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From GSM to LTE‐Advanced Pro and 5G

An Introduction to Mobile Networks and Mobile Broadband



Third Edition


Martin Sauter
















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Wireless technologies like GSM, UMTS, LTE, Wireless LAN and Bluetooth have revolutionized the way we communicate by making services like telephony and Internet access available anytime and from almost anywhere. Today, a great variety of technical publications offer background information about these technologies but they all fall short in one way or another. Books covering these technologies usually describe only one of the systems in detail and are generally too complex as a first introduction. The Internet is also a good source, but the articles one finds are usually too short and superficial or only deal with a specific mechanism of one of the systems. For this reason, it was difficult for me to recommend a single publication to students in my telecommunication classes, which I have been teaching in addition to my work in the wireless telecommunication industry. This book aims to change this.

Each of the seven chapters in this book gives a detailed introduction to and overview of one of the wireless systems mentioned above and how it has been deployed in practice. Special emphasis has also been put on explaining the thoughts and reasoning behind the development of each system. For readers who want to test their understanding of a system, each chapter concludes with a list of questions. For further investigation, all chapters contain references to the relevant standards and other documents. These provide ideal additional sources to find out more about a specific system or topic. In addition a companion website with further background information and the latest news is available at

Since the previous edition of the book was published in 2014, mobile networks have again evolved significantly. As this book focuses on being a guide to how network technology is being used in the field today, the current edition has been significantly updated.

Most innovations in recent years have focused on Long‐Term Evolution (LTE). As a consequence, the chapter on LTE was extensively enhanced and extended. Major new and updated topics include a description of the different implementations of LTE Carrier Aggregation (CA) in today’s networks, mobility management, cell reselection and handover procedures in practice, additional information on the TD‐LTE air interface, IPv6 in mobile networks, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Narrow‐Band Internet of Things (NB‐IoT). At the end of the chapter an introduction is given to the current development status of 5G radio and core networks in 3GPP.

After many years, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) has finally become a reality in practice and hence this topic was significantly extended and has been moved to a separate chapter. Additional information has been added on the VoLTE call establishment process, dedicated bearer setup, header compression, speech codec and bandwidth negotiation, supplementary service configuration and VoLTE emergency calls. In addition, the chapter now also includes details on Voice over Wifi (VoWifi) and an introduction to next generation public safety networks (Mission Critical Communication) over LTE.

In the chapter on Wi‐Fi, additional sections have been added on the use of WPA2‐Professional with certificates for authentication in large deployments such as the global Eduroam network and the new WLAN 60 GHz air interface (802.11ad). In the Bluetooth chapter a description of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has been added.

While working on the book, I have gained tremendous benefit from wireless technologies that are available today. Whether at home or while traveling, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, UMTS and LTE have provided reliable connectivity for my research and have allowed me to communicate with friends and loved ones at any time, from anywhere. In a way, the book is a child of the technologies it describes.

Many people have been involved in revising the different chapters and have given invaluable suggestions on content, style and grammar. I would therefore like to thank Prashant John, Timothy Longman, Tim Smith, Peter van den Broek, Prem Jayaraj, Kevin Wriston, Greg Beyer, Ed Illidge, Debby Maxwell and John Edwards for their kind help and good advice.

Furthermore, my sincere thanks go to Berenike, who has stood by me during this project with her love, friendship and good advice.

Cologne, January 2017
Martin Sauter