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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Telecommunications System, Apparatus and Method for Communicating to a First and a Second Class of Terminals...

August 21, 2014



Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Telecommunications System, Apparatus and Method for Communicating to a First and a Second Class of Terminals Using a First And/Or a Second Carrier", for Approval

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Darwood, Peter (Bristol, GB); Beale, Martin (Bristol, GB), filed on July 13, 2012, was made available online on August 7, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Sca Ipla Holdings Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Attention is often drawn to the development of fourth generation mobile telecommunication networks, such as those based on the 3GPP defined Long Term Evolution (LTE) architecture, due to the increased data rates that these advanced networks make available. For example, with the enhanced radio interface and transmission techniques provided by LTE, users will be able to enjoy mobile applications, such as video streaming and online gaming, that would previously only have been available via a fixed line connection.

"However, along with high bandwidth applications, another a class of applications is currently being developed which, rather than taking advantage of high data rates, instead seeks to take advantage of the robust radio interface and increased coverage area made possible by fourth generation mobile telecommunications technology. Examples include so-called machine type communication (MTC) applications. MTC applications are typified by reduced complexity semi-autonomous or autonomous devices communicating small amounts of data on a relatively infrequent basis. Examples include so-called smart meters which, for example, may be located in a customer's house and periodically transmit information back to a central MTC server relating to the customer's consumption of a utility such as gas, water, electricity and so on.

"Deploying an entirely independent MTC type network using fourth generation mobile telecommunications architecture would likely be uneconomic, at the very least due to the cost of a license allowing access to a suitable carrier (i.e. a designated section of the frequency spectrum reserved for the operation of the network which a regulator allocates to network operators). A more practical approach is to deploy an MTC type network within a conventional fourth generation network which is otherwise used to support more conventional communication devices (e.g. mobile phones, data cards, smart phones and so on).

"However, simply deploying MTC type devices in a conventional fourth generation mobile telecommunication network is unlikely to be very efficient. For example, MTC type devices operating in a network would be expected to generate a high volume of random access requests in proportion to the total amount of data transmitted. Transmission of the associated signalling data would use a great deal of uplink and downlink radio resource and also consume valuable network processing capacity. If significant numbers of MTC devices were deployed, this could well reduce the network resources available for other users of the network and thus result in a reduction in the available quality of service. Moreover, data delivery for many MTC applications is not time critical (i.e. delays in the transmission of MTC data can be tolerated). On the other hand, many other applications do involve time critical data delivery such as voice calls or video streaming. Thus network resource could well be consumed transmitting non-time critical data from MTC devices at the expense of time critical data transmission by other users.

"Accordingly, it is desirable to provide a technique that allows an MTC type network to be integrated with a conventional fourth generation mobile telecommunication network without having a substantially adverse effect on the quality of service available to non-MTC devices in the network."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In accordance with a first aspect of the invention there is provided a telecommunications system for communicating data to and from one or more terminals and a network. The system comprises one or more transmitters operable to transmit a first carrier over a first frequency bandwidth and to transmit a second carrier over a second frequency bandwidth. During a first time period the one or more transmitters are operable to transmit data receivable by a first class of terminal on the first carrier and to transmit data receivable by a second class of terminal on the second carrier. During a second time period outside the first time period, the one or more transmitters are operable to transmit data to the second class of terminal on the first and second carriers in combination. A transmission format for data on the first carrier in the first time period is incompatible with a transmission format for data on the second carrier during the first time period, and the one or more transmitters are operable to transmit control data on the first carrier in the first time period which is receivable by the second class of terminal to enable the second class of terminal to maintain synchronisation with the first carrier during the first time period.

"In fourth generation mobile telecommunication networks, such as those based on the 3GPP defined Long Term Evolution (LTE) architecture, advanced features are provided which enhance the radio interface between base stations and mobile terminals (i.e. terminal devices) operating in the network. In LTE, an example of such a feature is carrier aggregation. When carrier aggregation functionality is enabled in an LTE network, during normal operation data is communicated to and from a mobile terminal using a conventional primary carrier. However, if a need arises to increase the bandwidth available to a mobile terminal, for example to transmit an unusually large amount of data to the mobile terminal over a short period of time, an additional carrier can be allocated for communicating data to that mobile terminal. This additional carrier is 'aggregated' with the primary carrier, temporarily increasing the bandwidth available for communication of data to or from the mobile terminal.

"In accordance with the present invention it has been recognised that this known carrier aggregation technique can be exploited to advantageously integrate an MTC type network into a conventional LTE type network.

"In accordance with the present invention, the additional carrier that is used to implement carrier aggregation in an LTE network can be time multiplexed between use for the transmission of LTE data using carrier aggregation (i.e. being aggregated with the main carrier when the need arises in the LTE network) and for the transmission of MTC type data in an MTC type network. Thus, during a first time period in which the MTC type data is transmitted on the additional carrier, the transmission format of the user data transmitted on the additional carrier may be different to (i.e. incompatible with) the user data transmitted on the primary carrier. Alternatively or additionally the transmission format of the allocation signalling (PDCCH (Physical Downlink Control Channel) in the case of LTE) used for MTC type data may be different to the transmission format of the allocation signalling used for LTE data. However, during periods outside of the first time period (i.e. when both the primary carrier and the additional carrier are used for LTE data), the transmission format of the user data or allocation signalling will be the same (i.e. compatible) on both carriers.

"This technique allows MTC type mobile terminals to communicate data using a carrier resource from a conventional LTE network (i.e. the additional carrier otherwise used for carrier aggregation) whilst reducing the likelihood of MTC mobile terminals reducing the quality of service available to the LTE mobile terminals by consuming a disproportionate amount of network resource. This is because the additional carrier is used for the transmission of MTC type data thereby ensuring that the primary carrier is always available for the transmission of LTE data.

"Moreover, the additional carrier when being used to transmit MTC type data (i.e. the first time period) is transmitted with control data that ensures that LTE mobile terminals (i.e. devices of the second class) are able to stay synchronised with the additional carrier (the first carrier). In this way it remains 'transparent' to conventional LTE mobile terminals that the additional carrier is being used for the transmission of MTC type data rather than carrier aggregation because the LTE mobile terminals are able to continue to monitor the additional carrier at all times. Advantageously, the only impact on conventional LTE mobile terminals during periods in which the additional carrier is used for the transmission of MTC type data is a temporary inability to be scheduled with resources on an additional (aggregated) carrier. As the use of carrier aggregation is typically determined by a scheduler in an eNode B, based upon measurements provided by the user terminal, scheduler rules and so on, this does not impact on the operation of the LTE mobile terminals.

"In accordance with a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of communicating data to and from one or more mobile terminals on a first carrier transmitted over a first frequency bandwidth and a second carrier transmitted over a second frequency bandwidth. The method comprises during a first time period transmitting data receivable by a first class of terminal on the first carrier and transmitting data receivable by a second class of terminal on the second carrier and during a second time period outside the first time period transmitting data to the second class of terminal on the first and second carriers in combination. A transmission format for data on the first carrier in the first time period is incompatible with a transmission format for data on the second carrier during the first time period. Control data is transmitted on the first carrier in the first time period which is receivable by the second class of terminal to enable the second class of terminal to maintain synchronisation with the first carrier during the first time period.

"In accordance with a third aspect of the invention, there is provided a base station for communicating data to and from one or more terminals and a network in a telecommunications system in which a first carrier is transmitted over a first frequency bandwidth and a second carrier is transmitted over a second frequency bandwidth. The base station comprises a transmitter operable to transmit at least the first carrier over the first frequency bandwidth. During a first time period the transmitter is operable to transmit data receivable by a first class of terminal on the first carrier. A transmission format for data on the first carrier in the first time period is incompatible with a transmission format for data on the second carrier during the first time period and the transmitter is operable to transmit control data on the first carrier in the first time period which is receivable by a second class of terminal to enable the second class of terminal to maintain synchronisation with the first carrier during the first time period.

"In accordance with a fourth aspect of the invention there is provided a terminal device for use in a telecommunications system in which a first carrier is transmitted over a first frequency bandwidth and a second carrier is transmitted over a second frequency bandwidth. During a first time period the terminal device is operable to receive data on the first carrier. A transmission format for data on the first carrier in the first time period is incompatible with a transmission format for data on the second carrier during the first time period. The terminal device belongs to a first class of terminal device and control data on the first carrier in the first time period is receivable by a second class of terminal device different to the first class of terminal device to enable the terminals devices of the second class to maintain synchronisation with the first carrier during the first time period.

"Various further aspects and embodiments of the invention are defined in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

"Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings where like parts are provided with corresponding reference numerals and in which:

"FIG. 1 provides a schematic diagram illustrating an example of a conventional Long Term Evolution (LTE) based mobile telecommunication network;

"FIG. 2 provides a schematic diagram illustrating frequency allocation when using a carrier aggregation technique;

"FIG. 3 provides a schematic diagram illustrating a dedicated messaging network;

"FIG. 4 provides a schematic diagram illustrating a system arranged in accordance with an example of the present invention;

"FIG. 5 provides a schematic diagram illustrating the use of two carriers with respect to time in accordance with an example of the present invention;

"FIG. 6a provides a schematic diagram illustrating a distribution of reference symbols and a synchronisation signal in a conventional LTE downlink sub-frame;

"FIG. 6b provides a schematic diagram illustrating a signal transmitted on a carrier during a period in which data from a dedicated messaging network is transmitted in accordance with an example of the present invention, and

"FIG. 7 provides a schematic diagram of a terminal arranged in accordance with an example of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Darwood, Peter; Beale, Martin. Telecommunications System, Apparatus and Method for Communicating to a First and a Second Class of Terminals Using a First And/Or a Second Carrier. Filed July 13, 2012 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3943&p=79&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140731.PD.&OS=PD/20140731&RS=PD/20140731

Keywords for this news article include: Telecommunications, Sca Ipla Holdings Inc..

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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