Course Syllabus


TLEN 5510:  Wireless & Cellular Communications

Fall 2018 (Rm. DLC 1B23, 3 Credits)

Course Description and Objectives
TLEN 5510 studies technologies and architectures employed in modern cellular wireless systems. Major topics include radio propagation, multiple access techniques, analog and digital cellular telephony, and personal communications systems.  

TLEN 5510 presents the necessary tools to understand the wireless industry, its technical details, and its business drivers. It starts with the fundamentals of wireless communications, followed by an in-depth treatment of radio propagation: modeling, spectrum, weather, multipath, Doppler effect, and shadowing. The course then deviates from typical wireless introductory course to focus on important aspects of multiple access technologies such as CDMA and OFDMA. It outlines their principles as well as their applications to broadband radio communications. It introduces modern radio standards like LTE, with particular focus on their improvements over their previous generations, and their network architecture evolutions.

This course has the following key objectives:



TLEN 5510 covers these topics and achieves these objectives through hands-on labs to complement theories presented in the lectures. The course is split into the following units of study:



The exposure to propagation modeling tools and actual LTE, microwave, and millimeter-wave hardware increases employment or promotion opportunities in the wireless industry. By the end of the course students will be fluent in a wide variety of wireless technologies, services, tools and products.


Dr. Thomas Schwengler

Lecturer | Wireless, Interdisciplinary Telecom Program

Course Prerequisites

A good understanding of digital signal processing and basic wireless concepts such as link budgets; Introduction to Wireless Systems.


Homework & Lab Assignments







To do well in this course, you will need to be prepared for each class by reading assigned material and being ready to apply it to new concepts seen in class.


All labs, homework, and assignments are due on the following Monday. No exceptions to deadlines for course work will be made.  Classroom absence may be permitted either for an emergency or prior notification to the professor stating the date and reason for the classroom absence two weeks in advance.

Grading Scale

100 – 93%


92 – 90%


89 – 87%


86 – 83%


82 – 80%


79 – 77%


76 – 71%


70 – 0%


Class Readings

Students will be expected to have read the class readings noted in the course syllabus before attending the class.


Many of the readings will be posted on the Canvas web site. To access Canvas, go to: You can login using your IdentiKey username and password. Once you login, click on the course name to go into the course.

Course Outline (Subject to Change)


Topic, Reading, and/or Work Assignment


Lecture:  Cellular Wireless Concepts and Spectrum Landscape

Required Reading:  

  • Class notes chapter 1-2,


  • Homework 1problems from class notes end of chapter 1


Lecture:  Radio propagation modeling

Required Reading:  

  • Class notes chapter 3,
  • Latest FCC orders, reports, and NPRM’s posted on Canvas.


  • Lab 1matlab propagation modeling and ray tracing


Lecture:  Link budget, fading, and shadowing

Required Reading:  

  • Class notes chapter 4,


  • Homework 2 – problems from class note chapter 4


Lecture:  Microwave, millimeter-wave

  • Spectrum
  • Diffraction by Obstacles

·       Atmospheric Effects & Weather Impact

Required Reading:  

  • Class notes chapter 5

Recommended Reading:  

  • Microwave design documents (posted on Canvas)


  • Lab 2 – Microwave, millimeter-wave lab – design and build


Lecture:  Practical aspects of Wireless Systems

  • Cell Site Considerations
  • Synchronization and GPS
  • Health Concerns

Required Reading:  

  • Class notes chapter 6


  • Homework 3 – problems from class note chapter 6


Lecture:  CDMA

  • CDMA Basics, cdmaOne, cdma2000, UMTS

Required Reading:  

  • Class notes chapter 7


  • Homework 4 – problems from class note chapter 7


Lecture:  OFDMA

  • OFDM and OFDMA basics

Required Reading:   

  • Class notes chapter 8

Homework: Midterm Review


Midterm Review and Exam


Lecture: LTE part 1

  • LTE protocols. Radio physical, logical, transport layers

Required Reading:  

  • LTE applications notes and standard specifications (on Canvas)


  • Lab 3matlab LTE modeling


Lecture: LTE part 2

Required Reading:  

  • Propagation software user manual


  • Lab 4 –LTE propagation modeling


Lecture: LTE Evolved Packet Core

  • Core network evolution
  • EPC

Required Reading:   

  • LTE applications notes and standard specifications (on Canvas)


  • Lab 5 – EPC and eNodeB hands on in lab


Lecture: Advanced propagation modeling

  • Multipath, Doppler effect
  • Correlation and diversity

Required Reading:   

  • Class notes chapter 4


  • Chapter 4 problems
  • Lab 6 – More propagation topics
  • Hands on – LTE handover in lab


No Class – Fall Break


Lecture: MIMO

  • Fundamental principles
  • MIMO systems, LTE

Required Reading:   

  • Class notes chapter 9


  • Lab 7 –MIMO


Lecture: 5G air interface

  • New bands, new radio
  • Propagation

Required Reading:   

  • LTE applications notes and standard specifications (on Canvas)
  • 5G and millimeter-wave propagation modeling group papers


·       Lab 8 –5G propagation modeling


Lecture: 5G core network

  • Network interfaces

Required Reading:   

  • LTE applications notes and standard specifications (on Canvas)

Course revisions and Final Exam Preparation


Final Exam

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