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12 LTE interview questions and answers

LTE and LTE advanced technology is fast evolving in cellular arena and demand
in the industries have been increased for LTE skilled engineers. These top 12
LTE interview questions and answers help engineers seeking LTE technology job
to crack the interview with ease. One can refer page links mentioned on left side
panel to learn more about LTE. These questions are very useful as viva
questions also.
Question-1: What is the difference between LTE FDD and LTE TDD?
Answer-1:The difference lies in the LTE frame structure in both the FDD and TDD
versions of the LTE. In FDD there will be pair of frequencies assigned in the
downlink and uplink directions and hence transmissions from multiple subscribes
can happen at the same time but on different frequencies as mentioned. In TDD,
one single frequency will be used at different time instants by multiple subscriber
terminals (UEs). Both frame versions of LTE will have 1 ms sub-frame duration
and 0.5 ms slot duration.Read more.
Question-2: What is resource block in LTE?
Answer-2:LTE frame is divided based on time slots on time axis and frequency
subcarrier on frequency axis. Resource block is the smallest unit of resource
allocation in LTE system. It is of about 0.5ms duration and composed of 12
subcarriers in 1 OFDM symbol. One time slot is equal to 7 OFDM symbols in
normal cyclic prefix and 6 OFDM symbols in extended cyclic prefix. One full
resource block is equal to 12 subcarriers by 7 symbols in normal CP. Hence it
consists of total 84 time/frequency elements referred as resource elements in
LTE network. Refer LTE Terminology
Question-3: What are the LTE logical, transport and physical channels? Answer3:All these channels help LTE UE establish the connection with the eNodeB,

maintain the connection and terminate the same. Logical channels are
characterized by the information that is transferred. Transport channels are
characterized by how the data are transferred over the radio interface. Physical
channel corresponds to a set of resource elements used by the physical layer.
Channels are further divided into control channel and traffic channel at logical
channel stage. Read more.
Question-4: Explain the difference between Reference signal (RS) and
synchronization signal (SS) in the LTE? Also mention types of RS and SS.
Answer-4:Reference signal (RS) is used as pilot subcarrier in LTE similar to other
broadband wireless technologies such as WLAN, WIMAX etc. Synchronization
signal is used as preamble sequence in LTE for synchronization purpose. RS is
used for channel estimation and tracking. SS are of two types viz. P-SS and SSS. P-SS is used for initial synchronization. S-SS is used for frame boundary
determination. RS are of two types viz. Demodulation RS (DRS) and Sounding
RS (SRS). DRS is used for sync and channel estimation purpose. SRS is used
for channel quality estimation purpose. DRS is used in both the uplink and
downlink, while SRS is used only in the uplink. Refer LTE PSS SSS
pages to know insight concepts of synchronization signal and reference signal.

Question-5: Explain LTE cell search procedure followed by UE.

Answer-5:LTE cell search procedure is used by UE to camp onto the LTE cell i.e.
eNodeB. Refer LTE UEcell search procedure and network entry procedure.

Question-6: What is the function of LTE physical broadcast channel i.e. PBCH?
Answer-6:After initial cell synchronization is completed, UE reads MIB (Master
information block) on PBCH (Physical channel). Broadcast channel is referred as
BCH at transport level and BCCH at logical level. MIB composed of downlink
channel bandwidth in units of RBs, PHICH duration, PHICH resource and system
frame number. Read more.
Question-7: What is the advantage of using SC-FDMA in the LTE uplink?
Answer-7:The main advantage of SC-FDMA is low PAPR compare to OFDMA
used in LTE downlink. This increases the efficiency of power amplifier and hence
increases the battery life. Read more.

Question-8: What is RSSI?

Answer-8:RSSI stands for Received Signal Strength Indication. It is used almost
in all the RATs to identify power received from the cell in idle as well as
connected/dedicated modes. This helps UE always camped on to the best cell all
the time. In case of drop in power measured using RSSI, either UE or network
initiates the handover or cell re-selection is carried out. Read more.
Question-9: Explain Circuit Switch Fall Back i.e. CSFB with respect to LTE and
Answer-9:Framework allowing the provisioning of voice services by reuse of
legacy GSM served CS infrastructure when the UE is served by E-UTRAN
(LTE).To provide voice call support, Circuit Switch Fall Back is carried out to GSM
RAT from LTE RAT to facilitate the voice over LTE (VoLTE) feature. Read more.

Question-10: Explain LTE network architecture and various interfaces.

Answer-10:There are various entities forming the LTE network architecture, the
main interfaces are Uubetween UE and eNB, X2 interface between eNBs and S1
interface between eNB and EPC(Evolved Packet Core). Read more.
Question-11: What is SRVCC?
Answer-11:SRVCC is the short form of Single-Radio Voice Call Continuity.
SRVCC handover is supported from E-UTRAN (i.e. LTE) to UTRAN/GERAN
(WCDMA/GSM). SRVCC procedure is used for transferring an on-going PS voice

call (IMS) in LTE to a CS voice call via Handover from LTE to

GERAN/UTRAN. Read more.
Question-12:What is the difference between LTE and LTE Advanced?
Answer-12:LTE is specified in 3GPP release 8 and release 9. LTE advanced is
specified in 3GPP release 10. The main difference between them is carrier
aggregation is introduced in LTE advanced. Number of antennas supported by
MIMO has been increased to 8 in LTE advanced,Read more.
Long Term Evolution is something we have all heard of, and hopefully understand. It is a complex technology
with hefty goals, and when fully launched will make our wireless experience faster and more efficient. But
there still may be questions you have or you may be planning to further your LTE knowledge, and need to
know which LTE interview questions to ask. To help you navigate, weve listed some of the most frequently
asked questions, when it comes to LTE. To make sure you feel confident and have an understanding at least at
an introductory level, weve also provided answers to some of the most basic LTE-related questions. Here are
some popular ones, according to LteWorld:

What is LTE?

LTE (Long Term Evolution) is initiated by 3GPPto improve the mobile phone standard to cope with future
technology evolutions and needs.

What is goal of LTE?

The goals for LTE include improving spectral efficiency, lowering costs, improving services, making use of
new spectrum and reformed spectrum opportunities, and better integration with other open standards.

What speed does LTE offer?

LTE provides downlink peak rates of at least 100Mbit/s, 50 Mbit/s in the uplink and RAN (Radio Access
Network) round-trip times of less than 10 ms.

What is LTE Advanced?

LTE standards are in a matured state, now with release 8 frozen. LTE Advanced, however, is still in the works.
Often the LTE standard is seen as 4G standard which is not true. 3.9G is more acceptable for LTE. So why it is
not 4G? The answer is quite simple LTE does not fulfill all requirements of ITU 4G definition.
LteWorld provides a brief History of LTE Advanced: The ITU has introduced the term IMT Advanced to
identify mobile systems whose capabilities go beyond those of IMT 2000. The IMT Advanced systems shall
provide best-in-class performance attributes such as peak and sustained data rates and corresponding spectral
efficiencies, capacity, latency, overall network complexity and quality-of-service management. The new
capabilities of these IMT-Advanced systems are envisaged to handle a wide range of supported data rates with
target peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbit/s for high mobility and up to approximately 1 Gbit/s for
low mobility.

What is LTE architecture?

The evolved architecture comprises E-UTRAN (Evolved UTRAN) on the access side and EPC (Evolved
Packet Core) on the core side.

What is EUTRAN?

The E-UTRAN (Evolved UTRAN) consists of eNBs, which provide the E-UTRA user plane
(PDCP/RLC/MAC/PHY) and control plane (RRC) protocol terminations towards the UE. The eNBs are
interconnected to one another by the X2 interface. The eNBs are also connected by the S1 interface to the EPC
(Evolved Packet Core), more specifically to the MME (Mobility Management Entity) by means of the S1MME and to the Serving Gateway (S-GW) by means of the S1-U.

GSM Interview Question -Answer


What is the function of SDCCH & SACCH?

Ans. (a) SDCCH---- Slow Dedicated Control Channel.


Location updates




Ciphering Initiation


Equipment Validation


Subscriber authentation


Call set up signaling


SACCH---Slow Associated Control Channel.



Timing advance data


Transmit power control


transmission of signaling data


radio link supervision measurements

2. What are the reasons for Hand Overs?

(Ans) . (a) Signal Strength (RX LEVEL)
(b) Signal Quality (RX Qual)

(c) Power Budget

(d)Timing Advance.
(e) Interference

What are the shortcomings in handovers?


Call Dropping.


Ping- Pong handover


Far- Away cell effect

4. What is intelligent hand over?

Ans)Fuzzy logic

Neutral networks

5. What are internal & external hand over?


( INTER BTS) ---- Transfer between two

channels (time slot) in same cell.

( INTRA BSC ( BTS BTS)-----1 . transfer between BTS under control of same Bsc

Measuring the quality of radio connection

Power levels


( a) INTER BSC (BSC_ BSC)---- 1. Transfer between BTS under

the control of diff


3 . NSS to attends the hand over

4. MSC controls.

( b) INTER MSC ( MSC- MSC) ----1. transfer between cell under the control of diff

.What is the frequency Hopping its imp?


It is defined as sequential change of carrier frequency on the radio link between

mobile & base station.

Two types of freq hopping----- 1. Base band freq hopping.

2. synthesized frequency hopping.

7. Explain the major diff between BBH & SFH?


In BBH the no of hopping freq is same as no of TRX.

In SFH the no of Hoping freq can be in the range of 1to 63.

8. what are the advantages of Frequency Hopping?


Frequency Diversity


Interference Averaging



9. How in frequency hopping there is enhancement of network capacity?

Freq hopping implement will enable more aggressive freq reuse pattern, that leads to
better spectrum efficiency.

It can add more transceiver in the existing sites , while maintaing the net work quality/

Freq hopping compressing the available spectrum to make room for extra capacity

10. Define the freq. hopping parameters?

Frequency Hopping Parameters

GSM defines the following set of parameters:

Mobile Allocation (MA): Set of frequencies the mobile is allowed to hop over. Maximum of 63
frequencies can be defined in the MA list.

Hopping Sequence Number (HSN): Determines the hopping order used in the cell. It is possible to
assign 64 different HSNs. Setting HSN = 0 provides cyclic hopping sequence and HSN = 1 to 63 provide
various pseudo-random hopping sequences.

Mobile Allocation Index Offset (MAIO): Determines inside the hopping sequence, which frequency
the mobile starts do transmit on. The value of MAIO ranges between 0 to (N-1) where N is the number of
frequencies defined in the MA list. Presently MAIO is set on per carrier basis.

Motorola has defined an additional parameter, FHI.

Hopping Indicator (FHI): Defines a hopping system, made up by an associated set of frequencies
(MA) to hop over and sequence of hopping (HSN). The value of FHI varies between 0 to 3. It is possible to
define all 4 FHIs in a single cell.

Motorola system allows to define the hopping system on a per timeslot basis. So different hopping
configurations are allowed for different timeslots. This is very useful for interference averaging and to
randomize the distribution of errors.

11. What are the effects of freq hopping?


1 Handovers:

2 Call setup:

3 Frame Erasure Rate (FER):

12 .Explain in brief what is FER.


It is the right measure of voice quality.

FER is performed on speech& signaling frames

FER------- 0 to 4%,

FER= Number of erased blocks\ total no of blocks *100


to 15% , slightly degraded

Greater than 15%, useless

13. What happens when speech frames discarded in FER?

System will interpolate.

14. What happens when signaling frames discarded in FER?

MS is instructed to resend.

15. What is TCH_ TCH Interference? How it is measured.

When TCH carries are reused that leads to co-channel interference.

When TCH carrier have call activity.

This is measured by delta measurement. --- 1. BCCH carries are diff

2. TCH carriers in both cell 1& cell2 are same AFRCN TCH

16. Define the terms?

BER--- The number of erroneous bits received

Total no of bits received.

RBER---1 Residual bit error rate

It is performed on demodulated speech frames that are not mark corrupt

.BFI -- Bad frame indication.

17. Explain the parameters in TEMS POCKET mobile.









Llcell BCCH





L1. Logical channel.----- BCCH





L2. Logical channel ----- TCH

BC-- serving cell BCCH AFRCN.


BS-- base station identity code.

RXLEV- recieved signal strength


traffic channel

TS -

time slot number.

TX - transmit power

C/I -- Carrier to interference ratio in db

RQ -- Receive bit error rate

FE frame erasure rate.

TA -- Timing advance

CHM --C hannel Mode

RH -- cell reselction Hystresis

CiMdCiphering mode

RAC Routing area code.

LACLocation area code.

18. Explain the analysis behind RX Qual.?


RX Qual is the basic measure. It reflects the average BER over the certain period of

RX QUAL done over 104 TDMA frames.

Limitation of RXQUAL---- 1. The distributions of bit error over time.

2. Frame erasure
3. Hand over.
19. What are type of interference occur?

Co- channel interference.


Adj-channel interference.


Near end- Far end interference.


What is ERLANG?

Unit of telephone traffic intensity is called Erlang.

One ERLANG is one channel occupied continuously for one hour.

1E = 64Kbps.

21. what do you mean by GOS?

It is the probabity of having a call blocked during busiest hour.

Ex GOS=0.05 means one call in 20 will be blocked call during busiest hour because of
insufficient capacity.

22. What are the technique GSM offers which combat Multipath fading?

Freq Hopping
Channel coding

23. What are control &traffic channels?


3. DCCH.


Full rate

EFR == Enhanced full rate.

24. What are BCH, CCH, DCCH channels?

3. SCH

CCCH. --- 1.PCH




25. What are types of bursts?

Normal Burst

Frequency Correction Burst

Synchronization Burst.

Dummy Burst

Access Burst.

26. What is adjacent channel separation in GSM?

Urban Environment-------- 200khz

Sub Urban Environment ---- 400khz

Open environment ----- 800khz

27. What is the watt to dBm conversions?

Power in dBm = 10 log( watts *100)

0 dBm= 1mili watt

1watt = 30dbm

28. What are the optimizations you have done during Drive Test?

What are samples in gsm?

Which modulation take place in GSM

In one TRU how many frames are there?

What is the value RXLEV of neighboring cell?

What do you mean by VAD?

What is BFI, where it is use?

2929. Define the hopping parameters in detail?

The MA is a list of hopping frequencies transmitted to a mobile every time it is assigned to a hopping
physical channel. The MA-list is a subset of the CA list. The MA-list is automatically generated if the
baseband hopping is used. If the network utilises the RF hopping, the MA-lists have to be generated for each
cell by the network planner. The MA-list is able to point to 64 of the frequencies defined in the CA list.
However, the BCCH frequency is also included in the CA list, so the practical maximum number of
frequencies in the MA-list is 63. The frequencies in the MA-list are required to be in increasing order because
of the type of signaling used to transfer the MA-list.

Hopping Sequence Number

The Hopping Sequence Number (HSN) indicates which hopping sequence of the 64 available is
selected. The hopping sequence determines the order in which the frequencies in the MA-list are to be used.
The HSNs 1 - 63 are pseudo random sequences used in the random hopping while the HSN 0 is reserved for
a sequential sequence used in the cyclic hopping. The hopping sequence algorithm takes HSN and FN as an
input and the output of the hopping sequence generation is aMobile Allocation Index (MAI) which is a
number ranging from 0 to the number of frequencies in the MA-list subtracted by one. The HSN is a cell
specific parameter. For the baseband hopping two HSNs exists. The zero time slots in a BB hopping cell use
the HSN1 and the rest of the time slots follow the HSN2 as presented in Error! Reference source not found..
All the time slots in RF hopping cell follow the HSN1 as presented in Error! Reference source not found..

Mobile Allocation Index Offset

When there is more than one TRX in the BTS using the same MA-list the Mobile Allocation Index
Offset (MAIO) is used to ensure that each TRX uses always an unique frequency. Each hopping TRX is
allocated a different MAIO. MAIO is added to MAI when the frequency to be used is determined from the MAlist. Example of the hopping sequence generation is presented in Error! Reference source not found.. MAIO
and HSN are transmitted to a mobile together with the MA-list. In Nokia solution the MAIO offset is a cell specific
parameter defining the MAIOTRX for the first hopping TRX in a cell. The MAIOs for the other hopping TRXs are
automatically allocated according to the MAIOstep -parameter introduced in the following section.
30. What is the effect of frequency hopping in RXQual?
Frequency hopping causes some changes in the RXQUAL distribution. Also, there are some
differences in a way the RXQUAL distribution should be interpreted.
The Frame Erasure Ratio (FER) is a ratio of discarded speech frames compared to all the received
speech frames. A speech frame is generally discarded if after the decoding and error correction process any
of the category 1a bits is found to be changed based on the three parity bits following them in a speech
FER is a measure of how successfully the speech frame was received after the error correction
process and it is thus a better indication of the subjective speech quality compared to the RXQUAL which
gives an estimate of the link quality in terms of BER. The RXQUAL doesnt indicate how the bit errors were
distributed in a speech frame. The bit error distribution affects the ability of the channel decoding to correct
the errors.

The following table gives an idea of the correlation between RXQUAL and FER and between
subjective speech quality and different FER classes.

31. What is the relation link between RXQUAL& FER?

Table 1. RXQUAL vs. FER comparison according to the laboratory tests.

The relation of downlink FER and RXQUAL was measured during a FH trial. The relation is clearly
different in the hopping case compared to the non-hopping case. The distributions of FER in each RXQUAL
class are presented in Error! Reference source not found. and Error! Reference source not found.. One clear
observation can be made; in the non-hopping case there are significant amount of samples indicating
deteriorated quality (FER>10%) in RXQUAL class 5 while in the hopping case the significant quality
deterioration (FER>10%) happens in RXQUAL class 6. Thus, it may be concluded that in the frequency
hopping networks significant quality deterioration starts at RXQUAL class 6 while in non-hopping network
this happens at RXQUAL class 5.
This improvement of FER means that the higher RXQUAL values may be allowed in a frequency
hopping network. RXQUAL thresholds are used in the handover and power control decisions. Because of the
improvement in the relative reception performance on the RXQUAL classes 4-6, the RXQUAL thresholds
affecting handover and power control decisions should be set higher in a network using frequency hopping
network. In a frequency hopping network RXQUAL classes 0-5 are indicating good quality.

Typically, the share of the RXQUAL classes 6 and 7 may increase after FH is switched on, even if no
other changes have been made. This may seem to be surprising since it is expected that frequency hopping
improves the network quality. However, in most cases the quality is actually improved, but the improvement
is more visible in the call success ratio. The improved tolerance against interference and low field strength in
FH network means that it is less likely that the decoding of SACCH frames fails causing increment in the
radio link timeout counter. Thus, it is less likely that a call is dropped because of the radio link timeout.
Instead, the calls generating high RXQUAL samples tend to stay on. This may lead to increase in the share of
RXQUAL 6-7. However, at the same time the call success rate is significantly improved.

In the Error! Reference source not found., there are presented some trial results of a DL RXQUAL
distribution with different frequency allocation reuse patterns. As can be seen from the figures, the tighter
the reuse becomes, the less samples fall in quality class 0 and more samples fall in quality classes 1-6.
Theres bigger difference in downlink than in uplink direction.

This difference is a consequence of interference and frequency diversities that affect the frequency
hopping network. Because of these effects, the interference or low signal strength tend to occur randomly,
while in a non-hopping network it is probable that interference or low field strength will affect several
consecutive bursts making it harder for the error correction to actually correct errors. The successful error
correction leads to less erased frames and thus improves the FER.
32. What do you understand by idle channel measurement?

When a new call is established or a handover is performed, the BSC selects the TRX
and the time slot for the traffic channel based on the idle channel interference measurements. The frequency
hopping has a significant effect on the idle channel interference measurement results.

When the frequency hopping is used, the frequency of a hopping logical channel is changed about
217 times in a second. The frequency of the idle time slots changes according to the same sequence.

In a case of the random hopping, this means that the measured idle channel interference is likely to
be the same for all the TRXs that use the same MA-list. If the interference is averaged over more than one
SACCH frame, the averaging effect is even stronger. However, normally the interferers are mobiles located in
interfering cells. In this case, there are probably differences in the measured idle channel interferences
between different time slots in the cell. This happens, because the interfering mobiles are only transmitting
during the time slot that has been allocated to them. This is illustrated in Figure Error! No text of specified
style in document.-1.

If the cyclic hopping sequence is used, there might occur differences on the measured idle channel
interference levels between the TRXs on the same time slot as explained in the following section.

Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-1. Idle channel interference in a case of the
random RF hopping

33 .what are types of handover?

There are four different types of handover in the GSM system, which involve transferring a call

Channels (time slots) in the same cell

Cells (Base Transceiver Stations) under the control of the same Base Station Controller


Cells under the control of different BSCs, but belonging to the same Mobileservices
Switching Center (MSC), and

Cells under the control of different MSCs.

34. what are important parameter of power saving in GSM

Discontinuous transmission
Minimizing co-channel interference is a goal in any cellular system, since it allows better service for
a given cell size, or the use of smaller cells, thus increasing the overall capacity of the system.
Discontinuous transmission (DTX) is a method that takes advantage of the fact that a person speaks less
that 40 percent of the time in normal conversation [22], by turning the transmitter off during silence periods.
An added benefit of DTX is that power is conserved at the mobile unit.
The most important component of DTX is, of course, Voice Activity Detection. It must distinguish
between voice and noise inputs, a task that is not as trivial as it appears, considering background noise. If a
voice signal is misinterpreted as noise, the transmitter is turned off and a very annoying effect called
clipping is heard at the receiving end. If, on the other hand, noise is misinterpreted as a voice signal too
often, the efficiency of DTX is dramatically decreased. Another factor to consider is that when the transmitter
is turned off, there is total silence heard at the receiving end, due to the digital nature of GSM. To assure the
receiver that the connection is not dead, comfort noise is created at the receiving end by trying to match the
characteristics of the transmitting end's background noise.

Discontinuous reception
Another method used to conserve power at the mobile station is discontinuous reception. The
paging channel, used by the base station to signal an incoming call, is structured into sub-channels. Each
mobile station needs to listen only to its own sub-channel. In the time between successive paging subchannels, the mobile can go into sleep mode, when almost no power is used.
All of this increases battery life considerably when compared to analog
: What is Tri-band and Dual-band?

A: A tri-band phone operates at three supported frequencies, such as 900/1800/1900 MHz

or 850/1800/1900 MHz. A dual-band phone operates at two frequencies, such as 850/1900
MHz or 900/1800

Posted by Dharmendra singh at Friday, January 18, 2013