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Reverse CDMA Channel

The REVERSE CDMA CHANNEL is the mobile-to-cell direction of communication. It carries traffic and signaling. Any particular reverse channel is active only during calls to the associated mobile station, or when access channel signaling is taking place to the associated base station.

Frequency Plan

The mobile station transmit frequency is 45 MHz below the base station transmit frequency in the cellular service (IS-95A), and 80 MHz below in the PCS service (ANSI J-STD-008). Permissible frequency assignments are on 30 kHz increments in cellular and 50 kHz in PCS. See Frequency Plans for further details.

Transmission Parameters

The IS-95A Reverse CDMA Channel currently supports a 9,600 bps rate family in the Access Channel and Traffic Channels, as shown in the table. The transmission duty cycle varies with data rate. In all cases the FEC code rate is 1/3, the code symbol rate is always 28,800 symbols per second after there are 6 code symbols per modulation symbol, and the PN rate is 1.2288 MHz. The modulation is 64-ary orthogonal, using the same Walsh functions that are used in the forward link for channelization. Each period of the Walsh function is repeated for four chips of the PN code. The Walsh symbol rate is thus 1.2288 MHz/(4 chips per Walsh chip)/(64 Walsh chips per Walsh symbol) = 4,800 modulation symbols per second. Note that 1.2288 MHz = 128*9,600 bps.
Reverse CDMA Channel Parameters, Rate Set 1
Channel Access Traffic  
Data rate 4,800 1,200 2,400 4,800 9,600 bps
Code Rate 1/3 1/3 1/3 1/3 1/3  
Symbol Rate before Repetition 14,400 3,600 7,200 14,400 28,800 sps
Symbol Repetition 2 8 4 2 1  
Symbol Rate after Repetition 28,800 28,800 28,800 28,800 28,800 sps
Transmit Duty Cycle 1 1/8 1/4 1/2 1  
Code Symbols/Modulation Symbol 6 6 6 6 6  
PN Chips/Modulation Symbol 256 256 256 256 256  
PN chips transmitted/bit 256 128 128 128 128  
J-STD-008 supports, in addition to the above rates, a second traffic channel rate family with a maximum rate of 14,400 bps. This is termed Rate Set 2, the original 9600 bps family being Rate Set 1. Rate Set 2 uses a rate 1/2 code in place of the rate 1/3 code of Rate Set 1.

Reverse CDMA Traffic Channel Parameters, Rate Set 2
Channel Traffic  
Data rate 1,800 3,600 7,200 14,400 bps
Code Rate 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2  
Symbol Rate before Repetition 3,600 7,200 14,400 28,800 sps
Symbol Repetition 8 4 2 1  
Symbol Rate after Repetition 28,800 28,800 28,800 28,800 sps
Transmit Duty Cycle 1/8 1/4 1/2 1  
Code Symbols/Modulation Symbol 6 6 6 6  
PN Chips/Modulation Symbol 256 256 256 256  
PN chips transmitted/bit 256/3 256/3 256/3 256/3  

Signal Structure


The Reverse CDMA Channel consists of 242-1 logical channels. One of these logical channel is permanently and uniquely associated with each mobile station. That logical channel is used by the mobile whenever it passes traffic. The channel does not change upon handoff (Cf. Forward Channelization). Other logical channels are associated with base stations for system access. This reverse link addressing is accomplished through manipulation of period 242-1 Long Code, which is part of the spreading process.

Coding and Interleaving

Figure 1 shows the core processing that generates one Reverse CDMA Channel.

Figure 1. Reverse CDMA Channel signal generation.

Separation of Users

The reverse CDMA Channel, in contrast to the Forward CDMA Channel, does not use strict orthogonality in any sense to separate logical channels. Rather, it uses a very long period spreading code, in distinct phases. The correlations between stations are not zero, but they are acceptably small.

Orthogonal Modulation

Reverse link data modulation is 64-ary orthogonal, and is applied prior to the spreading. Groups of six code symbols select one of 64 orthogonal sequences. The 64-ary orthogonal sequences are the same Walsh functions that are used in the Forward CDMA Channel, here are used for a totally different purpose. Each period of the Walsh sequence (a Walsh Chip) is four PN chips in duration. The modulation symbol rate is thus always 4,800 sps.


Each Reverse CDMA Channel is spread by both the channel-unique Long Code and the Short Code, which has I- and Q-components. The spreading is thus quadrature. That is, from a single binary-valued symbol stream, two binary sequences are generated by mod 2 addition of the short code PN sequences (Figures 1 and 2). The effect of adding long and short codes is to produce a supersequence that has an extraordinarily long period, about 257, or 3700 years at the 1.2288 MHz spreading rate (see Reverse Spreading).

Figure 2. Reverse CDMA Channel modulation.

RF Modulation

The two coded, covered, and spread streams are vector-modulated on the RF carrier. The Q-axis modulation is delayed by 1/2 chip. The spreading modulation is thus offset QPSK. Offset modulation was chosen in an effort to reduce the envelop modulation of the RF signal and reducing performance requirements on the power amplifiers in the subscriber station.

The spectrum shaping of the reverse link is carefully prescribed in the IS-95A air interface and the IS-98 performance specification. The latter is in terms of the so-called Rho meter, a measurement of the correlation between the actual transmitter output with the ideal transmitter output. The air interface also specifies a slightly nonlinear phase characteristic the purpose of which is partial pre-equalization of the mobile receiver.

In-band ripple is specified as less than ±1.5 dB. Stopband rejection is 40 dB beginning 740 kHz from band center. An equi-ripple, 48 tap FIR baseband filter is suggested, although not required.Access channel

There is only one type of overhead channel in the Reverse CDMA Channel: the Access Channel.

The Access Channel is the vehicle for communicating with mobile stations when they are not assigned to a traffic channel. As the name implies, its primary purpose is to service originations and page responses by the mobile stations. Successful accesses are normally followed by an assignment to a traffic channel. Once on a traffic channel, signaling traffic between base and mobile can continued interspersed with the user traffic.

The access channel always runs at 4800 bps.

Each base station must service at least one Access Channel, on at least one of the frequencies in use. The Long Code Mask for the Access Channel is derived from the station identity, the paging channel number with which the access channel is associated, and Access Channel number within that base station.

Traffic Channel

Traffic channels are in the Reverse CDMA Channel are mobile-unique. That is, each station has a unique Long Code Mask, based on its electronic serial number. Whenever the mobile is assigned to traffic, it uses its specific long code mask.

The traffic channel always carries data in 20 ms frames. Frames at the higher rates of Rate Set 1, and in all frames of Rate Set 2, include CRC codes to help assess the frame quality in the receiver.

Soft Handoff

During soft handoffs a mobile station transmits the same information that it would in the absence of the handoff, that is, there is no change in the content of the mobile transmissions. There is a change in the way that reverse link power control is applied to the reverse link. Power control "down" commands from all participants in the handoff are logically "or'ed" together - if any of the handoff participant base stations says "down," then the mobile station is required to reduce its reverse link power.


Traffic channels carry variable rate traffic frames, either 1, 1/2, 1/4, or 1/8 of the maximum rate. In IS-95A only a 9600 bps rate family is currently available in the standard. In J-STD-008 a second rate set, based on a maximum rate of 14,400 bps is available. The Rate Set 2 will be added in a future revision of IS-95.

The data rate variation is accomplished by varying the duty cycle of transmission in accordance with a 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 plan, according to the rate requested by the data source. Transmission always occurs in 1.25 ms segments. The segments that are actually transmitted are pseudo-randomly selected, using a decimated long code sequence.


Mobile stations are required to adjust their transmission time according to the timing that they are able to derive from the pilot and sync channels, and adjusted for the know base station pilot offset. That is, the pilot offset index read from the sync channel must be used to correct transmitter timing so that the Reverse CDMA Channel signal arrives at the base station aligned in time with system time, to within a round-trip of the air interface propagation delay.

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Copyright © 1996-1999 Arthur H. M. Ross, Ph.D., Limited