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Publication numberUS20060040655 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/202,666
Publication dateFeb 23, 2006
Filing dateAug 11, 2005
Priority dateAug 12, 2004
Also published asCN1998164A, CN101015141A, CN101015141B, EP1776780A1, EP1776780A4, EP1776782A1, EP1776782A4, US7535882, US20060034205, WO2006031019A1, WO2006031020A1
Publication number11202666, 202666, US 2006/0040655 A1, US 2006/040655 A1, US 20060040655 A1, US 20060040655A1, US 2006040655 A1, US 2006040655A1, US-A1-20060040655, US-A1-2006040655, US2006/0040655A1, US2006/040655A1, US20060040655 A1, US20060040655A1, US2006040655 A1, US2006040655A1
InventorsMyeong-cheol Kim
Original AssigneeLg Electronics Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Timing of point-to-multipoint control channel information
US 20060040655 A1
Abstract
The present invention is directed to notifying a mobile terminal, on a control channel MCCH and an indication channel MICH during a modification period, the presence of control information on the control channel MCCH during a subsequent modification period. Specifically, the mobile terminal subscribes to at least one point-to-multipoint service, receives first point-to-multipoint control information related to a first point-to-multipoint service on a point-to-multipoint control channel during a first modification period, and receives notification information on the point-to-multipoint control during the first modification period for indicating the presence of second point-to-multipoint control information related to a second point-to-multipoint service during a second modification period.
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Claims(25)
1. A method for receiving a point-to-multipoint service in a wireless communication system, the method comprising:
subscribing to at least one point-to-multipoint service;
receiving first point-to-multipoint control information related to a first point-to-multipoint service on a point-to-multipoint control channel during a first modification period; and
receiving notification information on the point-to-multipoint control channel during the first modification period for indicating the presence of second point-to-multipoint control information related to a second point-to-multipoint service during a second modification period.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the point-to-multipoint control channel is not a point-to-multipoint indication channel.
3. The method of claim 1, further comprising receiving the notification information on a point-to-multipoint indication channel during the first modification period.
4. The method of claim 1, further comprising receiving the second point-to-multipoint control information on the point-to-multipoint control channel during the second modification period.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the second modification period is immediately subsequent to the first modification period.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the point-to-multipoint service is an MBMS service.
7. The method of claim 3, wherein the point-to-multipoint indication channel is MICH.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein the point-to-multipoint control channel is MCCH.
9. The method of claim 1, wherein the notification information received on the point-to-multipoint control channel comprises an information element that indicates whether a mobile terminal should continue reading the point-to-multipoint control channel during the second modification period.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the information element is a CONTINUE MCCH READING information element.
11. The method of claim 9, wherein the information element is contained in a message transmitted periodically by a network to inform at least one mobile terminal about a change applicable to at least one point-to-multipoint service available in a current cell or neighboring cell.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the message is a MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION message.
13. A method for transmitting a point-to-multipoint service in a wireless communication system, the method comprising:
transmitting first point-to-multipoint control information related to a first point-to-multipoint service on a point-to-multipoint control channel during a first modification period; and
transmitting notification information on the point-to-multipoint control channel during the first modification period for indicating the presence of second point-to-multipoint control information related to a second point-to-multipoint service during a second modification period.
14. The method of claim 1, wherein the point-to-multipoint control channel is not a point-to-multipoint indication channel.
15. The method of claim 13, further comprising transmitting the notification information on a point-to-multipoint indication channel during the first modification period.
16. The method of claim 13, further comprising transmitting the second point-to-multipoint control information on the point-to-multipoint control channel during the second modification period.
17. The method of claim 13, wherein the second modification period is immediately subsequent to the first modification period.
18. The method of claim 13, wherein the point-to-multipoint service is an MBMS service.
19. The method of claim 15, wherein the point-to-multipoint indication channel is MICH.
20. The method of claim 13, wherein the point-to-multipoint control channel is MCCH.
21. The method of claim 13, wherein the notification information transmitted on the point-to-multipoint control channel comprises an information element that indicates whether a mobile terminal should continue reading the point-to-multipoint control channel during the second modification period.
22. The method of claim 21, wherein the information element is a CONTINUE MCCH READING information element.
23. The method of claim 21, wherein the information element is contained in a message transmitted periodically by a network to inform at least one mobile terminal about a change applicable to at least one point-to-multipoint service available in a current cell or neighboring cell.
24. The method of claim 23, wherein the message is a MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION message.
25. The method of claim 13, wherein the notification information is transmitted periodically on the point-to-multipoint control channel during the entire first modification period.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 119(e), this application claims the benefit of earlier filing date and right of priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/601,267, filed on Aug. 12, 2004, the contents of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to indicating to a mobile terminal the presence of control information, and more particularly, to notifying a mobile terminal, on a control channel and an indication channel during a modification period, the presence of control information on the control channel during a subsequent modification period.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Recently, mobile communication systems have developed remarkably, but for high capacity data communication services, the performance of mobile communication systems cannot match that of existing wired communication systems. Accordingly, technical developments for IMT-2000, which is a communication system allowing high capacity data communications, are being made and standardization of such technology is being actively pursued among various companies and organizations.

A universal mobile telecommunication system (UMTS) is a third generation mobile communication system that has evolved from a European standard known as Global System for Mobile communications (GSM). The UMTS aims to provide improved mobile communication service based on a GSM core network and wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA) wireless connection technology.

In December 1998, ETSI of Europe, ARIB/TTC of Japan, T1 of the United States, and TTA of Korea formed a Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for creating the detailed specifications of the UMTS technology.

Within the 3GPP, in order to achieve rapid and efficient technical development of the UMTS, five technical specification groups (TSG) have been created for performing the standardization of the UMTS by considering the independent nature of the network elements and their operations.

Each TSG develops, approves, and manages the standard specification within a related region. Among these groups, the radio access network (RAN) group (TSG-RAN) develops the standards for the functions, requirements, and interface of the UMTS terrestrial radio access network (UTRAN), which is a new radio access network for supporting W-CDMA access technology in the UMTS.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary basic structure of a general UMTS network. As shown in FIG. 1, the UMTS is roughly divided into a mobile terminal (or user equipment: UE) 10, a UTRAN 100, and a core network (CN) 200.

The UTRAN 100 includes one or more radio network sub-systems (RNS) 110, 120. Each RNS 110, 120 includes a radio network controller (RNC) 111, and a plurality of base stations or Node-Bs 112, 113 managed by the RNC 111. The RNC 111 handles the assigning and managing of radio resources, and operates as an access point with respect to the core network 200.

The Node-Bs 112, 113 receive information sent by the physical layer of the terminal through an uplink, and transmit data to the terminal through a downlink. The Node-Bs 112, 113, thus, operate as access points of the UTRAN 100 for the terminal. Each NodeB controls one or several cells, where a cell covers a given geographical area on a given frequency. Each RNC is connected via the lu interface to the CN, i.e. towards the MSC (Mobile-services Switching Centre) entity of the CN and the SGSN (Serving GPRS Support Node) entity. RNCs can be connected to other RNCs via the lur interface. The RNC handles the assignment and management of radio resources and operates as an access point with respect to the core network.

The NodeBs receive information sent by the physical layer of the terminal through an uplink and transmit data to the terminal through a downlink. The NodeBs operate as access points of the UTRAN for the terminal. The SGSN is connected via the Gf interface to the EIR (Equipment Identity Register), via the GS interface to the MSC, via the GN interface to the GGSN (Gateway GPRS Support Node) and via the GR interface to the HSS (Home Subscriber Server). The EIR hosts lists of mobile terminals which are allowed or are not allowed to be used on the network. The MSC, which controls the connection for CS services is connected via the NB interface towards the MGW (Media Gateway), via the F interface towards the EIR, and via the D interface towards the HSS. The MGW is connected via the C interface towards the HSS, and to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), and allows to adapt the codecs between the PSTN and the connected RAN.

The GGSN is connected via the GC interface to the HSS, and via the GI interface to the Internet. The GGSN is responsible for routing, charging and separation of data flows into different RABs. The HSS handles the subscription data of the users.

A primary function of the UTRAN 100 is forming and maintaining a radio access bearer (RAB) to allow communication between the terminal and the core network 200. The core network 200 applies end-to-end quality of service (QoS) requirements to the RAB, and the RAB supports the QoS requirements set by the core network 200. As the UTRAN 100 forms and maintains the RAB, the QoS requirements of end-to-end are satisfied. The RAB service can be further divided into an lu bearer service and a radio bearer service. The lu bearer service supports a reliable transmission of user data between boundary nodes of the UTRAN 100 and the core network 200.

The core network 200 includes a mobile switching center (MSC) 210 and a gateway mobile switching center (GMSC) 220 connected together for supporting a circuit switched (CS) service, and a serving GPRS support node (SGSN) 230 and a gateway GPRS support node 240 connected together for supporting a packet switched (PS) service.

The services provided to a specific terminal are roughly divided into the circuit switched (CS) services and the packet switched (PS) services. For example, a general voice conversation service is a circuit switched service, while a Web browsing service via an Internet connection is classified as a packet switched (PS) service.

For supporting circuit switched services, the RNCs 111 are connected to the MSC 210 of the core network 200, and the MSC 210 is connected to the GMSC 220 that manages the connection with other networks.

For supporting packet switched services, the RNCs 111 are connected to the SGSN 230 and the GGSN 240 of the core network 200. The SGSN 230 supports the packet communications going toward the RNCs 111, and the GGSN 240 manages the connection with other packet switched networks, such as the Internet.

Various types of interfaces exist between network components to allow the network components to transmit and receive information to and from each other for mutual communication therebetween. An interface between the RNC 111 and the core network 200 is defined as an lu interface. In particular, the lu interface between the RNCs 111 and the core network 200 for packet switched systems is defined as “lu-PS,” and the lu interface between the RNCs 111 and the core network 200 for circuit switched systems is defined as “lu-CS.”

FIG. 2 illustrates a structure of a radio interface protocol between the terminal and the UTRAN according to the 3GPP radio access network standards.

As shown in FIG. 2, the radio interface protocol has horizontal layers comprising a physical layer, a data link layer, and a network layer, and has vertical planes comprising a user plane (U-plane) for transmitting user data and a control plane (C-plane) for transmitting control information.

The user plane is a region that handles traffic information of the user, such as voice or Internet protocol (IP) packets, while the control plane is a region that handles control information for an interface of a network, maintenance and management of a call, and the like.

The protocol layers in FIG. 2 can be divided into a first layer (L1), a second layer (L2), and a third layer (L3) based on three lower layers of an open system interconnection (OSI) standard model. Each layer will be described in more detail as follows.

The first layer (L1), namely, the physical layer, provides an information transfer service to an upper layer by using various radio transmission techniques. The physical layer is connected to an upper layer called a medium access control (MAC) layer, via a transport channel. The MAC layer and the physical layer send and receive data with one another via the transport channel.

The second layer (L2) includes a MAC layer, a radio link control (RLC) layer, a broadcast/multicast control (BMC) layer, and a packet data convergence protocol (PDCP) layer.

The MAC layer provides an allocation service of the MAC parameters for allocation and re-allocation of radio resources. The MAC layer is connected to an upper layer called the radio link control (RLC) layer, via a logical channel.

Various logical channels are provided according to the kind of transmitted information. In general, when information of the control plane is transmitted, a control channel is used. When information of the user plane is transmitted, a traffic channel is used. A logical channel may be a common channel or a dedicated channel depending on whether the logical channel is shared. Logical channels include a dedicated traffic channel (DTCH), a dedicated control channel (DCCH), a common traffic channel (CTCH), a common control channel (CCCH), a broadcast control channel (BCCH) and a paging control channel (PCCH) or a Shared Channel Control Channel (SHCCH). The BCCH provides information including information utilized by a terminal to access a system. The PCCH is used by the UTRAN to access a terminal.

A Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS or “MBMS service”) refers to a method of providing streaming or background services to a plurality of UEs using a downlink-dedicated MBMS radio bearer that utilizes at least one of point-to-multipoint and point-to-point radio bearer. One MBMS service includes one or more sessions and MBMS data is transmitted to the plurality of terminals through the MBMS radio bearer only while the session is ongoing.

As the name implies, an MBMS may be carried out in a broadcast mode or a multicast mode. The broadcast mode is for transmitting multimedia data to all UEs within a broadcast area, for example the domain where the broadcast is available. The multicast mode is for transmitting multimedia data to a specific UE group within a multicast area, for example the domain where the multicast service is available.

For purposes of MBMS, additional traffic and control channels exist. For example, an MCCH (MBMS point-to-multipoint Control Channel) is used for transmitting MBMS control information while an MTCH (MBMS point-to-multipoint Traffic Channel) is used for transmitting MBMS service data.

The different logical channels that exist are listed below:

The MAC layer is connected to the physical layer by transport channels and can be divided into a MAC-b sub-layer, a MAC-d sub-layer, a MAC-c/sh sub-layer, and a MAC-hs sub-layer according to the type of transport channel to be managed.

The MAC-b sub-layer manages a BCH (Broadcast Channel), which is a transport channel handling the broadcasting of system information. The MAC-d sub-layer manages a dedicated channel (DCH), which is a dedicated transport channel for a specific terminal. Accordingly, the MAC-d sub-layer of the UTRAN is located in a serving radio network controller (SRNC) that manages a corresponding terminal, and one MAC-d sub-layer also exists within each terminal (UE).

The MAC-c/sh sub-layer manages a common transport channel, such as a forward access channel (FACH) or a downlink shared channel (DSCH), which is shared by a plurality of terminals, or in the uplink the Radio Access Channel (RACH). In the UTRAN, the MAC-c/sh sub-layer is located in a controlling radio network controller (CRNC). As the MAC-c/sh sub-layer manages the channel being shared by all terminals within a cell region, a single MAC-c/sh sub-layer exists for each cell region. Also, one MAC-c/sh sublayer exists in each terminal (UE). Referring to FIG. 3, possible mapping between the logical channels and the transport channels from a UE perspective is shown. Referring to FIG. 4, possible mapping between the logical channels and the transport channels from a UTRAN perspective is shown.

The RLC layer supports reliable data transmissions, and performs a segmentation and concatenation function on a plurality of RLC service data units (RLC SDUs) delivered from an upper layer. When the RLC layer receives the RLC SDUs from the upper layer, the RLC layer adjusts the size of each RLC SDU in an appropriate manner upon considering processing capacity, and then creates certain data units with header information added thereto. The created data units are called protocol data units (PDUs), which are then transferred to the MAC layer via a logical channel. The RLC layer includes a RLC buffer for storing the RLC SDUs and/or the RLC PDUs.

The BMC layer schedules a cell broadcast message (referred to as a ‘CB message’, hereinafter) received from the core network, and broadcasts the CB messages to terminals located in a specific cell(s). The BMC layer of the UTRAN generates a broadcast/multicast control (BMC) message by adding information, such as a message ID (identification), a serial number, and a coding scheme to the CB message received from the upper layer, and transfers the BMC message to the RLC layer. The BMC messages are transferred from the RLC layer to the MAC layer through a logical channel, i.e., the CTCH (Common Traffic Channel). The CTCH is mapped to a transport channel, i.e., a FACH, which is mapped to a physical channel, i.e., a S-CCPCH (Secondary Common Control Physical Channel).

The PDCP (Packet Data Convergence Protocol) layer, as a higher layer of the RLC layer, allows the data transmitted through a network protocol, such as an IPv4 or IPv6, to be effectively transmitted on a radio interface with a relatively small bandwidth. To achieve this, the PDCP layer reduces unnecessary control information used in a wired network, a function called header compression.

A radio resource control (RRC) layer is located at a lowermost portion of the L3 layer. The RRC layer is defined only in the control plane, and handles the control of logical channels, transport channels, and physical channels with respect to setup, reconfiguration, and release or cancellation of radio bearers (RBs). The radio bearer service refers to a service provided by the second layer (L2) for data transmission between the terminal and the UTRAN. In general, the setup of the radio bearer refers to the process of defining the characteristics of a protocol layer and a channel required for providing a specific data service, as well as respectively setting detailed parameters and operation methods.

The RLC layer can belong to the user plane or to the control plane depending upon the type of layer connected at the upper layer of the RLC layer. That is, if the RLC layer receives data from the RRC layer, the RLC layer belongs to the control plane. Otherwise, the RLC layer belongs to the user plane.

The different possibilities that exist for the mapping between the radio bearers and the transport channels are not always possible. The UE/UTRAN deduces the possible mapping depending on the UE state and the procedure that the UE/UTRAN is executing. The different states and modes are explained in more detail below.

The different transport channels are mapped onto different physical channels. For example, the RACH transport channel is mapped on a given PRACH, the DCH can be mapped on the DPCH, the FACH and the PCH can be mapped on the S-CCPCH, the DSCH is mapped on the PDSCH and so on. The configuration of the physical channels is given by an RRC signaling exchange between the RNC and the UE.

The RRC mode refers to whether there exists a logical connection between the RRC of the terminal and the RRC of the UTRAN. If there is a connection, the terminal is said to be in RRC connected mode. If there is no connection, the terminal is said to be in idle mode. Because an RRC connection exists for terminals in RRC connected mode, the UTRAN can determine the existence of a particular terminal within the unit of cells, for example which cell or set of cells the RRC connected mode terminal is in, and which physical channel the UE is listening to. Thus, the terminal can be effectively controlled.

In contrast, the UTRAN cannot determine the existence of a terminal in idle mode. The existence of idle mode terminals can only be determined by the core network. Specifically, the core network can only detect the existence of idle mode terminals within a region that is larger than a cell, such as a location or a routing area. Therefore, the existence of idle mode terminals is determined within large regions. In order to receive mobile communication services such as voice or data, the idle mode terminal must move or change into the RRC connected mode. The possible transitions between modes and states are shown in FIG. 5.

A UE in RRC connected mode can be in different states, such as a CELL_FACH state, a CELL_PCH state, a CELL_DCH state or a URA_PCH state. Depending on the states, the UE listens to different channels. For example a UE in CELL_DCH state will try to listen (amongst others) to DCH type of transport channels, which comprises DTCH and DCCH transport channels, and which can be mapped to a certain DPCH. The UE in CELL_FACH state will listen to several FACH transport channels which are mapped to a certain S-CCPCH physical channel. The UE in PCH state will listen to the PICH channel and to the PCH channel, which is mapped to a certain S-CCPCH physical channel.

The UE also carries out different actions depending on the state. For example, based on different conditions, a UE in CELL_FACH will start a CELL Update procedure each time the UE changes from the coverage of one cell into the coverage of another cell. The UE starts the CELL Update procedure by sending to the NodeB a Cell Update message to indicate that the UE has changed its location. The UE will then start listening to the FACH. This procedure is additionally used when the UE comes from any other state to CELL_FACH state and the UE has no C-RNTI available, such as when the UE comes from the CELL_PCH state or CELL_DCH state, or when the UE in CELL_FACH state was out of coverage.

In the CELL_DCH state, the UE is granted dedicated radio resources, and may additionally use shared radio resources. This allows the UE to have a high data rate and efficient data exchange. However, the radio resources are limited. It is the responsibility of the UTRAN to allocate the radio resources amongst the UEs such that they are efficiently used and ensure that the different UEs obtain the quality of service required.

A UE in CELL_FACH state has no dedicated radio resources attributed, and can only communicate with the UTRAN via shared channels. Thus, the UE consumes few radio resources. However, the data rate available is very limited. Also, the UE needs to permanently monitor the shared channels. Thus, UE battery consumption is increased in the case where the UE is not transmitting.

A UE in CELL_PCH/URA_PCH state only monitors the paging channel at dedicated occasions, and therefore minimizes the battery consumption. However, if the network wishes to access the UE, it must first indicate this desire on the paging occasion. The network may then access the UE, but only if the UE has replied to the paging. Furthermore, the UE can only access the network after performing a Cell Update procedure which introduces additional delays when the UE wants to send data to the UTRAN.

Generally, a UE in CELL_DCH state simultaneously exchanges data with different cells of NodeBs using a DPCCH (Dedicated Physical Control Channel). The different cells the UE is connected to, i.e., the cells to which the UE transmits to or receives from the DPCCH channel may belong to the same or different NodeBs. The different NodeBs may be connected to one RNC or to different RNCs. When a UE exchanges data with a cell in CELL_DCH state, the UE is said to have a radio link towards a cell. When the UE has radio links to several NodeBs, the UE is said to be in “soft handover”. When the UE has radio links to several cells on the same NodeB, the UE is said to be in “softer handover”. The set of all radio links the UE Uses is called the “active set” of the UE. The UE may receive information on the neighboring cells via signaling messages to evaluate cell quality and report this information to the RNC. The RNC may then use this information to update the list of cells in the active set of the UE.

Main system information is sent on the BCCH logical channel, which is mapped on the P-CCPCH (Primary Common Control Physical Channel). Specific system information blocks can be sent on the FACH channel. When the system information is sent on the FACH, the UE receives the configuration of the FACH either on the BCCH that is received on the P-CCPCH or on a dedicated channel. The P-CCPCH is sent using the same scrambling code as a P-CPICH (Primary Common Pilot Channel), which is the primary scrambling code of the cell. Each channel uses a spreading code as commonly done in WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) systems. Each code is characterized by its spreading factor (SF), which corresponds to the length of the code. For a given spreading factor, the number of orthogonal codes is equal to the length of the code. For each spreading factor, the given set of orthogonal codes, as specified in the UMTS system, are numbered from 0 to SF−1. Each code can thus be identified by giving its length (i.e. spreading factor) and the number of the code. The spreading code that is used by the P-CCPCH is always of a fixed spreading factor 256 and the number is the number 1. The UE knows about the primary scrambling code either by information sent from the network on system information of neighboring cells that the UE has read, by messages that the UE has received on the DCCH channel, or by searching for the P-CPICH, which is sent using the fixed SF 256 and the spreading code number 0, and which transmits a fixed pattern.

The system information comprises information on neighboring cells, configuration of the RACH and FACH transport channels, and the configuration of MCCH, which is a channel dedicated for MBMS service. When the UE has selected a cell (in CELL_FACH, CELL_PCH or URA_PCH state), the UE verifies that it has valid system information.

The system information is organized in SIBs (system information blocks), a MIB (Master information block) and scheduling blocks. The MIB is sent very frequently and provides timing information of the scheduling blocks and the different SIBs. For SIBs that are linked to a value tag, the MIB also contains information on the last version of a part of the SIBs. SIBs that are not linked to a value tag are linked to an expiration timer. The SIBs linked to an expiration timer become invalid and need to be reread if the time of the last reading of the SIB is larger than an expiration timer value. The SIBs linked to a value tag are only valid if they have the same value tag as a value tag broadcast in the MIB. Each block has an area scope of validity, such as a Cell, a PLMN (Public Land Mobile Network) or an equivalent PLMN, which signifies on which cells the SIB is valid. A SIB with the area scope “Cell” is valid only for the cell in which it has been read. A SIB with the area scope “PLMN” is valid in the whole PLMN. A SIB with the area scope “equivalent PLMN” is valid in the whole PLMN and equivalent PLMN.

In general, UEs read the system information when they are in idle mode, CELL_FACH state, CELL_PCH state or in URA_PCH state of the cell that they have selected, i.e., the cell that they are camping on. In the system information, the UEs receive information on the neighboring cells on the same frequency, different frequencies and different RAT (Radio access technologies). This allows the UEs to know which cells are candidates for cell reselection.

In CELL_DCH state, the UE already listens to different radio links the UE is using. Accordingly, it increases complexity for the UE to additionally read BCCH channels. Therefore, the UE generally receives information on neighboring cells in a dedicated message from the RNC, and only for some very specific functions. However, it is possible that UEs read system information sent on the P-CCPCH channel or other transport channels while in CELL_DCH state.

The 3GPP system can provide multimedia broadcast multicast service (MBMS). The 3GPP TSG SA (Service and System Aspect) defines various network elements and their functions required for supporting MBMS services. A cell broadcast service provided by the prior art is limited to a service in which text type short messages are broadcast to a certain area. The MBMS service, however, is a more advanced service that multicasts multimedia data to terminals (UEs) that have subscribed to the corresponding service in addition to broadcasting multimedia data.

The MBMS service is a downward-dedicated service that provides a streaming or background service to a plurality of terminals by using a common or dedicated downward channel. The MBMS service is divided into a broadcast mode and a multicast mode. The MBMS broadcast mode facilitates transmitting multimedia data to every user located in a broadcast area, whereas the MBMS multicast mode facilitates transmitting multimedia data to a specific user group located in a multicast area. The broadcast area signifies a broadcast service available area and the multicast area signifies a multicast service available area.

FIG. 6 illustrates a process of providing a particular MBMS service, by using the multicast mode. The procedure can be split into two types of actions, those that are transparent and those that are not transparent to the UTRAN.

The transparent actions are described in the following. A user desiring to receive the MBMS service, first needs to subscribe in order to be allowed to receive MBMS services, to receive information on MBMS services, and to join a certain set of MBMS services. A service announcement provides the terminal with a list of services to be provided and other related information. The user can then join these services. By joining, the user indicates that the user wants to receive information linked to services that the user has subscribed to and becomes part of a multicast service group. When a user is no longer interested in a given MBMS service, the user leaves the service, i.e., the user is no longer part of the multicast service group. These actions can be taken by using any means of communication, i.e., the actions may be done using SMS (Short Messaging Service), or by Internet access. These actions do not have to necessarily be done using the UMTS system.

In order to receive a service for which the user is in a multicast group the following actions that are not transparent to the UTRAN are executed. The SGSN informs the RNC about a session start. Then the RNC notifies the UEs of the multicast group that a given service has started in order to initiate reception of the given service. After having broadcast the necessary UE actions and eventually the configuration of the PtM bearers for the given service the transmission of the data starts. When the session stops, the SGSN indicates the stopped session to the RNC. The RNC in turn initiates a session stop. The transmission of the service from the SGSN means for the RNC to provide a bearer service for conveying the data of the MBMS service.

After the notification procedure, other procedures can be initiated between the UE and the RNC and the SGSN to enable data transmission, such as RRC connection establishment, connection establishment towards the PS domain, frequency layer convergence, and counting.

Reception of an MBMS service may be performed in parallel to the reception of other services, such as a voice or video call on the CS domain, SMS transfer on the CS or PS domain, data transfer on the PS domain, or any signaling related to the UTRAN or PS or CS domain.

Contrary to the multicast service, for broadcast services, as shown in FIG. 7, only the announcement of the service must be done in a transparent manner. No subscription or joining is needed. Afterwards, the actions that are transparent to the RNC are the same as for multicast services.

Referring to FIG. 8, a typical session sequence from a UTRAN perspective is illustrated. As shown, the SGSN informs the RNC about a session start (step 1). The RNC may then perform a counting procedure, which triggers some UEs to establish a connection to the PS domain (step 2). Consequently, the establishment of an RRC connection for the UEs is initiated. This allows the RNC to estimate the number of UEs in a given cell that are interested in the service. When the UE has established the PS connection, the SGSN initiates the lu linking procedure, which provides the list of multicast services the UE has joined to the RNC.

For UEs that have an RRC connection established, and which are interested in the given MBMS service but are not connected to the PS domain, the RNC sends a specific message to the UEs triggering them to establish a PS connection (step 3). When the UE has established the PS connection, the SGSN initiates the lu linking procedure, which provides the list of multicast services the UE has joined to the RNC. For UEs that are not in a CELL_DCH state, a frequency layer convergence scheme allows the RNC to trigger the UEs to change the frequency to which they listen (step 4).

Depending on the Radio Resource Management (RRM) scheme, the RNC establishes point-to-multipoint (PtM) or point-to-point (PtP) radio bearers for delivering the MBMS service (step 5 a or 5 b). The RNC delivers data received from the SGSN to the UEs that are part of the multicast group. After the transmission of the data, the SGSN informs the RNC about the end of the sessions (step 6). The RNC then releases the PtP or PtM radio bearers used for transmitting the MBMS data (step 7 a or 7 b).

Generally, for UEs in an RRC connected state, two possibilities exist. The UE will either have a connection established with the PS domain (PMM connected) or the UE will have no connection established with the PS domain (PMM idle mode). When there is no connection established with the PS domain, the UE will normally have a connection with the CS domain. Otherwise, the UE is not in an RRC connected mode.

For MBMS, two additional control channels are introduced. They are the MCCH and the MICH (MBMS Notification Indicator Channel). As explained above, the MCCH is mapped on the FACH. The MICH is a new physical channel and is used to notify users to read the MCCH channel. The MICH is designed to allow the UEs to perform a DRX (Discontinuous Reception) scheme. DRX allows the reduction of battery consumption for UEs while allowing the UEs to still be aware of any service for which a session is starting. The MICH may be used to inform the UE of a change in a frequency convergence scheme, change of a configuration of a point-to-multipoint (PtM) bearer, switch between the PtM bearer and a point-to-point (PtP) bearer, etc., which all require the MCCH to be read.

The MCCH channel periodically transmits information regarding active services, MTCH configuration, frequency convergence, etc. The UE reads the MCCH information to receive the subscribed services based on different triggers. For example, the UE may be triggered after cell selection/reselection, when the UE is notified of a given service on the MICH, or when the UE is notified via the DCCH channel. The configuration of the MCCH channel is broadcast in the system information. The MICH configuration (i.e. spreading code, scrambling code, spreading factor and other information) is either fixed in the standard, given in the system information or broadcast on the MCCH.

The MCCH information is transmitted based on a fixed schedule. The schedule identifies a transmission time interval (TTI) containing the beginning of the MCCH information. The transmission of the information may take a variable number of TTIs. The UTRAN transmits the MCCH information in consecutive TTIs. The mobile terminal (UE) continues to receive the SCCPCH until: 1) the UE receives all of the MCCH information; 2) the UE receives a TTI that does not include any MCCH data; or 3) the information contents indicate that further reception is not required (e.g. there is no modification to the desired service information).

Based on this behavior, the UTRAN may repeat the MCCH information following a scheduled transmission in order to improve reliability. The MCCH schedule is common for all services. The entire MCCH information is transmitted periodically based on a “repetition period”. A “modification period” is defined as an integer multiple of the repetition period. The MBMS ACCESS INFORMATION may be transmitted periodically based on an “access info period”. This period is an integer divider of the “repetition period”.

MCCH information may be categorized as critical and non-critical information. The critical information is made up of MBMS COMMON P-T-M RB INFORMATION, MBMS CURRENT CELL P-T-M RB INFORMATION, MBMS GENERAL INFORMATION, MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION, MBMS NEIGHBORING CELL P-T-M RB INFORMATION and MBMS UNMODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION. The non-critical information corresponds to the MBMS ACCESS INFORMATION.

Changes to critical information on the MCCH are only applied at beginning of the first MCCH transmission of a modification period. At the beginning of each modification repetition period, the UTRAN transmits the MBMS CHANGE INFORMATION including, amongst others, information on MBMS services whose MCCH information is modified at that modification period. MBMS CHANGE INFORMATION is repeated at least once in each repetition period of that modification period. Changes to non-critical information may take place at any time. FIG. 9 illustrates a schedule with which the MBMS CHANGE INFORMATION and RADIO BEARER INFORMATION sent on MCCH are transmitted. Different patterned blocks indicate potentially different MCCH content.

When a UE in CELL_FACH state wants to receive a PtM radio bearer, the UE first needs to receive the system information on the BCCH channel, which is sent on the P-CCPCH channel, to know the MCCH configuration of the cell the UE has selected. Therefore, the UE must know the primary scrambling code. Once the UE knows the MCCH channel configuration, the UE then reads the MCCH channel to obtain configuration information of the PtM radio bearers. To obtain a first starting cell, the UE may receive the primary scrambling code of the cell by dedicated messages. The UE may also perform a cell search or read stored information. Alternatively, for a UE that has already selected or camped on a cell, the UE may use information regarding neighboring cells found in the system information of the cell the UE has already selected.

MBMS control information is sent on the MCCH. To allow the UE to perform discontinuous reception (DRX) on the reception of the MCCH, another channel, such as the MICH, is used to indicate when the UE must read MCCH. This may occur when the content of the MCCH changes.

Accordingly, the UE may read the MICH and MCCH in parallel. However, the UE may have to decode two channels (MICH and MCCH) instead of just one (MICH or MCCH). Therefore, it has been proposed that changes to information transmitted on the MCCH are signaled to the UE in a notification message transmitted on the MICH during a modification period before the modification period where the changed information is transmitted on the MCCH. Referring to FIG. 10, when a new service is started, the configuration/actions to be performed by the UE are transmitted on the MCCH during one modification period, where the same information is sent during the complete modification period. In order to inform the UE of the transmission of new information on the MCCH, an indication is sent on the MICH during a preceding modification period.

However, a problem arises when the UE wants to stop reading the MCCH. During the last modification period of the MCCH reading, the UE must also read the MICH in parallel because the MICH may indicate changes that apply on the MCCH in a subsequent modification period. Therefore, to solve this problem, the UE must be able to read the MICH and the MCCH in parallel, wherein the MICH is optimized for discontinuous reception (DRX) and information transmitted on the MICH is also transmitted on the MCCH.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to notifying a mobile terminal, on a control channel and an indication channel during a modification period, the presence of control information on the control channel during a subsequent modification period.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.

To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described, the present invention is embodied in a method for receiving a point-to-multipoint service in a wireless communication system, the method comprising subscribing to at least one point-to-multipoint service; receiving first point-to-multipoint control information related to a first point-to-multipoint service on a point-to-multipoint control channel during a first modification period, and receiving notification information on the point-to-multipoint control channel during the first modification period for indicating the presence of second point-to-multipoint control information related to a second point-to-multipoint service during a second modification period. Preferably, the point-to-multipoint control channel is not a point-to-multipoint indication channel.

In one aspect of the invention, the method further comprises receiving the notification information on a point-to-multipoint indication channel during the first modification period.

In another aspect of the invention, the method further comprises receiving the second point-to-multipoint control information on the point-to-multipoint control channel during the second modification period.

Preferably, the second modification period is immediately subsequent to the first modification period. The point-to-multipoint service is an MBMS service. The point-to-multipoint indication channel is MICH. The point-to-multipoint control channel is MCCH.

In a further aspect of the invention, the notification information received on the point-to-multipoint control channel comprises an information element that indicates whether a mobile terminal should continue reading the point-to-multipoint control channel during the second modification period. Preferably, the information element is a CONTINUE MCCH READING information element.

Also, the information element is contained in a message transmitted periodically by a network to inform at least one mobile terminal about a change applicable to at least one point-to-multipoint service available in a current cell or neighboring cell. Preferably, the message is a MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION message.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a method for transmitting a point-to-multipoint service in a wireless communication system comprises transmitting first point-to-multipoint control information related to a first point-to-multipoint service on a point-to-multipoint control channel during a first modification period and transmitting notification information on the point-to-multipoint control channel during the first modification period for indicating the presence of second point-to-multipoint control information related to a second point-to-multipoint service during a second modification period. Preferably, the point-to-multipoint control channel is not a point-to-multipoint indication channel.

In one aspect of the invention, the method further comprises transmitting the notification information on a point-to-multipoint indication channel during the first modification period.

In another aspect of the invention, the method further comprises transmitting the second point-to-multipoint control information on the point-to-multipoint control channel during the second modification period.

Preferably, the second modification period is immediately subsequent to the first modification period. The point-to-multipoint service is an MBMS service. The point-to-multipoint indication channel is MICH. The point-to-multipoint control channel is MCCH.

In a further aspect of the invention, the notification information transmitted on the point-to-multipoint control channel comprises an information element that indicates whether a mobile terminal should continue reading the point-to-multipoint control channel during the second modification period. Preferably, the information element is a CONTINUE MCCH READING information element.

Also, the information element is contained in a message transmitted periodically by a network to inform at least one mobile terminal about a change applicable to at least one point-to-multipoint service available in a current cell or neighboring cell. Preferably, the message is a MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION message.

In one aspect of the invention, the notification information is transmitted periodically on the point-to-multipoint control channel during the entire first modification period.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention. Features, elements, and aspects of the invention that are referenced by the same numerals in different figures represent the same, equivalent, or similar features, elements, or aspects in accordance with one or more embodiments.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a general UMTS network architecture.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a structure of a radio interface protocol between a terminal and a network based on 3GPP radio access network standards.

FIG. 3 illustrates the mapping of logical channels onto transport channels in the mobile terminal.

FIG. 4 illustrates the mapping of logical channels onto transport channels in the network.

FIG. 5 illustrates possible transitions between modes and states in the UMTS network.

FIG. 6 illustrates a process of providing a particular point-to-multipoint service using a multicast mode.

FIG. 7 illustrates a process of providing broadcast services.

FIG. 8 illustrates a session sequence from a network perspective.

FIG. 9 illustrates a schedule for transmitting information on an MCCH.

FIG. 10 illustrates a schedule wherein notification for reading MCCH during a modification period is sent on MICH during a previous modification period.

FIG. 11 illustrates MICH timing relative to a modification period.

FIG. 12 illustrates a schedule wherein notification for reading MCCH during a modification period is sent on MICH and MCCH during a previous modification period in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 illustrates a method for notifying a UE to read MCCH during a modification period, wherein the notification is sent on MICH and MCCH during a previous modification period in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention relates to notifying to a mobile terminal, on a control channel and an indication channel during a modification period, the presence of control information on the control channel during a subsequent modification period.

An MBMS notification mechanism is used to inform UEs of an upcoming change in critical MCCH information. Notifications are based on service groups. The mapping between service IDs and service groups is based on a hashing mechanism. The MBMS notification indicators are sent on an MBMS specific PICH, called the MICH. Notifications might also be sent via dedicated signaling to UEs using the DCCH channel. A single MICH frame is able to carry indications for every service group.

Critical MCCH information can only be changed at the beginning of a modification period. The MBMS notification indicator corresponding to the service group of every affected service is set continuously during the entire modification period preceding the first change in MCCH information related to a given service. Subsequent changes in the MCCH information in the next modification period related to the same service can be signaled on the MCCH.

UEs that are not receiving any MBMS services on MTCH or on a PtP channel are free to read the MBMS notification at any time; however, the modification interval is long enough so that the UEs are able to reliably detect the notification even if they only receive the MICH during regular paging occasions.

Upon detecting the MBMS notification indication for a service group, the UEs interested in a service corresponding to the service group start reading the MCCH at the beginning of the next modification period. The UE reads at least the MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION.

FIG. 11 illustrates the timing relationship between the setting of the MICH and the first MCCH critical information change. For the MICH, a period 20, designated by a diagonal pattern, indicates when a Notification Indicator (NI) is set for a service. For the MCCH, differently patterned blocks indicate MCCH content related to the notification of different services.

UEs, which are receiving MBMS service(s) on MTCH in idle mode or in a URA_PCH, CELL_PCH, or CELL_FACH state read the MCCH at the beginning of each modification period to receive the MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION. The MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION indicates, amongst others, MBMS service IDs, and optionally, an MBMS Session ID, whose MCCH information is modified at that modification period. If the MBMS service IDs and the MBMS Session ID, which the UE has activated, is indicated in the MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION, the UE reads the rest of the MCCH information.

Referring to FIG. 12, in one embodiment of the present invention, information regarding services a UE is interested in and transmitted during a modification period B is notified to the UE during a previous modification period A using the MICH. The information regarding the services is also notified to the UE during the modification period A on the MCCH. Specifically, the MCCH, which normally carries service configuration information or information regarding UE specific actions, is used to trigger the UE to receive the MCCH at a subsequent modification period simultaneously with a notification to receive the MCCH transmitted on the MICH. This may be realized by a specific setting of information elements (IEs) transmitted between the network and the UE.

Referring to FIG. 13, during the modification period A, the network indicates on the MICH that the MCCH in modification period B will contain information on a service A, and that UEs interested in the service A should read MCCH during the modification period B (step 1). The transmission of this indication is repeated during the entire modification period A. During the same modification period A, the network also indicates on the MCCH that the MCCH in modification period B will contain information on the service A, and that UEs interested in the service A should read MCCH during the modification period B (step 2).

Preferably, the indication is sent in an MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION message or as a CONTINUE MCCH READING information element. The MBMS MODIFIED SERVICES INFORMATION message is periodically transmitted by the network to inform UEs about a change applicable for one or more MBMS services available in the current cell and possibly in neighboring cells. The CONTINUE MCCH READING information element (IE) is an MCCH in-band (included in a message) notification. The IE indicates whether or not the UE should continue reading MCCH in the next modification period.

During the modification period B, control information regarding the service A is transmitted (step 3). In one aspect of the invention, the above steps 1, 2 and 3 may be repeated for the modification periods B and C, as shown in FIG. 12, and subsequent modification period pairs.

As such, a UE which formerly during the modification period A only read the MCCH would not have received the information on the service A because the indication would only have been transmitted on the MICH. However, in accordance with the present invention, the UE is allowed to receive the necessary notification for the service A information because the indication is now transmitted on both the MICH and the MCCH during a modification period previous to the modification period for which the service A information is transmitted on. A UE which reads the MCCH will thus not need to read the MICH.

Although the present invention is described in the context of mobile communication, the present invention may also be used in any wireless communication systems using mobile devices, such as PDAs and laptop computers equipped with wireless communication capabilities. Moreover, the use of certain terms to describe the present invention should not limit the scope of the present invention to a certain type of wireless communication system. The present invention is also applicable to other wireless communication systems using different air interfaces and/or physical layers, for example, TDMA, CDMA, FDMA, WCDMA, etc.

The preferred embodiments may be implemented as a method, apparatus or article of manufacture using standard programming and/or engineering techniques to produce software, firmware, hardware, or any combination thereof. The term “article of manufacture” as used herein refers to code or logic implemented in hardware logic (e.g., an integrated circuit chip, Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), etc.) or a computer readable medium (e.g., magnetic storage medium (e.g., hard disk drives, floppy disks, tape, etc.), optical storage (CD-ROMs, optical disks, etc.), volatile and non-volatile memory devices (e.g., EEPROMs, ROMs, PROMs, RAMs, DRAMs, SRAMs, firmware, programmable logic, etc.).

Code in the computer readable medium is accessed and executed by a processor. The code in which preferred embodiments are implemented may further be accessible through a transmission media or from a file server over a network. In such cases, the article of manufacture in which the code is implemented may comprise a transmission media, such as a network transmission line, wireless transmission media, signals propagating through space, radio waves, infrared signals, etc. Of course, those skilled in the art will recognize that many modifications may be made to this configuration without departing from the scope of the present invention, and that the article of manufacture may comprise any information bearing medium known in the art.

The foregoing embodiments and advantages are merely exemplary and are not to be construed as limiting the present invention. The present teaching can be readily applied to other types of apparatuses. The description of the present invention is intended to be illustrative, and not to limit the scope of the claims. Many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. In the claims, means-plus-function clauses are intended to cover the structure described herein as performing the recited function and not only structural equivalents but also equivalent structures.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification455/426.1
International ClassificationH04W4/06, H04W68/00
Cooperative ClassificationH04W76/002, H04W68/00, H04W72/005, H04W48/12
European ClassificationH04W72/00B, H04W76/00B
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Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
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Effective date: 20050825