ECE 792 LTE Communications

The course provides an introduction to the theoretical and practical aspects of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology and beyond. A basic understanding of digital communication systems and radio access networks are required. Six main topics will be studied: 1) Network architecture and protocols, 2) Physical layer for downlink, 3) physical layer for uplink, 4) practical deployment aspects, 5) LTE-Advanced, and 6) 5G communications. 3 credit hours.


• Prerequisite

Although not required, students are advised to have prior knowledge gained from ECE 570 (Computer Networks) or ECE 582 (Wireless Communication Systems) before taking this course.

• Course Objectives
  • To understand the overall network architecture and protocols for LTE networks, including control plane protocols and user plane protocols;
  • To learn the downlink physical layer of LTE systems in detail, including: how OFDMA technology is adopted in LTE; synchronization and cell search procedures; reference symbols and channel estimation; use of control/data channels in LTE downlink; multiple antenna techniques; scheduling and interference coordination; and broadcast operation. 
  • To learn the uplink physical layer of LTE systems in detail, including: uplink PHY design in LTE; uplink reference signal design and physical channel structure; random access for uplink; and uplink transmission procedures (power control and timing alignment).
  • To understand various practical deployment aspects of LTE networks, including: user equipment positioning; radio propagation characteristics; radio resource management; small cell deployment in LTE; and self optimizing network (SON) features in LTE.
  • To understand the basic features of LTE–Advanced networks, including: carrier aggregation, MIMO enhancements, relaying, and interference coordination enhancements.
  • To have a high level understanding of the basic features of emerging 5G wireless networks, including mmWave communications, massive MIMO, machine type communications, device-to-device and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and tactile (low latency) Internet.

• Tentative Course Outline
  • Introduction and Background on LTE (~0.5 week)
  • Network Architecture and Protocols (~1 week)
  • Network architecture
  • Control plane protocols 
  • User plane protocols 
  • Physical Layer for Downlink (~7 weeks)
    • OFDMA Technology Overview and Downlink PHY Design
    • Synchronization and Cell Search
    • Reference Signals and Channel Estimation 
    • Downlink Physical Data and Control Channels 
    • Link Adaptation and Channel Coding
    • Multiple Antenna Techniques 
    • Multi-User Scheduling and Interference Coordination 
    • Broadcast Operation 
  • Physical Layer for Uplink (~2.5 weeks)
    • Uplink PHY Design 
    • Uplink Reference Signals 
    • Uplink Physical Channel Structure 
    • Uplink Capacity and Coverage 
    • Random Access for Uplink 
    • Uplink Transmission Procedures 
  • Practical Deployment Aspects  (~1 week)
    • User Equipment Positioning 
    • Radio Propagation Environment 
    • Radio Frequency Aspects 
    • Radio Resource Management
    • Paired and Unpaired Spectrum
    • Picocells, Femtocells, and Home eNodeBs
    • Self Optimizing Networks
    • LTE System Performance
  • LTE Advanced (~1 week)
    • Introduction to LTE Advanced 
    • Carrier Aggregation 
    • Multiple Antenna Techniques for LTE Advanced
    • Relaying
    • Additional Features of LTE Release-10 and Future Directions 
  • 5G Communications (~1 week)
    • mmWave Communications
    • Massive MIMO
    • Machine Type Communications (MTC)
    • Device-to-Device Communications (D2D, ProSe)
    • Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications (V2X)
    • Tactile Internet 

    • Course Requirements

    Homeworks*: 35%
    Course Project: 30%
    Final Exam: 35%

    * Homeworks will include multiple choice questions, concept/math problems, and Matlab assignments. The Matlab assignments will be based heavily on the LTE System Toolbox and Communication Toolbox in Matlab, both available to NCSU students through The Virtual Computing Lab (VCL).

    • Textbook

    Stefania Sesia (Editor), Issam Toufik (Editor), Matthew Baker (Editor), LTE, The UMTS Long Term Evolution: From Theory to Practice, Wiley, 2nd Edition, Sept. 2011, ISBN-10: 0470660252 | ISBN-13: 978-0470660256.

    Supplementary References:

    1. Houman Zarrinkoub,"Understanding LTE with MATLAB: From Mathematical Modeling to Simulation and Prototyping", Wiley, March 2014.
    2. Christopher Cox, "An Introduction to LTE: LTE, LTE-Advanced, SAE and 4G Mobile Communications", Wiley, 2012.
    3. Erik Dahlman, Stefan Parkvall and Johan Skold, "4G: LTE/LTE-Advanced for Mobile Broadband", Academic Press, 2011.
    4. Arunabha Ghosh, Jun Zhang, Jeffrey G. Andrews and Rias Muhamed, "Fundamentals of LTE",  Prentice Hall, 2010. 
    5. Amitabha Ghosh, Rapeepat Ratasuk, "Essentials of LTE and LTE-A," Cambridge University Press, 2011.
    6. Farooq Khan, "LTE for 4G Mobile Broadband: Air Interface Technologies and Performance", Cambridge University Press, 2009.

    • Computer and Internet Requirements

    NCSU and Engineering Online have recommended minimum specifications for computers. For details, click here.

    • Instructor

    Dr. Ismail Guvenc, Associate Professor
    Electrical & Computer Engineering
    Engineering Building II (EB2) 3098, Box 7911
    NCSU Campus
    Raleigh, NC 27695