Navigation:: Radio-Electronics.com Home >> Cellular telecoms >> this page

Personal Digital Cellular (PDC)

- the 2G system used in Japan

The Personal Digital Cellular or Pacific Digital Cellular (PDC) system is a second-generation mobile phone technology introduced in 1991. Although it is only found in Japan, its use there is very widespread and there are a considerable number of users. Accordingly it accounts for over 10% of the world market for second-generation mobile phone users.

The Personal Digital Cellular or Pacific Digital Cellular (PDC) system is a second-generation mobile phone technology introduced in 1991. Although it is only found in Japan, its use there is very widespread and there are a considerable number of users. Accordingly it accounts for over 10% of the world market for second-generation mobile phone users.

PDC was introduced in Japan in 1991 with the move from analogue to digital technology. It uses TDMA technology and it is very similar to the US "TDMA" or IS54 / IS136 system but operates in the 800 and 1500 MHz bands. The modulation scheme, voice frame size, TDMA frame duration, and interleaving remain the same. The major difference is that it uses a 25 kHz channel spacing instead of 30 kHz.


Technology

As already mentioned PDC is a TDMA system and it operates by splitting each channel into several time slots and thereby allowing several users to use the same frequency channel. For each channel it is possible to support three users under normal circumstances. However when traffic levels are high it is possible to use half data rate speech. Although this reduces the speech quality, it enables six calls to be supported by each channel. This compares very favourably to GSM that manages eight within each 200 kHz channel.

Speech encoding is an important factor. PDC uses a different encoder to that used on IS54/IS136. The standard rate is 9.6 kbps along with similar technologies such as GSM, but when half rate encoding is used this falls to 5.6 kbps. Although this gives a significant reduction in voice quality, it is still adequate to maintain intelligibility and enables the network capacity to be increased to accommodate further calls.

Whilst it may appear that the spectral efficiency of PDC would result in a lower level of features, it manages to support many of the expected features including text messaging and caller identification. It also has Intelligent Network (IN) capabilities and these enable it to support features such as pre-paid calling, Universal Access Numbers, personal numbers and virtual private networks (VPN). These VPNs are limited access groups that allow people working in different locations to use the mobile phone network as thought it was an internal office phone system.


Data

To facilitate data transmission to a data rate of 28.8 kbps the PDC-P (PDC mobile Packet Data Communication System) has been introduced. The normal system uses a circuit switched approach where a complete circuit is switched for a given user. This is fine for voice communications, but where data applications are concerned a packet switched approach is far more efficient. Here individual packets of data are routed to the required user and there is no dedicated channel. This makes far more efficient use of the channels available because data transmissions are notoriously "bursty" in nature. By adopting this approach users can be charged for the data transferred rather than the connection time.


Coverage

One very important feature in Japan is that of coverage, and that of coverage within buildings such as shopping malls, offices and subway stations. In fact this is a major sales differentiator between the different operators and as such it is of great importance. In view of this there is a large number of micro and pico cells that have been set up. The base stations for these cells use low power combined with distributed antenna systems and repeaters to ensure the required coverage.


Migration

One of the important aspects of any system today is the migration path to 3G. With the move to the greater use of packet data on PDC this provides an important step towards the IMT2000. This will provide a data transfer rate of up to 2 Mbps.

Share this page


Want more like this? Register for our newsletter






Wide CFAR transceiver enables Sub-GHz IoT Andreas Laute | Melexis
Wide CFAR transceiver enables Sub-GHz IoT
One key requirement for many Internet of Things transceivers is the carrier frequency acceptance range or CFAR as transmitters may not always have a very accurate carrier frequency generation scheme.
Training
Online - Designing GaN Power Amplifier MMICs
Learn how to design high performance GaN power amplifier MMICs

More training courses

Whitepapers
High Voltage DC Distribution
Vicor explains how high-voltage DC distribution is key to increased system efficiency and renewable-energy opportunities.

More whitepapers










Radio-Electronics.com is operated and owned by Adrio Communications Ltd and edited by Ian Poole. All information is © Adrio Communications Ltd and may not be copied except for individual personal use. This includes copying material in whatever form into website pages. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on Radio-Electronics.com, no liability is accepted for any consequences of using it. This site uses cookies. By using this site, these terms including the use of cookies are accepted. More explanation can be found in our Privacy Policy