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Requirements for LTE

The following target requirements were agreed upon by operators and vendors to define the evolution of 3G networks :

Peak data rate

  • Instantaneous downlink peak data rate of 100 Mbps within a 20 MHz downlink spectrum allocation (5 bps/Hz)
  • Instantaneous uplink peak data rate of 50 Mbps (2.5 bps/Hz) within a 20MHz uplink spectrum allocation

Control-plane latency

  • Transition time of less than 100 ms from a camped state, such as Release 6 Idle Mode, to an active state such as Release 6 CELL_DCH
  • Transition time of less than 50 ms between a dormant state such as Release 6 CELL_PCH and an active state such as Release 6 CELL_DCH

Control-plane capacity

  • At least 200 users per cell should be supported in the active state for spectrum allocations up to 5 MHz

User-plane latency

  • Less than 5 ms in unload condition (i.e., single user with single data stream) for small IP packet

User throughput

  • Downlink: average user throughput per MHz, 3 to 4 times Release 6 HSDPA
  • Uplink: average user throughput per MHz, 2 to 3 times Release 6 Enhanced Uplink

Spectrum efficiency

  • Downlink: In a loaded network, target for spectrum efficiency (bits/sec/Hz/site), 3 to 4 times Release 6 HSDPA
  • Uplink: In a loaded network, target for spectrum efficiency (bits/sec/Hz/site), 2 to 3 times Release 6 Enhanced Uplink


  • E-UTRAN should be optimized for low mobile speed from 0 to 15 km/h
  • Higher mobile speed between 15 and 120 km/h should be supported with high performance
  • Mobility across the cellular network shall be maintained at speeds from 120 km/h to 350 km/h (or even up to 500 km/h depending on the frequency band)


  • Throughput, spectrum efficiency and mobility targets above should be met for 5 km cells, and with a slight degradation for 30 km cells. Cells range up to 100 km should not be precluded.

Further Enhanced Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS)

  • While reducing terminal complexity: same modulation, coding, multiple access approaches and UE bandwidth than for unicast operation.
  • Provision of simultaneous dedicated voice and MBMS services to the user.
  • Available for paired and unpaired spectrum arrangements.

Spectrum flexibility

  • E-UTRA shall operate in spectrum allocations of different sizes, including 1.25 MHz, 1.6 MHz, 2.5 MHz, 5 MHz, 10 MHz, 15 MHz and 20 MHz in both the uplink and downlink. Operation in paired and unpaired spectrum shall be supported
  • The system shall be able to support content delivery over an aggregation of resources including Radio Band Resources (as well as power, adaptive scheduling, etc) in the same and different bands, in both uplink and downlink and in both adjacent and non-adjacent channel arrangements. A "Radio Band Resource" is defined as all spectrum available to an operator

Co-existence and Inter-working with 3GPP Radio Access Technology (RAT)

  • Co-existence in the same geographical area and co-location with GERAN/UTRAN on adjacent channels.
  • E-UTRAN terminals supporting also UTRAN and/or GERAN operation should be able to support measurement of, and handover from and to, both 3GPP UTRAN and 3GPP GERAN.
  • The interruption time during a handover of real-time services between E-UTRAN and UTRAN (or GERAN) should be less than 300 msec.

Architecture and migration

  • Single E-UTRAN architecture
  • The E-UTRAN architecture shall be packet based, although provision should be made to support systems supporting real-time and conversational class traffic
  • E-UTRAN architecture shall minimize the presence of "single points of failure"
  • E-UTRAN architecture shall support an end-to-end QoS
  • Backhaul communication protocols should be optimized

Radio Resource Management requirements

  • Enhanced support for end to end QoS
  • Efficient support for transmission of higher layers
  • Support of load sharing and policy management across different Radio Access Technologies


  • Minimize the number of options
  • No redundant mandatory features

Significantly higher data rates (50-100Mbps) and faster connection times are perhaps the most remarkable requirements relative to 3G/3.5G. In order to achieve these high data rate, 3GPP decided to use OFDMA combined with MIMO as a basis for the radio access technology. LTE also introduces scheduling for shared channel data, HARQ and AMC (Adaptive Modulation and Coding).

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