against Inter-symbol Interference (ISI), multipath fading, and its high spectral efficiency. Therefore, this paper is focused on studying the performance of the OFDM UMTS- LTE transceiver system with appropriate parameters selected according to the standards presented in [1]. This physical layer aspect feasibility study has been carried out by means of software simulations using Matlab. The implemented simulated UMTS-LTE transceiver operates over a 20 MHz frequency- band. However, it can be easily modified and reconfigured to be used with other spectrum bands specified in [1].

The organization of this paper is as follows: The transmitter design is outlined in section 2. Section 3 describes the channel models, i.e. frequency-selective, time-variant channel models used in the simulations. The OFDM UMTS-LTE receiver design structure is discussed in section 4. Simulation results are presented in section 5. Finally, section 6 concludes the paper.

II. THE TRANSMITTER DESIGN STRUCTURE

The OFDM UMTS-LTE transmitter structure design is illustrated in block diagram of figure 1. In particular the transmitter is based on conventional Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) system structure. The upper branch in figure 1 represents the OFDM based transmitter part [2, 3] which includes source generator, modulation schemes [4], the proposed LTE pilot insertion [1], Zero padding, IFFT, and the cyclic prefix. The digital random data set is generated uniformly. These blocks of digital data set have been paralleled and mapped into complex data blocks using different modulation techniques, i.e. 4QAM, 16QAM, and 64QAM respectively. Each complex data block, also referred to as symbol, of data is attached to an individual sub- carrier.

Signal Serial to Mapper LTE Pilot Parallel to Cyclic Serial Data Parallel QPSK, Insertion Zero
Signal
Serial to
Mapper
LTE Pilot
Parallel to
Cyclic
Serial Data
Parallel
QPSK,
Insertion
Zero
Serial
Prefix
Source
Generator
Converter
16QAM,
Padding
IFFT
Converter
Insertion
and
64QAM
Multipath
Channel
Mod.
AWGN
QPSK,
Parallel
16QAM,
FDE-
LMMSE
Serial to
Cyclic
SER/ BER
To Serial
and
Zero
Channel
Parallel
Prefix
Computation
Converter
64QAM
Forcing
Estimation
FFT
Con.
Extraction
Demapper
Equa.

Figure 1. Block diagram of the implemented OFDM UMTS-LTE system.

Since the spectrum width of the transmitted signal is less than the sampling rate of the OFDM modulator, the unused frequency bands are padded with zeros. The inverse DFT has been efficiently implemented by means of Inverse Fast Fourier Transform (IFFT) in order to generate the time version of the transmitted signal. The time domain signals corresponding to all sub-carriers are orthogonal to each other; however, their frequency spectrums overlap. Furthermore, to get rid of the inter-symbol interference and the noise distortion, transmitting OFDM symbols into parallel intervals allow signal duration to become large enough to alleviate their effects. Finally, the cyclic prefix is inserted in front of every transmitted OFDM symbol.

A. UMTS-LTE Pilot Structure

One of the crucial problems in OFDM systems is how to track and estimate the time-varying multipath propagation environments. For the UMTS-LTE transceiver system we used the ITU frequency-selective propagation channel models. There are three main general uses for the pilot tones in the proposed LTE downlink reference signal [1]:

Measuring the channel quality

Channel estimation for different demodulation and detection at the end user side

Initial acquisition and cell search An efficient way of keeping track of the multipath channel is transmitting these pilot symbols at instant time intervals at certain locations of the LTE downlink time- frequency lattice. Based on the working assumptions of [1, section 7.1.1.2.2], neither all frequency bins nor all transmitted OFDM symbols contain pilots for UMTS-LTE. However, for the implementation part we considered only the OFDM symbols that contain pilot tones as shown in the time- frequency lattice figure 7.1.1.2.2-1 in [1].

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B.

Insertion In order to simplify the realization of the analog filters used for transmission, the sampling rate is higher than the bandwidth of the transmitted signal, and therefore zero padding at the transmitter side is required for our design. It consists of increasing the length of the spectrum of the signal with specific number of zeros. However, the extended length should not be an integer multiple of the total length of the signal. Extending the length of the signal is usually done either by extending the time band limits or the frequency band limits of the signal. We used extension in the time domain with zeros to the transmitted signal. One of the key elements of any OFDM system is the existence of the Fast Fourier transform (FFT). The generated streams from the OFDM modulation are carried out on different sub-carriers [13, 16]. Hence, the transmitter complexity is reduced by the use of the inverse Fast Fourier Transform (IFFT). Similarly, the receiver is implemented as the low-complexity Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) operation to demodulate the OFDM signals. The transmitted data are split into low bit rate streams. However, these low rate streams are subject to individual flat fading due to their transmission over the frequency selective channel model. Suppose we have N sc sub-carriers, and that the transmitted OFDM symbols are X(1), X(2), X(3), X(4),…. , X(N). After normalizing all the OFDM IFFT symbols, the mathematical discrete-time representation for these symbols is:

Zero Padding, OFDM Modulation, and Cyclic Prefix

xk (

)

=

1

N

j 2

n = 0

N

1

X ( ne )

π

kn

N

k

=

0,

,

N

-1.

(1)

At the receiver side, the received OFDM data symbols converted to the time domain by using the FFT:

Yn

(

)

=

N

1

k = 0

yke

(

)

j 2

π

kn

N

n

=

0,

,

N

-1.

(2)

Cyclic prefix is a copy of the last part of the transmitted OFDM symbol which is appended in front of the same symbol for each transmitted OFDM symbol. Inter-symbol interference

and inter-carrier interference are the two major consequences

of the transmission over time-varying frequency selective

channels. Since the cyclic prefix is used in our UMTS-LTE transceiver, the influence of the inter-symbol interference is reduced. However, the length of the cyclic prefix must be at least the same or longer than the length of the channel impulse

response, in order to prevent the occurrence of interference.

III. CHANNEL MODELS

The simplest form of the wireless propagation channel used

as a reference in the design of the UMTS-LTE transceiver is the Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN) channel model.

A more complicated but realistic model is the frequency-

selective, time-variant channel models, which specifies the typical multipath effects associated with real-world propagation environments experienced by this wireless system. The frequency-selective, time-variant channel models that used for designing the UMTS-LTE transceiver in this simulator are based on the ITU channel models [9, 14]. The ITU channel models are divided into two categories, Pedestrian and Vehicular. They are further divided between Pedestrian-A at 3 km/h (“PA3”), and Pedestrian-B at 3 km/h (“PB3”). Similarly, the Vehicular model is broken into 3 different models [14]: Vehicular-A at 30 km/h (“VA30”), Vehicular-A at 120 km/h (“VA120”), and Vehicular-A at 350 km/h. The last model with speed of 350 km/h is considered in this work to deal with situations such as high speed trains. Each of these channel models has different number of delay taps which represents the respective delay and power of each signal path. These channel power delay profiles are taken from table 1 in [14].

IV. THE OFDM UMTS-LTE RECEIVER DESIGN STRUCTURE

The mobile receivers are pretty small and have stringent power consumption constraints, hence the design of the receiver should meet specific requirements to assure low complexity and low cost at the same time. In the first step, the receiver has to remove the guard period (introduced in the transmitter) from the received signals. This operation is called de-cyclic prefix. This is followed by the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) operation in order to recover the modulated symbols for all sub-carriers and to convert them into the frequency-domain. Due to the propagation of the transmitted signal over the multipath channels, it is subjected to a number of impairments (i.e. attenuation, Doppler shift, and amplitude-phase distortion). The proposed Minimum Mean-Square Error (MMSE) channel estimator in [7, 8, 10] has been implemented in this design. All the received signal sub-carriers experience a

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complex gain, amplitude and phase distortion, due to the multi-path fading channel. A suitable linear MMSE channel equalizer [7, 8] is identified and implemented. Afterwards, soft or hard QAM de-mapping schemes are employed. A fully synchronized OFDM transceiver system is assumed in this paper.

A. OFDM Demodulation and Channel Estimation

The received time-domain signal is converted back to the frequency-domain (demodulated) by the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). Equation (2) illustrates the mathematical representation of the FFT algorithm. The FFT demodulates the N sub-carriers OFDM signals. The complex output signal then contain N different complex QAM symbols.

The reference frequencies that were used for the estimation of the multipath channel realizations, i.e. pilot tones, placed at certain positions in the time-frequency grid as shown in figure 7.1.1.2.2-1 in [1], are used to track the multipath channel effects. The pilot-tones are found only every six symbols in the frequency-domain. In addition to that, the pilot-tones are found only in OFDM symbols number one and N sc - 2 in the time-domain (where N sc = 6, 7, 8, or 9) according to table 5.1 and 7.1.1-2 in [1], respectively. The LTE pilot-tones are generated randomly by the simulator. Let N r denote the number of reference (or pilot) symbols per OFDM symbol, N d as the number of data symbols per OFDM symbol, and N as the total number of sub-carriers, i.e. the DFT size. Let the scalar x r (i) denote the i th pilot symbol (in the

frequency domain), i = 1 N r . Let t r (i) denote the index of the

sub-band carrying the i th reference symbol. Let the scalar x d (i)

denote the i th data symbol (in the frequency domain), i =1

. Let t d (i) denote the index of the sub-band carrying the i th data

symbols. In addition, let

N

d

F

=

f

1,1

f

1, N

f

N

,1

f

NN

,

(3)

denote the (N x N) matrix representing the N-point DFT transform linear operator. The general form of the OFDM transmission can be written in vector representation as [10]

y = XFh + n

(4)

where y is the received signal, X is a diagonal matrix whose diagonal coefficients are either reference or data symbols, or zeros, h is the channel impulse response (to be estimated), and n is white Gaussian noise. Two remarks about the above equation can be drawn:

If we know a priori that h has delay spread at most L, we can consider only the first L columns of F since the others would be multiplied by zero. Let h denote the first L coefficients of h. Since X is diagonal, we can consider only the rows corresponding to the reference symbols, since there is no interference from the data sub-carriers.

Therefore, we can define

T

r

=

f

t

f

t

r

r

(

(1 ),1

Np

),1

f

t

f

t

r

(1 ),

rL

(

Np

),

L

(5)

as the truncated version of F where only the first L columns and rows corresponding to the reference symbols are kept, and

X

r

= diag ( x

r

(1),

Thus, we have:

y

r

=

'

XTh + n

rr

'

,

x

(

N

rr

))

,

X

d

= diag x

(

d

(1),

,

x

(

N

dd

)).

(6)

where

X

r

has the reference symbols on its diagonal, and n is

the truncated version of n. The corresponding covariance matrices are:

R

yy

r

r

and

R

'

h y

r

=

=

X T E

r

r

X TT

rrr

hh

''

H

T

r

HH

X

r

H

X

r

H

2

+ σ I

n

+

E

nn

''

H

=

E

'

hh

' H

HH

T

X

rr

=

HH

T

X

rr

(7)

(8)

(9)

We can compute the LMMSE estimate (in the frequency domain) of h as:

ˆ

h

'

=

RR

'

hy

r

1

yy

rr

y .

r

(10)

B. LMMSE Equalization

A per-subcarrier frequency-domain equalizer (FDE) was implemented in this simulation, in the form of a linear MMSE equalizer. The simplicity of the implemented frequency- domain equalizer leads to cheap hardware implementation because it is a low-complexity design. Then the equalized signal is applied to the M-QAM demodulator block to retrieve the binary information. Similar to (6), the transmission of the data symbols can be rewritten as:

y

d

=

where

and

'

XTh + n

dd

''

(11)

X

d

is diagonal matrix containing the data symbols,

T

d

f

=

f

t

t

d

(1),1

d Np

(

),1

f

t

(1),

dL

f

t

d

(

Np

),

L

.

(12)

is written in a similar way presented in (5).

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Thus, for the i th data carrier we can write:

( )

i

where

y

d

= x

( )

ic

dd

( )

i

''

+ n

( )

i

c

d

( i )

is the i th element of

T

d

h '.

Finally, we deduce the LMMSE estimate of x

d

c ( )* i d x ˆ i ) = yi ( ). d (
c
( )*
i
d
x ˆ
i
) =
yi ( ).
d (
d
2 2
c
d ( i )
+ σ
n

V. SIMULATION RESULTS

 

(13)

i

( )

as:

 

(14)

In this section we present simulation results to evaluate the performance of the designed UMTS-LTE transceiver under different ITU multipath fading propagation channel models. Perfect synchronization between the transmitter and receiver is assumed in the simulations. The measure used to assess and evaluate the performance is the achieved bit and symbol error rates (BER and SER) for the different proposed QAM modulation formats. The theoretical performance over AWGN

is also presented as a reference. The designed transceiver is considered operating with a bandwidth of 20 MHz. Figures (2-7) show the transceiver performance in terms of bit error rate (BER) and symbol error rate (SER) versus signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for 4QAM, 16QAM and 64QAM modulation formats, respectively. The figures are self explanatory and the main aim is to use them as a benchmark for comparing the performance when other advanced receiver structures, other spectrum allocations etc. are used. The figures clearly show the performance degradation as the terminal speed increases. As expected, as the number of transmitted QAM symbols increases, higher data rates are achieved. This, of course, is achieved at the expense of higher energy resources needed for adequate operation.

VI.

CONCLUSIONS

The proposed Long Term Evolution (LTE), for UMTS network, study by 3GPP towards 4th generation systems was one of the significant and important new trend toward meeting these requirements. OFDM is shown to be an attractive modulation technique for future generation systems. In this paper we highlighted the different parts of the implemented OFDM-LTE transceiver chain together with various performance results based on simulator in Matlab. The aim of this work was to develop a benchmark platform and performance results under different propagation conditions for future reference and comparison purposes. For example, the implemented Matlab simulator can be easily adjusted to evaluate the coded performance of the system, the performance over different spectrum allocations and advanced receiver structures.

REFERENCES

[1]

3GPP TR 25.814 V7.1.0, "Physical layer aspects for evolved Universal

[2]

Terrestrial Radio Access", UTRA (Release 7), 2006. 3GPP, “Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).”

[3]

A. Hutter, R. Hasholzner and J.S. Hammerschmidt, “Channel Estimation

[4]

for Mobile OFDM Systems”, IEEE VTC-Fall, The Netherlands, 1999. E. Akay and Ayanoglu, E.;"Bit-Interleaved Coded Modulation Low

[5]

Complexity Decoding", IEEE VTC-Spring, Milan, Italy, May 2004. G. Auer, “Efficient Implementation of Robust OFDM Channel

[6]

Estimation”, IEEE PIMRC 2005, Berlin, Germany, September 2005. E. Dahlman, H. Ekström, A. Furuskär, Y. Jading, J. Karlsson, M.

[7]

Lundevall and S. Parkvall, "The 3G Long-Term Evolution – Radio Interface Concepts and Performance Evaluation", IEEE VTC-Spring, Melbourne, May 2006. “MIMO Technology is Today’s Most Significant Advance in Wireless

[8]

Communications but not all MIMO Claims are Accurate”, White paper, Datacomm, February 2005. H. Ekström, A. Furuskär, J. Karlsson, M. Meyer, S. Parkvall, S.

[9]

Torsner, and M. Wahlqvist, “Technical Solutions for the 3G Long-Term Evolution”, IEEE Communications Magazine, 2006. ITU ITU-R M.1225, “Guidelines for evaluation of radio transmission for

the IMT-2000”, IWS 2005. [10] J. van de Beek, O. Edfors, M. Sandell, S.K. Wilson and P.O. B.rjesson, “On Channel Estimation In OFDM Systems”, IEEE VTC, Chicago, USA, September 1995.

[11] J. Lien, P. Chen, and T. Chiueh, “Design of A MIMO OFDM Baseband Transceiver for Cognitive Radio System”, Proceedings of IEEE ISCAS 2006, May 2006. [12] R. Masson, “E-UTRA RACH within the LTE system”, Master Thesis, Stockholm, Sweden, 2006.

[13] A. Toskala and P. Mogensen, “UTRAN Long Term Evolution in 3GPP”, WPMC’05, Aalborg, Denmark, 2005. [14] TSG RAN WG4, “R4-050112”, meeting # 34, Scottsdale, AZ, US, February 2005. [15] N. Veselinovic and M. Juntti, “Comparison of adaptive MIMO OFDM Schemes for 3G LTE”, 2006 IEEE PIMRC, September 2006.

Communication Over Time-Variant

[16] T. Zemen, “OFDM Multi-User

Channels”, Vienna University of Technology, Wien, July 2004.

Vienna University of Technology, Wien, July 2004. Figure 2. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms of

Figure 2. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms of BER versus SNR, using 4QAM modulation scheme different Channel models.

SNR, using 4QAM modulation scheme different Channel models. Figure 3. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms

Figure 3. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms of SER versus SNR, using 4QAM modulation scheme over different Channel models.

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4QAM modulation scheme over different Channel models. 2146 Figure 4. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms

Figure 4. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms of BER versus SNR, using 16QAM modulation scheme over different channel models.

using 16QAM modulation scheme over different channel models. Figure 5. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms

Figure 5. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms of SER versus SNR, using 16QAM modulation scheme over different channel models.

using 16QAM modulation scheme over different channel models. Figure 6. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms

Figure 6. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms of BER versus SNR, using 64QAM modulation scheme over different channel models.

using 64QAM modulation scheme over different channel models. Figure 7. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms

Figure 7. The UMTS-LTE transceiver performance in terms of SER versus SNR, using 64QAM modulation scheme over different channel models.