The transmission path is an important part of wireless networks. In wide rural areas or in remote areas, operators sometimes face the challenges to deploy networks due to the lack of or cost of fast and reliable backhaul transport network. Statistical data indicate that many calls in a mobile network in these areas are local calls. There is good probability that call between two terminals go via same BTS or in between co-located BTSs or with in same BSC.
Cellular standards have evolved rapidly in last couple of decades and as of today multiple mobile access technologies exist in operator’s network. Increased demand for low cost mobile broadband connectivity is driving the development of heterogeneous cellular networks.
Drive tests are very important in Mobile cellular communication. Drive tests are done by the operators to discover problems in the network such as "coverage holes". Drive tests help the operator to maintain and improve the quality of the network, for example, by identifying the need for tuning of network parameters to achieve better coverage.
With 3GPP Rel-6 radio resource management and mobility management functions primarily reside in Radio Network Controller (RNC) while radio protocols are handled by NodeB. The 3GPP Rel-8 evolves the network in flat architecture.
Many of the targets implied that a flat architecture would need to be developed for LTE so that less number of nodes will be involved and hence reduces latencies and improves performance.
3GPP initiated, IMS Centralized Services (ICS) paves the way for communication services that are based on IMS mechanisms. ICS enables IMS services for traditional circuit switched voice access. With ICS, user sessions are anchored in IMS network when user devices access via PS or CS access networks. UEs can be enhanced to support ICS capability otherwise UEs without ICS capability are also supported by ICS framework.
Femtocells, also known as ‘home base station or Home Node B’, are cellular network access points also called Femtocell Access Points (FAP) that operate in a limited geographic area in licensed spectrum, may operate over the public internet, and supports a limited number of simultaneous users in a home environment. Its principal functions are for coverage extension and for offloading users from the cellular network.
Earlier, I blogged about E-UTRAN and its interface with LTE core network. Similar to RAN, with 3GPP release 8, core network also evolved and called Evolved Packet Core or “EPC” in short. With LTE, 3GPP has gone away from circuit switched core and has fully aligned with packet core.
With Release 8, 3GPP has introduced a whole new set of protocols as both radio access network and core network have evolved from the earlier 2G & 3G Networks. In LTE architecture, evolved core network includes Mobility Management Entity (MME), Serving Gateway (SGW), Packet Data Network Gateway (PDN GW) where as evolved radio network has only E-UTRAN NodeB (eNB).