In less than three decades, the status of cellular telephones has moved from laboratory breadboard via curious luxury item to the world's most pervasive consumer electronics product. Even though wired telephony is 100 years older and the beneficiary of "universal service" policies in developed countries, the number of cellular phones has exceeded wired phones for a few years and the difference keeps growing. For hundreds of millions of people in developing countries, cellular communications is the only form of telephony they have experienced.


This course introduces selected topics in mobile communications to undergraduate students. Topics include wireless channel, principles of cellular communications, multiple access methods, digital mobile communication systems: TDMA, GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, multi-carrier and OFDM systems.


  • Information regarding the final exam [Posted @ 4:30PM on May 24; Last updated at 7PM on June 1]
    • Check this course website regularly for breaking news about the final.
    • Date: June 9, 2017
    • TIME: 9:00-12:00
    • ROOMs: BKD 3214 & 3207
    • 10 pages: 1 cover page + 8 pages+ 1 formula page
      • For the formula sheet,...
        • Some boxes that are over the 40-symbol limit may have been modified.
        • Since it is created by other students in the class, use at your own risk.
      • To save time, read the cover page posted here before going into the exam room.
    • 16 questions: 10+2+5+2+2+12+3+4+7+7+8+8+14+3+12+1
    • Cover all the materials that we discussed in class and practice in the HWs.
      • Material Distribution (score-wise): 5 (SEC4.1-4.3) + 30 (SEC4.4) + 11 (SEC4.5) + 34 (4.6-4.9) + 19 (CH5)
    • For your studying pleasure....
  • Midterm results [Posted @ 9AM on Mar 30]
  • Information regarding the midterm exam [Posted @ 10AM on Mar 13; Updated @ 8:30PM on Mar 19]
    • Check this course website regularly for breaking news about the midterm.
    • Date: March 23, 2017
    • TIME: 9:00-11:00
    • ROOMs: BKD 3214, 3507
    • Information about the misterm exam:
      • 7 pages (including the cover page)
        • To save time, read the cover page posted here before going into the exam room.
      • 14 questions. (5+1.5+1.5+6+8+4+10+3+7+6+3+2+6+4 = 67 pt)
      • Cover all the materials that we discussed in class and practice in the HWs.
        • Material Distribution (score-wise): 14 (CH1) + 32 (CH2) + 21 (CH3)
    • Closed book. No formula sheet. Some formulas are provided. (See the cover page.)
    • For your studying pleasure....
      • All pre-midterm annotated notes combined in one pdf file.
        • Correction: On page 145, when we try to find the expected value of the Bernoulli RV at the end of the page, the numbers 0 and 1 were mistakenly placed. The final result still holds though. The expected value of a Beroulli RV is simply its success probability p. [Credit: Sirimintra]
      • All pre-midterm HWs and their solutions
        • Checked HWs can be picked up in front of the EC office on the 6th floor.
      • All pre-midterm exercises and their solutions
        • Graded exercises are posted on the SIIT Lecture Note System
        • If you have valid reason for missing class on the day that we have exercise, please indicate the date, exercise number, and the reason in the self evaluation form. Make sure that you also submit/email supporting document/evidence to me (if you haven't done so).
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  • Welcome to ECS455! Feel free to look around this site.

General Information

Handouts and Course Material

Problem Set


D Due Date Remarks/Solutions
HW1 Feb 8 (Wed), 4:30PM
  • Distributed in class on Feb 1
  • Solution [Posted @ 10:30AM on Mar 10]
HW2 Mar 1 (Wed), 4:30PM
  • Distributed in class on Feb 17
  • You may download the MATLAB code from this site to evaluate the Erlang B formula. Figure 3.6 from [Rappaport, 2002], which is included in the lecture slides may give a rough approximation.
  • Solution [Posted @ 10:30AM on Mar 10]
  • Correction: For Q6b, the answer should be 73.
HW3 Mar 17 (Fri), 4:30PM
  • Distributed in class on Mar 8
  • Solution [Posted @ 8:20PM on Mar 19]
  • Correction: For Q5, there is no built-in "average" function in MATLAB. It should be replaced by the "mean" function.
HW4 Not Due
  • Distributed in class on Mar 10
  • Solution [Posted @ 9PM on Mar 14]
Eval 1 Mar 23 (Thu)
HW5 Apr 28 (Fri), 4:30PM
  • Distributed in class on Apr 21
  • Solution [Posted @ 9AM on May 3]
HW6 May 17 (Wed), 4:30PM
  • Distributed in class on May 5
  • Soluton [Posted @ 10AM on May 18]
    • Correction: A part of the solution for Q1.b.ii did not display correctly. It should show n-k = 7-4 = 3. The solution has been updated.
HW7 Not Due
  • DIstributed in class on May 26
  • Solution [Posted @ 1:30PM on May 27]
E2Forml May 30, 4:30PM
Eval 2 June 9
  • Posted @ 3PM on May 28.



Reading Assignment

Additional References

  • A. Goldsmith, Wireless Communications, Cambridge Press, 2005.
  • Theodore S. Rappaport, Wireless Communications: Principles and Practice, 2nd Edition, Prentice Hall PTR, 2002. ISBN-13: 978-0130422323. Call No. TK5103.2 R37 2002
    • There are quite a number of typos in this book. Please go to the update page to download the pdf file of the pages that have been fixed.
  • M. R. Karim and Mohsen Sarraf, W-CDMA and cdma2000 for 3G Mobile Networks, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2002.
  • J. S. Lee and L. E. Miller, CDMA Systems Engineering Handbook, Boston, MA: Artech House, Oct. 1998.
  • R.E. Ziemer, Fundamentals of Spread Spectrum Modulation, Colorado Springs: Morgan & Claypool Publishers, 2007
  • A. Bahai, B. R. Saltzberg, and M. Ergen, Multi-Carrier Digital Communications: Theory and Applications of OFDM, 2nd ed., New York: Springer Verlag, 2004.
  • H.G. Myung and D.J. Goodman, Single Carrier FDMA: A New Air Interface for Long Term Evolution, Wiley, 2008.
  • MATLAB Primer, 8th edition T. A. Davis. CRC Press, 2010.
  • MIT RES.6.007 Signals and Systems (1987) on Youtube

Supplementary References

  1. Wireless Channel
    • Ray tracing
      • J. W. McKown and R. L. Hamilton, "Ray tracing as a design tool for radio networks," in IEEE Network, vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 27-30, Nov. 1991.
      • See FIg 1 and the "Efficient Algorithms" section.
  2. Cellular communications, Principles of cellular radio
    • Markov Chain
      • The "best" introductory textbook on Markov chain is probably the one written by Norris. The whole textbook is an overkill for this class but it serves as a good reference if you want to dig into this topic further. There are some sample chapters available on the web as well.
      • Whitt wrote an article that provide several remarks on Erlang B formula via a number of HW exercises. Those who want to read more about Erlang B study may find it interesting.
  3. Multiple access schemes
  4. Spread Spectrum Communications
  5. Multi-carrier and OFDM systems

Misc. Links