Applying Packet Techniques to Cellular Radio

N. F. Maxemchuk


The number of cellular network users is increasing. The telephone network is changing from a circuit switched network to a packet switched network. The proper application of packet technology to cellular networks can both solve the problems of increased demand and position cellular technology to intercept the migration of telephony. The evolving digital cellular standard is more than a decade old and does not address the current concerns.

In order to accommodate more mobile network users in the same bandwidth, the cell size must decrease. Smaller cell sizes increase the number of hand offs between cells and the probability of encountering a cell with more users than the bandwidth can accommodate. The packet techniques that I will describe, reduce the work that is performed in a hand off, reduce the probability of losing a connection in an over populated cell, and increase the reliability of the network.

A combination of packet techniques must be used. The mobile network is partitioned into a wired and wireless segment, different packet techniques are used for the inbound and outbound traffic on each of these segments, and a fifth technique is used for the control channel. The unique characteristics of the cellular network lead to a modified random access protocol on the inbound, wireless segment of the network. The modified protocol provides quality of service guarantees for voice and up to eight times as many connections as a direct application of the earlier techniques.