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This paper provides an introduction to how the Long term evolution (LTE) protocol stack operates. Because the final 3GPP specification will cover tens of thousands of pages, this paper touches only on the highest levels of protocol operation. The paper discusses the history and application requirements that determine the functions and priorities of LTE, examines the protocol stack in terms of the time domain and in terms of information moving through the stack, and finally discusses more specialized aspects of the standard such as scheduling and quality of service, management and control functions, handovers and power save operation.
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