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Showing posts with label Release 11. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Release 11. Show all posts

## Monday, 22 August 2011

### MU-MIMO (and DIDO)

Late last month a guy called Steve Perlman announced of a new technology called DIDO (Distributed-Input-Distributed-Output) that could revolutionise the way wireless transmission works and can help fix the channel capacity problem as described by Shannon's formula. A whitepaper describing this technology is available here.

I havent gone through the paper in any detail nor do I understand this DIDO very well but what many experienced engineers have pointed out is that this is MU-MIMO in disguise. Without going into any controversies, lets look at MU-MIMO as its destined to play an important part in LTE-Advanced (the real '4G').

Also, I have been asked time and again about this Shannon's channel capacity formula. This formula is better known by its name Shannon-Hartley theorem. It states:

C <= B log2 (1 + S/N)
where:
C = channel capacity (bits per second)
B = bandwidth (hertz)
S/N = Signal to Noise ratio (SNR)

In a good channel, SNR will be high. Take for example a case when SNR is 20db then log2 (1 + 100) = 6.6. In an extremely noisy channel SNR will be low which would in turn reduce the channel capacity.

In should be pointed out that the Shannon's formula holds true for all wireless technologies except for when multiuser transmission like MU-MIMO (or DIDO) is used.

Anyway, I gave a simple explanation on MU-MIMO before. Another simple explanation of what an MU-MIMO is as explained in this video below:

The picture below (from NTT) gives a good summary of the different kinds of MIMO technology and their advantages and disadvantages. More details could be read from here.

Click to enlarge

As we can see, MU-MIMO is great but it is complex in implementation.

Click to enlarge

Multiuser MIMO technology makes it possible to raise wireless transmission speed by increasing the number of antennas at the base station, without consuming more frequency bandwidth or increasing modulation multiple-values. It is therefore a promising technology for incorporating broadband wireless transmission that will be seamlessly connected with wired transmission in the micro waveband (currently used for mobile phones and wireless LAN, and well suited to mobile communications use), where frequency resources are in danger of depletion. Since it also allows multiple users to be connected simultaneously, it is seen as a solution to the problem specific to wireless communications, namely, slow or unavailable connections when the number of terminals in the same area increases (see Figure 9 above).

There is a good whitepaper in NTT Docomo technical journal that talks about Precoding and Scheduling techniques for increasing the capacity of MIMO channels. Its available here. There is also a simple explanation of MIMO including MU-MIMO on RadioElectronics here. If you want to do a bit more indepth study of MU-MIMO then there is a very good research paper in the EURASIP Journal that is available here (Click on Full text PDF on right for FREE download).

Finally, there is a 3GPP study item on MIMO Enhancements for LTE-Advanced which is a Release-11 item that will hopefully be completed by next year. That report should give a lot more detail about how practical would it be to implement it as part of LTE-Advanced. The following is the justification of doing this study:

The Rel-8 MIMO and subsequent MIMO enhancements in Rel-10 were designed mostly with homogenous macro deployment in mind. Recently, the need to enhance performance also for non-uniform network deployments (e.g. heterogeneous deployment) has grown. It would therefore be beneficial to study and optimize the MIMO performance for non-uniform deployments where the channel conditions especially for low-power node deployments might typically differ from what is normally encountered in scenarios considered so far.

Downlink MIMO in LTE-Advanced has been enhanced in Release 10 to support 8-layer SU-MIMO transmission and dynamic SU-MU MIMO switching. For the 8-tx antenna case, the CSI feedback to support downlink MIMO has been enhanced with a new dual-codebook structure aimed at improving CSI accuracy at the eNB without increasing the feedback overhead excessively. Precoded reference symbols are provided for data demodulation, allowing arbitrary precoders to be used by the eNB for transmission. In many deployment scenarios, less than 8 tx antennas will be employed. It is important to focus on the eNB antenna configurations of highest priority for network operators.

The enhancement of MIMO performance through improved CSI feedback for high priority scenarios not directly targeted by the feedback enhancements in Release 10, especially the case of 4 tx antennas in a cross-polarised configuration, in both homogeneous and heterogeneous scenarios should be studied.

MU-MIMO operation is considered by many network operators as important to further enhance system capacity. It is therefore worth studying further potential enhancement for MU-MIMO, which includes UE CSI feedback enhancement and control signaling enhancement. Furthermore, open-loop MIMO enhancements were briefly mentioned but not thoroughly investigated in Rel-10.

In addition, the experience from real-life deployments in the field has increased significantly since Rel-8. It would be beneficial to discuss the experience from commercial MIMO deployments, and identify if there are any potential short-comings and possible ways to address those. For example, it can be discussed if robust rank adaptation works properly in practice with current UE procedures that allow a single subframe of data to determine the rank. In addition the impact of calibration error on the performance could be discussed.

This work will allow 3GPP to keep MIMO up to date with latest deployments and experience.

## Wednesday, 10 August 2011

### Self-Evolving Networks (SEN): Next step of SON

In a post last year, I listed the 3GPP features planned for the Self-Organising networks. Self-optimisation has been a part of the SON. It is becoming more of a common practice to refer to SON as Self-Optimising networks. A recent 4G Americas whitepaper was titled "Benefits of self-optimizing networks in LTE".

The next phase in the evolution of the Self-Configuring, Self-organizing and Self-optimizing network are the Self-Evolving Networks (aka. SEN) that will combine the Organizing and Optimizing features with the Self-testing and Self-Healing features. Self-testing and Self-healing have been recommended as subtasks of SON in the NGMN white paper. Self-testing and self-healing means that a system detects itself problems and mitigates or solves them avoiding user impact and significantly reducing maintenance costs.

We may still be a long way away from achieving this SEN as there are quite a few items being still standardised in 3GPP. Some of the standardised items have not yet been fully implemented and tested as well. Some of this new features that will help are listed as follows:

Automatic Radio Network Configuration Data Preparation (Rel-9)

When radio Network Elements (e.g. cells and/or eNBs) are inserted into an operational radio network, some network configuration parameters cannot be set before-hand because they have interdependencies with the configuration of operational NEs. "Dynamic Radio Network Configuration Data Preparation" comprises the generation and distribution of such interdependent parameters to the newly inserted network element and optionally already operational NEs.

This functionality allows fully automatic establishment of an eNB into a network. Otherwise an operator needs to set these configurations manually. Without this functionality self-configuration cannot be considered not fully as "self".

SON Self-healing management (Rel-10)

The target of Self-Healing (SH) is to recover from or mitigate errors in the network with a minimum of manual intervention from the operator.

Self-healing functionality will monitor and analyse relevant data like fault management data, alarms, notifications, and self-test results etc. and will automatically trigger or perform corrective actions on the affected network element(s) when necessary. This will significantly reduce manual interventions and replace them with automatically triggered re-s, re-configurations, or software reloads/upgrades thereby helping to reduce operating expense.

LTE Self Optimizing Networks (SON) enhancements (Rel-10)

This WI continues work started in Rel-9. Some cases that were considered in the initial phases of SON development are listed in the TR 36.902. From this list, almost all use cases are already specified. Capacity and Coverage Optimization (CCO) was already nominally part of the Rel-9 WI, but could not be completed due to amount of work related to other use cases. Energy Savings are a very important topic, especially for operators, as solutions derived for this use case can significantly limit their expenses. According to TR 36.902 this solution should concern switching off cells or whole base stations. This may require additional standardised methods, once there is need identified for.

Basic functionality of Mobility Load Balancing (MLB) and Mobility Robustness Optimization (MRO), also listed in TR 36.902, were defined in Rel-9. However, successful roll-out of the LTE network requires analysing possible enhancements to the Rel-9 solutions for MLB and MRO. In particular, enhancements that address inter-RAT scenarios and inter-RAT information exchange must be considered. These enhancements should be addressed in Rel-10. There may also be other use cases for LTE for which SON functionality would bring optimizations. The upcoming LTE-A brings about also new challenges that can be addressed by SON. However, since not all features are clearly defined yet, it is difficult to work on SON algorithms for them. It is therefore proposed to assign lower priority to the features specific for LTE-A.

UTRAN Self-Organizing Networks (SON) management (Rel-11)

For LTE, SON (Self-Organizing Networks) concept and many features have been discussed and standardised.

The SON target is to maintain network quality and performance with minimum manual intervention from the operator. Introducing SON functions into the UTRAN legacy is also very important for operators to minimize OPEX.

Automatic Neighbour Relation (ANR) function, specified in the LTE context, automates the discovery of neighbour relations. ANR can help the operators to avoid the burden of manual neighbour cell relations management.

Self-optimization functionalities will monitor and analyze performance measurements, notifications, and self-test results and will automatically trigger re-configuration actions on the affected network node(s) when necessary.

This will significantly reduce manual interventions and replace them with automatically triggered re-optimizations or re-configurations thereby helping to reduce operating expenses.

Minimization of Drive Tests (MDT) for E-UTRAN and UTRAN is an important topic in 3GPP Rel-10.

With the help of standardized UTRAN MDT solutions, Capacity and Coverage Optimization (CCO) for UTRAN should also be considered in UTRAN SON activities.

Study on IMS Evolution (Rel-11)

IMS network service availability largely relies on the reliability of network entity. If some critical network elements (e.g. S-CSCF, HSS) go out of service, service availability will be severely impacted. Moreover network elements are not fully utilized because network load is not usually well distributed, e.g. some nodes are often overloaded due to sudden traffic explosion, while others are under loaded to some extent. Though there’re some element level approaches to solve these problems, such as the ongoing work in CT4, the system level solution should be studied, for example, the method to distribute load between network elements in different regions especially when some disaster happens, such as earthquake.

The network expansion requires a great deal of manual configurations, and the network maintenance and upgrade are usually time-consuming and also costly for operators. Introducing self-organization features will improve the network intelligence and reduce the efforts of manual configuration. For example, upon discovering the entry point of the network, new nodes can join the network and auto-configure themselves without manual intervention. And if any node fails, other nodes will take over the traffic through the failed node timely and automatically.

The above mentioned features are just few ways in which we will achieve a truly zero-operational 4G network.

## Tuesday, 10 May 2011

### Advanced IP Interconnection of Services (IPXS) in 3GPP Rel-11

The following is edited from the 3GPP documents:

IP is being introduced in both fixed and mobile networks as a more cost-effective alternative to circuit switched technology in the legacy PSTN/PLMN, as well as the underpinning transport for delivering IMS based multi-media services.

In order to ensure carrier grade end to end performance, appropriate interconnect solutions are required to support communications between users connected to different networks. There are currently a number of initiatives underway outside 3GPP addressing IP Interconnection of services scenarios and commercial models to achieve this; for example, the GSM Association has developed the IPX (IP Packet Exchange). Also, ETSI has recently defined requirements and use case scenarios for IP Interconnection of services. These initiatives require the use of appropriate technical solutions and corresponding technical standards, some of which are already available and others which will require development in 3GPP.

Moreover, new models of interconnection may emerge in the market where Network Operators expose network capabilities to 3rd party Application Providers including user plane connectivity for the media related to the service.

The main objective of IPXS is thus:
To specify the technical requirements for carrier grade inter-operator IP Interconnection of Services for the support of Multimedia services provided by IMS and for legacy voice PTSN/PLMN services transported over IP infrastructure (e.g. VoIP).

These technical requirements should cover the new interconnect models developed by GSMA (i.e. the IPX interconnect model) and take into account interconnect models between national operators (including transit functionality) and peering based business trunking.

Any new requirements identified should not overlap with requirements already defined by other bodies (e.g. GSMA, ETSI TISPAN). Specifically the work will cover:
Service level aspects for direct IP inter-connection between Operators, service level aspects for national transit IP interconnect and service level aspects for next generation corporate network IP interconnect (peer-to-peer business trunking).
Service layer aspects for interconnection of voice services (e.g. toll-free, premium rate and emergency calls).
Service level aspects for IP Interconnection (service control and user plane aspects) between Operators and 3rd party Application Providers.

To ensure that requirements are identified for the Stage 2 & 3 work to identify relevant existing specifications, initiate enhancements and the development of the new specifications as necessary.

The following is a related presentation on Release-8 II-NNI with an introduction to Rel-9 and Rel-10 features.

The 3GPP references can be seen from the presentation above.

European Commission conducted a study on this topic back in 2008 and produced a lengthy report on this. Since the report is 187 pages long, you can also read the executive summary to learn about the direction in technical, economic and public policy.

## Wednesday, 4 May 2011

### New Security Algorithms in Release-11

I did mention in my earlier blog post about the new algorithm for 3GPP LTE-A Security. The good news is that this would be out hopefully in time for the Release-11.

The following from 3GPP Docs:

The current 3GPP specifications for LTE/SAE security support a flexible algorithm negotiation mechanism. There could be sixteen algorithms at most to support LTE/SAE confidentiality and integrity protection. In current phase, 3GPP defines that there are two algorithms used in EPS security, i.e. SNOW 3G and AES. The remaining values have been reserved for future use. So it is technically feasible for supporting new algorithm for LTE/SAE ciphering and integrity protection.

Different nations will have different policies for algorithm usage of communication system. The current defined EPS algorithm may not be used in some nations according to strict policies which depend on nation’s security laws. Meanwhile, operators shall implement their networks depending on national communication policies. To introduce a new algorithm for EPS security will give operators more alternatives to decide in order to obey national requirements.

Picture: Zu Chongzi
Picture Source: Wikipedia

Some work has been done to adapt LTE security to national requirements about cryptography of LTE/SAE system, i.e. designing a new algorithm of EPS security, which is named ZUC (i.e. Zu Chongzhi, a famous Chinese scientist name in history). Certainly the new algorithm should be fundamentally different from SNOW 3G and AES, so that an attack on one algorithm is very unlikely to translate into an attack on the other.

The objective of this work item is to standardise a new algorithm in EPS. This will include the following tasks:
To develop new algorithms for confidentiality and integrity protection for E-UTRAN
To enable operators to quickly start to support the new algorithm
Not to introduce any obstacle for R8 roaming UE

The following issues should at least be handled in the WI:
Agree requirement specification with ETSI SAGE for development of new algorithms
Delivery of algorithm specification, test data and design and evaluation reports

The algorithm is provided for 3GPP usage on royalty-free basis.

The algorithm shall undergo a sequential three-stage evaluation process involving first ETSI SAGE, then selected teams of cryptanalysts from academia and finally the general public.

The documents related to the EEA3 and EIA3 algorithm could be downloaded from here.

If you are new to LTE Security, the following can be used as starting point: http://www.3g4g.co.uk/Lte/LTE_Security_WP_0907_Agilent.pdf

## Tuesday, 19 April 2011

### Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) simulation service in IMS (USSI)

I hope we all know USSD. If not then hopefully my old blog post will help remind you of USSD. Apparently USSD is as popular as it was nearly a decade back since it is supported by 100% of the phones. As a result 3GPP have made sure that a USSD like service is available in LTE/SAE since USSD was designed for a CS domain and in SAE we have only the PS domain.

Picture Source: Aayush Weblog

The following is from the 3GPP document:

Today mobile initiated unstructured SS data in MMI mode are widely used to interact with proprietary home-network provided services, e.g. to activate or deactivate certain features or to interrogate some parameter settings.

The user dials a certain feature code, e.g. in the format “*# ”, this code is forwarded to the home network and answered with a text string providing the requested information. Unlike common SMS the string is displayed immediately and not stored on the UE.

A typical use case is the interrogation of the account balance in a prepaid service. The prepaid user e.g. dials "*101#", the message is forwarded to the HPLMN and further to the IN system where the account balance is checked and finally the current value is transferred to the user in a short answer string, e.g. "Balance: € 35,40". Another use case is controlling the active UE for incoming calls and messages in case of a hunting service / multi SIM service.

From a network perspective the functionality is as follows:
1. The user sends the request
2. USSD is sent as MAP message to the HPLMN
3. USSD is forwarded to a Service Node (SN) [non-standardized functionality]

The mentioned functionality is not available in the EPS. So e.g. a business customer who is subscribed to a certain multi SIM service will use his UEs via CS and EPS/IMS. Dependent on the access he would have to use different mechanisms for controlling the active UE.

This problem can be avoided when introducing completely new services. Then mechanisms can be used that are available via all access networks, e.g. web interfaces via GPRS or EPS. However we are talking about existing services with a broad customer base that is accustomed to use USSD codes as they are fast and simple to use.

As USSD is widely used in CS domain, operators would benefit from re-using the already deployed servers also when the user accesses services that make use of USSD over IMS.

It is therefore desirable to create in 3GPP a service which provides the same capabilities for the user, like the well known "GSM Mobile User Initiated USSD" feature.

For the user, it is important that the user experience is transparent (I.e. the look and feel of the service is independent of the transport mechanism used to convey the USSD payload to the network).

Possible solutions

There are several possibilities to solve this issue. One would be to re-introduce USSD in EPS. This is not the intention as it creates too much overhead. The idea is to specify a light weight solution which provides the same look and feel for the user but uses existing network mechanisms, i.e. only to simulate the USSD service.

One variant could be that the UE when being attached via the EPS to the IMS encapsulates the USSD codes in IP messages and forwards them to the network. This could happen either via the Ut interface as XCAP data using http or in a SIP message.

It should be noted that there are also user initiated MMI mode USSDs for VPLMN use. The differentiation, if USSD are intended for HPLMN or VPLMN use, is done via the range of the feature code. If USSD for VPLMN use were to be supported / simulated this may prevent certain solutions (e.g. using the Ut) and have some architectural impact (considering all possible roaming scenarios for the IMS).

Proposal

To specify an easy solution having no architectural impact. Only the simulation of mobile initiated USSD – MMI mode for HPLMN use should be supported. The functionality should be available for Multimedia Telephony, i.e. it can be implemented with the MMTel UE client and USSD messages are sent to and answered by the MMTel AS.

Though there isn't much details on this feature available, Ayush's weblog has some more details on this feature here.

## Friday, 25 March 2011

### 3GPP – DVB Workshop for Next generation Mobile TV standards

TSG RAN and TSG CT hosted a joint workshop with DVB project on commonalities between DVB-NGH and eMBMS

The workshop was opened by the RAN Chairman Mr. Takehiro Nakamura on Wednesday 16th March 11:07. This is the joint session between TSG RAN, TSG CT and DVB project expert. TSG CT Chairman Mr. Hannu Hietalahti reminded that the workshop can't make any formal decisions that would be binding on either 3GPP side or DVB project side. Any agreement needs to be confirmed in DVB project and 3GPP separately. From 3GPP side this needs to be done by 3GPP TSG RAN and 3GPP TSG CT meetings during this week. The goal of the workshop is to find a common agreement how to proceed the future work on DVB-NGH and eMBMS convergence and decide the best way forward. The joint session is expected to make recommendations to TSG SA #51 based on the service requirements for DVB-NGH and the commonalities with eMBMS that can be identified. TSG SA #51 will decide the best way forward on 3GPP side.

The MBMS presentation was embedded in this post. The DVB presentation is embedded below:

The minutes of the meeting are available here: http://3gpp.org/ftp/tsg_sa/TSG_SA/TSGS_51/Docs/SP-110185.zip

All the documents from this workshop are available here: http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/workshop/2011-03-16_RAN-CT-DVB/

It was agreed that for any 3GPP work the normal 3GPP working procedures should be used. The supporting 3GPP member companies were requested to initiate Study items in the appropriate 3GPP working groups with the aim of sending them for approval during the next Plenary cycle.

It was noted that 3GPP Rel-11 stage 1 is going to be frozen in September 2011. It was seen 3GPP DVB-NGH can be a part of Rel-11 if there are interest in 3GPP community. The interesting companies are expected to contribute according to 3GPP working procedures.

## Monday, 14 February 2011

### Non-Voice Emergency Services (NOVES)

Its been a while we talked about SMS for Emergency purposes and eCall. A new study item in 3GPP has looked at non-voice alternatives for Emergency purposes.

Picture Source: Dailymail

The following is from the recent 4G Americas report entitled: 4G Mobile Broadband Evolution: 3GPP Release-10 and Beyond:

Non-verbal communications such as text messaging and instant messaging via wireless devices has been very successful and continues to expand. Many of the consumers assume that they can utilize these types of non-verbal communications as mechanisms to communicate with emergency services whenever emergency assistance is required. Such mechanisms currently do not exist. The Emergency Services community has a desire to have multimedia emergency services supported with the same general characteristics as emergency voice calls.

Currently, service requirements for emergency calls (with or without the IP Multimedia Core Network) are limited to voice media. The Non-Voice Emergency Services (NOVES) is intended to be an end-to-end citizen to authority communications. NOVES could support the following examples of non-verbal communications to an emergency services network:
1. Text messages from citizen to emergency services
2. Session-based and session-less instant messaging type sessions with emergency services
3. Multimedia (e.g., pictures, video clips) transfer to emergency services either during or after other communications with emergency services.
4. Real-time video session with emergency services

In addition, to support the general public, this capability would facilitate emergency communications to emergency services by individuals with special needs (e.g., hearing impaired citizens).

The objectives of this study include the following questions for NOVES with media other than or in addition to voice:
1. What are the requirements for NOVES?
2. What are the security, reliability, and priority handling requirements for NOVES?
3. How is the appropriate recipient emergency services system (e.g., PSAP) determined?
4. What are the implications due to roaming?
5. Are there any implications to hand over between access networks?
6. Are there any implications due to the subscriber crossing a PSAP boundary during NOVES communications (e.g., subsequent text messages should go to the same PSAP)?
7. Do multiple communication streams (e.g., voice, text, video emergency services) need to be associated together?
8. What types of “call-back” capabilities are required?
9. What are the load impacts of NOVES in the case of a large scale emergency event or malicious use?

NOVES will be applicable to GPRS (GERAN, UTRAN) and to EPS (GERAN, UTRAN, E-UTRAN and non-3GPP). The content may be transmitted between the subscribers and the emergency services which might bring new security issues. Therefore, the security impacts need to be studied.

You can spend your weekend reading the 3GPP Study Item TR 22.871: Study on Non-Voice Emergency Services (Release 11).

A word of caution, the name NOVES may be changed in future as Emergency agencies in Europe have an objection to the name. See here and here.

## Thursday, 10 February 2011

### QoS Control based on Subscriber Spending Limits (QOS_SSL)

Quality of Service (QoS) is very important in LTE/LTE-A and the operators are taking extra efforts to maintain the QoS in the next generation of networks. They are resorting in some cases to Deep packet Inspections (DPI) based controlling of packets and in some cases throttling of data for bandwidth hogs.

The following is from a recent 4G Americas report I blogged about here:

This work item aims to provide a mechanism to allow a mobile operator to have a much finer granularity of control of the subscriber’s usage of the network resources by linking the subscriber’s data session QoS with a spending limit. This gives the operator the ability to deny a subscriber access to particular services if the subscriber has reached his/her allocated spending limit within a certain time period. It would be useful if, in addition, the bandwidth of a subscriber’s data session could be modified when this spending level is reached. This could be done depending on, for example, the type of service being used by the subscriber, the subscriber’s spending limit and amount already spent and operator’s charging models. This allows the operator to have an additional means of shaping the subscriber’s traffic in order to avoid subscribers monopolizing the network resource at any given time. Since support for roaming scenarios is needed, the possibility to provide support for roaming subscribers without having dedicated support in the visited network is needed.

Upon triggers based on the operator’s charging models, the subscriber could be given the opportunity to purchase additional credit that increases the spending limit.

The objective of this study is to provide use cases/service requirements and specs that allow:
* Modification of QoS based on subscriber’s spending limits
* Enforcing of spending limits for roaming subscribers without having dedicated support in the visited network

For further details see: 3GPP TS 22.115 Service aspects; Charging and billing (Release 11)

## Monday, 7 February 2011

In the recently concluded 3GPP CT-50 in Istanbul, EU-Alert was adopted as part of Rel-11. The EU-Alert is introduced under Public Warning System (PWS) in parallel with Earthquake and Tsunami Warning System (ETWS).

PWS was introduced in Rel-9 and I blogged about it here. ETWS has been around since Rel-8 and was blogged here.

In fact EU-Alert is sent as part of the Cell Broadcast Message (CBS) using new identifiers. For more details see 3GPP TS 23.401.

The following is an old video from CHORIST project, which was instrumental in providing details of working of this EU-Alert system.

## Thursday, 3 February 2011

### 4G Mobile Broadband Evolution: 3GPP Release-10 and Beyond

New Report from 4G Americas:

4G Mobile Broadband Evolution: 3GPP Release 10 and Beyond - HSPA+ SAE/LTE and LTE-Advanced provides detailed discussions of Release 10, including the significant new technology enhancements to LTE/EPC (called LTE-Advanced) that were determined in October 2010 to have successfully met all of the criteria established by the International Telecommunication Union Radiotelecommunication Sector (ITU-R) for the first release of IMT-Advanced. IMT-Advanced, which includes LTE-Advanced, provides a global platform on which to build next generations of interactive mobile services that will provide faster data access, enhanced roaming capabilities, unified messaging and broadband multimedia. The paper also provides detailed information on the introduction of LTE-Advanced and the planning for Release 11 and beyond. Release 10 is expected to be finalized in March 2011, while work on Release 11 will continue through the fourth quarter of 2012.

White paper embedded below and is available to view and download from the 3G4G website.

## Thursday, 13 January 2011

### RAN mechanisms to avoid CN overload due to MTC

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) is the future and Machine-type communications (MTC) will be very important once we have billions of connected devices. I have talked in the past about the 50 Billion connected devices by 2050 and the Internet of Things.

One of the challenges of today's networks is to handle this additional signalling traffic due to MTC. One of the very important topics being discussed in 3GPP RAN meetings is 'RAN mechanisms to avoid CN overload due to MTC'. Even though it has not been finalised, its interesting to see the direction in which things are moving.

The above figure from R2-106188 shows that an extended wait time could be added in the RRC Connection Reject/Release message in case if the eNodeB is overloaded. The device can reattempt the connection once the wait time has expired.

In R2-110462, another approach is shown where Core Network (CN) is overloaded. Here a NAS Request message is sent with delay tolerant indicator a.k.a. low priority indicator. If the CN is overloaded then it can reject the request with a backoff timer. Another approach would be to send this info to the eNodeB that can do a RRC Connection Reject when new connection request is received.

All Documents from 3GPP RAN2 #72-bis are available here. Search for NIMTC for M2M related and overload related docs.

## Monday, 20 December 2010

### HSPA and LTE carrier aggregation

Last week there were press releases about the Long Term HSPA Evolution. The only thing that got reported mostly is the 650Mbps peak rates. There are other interesting features in Release-11 that is covered in Nokia Siemens Networks presentation. Here is one of them:

The idea of aggregating multiple carriers to increase performance is included in both LTE and HSPA. A logical step to fully leverage existing HSPA deployments and future LTE deployments is to aggregate the capacity of both systems and tie them together into a single mobile system. The concept is illustrated in Figure 3.

The aggregation of LTE and HSPA systems enables the peak data rates of the two systems to be added together. It also allows for optimal dynamic load balancing between the two radios. A small number of active LTE and HSPA aggregation-capable devices is sufficient to exploit this load balancing gain, since the network can schedule these devices to carry more data on the radio that has lower instantaneous loading and less data on the radio with the higher load at any given moment.

Carrier aggregation is expected to have no impact on the core network.

## Sunday, 19 December 2010

### Multicarrier and multiband HSPA aggregation

From NSN Whitepaper on HSPA Evolution:

HSPA Release 10 with 4-carrier HSDPA provides a peak downlink data rate of 168 Mbps using 2x2 MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) over the 20 MHz bandwidth. This matches the LTE Release 8 data rates obtained using comparable antenna and bandwidth configurations. A natural next step for the HSPA Release 10 downlink is to further extend the supportable bandwidths to 40 MHz with 8-carrier HSDPA, doubling the Release 10 peak rate to 336 Mbps.

8-carrier HSDPA coupled with 4x4 MIMO doubles the peak rate again to reach 672 Mbps, see Figure 1. The evolution of HSPA beyond Release 10 will push the peak data rates to rival those provided by LTE Advanced.

In addition to increased peak rates, the aggregation of a larger number of carriers improves spectrum utilization and system capacity owing to inherent load balancing between carriers. Additional capacity gains from trunking and frequency domain scheduling will also be seen.

Typical spectrum allocations do not provide 40 MHz of contiguous spectrum. To overcome spectrum fragmentation, HSDPA carrier aggregation allows carriers from more than one frequency band to be combined. 3GPP Release 9 already makes it possible to achieve 10 MHz allocation by combining two 5 MHz carriers from different frequency bands, such as one carrier on 2100 MHz and another on 900 MHz.

The 4-carrier HSDPA of Release 10 extends this further, allowing the aggregation of up to four carriers from two separate frequency bands. Long Term HSPA Evolution allows eight carriers. Typical cases of HSDPA multiband aggregation are shown in Figure 2.

## Tuesday, 14 December 2010

### What are Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets)?

HetNets are hot. I hear about them in various contexts. Its difficult to find exactly what they are and how they will work though. There is a HetNets special issue in IEEE Communications Magazine coming out next year but that's far away.

I found an interesting summary on HetNets in Motorola Ezine that is reproduced below:

“The bigger the cell site, the less capacity per person you have,” said Peter Jarich, research director with market intelligence firm Current Analysis. “If you shrink coverage to a couple of blocks, you are having that capacity shared with a fewer number of people, resulting in higher capacity and faster data speeds.”

This is a topic the international standards body, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), has been focusing on to make small cells part of the overall cellular network architecture.

“What we’re seeing is a natural progression of how the industry is going to be addressing some of these capacity concerns,” said Joe Pedziwiatr, network systems architect with Motorola. “There is a need to address the next step of capacity and coverage by introducing and embracing the concepts of small cells and even looking at further advances such as better use of the spectrum itself.”

As such, discussion regarding this small-cell concept has emerged into what is called heterogeneous networks, or Het-Net, for short. The idea is to have a macro wireless network cooperating with intelligent pico cells deployed by operators to work together within the macro network and significantly improve coverage and augment overall network capacity. Small cells can also be leveraged to improve coverage and deliver capacity inside buildings. Indoor coverage has long been the bane of mobile operators. Some mobile operators are already leveraging this concept, augmenting their cellular service offering with WiFi access to their subscriber base in order to address the in-building coverage and capacity challenges facing today’s cellular solutions.

Pedziwiatr said this Het-Net structure goes far beyond what is envisioned for femtocells or standard pico cells for that matter. Introducing a pico cell into the macro network will address but just one aspect of network congestion, namely air interface congestion. The backhaul transport network may become the next bottleneck. Finally, if all this traffic hits the core network, the congestion will just have shifted from the edge to the core.

“This requires a system focus across all aspects of planning and engineering,” Pedziwiatr said. “We’re trying to say it goes beyond that of a femto. If someone shows up at an operator and presents a pico cell, that is just one percent of what would be needed to provide true capacity relief for the macro network.”

Femtocells, otherwise known as miniature take-home base stations, are obtained by end users and plugged into a home or office broadband connection to boost network signals inside buildings. A handful of 3G operators worldwide are selling femtocells as a network coverage play. For the LTE market, the Femtocell Forum is working to convince operators of the value of a femtocell when it comes to better signal penetration inside buildings and delivering high-bandwidth services without loading the mobile network. This is possible, because the backhaul traffic runs over the fixed line connection. However, this femtocell proposition largely relies on end user uptake of them—not necessarily where operators need them, unless they install femtocells themselves or give end users incentives to acquire them.

As with any new concept, there are challenges to overcome before Het-Nets can become reality. Het-Nets must come to market with a total cost of ownership that is competitive for an operator to realize the benefit of providing better capacity, higher data speeds, and most of all, a better end-user experience said Chevli.

“The level of total cost of ownership has to be reduced. That is where the challenge is for vendors to ensure that any new solution revalidates every existing tenet of cellular topology and evolve it to the new paradigm being proposed,” Chevli said. “You can’t increase the number of end nodes by 25X and expect to operate or manage this new network with legacy O&M paradigms and a legacy backhaul approach.”

One of the issues is dealing with interference and Het-Net network traffic policies. “How do you manage all of these small cell networks within the macrocell network?” asked Jarich. “Right now if you have a bunch of femtocells inside a house, there is this concept that the walls stop the macrocell signals from getting in and out. You get a separation between the two. Go outdoors with small cells underlying bigger cells and you get a lot more interference and hand-off issues because devices will switch back and forth based on where the stronger signal is.”

Pedziwiatr said for a Het-Net to work, it would require a change in node management, whereby an operator isn’t burdened with managing big clusters of small cells on an individual basis. “We see elements of SON (self organizing networks), self discovery and auto optimization that will have to be key ingredients in these networks. Otherwise operators can’t manage them and the business case will be a lot less attractive,” he said.

Fortunately, the industry has already been working with and implementing concepts of SON in LTE network solutions. In the femtocell arena also, vendors have been incorporating some elements and concepts of SON so that installing them is a plug-and-play action that automatically configures the device and avoids interference. But even then, Het-Nets will require further SON enhancement to deal with new use cases, such as overlay (macro deployment) to underlay (pico deployments) mobility optimization.

When it comes to LTE, SON features are built into the standard, and are designed to offer the dual benefit of reducing operating costs while optimizing performance. SONs will do this by automating many of the manual processes used when deploying a network to reduce costs and help operators commercialize their new services faster. SON will also automate many routine, repetitive tasks involved in day-to-day network operations and management such as neighbor list discovery and management.

Other key sticking points are deployment and backhaul costs. If operators are to deploy many small cells in a given area, deploying them and backhauling their traffic should not become monumental tasks.

Chevli and Pedziwiatr envision Het-Nets being deployed initially in hot zone areas – where data traffic is the highest – using street-level plug-and-play nodes that can be easily installed by people with little technical know-how.

“Today, macro site selection, engineering, propagation analysis, rollout and optimization are long and expensive processes, which must change so that installers keep inventories of these units in their trucks, making rollout simple installations and power-ups,” said Pedziwiatr. “These will be maintained at a minimum with quick optimization.”

The notion of backhauling traffic coming from a large cluster of Het-Net nodes could also stymie Het-Nets altogether. Chevli said that in order to keep costs down, Het-Net backhaul needs to be a mix of cost-effective wireless or wired backhaul technology to aggregate traffic from what likely will be nodes sitting on lamp posts, walls, in-building and other similar structures. The goal then is to find a backhaul point of presence to aggregate the traffic and then put that traffic on an open transport network in the area.

Backhaul cost reductions may also be a matter of finding ways to reduce the amount of backhaul forwarded to the core network, Pedziwiatr said. These types of solutions are already being developed in the 3G world to cope with the massive data traffic that is beginning to crush networks. For traffic such as Internet traffic, which doesn’t need to travel through an operator’s core network, offloading that traffic as close to the source as possible would further drive down the cost of operation through the reduction of backhaul and capacity needs of the core network.

In the end, with operators incorporating smaller cells as an underlay to their macro network layer rather than relying on data offloading techniques such as femtocells and WiFi that largely depend on the actions of subscribers and impacted by the surrounding cell operating in the same unlicensed frequency, Het-Nets in licensed spectrum will soon become the keystone in attacking the ever-present congestion issue that widely plagues big cities and this is only likely to get worse over time.

Image Source: Dr. Daichi Imamura, Panasonic presentation.

## Tuesday, 7 December 2010

### SON framework in 3GPP

From a Presentation by Cinzia Sartori from Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) in the Self-Organising Networks Conference in London, Nov. 2010

Release 8 functionality
• Self-configuration procedures

Release 9 enhancements
• Self-optimization procedures
• Energy Saving Intra-RAT

Release 10 objectives
• Extend Self-optimization procedures , including inter-RAT
• Minimization of Drive Test (MDT)
• Energy Saving extension, including Multi-RAT (Study Item)
• 3G-ANR
• SON Conflict Resolution

SON features for R11 (Probably - Under Discussion)
• Minimization of Drive Tests (MDT) enhancements
• Mobility Robustness Optimization for MultiRAT
• SON for LTE-A features defined in Rel.10
•• Hetrogeneous Networks aka. HetNet?
•• SON for Relays
•• SON for Carrier Aggregation

## Monday, 1 November 2010

### ETSI M2M Workshop summary and conclusions

As I mentioned earlier about the M2M workshop held in Paris, the following are the highlights from press release after the event:

ETSI's first Open Machine-to-Machine Workshop broke all records for attendance, laying out the next steps for achieving M2M applications worldwide, and confirming a leading role for the standards organisation.

'Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications need standards – and ETSI is taking the lead to make sure that the standards are in place.' This was the main conclusion from ETSI's M2M workshop which took place on 19 and 20 October. With over 220 attendees from across the world, this was the most popular ETSI workshop to date, with the high degree of interest reflecting the enormous potential that is foreseen for M2M applications and technologies.

Participants heard how existing and evolving communication technologies networks (mostly wireless (cellular and low-power), but also fixed networks, including power line communications) provide a firm basis for connecting M2M sensors and applications. Specification of appropriate interfaces that allow network technology neutrality is a priority, and one that ETSI is already addressing.

The workshop included two live demonstrations organised by InterDigital Inc. These demonstrated an M2M gateway and core network, and an M2M Wireless Personal Area Network (sensors connecting via low-power wireless devices to a database, simulating e-Health, home automation and security application scenarios). The implementations were based on current specifications from ETSI's M2M Technical Committee and confirmed both the effectiveness of the implications and of the ETSI specifications. In addition, poster sessions presented the work of six research and development projects related to M2M and the Future Internet, part of the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme (FP7).

The standards work of ETSI's M2M Technical Committee is reaching an advanced stage, and many network operators are encouraging a first release of M2M standards by early 2011. The committee is currently finalising the architecture for the service platform that will enable the integration of multiple vertical M2M applications. The workshop confirmed that ETSI is well placed to address a vital aspect of standardisation in support of M2M – the specification of interfaces that will facilitate the interconnection and interoperability of the diverse applications and of the networks that will underlie them.

Marylin Arndt of France Telecom, Chairman of ETSI's M2M Technical Committee, said: 'The committee will continue in its role of creating standards that build on what we already have, to ensure that the emerging 'vertical' M2M applications can be supported effectively. At the same time, the committee (and ETSI in general) has a vital responsibility to co-ordinate and direct the wider work on M2M. We are here to lead the way.'

The conclusions from the meeting is summarised in the presentation embedded below:

## Friday, 15 October 2010

### Network Improvements for Machine Type Communications (NIMTC)

I have blogged about M2M before here.

The Release 10 work item Network Improvements for Machine Type Communications – Stage 1 for NIMTC specified a number of requirements to make the network more suitable for machine type communications. Additional aspects need to be studied before proceeding with their potential inclusion in the normative work.

In the course of the Release 10 work item, it was decided to leave out MTC Device to MTC Device communications from Release 10. This because it was felt it was not possible to do it justice within the Release 10 time frame. Nevertheless, MTC Device to MTC Device communications are expected to become of major importance, especially with consumer devices communicating directly to each other. Therefore, this work item aims to study the network improvements requirements of MTC Device to MTC Device scenarios. A particular aspect of MTC Device to MTC Device scenarios is the identification and functionality needed to set up a connection towards a MTC Device. The IMS domain may provide a solution for this required functionality. In this case the impacts and requirements of MTC on IMS needs to be studied.

Additionally MTC Devices often act as a gateway for a capillary network of other MTC Devices or non-3GPP devices. These gateway MTC Devices may have specific requirements on the mobile network, which have not yet been taken into account in the Release 10 NIMTC work item. Study is needed to determine to what extent improvements are needed and can be specified by 3GPP for MTC Devices that act as a gateway for 'capillary networks' of other devices. Also alignment with what is specified by ETSI TC M2M on this aspect is needed.

Further optimisations may be possible for (groups of) MTC Devices that are co-located. An example of this could be a car with a number of different MTC Devices that always move along together. Optimisations for these kind of scenarios have been suggested, but have not yet been taken into account in the Release 10 NIMTC. Study is needed to determine to what extent network improvements can be specified for co-located MTC Devices.

Because of the different characteristics of Machine-Type Communications, the optimal network for MTC may not be the same as the optimal network for human to human communications. Optimisations of network selections and steering of roaming may be needed. Study is needed to determine to what extent improvements are needed on network selection and steering of roaming for MTC.

Many MTC applications use some kind of location tracking. E.g. the existing LCS framework could be used to provide location information for these kinds of MTC applications. Study is needed to determine to what extent improvements are needed for MTC location tracking.

MTC brings a new concept of a MTC User and MTC Server. So far little attention has been given to service requirements on the communication between the network and the MTC User/MTC Server. Also alignment with what is specified by ETSI TC M2M on that aspect is needed. Study is needed on what kind of service requirements are needed and can be specified by 3GPP.

The Objective of Study on enhancements for Machine-Type Communications item is to study additional requirements, use cases and functionality beyond that specified by the Release 10 NIMTC work item on the following aspects:

network improvements for MTC Device to MTC Device communications via one or more PLMNs. Note: direct-mode communication between devices is out of scope.
possible improvements for MTC Devices that act as a gateway for 'capillary networks' of other devices. Note: capillary networks themselves are out of scope of 3GPP.
network improvements for groups of MTC Devices that are co-located with other MTC Devices
improvements on network selection mechanisms and steering of roaming for MTC devices
possible enhancements to IMS to support MTC
possible improvements for location tracking of MTC Devices
service requirements on communications between PLMN and the MTC User/MTC Server (e.g. how the MTC User can set event to be monitored with MTC Monitoring);
possible service requirements to optimize MTC Devices
possible New MTC Features to further improve the network for MTC

The results of the study will be recorded in a Technical Report. Work ongoing in external standard organization shall be considered (e.g. ETSI M2M, CCSA TC 10).

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) now has a Technical Committee exclusively focused on M2M; the Chinese Communications Standards Association (CCSA) is currently exploring the definition of M2M standards for China and the Geneva-headquartered International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is working on “mobile wireless access systems providing telecommunications for a large number of ubiquitous sensors and/or actuators scattered over wide areas in the land mobile service,” which are at the center of the M2M ecosystem.

Closer to us, the US Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has also launched a new engineering committee centered on Smart Device Communications (TIA TR-50). Incidentally, at Global Standards Collaboration 15 (GSC-15), which will be held on August 30- September 2, 2010 in Beijing and hosted by CCSA, the world’s leading telecommunications and radio standards organizations will meet to promote innovation and collaboration on a broad spectrum of standards topics among which M2M has been identified as a “High Interest Subject.”

Related subject on 3GPP here.

M2M workshop is happening in ETSI next week. More details here.

Definitions:

MTC Device: A MTC Device is a UE equipped for Machine Type Communication, which communicates through a PLMN with MTC Server(s) and/or other MTC Device(s).

Local-Access Device: A Local-Access Device is a device in MTC Capillary Network, which has no 3GPP mobile communication capability.

MTC Capillary Network: An MTC Capillary Network is a network of devices that provides local connectivity between devices within its coverage and MTC Gateway Device.

MTC Gateway Device: An MTC Gateway Device is an MTC device equipped for Machine Type Communication, which acts as a gateway for a group of co-located MTC Devices or to connect MTC Devices and/or Local-Access Devices in an MTC Capillary Network to communicate through a PLMN with MTC Server(s), and/or other MTC Device(s).

# Embedded Mobile M2M Modem Market on Track to More Than Triple in 2010

## Tuesday, 5 October 2010

### 3GPP Green activities / Energy Saving initiatives

3GPP has been working on Energy saving initiatives for Release-10 and Release-11. Here is a very quick summary of some of these items.

Telecommunication management; Study on Energy Savings Management (ESM)

Most mobile network operators aim at reducing their greenhouse emissions, by several means such as limiting their networks' energy consumption.

In new generation Radio Access Networks such as LTE, Energy Savings Management function takes place especially when mobile network operators want e.g. to reduce Tx power, switch off/on cell, etc. based on measurements made in the network having shown that there is no need to maintain active the full set of NE capabilities.

By initiating this Work Item about Energy Savings Management, 3GPP hopes to contribute to the protection of our environment and the environment of future generations.

The objective of this technical work is to study automated energy savings management features. Usage of existing IRPs is expected as much as possible, e.g. Configuration Management IRP, etc. However, this technical work may identify the need for defining a new IRP.

The following operations may be considered in this study item (but not necessarily limited to):
• Retrieval of energy consumption measurements
• Retrieval of traffic load measurements

OAM aspects of Energy Saving in Radio Networks

There are strong requirements from operators on the management and monitoring of energy saving functions and the evaluation of its impact on the network and service quality. Therefore an efficient and standardized Management of Energy Saving functionality is needed. Coordination with other functionalities like load balancing and optimization functions is also required.

The objectives of this work item are:
• Define Energy Savings Management OAM requirements and solutions for the following use cases,
• eNodeB Overlaid
• Carrier restricted
• Capacity Limited Network
• Define OAM requirements and solutions for coordination of ESM with other functions like
• Self-Optimization
• Self Healing
• Fault Management
• Select existing measurements which can be used for assessing the impact and effect of Energy Saving actions corresponding to above Energy Saving use cases.
• Define new measurements which are required for assessing the impact and effect of Energy Saving actions, including measurements of the energy consumption corresponding to above Energy Saving use cases.

Study on impacts on UE-Core Network signalling from Energy Saving

Energy Saving (ES) mechanisms are becoming an integral part of radio networks, and consequently, of mobile networks. Strong requirements from operators (for reasons of cost and environmental image) and indirectly from authorities (for the sake of meeting overall international and national targets) have been formulated. With the expected masses of mobile network radio equipment as commodities, in the form of Home NB/eNBs, this aspect becomes even more crucial.

It is necessary to ensure that ES does not lead to service degradation or inefficiencies in the network. In particular:
• the activation status of radio stations (on/off) introduces a new scale of dynamicity for the UE and network;
• mass effects in signalling potentially endanger the network stability and need to be handled properly.

It is unclear whether and how currently defined procedures are able to cope with, and eventually can be optimized for, ES conditions; thus a systematic study is needed.

The study aims, within the defined CT1 work areas, at:
• analysing UE idle mode procedures and UE-Core Network signalling resulting from frequent switch on/off of radio equipment in all 3GPP accesses, including home cell deployment and I-WLAN;
• performing a corresponding analysis for connected mode UEs;
• analysing similar impacts from activation status of non-3GPP access networks;
• documenting limitations, weaknesses and inefficiencies in these procedures, with emphasis on mass effects in the UE-Core Network signalling;
• studying potential optimizations and enhancements to these procedures;

The study shall also evaluate and give recommendations on potential enhancements to 3GPP specifications (whether and where they are seen necessary).

Study on Solutions for Energy Saving within UTRA Node B

Due to the need to reduce energy consumption within operators’ networks, and considering the large amount of UMTS network equipment deployed in the field around the world, the standardisation of methods to save energy in UMTS Node Bs is seen as an important area of study for 3GPP.There has not been a large amount of focus on energy-saving in UMTS networks so far in 3GPP, although some solutions have been agreed in Release 9. Therefore it is proposed to start an initial study phase to identify solutions and perform any initial evaluation, such that a subset of these proposals can be used as the basis for further investigation of their feasibility.

The objective is to do an initial study to identify potential solutions to enable energy saving within UMTS Node-Bs, and do light initial evaluation of the proposed solutions, with the aim that a subset of them can be taken forward for further investigation as part of a more focused study in 3GPP.

The solutions identified in this study item should consider the following aspects:
• Impacts on the time for legacy and new UEs to gain access to service from the Node B
• Impacts on legacy and new terminals (e.g. power consumption, mobility)

Some initial indication of these aspects in relation to the proposed solutions should be provided.

Study on Network Energy Saving for E-UTRAN

The power efficiency in the infrastructure and terminal should be an essential part of the cost-related requirements in LTE-A. There is a strong need to investigate possible network energy saving mechanisms to reduce CO2 emission and OPEX of operators.

Although some solutions have been proposed and part of them have been agreed in Release-9, there has not been a large amount of attention on energy saving for E-UTRAN so far. Many potential solutions are not fully shown and discussed yet. Therefore, it is proposed to start an initial study phase to identify solutions, evaluate their gains and impacts on specifications.

The following use cases will be considered in this study item:
• Intra-eNB energy saving
• Inter-eNB energy saving
• Inter-RAT energy saving

Intra-eNB energy saving, in EUTRAN network, a single cell can operate in energy saving mode when the resource utilization is sufficiently low. In this case, the reduction of energy consumption will be mainly based on traffic monitoring with regard to QoS and coverage assurance.

A lot of work on Inter-eNB energy saving has already been done for both LTE and UTRA in Rel-9. This Study Item will investigate additional aspects (if any) on top of what was already agreed for R9.

Inter-RAT energy saving, in this use case, legacy networks, i.e. GERAN and UTRAN, provide radio coverage together with E-UTRAN. For example E-UTRAN Cell A is totally covered by UTRAN Cell B. Cell B is deployed to provide basic coverage of the voice or medium/low-speed data services in the area, while Cell A enhances the capability of the area to support high-speed data services. Then the energy saving procedure can be enabled based on the interaction of E-UTRAN and UTRAN system.

The objective of this study item is to identify potential solutions for energy saving in E-UTRAN and perform initial evaluation of the proposed solutions, so that a subset of them can be used as the basis for further investigation and standardization.

Energy saving solutions identified in this study item should be justified by valid scenario(s), and based on cell/network load situation. Impacts on legacy and new terminals when introducing an energy saving solution should be carefully considered. The scope of the study item shall be as follows:
• User accessibility should be guaranteed when a cell transfers to energy saving mode
• Backward compatibility shall be ensured and the ability to provide energy saving for Rel-10 network deployment that serves a number of legacy UEs should be considered
• Solutions shall not impact the Uu physical layer
• The solutions should not impact negatively the UE power consumption

RAN2 will focus on the Intra-eNB energy saving, while RAN3 will work on Inter-RAT energy saving and potential additional Inter-eNB energy saving technology.

Study on Solutions for GSM/EDGE BTS Energy Saving

There has not been a large amount of focus on energy-saving in GSM/EDGE networks so far in 3GPP, although some solutions have been agreed in previous Releases, notably MCBTS. Therefore it is proposed to start an initial study phase to identify solutions and perform any initial evaluation, such that a subset of these proposals can be used as the basis for further investigation of their feasibility.

The objective is to study potential solutions to enable energy saving within the BTS (including MCBTS and MSR), and evaluate each proposed solutions in detail. These potential solutions shall focus on the following specific aspects
• Reduction of Power on the BCCH carrier (potentially enabling dynamic adjustment of BCCH power)
• Reduction of power on DL common control channels
• Reduction of power on DL channels in dedicated mode, DTM and packet transfer mode
• Deactivation of cells (e.g. Cell Power Down and Cell DTX like concepts as discussed in RAN)
• Deactivation of other RATs in areas with multi-RAT deployments, for example, where the mobile station could assist the network to suspend/minimise specific in-use RATs at specific times of day
• And any other radio interface impacted power reduction solutions.

The solutions identified in this study item shall also consider the following aspects:
• Impacts on the time for legacy and new mobile stations to gain access to service from the BTS
• Impacts on legacy and new mobile stations to keep the ongoing service (without increasing drop rate)
• Impacts on legacy and new mobile stations implementation and power consumption, e.g. due to reduction in DL power, cell (re-)selection performance, handover performance, etc.
• Impacts on UL/DL coverage balance, especially to CS voice

Solutions shall be considered for both BTS energy saving non-supporting and supporting mobile stations (i.e. solutions that are non-backwards compatible towards legacy mobile stations shall be out of the scope of this study).