Lte 1x Ev Do Terminology 0209[1]


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Lte 1x Ev Do Terminology 0209[1]

  1. 1. LTE and 1x/1xEV-DO Terminology and Concepts By Don Hanley, Senior Consultant 2/2009
  2. 2. LTE and 1x/1xEV-DO Terminology and Concepts 1xEV-DO and LTE networks are surprisingly similar in many respects, but the terms, labels and acronyms they use are very different. How can a 1xEV-DO operator make sense of this new jargon? Introduction As 4G technologies like Mobile WiMAX and Long Term Evolution (LTE) move closer to commercial reality, operators are beginning to understand the differences and the similarities between what they have currently deployed and what is coming down the road. Service providers who are contemplating the transition from 1xEV-DO to LTE will have to contend not only with new radio technologies and new network architectures, but with a whole new set of terms and concepts as well. Both 1xEV-DO and LTE are designed to offer high-speed packet data services to mobile subscribers, so it should not be surprising that they have taken similar approaches to solving some of the challenges they both face. An engineer familiar with 1xEV-DO can get a head start with understanding LTE simply by learning the meaning of key LTE terms and associating them with their 1xEV-DO counterparts. The following sections take various LTE concepts, grouped into related categories, and provide a brief explanation of each, along with the corresponding 1xEV-DO equivalent. In some cases, there is a one-to- one match between LTE and 1xEV-DO; in others, there simply is no equivalent concept. In most cases, however, there is generally something within 1xEV-DO that does the same thing as its LTE counterpart, under a different name or in a different location. We will identify the similarities and differences of LTE-EPC and 1x/1xEV-DO networks in various categories, including Air Interface, Access and Core Networks, Identities and Operations. General LTE is an evolution of the UMTS system defined by the 3G Partnership Project (3GPP), which is an offshoot of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). 1xEV-DO, on the other hand, is designed by the 3G Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2), which is associated with the North American Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Both 3GPP and 3GPP2 have mandates to develop specifications for wireless networks, but they have adopted rather different design philosophies, which are reflected in the resulting standards: a) Flexibility versus optimization: In general, 3GPP prefers to create standards which are very open and flexible, allowing them to incorporate a variety of options, and to easily extend the interfaces to accommodate new features and capabilities. In contrast, 3GPP2 tends to define very optimized interfaces, which perform specific tasks as efficiently as possible. 1xEV-DO, for example, takes far fewer (and much shorter) messages to set up a data session than UMTS requires, but new features tend to require new sets of messages. b) Authentication and security: 3GPP takes privacy very seriously, and very little information is sent over the air in its original form; encryption, temporary identifiers, message integrity checking, and user verification are basic elements of LTE signaling. 3GPP2 also includes security functions in the definition of 1xEV-DO, but they are optional extensions to the basic operation of the system. c) User information: 3GPP makes extensive use of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), which stores user subscription data and related information separately from the phone itself. This allows a user to make use of a different device without losing their features and contacts. In 3GPP2 systems, the subscriber’s identity and the phone’s identity are usually tightly linked. 1
  3. 3. LTE and 1x/1xEV-DO Terminology and Concepts Despite the different mindsets behind the specifications, however, both 1xEV-DO and LTE do what they were designed to do quite well: deliver high-speed packet data to mobile users. Air Interface Not surprisingly, the greatest differences between LTE and 1xEV-DO lie in the air interface. 1xEV-DO is a CDMA-based system, using fixed 1.25 MHz channels, while LTE is a scalable OFDMA system, capable of using anywhere between 1.4 MHz and 20 MHz, divided into 15 kHz subcarriers. 1xEV-DO devices are assigned timeslots for downlink traffic, but can transmit at any time on the uplink (the hallmark of a CDMA system); LTE terminals must be explicitly allocated uplink and downlink non-overlapping resources to send and receive traffic. The Physical Layer descriptions of these two technologies are as different as night and day. Nonetheless, they must both be capable of supporting multiple users simultaneously, of allowing new users to access the network, of tracking the terminal’s location and redirecting traffic as the user moves. Key LTE terms relating to the air interface, and their 1xEV-DO equivalents, are listed here. LTE Term Meaning and Usage 1xEV-DO Equivalent Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access, OFDMA CDMA physical layer of LTE Downlink Single Carrier Frequency Division Multiple Access, SC-FDMA CDMA physical layer of LTE Uplink Subcarrier A single 15 kHz radio channel Radio channel Symbol A single 66.67 µs time period Chip (0.81 µs) The smallest unit of radio resources, one subcarrier Resource Element n/a for one symbol The smallest block of resources that can be Resource Block allocated, 12 subcarriers for 7 symbols (84 n/a resource elements) 1 Timeslot 7 consecutive symbols1 Slot Subframe 2 consecutive timeslots n/a 10 consecutive subframes, the basic transmission Frame Frame interval Synchronization Periodic signal for synchronizing with and Sync message Signal identifying cells Periodic signal for transmission quality Reference Signal Pilot Channel measurements PBCH Physical Broadcast Channel Control Channel Forward Traffic PDSCH Physical Downlink Shared Channel Channel Preambles + MAC PDCCH Physical Downlink Control Channel channels PCFICH Physical Control Format Indicator Channel DO Session PHICH Physical Hybrid ARQ Indication Channel ARQ Channel PRACH Physical Random Access Channel Access Channel Reverse Traffic PUSCH Physical Uplink Shared Channel Channel PUCCH Physical Uplink Control Channel MAC Channels 1 Assumes short Cyclic Prefix (CP) 2
  4. 4. LTE and 1x/1xEV-DO Terminology and Concepts Access Network Figure 1 illustrates an LTE eUTRAN, the radio access network. The eUTRAN has a flat architecture, with no centralized controller; instead each eNode B manages its own radio resources, and collaborates with other eNode B’s over the X2 interface. The eNode B’s connect to the core network over the S1 interface, to allow users to register with the network and send and receive traffic. Key LTE terms relating to the access network, and their 1xEV-DO equivalents, are listed here: LTE Term Meaning and Usage 1xEV-DO Equivalent eUTRAN Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network AN eNode B Evolved Node B Base station + RNC Physical Layer Cell ID Unique cell identifier Pilot PN offset UE User Equipment AT X2 eNode B <-> eNode B interface A13/A16/A17/A18 S1 eNode B <-> core network interface A10/A11/A12 Specified per 3GPP2 Uu LTE air interface C.S0024 (IS-856) A configured signaling path between the UE and the Attach DO Session eNode B Radio Bearer A configured and assigned radio resource DO Connection 3
  5. 5. LTE and 1x/1xEV-DO Terminology and Concepts Core Network The LTE and 1xEV-DO core networks are more similar than they are different; Figure 2 shows a view of the LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC). Both are based on IP protocols, and support seamless access to packet- based services; both make use of Mobile IP to redirect traffic as the user moves through the network. Key LTE terms associated with the core network, and their 1xEV-DO equivalents, are listed here: LTE Term Meaning and Usage 1xEV-DO Equivalent EPC Evolved Packet Core Packet Data Network RNC + PDSN + AN- MME Mobility Management Entity AAA S-GW Serving Gateway PDSN + PCF PDN-GW Packet Data Network Gateway HA HSS Home Subscriber System AAA PCRF Policy Charging Rule Function PCRF MIP Mobile IP MIP A configured traffic path between the eNode B and S1 Bearer A10 + R-P Session the S-GW A configured traffic path between the S-GW and the S5/S8 Bearer MIP PDN-GW A configured end-to-end traffic path between the UE EPS Bearer Service and the PDN-GW (Radio Bearer + S1 Bearer + PPP + MIP S5/S8 Bearer) 4
  6. 6. LTE and 1x/1xEV-DO Terminology and Concepts Operational Terms and Identifiers When a mobile device arrives in the network, it must be recognized, configured and assigned resources, and its services must be maintained as it moves from cell to cell. Various terms associated with LTE operational functions, and their 1xEV-DO equivalents, are listed here: LTE Term Meaning and Usage 1xEV-DO Equivalent UE User Equipment (the mobile device) Access Terminal (AT) IMSI [Mobile Country Code (MCC), Mobile Network Code (MNC) and Mobile IMSI International Mobile Subscriber Identity Identification Number (MIN) or Mobile Directory Number (MDN)] Mobile Serial Number (MSN) or Mobile IMEI International Mobile Equipment Identity Equipment Identity (MEID) Downlink (DL) Transmissions from the network to the mobile Forward Link (FL) Uplink (UL) Transmissions from the mobile to the network Reverse Link (RL) Ciphering Over-the-air privacy Encryption UATI Assignment + DO Session Attach Initial registration process Establishment + MIP Registration Quick Config + Sector Master Information Block and System Information Parameters + Access MIB, SIB Block Parameters + DO Session Downlink Control Information and Uplink Control Traffic Channel DCI, UCI Information Assignment C-RNTI Cell Radio Network Temporary Identifier MAC Index CQI Channel Quality Indicator DRC value HARQ Hybrid ARQ HARQ Redirection of traffic from one base station to Handover Handoff another Measurement Control Pilot Add, Pilot Drop, events A1, A2, A3, A4, Thresholds for cell selection and handover Dynamic (Soft Slope) A5, B1, B2 Thresholds Conclusion A simple description in a table does not convey the full complexity of a concept; a detailed understanding of LTE’s technologies, architectures and interfaces is needed to fully appreciate both the similarities and the differences it has with 1xEV-DO. Nevertheless, the fact that LTE and 1xEV-DO concepts can be laid out side-by-side in this way should help to reassure 1xEV-DO operators that the step from 3G to 4G is not as big a leap as they may have thought. 5
  7. 7. LTE and 1x/1xEV-DO Terminology and Concepts Award Solutions, Inc. provides exceptional training and consulting in advanced wireless and Internet technologies. Our proven experience enables us to offer a complete suite of services: cutting edge technology training, customized training solutions, and advanced technology consulting. Our products and services provide our clients with innovative, flexible, and cost-effective solutions that help rapidly boost their workforce productivity and competence to more quickly meet their market demands. Award Solutions will be happy to customize our course content to meet any specific needs. The level of technical depth in our training courses gives students a unique benefit that they can apply immediately. We offer a range of courses appropriate for audiences needing a high-level overview, as well as engineers looking for in-depth details. Award Solutions continues to provide successful training and network performance solutions as well as professional consulting services for many telecommunications and Internet equipment manufacturers, service providers and enterprises, just as we have since 1997. Americas 2100 Lakeside Blvd., Suite 300, Richardson, TX 75082 Toll Free: +1.877.47.AWARD (+1.877.472.9273) Phone: +1.972.664.0727 Fax: +1.972.664.0729 Email: Europe, Middle East & Africa Dublin, Ireland Phone: +353 87 6431747 Email: Asia & Pacific Bangalore, India Phone: +91 80 51288260 Email: Please visit our website at for our full line of services and latest curriculums. If you have any questions, concerns or comments regarding this document, please write to us at: The 3GPP and LTE logos are the property of Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). The 3GPP2 logo is property of Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP2) and its organization partners. The TIA logo is property of Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). The content of this document is based on 3GPP/LTE, 3GPP2 and TIA specifications which are available at,, and 6