Long Term Evolution Protocol Overview

Long term evolution (LTE) is the next step forward in cellular 3G services. LTE technology is a based on a 3GPP standard that provides for a downlink speed of up to 150 megabits per second (Mbps) and an uplink speed of up to 50 Mbps. Fixed wireless and wired standards are already approaching or achieving 100 Mbps or faster, and LTE is a way for cellular communications to operate at that high data rate.

This paper provides an introduction to how the LTE protocol stack operates. Because the final 3GPP specification will cover tens of thousands of pages, this paper touches only on the highest levels of protocol operation. The paper discusses the history and application requirements that determine the functions and priorities of LTE, examines the
protocol stack in terms of the time domain and in terms of information moving through the stack, and finally discusses
more specialized aspects of the standard such as scheduling and quality of service, management and control functions,
handovers and power save operation.