4G/LTE - Basic Call Processing  




Overall Comparision with WCDMA

Even though overall sequence is pretty similar to WCDMA sequence, there are a couple of different points comparing to WCDMA sequence.

First point you have to look at is that in LTE 'RACH Preamble' is sent as a part of MAC Layer process. As you know RACH process was there in WCDMA, but in WCDMA it was a part of Physical layer process.

Another part I notice is that RRC Connection Setup Complete and Attach Request is carried in a single step. This is only one example. In LTE, many of NAS Message is piggybacked on RRC Messages. This would make message decoding/encoding process complicated but it would be efficient to reduce the number of message exchange between UE and eNodeB.

These are the differences you can notice just by looking at the message type, there are more differences you will find when you go into the information elements of each messages as you will see in following sections.

Next thing you will notice would be that there are much less SIBs being transmitted in LTE comparting to WCDMA. Of course there are more SIBs not being transmitted in this sequence (LTE has 10 SIBs in total), but with only these two SIBs it can transmit all the information to let UE camp on the network. In WCDMA there are a total 18 SIBs and in most case we used at least SIB1,3,5,7,11 even in very basic configurations. And some of the WCDMA SIBs like SIB5 and 11 has multipe segments. In LTE, number of SIB is small and none of them are segmented.