Tuesday 8 May 2012

WiFi: Standards, Spectrum and Deployment

Yesterday, IEEE published its fourth revision to 802.11. The updates include faster throughput, improved cellular hand-offs, and better communication between vehicles in addition to other improvements.The following from IEEE website:

The new IEEE 802.11-2012 revision1 has been expanded significantly by supporting devices and networks that are faster, more secure, while offering improved Quality of Service and, improved cellular network hand-off. IEEE 802.11 standards, often referred to as “Wi-Fi®,” already underpin wireless networking applications around the world, such as wireless access to the Internet from offices, homes, airports, hotels, restaurants, trains and aircraft around the world. The standard’s relevance continues to expand with the emergence of new applications, such as the smart grid, which augments the facility for electricity generation, distribution, delivery and consumption with a two-way, end-to-end network for communications and control.

IEEE 802.11 defines one MAC and several PHY specifications for wireless connectivity for fixed, portable and mobile stations. IEEE 802.11-2012 is the fourth revision of the standard to be released since its initial publication in 1997. In addition to incorporating various technical updates and enhancements, IEEE 802.11-2012 consolidates 10 amendments to the base standard that were approved since IEEE 802.11’s last full revision, in 2007. IEEE 802.11n™, for example, defined MAC and PHY modifications to enable much higher throughputs, with a maximum of 600Mb/s; other amendments that have been incorporated into IEEE 802.11-2012 addressed direct-link setup, “fast roam,” radio resource measurement, operation in the 3650-3700MHz band, vehicular environments, mesh networking, security, broadcast/multicast and unicast data delivery, interworking with external networks and network management.

“The new IEEE 802.11 release is the product of an evolutionary process that has played out over five years and drawn on the expertise and efforts of hundreds of participants worldwide. More than 300 voters from a sweeping cross-section of global industry contributed to the new standard, which has roughly doubled in size since its last published revision,” said Bruce Kraemer, chair of the IEEE 802.11 working group. “Every day, about two million products that contain IEEE 802.11-based technology for wireless communications are shipped around the world. Continuous enhancement of the standard has helped drive technical innovation and global market growth. And work on the next generation of IEEE 802.11 already has commenced with a variety of project goals including extensions that will increase the data rate by a factor of 10, improve audio/video delivery, increase range and decrease power consumption.”

1 IEEE 802.11™-2012 “Standard for Information technology--Telecommunications and information exchange between systems Local and metropolitan area networks--Specific requirements Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications”

The following is from a presentation by Agilent in LTE World Summit last year. It summarises the 802.11 standards, the Spectrum available and deployment use cases.

Saturday 5 May 2012

LTE deployment and optimisation challenges

Presented in the 3G, HSPA, LTE Optimisation conference, April 2012 by Ljupco Jorguseski. The ICIC presentation referred to in this presentation is available in an earlier post here.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

LTE 'Antenna Ports' and their Physical mapping

People who work with LTE Physical layer and maybe higher layers would be aware of this term called 'Antenna Ports'. I have always wondered how these antenna ports are mapped to physical antennas.

The following is from R&S whitepaper:

The 3GPP TS 36.211 LTE standard defines antenna ports for the downlink. An antenna port is generally used as a generic term for signal transmission under identical channel conditions. For each LTE operating mode in the downlink direction for which an independent channel is assumed (e.g. SISO vs. MIMO), a separate logical antenna port is defined. LTE symbols that are transmitted via identical antenna ports are subject to the same channel conditions. In order to determine the characteristic channel for an antenna port, a UE must carry out a separate channel estimation for each antenna port. Separate reference signals (pilot signals) that are suitable for estimating the respective channel are defined in the LTE standard for each antenna port. 

Here is my table that I have adapted from the whitepaper and expanded. 

The way in which these logical antenna ports are assigned to the physical transmit antennas of a base station is up to the base station, and can vary between base stations of the same type (because of different operating conditions) and also between base stations from different manufacturers. The base station does not explicitly notify the UE of the mapping that has been carried out, rather the UE must take this into account automatically during demodulation (FIG 2).

If there is another way to show this physical mappings, please feel free to let me know.

The R&S Whitepaper is available here if interested.

Friday 27 April 2012

10 Times Beyond LTE-A (5G maybe?)

Recently when I added a presentation by NSN on whats coming after IMT-Advanced, it was very well received and has already had over 8000 views. There seems to be definitely an appetite for the future networks. Here is another such presentation.

There is also a video of the presentation if you have the patience to sit, watch and learn.

3 Stages for Seamless Mobility between 3G and WLAN