CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Overview of existing and emerging wireless communications systems; interference, blocking, and spectral efficiency; radio propagation and fading models; performance of digital modulation in the presence of fading; diversity techniques; Code-Division Multiple Access.

REQUIRED TEXT: T. S. Rappaport, Wireless Communications , Prentice-Hall, 2 nd edition, 2002.

REFERENCE TEXT: K. Pahlavan and P. Krishnamurthy, Principles of Wireless Networks , Prentice Hall, 2002.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Prof. Michael Honig

COURSE GOALS: To teach the principles underlying the design of digital wireless communications systems, namely, cellular systems, the effect of radio propagation on digital communications systems, methods for improving reliability, and multiple access techniques.



  1. Probability and random variables
  2. Autocorrelation and power spectral density.
  3. Familiarity with digital modulation techniques such as BPSK and QPSK.


Week 1: Overview of current and emerging wireless systems, including cellular, PCS, and third generation systems; cellular models and frequency reuse.

( READINGS : Rappaport, Chapters 1 and 2)

Week 2: Narrowband cellular, interference and system capacity, sectorization, cell splitting, spectral efficiency, trunking and grade of service. ( READINGS : Rappaport , Ch. 3)

Week 3: Handoff and outage probability, introduction to radio propagation: large- and small-scale effects, multipath, path loss, log-normal shadowing, empirical path loss models.

( READINGS : Rappaport, Secs. 4.1, 4.2, 4.9, 4.10 (up to 4.10.5))

Week 4: Review of complex baseband model, linear time-varying channels, narrowband signals and Rayleigh fading, Ricean fading, Doppler shift, Doppler spread with uniform scattering.

( READINGS : Rappaport, Secs. 5.1, 5.2, 5.6, 5.7)

Week 5: Fade statistics, coherence time, fast vs. slow fading, broadband signals and power delay profile, coherence bandwidth, flat vs. frequency-selective fading, effect on digital transmission.

( READINGS : Rappaport, Secs. 5.4, 5.5)

Week 6: Review of digital and quadrature modulation, error probability with additive Gaussian noise and flat Rayleigh fading, coherent and noncoherent (differential) detection.

( READINGS : Rappaport, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8 excluding 6.8.5, 6.12 excluding 6.12.2-3)

Week 7: Frequency-Shift Keying, coherent and noncoherent demodulation, Minimum-Shift Keying, Gaussian MSK, power and bandwidth efficiencies. Overview of diversity techniques.

( READINGS : Rappaport, Secs. 6.9, 7.10 excluding 7.10.4, 7.11)

Week 8: Diversity combining techniques: selection, max-ratio, equal-gain. Overview of error control coding techniques, interleaving.

( READINGS : Rappaport, Secs. 7.12, 7.13, 7.14 excluding 7.14.2, 7.15-7.18 excluding 7.15.1)

Week 9: Frequency- and Time-Division Multiple Access, arrangement of channels for AMPS, frame structure for IS-136 and GSM standards, capacity. Direct-Sequence Code-Division Multiple Access.

( READINGS : Rappaport, Secs. 9.1-9.4, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3 excluding 11.3.7)

Week 10: Properties of spread spectrum signaling and CDMA, matched-filter receiver, Signal-to-Interference Plus Noise Ratio and probability of error, near-far problem, power control, capacity, frequency-hopping.

( READINGS : Rappaport, Secs. 6.11 excluding 6.11.5, 9.7.1, 11.4 up to 11.4.2)


Homework 1: Problems on classification and general properties of wireless systems, computation of signal-to-interference ratio, capacity, and spectral efficiency with and without sectorization.

Homework 2: Problems on path loss and effect of log-normal shadowing, computation of delay spread, and computation of fade statistics and Doppler spectrum.

Homework 3: Problems on computation of error rate for digital modulation with and without fading, performance of noncoherent detection, and specification of GMSK waveform.

Homework 4: Problems on the performance of diversity combining techniques.

Homework 5: Problems on the performance of Direct-Sequence Code-Division Multiple Access.

COMPUTER PROJECTS: Matlab assignments include generation of a scatter plot of received powers with large-scale path loss and shadowing, generation of a Rayleigh fading process, and simulation of a simple digital communications model with Rayleigh fading and diversity.



Four homeworks (including computer assignments): 20%

Midterm: 30%

Final: 50%

COURSE OBJECTIVES: When a student completes this course, s/he should be able to:

  • Classify many of the current and emerging (next generation) wireless information networks.
  • Characterize the tradeoffs among frequency reuse, signal-to-interference ratio, capacity, and spectral efficiency.
  • Apply exponential path loss models with log-normal shadowing to determine received power.
  • Characterize small-scale variations in terms of Doppler spectrum, coherence time, power delay profile, and coherence bandwidth.
  • Characterize performance (error probability) for coherent modulation with and without flat Rayleigh fading, specify FSK, MSK, and GMSK waveforms and describe associated spectral properties.
  • Describe and characterize performance of noncoherent (differential) detection for phase modulation.
  • Identify commonly used forms of diversity and evaluate the performance of selection and max-ratio combining in flat Rayleigh fading.
  • Characterize Time- and Frequency-Division Multiple Access, and evaluate the associated system capacity and efficiency.
  • Characterize Direct-Sequence Code-Division Multiple Access, and compute the associated Signal-to-Interference Plus Noise Ratio and system capacity for simple channel and receiver models.

ABET CONTENT CATEGORY: 100% Engineering (Design component).