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UMTS Tutorial

La terza generazione di sistemi di telecomunicazioni radiomobili comunemente identicata con la sigla breve 3G, acronimo di 3rd Generation, o pi comunemente con la sigla breve UMTS, acronimo di Universal Mobile Telecommunications System. Lo standard 3G fu originariamente pensato per essere uno standard univoco ed unicato a livello mondiale mentre, in realt, stato implementato in modi differenti a seconda del tipo di accesso radio impiegato.

The UMTS network architecture is required to provide a greater level of performance to that of the original GSM network. With one of the major aims of UMTS being to be able to carry data, the UMTS network architecture was designed to enable a considerable improvement in data performance over that provided for GSM. The UMTS network architecture can be divided into three
main elements:

User Equipment (UE)

The User Equipment or UE is the name given to what was previous termed the mobile, or cellphone. The new name was chosne because the considerably greater functionality that the UE could have. Ovviamente lo UE costituito sia dal dispositivo mobile di terza generazione, sia dalla USIM (UMTS SIM), la scheda rimovibile che si trova nel dispositivo cellulare. LUSIM contiene

lidenticativo di un dato utente e i servizi a cui permesso che egli acceda in base al rapporto contrattuale con loperatore mobile. LUSIM specica per ogni utenza e consente laccesso in maniera sicura ai servizi.

Radio Network Subsystem (RNS)

The RNS is the equivalent of the previous Base Station Subsystem or BSS in GSM. It provides and manages the air interface fort he overall network. The overall radio access network, i.e. collectively all the Radio Network Subsystem is known as the UTRAN (UMTS Radio Access Network). The Radio Network Subsystem comprises two main components:

Radio Network Controller, RNC: This element of the radio network subsystem controls the Node Bs that are connected to it. The RNC undertakes the radio resource management and some of the mobility management functions, although not all. It is also the point at which the data encryption / decryption is performed to protect the user data from eavesdropping. E anche possibile per un RNC collaborare con le Base Station Subsystems (BSS) che formano linterfaccia aerea di collegamento GERAN (GSM/EDGE Radio Access Network). Questa cooperazione permette lesecuzione di algoritmi Common Radio Resource Management (CRRM) tra sistemi UMTS and GSM/GPRS. While Node B has a rather limited view of the world, and limited control over its own resources, the RNC has an overview of all radio resources attached to it. It is responsible for these resources and controls the set-up, maintenance and release of radio connections ( Radio Bearers ). Radio bearer control also involves the planning of resources and the calculation of interference and utilization levels, as well as the control of CDMA codes. Furthermore, the RNC is involved in power control. Power control actually has two stages: the inner loop performed by Node B as described in

the previous section, and the outer loop performed by the RNC. As one might expect, the RNC outer loop controls the Node B inner loop. This means that the RNC determines the target power level the UE should achieve based on the overall radio resource picture, and Node B is responsible for enforcing this power level. The RNC, the Serving RNC to be precise, controls the small-scale mobility of the UE, i.e. mobility across a small number of cells, whereas the SGSN/MSCcontrols large scale mobility, including roaming. The Serving RNC decides, based on measurement reports received from both UE and UTRAN, whether a handover is necessary and then initiates this handover. The Serving RNC is also responsible for the control of macrodiversity (cf. Chapter 5, Section, i.e. for deciding whether the UEshould attach to more than one cell, and if yes, which cells. The RNCtransports IP-based trafc in the same way as an ordinary router. Additionally, the RNC must protect the trafc against a variety of security threats on the radio interface by means of encryption and integrity protection In addition, the RNC is responsible for broadcasting system information on the radio interface.

LRNC pu avere pi ruoli logici: i) CRNC (Controlling RNC). Specica il ruolo dellRNC rispetto al riferisce al controllo che lRNC ha su un set di Node B. dato Node B. Si

ii) SRNC (Serving RNC). Specica il ruolo dellRNC rispetto al dato UE. LSRNC lRNC che mantiene la connessione di un dato UE con la CN attraverso linterfaccia Iu. Cos pu essere considerato come lRNC che controlla lRNS al quale il mobile collegato in un dato momento. Quando lUE si muove nella rete e esegue gli Handover tra celle differenti pu richiedere una procedura di rilocazione da parte

dell SRNS (Serving RNS) quando la cella di destinazione appartiene ad un RNC di erente. Questo tipo di procedura richiede la comunicazione tra SRNC e la nuova RNC attraverso linterfaccia Iur per permettere alla nuova RNC di stabilire una nuova connessione con la CN attraverso la sua interfaccia Iu.

iii) DRNC (Drift RNC) Anche questo ruolo descritto rispetto allUE ed una conseguenza di uno specico tipo di Handover che esiste con i sistemi di tipo CDMA () denotato come soft Handover. In questo caso un UE pu essere simultaneamente collegato a pi celle. Cos quando un UE si muove sul bordo tra piu RNS possibile che instauri nuovi collegamenti radio con celle appartenenti ad un nuovo RNC mentre mantiene il collegamento con alcune celle dellSRNC. In questo caso la nuova RNC prende il ruolo di DRNC e la connessione con la CN non ottenuta attraverso lIu del DRNC ma ancora attraverso lIu dell SRNC sebbene sia necessario stabilire risorse per lUE nellinterfaccia Iur fra DRNC e SRNC.Solo quando tutti i collegamenti radio della vecchia RNC sono rilasciati e la Ue connessa solo alla nuova RNC la procedura di rilocazione SRNS sar eseguita. Tutte le RNC sono CRNC e una fata RNC pu essere SRNC per certi UE e simultaneamente DRCN per altri. Node B :
Node B is the term used within UMTS to denote the base station transceiver. It contains the transmitter and receiver to communicate with the UEs within the cell.

UMTS Core Network

The UMTS core network architecture is a migration of that used for GSM with further elements overlaid to enable the additional functionality demanded by UMTS. In view of the different ways in which data may be carried, the UMTS core network may be split into two different areas:

Circuit switched elements: These elements are primarily based on the GSM network entities and carry data in a circuit switched manner, i.e. a permanent channel for the duration of the call. Packet switched elements: These network entities are designed to carry packet data. This enables much higher network usage as the capacity can be shared and data is carried as packets which are routed according to their destination.



The circuit switched elements of the UMTS core network architecture include the following network

Mobile switching centre (MSC):

This is essentially the same as that within GSM, and it

manages the circuit switched calls under way. Gateway MSC (GMSC): This is effectively the interface to the external network

Packet switched elements

The packet switched elements of the UMTS core network architecture include the following network entities:

Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN): As the name implies, this entity was first developed when GPRS was introduced, and its use has been carried over into the UMTS network architecture. The SGSN provides a number of functions within the UMTS network architecture. Mobility management When a UE attaches to the Packet Switched domain of the UMTS Core Network, the SGSN generates MM information based on the mobile's current location. Session management: The SGSN manages the data sessions providing the required quality of service and also managing what are termed the PDP (Packet data Protocol) contexts, i.e. the pipes over which the data is sent. Interaction with other areas of the network: The SGSN is able to manage its elements within the network only by communicating with other areas of the network, e.g. MSC and other circuit switched areas. Billing: The SGSN is also responsible billing. It achieves this by monitoring the flow of user data across the GPRS network. CDRs (Call Detail Records) are generated by the SGSN before being transferred to the charging entities (Charging Gateway Function, CGF).

Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN): Like the SGSN, this entity was also first introduced into the GPRS network. The Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) is the central element within the UMTS packet switched network. It handles inter-working between the UMTS packet switched network and external packet switched networks, and can be considered as a very sophisticated router. In operation, when the GGSN receives data addressed to a specific user, it checks if the user is active and then forwards the data to the SGSN serving the particular UE. Shared elements : The shared elements of the UMTS core network architecture include the following network entities: i) Home location register (HLR): This database contains all the administrative information about each subscriber along with their last known location. In this way, the UMTS network is able to route calls to the relevant RNC / Node B. When a user switches on their UE, it registers with the network and from this it is possible to determine which Node B it communicates with so that incoming calls can be routed appropriately. Even when the UE is not active (but switched on) it re-registers periodically to ensure that the network (HLR) is aware of its latest position with their current or last known location on the network.

ii) Equipment identity register (EIR): The EIR is the entity that decides whether a given UE equipment may be allowed onto the network. Each UE equipment has a number known as the International Mobile Equipment Identity. This number, as mentioned above, is installed in the equipment and is checked by the network during registration.

iii) Authentication centre (AuC) : The AuC is a protected database that contains the secret
key also contained in the user's USIM card.

When looking at the radio air interface and its associated properties, it is necessary to define the directions in which the transmissions are occurring being a full duplex system.

Uplink : This may also sometimes be known as the reverse link, and it is the link from the User Equipment (UE) to the Node B or base station. Downlink: This may also sometimes be known as the forward link, and it is the link from the Node B or base station to the User Equipment (UE).

Much of the focus for UMTS is currently on frequency allocations around 2 GHz. At the World Administrative radio Conference in 1992, the bands 1885 - 2025 and 2110 - 2200 MHz were set. Within these bands the portions have been reserved for different uses:

1920-1980 and 2110-2170 MHz Frequency Division Duplex (FDD, W-CDMA) Paired uplink and downlink, channel spacing is 5 MHz and raster is 200 kHz. An Operator needs 3 - 4 channels (2x15 MHz or 2x20 MHz) to be able to build a high-speed, high-capacity network. 1900-1920 and 2010-2025 MHz Time Division Duplex (TDD, TD/CDMA) Unpaired, channel spacing is 5 MHz and raster is 200 kHz. Transmit and receive transmissions are not separated in frequency. 1980-2010 and 2170-2200 MHz Satellite uplink and downlink.

UMTS uses wideband CDMA as the radio transport mechanism. The UMTS channels are spaced by 5 MHz. La tecnica di accesso al canale utilizzata in UMTS la tecnica CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access). CDMA is a form of spread spectrum transmission technology. It has a number of distinguishing features that are key to spread spectrum transmission technologies: Use of wide bandwidth: CDMA, like other spread spectrum technologies uses a wider bandwidth than would otherwise be needed fort he transmission of the data. This results in a number of advantages including an increased immunity to interference or jamming, and multiple user access. Spreading codes used: In order to achieve the increased bandwidth, the data is spread by use of a code which is independent of the data. Codes are sequences of one and minus one, socalled chips. The sender multiplies the bit sequence by the code before sending. The receiver, in turn, multiplies the received sequence of chips again with the code, thereby obtaining back the original sequence of bits. Of course, because of the non-zero travelling time between sender and receiver, the receiver must apply the code with the right time-shift, i.e. we need synchronization between sender and receiver. Multiple access: The use of the spreading codes which are independent for each user along with synchronous reception allow multiple users to access the same channel simultaneously. Enhanced security: The use of spread spectrum and the multiple spreading codes for CDMA significantly reduces the possibility of eavesdropping. Improvement in handover / handoff: Using CDMA it is possible for a terminal to communicate with two base stations at once. As a result, the old link only needs to be broken when the new one is firmly established. This provides significant improvements in terms of the reliability of handover / handoff from one base station to another. Within CDMA it is possible to do what is termed a "soft handover" where the UE communicates with two base stations at the same time. This significantly improves handover reliability.

Direct sequence spread spectrum (DS-SS). The data is directly coded by a high chip rate (spreading) code by multiplying the information-bearing signal with a pseudorandom binary waveform. Each bit in the spreading sequence is called a chip, and this is much shorter than each information bit. Supponiamo che :

: durata del bit dinformazione da trasmettere. Con W = : indica il bit rate del codice di spreading. = rappresenta la durata del chip.

che rappresenta la banda del segnale

As the bandwidth is the inverse of the chip duration, the bandwidth of the total signal is now also W = 1/ i.e., larger than the bandwidth of a narrowband-modulated signal by a factor N, che rappresenta il rapporto tra la banda trasmessa e quella del segnale originario ed chiamato fattore di guadag . As we assume that the spreading operation does not change the total transmit power, it also implies that the power-spectral density decreases by a factor . Thus, without changing the signal power, the power spectral density (PSD) of the signal would be N times lower than it would be in non-spread transmission and the signal is less likely to be detected.

The basic spreading process in a direct sequence spread-spectrum system is illustrated in the conceptual block diagram of a DSSS transmitter in Figure 2.1. The information-bearing signal,

d(t), is multiplied by the spreading code, c(t), and modulated onto a RF carrier frequency to obtain a nal spread output signal, s(t)

where fRF is the RF carrier frequency. In addition to the desired signal, the received signal also contains noise, other wideband interferers, and possibly narrowband interferers. Note that the effective bandwidth of noise and wideband interferers is not signicantly affected by the despreading operation, while narrowband interferers are actually spread over a bandwidth NW. The incoming signal is received by the RF front-end, is down-convert the RF signal to IF. This IF DSSS signal is despread and bandpass ltered, whereafter the despread signal is demodulated by means of a BPSK demodulator to recover the original information-bearing signal, d(t).

In the case of a high-power narrow-band interference or jamming signal, the interference or jamming signal is added to the spread data signal in the radio channel. In the despreading process at the receiver, the spread data signal is despread to its original narrow bandwidth and bandpass ltered to the double sideband information bandwidth, while the interference or jammer signal is spread by a factor equal to N, resulting in a low density wideband interference signal. Since only a portion of this low-density interference or jammer signal may fall within the actual information band after despreading, the interference power will be signicantly reduced compared to the original full-power interference case. In particolare The PSD of the interference is reduced by the processing gain. The following low-pass filter has a cut-off frequency which matches the information bandwidth, thus only a fraction 1/N of interference power will reach the low-pass filter output. The larger the processing gain, the more the resistance to interference. In termini di rapporto SNR le cose restano invariate visto che For a DS-SS system, the noise power at the receiver input is N0/TC = N0 N/Tb , which is reduced by narrowband ltering by a factor of N ; thus, at the detector input, it is N 0/Tb. A similar effect occurs for wideband interference. Let us next discuss the spreading signals for DS-SS systems. In order to perfectly reverse the spreading operation in the receiver by means of a correlation operation, we want the AutoCorrelation Function (ACF) of the spreading sequence to be a Dirac delta function. In such a case, the convolution of the original information sequence with the concatenation of spreader and despreader is the original sequence.

These ideal properties can only be approximated in practice. One group of suitable code sequences is a type of Pseudo Noise (PN) sequences called maximum length sequence (msequence). PN sequences have the following ACF:

At the receiver, the desired signal is obtained by correlating the received signal with the spreading signal of the desired user. Other users thus become wideband interferers; after passing through the despreader, the amount of interference power seen by the detector is equal to the Cross CorrelationFunction (CCF) between the spreading sequence of the interfering user and the spreading sequence of the desired user. Thus, we ideally wish for

for all users j and k. In other words, we require code sequences to be orthogonal. Perfect orthogonality can be achieved for at most N spreading sequences; this can be immediately seen by the fact that N orthogonal sequences span an N-dimensional space, and any other sequence of that duration can be represented as a linear combination.

WCDMA codes
WCDMA relies on CDMA for multiple access. However, transmission timing is still based on a hierarchical timeslot structure similar to GSMs: frames of duration Tf = 10 ms are divided into 15 timeslots, each of which has a 12-bit-long System Frame Number (SFN). Each timeslot has a duration of 0.667 ms which equals 2,560 chips. The conguration of frames and timeslots is different for uplink and downlink.

WCDMA uses two types of code for spreading and multiple access: channelization codes and scrambling codes. channelization codes : They spread the signal by increasing the occupied bandwidth in accordance with the basic principle of CDMA. Channelization codes in WCDMA are Orthogonal Variable Spreading Factor (OVSF) codes. scrambling codes : They do not lead to bandwidth expansion but help to distinguish between cells and/or users. Spreading with the orthogonal channelization codes alone is insufcient because orthogonal codes are rather sensitive to synchronization: Two orthogonal codes that are time-shifted relative to each other can have a substantial cross-correlation. This becomes a problem because, e.g. UEs are synchronized with their respective cell, however, cells are not synchronized among themselves. Therefore, with orthogonal codes the receiving cell cannot properly despread a signal which contains contributions from several UEs, possibly attached to different cells. Scrambling codes, in contrast, are quasiorthogonal. This means that their autocorrelation is high, and their cross-correlation is almost, but not quite zero. But then, they remain quasi-orthogonal even when time-shifted relative to each other. Therefore, each sender rst applies a channelization code, and then a scrambling code on top. Scrambling codes are much longer than channelization codes, they have 384 000 chips. With chips code length, the number of possible scrambling codes is very large. UMTS only utilizes 8192 different scrambling codes which is still large enough to allow the exibility described above to serve user and load shifts between cells without too much bookkeeping. A UE close to a cell border can be attached to two or more cells simultaneously, as illustrated in Figure 5.8. The downlink signal is sent via all cells to which the UE is attached. The uplink signal from the UE is received and processed by all cells it is attached to. So The assignment of channelization code and scrambling code is different in uplink and downlink direction:

Uplink : The uplink uses OVSF codes for spreading. However, they are not used for channelization (distinguishing between users in the uplink). Therefore, different users can use the same OVSF codes. As mentioned above, signals from different users are distinguished by different scrambling codes. So more, each individual UE is in command of the entire set of channelization codes, allowing the UE to manage the bandwidths of its sessions independently Downlink : each cell uses its own scrambling code, because cells among themselves are not synchronized, either. The scrambling code is thus a cells nger print. Each cell has the full set of channelization codes at its disposal, assigning a different one to each UE it is serving.

WCDMA Modulation
As the uplink and downlink have different requirements, the exact format for the modulation format used on either direction is slightly different. UMTS modulation schemes for both uplink and downlink, although somewhat different are both based around phase shift keying formats. Downlink : The UMTS modulation format for the downlink is more straightforward than that used in the uplink. The downlink uses quadrature phase shift keying, QPSK. The QPSK modulation used in the downlink is used with time-multiplexed control and data streams. While time multiplexing would be a problem in the uplink, where the transmission in this format would give rise to interference in local audio systems, this is not relevant for the downlink where the NodeB is sufficiently remote from any local audio related equipment to ensure that interference is not a problem. Uplink : However the uplink uses two separate channels so that the cycling of the transmitter on and off does not cause interference on the audio lines, a problem that was experienced on GSM. The dual channels (dual channel phase shift keying) are achieved by applying the coded user data to the I or In-phase input to the DQPSK modulator, and control data which has been encoded using a different code to the Q or quadrature input to the modulator.

WCDMA Handover
Within UMTS it is possible to define a number of different types of UMTS handover or handoff. With the advent of generic CDMA technology, new possibilities for effecting more reliable forms of handover became possible, and as a result one of a variety of different forms of handover are available depending upon the different circumstances. For purely inter W-CDMA technology, there are three basic types of handover:

Hard handover: This form of handover is essentially the same as that used for 2G networks where one link is broken and another established. Soft handover: This form of handover is a more gradual and the UE communicates simultaneously with more than one Node B or base station during the handover process. Softer handover: Not a full form of UMTS handover, but the UE communicates with more than one sector managed by the same NodeB. UMTS GSM inter RAT handover: This form of handover occurs when mobiles have to change between Radio Access Technologies.

UMTS hard handover

The name hard handover indicates that there is a "hard" change during the handover process. For hard handover the radio links are broken and then re-established. Although hard handover should appear seamless to the user, there is always the possibility that a short break in the connection may be noticed by the user. The basic methodology behind a hard handover is relatively straightforward. There are a number of basic stages of a hard handover: 1. The network decides a handover is required dependent upon the signal strengths of the existing link, and the strengths of broadcast channels of adjacent cells. 2. The link between the existing NodeB and the UE is broken. 3. A new link is established between the new NodeB and the UE. Although this is a simplification of the process, it is basically what happens. The major problem is that any difficulties in re-establishing the link will cause the handover to fail and the call or connection to be dropped. UMTS hard handovers may be used in a number of instances:

When moving from one cell to an adjacent cell that may be on a different frequency. When implementing a mode change, e.g. from FDD to TDD mode, for example. When moving from one cell to another where there is no capacity on the existing channel, and a change to a new frequency is required.

One of the issues facing UMTS hard handovers was also experienced in GSM. When usage levels are high, the capacity of a particular cell that a UE is trying to enter may be insufficient to support a new user. To overcome this, it may be necessary to reserve some capacity for new users. This may be achieved by spreading the loading wherever possible - for example UEs that can receive a sufficiently strong signal from a neighbouring cell may be transferred out as the original cell nears its capacity level.

UMTS soft handover

Soft handover is a form of handover that was enabled by the introduction of CDMA. Soft handover occurs when a UE is in the overlapping coverage area of two cells. Links to the two base stations can be

established simultaneously and in this way the UE can communicate with two base stations. By having more than one link active during the handover process, this provides a more reliable and seamless way in which to perform handover. In view of the fact that soft handover uses several simultaneous links, it means that the adjacent cells must be operating on the same frequency or channel as UEs do not have multiple transmitters and receivers that would be necessary if they were on different frequencies. When the UE and NodeB undertake a soft handover, the UE receives signals from the two NodeBs and combines them using the RAKE receiver capability available in the signal processing of the UE. In the uplink the situation is more complicated as the signal combining cannot be accomplished in the NodeB as more than one NodeB is involved. Instead, combining is accomplished on a frame by frame basis. The best frames are selected after each interleaving period. The selection is accomplished by using the outer loop power control algorithm which measures the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the received uplink signals. This information is then used to select the best quality frame. Once the soft handover has been completed, the links to the old NodeB are dropped and the UE continues to communicate with the new NodeB. As can be imagined, soft handover uses a higher degree of the network resources than a normal link, or even a hard handover. However this is compensated by the improved reliability and performance of the handover process. However with around 5 to 10% of handovers falling into this category, network operators need to account for it.

UMTS softer handover

A form of handover referred to as softer handover is really a special form of soft handover. It is a form of soft handover that occurs when the new radio links that are added are from the same NodeB. This occurs when several sectors may be served from the same NodeB, thereby simplifying the combining as it can be achieved within the NodeB and not require linking further back into the network. UMTS softer handover is only possible when a UE can hear the signals from two sectors served by the same NodeB. This may occur as a result of the sectors overlapping, or more commonly as a result of multipath propagation resulting from reflections from buildings, etc. In the uplink, the signals received by the NodeB, the signals from the two sectors can be routed to the same RAKE receiver and then combined to provide an enhanced signal. In the downlink, it is a little more complicated because the different sectors of the NodeB use different scrambling codes. To overcome this, different fingers of the RAKE receiver apply the appropriate despreading or de-scrambling codes to the received signals. Once this has been done, they can be combined as before. In view of the fact that a single transmitter is used within the UE, only one power control loop is active. This may not be optimal for all instances but it simplifies the hardware and general operation.

Inter-RAT / Intersystem UMTS / GSM handover

The most common form of intersystem or inter-RAT handover is between UMTS and GSM. There are two different types of inter-RAT handover:

UMTS to GSM handover:

There are two further divisions of this category of handover:

Compressed mode handover: Using compressed mode handover the UE uses the gaps in transmission that occur to analyse the reception of local GSM base stations. The UE uses the neighbour list provided by the UMTS network to monitor and select a suitable candidate base station. Having selected a suitable base station the handover takes place,

but without any time synchronisation having occurred. Blind handover: This form of handover occurs when the base station hands off the UE by passing it the details of the new cell to the UE without linking to it and setting the timing, etc of the mobile for the new cell. In this mode, the network selects what it believes to be the optimum GSM based station. The UE first locates the broadcast channel of the new cell, gains timing synchronisation and then carries out non-synchronised intercell

handover. Handover from GSM to UMTS :

This form of handover is supported within GSM and a

"neighbour list" was established to enable this occur easily. As the GSM / 2G network is normally more extensive than the 3G network, this type of handover does not normally occur when the UE leaves a coverage area and must quickly find a new base station to maintain contact. The handover from GSM to UMTS occurs to provide an improvement in performance and can normally take place only when the conditions are right. The neighbour list will inform the UE when this may happen.