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LTE Air Interface Course

LTE FDD and TDD Mode: Radio Channel Types

CT82353EN01GLA1

2014 Nokia Solutions and Networks. All rights reserved.

Nokia Solutions and Networks Academy


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Module Objectives
At the end of this module, you will be able to:
Name the LTE radio channels (logical, transport and physical) and their
main features/functionalities
Describe the multiplexing of LTE channels

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2014 Nokia Solutions and Networks. All rights reserved.

LTE FDD and TDD Mode: Radio Channel Types


LTE Channel Architecture
Logical Channel Types
Transport Channel Types
Physical Channel Types
Multiplexing of channels

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2014 Nokia Solutions and Networks. All rights reserved.

LTE Channel Architecture

E-RAB

RRC Sublayer

User Data Plane

Signaling Radio Bearers

Radio Bearers

PDCP Sublayer
RLC Sublayer
Logical Channels

MAC Sublayer
MAC Sublayer
Transport Channels

Physical Layer
Physical Channels
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LTE Channel Architecture, cont.


The LTE Channel Architecture defines E-RAB channels, Radio Bearer (RB) channels,
Signaling Radio Bearer (SRB) channels, Logical Channels, Transport Channels, and Physical
Channels. In general, each category behaves as a service access point between adjacent
protocol layers.
3GPP TS 36.211 Physical Channel and Modulation
3GPP TS 36.321 Medium Access Control (MAC) Protocol Specification
3GPP TS 36.322 Radio Link Control (RLC) Protocol Specification

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LTE Channel Architecture

E-RAB

RRC Sublayer

User Data Plane

Signaling Radio Bearers

Radio Bearers

PDCP Sublayer
RLC Sublayer
Logical Channels

MAC Sublayer
MAC Sublayer
Transport Channels

Physical Layer
Physical Channels
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LTE Channel Architecture, cont.


E-RAB - An E-RAB channel carries one or more service data flows between a UE and the EPC.
Radio Bearer - A Radio Bearer channel transports the data packets of an E-RAB from the eNodeB
toward the UE. Each E-RAB has a one-to-one mapping with a radio bearer.
Signaling Radio Bearer - A Signaling Radio Bearer (SRB) channel transports signaling packets
between the RRC Sublayer and the PDCP Sublayer.
Logical Channel - A Logical Channel transports control or data traffic between the RLC Sublayer and
the MAC Sublayer. Logical control channels are mapped to signaling radio bearer channels, while
logical traffic channels are mapped to radio bearer channels. Logical Channels describe transmission
reliability (RLC Acknowledged Mode, etc.).
Transport Channel - A Transport Channel forwards control or data traffic between the MAC Sublayer
and the Physical Layer. Each Logical Channel is mapped to a transport channel. Transport Channels
describe how the information will be formatted before being transmitted (coding, transport block
size, etc.).
Physical Channel - A Physical Channel provides the transmission media (resource elements) through
which the information is actually transmitted. Each Transport Channel is mapped to a physical
channel.

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Logical Channels

Radio
Bearers

RRC Sublayer

User Data Plane

Signaling

Radio

Radio Bearers

Bearers

PDCP Sublayer

Channels

Logical

RLC Sublayer
Control

Traffic

Channels

Channels

MAC Sublayer

MAC Sublayer
Logical Channels provide control and data transport between the RLC and MAC Sublayers. Signaling traffic is carried by
control channels (xCCH), and data traffic is carried by traffic channels (xTCH). Control channels are mapped to SRB
channels, and traffic channels are mapped to user plane radio bearer channels.
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2014 Nokia Solutions and Networks. All rights reserved.

LTE FDD and TDD Mode: Radio Channel Types


LTE Channel Architecture
Logical Channel Types
Transport Channel Types
Physical Channel Types
Multiplexing of channels

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Logical Channel Types

Logical
Channels

RLC Sublayer
B

MAC Sublayer

MAC Sublayer

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Logical Channel Types, cont.


Logical channels are in a one-to-one fashion associated with radio bearers. Logical channel types are used to
distinguish the type of information transmitted within the attached radio bearer. The two major groups of logical channel
types are therefore control channels for signaling and traffic channels for IP user data.
Currently the following logical channel types are defined for EUTRAN signaling:
BCCH (Broadcast Control Channel): The BCCH is used to transmit system information regarding access and nonaccess stratum. It allows the UE to retrieve cell and network configuration parameters (e.g. PLMN code, cell identity,
cell re-selection parameters, etc.) required for normal operation within EUTRAN.
PCCH (Paging Control Channel): The PCCH is used to transmit the paging messages from RRC. Hence it is a
downlink point-to-multipoint channel a UE is using when it is in LTE_IDLE mode.
CCCH (Common Control Channel): The CCCH is an uplink and downlink channel. RRC signaling channel used by
UEs to do the initial access signaling when it is in RRC_IDLE state and wants to enter RRC_CONNECTED state. The
UE will send only one message (RRC CONNECTION REQUEST) and the rest of the communication takes place on
DCCH.
DCCH (Dedicated Control Channel): The DCCH is a bidirectional RRC signaling channel used for point-to-point
(dedicated) RRC and NAS signaling procedures. It is the main signaling channel to be used by RRC_CONNECTED
UEs.
MCCH (Multicast Control Channel): The MCCH is associated with MBMS. It allows the eNB to inform UEs that want
to listen to broadcast or multicast service traffic about availability of such services and about the associated MBMS
radio bearer (point-to-multipoint) radio bearers.
On the traffic channel side we have currently only two types defined:
DTCH (Dedicated Traffic Channel): The DTCH is used for user radio bearers carrying IP traffic. The eNB connects
DTCHs with their associated S1-U tunnel to the SAE GW. DTCH can be bidirectional, uplink only or downlink only.
DTCH are of course point-to-point.
MTCH (Multicast Traffic Channel): The MTCH is a point-to-multipoint traffic channel for MBMS. It carries IP traffic for
broadcast or multicast services driven by the MBMS feature.
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Logical Channel
type of information;
MAC priority;
UE identification;

Control Channel

Traffic Channel

signaling info (RRC);

user plane data (IP)

BCCH

DCCH

broadcast control ch.;

DTCH
dedicated traffic

system information;

dedicated control ch.;

downlink only;

dedicated RRC
signaling with one UE;

IP user plane data;

bi-directional;

bi- or uni-directional;

PCCH
paging control ch.;

channel;

MTCH
multicast traffic ch.;
MBMS traffic for
broadcast or multicast
MBMS services;
downlink only;

paging message for


LTE_IDLE UE;
downlink only;

CCCH
common control ch.;
initial access
signaling for
RRC_IDLE UE;

MCCH
multicast control ch.;
MBMS control
information for MTCH;
downlink only;
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LTE FDD and TDD Mode: Radio Channel Types


LTE Channel Architecture
Logical Channel Types
Transport Channel Types
Physical Channel Types
Multiplexing of channels

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Transport Channel Types

Transport
Channels

MAC Sublayer
B

C
H

R
A
C
H
MAC Sublayer

Physical Layer

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Transport Channel Types, cont.


Transport channels are used as the basic transmission service offered by layer 1 to MAC. MAC will use transport
channels to multiplex and demultiplex logical channels onto and from them. In contrast to logical channel types,
referring to the type of information transmitted, transport channel types are used to indicate the transport
characteristics. This means that certain transport channel type is associated with certain bit rates (transport block
sizes, number of blocks), a transmission time interval (the time it takes to send one transport block set), delay,
support for HARQ, support for beam-forming, support for DRX/DTX, and so on.
Transport channels are always unidirectional, in the downlink we have the following:
BCH (Broadcast Channel): The BCH is a transport channel with fixed transport format. It is used to transmit the
BCCH in the entire cell. It will only support QPSK modulation and no HARQ or beam-forming is allowed.

PCH (Paging Channel): The PCH is used to carry the PCCH. In contrast to BCH there might be beam-forming
applied to PCH, but still no HARQ is available. Also the channel supports at least QPSK and 16QAM as modulation
scheme and DRX.
DL-SCH (DL Shared Channel): This is the major transport channel in the downlink direction. It is used to carry
mainly DCCH and DTCH. But also BCCH, MCCH and if required MTCH can be sent on it. The channel supports
HARQ, beam-forming and all modulation schemes QPSK, 16QAM and 64QAM. The DL-SCH will support DRX and
DTX on UE side to reduce power consumption of end terminals.

MCH (Multicast Channel): The MCH is used for broadcast and multicast MBMS services. It thus carries MTCH
and MCCH. It will allow at least QPSK and 16QAM as modulation scheme, 64QAM is under investigation.
Obviously HARQ cannot be supported as MTCH/MCCH are point-to-multipoint channels. This channel has a unique
special property, as UEs are able to combine MCH signals from different cells using the same frequency (MBSFN=
Multicast Broadcast Single Frequency Networks). In this case all MBSFN cells must use the same MCH
configuration and must be synchronized with each other.

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Transport Channel Types

Transport
Channels

MAC Sublayer
B
C
H

A
C
H
MAC Sublayer

Physical Layer
In the uplink there are only two transport channel defined:

RACH (Random Access Channel): The RACH is used as initial access request by the UE to the network.
Currently it does not contain logical information, rather the RACH is formed by a special layer 1 preamble that
acts as a channel request message. It is under investigation whether the RACH should be able to carry
logical channel information.
UL-SCH (UL Shared Channel): The UL-SCH is the only uplink transport channel able to carry logical channel
data. Thus CCCH, DTCH and DCCH run over this channel. It supports HARQ and at least QPKS and
16QAM.

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Transport Channel (TrCH)


transfer characteristics:
delay, collision risk;
supported block sizes and number of blocks;
support for HARQ;
support for beam-forming;
support for DRX/DTX;
coding (reliability);

Downlink TrCH

Uplink TrCH

static | dynamic resource allocation;


support for QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM;

BCH
broadcast channel;
carries BCCH;

PCH
paging channel;
carries PCCH;

MCH
multicast channel;

RACH
random access channel;
carries no logical
channel;
only for initial L1 access
request;

UL-SCH
uplink shared channel;
carries CCCH, DCCH,
DTCH;
supports HARQ;

carries MTCH, MCCH;

DL-SCH
downlink shared
channel;
carries DCCH, DTCH,
BCCH, MTCH, MCCH;
supports HARQ;

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Logical to Transport Channel Mapping

Logical
Channels

RLC Sublayer

MAC Sublayer

Transport
Channels

MAC Sublayer

B
C
H

R
A
C
H

Physical Layer
The graphic shows the mapping between the LTE Logical Channels and Transport Channels.
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LTE FDD and TDD Mode: Radio Channel Types


LTE Channel Architecture
Logical Channel Types
Transport Channel Types
Physical Channel Types
Multiplexing of channels

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DL Physical Channels

Physical Channels

Physical Layer

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P
B
C

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P
M
C

DL Physical Channels, cont.


The physical layer uses resource blocks (e.g. 12 subcarriers with 6 or 7 OFDM symbols) to transmit binary
coded information in QPKS, 16QAM or 64QAM or OOK modulation form. Physical channels determine how data
is processed and then mapped via dynamical scheduling onto resource blocks. Thus physical channels also in
EUTRAN represent the available physical resources. Like transport channels, also physical channels are
unidirectional. There is usually a fixed linkage between transport channel types and physical channel type used
to transmit the transport blocks. Next to the physical channels that are used to carry transport channels, there
are also physical channels that carry physical layer control data and physical signals that are mainly used for
synchronization and measurement purposes.
On the downlink side we have the following:
PBCH (Physical Broadcast Channel): The PBCH is the physical channel used to carry BCH (BCCH), in other
words on this channel the system information can be found. It will use a fixed mapping onto resource blocks.
There will be one PBCH per cell.
PDSCH (Physical Downlink Shared Channel): The PDSCH can carry DL-SCH or PCH. Thus this channel type
will allocate most of the capacity in a cell. It is still under investigation how many PDSCHs a cell can have and
how many PCH and DL-SCH a single PDSCH can carry.
PMCH (Physical Multicast Channel): This channel type is used to carry MCH. It implements the option of
MBSFN where a UE receives the PMCH from several cells operating in the same area on the same frequency
band. All the PMCH will be jointly decoded by the UE. This would allow a UE to do cell re-selection without
interrupting MBMS services.
PDCCH (Physical Downlink Control Channel): This is a pure physical layer control channel. It contains the
scheduler signaling to inform the UEs about the coming downlink (and maybe also uplink) resource block
assignments to PDSCH. The PDCCH will be sent in each Subframe shortly before PDSCH starts.

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DL Physical Channels

Physical Channels

Physical Layer

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P
B
C

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P
M
C

DL Physical Channels, cont.


PCFICH (Physical Control Format Indicator Channel): The PCFICH is like the PDCCH a pure
physical layer control channel. It indicates how many OFDM symbols are used to encode the
PDCCH. So the order of decoding for a UE is to read first the PCFICH to get the PDCCH
format. Then the PDCCH is decoded to find out which resource blocks to the PDSCH of
interest for the UE.
DL Synchronization Signal: There are two DL synchronization signals - a primary and a
secondary one. Both consist of predefined code sequence to be used for cell detection and
initial time and frequency synchronization. Both synchronization sequences are transmitted
within slot 0 and slot 10 of each radio frame (frame type 1). The synchronization signals
always use 2 subcarrier centered around the DC subcarrier. For the primary synchronization
signal there will be three distinct code sequences defined, which one is applicable for a cell is
determined by the cell identity. This can be used as some form of cell color code to distinguish
direct neighbors.

DL Reference Signal: Reference signals allow coherent decoding and permanently repeated
channel estimation. Therefore in each slot (and each resource block) some OFDM symbols
are reserved for reference signals and cannot be used for data transmission. The reference
signals itself are created from an orthogonal and a pseudo-noise sequence. This allows
efficient channel and phase detection at the receiver side.

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UL Physical Channels

Physical
Channels

Physical Layer

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UL Physical Channels, cont.


In the uplink there some less physical channels defined:
PUSCH (Physical Uplink Shared Channel): The PUSCH is the major uplink channel, because on it we will find
the transport blocks of UL-SCH on which all radio bearers uplink occur. Like PDSCH also the PUSCH is
dynamically assigned to uplink resource blocks. This happens via so called UL Assignments which are not
completely specified yet. The PUSCH supports DTX, HARQ and at least QPSK and 16QAM. 64QAM is under
investigation for this channel.
PUCCH (Physical Uplink Control Channel): This is a pure physical layer control channel. One idea is to use
this channel for UL capacity requests and HARQ ACK/NACK indications by the UE as well as CQI (Carrier
Quality Indication) feedback information to optimize CDS and MIMO.
PRACH (Physical Random Access Channel): The PRACH carries the RACH. Currently this means, that the
PRACH simply transmits preamble sequences that act as initial access request for UL and DL resources when
the UE is RRC_IDLE.
Demodulation Reference Signal: Some OFDM symbols of the resource block assigned to PUCCH/PUSCH are
reserved for the demodulation reference signal. Like in downlink also here the reference signal is a predefined
code sequence that allows the eNB coherent decoding of the transmitted SC-FDMA signal. The eNB derives
from it phase and frequency correction, channel estimation and time synchronization.
Sounding Reference Signal: The sounding reference signal is a very long reference sequence that is
transmitted by the UE only on explicit request by the network. It is used for a very detailed channel estimation
especially when MIMO is in use. This information is required for efficient decoding, but also for efficient
channel dependent scheduling (CDS).

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Physical
Physical Channels
Channels // Signals
Signals
set
set of
of OFDM/SC-FDMA
OFDM/SC-FDMA resource
resource elements;
elements;
carry
carry higher
higher layer
layer data
data (physical
(physical channel
channel PhyCH)
PhyCH) or
or
used
used internally
internally by
by L1
L1 (physical
(physical channel/signal);
channel/signal);

Downlink
Downlink PhyCH
PhyCH

PBCH
PBCH

Downlink
Downlink Signal
Signal

DL
DL reference
reference signal
signal

PDSCH
PDSCH

pre-defined
pre-defined 2-dimensional
2-dimensional
orthogonal/pseudo-noise
orthogonal/pseudo-noise
sequence;
sequence;
used
used for
for DL
DL channel
channel
estimation,
estimation, demodulation;
demodulation;

phys.
phys. DL
DL shared
shared channel;
channel;
carries
carries PCH
PCH and
and DL-SCH;
DL-SCH;

DL
DL synch.
synch. signal
signal

physical
physical broadcast
broadcast ch.;
ch.;
carries
BCH
carries BCH (BCCH);
(BCCH);

PMCH
PMCH
phys.
phys. multicast
multicast channel;
channel;
carries
carries MCH;
MCH;

11 of
of 33 pre-defined
pre-defined
sequences
sequences (Zadoff-Chu);
(Zadoff-Chu);
associated
associated with
with cell-id;
cell-id;
used
used for
for cell
cell detection
detection and
and
initial
initial time/phase
time/phase synch.;
synch.;

Uplink
Uplink Signals
Signals

Demodulation
Demodulation ref.
ref. signal
signal
pre-defined
pre-defined sequence
sequence
sent
sent along
along with
with
PUSCH/PUCCH
PUSCH/PUCCH
used
used for
for uplink
uplink channel
channel
estimation,
estimation, demodulation;
demodulation;

Sounding
Sounding ref.
ref. signal
signal
pre-defined
pre-defined (long)
(long)
sequence
sequence sent
sent alone;
alone;
used
used by
by NW
NW to
to optimize
optimize
channel
channel dependent
dependent
scheduling;
scheduling;

PDCCH
PDCCH
phys.
phys. DL
DL control
control channel;
channel;
L1
control
L1 control information
information
(scheduling
(scheduling assignments);
assignments);

PCFICH
PCFICH

28

phys.
phys. control
control format
format
indicator
indicator channel
channel
L1
L1 control
control information
information (no.
(no.
of
of ODFM
ODFM symbols
symbols used
used for
for
PDCCH);
PDCCH);
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Uplink
Uplink PhyCH
PhyCH

PUSCH
PUSCH
phys.
phys. UL
UL shared
shared channel;
channel;
carries
UL-SCH;
carries UL-SCH;

PUCCH
PUCCH
phys.
phys. UL
UL control
control channel;
channel;
L1
L1 information
information

PRACH
PRACH
phys.
phys. random
random access
access
(channel);
(channel);
carries
carries RACH
RACH (access
(access
request
request preamble);
preamble);
[in
[in TS
TS 36.211
36.211 referenced
referenced
as
as signal,
signal, not
not as
as channel]
channel]

Transport to Physical Channel Mapping

Transport
Channels

MAC Sublayer
B
C
H

R
A
C
H

Physical
Channels

Physical Layer
P
B
C
H

P
R

P
M
C
H

H
The graphic shows the mapping between LTE Transport Channels and Physical Channels. The PDCCH,
PCFICH, PHICH, and PUCCH Physical Channels are not mapped to Transport Channels.
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LTE FDD and TDD Mode: Radio Channel Types


LTE Channel Architecture
Logical Channel Types
Transport Channel Types
Physical Channel Types
Multiplexing of channels

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Uu Interface Sublayers Overview worksheet 01

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