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How Advanced is LTE Advanced? RF Aspects & Challenges

Jasminder Sahni, BE (E&C)
LTE became a commercial reality in 2010 following the launch of many LTE networks using 3G/LTE
multimode devices. LTE Advanced is the next major milestone in the evolution path, encompassing
3GPP Rel. 10, 11 and beyond.
In order to achieve higher data rates while preserving compatibility with older LTE standards, the
designers of LTE-Advanced had to use some relatively advanced techniques. Larger amounts of
radio frequency spectrum may be utilized in addition to new techniques for more efficient use of
limited spectrum. Devices compatible with the new technology are likely to feature a number of
antenna arrays, and a process called beam-forming can turn would-be interference into a tool to
boost signal.

Worldwide functionality & roaming
Compatibility of services
Interworking with other radio access systems
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Enhanced peak data rates to support advanced services and applications (100
Mbit/s for high and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility)
We here are evaluating the radio parameters and performance from the RF aspects.

Radio Parameters

Carrier Aggregation

Using a scheme known as carrier aggregation, a cellular base station can break apart a
stream of data and transmit it through multiple radio frequencies to a users device, which
then reassembles these multiple pieces into the original data stream.
Support wider transmission bandwidths up to 100MHz
Two or more component carriers (CC) are aggregated
A terminal may simultaneously receive one or multiple component carriers
depending on its capabilities
Possible to aggregate a different number of component carriers of possibly different
bandwidths in the UL and the DL In typical TDD deployments, the number of component
carriers and the bandwidth of each component carrier in UL and DL will be the same.
Both Intra and Inter band carrier aggregation are considered as potential Tx RF
scenarios and parameters and cover both of; Contiguous Component Carrier and non-
contiguous Component Carrier aggregation
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Enhanced uplink multiple access
LTE-Advanced enhances the uplink multiple access scheme by adopting clustered SC-
FDMA, also known as discrete Fourier transform spread OFDM (DFT-S-OFDM). This
scheme is similar to SC-FDMA but has the advantage that it allows noncontiguous
(clustered) groups of subcarriers to be allocated for transmission by a single UE, thus
enabling uplink frequency-selective scheduling and better link performance. Clustered SC-
FDMA was chosen in preference to pure OFDM to avoid a significant increase in PAPR. It
will help satisfy the requirement for increased uplink spectral efficiency while maintaining
backward-compatibility with LTE.

Enhanced multiple antenna transmission
To improve single user peak data rates and to meet the ITU-R requirement for spectrum
efficiency, LTE-Advanced specifies up to eight layers in the downlink which, with the
requisite eight receivers in the UE, allows the possibility in the downlink of 8x8 spatial
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multiplexing. The UE will be specified to support up to four transmitters allowing the
possibility of up to 4x4 transmission in the uplink when combined with four eNB receivers.

Coordinated multipoint transmission and reception (CoMP)
Another technique known as coordinated multipoint transmission/reception employs
multiple base stations to simultaneously send and receive data to a single device. This can
be especially beneficial to customers who are on the edge of a particular base stations
coverage area; by combining two base stations, a faster and more reliable connection can
be achieved. Multiple LTE-Advanced base stations can even be used in a relay, with each
base station transmitting information to the next.
LTE Advanced UE Receivers and Categories
The following aspects to be defined considering the CA scenarios, bandwidth of the Tx/Rx
signals as well as multiple antenna effects:
Receiver Sensitivity
Blocking performance
Spurious response
Intermodulation performance
Spurious emission
The existing UE categories 1-5 for Release 8 and Release 9 are shown in below table.
In order to accommodate LTE-Advanced capabilities, three new UE categories 6-8 have
been defined.
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Downlink Configurations Uplink Configurations

LTE-Advanced BS transmissions and receptions
- Transmitter aspects:
Base Station output power
Transmitted signal quality
Unwanted emissions
Transmitter spurious emissions

- Receiver aspects:
Reference sensitivity level
Adjacent Channel Selectivity (ACS)
Narrow-band blocking, Blocking
Receiver intermodulation
Demodulation Performance requirements

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As already in LTE Rel-8 and also in LTE-Advanced robust general minimum RRM
requirements ensure good mobility performance across the cellular network for various
mobile speeds and different network deployments.

The minimum RRM requirements are defined both in idle mode and in active mode.

In Active mode the requirements are defined both without DRX and with DRX in order to
ensure that good mobility performance in all cases while still minimizing UE battery
consumption especially with long DRX cycles.

Different network controlled parameter values for cell reselection in idle mode and for
handover in active mode can be utilized for optimizing mobility performance in different
scenarios, which also include low mobility and high mobility scenarios.

Challenges of LTE-Advanced
3GPP's Long Term Evolution (LTE) is the leading technology standard for 4G wireless
communications. Although it is just now being launched commercially, development of the
standard continues, with the latest version being LTE-Advanced. With enhancements such
as a 1Gbps peak data rate, LTE-Advanced will meet International Telecommunication
Union (ITU) requirements for the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT)-
Advanced 4G radio-communication standard.
The current release of LTE already meets most IMT-Advanced requirements. Exceptions
are peak data rate and uplink spectral efficiency, which LTE-Advanced addresses via wider
bandwidths, enabled by carrier aggregation, and higher efficiency, enabled by enhanced
uplink multiple access and enhanced multiple antenna transmission (advanced MIMO).
Carrier Aggregation
To achieve a 1Gbps peak data rate, LTE-Advanced supports bandwidths up to 100 MHz
formed by aggregating up to five 20MHz component carriers. Contiguous and non-
contiguous carriers may be aggregated. Carrier aggregation will undoubtedly pose major
difficulties for user equipment (such as smart phones and other wireless devices), which
must handle multiple simultaneous transceivers. The use of simultaneous, non-contiguous
transmitters creates a highly challenging radio environment in terms of spur management
and self-blocking.
Enhanced Uplink Multiple Access
LTE's uplink is based on single-carrier frequency division multiplexing (SC-FDMA), which
allocates carriers across a contiguous block of spectrum, thus limiting scheduling flexibility.
LTE-Advanced introduces clustered SC-FDMA in the uplink, allowing frequency-selective
scheduling of component carriers for better link performance. The Physical Uplink Shared
Channel (PUSCH) and the Physical Uplink Control Channel (PUCCH) can be scheduled
together to reduce latency. However, clustered SC-FDMA increases peak-to-average power
ratio, leading to transmitter linearity issues. And the presence of multi-carrier signals
increases opportunities for in-channel and adjacent-channel spur generation.
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Advanced MIMO
To improve single-user peak data rates and meet spectral efficiency requirements, LTE-
Advanced specifies up to eight transmitters in the downlink (with the requisite eight
receivers in the UE or user equipment), enabling 8x8 spatial multiplexing in the downlink.
The UE supports up to four transmitters, allowing up to 4x4 transmission in the uplink
when combined with four receivers in the base station.
MIMO increases the number of system antennas. A major challenge will be designing
multiband MIMO antennas with good de-correlation to operate in the small space of an
LTE-Advanced UE. New methods are required for predicting actual radiated performance
of an advanced MIMO terminal in an operational network, so 3GPP is considering ways to
extend MIMO over the air (OTA) testing for LTE-Advance

Study Item RP-080599
Outlines the overall goals of LTE-Advanced

Requirements TR 36.913 v9.0.0 (2009-12)
Defines requirements based on the ITU requirements for 4G systems

Study Phase Technical Report TR 36.912 v9.3.0 (2010-06)
Summarizes the stage 1 development work

Study item final status report RP-100080

Physical Layer Aspects TR 36.814 v9.0.0 (2010-03)
Summarizes the stage 2 development for the physical layer

Study phase Technical Report on E-UTRA UE Radio Transmission and Reception TR 36.807
Summarizes study of CA, enhanced multiple antenna transmission and CPE