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Welcome to the Directed Remote Learning session of

LTE Air Interface Basics

During this course, we will: Compare the LTE air interface in terms of Frequency and Time with GSM and UMTS Compare the capacity of the LTE air interface with GSM and UMTS

2G (GSM) and 2.5G (GERAN)


In GSM, the Radio Network portion of the mobile telephone network is called the BSS (Base Station Subsystem). It contains: BTSs (Base Transceiver Stations) BTS BSCs (Base Station Controllers) TRCs (TRanscoder Controllers)

BTS

BSC

TRC

To Core

BTS

BSS

3G UMTS/WDMA
In UMTS, the Radio Network portion is called the UTRAN or, more simply, the RAN (Radio Access Network).

Node-B

It contained: Node-Bs

RNCs (Radio Network Controllers)


Node-B RNC To Core

Node-B

RAN

4G

(almost)

EPS

In EPS (Evolved Packet System), the Radio Network portion is called the e-UTRAN (where e stands for evolved) or LTE (Long Term Evolution).

e-Node B

It contains:

eNBs
e-Node B To Core

e-node B

LTE or e-UTRAN

Time Domain
All three technologies utilize Time Slots (TSs)

GSM
577 sec

WCDMA
667 sec

LTE
500 sec
Drawings not to scale.

Frames - GSM
In GSM, there are 8 TSs in a frame. Normally, each connection gets its own TS on a carrier of 200KHz 1 frame = 8 TSs 4.616 ms

Carrier 1

Carrier 2

Frames - UMTS
In UMTS, there are 15 TSs in a frame. Everyone has a connection on every TS. There is a single carrier having a bandwidth of 5 MHz 1 frame = 15 TSs 1 msec

Carrier 1

Frames LTE
In LTE, two TSs make a subframe and 10 subframes make a frame.
Subframe

1 frame = 10 Subframes = 20 TSs 10 msec


3 TS TS TS TS 4 TS TS 5 TS TS 6 TS TS 7 TS TS 8 TS TS 9 TS 10 TS TS

1 TS TS TS

Frames LTE
In LTE, two TSs make a subframe and 10 subframes make a frame.
Subframe

1 frame = 10 Subframes = 20 TSs 10 msec


3 TS TS TS TS 4 TS TS 5 TS TS 6 TS TS 7 TS TS 8 TS TS 9 TS 10 TS TS

1 TS TS TS

The minimum allocation for a connection is one subframe. Both TSs must be allocated.

Frames LTE
In LTE, two TSs make a subframe and 10 subframes make a frame.
Subframe

1 frame = 10 Subframes = 20 TSs 10 msec


3 TS TS TS TS 4 TS TS 5 TS TS 6 TS TS 7 TS TS 8 TS TS 9 TS 10 TS TS

1 TS TS TS

A connection may use several subframes during a frame.

Frames LTE
In LTE, two TSs make a subframe and 10 subframes make a frame.
Subframe

1 frame = 10 Subframes = 20 TSs 10 msec


3 TS TS TS TS 4 TS TS 5 TS TS 6 TS TS 7 TS TS 8 TS TS 9 TS 10 TS TS

1 TS TS TS

Not all subframes have to be allocated

Exercise

1.

How many subframes can be transmitted in a second?

Frequency GSM and UMTS


In GSM and UMTS, a subscriber is limited to using a single carrier at any point in time.

Carrier 1

X
Carrier 2

Frequency LTE
In LTE, the smallest possible frequency allocation is a Frequency Block A Frequency Block consists of 12 contiguous subcarriers at 15 kHz each
freq

2TSs 1 subframe 1 msec

Frequency Block 12 subcarriers @ 15 kHz each

Frequency LTE
In LTE, the smallest possible frequency allocation is a Frequency Block A Frequency Block consists of 12 contiguous subcarriers at 15 kHz each
freq

2TSs 1 subframe 1 msec

A subscriber may be allocated more than one Frequency Block during a subframe*

Frequency Block 12 subcarriers @ 15 kHz each

Frequency LTE
In LTE, the smallest possible frequency allocation is a Frequency Block A Frequency Block consists of 12 contiguous subcarriers at 15 kHz each
freq

2TSs 1 subframe 1 msec

A subscriber may be allocated more than one Frequency Block during a subframe*

Frequency Block 12 subcarriers @ 15 kHz each

*On the UL, the Frequency Blocks for a single connection must be contiguous. On the DL, they do not have to be contiguous

Frequency LTE
In LTE, the smallest possible frequency allocation is a Frequency Block A Frequency Block consists of 12 contiguous subcarriers at 15 kHz each
freq

2TSs 1 subframe 1 msec

Not all Frequency Blocks have to be allocated.

Frequency Block 12 subcarriers @ 15 kHz each

Exercise

2.

What is the bandwidth of a Frequency Block? How does this compare with a single GSM carrier? How does this compare with a UMTS carrier?

Operator Spectrum
An operator has flexibility in how much spectrum they can allocate for LTE. Possible allocations are: 1.4 MHz 3 MHz 5 MHz 10 MHz 15 MHz 20 MHz

freq

20

15

10

5 3 1.4

Exercise

3.

Calculate the number of Frequency Blocks in each allocation that an operator is allowed to use (i.e., 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz). In each case, round down and remove one Frequency Block for guard band purposes.

Scheduling Block LTE


In LTE, the smallest possible allocation for a connection is a Scheduling Block
2 TSs = 1 subframe = 1 msec

A Scheduling Block consists of : 1 Frequency Block 1 subframe

freq

Subcarrier 1 Subcarrier 2 Subcarrier 3 Subcarrier 4 Subcarrier 5 Subcarrier 6 Subcarrier 7 Subcarrier 8 Subcarrier 9 Subcarrier 10 Subcarrier 11 Subcarrier 12

Subcarrier 1 Subcarrier 2 Subcarrier 3 Subcarrier 4 Subcarrier 5 Subcarrier 6 Subcarrier 7 Subcarrier 8 Subcarrier 9 Subcarrier 10 Subcarrier 11 Subcarrier 12 Each subcarrier is 15kHz wide time

Frequency Block
12 contiguous subcarriers @ 15 kHz each

Frequency LTE
A possible allocation for 4 subscribers over 5 subframes
2 TSs = 1 subframe = 1 msec

freq Scheduling Block Frequency Block 12 subcarriers @ 15 kHz each

Subscriber 1 Subscriber 2 Subscriber 3 Subscriber 4 Unallocated

time

A closer look at a Time Slot


A Time Slot on one SubCarrier has 7 Resource Elements Each Resource Element carries one symbol (see next slide)
Symbol 1 Symbol 2 Symbol 3 Symbol 4 Symbol 5 Symbol 6 Symbol 7 1 Timeslot = 1/2 subframe = 0.5 msec

freq

12 subcarriers Frequency Block

time

Resource Elements
The smallest unit of data transmission is a Resource Element It consists of: 1 symbol on 1 subcarrier
1 msec = 1 subframe = 2 TSs freq

12 subcarriers Frequency Block

Scheduling Block time

Exercise

4. 5.

How many Resource Elements are in a Scheduling Block? For a single Frequency Block, how many Resource Elements can be transmitted in one second?

Bit Rates and Modulation


1 msec = 1 subframe = 2 TSs

Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol Symbol

10

11

12

13

14

A symbol (can carry: 2 bits (if the modulation is QPSK) or 4 bits (if the modulation is 16QAM) or 6 bits (if the modulation is 64QAM)

One subcarrier

Exercise

6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12.

13. 14.

If QPSK is used, how many bits per second can be transmitted on a single Frequency Block? If 16QAM is used, how many bits per second can be transmitted on a single Frequency Block? If 64QAM is used, how many bits per second can be transmitted on a single Frequency Block? The highest bit-rate possible with EDGE in GSM is approximately 60 kbits/sec per TS. Using all 8 TSs, what bit-rate could EDGE achieve for a single carrier? How does this compare with the three bit-rates of a single Frequency Block on EPS-LTE? Using your answer from question 3, what bit rate could EPS-LTE achieve with 5 MHz of bandwidth using QPSK? Using 16QAM? Using 64QAM? A single DL carrier in UMTS (P5) can achieve a bit-rate of approximately 14 Mbits/sec. Using your answer from question 10, how do the 3 bit-rates compare with the bit-rate of UMTS? A voice call, including all error-coding and signaling, requires approximately 33 kbits/sec to support. Approximately how many voice calls could be supported on a single Frequency Block in EPS-LTE? Assume QPSK modulation. How does the answer in question 12 compare with the number of voice calls supported by a single GSM carrier? How many voice calls could be supported with 5 MHz of bandwidth in EPS-LTE? How does that compare with UMTS?