Showing posts with label Standards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Standards. Show all posts

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Initiative to Remove Non-inclusive terms from 3GPP Specifications

3GPP just published 2nd issue of 3GPP highlights here. (Issue 1 is here). The contents of the newsletter includes:

  • TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS
    • A Release 17 update
    • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in NG-RAN: New Study in RAN3
    • 3GPP Multimedia Codecs, Systems and Services
    • Is healthcare the next big thing for 5G?
    • From IMT-2020 to beyond
  • PARTNER FOCUS
    • PCSE - Enabling Operational Mobility for European Public Safety Responders
    • WBA - One Global Network with OpenRoaming(TM)
    • ESOA - Fulfilling the promise of Anytime, from anywhere and on any device & networks (ATAWAD)
    • TCCA - Trusted standards mean trusted communications
    • GSA - mmWave bands for 5G
    • NGMN - Global alignment for the benefit of end users as new focus areas emerge
    • 5GAA - Study of Spectrum Needs for Safety Related Intelligent Transportation Systems – Day 1 and Advanced Use Cases
  • A LOOK INSIDE
    • Ensuring device compliance to standards
    • Release 17 timeline agreed
    • Initiative to remove non-inclusive terms in specifications
    • New Members listing
    • The 3GPP group structure
  • CALENDAR
    • Calendar of 3GPP meetings
  • NEWS IN BRIEF

In this post we are looking at the Initiative to remove non-inclusive terms in specifications. Quoting from the newsletter:

3GPP groups have started the process of replacing terminology in our specifications that is non-inclusive. The entire leadership proposed jointly a change request (CR) to the specification drafting rules (TR21.801), following an initiative led by several individual members.

In their joint proposal to the TSG SA#90-e meeting, the leaders wrote: “While there are potentially numerous language issues that could be considered offensive, there are two that are most acknowledged and focused on in the industry and applicable to the 3GPP Specifications. These terminologies are “Master / Slave” and “Whitelist / Blacklist” that are often used in 3GPP and other telecommunications technical documents.” 

What next? - Change requests will now follow on any Release 17 reports and specifications that need their content brought in line with this policy.

Further reading:

  • SP-201042: Tdoc from the leadership - Inclusive Language in 3GPP Specifications
  • SP-201142: Change Request to Specification drafting rules.
  • SP-201143: Liaison Statement on: Use of Inclusive Language in 3GPP.
  • TR21.801: 3GPP Specification drafting rules

The main page for 3GPP highlights is here.

Related Posts:

Thursday, 4 March 2021

The Fifth Generation Fixed Network (F5G)


Back in Feb 2020, ETSI announced the launch of a new group dedicated to specifying the fifth generation of Fixed Network (ETSI ISG F5G). The press release said:

We are entering an exciting new era of communications, and fixed networks play an essential role in that evolution alongside and in cooperation with mobile networks. Building on previous generations of fixed networks, the 5th generation will address three main use cases, a full-fiber connection, enhanced fixed broadband and a guaranteed reliable experience.

For home scenarios, emerging services such as Cloud VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) video streaming or online gaming introduce the necessity for ultra-broadband, extremely low latency and zero packet loss. Business scenarios such as enterprise Cloudification, leased line, or POL (Passive Optical LAN) require high reliability and high security. Other industry sectors have specific requirements on the deployment of fiber infrastructures including environmental conditions such as humidity, temperature or electromagnetic interference.

The ETSI ISG F5G aims at studying the fixed-network evolution required to match and further enhance the benefits that 5G has brought to mobile networks and communications. It will define improvements with respect to previous solutions and the new characteristics of the fifth-generation fixed network. This opens up new opportunities by comprehensively applying fiber technology to various scenarios, turning the Fiber to the Home paradigm into Fiber to Everything Everywhere.

ISG F5G considers a wide range of technologies, and therefore seeks to actively cooperate with a number of relevant standardization groups as well as vertical industrial organizations. ISG F5G will address aspects relating to new ODN technologies (Optical Distribution Network), XG(S)-PON and Wi-Fi 6 enhancements, control plane and user plane separation, smart energy efficiency, end-to-end full-stack slicing, autonomous operation and management, synergy of Transport and Access Networks, and adaptation of the Transport Network, amongst others.

The five work items approved last week deal with:

  • F5G use cases: the use cases include services to consumers and enterprises and will be selected based on their impact in terms of new technical requirements identified.
  • Landscape of F5G technology and standards: this work will study technology requirements for F5G use cases, explore existing technologies, and perform the gap analysis.
  • Definition of fixed network generations: to evaluate the driving forces and the path of fixed network evolution, including transport, access and on-premises networks. It will also identify the principal characteristics demarcating different generations and define them.
  • Architecture of F5G: this will specify the end-to-end network architectures, features and related network devices/elements’ requirements for F5G, including on-premises, Access, IP and Transport Networks.
  • F5G quality of experience: to specify the end-to-end quality of experience (QoE) factors for new broadband services. It will analyze the general factors that impact service performance and identify the relevant QoE dimensions for each service.

Then in May, at Huawei Global Analyst Summit 2020 (#HAS2020), Huawei invited global optical industry leaders to discuss F5G Industry development and ecosystem construction, and launched the F5G global industry joint initiative to draw up a grand blueprint for the F5G era. The press conference video is as follows:

Then in September 2020, ETSI released a whitepaper, "The Fifth Generation Fixed Network: Bringing Fibre to Everywhere and Everything"

Now there are couple of standards available that provides more insights.

ETSI GR F5G 001 - Fifth Generation Fixed Network (F5G); F5G Generation Definition Release #1:

In the past, the lack of a clear fixed network generation definition has prevented a wider technology standards adoption and prevented the creation and use of global mass markets. The success of the mobile and cable networks deployments, supported by clear specifications related to particular technological generations, has shown how important this generation definition is.

The focus of the 5th generation fixed networks (F5G) specifications is on telecommunication networks which consist fully of optical fibre elements up to the connection serving locations (user, home, office, base station, etc.). That being said, the connection to some terminals can still be assisted with wireless technologies (for instance, Wi-Fi®).

The main assumption behind the present document foresees that, in the near future, all the fixed networks will adopt end-to-end fibre architectures: Fibre to Everywhere.

The present document addresses the history of fixed networks and summarizes their development paths and driving forces. The factors that influence the definition of fixed, cable and mobile network generations will be analysed. Based upon this, the business and technology characteristics of F5G will be considered.

This table comparing the different generations of fixed networks is interesting too


ETSI GR F5G 002 - Fifth Generation Fixed Network (F5G); F5G Use Cases Release #1:

The present document describes a first set of use cases to be enabled by the Fifth Generation Fixed Network (F5G). These use cases include services to consumers and enterprises as well as functionalities to optimize the management of the Fifth Generation Fixed Network. The use cases will be used as input to a gap analysis and a technology landscape study, aiming to extract technical requirements needed for their implementations. Fourteen use cases are selected based on their impact. The context and description of each use case are presented in the present document.


The use cases as described in the present document are driving the three dimensions of characteristics that are specified in the document on generation definitions [i.1], namely eFBB (enhanced Fixed BroadBand), FFC (Full-Fibre Connection), and GRE (Guaranteed Reliable Experience). Figure 2 shows that:

  • depending on the use case, one or more dimensions are particularly important, and
  • all dimensions of the F5G system architecture are needed to implement the use cases.

I will surely be adding more stuff as and when it is available.

Related Posts:

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

3GPP 5G Standardization Update post RAN#84 (July 2019)

3GPP recently conducted a webinar with Balazs Bertenyi, Chairman of 3GPP RAN in which he goes through some of the key features for 5G Phase 2. The webinar also goes through the details of 5G Release-15 completion, status of Release-16 and a preview of some of Release-17 features.

Slides & video embedded below. Slides can be downloaded from 3GPP website here.







Related Posts:

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Updated 5G Terminology Presentation (Feb 2019)


I made this video before MWC with the intention to educate the attendees about the various architecture options and 5G terminologies being discussed. As always, happy to get feedback on what can be done better. Slides followed by video below.







Complete list of our training resources are available on 3G4G page here.

Monday, 24 September 2018

5G New Radio Standards and other Presentations


A recent Cambridge Wireless event 'Radio technology for 5G – making it work' was an excellent event where all speakers delivered an interesting and insightful presentation. These presentations are all available to view and download for everyone for a limited time here.

I blogged about the base station antennas last week but there are other couple of presentations that stood out for me.


The first was an excellent presentation from Sylvia Lu from u-Blox, also my fellow CW Board Member. Her talk covered variety of topics including IoT, IIoT, LTE-V2X and Cellular positioning, including 5G NR Positioning Trend. The presentation is embedded below and available to download from Slideshare





The other presentation on 5G NR was one from Yinan Qi of Samsung R&D. His presentation looked at variety of topics, mainly Layer 1 including Massive MIMO, Beamforming, Beam Management, Bandwidth Part, Reference Signals, Phase noise, etc. His presentation is embedded below and can be downloaded from SlideShare.




Related Posts:

Sunday, 3 September 2017

5G Core Network, System Architecture & Registration Procedure

The 5G System architecture (based on 3GPP TS 23.501: System Architecture for the 5G System; Stage 2) consists of the following network functions (NF). The functional description of these network functions is specified in clause 6.
- Authentication Server Function (AUSF)
- Core Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF)
- Data network (DN), e.g. operator services, Internet access or 3rd party services
- Structured Data Storage network function (SDSF)
- Unstructured Data Storage network function (UDSF)
- Network Exposure Function (NEF)
- NF Repository Function (NRF)
- Network Slice Selection Function (NSSF)
- Policy Control function (PCF)
- Session Management Function (SMF)
- Unified Data Management (UDM)
- Unified Data Repository (UDR)
- User plane Function (UPF)
- Application Function (AF)
- User Equipment (UE)
- (Radio) Access Network ((R)AN)

As you can see, this is slightly more complex than the 2G/3G/4G Core Network Architecture.

Alan Carlton, Vice President, InterDigital and Head of InterDigital International Labs Organization spanning Europe and Asia provided a concise summary of the changes in 5G core network in ComputerWorld:

Session management is all about the establishment, maintenance and tear down of data connections. In 2G and 3G this manifested as the standalone General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). 4G introduced a fully integrated data only system optimized for mobile broadband inside which basic telephony is supported as just one profile.

Mobility management as the name suggests deals with everything that needs doing to support the movement of users in a mobile network. This encompasses such functions as system registration, location tracking and handover. The principles of these functions have changed relatively little through the generations beyond optimizations to reduce the heavy signaling load they impose on the system.

The 4G core network’s main function today is to deliver an efficient data pipe. The existence of the service management function as a dedicated entity has been largely surrendered to the “applications” new world order. Session management and mobility management are now the two main functions that provide the raison d’etre for the core network.

Session management in 4G is all about enabling data connectivity and opening up a tunnel to the world of applications in the internet as quickly as possible. This is enabled by two core network functions, the Serving Gateway (SGW) and Packet Data Gateway (PGW). Mobility management ensures that these data sessions can be maintained as the user moves about the network. Mobility management functions are centralized within a network node referred to as Mobility Management Entity (MME). Services, including voice, are provided as an “app” running on top of this 4G data pipe. The keyword in this mix, however, is “function”. It is useful to highlight that the distinctive nature of the session and mobility management functions enables modularization of these software functions in a manner that they can be easily deployed on any Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) hardware.

The biggest change in 5G is perhaps that services will actually be making a bit of a return...the plan is now to deliver the whole Network as a Service. The approach to this being taken in 3GPP is to re-architect the whole core based on a service-oriented architecture approach. This entails breaking everything down into even more detailed functions and sub-functions. The MME is gone but not forgotten. Its former functionality has been redistributed into precise families of mobility and session management network functions. As such, registration, reachability, mobility management and connection management are all now new services offered by a new general network function dubbed Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF). Session establishment and session management, also formerly part of the MME, will now be new services offered by a new network function called the Session Management Function (SMF). Furthermore, packet routing and forwarding functions, currently performed by the SGW and PGW in 4G, will now be realized as services rendered through a new network function called the User Plane Function (UPF).

The whole point of this new architectural approach is to enable a flexible Network as a Service solution. By standardizing a modularized set of services, this enables deployment on the fly in centralized, distributed or mixed configurations to enable target network configurations for different users. This very act of dynamically chaining together different services is what lies at the very heart of creating the magical network slices that will be so important in 5G to satisfy the diverse user demands expected. The bottom line in all this is that the emphasis is now entirely on software. The physical boxes where these software services are instantiated could be in the cloud or on any targeted COTS hardware in the system. It is this intangibility of physicality that is behind the notion that the core network might disappear in 5G.


3GPP TS 23.502: Procedures for the 5G System; Stage 2, provides examples of signalling for different scenarios. The MSC above shows the example of registration procedure. If you want a quick refresher of LTE registration procedure, see here.

I dont plan to expand on this procedure here. Checkout section "4.2.2 Registration Management procedures" in 23.502 for details. There are still a lot of FFS (For further studies 😉) in the specs that will get updated in the coming months.


Further Reading:

Monday, 21 September 2015

Updates from the 3GPP RAN 5G Workshop - Part 1

3GPP held a 5G Workshop in Phoenix last week. 550 delegates and over 70 presentations contributed to the discussion, which covered the full range of requirements that will feed TSG RAN work items for the next five years. I will eventually look at all the presentations and highlight the ones that I find interesting as a part of this blog. Due to the vast number of presentations, I will split them into a few blog posts.

Lets start with the chairman summary. The chair highlighted three high level use cases that 5G needs to address (This has been highlighted in many presentations, see here for example):
  • Enhanced Mobile Broadbandare 
  • Massive Machine Type Communications
  • Ultra-reliable and Low Latency Communications
As can be seen in the picture above, 3GPP is planning to split the 5G work into two phases. Phase 1 (Rel-15) will look at a subset of requirements that are important for the commercial needs of the day. Phase 2 (Rel-16) will look at more features, use cases, detailed requirements, etc.

Here is the chair summary of the workshop:




The presentation (RWS-150002) from Motorola/Lenovo highlighted the need to handle different spectrum. For sub-6GHz, the existing air interface could work with slight modifications. For spectrum between 6GHz and 30GHz, again a similar air interface like 4G may be good enough but for above 30GHz, there is a need for new one die to phase noise.

The presentation by CATT or China Academy of Telecommunication Technology (RWS-150003) is quite interesting and is embedded below. They also propose Pattern Division Multiple Access (PDMA).




Orange (RWS-150004) has definitely put a thought into what good 5G would be. Their presentation is embedded below too:




The presentation from Huawei (RWS-150006) introduced the concept of Unified Air Interface, UAI.



They presentation also explains the concept of Adaptive Frame structures and RAN slicing very well. For those who may be wondering, uMTC stands for ultra-reliable MTC and mMTC stands for massive MTC. RAN slicing enables the RAN to be partitioned such that a certain amount of carriers are always dedicated to a certain services independently of other services. This ensures that the service in the slice is always served reliably.

The final presentation is the vision and priorities by 5GPPP as follows:



Monday, 15 October 2012

Machine Type Communications (MTC): Architecture, Features, Standards in 3GPP Rel-10



The following 14 MTC Features have been identified during the 3GPP Release-10 timelines:


  • Low Mobility
  • Time Controlled
  • Time Tolerant
  • Packet Switched (PS) Only
  • Small Data Transmissions
  • Mobile Originated Only
  • Infrequent Mobile Terminated
  • MTC Monitoring
  • Priority Alarm Message (PAM)
  • Secure Connection
  • Location Specific Trigger
  • Network Provided Destination for Uplink Data
  • Infrequent Transmission
  • Group Based MTC Features




In Rel 10, 3GPP will focus on the general functionality required to support these features:

  • Overload control (Radio Network Congestion use case, Signalling Network Congestion use case and Core Network Congestion use case)
  • Addressing
  • Identifiers
  • Subscription control
  • Security



The following specifications are associated with the MTC work

Spec   - Specifications associated with or affected by MTC work
22.011 - Service accessibility
22.368 - Service requirements for Machine-Type Communications (MTC); Stage 1
23.008 - Organization of subscriber data
23.012 - Location management procedures
23.060 - General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Service description; Stage 2
23.122 - Non-Access-Stratum (NAS) functions related to Mobile Station (MS) in idle mode
23.203 - Policy and charging control architecture
23.401 - General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) enhancements for Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN) access
23.402 - Architecture enhancements for non-3GPP accesses
23.888 - System improvements for Machine-Type Communications (MTC)
24.008 - Mobile radio interface Layer 3 specification; Core network protocols; Stage 3
24.301 - Non-Access-Stratum (NAS) protocol for Evolved Packet System (EPS); Stage 3
24.368 - Non-Access Stratum (NAS) configuration Management Object (MO)
25.331 - Radio Resource Control (RRC); Protocol specification
29.002 - Mobile Application Part (MAP) specification
29.018 - General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) - Visitors Location Register (VLR); Gs interface layer 3 specification
29.060 - General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) across the Gn and Gp interface
29.118 - Mobility Management Entity (MME) - Visitor Location Register (VLR) SGs interface specification
29.274 - 3GPP Evolved Packet System (EPS); Evolved General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Tunnelling Protocol for Control plane (GTPv2-C); Stage 3
29.275 - Proxy Mobile IPv6 (PMIPv6) based Mobility and Tunnelling protocols; Stage 3
29.282 - Mobile IPv6 vendor specific option format and usage within 3GPP
31.102 - Characteristics of the Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) application
33.868 - Security aspects of Machine-Type Communications
36.331 - Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Radio Resource Control (RRC); Protocol specification
37.868 - RAN Improvements for Machine-type Communications
43.868 - GERAN Improvements for Machine-type Communications
44.018 - Mobile radio interface layer 3 specification; Radio Resource Control (RRC) protocol
44.060 - General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Mobile Station (MS) - Base Station System (BSS) interface; Radio Link Control / Medium Access Control (RLC/MAC) protocol
45.002 - Multiplexing and multiple access on the radio path


Here are couple of presentations I have extracted the above information from:



Thursday, 12 April 2012

Whitespaces Standards


Continuing on the same topic of whitespaces from yesterday, we try and see who is working on the standardisation of whitespaces

IETF Protocol to Access White Space database (PAWS)

The charter for this WG was established 14 June 2011. Generally, the IETF strives to utilise established protocols rather than develop new ones. The objecives of this WG are:
  • Standardise a mechanism for discovering a white space database
  • Standardise a mechanism for accessing a white space database
  • Standardise query and response formats to be carried over the database access method
  • Ensure that the discovery mechanism, database access method and query response formats have appropriate security levels in place.
The WG goals are:
  • April 2012 Submit ‘Use-cases and Requirements for Accessing a Radio White Space Database’ to the IESG for publication as Informational. The current draft of this document is here: http://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-paws-problem-stmt-usecases-rqmts/
  • December 2012, Submit ‘Accessing a Radio White Space Database’ to the IESG for publication as a Proposed Standard.

ETSI Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS)


The ETSI Technical Committee (TC) on Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) has the responsibility for standardization activities related to Reconfigurable Radio Systems encompassing system solutions related to Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Cognitive Radio (CR), to collect and define the related Reconfigurable Radio Systems requirements from relevant stakeholders and to identify gaps, where existing ETSI standards do not fulfil the requirements, and suggest further standardization activities to fill those gaps.

IEEE Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks Standards Committee (DySPAN-SC)


The scope of the IEEE Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks Standards Committee (DySPAN-SC), which was formerly IEEE SCC41 until 2010, includes the following [1]:
  • dynamic spectrum access radio systems and networks with the focus on improved use of spectrum,
  • new techniques and methods of dynamic spectrum access including the management of radio transmission interference, and
  • coordination of wireless technologies including network management and information sharing amongst networks deploying different wireless technologies.
In December 2010 the IEEE SCC41 was re-organized as IEEE DySPAN-SC and its sponsor was changed from the IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee (SCC) to the IEEE Communications Society Standards Development Board (CSDB).
Included in the IEEE DySPAN SC are following working groups[1]:
  • 1900.1 Working Group on Definitions and Concepts for Dynamic Spectrum Access: Terminology Relating to Emerging Wireless Networks, System Functionality, and Spectrum Management
  • 1900.2 Working Group on Recommended Practice for Interference and Coexistence Analysis of In-Band and Adjacent Band Interference and Coexistence Between Radio Systems
  • 1900.4 Working Group on Architectural Building Blocks Enabling Network-Device Distributed Decision Making for Optimized Radio Resource Usage in Heterogeneous Wireless Access Networks
  • 1900.5 Working Group on Policy Language and Policy Architectures for Managing Cognitive Radio for Dynamic Spectrum Access Applications
  • 1900.6 Working Group on Spectrum Sensing Interfaces and Data Structures for Dynamic Spectrum Access and other Advanced Radio Communication Systems
  •  P1900.7 White Space Radio Working Group: Radio Interface for White Space Dynamic Spectrum Access Radio Systems Supporting Fixed and Mobile Operation
  • Ad hoc group on Dynamic Spectrum Access in Vehicular Environments (DSA-VE)
DySPAN SC is currently one of the most active standardization bodies for dynamic spectrum access radio systems and networks. 


CEPT/ECC WG Spectrum Engineering (SE), project team SE43

The ECC WGSE (Spectrum Engineering) has set up a special project dealing with cognitive radio matters. The SE43 was set up in May 2009 and finished its work in January 2011 by completing the ECC Report “Technical and Operational Requirements for the Possible Operation of Cognitive Radio Systems in the ‘White Spaces’ of the Frequency Band 470-790 MHz”The WG SE adopted the ECC Report 159 on white space devices for publication, in January 2011. This report can be downloaded from the undefinedCEPT/ECC website.

The main focus of the report is, as the title suggest, on coexistence with incumbent or primary systems. It contains definitions of “White Space”, cognitive radio and introduces the term “White Space Device” – WSD. The latter being the term used for the cognitive radio unit. The definition of “White Space” is taken from CEPT Report 24 “Technical considerations regarding harmonisation options for the Digital Dividend “ The report defines different scenarios for CR operation in terms of WSD types (personal/portable, home/office and public access points) and also discusses the three well known types of cognitive techniques: spectrum sensing, geo-location and beacons.
The report is focussed on protection of four possible incumbent systems: broadcast systems (BS), Program making and special events (PMSE), radio astronomy (RAS) and aeronautical radio navigation systems (ARNS). Comprehensive data on possible sensing and separation distances are given, and ends in operational and technical characteristics for white spaces devices to operate in the band. An estimate of available white space is also included.


Wightless


Weightless operates in an 8MHz-wide channel, to fit into the slots used for broadcast TV (and will thus have to squeeze into 6MHz if used across the pond where TV is smaller). Weightless is a Time Division Duplex (TDD) protocol, so access point and clients take turns to transmit.

When the hub device checks with the national database, it supplies a location and receives a list of 8MHz slots which aren't being used to transmit TV in that location. Weightless will hop between available slots every second or so, skipping any which turn out to be too cluttered (though periodically checking back in case they've cleared).

Showing its M2M roots, a Weightless access point only pages connected devices every 15 minutes, so those devices only need power up the radio four times an hour. Neul reckons that running the radio for two seconds at such intervals results in power consumption roughly equal to the decay rate of an idle battery, so being connected (and idle) has no perceivable impact on battery life.

That means a single Weightless hub can run connections to hundreds devices, across a network spanning 10km or so. Those devices could easily have a battery life measured in years, and be capable of responding with megabytes of data within 15 minutes.

A device which wants to connect to the network won't want to wait that long, and neither will one with something to report. In such circumstances the client can pick up a transmitted frame, which comes every second or two, and register an interest in sending some data upstream.

The security side of Weightless has yet to be worked out, with mutual authentication being considered more important than encrypting the content. Having someone listening in to a meter reading isn't that important, having someone faking a reading is, and content can always be encrypted at a higher level (Weightless will happily carry IPv4 and IPv6 packets).

Once on the network, a device has to wait for the hub to say when it can talk, though it has the chance to request communication slots. The speed of transmission is dependent on the quality of the signal. Each frame is addressed in a basically encoded header; all other devices can switch off their radios once they know the frame isn't addressed to them, and if the receiving device is nearby (as established by the signal strength) then the rest of the frame can be tightly encoded in the knowledge that little will be lost en route.

That means a Weightless hub can speak to hundreds of devices on the same network, with the speed of connection varying between devices. A receiver near the hub might therefore get 10Mb/sec or better, but one operating on the same network, from the same hub, could be running at a few hundred Kb in the same timeframe.


Monday, 2 April 2012

What is nano-SIM card

BBC reported that there is some dispute between Apple and Nokia/Rim for the next generation of SIM cards, 'nano-SIM'. You can read more about that here.

While looking for how the nano-SIM is different from other SIM cards I came across an interesting presentation from G&D. The above picture summarises the different types of SIM cards in use. The following is an extract from their whitepaper:


When the GSM network first appeared, mobile devices resembled bricks or even briefcases, and SIM cards were the size of credit cards. The subsequent miniaturization of the phones led to the standardization of smaller SIMs, the Plug-in SIM, and later the Mini-UICC also known as 3rd form factor (3FF). With the introduction of Apple’s iPad, the 3FF, or the Micro-SIM as it was then called, established itself widely in the market.

Nevertheless, the trend towards miniaturization of the SIM card is still not over. The latest form factor which is currently in discussion at ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) is the 4th form factor (4FF) or Nano-SIM. Measuring 12.3 x 8.8 mm, the Nano-SIM is about 30 percent smaller than the Micro-SIM. Even the thickness (0.7 mm) of the card has been reduced by about 15 percent – a tremendous technical challenge.

The Nano-SIM offers device manufacturers the crucial advantage of freeing up extra space for other mobile phone Nano-SIM The smallest SIM form factor on the market components such as additional memory or larger batteries. Popular smart phones in particular have to strike a balance between the need for components that are more powerful but bulkier and a slim design. The reduced volume of the 4FF gives manufacturers the opportunity to produce devices that are thinner and more appealing.


In case you were wandering the differences that are causing the disagreements, here are the differences between the formats:



Sunday, 29 January 2012

Monday, 11 January 2010

Technologies and Standards for TD-SCDMA Evolutions to IMT-Advanced

Picture Source: http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-t/oth/21/05/T21050000010003PDFE.pdf

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.

TD-SCDMA STE

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.

TD-SCDMA LTE

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.

TD-LTE trials have already started last year with some positive results.

TD-SCDMA LTE+

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.