Tuesday, 18 January 2011

3GPP Tutorials via 'The SpecTools'

Some of you may have noticed that the new and revamped 3GPP website have recently started offering 3GPP specs and features tutorials via The SpecTools. There is quite a lot of useful information and most of it is premium but a lot is free as well.

So the new starters or those wishing to refresh their knowledge feel free to check this out:

Monday, 17 January 2011

Heterogeneous LTE Networks and Inter-Cell Interference Coordination

An interesting paper that is more of a background to my earlier post here is available from Nomor Research and is embedded below.
This paper is available to download from here.

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.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Monday, 10 January 2011

SI on Signalling and procedure for interference avoidance for in-device coexistence

In order to allow users to access various networks and services ubiquitously, an increasing number of UEs are equipped with multiple radio transceivers. For example, a UE may be equipped with LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth transceivers, and GNSS receivers. One resulting challenge lies in trying to avoid coexistence interference between those collocated radio transceivers. Figure 4-1 below shows an example of coexistence interference.

3GPP initiated a Study Item (SI) in Release-10 timeframe to investigate the effects of the interference due to multiple radios and signalling. This study is detailed in 3GPP TR 36.816 (see link at the end).

Due to extreme proximity of multiple radio transceivers within the same UE, the transmit power of one transmitter may be much higher than the received power level of another receiver. By means of filter technologies and sufficient frequency separation, the transmit signal may not result in significant interference. But for some coexistence scenarios, e.g. different radio technologies within the same UE operating on adjacent frequencies, current state-of-the-art filter technology might not provide sufficient rejection. Therefore, solving the interference problem by single generic RF design may not always be possible and alternative methods needs to be considered. An illustration of such kind of problem is shown in Figure 4-2 above.

The following scenarios were studied:
- LTE coexisting with WiFi
- LTE coexisting with Bluetooth
- LTE Coexisting with GNSS

Based on the analysis in SI, some examples of the problematic coexistence scenarios that need to be further studied are as follows:
- Case 1: LTE Band 40 radio Tx causing interference to ISM radio Rx;
- Case 2: ISM radio Tx causing interference to LTE Band 40 radio Rx;
- Case 3: LTE Band 7 radio Tx causing interference to ISM radio Rx;
- Case 4: LTE Band 7/13/14 radio Tx causing interference to GNSS radio Rx.

In order to facilitate the study, it is also important to identify the usage scenarios that need to be considered. This is because different usage scenarios will lead to different assumption on behaviours of LTE and other technologies radio, which in turn impact on the potential solutions. The following scenarios will be considered:

1a) LTE + BT earphone (VoIP service)
1b) LTE + BT earphone (Multimedia service)
2) LTE + WiFi portable router
3) LTE + WiFi offload
4) LTE + GNSS Receiver

The SI also proposes some ways of reducing the interference and is work in progress at the moment.

Reference: 3GPP TR 36.816 : Study on signalling and procedure for interference avoidance for in-device coexistence; (Release 10).

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Dilbert Humour: Cloud Computing

Source: Dilbert

If you like these then please click 'Very Useful' or 'More like this' so that I know people find these useful.

For similar things follow the label: Mobile Humour.

Friday, 7 January 2011

LTE-Advanced (Rel-10) UE Categories

I blogged about the 1200Mbps of DL with LTE Advanced earlier and quite a few people asked me about the bandwidth, etc. I found another UE categories table in Agilent lterature on LTE-Advanced here.

The existing UE categories 1-5 for Release 8 and Release 9 are shown in Table 4. In order to accommodate LTE-Advanced capabilities, three new UE categories 6-8 have been defined.

Note that category 8 exceeds the requirements of IMT-Advanced by a considerable

Given the many possible combinations of layers and carrier aggregation, many configurations could be used to meet the data rates in Table 4. Tables 5 and 6 define the most probable cases for which performance requirements will be developed.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Refresher: LTE MAC Layer Protocol

This is following the RLC refresher post here. You can also view logs from real tests on a real LTE UE here.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

eICIC: Enhanced inter-cell interference coordination in 3GPP Release-10

Inter-cell interference coordination (ICIC) was introduced in Release-8/9 of the 3GPP LTE standards. The basic idea of ICIC is keeping the inter-cell interferences under control by radio resource management (RRM) methods. ICIC is inherently a multi-cell RRM function that needs to take into account information (e.g. the resource usage status and traffic load situation) from multiple cells.

Broadly speaking, the main target of any ICIC strategy is to determine the resources (bandwidth and power) available at each cell at any time. Then (and typically), an autonomous scheduler assigns those resources to users. Thus, from the Radio Resource Control perspective, there are two kind of decisions: (a) which resources will be allocated to each cell? and, (b) which resources will be allocated to each user?. Clearly, the temporality of such decisions is quite different. Whereas resources to users allocation is in the order of milliseconds, the allocation of resources to cells take much longer periods of time or can be fixed.

Static ICIC schemes are attractive for operators since the complexity of their deployment is very low and there is not need for new extra signaling out of the standard. Static ICIC mostly relies on the fractional reuse concept. This means that users are categorized according to their Signal-to-Noise-plus-Interference Ratio (SINR), that means basically according to their inter-cell interference, and different reuse factors are applied to them, being higher at regions with more interference, mostly outer regions of the cells. The total system bandwidth is divided into sub-bands which are used by the scheduler accordingly.

A simple way to explain ICIC is based on picture above. The users are divided into two categories, one is Cell Center User (CCU), and the other one is Cell Edge User (CEU). CCUs are the users distributed in the gray region of above figure, and CEUs are the users distributed in the above red, green and blue areas. CCU can use all the frequencypoints to communicate with the base station, while CEU must use corresponding specified frequency points to ensure orthogonality between different cells.
CEUs can be assigned a higher transmissionpower for the frequency reuse factor is greater than 1. The frequency points are not overlapped at the edges so the adjacent cell interference is small. CCU’s frequency reuse factor is 1; for the path loss is small and transmission power is low. Therefore the interference to the adjacent cells is not high either.

Dominant interference condition has been shown when Non-CSG/CSG users are in close proximity of Femto, in this case, Rel8/9 ICIC techniques are not fully effective in mitigating control channel interference, and hence, Enhanced interference management is needed At least the following issues should be addressed by any proposed solutions:
o Radio link monitoring (RLM)
o Radio Resource Management (including detection of PSS/SSS and PBCH)
o Interference from CRS
o CSI measurement
o Interference from PDCCH masked with P-RNTI and SI-RNTI (for SIB-1 only) and associated PCFICH

As a result, from Release-10 onwards eICIC work was started. In Rel-10, two eICIC or Enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (also incorrectly referred to as Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Cancellation) were being actively discussed. They are Time domain eICIC and autonomous HeNB power setting. More advanced ideas are being thought of beyong Rel-10 including Interference management techniques on carrier resolution ( optimally exploiting available Networks frequency assets (carriers in same or different bands) , combination with Carrier Aggregation; interference management schemes proposed both during LTE-Advanced Study Item phase, and during Rel-10 HetNet eICIC work.

From an earlier presentation in SON Conference:

- Effectively extends ICIC to DL control - time domain
- Requires synchronization at least between macro eNB and low power eNBs in its footprint
- No negative impact on legacy Rel 8 Use

Range Extension(RE)
- Refers to UE ability to connect and stay connected to a cell with low SINR
- Achieved with advanced UE receivers - DL interference cancellation (IC)

RE + eICIC technique:
– Eliminates coverage holes created by closed HeNBs
– Improves load balancing potential for macro network with low power eNBs and leads to significant network throughput increase
–Enables more UEs can be served by low power eNBs, which can lead to substantially higher network throughput

More details on eICIC is available in 3GPP CR's and TR's listed below:
  • R1-105081: Summary of the description of candidate eICIC solutions, 3GPP TSG-WG1 #62, Madrid, Spain, August 23rd – 27th, 2010.
  • R1-104942: Views on eICIC Schemes for Rel-10, 3GPP TSG RAN WG1 Meeting #62, Madrid, Spain, 23-27 August, 2010.
  • R1-104238: eICIC Chairman’s note, 3GPP TSG RAN WG1 Meeting #61bis, Dresden, Germany, 28th June – 2nd July 2010.
  • R1-103822: Enhanced ICIC considerations for HetNet scenarios, 3GPP TSG RAN WG1 #61bis Meeting, Dresden, Germany, June 28 – July 2, 2010.
You can also check out NTT Docomo's presentation on LTE Enhancements and Future Radio Access here.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Mobile Broadband Enablers in future

From a presentation by Huawei at the New Zealand Future Wireless Technologies Seminar. The presentation is available here.