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LTEArchitecture|LTEsystemarchitecturebasics

ThisLTEtutorialcoversLTEsystemoverview,LTEairinterface,LTESAEandprovidelinkforLTEFrame
structure,LTEphysicallayer,LTEprotocolstack,LTEterminologies,LTEadvanced,LTEvendorsetc.Thistutorial
isidealforbegineertolearnbasicknowledgeonLTEandLTEadvancedtechnologies.

LTEOverview
LTEstandardhasbeenpublishedby3GPPasanextensionofUMTS(basedon3GPPstandard)and1xEV
DO(baseon3GPP2standard)technologies.LTEismainlydesignedforhighspeeddataapplicationsbothinthe
uplinkanddownlink.LTEnetworkoffersabout300Mbpsdatarateinthedownlinkandabout75Mbpsinthe
uplink.ThereispossibilityofsupportingvoiceoverLTE(VoLTE)inthefuture.Therearevariousmethodsunder
progresstosupportVoLTEsomeofthemincludesVOIP,legacyfallbacktopreviousexistingwirelessnetworks.
ThistutorialonLTEcoversfollowinginadditiontoLTEairinterfaceandLTEsystemarchitecture:

LTEAirinterface
TheAirinterfacebetweenLTEnetworkandUEsupportshighdatarateowingtoOFDMandMultipleantenna
techniquesemployed.OFDMAisusedfromnetworktoUEairinterfaceandSCFDMAisusedfromUEto
networkairinterface.ReferfollowinglinkstoknowOFDMAbasics.
OFDMATypesOFDMversusOFDMAOFDMAPhysicallayer

LTESystemArchitectureEvolution

AsshowninthefigureLTESAE(SystemArchitectureEvolution)consistsUE,eNodeBandEPC(evolvedpacket
core).VariousinterfacesaredesignedbetweentheseentitieswhichincludeUubetweenUEandeNodeB,X2
betweentwoeNodeB,S1betweenEPCandeNodeB.eNodeBhasfunctionalitiesofbothRNCandNodeBasper
previousUMTSarchitecture.LTEiscompletelyIPbasednetwork.
Thebasicarchitecturecontainsthefollowingnetworkelements.
1.LTEEUTRAN(EvolvedUniversalTerrestrialRadio)
2.LTEEvolvedPacketCore.

LTEEUTRAN
ItisaradioaccessnetworkstandardmeanttobeareplacementoftheUMTS,HSDPAandHSUPA.Unlike
HSPA,LTE'sEUTRAisanentirelynewairinterfacesystem.Itprovideshigherdatarates,lowerlatencyandis
optimizedforpacketdata.EUTRAN(EvolvedUniversalTerrestrialRadio)consistsofeNB(Basestation).
EUTRANisresponsibleforcompleteradiomanagementinLTE.WhenUEpoweredison,eNBisresponsiblefor
RadioResourceManagement,i.e.itshalldotheradiobearercontrol,radioadmissioncontrol,allocationof
uplinkanddownlinktoUEetc.WhenapacketfromUEarrivestoeNB,eNBshallcompresstheIPheaderand
encryptthedatastream.ItisalsoresponsibleforaddingaGTPUheadertothepayloadandsendingittothe
SGW.Beforethedataisactuallytransmittedthecontrolplanehastobeestablished.eNBisresponsiblefor
choosingaMMEusingMMEselectionfunction.TheQoSistakencarebyeNBastheeNBisonlyentityonradio.
Otherfunctionalitiesincludeschedulingandtransmissionofpagingmessages,broadcastmessages,andbearer
levelrateenforcementsalsodonebyeNB.

LTEEvolvedPacketCore(EPC)
TheLTEEPCconsistsofMME,SGW,PGW,HSSandPCRF.

MobilityManagementEntity(MME):
TheMMEisacontrolentity.Itisresponsibleforallthecontrolplaneoperations.AlltheNASsignalingoriginates
atUEandterminatesinMME.MMEisalsoresponsiblefortrackingarealistmanagement,selectionof
PGW/SGWandalsoselectionofotherMMEduringhandovers.MMEisalsoresponsibleforSGSN(Serving
GPRSSupportNode)selectionduringLTEto2G/3Ghandovers.TheUEisalsoauthenticatedbyMME.MMEis
alsoresponsibleforbearermanagementfunctionsincludingestablishmentofdedicatedbearersforallsignaling
trafficflow.

ServingGateway(SGW):
ServinggatewayterminatestheinterfacetowardsEUTRAN.ForeachUEthereisasingleServingGW
associatedwithEPSatagivenpointoftime.SGWactsasalocalmobilityentityforintereNBhandovers.Italso
actsamobilityanchorforinter3GPPmobility.SGWisresponsibleforpacketroutingandforwarding,buffering
thedownlinkpackets.AseNBisresponsibleforuplinkpacketmarking,SGWisresponsiblefordownlinkpacket
marking.

PDNGateway(PGW):
PGWterminatesSGiinterfacetowardsthePDN.PGWisresponsibleforalltheIPpacketbasedoperationssuch
asdeeppacketinspection,UEIPaddressallocation,Transportlevelpacketmarkinginuplinkanddownlink,
accountingetc.PGWcontactsPCRFtodeterminetheQoSforbearers.ItisalsoresponsibleforULandDLrate

enforcement.

HomeSubscriberServer(HSS):
TheHSSisacentraldatabasethatcontainsuserrelatedandsubscriptionrelatedinformation.Thefunctionsof
theHSSincludefunctionalitiessuchasmobilitymanagement,callandsessionestablishmentsupport,user
authenticationandaccessauthorization.ItalsoholdsinformationaboutthePDNstowhichtheusercanconnect.
InadditiontheHSSholdsdynamicinformationsuchastheidentityoftheMMEtowhichtheuseriscurrently
attachedorregistered.TheHSSmayalsointegratetheauthenticationcenter(AUC),whichgeneratesthe
vectorsforauthenticationandsecuritykeys.

PolicyControlandChargingRulesFunction(PCRF):
ThePCRFisresponsibleforpolicycontroldecisionmakingaswellasforcontrollingtheflowbasedcharging
functionalitiesinthePolicyControlEnforcementFunction(PCEF),whichresidesinthePGW.ThePCRF
providestheQoSauthorization(QoSclassidentifier[QCI]andbitrates)thatdecideshowacertaindataflowwill
betreatedinthePCEFandensuresthatthisisinaccordancewiththeuser'ssubscriptionprofile.