Click to enlargeIntroduction to WCDMA<a name="TOP">

Physical Channels, Logical Channels, Network, and Operation

Author: Lawrence Harte

Number of Pages: 112
Number of Diagrams: 32

Printed or Electronic Version (1.1MB) Available - Electronic Version has Color Diagrams

This book provides the basic technical components and operation of WCDMA system. You will learn the physical radio channel structures of the WCDMA system along with the basic frame and slot structures. Described are the logical channels and more....

Sample Diagrams

WCDMA System

This figure shows a simplified diagram of a WCDMA system. This diagram shows that the WCDMA system includes various types of mobile communication devices (called user equipment - UE) that communicate through base stations (node B) and a mobile switching center (MSC) or data routing networks to connect to other mobile telephones, public telephones, or to the Internet via a core network (CN). This diagram shows that the WCDMA system is compatible with both the 5 MHz wide WCDMA radio channel and the narrow 200 kHz GSM channels. This example also shows that the core network is essentially divided between voice systems (circuit switching) and packet data (packet switching).

Soft Handover

This figure shows the basic soft handoff process that occurs in the IS-95 CDMA system. In this example, the mobile device has measured the signal strength of the pilot channel from a nearby cell site. Using this information, it is determined that the adjacent cell site is a candidate for the soft handoff process and that is should simultaneously communicate with the mobile device and the soft handoff process begins. During the soft handoff process, information from the mobile device is simultaneously received by both cell sites and the information frames that have the highest quality (least errors) can be selected.

Upgrade GSM to WCDMA

This figure shows how a GSM system can be upgraded to offer WCDMA services. This diagram shows that 2 or more GSM channels are typically removed, replaced, or upgraded to have WCDMA modulation and transmission capability.

Table of Contents

Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA)
WCDMA System Evolution
3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)
WCDMA Industry Specifications
Upgrading GSM to WCDMA
Dual Mode Capability

WCDMA Services
Voice Services
Data Services
Multicast Services
Location Based Services (LBS)
Messaging Services
Quality of Service (QoS)

WCDMA Products (Mobile Devices)
UMTS Subscriber Identity Module (USIM)
PCMCIA Air Cards
Embedded Radio Modules
Mobile Telephones
External Radio Modems

Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) WCDMA
Time Division Duplex (TDD) WCDMA
RF Channel Multiplexing
Frequency Bands
Frequency Reuse
Frequency Diversity
Time Diversity
RF Power Control
RF Power Classification
Channel Structure
Packet Data Transmission
Asynchronous Channels
Speech Coding
Soft Capacity Limits
Radio Coverage and Capacity Tradeoff
Discontinuous Reception (DRx)
WCDMA Radio Channels
Channel Bandwidth
Modulation Types
Physical Channels
Logical Channels

WCDMA Network
Base Stations (Node B)
Network Databases
IP Backbone Network

Device Addressing
International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI)
International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI)
Mobile Directory Number (MDN)
Temporary Mobile Station Identity (TMSI)
IP Address
WCDMA System Operation
Access Control and Initial Assignment
Connected Mode
Packet Data Scheduling Algorithm
Over the Air Programming (OTAP)

Radio Signaling Protocols
Radio Resource Control (RRC)
Packet Data Convergence Protocol (PDCP)
Broadcast and Multicast Control Protocol (BMC)
Radio Link Control (RLC)
Medium Access Control (MAC) Layer
Physical Layer

WCDMA Multimedia Signaling Protocols
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
Session Description Protocol (SDP)
Real Time Transport Protocol (RTP)

WCDMA Future Evolution
Increased Data Transmission Rates

About the Author

Mr. Lawrence Harte has over 29 years of experience in the electronics industry including company leadership, product management, development, marketing, design, and testing of telecommunications (cellular), radar, and microwave systems. He has been issued patents relating to cellular technology. He has authored over 75 articles on related subjects and has been a speaker and panel moderator at industry trade events. Mr. Harte earned executive MBA at Wake Forest University and received his Bachelors degree from University of the State of New York. During the TDMA digital cellular standard development process, Mr. Harte served as an editor and voting company representative for the Telecommunications Industries Association (TIA) TR45.3, digital cellular standards committee. As of 2003, Mr. Harte had authored and co-authored over 20 books relating to telecommunications technology. He has served as a consultant and expert witness for leading companies including Ericsson, Siemens, VLSI, AMD, Casio, Samsung, Sony, ATT, Nokia, Hughes and many others.


This book provides the basic technical components and operation of WCDMA system. You will learn the physical radio channel structures of the WCDMA system along with the basic frame and slot structures. Described are the logical channels and their functions. Explained are the key WCDMA network components and how they communicate with each other. Some of the most important topics featured in this book are:

The fundamental components of WCDMA systems
The WCDMA radio channel structure
The frame structures
The slot structures
What are the different types of logical channels
WCDMA network components
Network connections
How WCDMA technology continues to evolve

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