This is a summary of a paper from IEEE Communications Magazine, Dec 2009 issue titled "Technologies and Standards for TD-SCDMA Evolutions to IMT-Advanced" by Mugen Peng and Wenbo Wang of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications with my own comments and understanding.
As I have blogged about in the past that China Mobile has launched TD-SCDMA network in China and the main focus to to iron out the basic problems before moving onto the evolved TD-SCDMA network. Couple of device manufacturers have already started working on the TD-HSPA devices. Couple of months back, 3G Americas published a whitepaper giving overview and emphasising the advantages of TDD flavour of LTE as compared to FDD. The next milestone is the IMT-Advanced that is under discussion at the moment and China has already proposed TD-LTE-Advanced which would be compatible with the TD-SCDMA technology.
For anyone who does not know the difference between TDD, FDD and TD-SCDMA please see this blog.
The TD-SCDMA technology has been standardised quite a while back but the rollout has been slow. The commercial TD-SCDMA network was rolled out in 2009 and more and more device manufacturers are getting interested in the technology. This could be due to the fact that China Mobile has a customer base of over 500 million subscribers. As of July 2009 over 100 device manufacturers were working on TD-SCDMA technology.
The big problem with TD-SCDMA (as in the case of R99 3G) is that the practical data rate is 350kbps max. This can definitely not provide a broadband experience. To increase the data rates there are two different approaches. First is the Short Term Evolution (STE) and the other is Long Term Evolution (LTE).
The first phase of evolution as can be seen in the picture above is the TD-STE. This consists of single carrier and multi-carrier TD-HSDPA/TD-HSUPA (TD-HSPA), TD-MBMS and TD-HSPA+.
The LTE part is known as TD-LTE. There is a definite evolution path specified from TD-SCDMA to TD-LTE and hence TD-LTE is widely supported by the TD-SCDMA technology device manufacturers and operators. The target of TD-LTE is to enhance the capabilities of coverage, service provision, and mobility support of TD-SCDMA. To save investment and make full use of the network infrastructure available, the design of TD-LTE takes into account the features of TD-SCDMA, and keeps TD-LTE backward compatible with TD-SCDMA and TD-STE systems to ensure smooth migration.
The final phase of evolution is the 4G technology or IMT-Advanced and the TD-SCDMA candidate for TD-LTE+ is TD-LTE-Advanced. Some mature techniques related to the TD-SCDMA characteristics, such as beamforming (BF), dynamic channel allocation, and uplink synchronization, will be creatively incorporated in the TD-LTE+ system.
Some academic proposals were also made like the one available here on the future evolution of TD-SCDMA but they lacked the industry requirements and are just useful for theoretical research.
The standards of TD-SCDMA and its evolution systems are supervised by 3GPP in Europe and by CCSA (Chinese Cellular Standards Association) in China. In March 2001 3GPP fulfilled TD-SCDMA low chip rate (LCR) standardization in Release 4 (R4). The improved R4 and Release 5 (R5) specifications have added some promising functions including HSDPA, synchronization procedures, terminal location (angle of arrival [AOA]-aided location), and so on.
When the industry standardizations supervised by CCSA are focusing on the integration of R4 and R5, the N-frequency TD-SCDMA and the extension of HSDPA from single- to multicarrier are presented. Meanwhile, some networking techniques, such as N-frequency, polarized smart antenna, and a new networking configuration with baseband unit plus remote radio unit (BBU+RRU), are present in the commercial application of TD-SCDMA.
For the first evolution phase of TD-SCDMA, three alternative solutions are considered. The first one is compatible with WCDMA STE, which is based on HSDPA/HSUPA technology. The second is to provide MBMS service via the compatible multicast broadcast single-frequency network (MBSFN) technique or the new union time-slot network (UTN) technique. The last is HSPA+ to achieve similar performance as LTE.
On a single carrier, TD-HSDPA can reach a peak rate of 2.8 Mb/s for each carrier when the
ratio of upstream and downstream time slots is 1:5. The theoretical peak transmission rate of a three-carrier HSDPA system with 16-quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) is up to 8.4 Mb/s.
Single-carrier TD-HSUPA can achieve different throughput rates if the configurations and parameters are varied, including the number of occupied time slots, the modulation, and the transport block size in bytes. Considering the complexity of a terminal with several carriers in TD-HSUPA, multicarrier is configured in the Node B, while only one carrier is employed in the terminal.
In Rel-7 based TD-HSPA+, In order to match the performance of orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA)-based TD-LTE systems, some advanced techniques are utilized, such as multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), polarized BF, higher modulation and coding schemes (64-QAM is available), adaptive fast scheduling, multicarrier techniques, and so on. Theoretically, 64-QAM can improve performance by a factor of 1.5 compared to the current 16-QAM; for single-carrier the peak rate reaches 4.2 Mb/s, and three-carrier up to 12.6 Mb/s.
For the MIMO technique, double transmit antenna array (D-TxAA), based on the pre-coding method at the transmitter, has been employed in frequency-division duplex (FDD)-HSPA+ systems, while selective per antenna rate control (S-PARC), motivated by the Shannon capacity limit for an open loop MIMO link, has been applied in TD-HSPA+ systems.
The TD-SCDMA LTE program was kicked off in November 2004, and the LTE demand report was approved in June 2005. The LTE specified for TD_SCDMA evolution is named TD-LTE.
LTE systems are supposed to work in both FDD and TDD modes. LTE TDD and FDD modes have been greatly harmonized in the sense that both modes share the same underlying framework, including radio access schemes OFDMA in downlink and SC-FDMA in uplink, basic subframe formats, configuration protocols, and so on.
IMT-Advanced can be regarded as a B3G/4G standard, and the current TD-SCDMA standard migrating to IMT-Advanced can be regarded as a thorough revolution. TD-LTE advanced (TD-LTE+) is a good match with the TD-SCDMA revolution to IMT-Advanced.
It is predicted that the future TD-SCDMA revolution technology will support data rates up to approximately 100 Mb/s for high mobility and up to approximately 1 Gb/s for low mobility such as nomadic/local wireless access.
Recently, some advanced techniques have been presented for TD-LTE+ in China, ranging from the system architecture to the radio processing techniques, such as multi-user (MU)-BF, wireless relaying, and carrier aggregation (CA).
For MU-BF see the paper proposed by Huawei, CHina Mobile and CATT here (http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/tsg_ran/WG1_RL1/TSGR1_55b/Docs/R1-090133.zip).
For Wireless Relaying see the ZTE paper here (http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/tsg_ran/WG1_RL1/TSGR1_56b/Docs/R1-091423.zip).
To achieve higher performance and target peak data rates, LTE+ systems should support bandwidth greater than 20 MHz (e.g., up to 100 MHz). Consequently, the requirements for TD-LTE+ include support for larger transmission bandwidths than in TD-LTE. Moreover, there should be backward compatibility so that a TD-LTE user can work in TD-LTE+ networks. CA is a concept that can provide bandwidth scalability while maintaining backward compatibility with TD-LTE through any of the constituent carriers, where multiple component carriers are aggregated to the desired TD-LTE+ system bandwidth. A TD-LTE R8 terminal can receive one of these component carriers, while an TD-LTE+ terminal can simultaneously access multiple component carriers. Compared to other approaches, CA does not require extensive changes to the TD-LTE physical layer structure and simplifies reuse of existing implementations. For more on Carrier Aggregation see CATT, LGE and Motorola paper here (http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/tsg_ran/WG1_RL1/TSGR1_56b/Docs/R1-091655.zip).
Finally, there are some interesting developments happening in the TD-SCDMA market with bigger players getting interested. Once a critical mass is reached in the number of subscribers as well as the manufacturers I wouldnt be surprised if this technology is exported beyond the Chinese borders. With clear and defined evolution path this could be a win-win situation for everyone.
Nokia publicly underlined its commitment to broadcast-mobile-TV standard DVB-H with the recent unveiling of the mobile TV edition of the Nokia 5330 and its pretax, presubsidy price tag of €155 (US$230), after some in the industry had questioned its enthusiasm for launching new DVB-H devices. Nokia also quelled any suggestions that it might start supporting the MBMS standard with its future device launches.
The price is a massive drop from the €550 price tag carried by Nokia’s last fully DVB-H-compatible handset, the N96, which launched in 3Q08. So the official line from Nokia is this: “All is well on the good ship DVB-H.”
Meanwhile, In China, China Unicom has launched 3G telecom services in 268 cities across the country, said Li Gang, another deputy general manger for Unicom Group, noting that the WCDMA network supports a 14Mbps download data transmission speed and a 7.2Mbps upload data transmission speed.
Notably, the carrier has adopted the most advanced R6 technology in its core WCDMA network to smooth a WCDMA-to-EPS migration in the future, according to Mr. Zhang.
The China Unicom network is expected to support MBMS and HSPA+64QAM technology in the first phase of a further evolution, shore up a HSPA+MIMO technology in the Phase II evolution, and prompt a LTE technology in the Phase III evolution, said Mr. Zhang, adding that the network will present a 100Mbps download speed and a 50Mbps upload speed after the Phase III evolution.
Read more here. Back in September,Orange Moldova announced the launch of the world's first mobile telephone service offering high-definition (HD) sound. The service will provide customers with a significantly improved quality of service when making calls. Unlike for other mobile technologies such as multimedia capabilities, this is the first time since the 1990s that mobile voice technologies have been subject to a significant evolution.
This is the second step in Orange’s HD voice strategy, following on from the launch of a high-definition voice service for VoIP calls in 2006. Over 500,000 Livephone devices have already been sold in France and the range will be extended to other Orange countries over the coming months.
The first mobile handset integrating high-definition voice capability that will be launched by Orange Moldova is the Nokia 6720c. This innovative handset integrates the new WB-AMR technology, which is widely expected within the industry to become a new standard for mobile voice communications.
Thanks to the Adaptive Multi Rate-WideBand (AMR-WB) codec, double the frequency spectrum will be given over to voice telephony over traditional voice calling. Orange boasts that the result is "near hi-fi quality" and "FM-radio quality", which seems an odd comparison.
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.
Fractional DPCH was added in Rel-6 to optimise the consumption of downlink channelization codes. When using HS-DSCH (High Speed Downlink Shared Channel), the main use for DL DPCH (also known as A-DPCH where A stands for Associated) is to carry power control commands (TPC bits) to the UE in order to adjust the uplink transmission. If all RBs (Radio Bearers) including SRBs (Signalling Radio Bearers) are mapped on to HS-DSCH then the DL codes are being wasted. SF 256 is used for A-DPCH and so every code being used by a user is seriously depleting the codes available for other UE's. To overcome this F-DPCH is used so that multiple UE's can share a single DL channelisation code. The limitation is 10 UEs in Rel-6.
For several users, the network configures each user having the same code but different frame timing and, thus, users can be transmitted on the single code source. The original timing is thus retained which avoids the need to adjust timings based on Release 99 power control loop implementation.
During slots where the DPCCH is not transmitted, the NodeB cannot estimate the uplink signal-to-interference ratio for power-control purposes and there is no reason for transmitting a power control bit in the downlink. Consequently, the UE shall not receive any power control commands on the F-DPCH in downlink slots corresponding to inactive uplink DPCCH slots.
There are some restrictions for FDPCH. It is not usable with services requiring data to be mapped to the DCH, such as AMR speech calls and CS video. Also, the lack of pilot information means that a method like feedback-based transmit diversity (closed loop mode) is not usable. The use of closed loop diversity is based on user-specific phase modification, wherein pilot symbols would be needed for verification of the phase rotation applied. On the other hand, when utilizing the F-DPCH, SRBs can benefit from high data rates of HSDPA and reduce service setup times remarkably
Finally, as you may have already figured out, by using F-DPCH the cell capacity has been improved and at the same time for same number of users, the interference has gone down significantly.
In Release 7, Rel-6 limitation has been removed. In R6, for a given UE in soft handover the TPC from all F-DPCH had to have the same offset timing. In R7, F-DPCH (TPC bits) can have different timing from different cells. This is possible due to introduction of 9 new F-DPCH slot formats (slot format 0 is the legacy F-DPCH slot format). The RRC signalling is done seperately for slot formats from the RNC to each of the cells.
You may also be interested in this Ericsson paper titled "The effect of F-DPCH on VoIP over HSDPA Capacity". Available here.
China's ZTE Corp. announced that it has, in collaboration with Qualcomm, successfully completed a Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS) testing based on the 3GPP R6 standard conducted at its Shanghai R&D center last month.
The first testing MBMS inter-operability test (IOT) completed, test results show that 128- and 256Kbps high-speed transmission of MBMS TV programs broadcast and multicast services can be smoothly delivered over cellular networks. The success of MBMS IOT marks the readiness of commercial delivery to the mass market.
"Qualcomm is happy to cooperate with ZTE in conducting the MBMS testing, an area which we believe is part of the core development of ZTE's W-CDMA products," said Frank Meng, president of Qualcomm Greater China. "This is a major contribution in the development of MBMS and we are confident that the results of the testing will help our customers provide more competitive W-CDMA products and solutions moving forward."
Then yesterday, Anite submitted first MBMS Conformance Test which they were able to pass on Nokia NoRM-6 and Qualcomm 7200 UE. Other System Simulator manufacturers are not far behind with Anritsu and R&S also focussing heavily on MBMS test cases development.
Anritsu Protocol Test System (PTS) is shown in the figure above.
At present it seems Nokia and Qualcomm are leading the way on the UE side but in past i have heard about Ericsson and Motorola being MBMS ready soon.