(19)
(11)EP 3 767 907 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
20.01.2021 Bulletin 2021/03

(21)Application number: 20190598.1

(22)Date of filing:  04.03.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04L 27/26(2006.01)
H04W 72/04(2009.01)
H04W 28/06(2009.01)
H04W 72/02(2009.01)
H04L 5/00(2006.01)
H04B 7/26(2006.01)
H04W 72/00(2009.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 07.03.2014 US 201461949805 P
20.02.2015 US 201514627836

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
18187635.0 / 3429153
15758001.0 / 3103299

(71)Applicant: Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
Longgang District Shenzhen, Guangdong 518129 (CN)

(72)Inventors:
  • MA, Jianglei
    Ottawa, Ontario K2M 2W5 (CA)
  • JIA, Ming
    Ottawa, Ontario K2A 0BE (CA)

(74)Representative: Kreuz, Georg Maria 
Huawei Technologies Duesseldorf GmbH Riesstraße 25
80992 München
80992 München (DE)

 
Remarks:
This application was filed on 12-08-2020 as a divisional application to the application mentioned under INID code 62.
 


(54)SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR OFDM WITH FLEXIBLE SUB-CARRIER SPACING AND SYMBOL DURATION


(57) Embodiments are provided for supporting variable sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration for transmitting OFDM or other waveform symbols and associated cyclic prefixes. The symbol duration includes the useful symbol length and its associated cyclic prefix length. The variable sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration is determined via parameters indicating the sub-carrier spacing, useful symbol length, and cyclic prefix length. An embodiment method, by a network or a network controller, includes establishing a plurality of multiple access block (MAB) types defining different combinations of sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration for waveform transmissions. The method further includes partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band into a plurality of MAB regions comprising frequency-time slots for the waveform transmissions. The MAB types are then selected for the MAB regions, wherein one MAB type is assigned to one corresponding MAB region.




Description


[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/949,805 filed on March 7, 2014 by Jianglei Ma et al. and entitled "OFDM System with Flexible Frequency-Time Lattice," which is hereby incorporated herein by reference as if reproduced in its entirety, as well as to US Patent Application Serial Number 14/627,836 entitled "Systems and Methods for OFDM with Flexible Sub-Carrier Spacing and Symbol Duration" which is also incorporated herein by reference as if reproduced in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0002] The present invention relates to wireless communications, and, in particular embodiments, to systems and methods for transmitting different waveforms using flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration. In some particular embodiments, the waveforms are orthogonal frequency division multiplexed (OFDM) waveforms having different parameters.

BACKGROUND



[0003] In existing wireless standards, including those for fourth generation (4G) and earlier wireless networks, a standardized waveform has been selected based on its suitability for general use. There are a variety of situations in which a different waveform may provide better performance, but to address overall performance and implementation limitations, only the standardized waveform is available. By using a single waveform, both transmitter and receiver designs can be simplified and added computations complexity can be avoided. However, to provide improved performance in an ever increasing number of deployment scenarios, the use of a single waveform is an obstacle that can impede performance. 4G networks make use of an orthogonal frequency division multiplexed (OFDM) waveform due to a number of characteristics. In many scenarios, it may be beneficial to allow for different OFDM waveform configurations for different channel conditions and/or different deployment/application scenarios. Consequently, next generation wireless communication protocols will likely include air interfaces that support waveform adaptation to allow the most suitable waveform to be dynamically selected based on various criteria, such as channel conditions, traffic types, transmission mode, user equipment (UE) capabilities, or other factors. As such, techniques and/or mechanisms for providing flexible air interfaces that are capable of being seamlessly adapted for diverse waveforms are desired, e.g., to offer resilient radio performance efficiently under various channel conditions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0004] In accordance with an embodiment, a method by a network controller supporting wireless communications includes establishing a plurality of multiple access block (MAB) types defining different combinations of sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration for waveform transmissions. The method further includes partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band into a plurality of MAB regions comprising frequency-time slots for the waveform transmissions. At least two different MAB types from the established plurality of MAB types are then selected for the MAB regions.

[0005] In accordance with another embodiment, a method by a network component supporting wireless communications includes selecting a MAB region of a plurality of predetermined MAB regions partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band, and transmitting a signal on frequency-time slots in the MAB region in accordance with a MAB type selected for the MAB region. The MAB type is from a plurality of predetermined MAB types. The method further includes reducing a bandwidth of the transmitted signal using a spectrum filter in accordance with a bandwidth of the MAB type.

[0006] In accordance with another embodiment, a method by a network device supporting wireless communications includes receiving a signal on frequency-time slots in a MAB region of a plurality of MAB regions partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band, and identifying a MAB type selected for the MAB region and defining a sub-carrier spacing and a symbol duration for the frequency-time slots of the MAB region. The method further includes establishing a spectrum filter with bandwidth in accordance with the MAB type, and detecting the signal using the spectrum filter.

[0007] In accordance with another embodiment, a network controller supporting wireless communications comprises at least one processor and a non-transitory computer readable storage medium storing programming for execution by the at least one processor. The programming includes instructions to establish a plurality of MAB types defining different combinations of sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration for waveform transmissions, and partition a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band into a plurality of MAB regions comprising frequency-time slots for the waveform transmissions. The network controller also selects, for the MAB regions, at least two different MAB types form the established MAB types.

[0008] In accordance with another embodiment, a network component supporting wireless communications comprises at least one processor and a non-transitory computer readable storage medium storing programming for execution by the at least one processor. The programming includes instructions to select a MAB region of a plurality of predetermined MAB regions partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band, and transmit a signal on frequency-time slots in the MAB region in accordance with a MAB type selected for the MAB region. The MAB type is from a plurality of predetermined MAB types. The network component is further configured to reduce a bandwidth of the transmitted signal using a spectrum filter in accordance with a bandwidth of the MAB type.

[0009] In accordance with yet another embodiment, a network device supporting wireless communications comprises at least one processor and a non-transitory computer readable storage medium storing programming for execution by the at least one processor. The programming includes instructions to obtain a signal on frequency-time slots in a MAB region of a plurality of MAB regions partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band, and identify a MAB type selected for the MAB region and defining a sub-carrier spacing and a symbol duration for the frequency-time slots of the MAB region. The network device is further configured to establish a spectrum filter with a bandwidth in accordance with the MAB type, and detect the signal using the spectrum filter.

[0010] The foregoing has outlined rather broadly the features of an embodiment of the present invention in order that the detailed description of the invention that follows may be better understood. Additional features and advantages of embodiments of the invention will be described hereinafter, which form the subject of the claims of the invention. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and specific embodiments disclosed may be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures or processes for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. It should also be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS -



[0011] For a more complete understanding of the present invention, and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a diagram of an embodiment wireless communications network;

FIG. 2 illustrates a diagram of a conventional OFDM waveform having a fixed sub-carrier spacing;

FIG. 3 illustrates a diagram of an OFDM waveform having a fixed symbol duration;

FIG. 4 illustrates diagrams of embodiment multiple access block (MAB) types;

FIG. 5 illustrates a diagram of an embodiment of flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation;

FIG. 6 illustrates a diagram of an embodiment of flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation;

FIG. 7 illustrates a flow diagram of an embodiment method for providing flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration according to different MAB types;

FIG. 8 illustrates a flow diagram of an embodiment method for accessing variable sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration according to different MAB types; and

FIG. 9 is a diagram of a processing system that can be used to implement various embodiments.



[0012] Corresponding numerals and symbols in the different figures generally refer to corresponding parts unless otherwise indicated. The figures are drawn to clearly illustrate the relevant aspects of the embodiments and are not necessarily drawn to scale.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS



[0013] The making and using of the presently preferred embodiments are discussed in detail below. It should be appreciated, however, that the present invention provides many applicable inventive concepts that can be embodied in a wide variety of specific contexts. The specific embodiments discussed are merely illustrative of specific ways to make and use the invention, and do not limit the scope of the invention.

[0014] Conventional OFDM systems use a fixed frequency (sub-carrier) spacing and symbol duration for transmitting each OFDM symbol and associated cyclic prefix. The sub-carrier spacing is fixed for the entire spectrum of a component carrier or a number of component carriers, e.g., based on the highest degree of user equipment (UE) mobility to be supported. A sub-carrier spacing represents a spacing for each sub-carrier which is an individual detectable frequency band within a carrier (a frequency band for transmission). Each sub-carrier can be assigned to one or more clients for communications. Further, an OFDM symbol length is an individual detectable time duration for transporting information or data. The symbol length is the time it takes to transmit a symbol and its associated CP. The portion of the symbol length used for transmitting the symbol, and excluding the CP length, is referred to herein as the useful symbol length. The fixed sub-carrier spacing and fixed symbol duration in conventional OFDM schemes also serve to limit cyclic prefix options. A cyclic prefix is added to transmitted symbol (e.g., bits of information) and serves as a guard interval to eliminate the inter-symbol interference. The length of the cyclic prefix is usually determined by the channel delay spread. Due to the fixed sub-carrier spacing and fixed OFDM symbol duration, conventional OFDM schemes may be unable to satisfy the spectrum efficiency and Quality of Service (QoS) requirements of next-generation networks, which will likely need to support much higher mobility, lower latency and overhead, more channel types, more deployment environments, and more transmission schemes. Thus, new OFDM schemes capable of supporting more flexible air interfaces are desired.

[0015] Embodiments of this disclosure provide methods for supporting variable sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration for transmitting OFDM symbols and associated cyclic prefixes. The symbol duration includes the useful OFDM symbol length and its associated cyclic prefix length. The variable sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration is determined via parameters indicating the sub-carrier spacing, useful symbol length, and cyclic prefix length. The parameters are referred to herein as frequency-time primitives. The embodiments also allow variable sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration granularities within the spectrum band of the same carrier. A carrier is a spectrum allocation available for communications in a system and includes a plurality of sub-carriers (which are typically frequency sub-bands) separated by defined spacing. In long term evolution (LTE) for example, a carrier corresponds to a spectrum of certain bandwidth, such as 5, 10 and 20 Gigahertz. In an embodiment of the disclosure, a basic multiple access block (MAB) is defined as a transport unit that occupies a specified bandwidth and lasts for specified duration, for the carrier of the system. The variable sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation can include MAB regions with different sub-carrier spacing and/or symbol time duration, as described below. The variable frequency-time primitives can correspond to various MAB regions based on Filtered OFDM (F-OFDM) transmissions. As used herein, the term basic MAB, or MAB for short, represents the minimal sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration for resource allocation. Each MAB region comprises of a number of basic MABs, and different sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration (useful symbol length and cyclic length) can be supported in different MAB regions. Aspects provided herein include variable OFDM frequency-time primitives that are dynamically selected to meet performance and efficiency demands.

[0016] FIG. 1 illustrates a network 100 for communicating data. The network 100 comprises a base station or an access point (AP) 110 having a coverage area 101, a plurality of client mobile devices 120, and a backhaul network 130. The AP 110 may comprise any component capable of providing wireless access by establishing uplink (dashed line) and/or downlink (dotted line) connections with the mobile devices 120. Examples of the AP 110 include a base station, a NodeB, an enhanced NodeB (eNB), a picocell, a femtocell, a WiFi access point and other wirelessly enabled devices. The mobile devices 120 may comprise any component capable of establishing a wireless connection with the AP 110, such as a user equipment (UE) or other wirelessly enabled devices. The backhaul network 130 may be any component or collection of components that allow data to be exchanged between the AP 110 and a remote end (not shown). In embodiments, the network 100 may comprise various other wireless devices, such as relays, low power nodes, and other user or client devices with wireless communications capability.

[0017] FIG. 2 illustrates a diagram of a conventional OFDM waveform having a fixed sub-carrier spacing, as may be common in conventional LTE and LTE advanced (LTE-A) networks. As shown, the orthogonality in the frequency domain is maintained by using a uniform sub-carrier spacing of 15 kilohertz (kHz) over all the frequency-time plane of the spectrum band of the carrier.

[0018] FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating a conventional OFDM waveform having a fixed symbol duration (a sum of useful symbol length and cyclic prefix length), as may be common in conventional LTE and LTE-A networks. As shown, the length of useful OFDM symbols is fixed based on the common sampling frequency and sub-carrier spacing. Thus, only a limited number of cyclic prefix configurations are supported. In one configuration, a normal cyclic prefix length is supported for a frame of 10 millisecond (ms) duration. The frame is divided into 10 transmission time intervals (TTIs), each having a 1 ms duration. The TTI is further divided into two slots, each of 0.5 ms. Each slot is divided into 7 OFDM symbols, which is the minimum non-divisible transmission unit. Each symbol has a length of 66.7 microsecond (µs) and is preceded by a normal cyclic prefix length of 5.2 or 4.7 µs. In another configuration, an extended cyclic prefix length is supported for the frame. In this configuration, the cyclic prefix length is 16.7 µs.

[0019] The embodiment methods below support variable sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration granularities in the same carrier spectrum band. This may aid in mitigating problems associated with fixed sub-carrier spacing and fixed symbol duration. In one embodiment, a basic multiple access block (MAB) is defined as a transport unit that occupies a specified bandwidth and lasts for specified time duration. Different MAB sizes can be defined. For example, a smaller MAB can be used for common channels (e.g., synchronization channel, common broadcast channel), while larger MAB can be used by individual channels (e.g., UE specific data channels). A number of MAB types can be defined. For instance, waveforms associated with different MAB types may have different sub-carrier spacing, different useful OFDM symbol length, and/or different cyclic prefix length. Examples of MAB types are described further below. In embodiments, the time and frequency plane of spectrum resources may be partitioned into different MAB regions, with each MAB region consisting of basic frequency-time slots having predefined sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration, also referred to herein as basic multiple access blocks, of same MAB type.

[0020] In further embodiments, filtered OFDM waveforms can be used to control interference between adjacent multiple access blocks (frequency-time slots with different sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration). Due to having different sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration, orthogonality may no longer be maintained in the frequency-time plane. In this case, a suitable digital filter is applied to frequency bands occupied by a MAB region to control the out-of-band emission so that the interference between different MABs does not cause performance loss. Additionally, guard tones may be used (between the sub-carriers) to roll off the digital filter edges. In the same or other embodiments, filter bank multi-carrier (FBMC) waveforms may be used to maintain orthogonality between different multiple access blocks. FBMC waveforms are described in U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application 14/035,161, filed on September 9, 2013 and entitled "System and Method for Weighted Circularly Convolved Filtering in OFDM-OQAM," and U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application 14/184,078, filed on February 19, 2014 and entitled "Frame Structure for Filter Bank Multi-Carrier (FBMC) Waveforms," both of which are incorporated by reference herein as if reproduced in their entireties.

[0021] In an embodiment OFDM waveform configuration, four MAB types are defined, including a special MAB type, a MAB type-1, a MAB type-2, and a MAB type-3. As used herein, the term special MAB type refers to a MAB type that has, among the defined MAB types, a predetermined sub-carrier spacing and cyclic prefix applied to regional common transmission channels, such as synchronization channel and broadcast channel, which require larger sub-carrier spacing and cyclic prefix. For instance, the special MAB type can have the largest sub-carrier spacing and longest cyclic prefix among the defined MAB types. In one embodiment, the special MAB type is broadcast by multiple transmitters in a certain region, for example in a region configured for radio access virtualization. The special MAB type has relatively high tolerance for synchronization error, and thus is suitable to support high mobility and low complexity devices, e.g., devices incapable of achieving high degrees of synchronization accuracy. The special MAB type may also be applied to control and data transmission of ultra-high mobility devices and devices receiving and/or sending coordinated multipoint (CoMP) transmissions. The MAB type-1 has the smallest sub-carrier spacing and longest symbol duration (e.g., longest cyclic prefix length), and is suitable for low-mobility devices and for supporting large scale CoMP transmissions or broadcast service. The MAB type-2 has a medium sub-carrier spacing and medium cyclic prefix length, and is suitable for medium-mobility devices and for supporting small scale CoMP transmissions or non-CoMP transmission. The MAB type-3 has the largest sub-carrier spacing and shortest cyclic prefix length, and is suitable for the highest mobility devices, for non-CoMP transmission, and for communications requiring very low latency. In other embodiment, more or fewer MAB types can be defined and used. The MAB types may have varying sizes of sub-carrier spacing, useful symbol length, cyclic prefix length, or combinations thereof. For example, two different MAB types may have same sub-carrier spacing but different useful symbol length or cyclic prefix length or may have same symbol or cyclic prefix length but different sub-carrier spacing. The sizes of sub-carrier spacing, symbol or cyclic prefix length are defined for each MAB type to meet desired system criteria, conditions, or requirements (e.g., QoS).

[0022] The flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation (e.g., corresponding to various MAB types) may be defined by various OFDM parameters (or frequency-time primitives), such as sub-carrier spacing, useful symbol length, cyclic prefix length, or combinations thereof. In one embodiment, a plurality of available sub-carrier spacing parameters (e.g., Δf, 2Δf, and 4Δf), a plurality of useful symbol length parameters (e.g., T, T/2, and T/4), and a plurality of cyclic prefix length parameters (e.g., CP, CP/2, CP/4, CP/2+T/4). In this case, it is sufficient to define 3 basic parameter values (Δf, T, and CP) to establish all the parameters. Other configurations may also be used in other embodiments.

[0023] FIG. 4 illustrates embodiment MAB types that may be used in OFDM communications, as described above. The MAB types includes the MAB type-1 with sub-carrier spacing Δf and a symbol duration CP+T. For example, Δf can be defined as 15 kHz, CP can be defined as 4.7, 5.2, or 16.7 µs, and T can be defined as 66.7 µs. Alternatively, other suitable values for Δf, CP, and T can be defined. The MAB types also include the MAB type-2 with sub-carrier spacing 2Δf and symbol duration CP/2+T/2, the MAB type-3 with sub-carrier spacing 4Δf and symbol duration CP/4+T/4, and the special MAB type or region with sub-carrier spacing 4Δf and symbol duration (CP/2+T/4)+T/4.

[0024] FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment of flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation that may be used in OFDM schemes provided herein. The flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation is established by defining MAB regions, where basic multiple access bocks are defined in each region according to a MAB type. The MAB types are predefined, as described above, with corresponding sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration. In this embodiment, a first MAB region comprises basic multiple access blocks according to the MAB type-1 (basic MAB). A second MAB region comprises basic multiple access blocks according to the MAB type-2 and further basic multiple access blocks according to the special MAB type. A third MAB region comprises basic multiple access blocks according to the MAB type-3. The sizes of the blocks within each region can be defined such as the regions are divisible to the basic slots without waste of time/frequency resources. The clients receive the corresponding MABs in the corresponding regions using F-OFDM, which allows the detection of sub-carriers with variable spacing for different MAB types.

[0025] FIG. 6 illustrates another embodiment of flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation that may be used in OFDM schemes provided herein. In this embodiment, the frequency-time plane associated with the spectrum band of a carrier is divided into MAB regions with replication of at least one of the regions in different areas of the plane. For instance, a first MAB region (e.g., of MAB type-1) is defined in two areas of the plane, at the top-left corner and the bottom-right corner of the frequency-time plane. A second MAB region (e.g., of MAB type-2) is further defined in two other areas of the plane, as shown. The plane also comprises a MAB type-3 region and a special MAB region. The clients can access the corresponding regions and blocks using F-OFDM. The flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation embodiments above are merely examples, and other configurations of MAB types, regions, and/or flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation configurations are possible using the embodiment schemes herein.

[0026] In an embodiment, a signaling mechanism is used for supporting the flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration formats described above. The signaling mechanism allows UEs to access the network through a special MAB, e.g., as described above, with the locations of synchronization channel and broadcast channels being fixed and pre-defined. Network broadcasts may carry a MAB region configuration using the special MAB. MAB region assignments may be semi-statically configured via signaling and carried by the special MAB. Alternatively, MAB region assignments may be dynamically configured with signaling carried in a pre-defined MAB type, e.g., the MAB type-2 above. In embodiments, a mapping between one or more types of traffic/transmissions and one or more corresponding MAB regions is pre-defined. For example, certain applications (e.g., machine-to-machine (M2M)) may be mapped to one MAB type (e.g., MAB type -1), while certain access configurations (e.g., contention based or grant-free access) can be mapped to another MAB type (e.g., MAB type-2). Certain types of devices and/or network configurations can also be served by certain MAB types. For example, a high speed train may be served by a special MAB type.

[0027] The schemes above provide flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation and MAB region based transmissions. Variable waveform parameters for configuring the multiple access blocks and the MAB regions can also be dynamically selected to meet performance and efficiency demands. The regions can be partitioned to adapt to network characteristics, e.g., traffic load, traffic type, or others. The schemes provide efficient multiple access schemes to meet variable QoS requirements, support different transmission schemes, and support UEs with different levels of mobility and complexities. The schemes also provide higher spectral efficiency, greater flexibility, and shorter latencies than is otherwise provided by static sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation of conventional OFDM schemes.

[0028] FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment method 700 for providing flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration allocation according to different MAB types. The method can be implemented by a network component, such as a base station. At step 710, a plurality of MAB types are defined having frequency-time slots with at least one of the MAB types having at least one of a different sub-carrier spacing, a different useful symbol length and a different cyclic prefix length. For example, the MAB types include the special MAB type and at least one of MAB type-1, MAB type-2, and MAB type 3 described above. At step 720, a plurality of MAB regions are defined in a frequency-time plane of the spectrum band of the carrier allocated for transmissions in a wireless network, wherein each one of the MAB regions comprises frequency-time slots or blocks of at least one of the MAB types. Examples of the MAB regions are shown in FIG. 5 and FIG. 6, as described above. At step 730, parameters of at least one of the MAB types are signaled to a network device (e.g., UE). The parameters indicate a sub-carrier spacing, a useful symbol length, and a cyclic prefix length of the at least one of the MAB types. The parameters include the sub-carrier spacing, the useful symbol length, and/or the cyclic prefix length of the one or more MAB types.

[0029] FIG. 8 illustrates an embodiment method 800 for accessing variable flexible sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration according to different MAB types. The method 800 can be implemented by a network device, which can be a transmitter or a receiver. Both the transmitter and the receiver need to transmit and receive the signal according to the waveform corresponding to the selected MAB type. The transmitter can be base station (BS), a radio access point or node, or a UE. Similarly, the receiver also be a BS or a UE. At step 810, information is received in frequency-time slots of a MAB region predefined in a frequency-time plane of carrier spectrum band allocated for transmissions in the wireless network. The MAB region is one of a plurality of MAB regions in the frequency-time plane having a plurality of predefined MAB types. The frequency-time multiple-access blocks have a sub-carrier spacing, a useful symbol length, and a cyclic prefix length according to a predefined MAB type associated with the MAB region or dynamically defined MAB types (e.g., via signaling of parameters). At step 820, the device detects OFDM or other waveform (e.g., FBMC) symbols within the information by applying a frequency filter according to the sub-carrier spacing. This is achieved by implementing a F-OFDM scheme in accordance with the sub-carrier spacing of the MAB type.

[0030] FIG. 9 is a block diagram of a processing system 900 that can be used to implement various embodiments. The processing system 900 can be part of a BS, a UE, or other network devices. Specific devices may utilize all of the components shown, or only a subset of the components, and levels of integration may vary from device to device. Furthermore, a device may contain multiple instances of a component, such as multiple processing units, processors, memories, transmitters, receivers, etc. The processing system 900 may comprise a processing unit 901 equipped with one or more input/output devices, such as a speaker, microphone, mouse, touchscreen, keypad, keyboard, printer, display, and the like. The processing unit 901 may include a central processing unit (CPU) 910, a memory 920, a mass storage device 930, a video adapter 940, and an I/O interface 960 connected to a bus. The bus may be one or more of any type of several bus architectures including a memory bus or memory controller, a peripheral bus, a video bus, or the like.

[0031] The CPU 910 may comprise any type of electronic data processor. The memory 920 may comprise any type of system memory such as static random access memory (SRAM), dynamic random access memory (DRAM), synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), read-only memory (ROM), a combination thereof, or the like. In an embodiment, the memory 920 may include ROM for use at boot-up, and DRAM for program and data storage for use while executing programs. In embodiments, the memory 920 is non-transitory. The mass storage device 930 may comprise any type of storage device configured to store data, programs, and other information and to make the data, programs, and other information accessible via the bus. The mass storage device 930 may comprise, for example, one or more of a solid state drive, hard disk drive, a magnetic disk drive, an optical disk drive, or the like.

[0032] The video adapter 940 and the I/O interface 960 provide interfaces to couple external input and output devices to the processing unit. As illustrated, examples of input and output devices include a display 990 coupled to the video adapter 940 and any combination of mouse/keyboard/printer 970 coupled to the I/O interface 960. Other devices may be coupled to the processing unit 901, and additional or fewer interface cards may be utilized. For example, a serial interface card (not shown) may be used to provide a serial interface for a printer.

[0033] The processing unit 901 also includes one or more network interfaces 950, which may comprise wired links, such as an Ethernet cable or the like, and/or wireless links to access nodes or one or more networks 980. The network interface 950 allows the processing unit 901 to communicate with remote units via the networks 980. For example, the network interface 950 may provide wireless communication via one or more transmitters/transmit antennas and one or more receivers/receive antennas. In an embodiment, the processing unit 901 is coupled to a local-area network or a wide-area network for data processing and communications with remote devices, such as other processing units, the Internet, remote storage facilities, or the like.

[0034] While several embodiments have been provided in the present disclosure, it should be understood that the disclosed systems and methods might be embodied in many other specific forms without departing from the spirit or scope of the present disclosure. The present examples are to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive, and the intention is not to be limited to the details given herein. For example, the various elements or components may be combined or integrated in another system or certain features may be omitted, or not implemented.

[0035] In addition, techniques, systems, subsystems, and methods described and illustrated in the various embodiments as discrete or separate may be combined or integrated with other systems, modules, techniques, or methods without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. Other items shown or discussed as coupled or directly coupled or communicating with each other may be indirectly coupled or communicating through some interface, device, or intermediate component whether electrically, mechanically, or otherwise. Other examples of changes, substitutions, and alterations are ascertainable by one skilled in the art and could be made without departing from the spirit and scope disclosed herein.Further embodiments of the present invention are provided in the following. It should be noted that the numbering used in the following section does not necessarily need to comply with the numbering used in the previous sections.

Embodiment 1. A method by a network controller supporting wireless communications, the method comprising:

establishing a plurality of multiple access block (MAB) types defining different combinations of sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration for waveform transmissions;

partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band into a plurality of MAB regions comprising frequency-time slots for the waveform transmissions; and

selecting, for the MAB regions, at least two different MAB types from the established plurality of MAB types.

Embodiment 2. The method of embodiment 1 further comprising arranging, at a transmitter of the network controller, the frequency-time slots in the MAB regions in accordance with the sub-carrier spacing and the symbol duration of the at least two different MAB types selected for the MAB regions.

Embodiment 3. The method of embodiment 1, wherein the MAB types are selected for the MAB regions according to at least one of a channel type, a transmission mode, a propagation channel condition and a quality of service (QoS) requirement associated with the MAB regions.

Embodiment 4. The method of embodiment 1 further comprising signaling, to one or more network devices, parameters indicating a sub-carrier spacing, a useful symbol length, and a cyclic prefix length of at least one of the MAB types.

Embodiment 5. The method of embodiment 1 further comprising signaling, to one or more network devices, a mapping one of the MAB regions to at least one of a MAB type selected for the MAB region, a corresponding type of traffic or transmission channel, and a corresponding communications channel.

Embodiment 6. The method of embodiment 1, wherein the MAB types include a MAB type of frequency-time slots having a largest sub-carrier spacing and a longest cyclic prefix length among the MAB types.

Embodiment 7. The method of embodiment 1, wherein the MAB types include a first MAB type of frequency-time slots having a smallest sub-carrier spacing and a longest cyclic prefix length among the MAB types.

Embodiment 8. The method of embodiment 7, wherein the MAB types include a second MAB type of frequency-time slots having a larger sub-carrier spacing and a larger cyclic prefix length than the first MAB type.

Embodiment 9. The method of embodiment 8, wherein the MAB types include a third MAB type of frequency-time slots having a larger sub-carrier spacing and a smaller cyclic prefix length than the first MAB type and the second MAB type.

Embodiment 10. The method of embodiment 1, wherein the waveform transmissions is one of OFDM transmissions, Filtered OFDM (F-OFDM) transmissions, and Filter Bank Multi-Carrier (FBMC) transmissions.

Embodiment 11. A method by a network component supporting wireless communications, the method comprising:

selecting a multiple access block (MAB) region of a plurality of predetermined MAB regions partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band;

transmitting a signal on frequency-time slots in the selected MAB region in accordance with a MAB type selected for the MAB region, wherein the MAB type is from a plurality of predetermined MAB types; and

reducing a bandwidth of the transmitted signal using a spectrum filter selected in accordance with a bandwidth of the MAB type.

Embodiment 12. The method of embodiment 11 further comprising:

selecting a second MAB region of the plurality of predetermined MAB regions;

transmitting a second signal on frequency-time slots in the second MAB region in accordance with a MAB type selected for the second MAB region, wherein the MAB type of the second MAB region is from the predetermined MAB types; and

reducing a bandwidth of the transmitted second signal using a second spectrum filter in accordance with a bandwidth of the second MAB type.

Embodiment 13. The method of embodiment 11, wherein the MAB type is a MAB type of frequency-time slots having a largest sub-carrier spacing and a longest cyclic prefix length among the MAB types, and wherein the method further comprises transmitting, on the frequency-time slots of the MAB type, information associated with at least one of a regional common channel, a synchronization channel, a broadcast channel, a channel for ultra-high mobility devices, and a channel for coordinated multipoint (CoMP) transmissions.

Embodiment 14. The method of embodiment 11, wherein the MAB type is a first MAB type of frequency-time slots having a smallest sub-carrier spacing and a longest cyclic prefix length among the MAB types, and wherein the method further comprises transmitting, on the frequency-time slots of the first MAB type, information associated with at least one of a channel for low mobility devices, a channel supporting large scale coordinated multipoint (CoMP) transmissions and a channel providing broadcasting service from more than one transmitters.

Embodiment 15. The method of embodiment 14, wherein the MAB types include a second MAB type of frequency-time slots having a larger sub-carrier spacing and a larger cyclic prefix length than the first MAB type, and wherein the method further comprises transmitting, on the frequency-time slots of the second MAB type, information associated with at least one of a channel for medium mobility devices and a channel supporting small scale coordinated multipoint (CoMP) transmissions.

Embodiment 16. The method of embodiment 15, wherein the MAB types include a third MAB type of frequency-time slots having a larger sub-carrier spacing and a smaller cyclic prefix length than the first MAB type and the second MAB type, and wherein the method further comprises comprising transmitting, on the frequency-time slots of the third MAB type, information associated with at least one of a channel for highest mobility devices, a channel supporting non-coordinated multipoint (CoMP) transmissions, and a channel requiring low latency.

Embodiment 17. A method by a network device supporting wireless communications, the method comprising:

receiving a signal on frequency-time slots in a multiple access block (MAB) region of a plurality of MAB regions partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band;

identifying, from a plurality of defined MAB types, a MAB type selected for the MAB region and defining a sub-carrier spacing and a symbol duration for the frequency-time slots of the MAB region;

establishing a spectrum filter with bandwidth in accordance with the MAB type; and

detecting the signal using the spectrum filter.

Embodiment 18. The method of embodiment 17 further comprising:

receiving a second signal on second frequency-time slots in a second MAB region of the MAB regions;

identifying a second MAB type selected for the second MAB region and defining at least one of a second sub-carrier spacing and a second symbol duration for the second frequency-time slots;

establishing a second spectrum filter with a sub-carrier spacing in accordance with the second MAB type; and

detecting the second signal using the second spectrum filter.

Embodiment 19. The method of embodiment 17 further comprising receiving a signaling of parameters indicating at least one of the MAB types and the MAB regions, wherein the parameters indicate a sub-carrier spacing, a useful symbol length, and a cyclic prefix length of the at least one of the MAB types.

Embodiment 20. The method of embodiment 17 further comprising receiving a mapping of at least one of a MAB region of the MAB regions to at least one of a MAB type selected for the MAB region.

Embodiment 21. The method of embodiment 17, wherein the MAB types include a special MAB type of frequency-time slots having a largest sub-carrier spacing and a longest cyclic prefix length among the MAB types, and wherein the method further comprises receiving, on the frequency-time slots of the special MAB type, information associated with at least one of a regional common channel, a synchronization channel, a broadcast channel, a channel for ultra-high mobility devices, and a channel for coordinated multipoint (CoMP) transmissions.

Embodiment 22. A network controller supporting wireless communications, the network controller comprising:

at least one processor; and

a non-transitory computer readable storage medium storing programming for execution by the at least one processor, the programming including instructions to:

establish a plurality of multiple access block (MAB) types defining different combinations of sub-carrier spacing and symbol duration for waveform transmissions;

partition a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band into a plurality of MAB regions comprising frequency-time slots for the waveform transmissions; and

select, for the MAB regions, at least two different MAB types from the established plurality of MAB types.

Embodiment 23. The network controller of embodiment 22, wherein the instructions to arrange, at a transmitter of the network controller, the frequency-time slots in the MAB regions in accordance with the sub-carrier spacing and the symbol duration of the at least two different MAB types selected for the MAB regions.

Embodiment 24. The network controller of embodiment 22, wherein the programming includes further instructions to signal, to one or more network devices, parameters indicating a sub-carrier spacing, a useful symbol length, and a cyclic prefix length of at least one of the MAB types.

Embodiment 25. A network component supporting wireless communications, the network component comprising:

at least one processor; and

a non-transitory computer readable storage medium storing programming for execution by the at least one processor, the programming including instructions to:

select a multiple access block (MAB) region of a plurality of predetermined MAB regions partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band;

transmit a signal on frequency-time slots in the MAB region in accordance with a MAB type selected for the MAB region, wherein the MAB type is from a plurality of predetermined MAB types; and

reduce a bandwidth of the transmitted signal using a spectrum filter in accordance with a bandwidth of the MAB type.

Embodiment 26. The network component of embodiment 25, wherein the programming includes further instructions to:

select a second MAB region of the MAB regions;

transmit a second signal on second frequency-time slots in the second MAB region in accordance with a second MAB type selected for the second MAB region, wherein the second MAB type is from the predetermined MAB types; and

reduce a bandwidth of the transmitted second signal using a second spectrum filter in accordance with a bandwidth of the second MAB type.

Embodiment 27. The network component of embodiment 25, wherein the network component is a base station or a radio access point of a wireless network.

Embodiment 28. The network component of embodiment 25, wherein the network component is a user equipment (UE) capable of communications with a wireless network.

Embodiment 29. A network device supporting wireless communications, the network device comprising:

at least one processor;

a non-transitory computer readable storage medium storing programming for execution by the at least one processor, the programming including instructions to:

obtain a signal on frequency-time slots in a multiple access block (MAB) region of a plurality of MAB regions partitioning a frequency and time plane of a carrier spectrum band;

identify, from a plurality of defined MAB types, a MAB type selected for the MAB region and defining a sub-carrier spacing and a symbol duration for the frequency-time slots of the MAB region;

establish a spectrum filter with a bandwidth in accordance with the MAB type; and

detect the signal using the spectrum filter.

Embodiment 30. The network device of embodiment 29, wherein the programming includes further instructions to obtain a signaling of parameters indicating at least one of the MAB types and the MAB regions, wherein the parameters indicate a sub-carrier spacing, a useful symbol length, and a cyclic prefix length of the at least one of the MAB types.

Embodiment 31. The network device of embodiment 29, wherein the network device is a user equipment (UE) capable of communications with a wireless network.

Embodiment 32. The network device of embodiment 29, wherein the network device is a base station or a radio access point of a wireless network.




Claims

1. A method, comprising:

sending, by an access point, AP, to a user equipment, UE, a multiple access block, MAB, region assignment via a first signaling to configure a MAB region, wherein the MAB region corresponds to a first frequency partition of a plurality of frequency partitions of a carrier spectrum band, the MAB region is associated with a first MAB type of multiple MAB types, and the first MAB type comprises a first sub-carrier spacing and a first symbol duration; and

communicating, by the AP with the UE, a first OFDM signal within the first frequency partition using the first MAB type;

wherein the multiple MAB types comprise a second MAB type, the second MAB type comprises a second sub-carrier spacing and a second symbol duration, the first sub-carrier spacing is a two or four multiple of the second sub-carrier spacing, and the second symbol duration is a two or four multiple of the first symbol duration.


 
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the first symbol duration equals a sum of a first useful symbol length and a first cyclic prefix, CP, length, the second symbol duration equals a sum of a second useful symbol length and a second CP length, the second useful symbol length is a two or four multiple of the first useful symbol length, and the second CP length is a two or four multiple of the first CP length.
 
3. The method of any one of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the first sub-carrier spacing is 30 kHz or 60 kHz, and the second sub-carrier spacing is 15 kHz or 30 kHz.
 
4. The method of any one of claim 1 or claim 3, wherein the method further comprises generating the first OFDM signal by applying a digital filter to the first frequency partition.
 
5. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the multiple MAB types further comprise a special MAB type, the special MAB type being used for a synchronization channel and a broadcast channel, and the method further comprises:
broadcasting, by the AP, the special MAB type in response to the UE accessing a network.
 
6. The method of claim 5, the method further comprising:
sending, by the AP, signaling to the UE, the signaling indicating a location of the synchronization channel and the broadcast channel using the special MAB type.
 
7. The method of claim 5, wherein the special MAB type further comprises a third sub-carrier spacing, and the third sub-carrier spacing equals any one of the first sub-carrier spacing and the second sub-carrier spacing.
 
8. The method of any one of claims 1 to 7, further comprising:
sending, by the AP, signaling indicating the first MAB type.
 
9. The method of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the carrier spectrum band comprises a second frequency partition occupying a frequency partition different from the first frequency partition in the second symbol duration.
 
10. The method of claim 9, wherein edges of a first spectrum filter in accordance with the first frequency partition and a second spectrum filter in accordance with the second frequency partition are rolled off by using guard sub-carriers to maintain orthogonality between the first frequency partition and the second frequency partition.
 
11. An access point, AP, comprising means configured to implement steps in a method in accordance with any one of claims 1 to 10.
 
12. A method, comprising:

receiving, by a user equipment, UE, from an access point, AP, a multiple access block, MAB, region assignment via a first signaling to configure a MAB region, wherein the MAB region corresponds to a first frequency partition of a plurality of frequency partitions of a carrier spectrum band, the MAB region is associated with a first MAB type of multiple MAB types, and the first MAB type comprises a first sub-carrier spacing and a first symbol duration; and

communicating, by the UE with the AP, a first OFDM signal within the first frequency partition using the first MAB type;

wherein the multiple MAB types comprise a second MAB type, the second MAB type comprises a second sub-carrier spacing and a second symbol duration, the first sub-carrier spacing is a two or four multiple of the second sub-carrier spacing, and the second symbol duration is a two or four multiple of the first symbol duration.


 
13. The method of claim 12, wherein the first symbol duration equals a sum of a first useful symbol length and a first cyclic prefix, CP, length, the second symbol duration equals a sum of a second useful symbol length and a second CP length, the second useful symbol length is a two or four multiple of the first useful symbol length, and the second CP length is a two or four multiple of the first CP length.
 
14. The method of any one of claim 12 to claim 13, wherein the first OFDM signal is generated by applying a digital filter to the first frequency partition.
 
15. The method of any one of claims 12 to 14, wherein the multiple MAB types further comprises a special MAB type, the MAB type being used for a synchronization channel and a broadcast channel, and the method further comprises:
receiving, by the UE, the special MAB type in response to the UE accessing a network.
 
16. The method of claim 15, further comprising:
receiving, by the UE, signaling indicating a location of the synchronization channel and the broadcast channel using the special MAB type.
 
17. The method of claim 15, wherein the special MAB type further comprises a third sub-carrier spacing, and the third sub-carrier spacing equals any one of the first sub-carrier spacing and the second sub-carrier spacing.
 
18. The method of any one of claims 12 to 17, further comprising:
receiving, by the UE, signaling indicating the first MAB type.
 
19. The method of any one of claims 12 to 18, wherein the carrier spectrum band comprises a second frequency partition occupying a frequency partition different from the first frequency partition in the second symbol duration.
 
20. The method of claim 19, wherein edges of a first spectrum filter in accordance with the first frequency partition and a second spectrum filter in accordance with the second frequency partition are rolled off by using guard sub-carriers to maintain orthogonality between the first frequency partition and the second frequency partition..
 
21. A user equipment, UE, comprising means configured to implement steps in a method in accordance with any one of claims 12 to 20.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description