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Introduction to cellular telephony

and satellite communication

Thomasi: Chapter 11 and 14
Roger L. Freeman: Chapter 18
cellular telephony
Not Cellular
Not Cellular
Not Cellular
Evolution to cellular networks
–communication anytime, anywhere
• radio communication was invented by Nikola Tesla and Guglielmo Marconi: in 1893, Nikola Tesla
made the first public demonstration of wireless (radio) telegraphy; Guglielmo Marconi conducted
long ditance (over see) telegraphy 1897
• in 1940 the first walkie-talkie was used by the US military
• in 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain from AT&T’s Bell Labs invented the transistor
(semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals)
• AT&T introduced commercial radio comm.: car phone – two way radio link to the local phone
• in 1979 the first commercial cellular phone service was launched by the Nordic Mobile Telephone
(in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark).
Cellular systems generations

• 1G (first generation) – voice-oriented systems based on analog technology;

ex.: Advanced Mobile Phone Systems (AMPS) and cordless systems
• 2G (second generation) - voice-oriented systems based on digital
technology; more efficient and used less spectrum than 1G; ex.: Global
System for Mobile (GSM) and US Time Division Multiple Access (US-
• 3G (third generation) – high-speed voice-oriented systems integrated with
data services; ex.: General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Code Division
Multiple Access (CDMA)
• 4G (fourth generation) – still experimental, not deployed yet; based on
Internet protocol networks and will provide voice, data and multimedia
service to subscribers
Frequency reuse
• It is a method used by service providers to improve the efficiency of a cellular
network and to serve millions of subscribers using a limited radio spectrum
• It is based on the fact that after a distance a radio wave gets attenuated and the
signal falls bellow a point where it can no longer be used or cause any
• A transmitter transmitting in a specific frequency range will have only a limited
coverage area beyond this coverage area, that frequency can be reused by
another transmitter.
• Same frequency is reused after a certain distance in cellular system.
Network Cells
• The entire network coverage area is divided into cells based on the principle of
frequency reuse
• A cell = basic geographical unit of a cellular network; is the area around an
antenna where a specific frequency range is used; is represented graphically as
a hexagonal shape, but in reality it is irregular in shape.
• When a subscriber moves to another cell, the antenna of the new cell takes over
the signal transmission.
• A cluster is a group of adiacent cells, usually 7 cells; no frequency reuse is done
within a cluster
• The frequency spectrum is divided into subbands and each subband is used
within one cell of the cluster.
• In heavy traffic zones cells are smaller, while in isolated zones cells are larger.
Network cells (2)
Types of cells
• Macrocell – their coverage is large (aprox. 6 miles in diameter); used in
remote areas, high-power transmitters and receivers are used
• Microcell – their coverage is small (half a mile in diameter) and are used in
urban zones; low-powered transmitters and receivers are used to avoid
interference with cells in another clusters
• Picocell – covers areas such as building or a tunnel
Other cellular concepts
• Handover = moving a call from one zone (from the transmitter-receiver
from one zone) to another zone due to subscriber’s mobility
• Roaming = allowing the subscriber to send/receive calls outside the service
provider’s coverage area.

• When a person is in a moving vehicle, in every few kilometers there will be

a handover of cells and when some one is crossing a border of a MSC
(sometimes border of a country) then roaming occurs.
Multiple access schemes

Frequency Division Multiple Access Time Division Multiple Access Code Division Multiple Access
- when the subscriber enters another cell a - each subscriber is assigned a time slot to - each subscriber is assigned a code which is
unique frequency is assigned to him; used in send/receive a data burst; is used in digital used to multiply the signal sent or received by
analog systems systems the subscriber
Cellular services
• voice communication
• Short Messaging Service (SMS)
• Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
• Global Positioning System (GPS)
• Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) – to access the Internet
Cellular network components
Cellular network components (2)
• BTS (Base Transceiver Station) – main component of a cell and it connects
the subscribers to the cellular network; for transmission/reception of
information it uses several antennas spread across the cell.
• BSC (Basic Station Controller) – it is an interface between BTSs and it is
linked to BTSs by cable or microwave links; it routes calls between BTSs; it
is also connected to the MSC.
• MSC (Mobile Switching Center) – the coordinator of a cellular network, it is
connected to several BSCs, it routes calls between BSCs; links the cellular
network with other networks like PSTN through fiber optics, microwave or
copper cable.
Components of a cellular phone (MSU – Mobile Subscriber Unit)

• radio transceiver – low power radio transmitter and receiver

• antenna, usually located inside the phone

• control circuitry – formats the data sent to and from the BTS; controls
signal transmission and reception
• man-machine interface – consists from a keypad and a display; is
managed by the control circuitry
• Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) – integrated circuit card that stores the
identity information of subscriber
• battery, usually Li-ion, the power unit of the phone
Setting up a call process
• when powered on, the phone does not have a frequency/ time slot/ode
assigned to it yet; so it scans for the control channel of the BTS and picks the
strongest signal
• then it sends a message (including its identification number) to the BTS to
indicate its presence
• the BTS sends an acknowledgement message back to the cell phone
• the phone then registers with the BTS and informs the BTS of its exact
• after the phone is registered to the BTS, the BTS assigns a channel to the
phone and the phone is ready to receive or make calls
Making a call process
• the subscriber dials the receiver’s number and sends it to the BTS
• the BTS sends to its BSC the ID, location and number of the caller and also
the number of the receiver
• the BSC forwards this information to its MSC
• the MSC routes the call to the receiver’s MSC which is then sent to the
receiver’s BSC and then to its BTS
• the communication with the receiver’s cell phone is established
Receiving a call process
• when the receiver’ phone is in an idle state it listens for the control channel
of its BTS
• if there is an incoming call the BSC and BTS sends a message to the cells
in the area where the receiver’s phone is located
• the phone monitors its message and compares the number from the
message with its own
• if the numbers matches the cell phone sends an acknowledgement to the
• after authentication, the communication is established between the caller
and the receiver
Satellite Communication
Satellite Communication - Introduction
• In general terms, a satellite is a smaller object that revolves around a
larger object in space. For example, moon is a natural satellite of earth.
• We know that Communication refers to the exchange (sharing) of
information between two or more entities, through any medium or channel.
In other words, it is nothing but sending, receiving and processing of
• If the communication takes place between any two earth stations through a
satellite, then it is called as satellite communication. In this
communication, electromagnetic waves are used as carrier signals. These
signals carry the information such as voice, audio, video or any other data
between ground and space and vice-versa.
How a Satellite Works
• A satellite is a body that moves around another body in a particular path. A
communication satellite is nothing but a microwave repeater station in
space. It is helpful in telecommunications, radio and television along with
internet applications.
• A repeater is a circuit, which increases the strength of the received signal
and then transmits it. But, this repeater works as a transponder. That
means, it changes the frequency band of the transmitted signal from the
received one.
• The frequency with which, the signal is sent into the space is called
as Uplink frequency. Similarly, the frequency with which, the signal is sent
by the transponder is called as Downlink frequency. The following figure
illustrates this concept clearly.
• The transmission of signal from first earth station to satellite through a
channel is called as uplink. Similarly, the transmission of signal from
satellite to second earth station through a channel is called as downlink.
• Uplink frequency is the frequency at which, the first earth station is
communicating with satellite. The satellite transponder converts this signal
into another frequency and sends it down to the second earth station. This
frequency is called as Downlink frequency. In similar way, second earth
station can also communicate with the first one.
• The process of satellite communication begins at an earth station. Here, an
installation is designed to transmit and receive signals from a satellite in an
orbit around the earth. Earth stations send the information to satellites in
the form of high powered, high frequency (GHz range) signals.
• The satellites receive and retransmit the signals back to earth where they
are received by other earth stations in the coverage area of the satellite.
Satellite's footprint is the area which receives a signal of useful strength
from the satellite.
Applications of Satellite Communication

Satellite communication plays a vital role in our daily life. Following are the
applications of satellite communication −
• Radio broadcasting and voice communications
• TV broadcasting such as Direct To Home (DTH)
• Internet applications such as providing Internet connection for data transfer,
GPS applications, Internet surfing, etc.
• Military applications and navigations
• Remote sensing applications
• Weather condition monitoring & Forecasting
• A satellite, when it revolves around the earth, undergoes a pulling force
from the earth, which is gravitational force.
• Similarly, it experiences another pulling force from the sun and the moon.
• Therefore, a satellite has to balance these two forces to keep itself in
its orbit.
Earth Orbit Satellites
• Satellite should be properly placed in the corresponding orbit after leaving it
in the space. It revolves in a particular way and serves its purpose for
scientific, military or commercial.
• The orbits, which are assigned to satellites with respect to earth are called
as Earth Orbits. The satellites present in those orbits are called as Earth
Orbit Satellites.
• We should choose an orbit properly for a satellite based on the
• For example, if the satellite is placed in lower orbit, then it takes less time
to travel around the earth and there will be better resolution in an onboard
• Similarly, if the satellite is placed in higher orbit, then it takes more time to
travel around the earth and it covers more earth’s surface at one time.
three important types of Earth Orbit satellites:

•  Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Satellites

 Medium Earth Orbit Satellites
 Low Earth Orbit Satellites
Geosynchronous Earth OrbitSatellites
• A Geo-synchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) Satellite is one, which is placed at
an altitude of 22,300 miles above the Earth. This orbit is synchronized with
a side real day (i.e., 23 hours 56 minutes).
• The satellites present in these orbits have the angular velocity same as that
of earth. Hence, these satellites are considered as stationary with respect
to earth since, these are in synchronous with the Earth’s rotation.
• The advantage of Geostationary orbit is that no need to track the antennas
in order to find the position of satellites.
• Geostationary Earth Orbit Satellites are used for weather forecasting,
satellite TV, satellite radio and other types of global communications.
Medium Earth Orbit Satellites
• Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites will orbit at distances of about 8000
miles from earth's surface.
• Signals transmitted from a MEO satellite travel a shorter distance. Due to
this, the signal strength at the receiving end gets improved.
• This shows that smaller and light weight receiving terminals can be used at
the receiving end.
• These satellites are used for High speed telephone signals. Ten or more
MEO satellites are required in order to cover entire earth.
• For real-time communications, the shorter the transmission delay, the
better will be the communication system. As an example, if a GEO satellite
requires 0.25 seconds for a round trip, then MEO satellite requires less
than 0.1 seconds to complete the same trip. MEOs operate in the
frequency range of 2 GHz and above.
Low Earth Orbit Satellites
• Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are mainly classified into three categories.
Those are little LEOs, big LEOs, and Mega-LEOs.
• LEOs will orbit at a distance of 500 to 1000 miles above the earth's
• These satellites are used for satellite phones and GPS.
1. What are the differences between macrocells, minicells, and microcells?
2. Describe frequency reuse. Why is it useful in cellular telephone systems?
3. Explain what the term roaming means. Explain the term handoff.
4. With proper diagram, differentiate between roaming and handoff.
5. List and describe the six essential components of a cellular telephone network
6. Briefly describe a satellite. How a Satellite Works?
7. Explain the kepler’s law.
8. Briefly describe the functional characteristics of an uplink, a transponder, and a
downlink model for a satellite system.
9. What is meant by Earth Orbit Satellites. Describe the three important types of
Earth Orbit satellites
10.Advantages, disadvantages and application of satellite system.
11.Describe the launching steps of a satellite.