In this lesson, we’ll cover 3G mobile cellular radio technologies:
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The third generation of cellular is usually referred to as 3G. The main objectives of the third generation were to improve capacity, the number of simultaneous users, and to increase the number of bits per second that can be transmitted over the airlink, for mobile wireless high-speed Internet access and video.
To try to avoid a repeat of the 2G CDMA vs. TDMA dichotomy, in 2000, a standards committee attempted to define a world standard for 3G called IMT-2000.
The result was a “standard” describing five incompatible implementation variations.
Like many other technologies, we ended up with one solution for “North America” and a different solution for “Europe”.
To support higher bit rates over the airlink, more frequency bandwidth is required.
Out of the five variations in IMT-2000, the two serious ones both specified CDMA as the method for spectrum-sharing – but disagreed on the width of the radio bands and how many bands there should be.
North America Service providers using CDMA for 2G, primarily North American and certain Asian countries, favored a strategy that was basically a software upgrade from 2G, employing existing 1.25 MHz radio carriers and allowing multiple carriers.
This is called IMT-MC or multi-carrier CDMA. Qualcomm’s brand name for this was CDMA2000.
The service provider could purchase licenses for as many bands as desired, and the bands can be variable sizes to meet different countries’ radio licensing plans, providing a flexible and scalable capacity.
A single 1.25 MHz carrier version of this referred to as “1X” was widely deployed.
The Rest of the World Service providers using GSM TDMA for second generation, primarily cellular carriers outside North America, favored the deployment of CDMA in a 5 MHz wide band.
This was called IMT-DS, Direct Spread, Wideband CDMA (W-CDMA) and Universal Mobile Telephone Service (UMTS).
An incentive for GSM operators was that, in theory, they would be able to re-use some control infrastructure from the second-generation TDMA GSM systems.
However, practical functioning of a multi-user, multi-base station, mobile CDMA network requires among other things constant control of the power on the cellphones, so that the received power at the base station is the same from all the phones; and compensation for time delay differences from signals from the same phone received at different base stations.
In the 1X systems, this was accomplished using techniques patented by Qualcomm (and paying Qualcomm a royalty for every cell phone and every base station transceiver), and the United States government’s Global Positioning System respectively.
European operators, with their UMTS, did not favor the notion of paying an American company royalties, and did not favor building a network dependent on the American government’s GPS.
Since UMTS required mathematical calculations across a 5 MHz band, compared to 1X’s 1.25 MHz band, at the time, the processor in the phone required to perform such calculations drew so much current from the battery that the battery heated up to the point that people burned their hands on the phones.
The GSM/UMTS Europeans embarked on a seven-year-long odyssey attempting to circumvent Qualcomm patents, and avoid using GPS.
After a number of strategies failed, a Euro-GPS called Galileo was created for UMTS; the first satellite was launched December 28 2005.
This delayed deployment of UMTS until 2007.
1X was deployed and working years earlier.
The tipping point between 2G and 3G in the GSM/UMTS camp was reached in the summer of 2007, when more new activations on these carriers’ networks were 3G CDMA (UMTS) instead of 2G TDMA (GSM).
The 2G TDMA technology GSM still had far more users, but like 1G analog, GSM will eventually disappear.
For Internet access and watching video on cellphones, variations of the coding schemes optimizing for the statistical characteristics of “data” were developed and deployed by both camps.
In both cases, these were deployed on carriers (the 1.25 or 5 MHz bands) apart from those used for telephone calls.
Accessing these data carriers required either a “stick”, the USB dongle described in an earlier lesson, or dual radios in a phone, one tuned to the traditional carrier for telephone calls and a second tuned to the data-optimized carrier for watching video.
The 1X camp developed a variation called 1X Evolution Data-Optimized (1XEV-DO), allocating a carrier for data communications and promising 2.4 Mb/s over the airlink in the first incarnation. Proposals for future revisions of EV-DO promised to support more than 70 Mb/s over the airlink.
In the UMTS camp, the variation was called High Speed Packet Access (HSPA), referring to improvements in the UMTS downlink, often called High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and in the uplink, High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) and also Enhanced Dedicated Channel (E-DCH).
Revisions of HSDPA promised download rates of 14.4 Mb/s then 42 Mb/s.
Market forces finally pushed the two camps together.
The fact that there were far more 2G GSM users on the planet meant that for one thing, handset manufacturers produced 2G GSM phones before 2G CDMA phones. GSM phones were less expensive and had better features.
This trend was continuing into 3G, where UMTS phones would have the same advantage over 1X phones.
Another fact was that Steve Jobs of Apple only permitted carriers operating TDMA systems to have the iPhone, then only permitted carriers with HSPA systems to have the iPhone 3G.
Finally, the 1X camp threw in the towel and decided to go with the UMTS camp’s proposal for the fourth generation to level the playing field.
As soon as that decision was made, then the deployment of 1XEV-DO was more or less capped, and some 1X carriers began deploying HSPA instead.
And the fact is, as soon as carriers that were in the 1X camp, like Verizon in the US and Bell and TELUS in Canada deployed HSPA, Steve Jobs allowed the iPhone on their networks.
As the iPhone was at the time the most popular phone, this was a major incentive for the 1X camp.
It appears that one of the legacies of Steve Jobs will not just be the iPhone, but a key part in ending the standards war.
Lesson 1. Course Introduction
The first lesson begins the course with an overview of the course and lessons, plus general radio principles. It provides both a walkthrough of the course and a sample of the quality of the course graphics, text and presentation.
Lesson 2. Mobile Network Components, Jargon and Basic Operation
The basic components and operation of a mobile communication network, including handset, airlink, antennas, base station, transceiver, mobile switch, backhaul, registration and handoffs.
Lesson 3. Cellular Principles and AMPS (1G)
In this lesson, we’ll begin with the requirements on the communication system: mobility, coverage and capacity, then cover the idea of a cellular radio system, and how it is used to meet the coverage requirement, how frequency-division multiplexing was used to meet the capacity requirement in the first generation of “cellular”, called AMPS in North America, the implications of a handoff to implement mobility, and end the lesson with the limitations of the first generation and room for improvement.
Lesson 4. 2G: Digital Radio - Voice Communications
2G cellular involved a change to digital radio, and also saw the emergence of warring factions with different views of how the spectrum should be shared. In this lesson, we’ll examine the components of a digital radio system at a block diagram level to understand just what exactly someone means when they say “digital” radio and key aspects of the second generation of cellular.
Lesson 5. Digital Cellular: Data Communications
Next, we’ll understand how a system designed to carry digitized speech using modems, which was the subject of the last lesson, can be employed to carry anything coded into 1s and 0s. We’ll see how a “data terminal” can plug into the block diagram of the previous lesson and what it connects to, and the difference between using a cellphone as a tethered modem vs. using the cellphone as a terminal.
Lesson 6. Spectrum-Sharing Technologies:
FDMA, TDMA, CDMA, OFDM
Cellphones transmit and receive signals over shared radio bands. To separate users so that they do not interfere with one another, nor hear each other's conversations, service providers use one of four radio band or spectrum sharing methods: Frequency-Division Multiple Access (FDMA), Time-Division Multiple Access (TDMA), Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM).
In this lesson, we'll begin to sort out these technologies. We'll explain how FDMA, TDMA, CDMA and OFDM work, and in this lesson how they were deployed for first and second generation with names like AMPS, GSM, TDMA (IS-136), and 2G CDMA (IS-95).
In subsequent lessons, we'll take a closer look at CDMA for third generation (UMTS and 1X), then 4G LTE which uses OFDM.
Lesson 7. 3G Cellular: CDMA
In this lesson, we’ll cover 3G mobile cellular radio technologies: how the quest for an international standard to resolve the I-95 CDMA vs. GSM TDMA incompatibility led to a Frankenstein standard called IMT-2000, with five incompatible variations for implementing 3G, and how two of them were of most interest: IMT-MC, also known as 1X, and IMT-DS, also known as UMTS, both employing CDMA technology. We’ll cover the data-optimized variations of the two, 1XEV-DO and HSPA respectively, and the capitulation of the 1X camp to the UMTS camp’s plan for 4G – probably pushed past the tipping point by Steve Jobs and his iPhone – and how that led to the widespread deployment of HSPA for 3G.
Lesson 8. 4G Mobile Cellular
In the last lesson on mobility, we’ll explore the technology that emerged as the consensus for 4G: the fourth generation of mobile cellular radio communications, called LTE, and the spectrum-sharing technology it employs called OFDM.
Lesson 9. 802.11 Wireless LANs – WiFi
Here, we provide an overview of the 802.11 wireless LAN standards, sometimes referred to as WiFi and hotspots.
We concentrate on understanding the variations of 802.11, the frequency bands they operate in, bit rates to be expected and practical issues.
Since 802.11 is wireless LANs, there are a number of associated topics: LAN frames, also called MAC frames, MAC addresses, LAN switches, IP addresses, routers and network address translation.
Those topics are covered in other courses, particularly "Ethernet, LANs and VLANs", "Introduction to Datacom and Networking" and "IP Networks, Routers and Addresses".
In this course, we concentrate on radio.
Lesson 10. Communication Satellites
In this last lesson of the course, we will take a quick overview of communication satellites, understanding the basic principles and the advantages and disadvantages of the two main strategies: Geosynchronous Earth Orbit and Low Earth Orbit.
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Like Teracom's famous core training Course 101 "Telecom, Datacom and Networking for Non‑Engineers", our very popular core training DVD-Video packages and the Telecom 101 textbook, the Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist Certification Package begins with the Public Switched Telephone Network, then a course on Wireless Telecommunications, followed by four courses covering IP telecommunications and IP telecom networks.
If you are interested only in IP telecommunications, the CIPTS: Certified IP Telecom Network Specialist package may be appropriate, as it skips the traditional telephony and wireless and goes directly to the IP telecommunications courses.
If your goal is to build a full, rounded knowledge of telecommunications, then understanding the history, structure and operation of the telephone network built over the past 135 years or more is the starting point for everything else.
We begin with a history lesson, understanding how and why telephone networks and the companies that provide them are organized into local access and inter-city transmission, or as we will see, Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) and Inter-Exchange Carriers (IXCs).
Then we will establish a basic model for the PSTN and understand its main components: Customer Premise, Central Office, loop, trunk, outside plant, circuit switching, attenuation, loop length, remotes, and why knowledge of the characteristics of the loop remains essential knowledge even though we are moving to Voice over IP.
Next, we'll cover aspects of telephony and Plain Ordinary Telephone Service, including analog, the voiceband, twisted pair, supervision and signaling including DTMF. The course is completed with an overview of SS7, the control system for the telephone network in the US and Canada.
On completion of this course, you will be able to draw a model of the Public Switched Telephone Network, identify and explain its components and technologies including:
In many parts of the world, particularly outside Canada, the US and Western Europe, the physical telephone network is wireless, as deploying radio transceivers is far cheaper than embarking on a new project to pull copper wires and/or fiber to every residence.
Most of this course is devoted to mobile wireless telecommunications. We begin with basic concepts and terminology including base stations and transceivers, mobile switches and backhaul, handoffs, cellular radio concepts and digital radio concepts.
Then, we cover spectrum-sharing technologies and their variations in chronological order: GSM/TDMA vs. CDMA for second generation, 1X vs. UMTS CDMA for third generation along with their data-optimized 1XEV-DO and HSPA, how Steve Jobs ended the standards wars with the iPhone and explaining the OFDM spectrum-sharing method of LTE for 4G.
This course is completed with a lesson on WiFi, or more precisely, 802.11 wireless LANs, and a lesson on satellite communications.
You'll gain a solid understanding of the key principles of wireless and mobile networks:
The remaining four courses in the CTNS package are on the "IP" telecommunications network and its three main enabling technologies: Ethernet, IP and MPLS, and beginning with the OSI model and its layers to establish a framework.
If you'd prefer to take just these four "IP" courses, check out the Certified IP Telecom Network Specialist package.
This course establishes a framework for all of the subsequent discussions: the OSI 7-Layer Reference Model, which identifies and divides the functions to be performed into groups called layers.
This framework is required to sort out the many functions that need to be performed, and to be able to discuss separate issues separately.
First, we'll define the term "protocol" and compare that to a standard. Then we'll define "layer" and how a layered architecture operates, and provide an overview of the name, purpose and function of each of the seven layers in the OSI model.
Then, we'll go back through the story more slowly, with one lesson for each of the layers, examining in greater detail the functions that have to be performed and giving examples of protocols and how and where they are used to implement particular layers.
The result is a protocol stack, one protocol on top of another on top of another to fulfill all of the required functions. To make this more understandable, this course ends with the famous FedEx Analogy illustrating the concepts using company-to-company communications, and an analogy of Babushka dolls to illustrate how the protocol headers are nested at the bits level.
On completion of this course, you will be able to:
On completion of this course, you will be able to explain:
MPLS and Carrier Networks is a comprehensive, up-to-date course on the networks companies like AT&T build and operate, how they are implemented, the services they offer, and how customers connect to the network.
The IP packets and routing of the previous course is one part of the story. Performance guarantees, and methods for quality of service, traffic management, aggregation and integration is another big part of the story, particularly once we leave the lab and venture into the real world and the business of telecommunications services.
We'll begin by establishing a basic model for a customer obtaining service from a provider, defining Customer Edge, Provider Edge, access and core, and a Service Level Agreement: traffic profile vs. transmission characteristics.
Next, we'll understand virtual circuits, a powerful tool used for traffic management and how they are implemented with MPLS, explaining the equipment, jargon and principles of operation.
Without bogging down on details, we’ll cut through buzzwords and marketing to demystify:
Teracom is an Accredited Training Partner of the Telecommunications Certification Organization, authorized to administer exams for TCO certifications on the myTeracom Learning Management System and award TCO Certifications.
TCO Certification is proof of your knowledge of telecom, datacom and networking fundamentals, jargon, buzzwords, technologies and solutions.
It's backed up with a Certificate suitable for framing - plus a personalized Letter of Reference / Letter of Introduction detailing the knowledge your TCO Certification represents and inviting the recipient to contact Teracom for verification.
You may list Teracom Training Institute as a reference on your résumé if desired.
Each course has a course exam, consisting of ten multiple-choice questions chosen at random from a pool and shuffled in order. Passing the course exams proves your knowledge of these topics and results in your certification as a Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist.
Your Certificate and Letter of Reference / Letter of Introduction will be immediately available for download from your Dashboard in the myTeracom Learning Management System. You may also order a signed and sealed Certificate by airmail.
Choosing the "Unlimited Plan" at registration allows you to repeat courses and/or exams at no additional charge – which means guaranteed to pass if you're willing to learn.
Alternatively, if you like this discounted package of courses, but don't need the certification – or don't feel like writing exams – no problem! Take the Telecom, Datacom and Networking for Non‑Engineers course package, which includes the same courses as the CTNS certification package, without the certification exams.
One benefit of TCO certification is differentiating yourself from the rest of the crowd when applying for a job or angling for a promotion.
The knowledge you gain taking Teracom's Online Courses, confirmed with TCO Certification, is foundational knowledge in telecommunications, IP, networking and wireless: fundamental concepts, mainstream technologies, jargon, buzzwords, and the underlying ideas - and how it all fits together.
This type of knowledge and preparation makes you an ideal candidate to hire or promote to a task, as you will be able to build on your knowledge base to quickly get up to speed and work on a particular project - then have the versatility to work on subsequent projects.
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Take advantage of these courses for individual learning, a team, or for an entire organization.
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