Characterization of Uplink Transmit Power and Talk Time in WCDMA Networks

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Virginia Tech

As 3G handset manufacturers add more and more features such as multimedia applications, color displays, video cameras, web browsing, gaming, WLAN, and MP3 players, the current consumption of a handset is ever increasing. Of the many components, the RF power amplifiers receive the most attention as they draw significant battery current and continue to represent the largest power load on the battery. In order to improve the overall efficiency of a power amplifier, it is important to know the operating uplink transmit power levels of a mobile phone in the WCDMA network. The work in this thesis makes two major contributions. First is the characterization of uplink transmit power in WCDMA networks based on current network data (collected in AT&T's WCDMA network) and realistic usage scenarios. Second is an investigation of the relationship between the battery life and the probability distribution function of the transmit power. Another important finding is that the talk time estimates using field tests, lab testing and theoretical expressions all give results to within 5%. Based on these data, design goals for WCDMA power amplifiers (in order to improve the talk times significantly) are suggested. The output power levels where the PA efficiencies have to be improved in order to significantly increase the battery life of WCDMA handsets are presented.

Talk time, Power Amplifiers, WCDMA, Transmit Power