Showing posts with label HSPA Technical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HSPA Technical. Show all posts

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

New 4G Americas whitepaper on HSPA evolution in 3GPP standards

Some forecasts put HSPA at over 3.5 billion subscribers by the end of 2016. Operators with HSPA and LTE infrastructure and users with HSPA and LTE multi-mode devices will be commonplace. There are 412 commercial deployments of HSPA in 157 countries, including 165 HSPA+ networks. Thus, with the continued deployment of LTE throughout the world, and the existing ubiquitous coverage of HSPA in the world, HSPA+ will continue to be enhanced through the 3GPP standards process to provide a seamless solution for operators as they upgrade their networks. While LTE, with 33 commercial deployments to date and over 250 commitments worldwide, will be the mobile broadband next generation technology of choice for HSPA, EV-DO, WiMAX and new wireless operators, HSPA will continue to be a pivotal technology in providing mobile broadband to subscribers.

The white paper explains that as 3GPP specifications evolve, their advanced features help to further the capabilities of today’s modern mobile broadband networks. With each release there have been improvements such as better cell edge performance, increased system efficiencies, higher peak data rates and an overall improved end-user experience. 3GPP feature evolution from Rel-7 to Rel-10 has pushed possible HSPA peak data rates from 14 Mbps to 168 Mbps. Continued enhancements in 3GPP Rel-11 will again double this capability to a possible peak data rate of 336 Mbps:
  • Rel-7: 64QAM or 2X2 MIMO => 21 or 28 Mbps
  • Rel-8: DC + 64QAM or 2X2 MIMO + 64QAM => 42 Mbps
  • Rel-9: DC + 2X2 MIMO + 64QAM => 84 Mbps
  • Rel-10: 4C + 2X2 MIMO + 64QAM => 168 Mbps
  • Rel-11: (8C or 4X4 MIMO) + 64QAM => 336 Mbps
“If operators are able to gain new additional harmonized spectrum from governments, they will no doubt deploy LTE, However, it is clear that HSPA+ technology is still exceptionally strong and will continue to provide operators with the capability to meet the exploding data usage demands of their customers in existing spectrum holdings,” Pearson said.

The paper is embedded as follows:

This paper and other similar papers are available to download from the 3G4G website here.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Multipoint HSDPA / HSPA

The following is from 3GPP TR 25.872 - Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network; HSDPA Multipoint Transmission:

HSPA based mobile internet offerings are becoming very popular and data usage is increasing rapidly. Consequently, HSPA has begun to be deployed on more than one transmit antenna or more than one carrier. As an example, the single cell downlink MIMO (MIMO-Physical layer) feature was introduced in Release 7. This feature allowed a NodeB to transmit two transport blocks to a single UE from the same cell on a pair of transmit antennas thus improving data rates at high geometries and providing a beamforming advantage to the UE in low geometry conditions. Subsequently, in Release-8 and Release-9, the dual cell HSDPA (DC-HSDPA) and dual band DC-HSDPA features were introduced. Both these features allow the NodeB to serve one or more users by simultaneous operation of HSDPA on two different carrier frequencies in two geographically overlapping cells, thus improving the user experience across the entire cell coverage area. In Release 10 these concepts were extended so that simultaneous transmissions to a single UE could occur from four cells (4C-HSDPA).

When a UE falls into the softer or soft handover coverage region of two cells on the same carrier frequency, it would be beneficial for the non-serving cell to be able to schedule packets to this UE and thereby improving this particular user’s experience, especially when the non-serving cell is partially loaded. MultiPoint HSDPA allows two cells to transmit packets to the same UE, providing improved user experience and system load balancing. MultiPoint HSDPA can operate on one or two frequencies.

Click to enlarge

There is also an interesting Qualcomm Whitepaper on related topic that is available to view and download here. The following is from that whitepaper:

The simplest form of Multipoint HSPA, Single Frequency Dual Cell HSPA (SFDC-HSPA), can be seen as an extension to the existing DC-HSPA feature. While DC-HSPA allows scheduling of two independent transport blocks to the mobile device (UE) from one sector on two frequency carriers, SFDC-HSPA allows scheduling of two independent transport blocks to the UE from two different sectors on the same carrier. In other words, it allows for a primary and a secondary serving cell to simultaneously send different data to the UE. Therefore, the major difference between SFDC-HSPA and DC-HSPA operation is that the secondary transport block is scheduled to the UE from a different sector on the same frequency as the primary transport block. The UE also needs to have receive diversity (type 3i) to suppress interference from the other cell as it will receive data on the same frequecny from multiple serving cells.Figure 1 llustrates the high-level concept of SFDC-HSPA.

In the case where the two sectors involved in Multipoint HSPA transmission belong to the same NodeB (Intra-NodeB mode), as illustrated in Figure 2, there is only one transmission queue maintained at the NodeB and the RNC. The queue management and RLC layer operation is essentially the same as for DC-HSPA.

In the case where the two sectors belong to different NodeBs (Inter-NodeB mode), as illustrated in Figure 2, there is a separate transmission queue at each NodeB. RLC layer enhancements are needed at the RNC along with enhanced flow control on the Iub interface between RNC and NodeB in order to support Multipoint HSPA operation across NodeBs. These enhancements are discussed in more detail in Section 4. In both modes, combined feedback information (CQI and HARQ-ACK/ NAK) needs to be sent on the uplink for both data streams received from the serving cells. On the uplink, the UE sends CQIs seen on all sectors using the legacy channel structure, with timing aligned to the primary serving cell.

When two carriers are available in the network, there is an additional degree of freedom in the frequency domain. Dual Frequency Dual Cell HSPA (DFDC-HSPA) allows exploiting both frequency and spatial domains by scheduling two independent transport blocks to the UE from two different sectors on two different frequency carriers. For a DC-HSPA capable UE, this is equivalent to having independent serving cells on the two frequency carriers. In Figure 3, UE1 is in DC-HSPA mode, whereas UE2 is in DFDC-HSPA mode.

Dual Frequency Four-Cell HSPA (DF4C-HSPA) can be seen as a natural extension of DFDC-HSPA, suitable for networks with UEs having four receiver chains. DF4C-HSPA allows use of the four receiver chains by scheduling four independent transport blocks to the UE from two different sectors on two different frequency carriers. DF4C-HSPA is illustrated in Figure 4.

Like SFDC-HSPA; DFDC-HSPA and DF4C-HSPA can also be intra-NodeB or inter-NodeB, resulting in an impact on transmission queue management, Iub flow control and the RLC layer.

Advantages of Multipoint transmission:
* Cell Edge Performance Improvement
* Load balancing across sectors and frequency carriers
* Leveraging RRU and distributed NodeB technology

Multipoint HSPA improves the performance of cell edge users and helps balance the load disparity across neighboring cells. It leverages advanced receiver technology already available in mobile devices compatible with Release 8 and beyond to achieve this. The system impact of Multipoint HSPA on the network side is primarily limited to software upgrades affecting the upper layers (RLC and RRC).

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Packet Flow in 2.5G, 3G, 3.5G and 4G

The 'LTE Signaling' is a very interesting book just being released that is a must have for people who are involved in design, development and testing. A book that explains the basic concepts from beginning till advanced concepts and explains how different components and interfaces fit together.

Though I havent yet read this book, I have read the earlier one titled UMTS Signaling, from the same authors that is an excellent reference for understanding Signalling in UMTS. I have no doubt that this book will be the same high quality.

The Excerpt on Wiley's website provides complete chapter 1 which is quite detailed and the Packet flow pictures and details below is extracted from this book.
The first stage of the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), that is often referred to as the 2.5G network, was deployed in live networks starting after the year 2000. It was basically a system that offered a model of how radio resources (in this case, GSM time slots) that had not been used by Circuit Switched (CS) voice calls could be used for data transmission and, hence, profitability of the network could be enhanced. At the beginning there was no pre-emption for PS (Packet Switched) services, which meant that the packet data needed to wait to be transmitted until CS calls had been finished.

In contrast to the GSM CS calls that had a Dedicated Traffic Channel (DTCH) assigned on the radio interface, the PS data had no access to dedicated radio resources and PS signaling, and the payload was transmitted in unidirectional Temporary Block Flows (TBFs) as shown in Figure 1.2.

In Release 99, when a PDP (Packet Data Protocol) context is activated the UE is ordered by the RNC (Radio Network Controller) to enter the Radio Resource Control (RRC) CELL_DCH state. Dedicated resources are assigned by the Serving Radio Network Controller (SRNC): these are the dedicated physical channels established on the radio interface. Those channels are used for transmission of both IP payload and RRC signaling – see Figure 1.7. RRC signaling includes the exchange of Non-Access Stratum (NAS) messages between the UE and SGSN.

The spreading factor of the radio bearer (as the combination of several physical transport resources on the Air and Iub interfaces is called) depends on the expected UL/DL IP throughput. The expected data transfer rate can be found in the RANAP (Radio Access Network Application Part) part of the Radio Access Bearer (RAB) assignment request message that is used to establish the Iu bearer, a GPRS Tunneling Protocol (GTP) tunnel for transmission of a IP payload on the IuPS interface between SRNC and SGSN. While the spreading factor controls the bandwidth of the radio connection, a sophisticated power control algorithm guarantees the necessary quality of the radio transmission. For instance, this power control ensures that the number of retransmitted frames does not exceed a certain critical threshold.

Activation of PDP context results also in the establishment of another GTP tunnel on the Gn interface between SGSN and GGSN. In contrast to IuPS, where tunnel management is a task of RANAP, on the Gn interface – as in (E)GPRS – the GPRS Tunneling Protocol – Control (GTP-C) is responsible for context (or tunnel) activation, modification, and deletion.

However, in Release 99 the maximum possible bit rate is still limited to 384 kbps for a single connection and, more dramatically, the number of users per cell that can be served by this highest possible bit rate is very limited (only four simultaneous 384 kbps connections per cell are possible on the DL due to the shortness of DL spreading codes).

To increase the maximum possible bit rate per cell as well as for the individual user, HSPA was defined in Releases 5 and 6 of 3GPP.

In High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) the High-Speed Downlink Shared Channel (HSDSCH) which bundles several High-Speed Physical Downlink Shared Channels (HS-PDSCHs) is used by several UEs simultaneously – that is why it is called a shared channel.

A single UE using HSDPA works in the RRC CELL_DCH state. For DL payload transport the HSDSCH is used, that is, mapped onto the HS-PDSCH. The UL IP payload is still transferred using a dedicated physical data channel (and appropriate Iub transport bearer); in addition, the RRC signaling is exchanged between the UE and RNC using the dedicated channels – see Figure 1.8.

All these channels have to be set up and (re)configured during the call. In all these cases both parties of the radio connection, cell and UE, have to be informed about the required changes. While communication between NodeB (cell) and CRNC (Controlling Radio NetworkController) uses NBAP (Node B Application Part), the connection between the UE and SRNC (physically the same RNC unit, but different protocol entity) uses the RRC protocol.

The big advantage of using a shared channel is higher efficiency in the usage of available radio resources. There is no limitation due to the availability of codes and the individual data rate assigned to a UE can be adjusted quicker to the real needs. The only limitation is the availability of processing resources (represented by channel card elements) and buffer memory in the base station.

From the user plane QoS perspective the two major targets of LTE are:
• a further increase in the available bandwidth and maximum data rate per cell as well as for the individual subscriber;
• reducing the delays and interruptions in user data transfer to a minimum.

These are the reasons why LTE has an always-on concept in which the radio bearer is set up immediately when a subscriber is attached to the network. And all radio resources provided to subscribers by the E-UTRAN are shared resources, as shown in Figure 1.9. Here it is illustrated that the IP payload as well as RRC and NAS signaling are transmitted on the radio interfaces using unidirectional shared channels, the UL-SCH and the Downlink Shared Channel (DL-SCH). The payload part of this radio connection is called the radio bearer. The radio bearer is the bidirectional point-to-point connection for the user plane between the UE and eNodeB (eNB). The RAB is the user plane connection between the UE and the Serving Gateway (S-GW) and the S5 bearer is the user plane connection between the S-GW and public data network gateway (PDN-GW).

The end-to-end connection between the UE and PDN-GW, that is, the gateway to the IP world outside the operator’s network, is called a PDN connection in the E-UTRAN standard documents and a session in the core network standards. Regardless, the main characteristic of this PDN connection is that the IP payload is transparently tunneled through the core and the radio access network.

To control the tunnels and radio resources a set of control plane connections runs in parallel with the payload transport. On the radio interface RRC and NAS signaling messages are transmitted using the same shared channels and the same RLC transport layer that is used to transport the IP payload.

RRC signaling terminates in the eNB (different from 3G UTRAN where RRC was transparently routed by NodeB to the RNC). The NAS signaling information is – as in 3G UTRAN – simply forwarded to the Mobility Management Entity (MME) and/or UE by the eNB.

You can read in detail about all these things and much more from the Wiley's website here.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Fast Dormancy in Release-8

Nokia Siemens Networks has collaborated with Qualcomm to carry out the industry’s first successful interoperability test of the new 3GPP standardized Release 8 Fast Dormancy feature. Unlike proprietary approaches to fast dormancy, the new standard allows operators to take full advantage of smart network features such as Cell_PCH without worrying that individual handset settings will ignore network controls.

The test was conducted at Nokia Siemens Networks’ Smart Lab in Dallas using Nokia Siemens Networks’ Flexi Multiradio Base Station and Radio Network Controller and Qualcomm’s QSC7230TM smartphone optimized chipset. The test showed how smartphones can act dynamically, exploiting Cell_PCH on Nokia Siemens Networks’ smart networks or adjusting to Fast Dormancy on other vendors’ traditional networks.

In fact the operators have been getting upset quite for some time because of smartphone hacks that save the UE battery life but cause network signalling congestion. See here.

To explain the problem, lets look at the actual signalling that occurs when the UE is not transmitting anything. Most probably it gets put into CELL_PCH or URA_PCH state. Then when keep alive messages need to be sent then the state is transitioned to CELL_FACH and once done its sent back to CELL_PCH. Now the transitioning back from CELL_FACH (or CELL_DCH) to CELL_PCH can take quite some time, depending on the operator parameters and this wastes the UE battery life.

To get round this problem, the UE manufacturers put a hack in the phone and what they do is that if there no data to transmit for a small amount of time, the UE sends RRC Signalling Connection Release Indication (SCRI) message. This message is supposed to be used in case when something is gone wrong in the UE and the UE wants the network to tear the connection down by sending RRC Connection Release message. Anyway, the network is forced to Release the connection.

If there is another requirement to send another keep alive message (they are needed for lots of apps like Skype, IM's, etc.) the RRC connection would have to be established all over again and this can cause lots of unnecessary signalling for the network causing congestion at peak times.

To speed up the transitioning to CELL_PCH state in Release-8 when the UE sends SCRI message, its supposed to include the cause value as "UE Requested PS Data session end". Once the network receives this cause it should immediately move the UE to CELL_PCH state.

This is a win win situation for both the network and the UE vendors as long as a lot of UE's implement this. The good thing is that even a pre-Rel8 UE can implement this and if the network supports this feature it would work.

GSMA has created a best practices document for this feature which is embedded below.

Further Reading:

Friday, 28 May 2010

UMTS/HSPA State Transition Problems to be solved with LTE

The way UMTS/HSPA is designed is that the Mobile (UE) is always in IDLE state. If there is some data that needs to be transferred then the UE moves to CELL_DCH. If the amount of data is very less then the UE could move to CELL_FACH state. The UE can also move to CELL_PCH and URA PCH if required but may not necessarily do so if the operator has not configured those states.

The problem in UMTS/HSPA is that these state transitions take quite some time (in mobile terms) and can slow down the browsing experience. Martin has blogged about the state transition problems because of the keep alive messages used by the Apps. These small data transfers dont let the UE go in the IDLE state. If they do then whole raft of signalling has to occur again for the UE to go to CELL_FACH or CELL_DCH. In another post Martin also pointed out the sluggishness caused by the UE in CELL_FACH state.

Mike Thelander of the Signals Research Group presented similar story in the recently concluded LTE World Summit. It can be seen from the figure above that moving from IDLE to CELL_DCH is 1-3secs whereas FACH to DCH is 500ms.

In case if some Apps are running in the background, they can be using these keep alive messages or background messages which may be very useful on the PC but for the Mobiles, these could cause unnecessary state transitions which means lots of signalling overhead.

The Apps creators have realised this problem and are working with the Phone manufacturers to optimise their messaging. For example in case of some Apps on mobiles the keep alive message has been changed from 20 seconds to 5 mins.

3GPP also realised this problem quite a while back and for this reason in Release-7 two new features were added in HSPA+. One was Continuous Packet Connectivity (CPC) and the other was Enhanced CELL_FACH. In Release-8 for HSPA+, these features were added in UL direction as well. The sole aim of these features were to reduce the time it would take to transit to CELL_DCH. Since CPC increases the cell capacity as well, more users can now be put in CELL_FACH instead of being sent to IDLE.

An interesting thing in case of LTE is that the RRC states have been simplified to just two states as shown here. The states are IDLE and CONNECTED. The intention for LTE is that all the users can be left in the CONNECTED state and so unnecessary signalling and time spent on transitioning can be reduced.

The preliminary results from the trials (as can also be seen from here) that were discussed in the LTE World Summit clearly show that LTE leads to a capacity increase by 4 times (in the same BW) and also allow very low latency. I am sure that enough tests with real life applications like Skype, Fring and Yahoo IM have not been done but I am hopeful of the positive outcome.

Friday, 29 January 2010

HSDPA Code Tree

How often does it happen that people ask you questions you know the answer to but cant recall the complete details. A similar thing happened when a colleague asked me about why only 15 codes why HS-PDSCH and what happens to the 16th code.
Here is a picture which is from Qualcomm Whitepaper (available here) which is self explanatory.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Inter-Layer Communication Primitives

IEEE defines service primitives that are used for communication between different layers in a protocol stack. There are 4 types of service primitives as can be seen in the diagram above and are described below:

Request: This is sent by the initiating side and from a higher layer to a lower layer. For example when RRC wants to send a message to peer RRC entity, it sends an RLC Data Request to RLC.

Indication: This primitive on the receiving entity is passed from Layer N to the layer above (N+1). For example when RLC entity receives MAC data from MAC and its addressed to RRC, it sends RLC Data Ind to the RRC.

Response: This is the response to the Indication on the receiving entity. So in our example case, RLC Data Resp would be sent by RRC when it receives RLC Data Ind.

Confirm: This is used as a reply in the sending entity as the lower layer conveys the result of one or more previous request primitives. The confirm will generally contain status code indicating success or failure of the procedure. In our example, RLC Data Cnf will be sent by RLC as a response to RLC Data Req.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Flexible RLC in Release 7 and Release 8

In R99, RLC packets had to be relatively small to avoid the retransmission of very large packets in case of transmission errors. Another reason for the relatively small RLC packet size was the need to provide sufficiently small step sizes for adjusting the data rates for Release 99 channels.

The RLC packet size in Release 99 is not only small, but it is also fixed for Acknowledged Mode Data and there are just a limited number of block sizes in UM Data. This limitation is due to transport channel data rate limitations in Release 99. The RLC payload size is fixed to 40 bytes in Release 99 for Acknowledged Mode Data. The same RLC solution is applied to HSDPA Release 5 and HSUPA Release 6 as well: the 40-byte packets are transmitted from RNC to the base station for HSDPA. An additional confi guration option to use an 80-byte RLC packet size was introduced in Release 5 to avoid extensive RLC protocol overhead, L2 processing and RLC transmission window stalling. With the 2 ms TTI used with HSDPA this leads to possible data rates being multiples of 160 kbps and 320 kbps respectively.

As the data rates are further increased in Release 7, increasing the RLC packet size even further would significantly impact on the granularity of the data rates available for HSDPA scheduling and the possible minimum data rates.

3GPP HSDPA and HSUPA allow the optimization of the L2 operation since L1 retransmissions are used and the probability of L2 retransmissions is very low. Also, the Release 99 transport channel limitation does not apply to HSDPA/HSUPA since the L2 block sizes are independent of the transport formats. Therefore, it is possible to use fl exible and considerably larger RLC sizes and introduce segmentation to the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer in the base station.

This optimization is included for downlink in Release 7 and for uplink in Release 8 and it is called flexible RLC and MAC segmentation solution. The RLC block size in fl exible RLC solution can be as large as an Internet Protocol (IP) packet, which is typically 1500 bytes for download. There is no need for packet segmentation in RNC. By introducing the segmentation to the MAC, the MAC can perform the segmentation of the large RLC PDU based on physical layer requirements when needed. The fl exible RLC concept in downlink is illustrated in Figure above.

There is a lot of interesting information in R&S presentation on HSPA. See here.

Main source of the content above and for further information see: LTE for UMTS: OFDMA and SC-FDMA Based Radio Access

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Enhanced UL for CELL_FACH state in Release 8

Users should always be kept in the state that gives the best trade-off between data rate availability, latency, battery consumption and usage of network resources. As a complement to the data rate enhancements made to the dedicated state (CELL_DCH), 3GPP has also made significant enhancements to the common states (URA_PCH, CELL_PCH and CELL_FACH). Release 7 introduced HSDPA mechanisms in the common states in order to improve their data rates, latency and code usage. Release 8 introduces corresponding enhancements in the uplink, allowing base stations to configure and dynamically manage up to 32 common Enhanced Uplink resources in each cell.

This enhancement improves latency and data rates for keep-alive messages (for example, from VPN or messenger applications) as well as web-browsing events, providing a seamless transition from EUL in common state to EUL in dedicated state.

As a further improvement of the CELL_FACH state, Release 8 introduces discontinuous reception (DRX), which significantly reduces battery consumption. DRX is now supported in all common and dedicated states.

Enhanced FACH and RACH bring a few performance benefits:
  • RACH and FACH data rates can be increased beyond 1 Mbps. The end user could get immediate access to relatively high data rates without the latency of channel allocation.
  • The state transition from Cell_FACH to Cell_DCH would be practically seamless. Once the network resources for the channel allocation are available, a seamless transition can take place to Cell_DCH since the physical channel is not changed.
  • Unnecessary state transitions to Cell_DCH can be avoided when more data can be transmitted in Cell_FACH state. Many applications create some background traffic that is today carried on Cell_DCH. Therefore, Enhanced RACH and FACH can reduce the channel element consumption in NodeB.
  • Discontinuous reception could be used in Cell_FACH to reduce the power consumption. The discontinuous reception can be implemented since Enhanced FACH uses short 2 ms TTI instead of 10 ms as in Release 99. The discontinuous reception in Cell_FACH state is introduced in 3GPP Release 8.

For more information see: LTE for UMTS: OFDMA and SC-FDMA Based Radio Access

Monday, 21 September 2009

HSPA Functions and Benefits

Very interesting diagram summarising HSPA Functions and Benefits

Source: 3G Americas Whitepaper, HSPA to LTE-Advanced: 3GPP Broadband Evolution to IMT-Advanced (4G)

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Orthogonality and non orthogonality

Multiple access (MA) is a basic function in wireless cellular systems. Generally speaking, MA techniques can be classified into orthogonal and non-orthogonal approaches. In orthogonal approaches, signals from different users are orthogonal to each other, i.e., their cross correlation is zero, which can be achieved by time division multiple-access (TDMA), frequency-division multiple-access (FDMA) and orthogonal-frequency division multiple-access (OFDMA). Non-orthogonal schemes allow non-zero cross correlation among the signals from different users, such as in random waveform code-division multiple-access (CDMA), trellis-coded multiple-access (TCMA) and interleave-division multiple-access (IDMA).

First and second generation cellular systems are dominated by orthogonal MA approaches. The main advantage of these approaches is the avoidance of intra-cell interference. However, careful cell planning is necessary in these systems to curtail cross-cell interference. In particular, sufficient distance must exist between re-used channels, resulting in reduced cellular spectral efficiency.

Non-orthogonal CDMA techniques have been adopted in second and third generation cellular systems (e.g. CDMA2000 and uplink WCDMA). Compared with its orthogonal counterparts, CDMA is more robust against fading and cross-cell interference, but is prone to intracell interference. Due to its spread-spectrum nature, CDMA is inconvenient for data services (e.g., wireless local area networks (WLANs) and 3GPP high speed uplink/downlink packet access (HSUPA/HSDPA) standard) that require high single-user rates.

Communication services can be classified into delay sensitive and insensitive ones. A typical example of a delay-insensitive service is email. Typical examples of delay-sensitive services include speech and video applications. For delay insensitive services, rate constraints are relatively relaxed for individual users and maximizing the throughput by orthogonal methods is a common strategy. The maximum throughput can be achieved by a one-user transmission policy, where only the user with the largest channel gain is allowed to transmit. This implies time domain orthogonality as adopted in many WLANs. For delay-sensitive services, on the other hand, each user must transmit a certain amount of information within a certain period and maximizing the throughput is no longer an appropriate strategy. Rate constraints must be considered in this case.

CDMA is the most well known non-orthogonal technique. The main advantages of CDMA are its robustness against fading and cross-cell interference, and its flexibility in asynchronous transmission environments.
An uplink data transfer mechanism in the HSUPA is provided by physical HSUPA channels, such as an Enhanced Dedicated Physical Data Channel (E-DPDCH), implemented on top of Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) uplink physical data channels such as a Dedicated Physical Control Channel (DPCCH) and a Dedicated Physical Data Channel (DPDCH), thus sharing radio resources, such as power resources, with the WCDMA uplink physical data channels. The sharing of the radio resources results in inflexibility in radio resource allocation to the physical HSUPA channels and the WCDMA physical data channels. In CDMA, which is a non-orthogonal multiple access scheme, the signals from different users within the same cell interfere with one another. This type of interference is known as the intra-cell interference. In addition, the base station also receives the interference from the users transmitting in neighbouring cells. This is known as the inter-cell interference.

Uplink power control is typically intended to control the received signal power from the active user equipments (UEs) to the base as well as the rise-over-thermal (RoT), which is a measure of the total interference (intra- and inter-cell) relative to the thermal noise. In systems such as HSUPA, fast power control is required due to the fast fluctuation in multi-user (intra-cell) interference. This fast fluctuation will otherwise result in the well-known near-far problem. Moreover, as uplink transmission in an HSUPA system is not orthogonal, the signal from each transmitting UE is subject to interference from another transmitting UE. If the signal strength of UEs varies substantially, a stronger UE (for example, a UE in favourable channel conditions experiencing a power boost due to constructive short term channel fading such as Rayleigh fading) may completely overwhelm the signal of a weaker UE (with signal experiencing attenuation due to short term fading). To mitigate this problem, fast power control has been considered previously in the art where fast power control commands are transmitted from a base station to each UE to set the power of uplink transmission.

When an orthogonal multiple access scheme such as Single-Carrier Frequency Division Multiple Access (SC-FDMA), which includes interleaved and localized Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) or Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), is used, multi-user interference is not present for low mobility and small for moderate mobility. This is the case for the next generation UMTS i.e. LTE system. LTE system employs SC-FDMA in uplink and OFDMA in downlink. As a result in the case of LTE, the fluctuation in the total interference only comes from inter-cell interference and thermal noise which tends to be slower. While fast power control can be utilized, it can be argued that its advantage is minimal. Hence, only slow power control is needed for orthogonal multiple access schemes.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Fundamental difference between HSDPA and HSUPA

It has been long time since HSDPA and HSUPA came into existence. Untill now we have read and implemented many features related to HSDPA and HSUPA. However following are the basic difference between HSDPA and HSUPA:
  • In the downlink, the shared resource is transmission power and the code space, both of which are located in one central node, the NodeB. In the uplink, the shared resource is the amount of allowed uplink interference, which depends on the transmission power of multiple distributed nodes, the UEs.
  • The scheduler and the transmission buffers are located in the same node in the downlink, while in the uplink the scheduler is located in the NodeB while the data buffers are distributed in the UEs. Hence, the UEs need to signal buffer status information to the scheduler.
  • The WCDMA uplink, also with Enhanced Uplink, is inherently non-orthogonal, and subject to interference between uplink transmissions within the same cell. This is in contrast to the downlink, where different transmitted channels are orthogonal. Fast power control is therefore essential for the uplink to handle the near-far problem. The E-DCH is transmitted with a power offset relative to the power-controlled uplink control channel and by adjusting the maximum allowed power offset, the scheduler can control the E-DCH data rate. This is in contrast to HSDPA, where a (more or less) constant transmission power with rate adaptation is used.
  • Soft handover is supported by the E-DCH. Receiving data from a terminal in multiple cells is fundamentally beneficial as it provides diversity, while transmission from multiple cells in case of HSDPA is cumbersome and with questionable benefits as discussed in the previous chapter. Soft handover also implies power control by multiple cells, which is necessary to limit the amount of interference generated in neighbouring cells and to maintain backward compatibility and coexistence with UE not using the E-DCH for data transmission.
  • In the downlink, higher-order modulation, which trades power efficiency for bandwidth efficiency, is useful to provide high data rates in some situations, for example when the scheduler has assigned a small number of channelization codes for a transmission but the amount of available transmission power is relatively high. The situation in the uplink is different; there is no need to share channelization codes between users and the channel coding rates are therefore typically lower than for the downlink. Hence, unlike the downlink, higher order modulation is less useful in the uplink macro-cells and therefore not part of the first release of enhanced uplink.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Implementation of CQI Reporting in HSPA

In HSDPA the channel quality indicator is a measure of the mobile channel which is send regularly from the UE to the Node B. These measurements are used to adapt modulation and coding for the corresponding UE and it can be also used for the scheduling algorithms.

The CQI measurement is implemented in the HSPA module and the measurement interval as well as the influence of measurement errors can be parameterised. The results can be given in form of maps or in a statistical manner as histogram for each cell.

Information about the instantaneous channel quality at the UE is typically obtained through a 5-bit Channel-Quality Indicator (CQI) in HS-SCCH, which each UE feed back to the NodeB at regular intervals. The CQI is calculated at the UE based on the signal-to-noise ratio of the received common pilot. Instead of expressing the CQI as a received signal quality, the CQI is expressed as a recommended transport-block size, taking into account also the receiver performance.

The reason for not reporting an explicit channel-quality measure is that different UEs might support different data rates in identical environments, depending on the exact receiver implementation. By reporting the data rate rather than an explicit channel-quality measure, the fact that a UE has a relatively better receiver can be utilized to provide better service (higher data rates) to such a UE. It is interesting to note that this provides a benefit with advanced receiver structures for the end user.

This is appropriate as the quantity of relevance is the instantaneous data rate a terminal can support rather than the channel quality alone. Hence, a terminal with a more advanced receiver, being able to receive data at a higher rate at the same channel quality, will report a larger CQI than a terminal with a less advanced receiver, all other conditions being identical.

Each 5-bit CQI value corresponds to a given transport-block size, modulation scheme, and number of channelization codes. Different tables are used for different UE categories as a UE shall not report a CQI exceeding its capabilities. For example, a UE only supporting 5 codes shall not report a CQI corresponding to 15 codes, while a 15-code UE may do so. Therefore, power
offsets are used for channel qualities exceeding the UE capabilities. A power offset of x dB indicates that the UE can receive a certain transport-block size, but at x dB lower transmission power than the CQI report was based upon. UEs belonging to category 1–6 can only receive up to 5 HS-DSCH channelization codes and therefore must use a power offset for the highest CQI values, while category 10 UEs are able to receive up to 15 codes.

The CQI values listed are sorted in ascending order and the UE shall report the highest CQI for which transmission with parameters corresponding to the CQI result in a block error probability not exceeding 10%.

Specifying which interval the CQI relates to allows the NodeB to track changes in the channel quality between the CQI reports by using the power control commands for the associated downlink (F-) DPCH. The rate of the channel-quality reporting is configurable in the range of one report per 2–160 ms. The CQI reporting can also be switched off completely.

In addition to the instantaneous channel quality, the scheduler implementation in the NodeB should typically also take buffer status and priority levels into account before finalising the data rate for the UE. Obviously UEs for which there is no data awaiting transmission should not be scheduled. There could also be data that is important to transmit within a certain maximum delay, regardless of the channel conditions. One important example hereof is RRC signalling, for example, related to cell change in order to support mobility, which should be delivered to the UE as soon as possible. Another example, although not as time critical as RRC signalling, is streaming services, which has an upper limit on the acceptable delay of a packet to ensure a constant average data rate. To support priority handling in the scheduling decision, a set of priority queues is defined into which the data is inserted according to the priority of the data. The scheduler selects data from these priority queues for transmission based on the channel conditions, the priority of the queue, and any other relevant information.