Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: February 2011

10 - Random access


Random access is generally performed when the UE turns on from sleep mode, performs handoff from one cell to another or when it loses uplink timing synchronization. At the time of random access, it is assumed that the UE is time-synchronized with the eNB on the downlink. Therefore, when a UE turns on from sleep mode, it first acquires downlink timing synchronization. The downlink timing synchronization is achieved by receiving primary and secondary synchronization sequences and the broadcast channel as discussed in Chapter 9. After acquiring downlink timing synchronization and receiving system information including information on parameters specific to random access, the UE can perform the random access preamble transmission. Random access allows the eNB to estimate and, if needed, adjust the UE uplink transmission timing to within a fraction of the cyclic prefix. When an eNB successfully receives a random access preamble, it sends a random access response indicating the successfully received preamble(s) along with the timing advance (TA) and uplink resource allocation information to the UE. The UE can then determine if its random access attempt has been successful by matching the preamble number it used for random access with the preamble number information received from the eNB. If the preamble number matches, the UE assumes that its preamble transmission attempt has been successful and it then uses the TA information to adjust its uplink timing. After the UE has acquired uplink timing synchronization, it can send uplink scheduling or a resource request using the resources indicated in the random access response message as depicted in Figure 10.1.