Although 3G is still in the early stages of rollout, good overviews of the key aspects of WCDMA networks are becoming increasingly available, which are well suited for engineers, managers, and industry executives looking to gain a higher-level understanding of these new technologies. However, there is still some confusion surrounding the terminology used in reference to WCDMA (3G, UTRA, UMTS, etc), which this paper aims to clarify.

By exploring experiences with 2G CDMA and GSM technology, as well as reviewing the basic features of WCDMA and comparing it to 2G, lessons can be learned and applied to WCDMA with great effect—particularly when attention is focused on the WCDMA radio link and the key radio-related parameters, which require tuning before a WCDMA system can be commercially launched.

For more information on WCDMA radio link engineering, visit Actix’s Web site.