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Introduction to WCDMA: Physical Channels, Logical Channels, Network, and Operation

Radio Signaling Protocols


Signaling is a process of transferring control information such as address, call supervision, or other connection information between communication equipment and other equipment or systems.

The WCDMA system was designed to use multiple protocols that can be divided into processing layers. Each layer in the protocol performs specific functions and each layer may use one or more protocols. The use of layers allows for the addition of functions and modification of protocols without requiring significant changes to the system.

Different parts of the UMTS system such as the radio interface, radio access network, and intersystem communication use different protocols and protocol layers. The WCDMA radio interface system protocol layers include radio resource control (RRC), radio link control (RLC), medium access control (MAC) layer, and physical layer.

Radio Resource Control (RRC)

The radio resource control (RRC) is a layer 3 (network) protocol that controls the setup, management, and termination of physical and logical channels between the base station and the mobile device. It oversees the signaling on the common control and dedicated control channels. RRC signaling messages are also used to provide for channel quality measurements that are used for channel handovers.

Packet Data Convergence Protocol (PDCP)

The packet data convergence protocol (PDCP) coordinates the efficient transfer and control of packet data transmission. The main functions of PDCP include compression of the headers during packet transmission over the radio channel (remove redundant packet header information) and to ensure reliable packet transfer (sequentially numbering and verifying packet delivery.)

Broadcast and Multicast...


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