Showing posts from April, 2016

MCPTT latency requirements

Mission critical communication has strict performance requirements for the push-to-talk (PTT) voice calls. The groups calls should be of course established as soon as possible, but the most important thing is that floor control is 'instant' and mouth-to-ear voice delay is minimal during mission critical PTT calls.

3GPP 22.179 specifies some key performance indicators (KPI), and the interesting ones are:
MCPTT access time (KPI 1)Mouth-to-ear latency (KPI 3) The figure below (from 22.179) illustrates the definitions of these two KPIs. The same specification defines also target values for these KPIs. The exact definition includes some probabilities and assumptions, but in order to keep it simple we need just to remember that KPI 1 should be less than 300 ms and KPI 3 should be also less than 300 ms.

One might ask whether LTE networks can guarantee such low latency targets. Well, these figures are actually coming from the existing 'oldish' legacy systems like TETRA. LTE is…

Isolated E-UTRAN operation for public safety

Updated 24.5.2016

Resiliency and service availability can be enhanced in terrestrial public safety LTE network based on capability called 'Isolated E-UTRAN Operation for Public Safety (IOPS)'. IOPS enables local services in case backhaul connection to centralized macro core is lost. IOPS assumes that local EPC function is co-sited with eNodeB. Local EPC can serve also multiple eNodeBs. Local EPC includes at least HSS, MME, SGW and PGW functions.

The figure below depicts an example of shared RAN, which is serving both PS users and commercial subscribers. There are separate PLMN identities for commercial customers (PLMN 'A')  and PS customers (PLMN 'PPDR') and there are also separate core networks. In normal condition commercial and PS subscribers are attached to their own centralized core networks and all data connectivity and communication services are provided by the centralized core networks. The lower part of figure depicts a transmission failure in backhau…

Public Safety D2D devices to Korean market

Although 3GPP specified Proximity Services (ProSe) including direct communication for public safety already in release 12 (2015) there has been quite little evidence about real implementations. Qualcomm's interest seems to be more in commercial use cases based on the discovery functions of ProSe. Explanation is very likely the much higher volumes in consumer devices and applications compared to potential special public safety device volumes.

However now there are some English and Korean language news, which seem to indicate that Samsung is developing 3GPP direct communication (or device-to-device, D2D) for Korean market. Korea has been active in driving public safety LTE as the first significant market. The initial pilot phase of the public safety LTE network has been awarded to SK Telecom and KT.

Out of terrestrial network coverage

Updated 9.4.2016

Public safety terrestrial network coverage may not be always available for mission critical communication because of many reasons. Coverage may be missing by design in uninhabited areas, but temporary communication solution might be needed for example due to a forest fire. Some indoor or underground locations such as tunnels, basements and caves may not have coverage available. There could be also network outage due to natural disaster or broken transmission link. Still public safety users need communication solutions in case of an emergency.

Temporary coverage can be provided with deployable systems. Such a system can be fully standalone network without any connection to external networks or there can be a suitable transport connection for example over satellite to connect deployable eNB to a centralized core network. Deployable systems can also vary in coverage & capacity from large macro eNB with multiple sectors to a small micro or pico cell.

The figure below …