Accessibility statement

Mobile Communications Systems - ELE00012H

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Paul Mitchell
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

The Mobile Communication Systems provides an insight into how mobile phones and the underpinning network technology has evolved over the generations of standards. Important cellular network design principles and core technologies are covered, including: traffic models and quality of service; wireless propagation and large scale channel models; cellular planning; practical deployments; multiple access techniques and interference management; capacity calculations; CDMA fundamentals; 2G, 3G and 4G standards.

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To give insight into the history of cellular communications and the first, second, third and fourth generation standards
  • To introduce methods of traffic modelling for typical mobile applications including the specification of important quality of service requirements
  • To review wireless propagation mechanisms and understand a range of large-scale channel models and their use in dimensioning mobile communication systems
  • To describe methods for cellular network planning and introduce constraints and issues surrounding practical deployments
  • To introduce multiple access techniques and interference mitigation techniques
  • To introduce methods for dimensioning and evaluating the capacity of mobile communication networks

Graduate skills aims:

  • To develop skills in the selection and application of appropriate numeric and algebraic techniques
  • To develop skills in system level design based on operational parameters and constraints.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to describe key characteristics of the different mobile communication standards and the motivation behind the development of each generation of standards
  • Be able to compare alternative approaches to traffic modelling and specify suitable models for mobile applications including quality of service requirements
  • Be able to use large-scale channel models or propagation measurement data to appropriately dimension cells
  • Be able to determine an appropriate frequency-reuse strategy for a mobile communication system and propose methods for enhancing the capacity of deployed networks
  • Be able to explain how fundamental multiple access techniques work and how a range of techniques can be used to mitigate against interference
  • Be able to appropriately dimension and calculate the capacity of simple FDMA, TDMA and CDMA terrestrial scenarios
  • Understand the principle features and technologies employed in the GSM, WCDMA, 3GPP-LTE standards

Graduate skills learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to explain and evaluate advanced technical concepts concisely and accurately
  • Be able to select, adapt and apply a range of mathematical techniques to solve advanced problems
  • Have developed skills in problem solving, critical analysis and applied mathematics

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Mobile Communications Systems Exam
1.5 hours 100

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Mobile Communications Systems Exam
1.5 hours 100

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme.  We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments.

A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.  This can be found at

The Department of Electronic Engineering aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme.  In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work.  Students are provided with their examination results within 20 working days of the end of any given examination period.  The Department will also endeavour to return all coursework feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline.  The Department would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback.  The Department will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum.  Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate.  Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Indicative reading

Molisch, “Wireless Communications”, John Wiley & Sons, 2nd Edition (2011)
Saunders, “Antennas and Propagation for Wireless Communication Systems”, Wiley, 2nd Edition (2007)
Rappaport, “Wireless Communications: Principles and Practice”, Prentice Hall, 2nd Edition (2001)
Agrawal, “Introduction to Wireless & Mobile Systems”, Cengage Learning, International Edition (2011)
Holma, “LTE for UMTS: OFDMA and SC-FDMA Based Radio Access”, Wiley, 1st Edition (2009)
Smol, Hamer and Hills, “Telecommunications: a systems approach”, Allen and Unwin, (1976)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.