High-speed mobile communication networks of the 3G generation.

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The global market for mobile communication systems is one of the most profitable. Almost every person in every country is involved in it. The competition in this market is very tough. Mobile communication technologies are constantly improving.

The main direction of development in this area is associated with an increase in the transmission speed and an improvement in the quality of communication. The world’s leading manufacturers of components and equipment for mobile communication systems invest heavily in new developments. Therefore, new technologies and standards are constantly emerging. Accordingly, there are new terms and names.

Since all documentation on technology and mobile communication standards is originally prepared in English, even specialists in English-speaking countries do not always understand some of the new terms. If we talk about the translation of this documentation into Russian, then we can safely say that in our country.

Unfortunately, it is necessary to note both discrepancies and errors in telecommunication terminology. In fact, few people can immediately say what is the fundamental difference between UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA, HUPA, HUPA+, LTE technologies. At the same time, these terms are positioned by manufacturers in the technical characteristics of the proposed equipment as an indicator of advantage and novelty.

For consumer mobile phones, there are adapted translations of technical specifications in Russian, approved in the process of obtaining Russian certificates. For basic modules that support high-speed technologies, the situation is much more complicated. Some manufacturers, especially Chinese vendors, give theoretically possible parameters of their modules, without mentioning that in real conditions these parameters cannot be implemented in principle.

To help the consumer avoid possible mistakes and competently select the required GSM / GPRS / EDGE / UMTS / HSDPA / HSUPA / LTE module, as well as understand the ratio of price, technical capabilities of the product. In this series of articles, an attempt is made to explain in general terms the essence of new high-speed mobile communication technologies of the 3G generation and their implementation in the basic modules of the world’s leading manufacturers.

3G mobile communication networks

3G (third generation) networks are the third generation of mobile communication networks developed on the basis of packet data transfer technology [1]. Their appearance was caused by the need to satisfy the growing global demand for high-speed technologies. Modern 3G networks are used in the following areas:

interactive exchange of multimedia data;
video telephony;
transmission of images and large amounts of information;
asymmetric transmission of multimedia data;
work with the Internet and intranets.
Rice. 1 illustrates the evolution of the two main branches of mobile communication. One of them corresponds to CDMA One/CDMA2000 technology. These networks in Russia are represented by Skyline. Their next generation is known as EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) technology.

In M2M applications, third-generation networks will have the greatest prospects in burglar alarms with video transmission, in wireless automated control systems, in traffic control systems, in complex medical diagnostic equipment and other areas where transmission speed is critical. As practice has shown, due to the unsuccessful frequency range, this direction is unlikely to be widely used in Russia in M2M applications. Therefore, we will not dwell on CDMA2000 technology in our article.

GSM-enabled networks are evolving towards GSM/GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA/HSPA/HSPA+. A lot has been written about GSM, GPRS, EDGE technologies and in sufficient detail. Therefore, let’s move on to WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) technology.

For this purpose, a group of standards was developed under the common name International Mobile Telecommunications 2000 (IMT-2000). In the process of developing these standards within the ITU, two independent associations were formed, called 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) and 3GPP2. The first association includes ETSI (Europe), ARIB (Japan), T1 Committee (USA), as well as three regional standardization bodies from the Asia-Pacific region – CWTS (China).

TTA (Korea) and TTC (Japan). In 3GPP2, the TIA (represented by the TIA TR-45.3 and TIA TR-45.3 subcommittees) and a number of Asian regional organizations: ARIB, CWTS, TTA and TTC. Without delving into the specifics of the work of each of the groups, we note that 3GPP develops standards for the lower branch of the development directions shown in Fig. 1 (WCDMA) and 3GPP2 is responsible for the CDMA One (IS-95)/CDMA2000 direction standards that are currently widely used in the US.

The IMT-2000 family includes five 3G standards. More details about them can be found in [3]. It should be emphasized that the 3GGP UMTS specifications, as well as other international standards, define a center base frequency and recommend the best band choice. Specific frequencies for certain standards are allocated directly in each country by regulatory organizations in accordance with the load on the entire frequency range. On fig. Table 2 shows the recommended frequency ranges for various regions of the world [5].

At the meeting of the SCRF under the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of the Russian Federation, held on October 23, 2006 (minutes 06-17), the following frequencies were allocated for the creation of mobile radiotelephone networks of the IMT-2000 / UMTS standard (IMT-DS and IMT-TC) in the Russian Federation:

1935-1980 MHz;
2010-2025 MHz;
2125-2170 MHz
At the same time, the minimum required radio frequency spectrum for the operation of the IMT-2000 / UMTS mobile radiotelephone network is two continuous sections of 15 MHz each in the radio frequency bands 1935-1980 MHz and 2125-2170 MHz to organize three channels in the frequency duplex mode (IMT-DS) and a continuous section (5 MHz) in the radio frequency band 2010-2025 MHz to organize one channel in time duplex mode (IMT-TC) [6].

At the end of 2010, the SCRF decided to allocate additional frequencies for IMT-2000/UMTS networks in Moscow and the Moscow region [7]:

890-915 MHz;
935-960 MHz;
1710-1785 MHz;
1805-1880 MHz
Thus, in Russia (at least in Moscow) all conditions have been created for the deployment of 3G, 3.5G, 4G networks. However, it should be noted that the possibility of deploying a UMTS network in the 900/1800 MHz frequency band in the Russian Federation is allowed if the cellular operator has paired 2 × 4.6 MHz frequency bands.

Tables 1 and 2 show the main technical characteristics of equipment permitted for use in the territory of the Russian Federation, designed for networks of the IMT-2000/UMTS standard.