Long Term Evolution

The 3GPP™ radio interface, UTRA (Universal Terrestrial Radio Access), with the enhancements provided by High Speed Packet Access (HSPA), for both downlink and uplink, will remain highly competitive for several years. Nevertheless, the industry that has developed the 3GPP™ technologies is anxious to ensure the continued competitiveness of those technologies and has launched a Long Term Evolution project within 3GPP.

The focus of the LTE project is on:

  • enhancement of the Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (UTRA)
  • optimization of the UTRAN architecture.

A parallel activity is taking place on the evolution of the 3GPP™ System Architecture (SAE).

A more complete summary of the LTE and SAE programmes can be found on the 3GPP™ website.

Long Term Evolution (LTE) of the 3GPP radio technology

The basic criteria for the work on LTE were:

  • Demand for higher data rates
  • Expectations of additional 3G spectrum allocations
  • Greater flexibility in frequency allocations
  • Continued cost reduction
  • Keeping up with other technologies.

More specifically:

  • Significantly increased peak data rates
  • Increased bitrates at the edge of cells
  • Improved spectrum efficiency
  • Improved latency
  • Scaleable bandwidth
  • Reduced capital and operational expenditure
  • Acceptable system and terminal complexity, cost and power consumption
  • Compatibility with earlier releases and with other systems
  • Optimized for low mobile speed but supporting high mobile speed (up to 500 km/h).

ETSI TR 125 913 collects together all the agreed requirements for the Evolved UTRA & UTRAN.

In response to these requirements, various radio technologies were considered but the conclusion was that the downlink would use Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) and the uplink would use Single Carrier - Frequency Division Multiple Access (SC-FDMA). Supported downlink data-modulation schemes are QPSK, 16QAM, and 64QAM, whilst the possible uplink data-modulation schemes are BPSK, QPSK, 8PSK and 16QAM.

3GPP™ Technical Report TR 25.814 defines the physical layer aspects of Evolved UTRA.

System Architecture Evolution (SAE)

The objectives of the complementary SAE study were:

  • 'to develop a framework for an evolution or migration of the 3GPP™ system to a higher-data-rate, lower-latency, packet-optimized system that supports multiple Radio Access Technologies.
  • The focus of this work is on the PS domain with the assumption that voice services are supported in this domain'.

The particular focus has been on:

  • enhancement of Packet Switched technology to cope with rapid growth in IP traffic, i.e.

    • higher data rates
    • lower latency
    • packet-optimized system
  • through
    • fully IP network
    • simplified network architecture
    • distributed control.

The possible use of various access technologies (wireless and wired) has been assumed - not just Enhanced UTRA.

The report of the SAE study can be found in 3GPP™ Technical Report TR 23.882.

The following is a list of the 20 latest published ETSI standards on long term evolution.

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

Standard No. Standard title.
TS 136 211 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Physical channels and modulation (3GPP TS 36.211 version 13.10.0 Release 13)
TS 137 213 LTE; Physical layer procedures for shared spectrum channel access (3GPP TS 37.213 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TS 136 305 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN); Stage 2 functional specification of User Equipment (UE) positioning in E-UTRAN (3GPP TS 36.305 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TS 136 321 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol specification (3GPP TS 36.321 version 13.9.0 Release 13)
TS 136 321 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol specification (3GPP TS 36.321 version 14.7.0 Release 14)
TS 136 321 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol specification (3GPP TS 36.321 version 15.2.0 Release 15)
TS 136 360 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); LTE-WLAN Aggregation Adaptation Protocol (LWAAP) specification (3GPP TS 36.360 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TS 136 361 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); LTE-WLAN Radio Level Integration Using Ipsec Tunnel (LWIP) encapsulation; Protocol specification (3GPP TS 36.361 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TR 134 926 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC); Table of international requirements for mobile terminals and ancillary equipment (3GPP TR 34.926 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TR 137 977 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (UTRA) and Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Verification of radiated multi-antenna reception performance of User Equipment (UE) (3GPP TR 37.977 version 14.6.0 Release 14)
TS 136 104 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Base Station (BS) radio transmission and reception (3GPP TS 36.104 version 13.12.0 Release 13)
TS 136 104 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Base Station (BS) radio transmission and reception (3GPP TS 36.104 version 14.8.0 Release 14)
TS 136 104 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Base Station (BS) radio transmission and reception (3GPP TS 36.104 version 15.3.0 Release 15)
TS 136 112 LTE; Location Measurement Unit (LMU) conformance specification; Network based positioning systems in Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN) (3GPP TS 36.112 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TS 136 141 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Base Station (BS) conformance testing (3GPP TS 36.141 version 15.3.0 Release 15)
TS 136 171 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Requirements for Support of Assisted Global Navigation Satellite System (A-GNSS) (3GPP TS 36.171 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TR 122 950 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Priority service feasibility study (3GPP TR 22.950 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TR 136 912 LTE; Feasibility study for Further Advancements for E-UTRA (LTE-Advanced) (3GPP TR 36.912 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TR 138 900 LTE; 5G; Study on channel model for frequency spectrum above 6 GHz (3GPP TR 38.900 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TS 136 201 LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); LTE physical layer; General description (3GPP TS 36.201 version 15.1.0 Release 15)