Module ICE-4413:
Mobile Communications Systems

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Jianming Tang

Overall aims and purpose

This module will provide students with an in-depth understanding of current and emerging wireless transmission techniques, mobile communications systems and networks, with particular attention being focussed on operation principles and performances of mobile networks of different generations (2G, 3G and 4G) from layer 1 to layer 4. The future developing trends of mobile networks are also discussed.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to fundamental concepts, terminologies and basic techniques involved in mobile communication systems. They include, for example, OSI reference model, signal characteristics in both the time and frequency domains, digital and analogue modulation, antennas, signal propagation, various multiplexing and de-multiplexing techniques, as well as spread spectrum.
  • Access media controls: Hidden and exposed terminals, near and far terminals, as well as wireless MAC techniques including SDMA, FDMA, TDMA and CDMA.
  • Wireless telecommunications systems including GSM, GPRS, UMTS/IMT-2000 and LTE/LTE-Advanced.
  • Wireless sensor networks.
  • Mobile IP and mobile ad-hoc networks.
  • Wireless TCP congestion control.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.


Equivalent to 50%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.

Learning outcomes

  1. Describe and apply the fundamental concepts involved in wireless communication systems and networks.

  2. Argue how and where network layer issues affect mobile networks, and suggest potential solutions.

  3. Critically compare different multi-access techniques for specific user scenarios.

  4. Evaluate new technologies for various wireless communication systems and relate them to existing infrastructures.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY 5G Mobile Communications

An essay on a topic related to 5G mobile communications, assembling relevant literature and industry standards.

EXAM Examination

Unseen final examination.


Written coursework containing a set of review questions that will assist students with their revision of the module.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

1) Studying lecture slides and relevant books 2) completing tutorial questions, assignments/essays.


25 normal lectures over the whole semester


Two in the middle and three at the end


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Identify emerging technologies and technology trends;
  • Apply an understanding and appreciation of continuous improvement techniques
  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of electronic engineering in an international context;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of computer systems engineering in an international context;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of computer systems for controlling complex systems;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of computer systems engineering in safety-critical areas;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions, especially ones that include embedded microprocessors
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Systematically review factors affecting the implementation of a project, including safety and sustainability;
  • Appreciate the importance of designing products with due regard to good laboratory practice, health and safety considerations and ethical issues.
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Analyse and display data using appropriate methods and mathematical techniques;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of current advances and contemporary approaches in the discipline and have strategies for keeping that awareness current;
  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Analyse if/how a system meets current and future requirements
  • Deploy theory in design, implementation and evaluation of systems
  • Specify, design or construct computer-based systems
  • Evaluate systems in terms of quality and trade-offs
  • Development of general transferable skills
  • Knowledge of systems architecture
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain information systems
  • Defining problems, managing design process and evaluating outcomes
  • System Design
  • Knowledge and/or understanding of appropriate scientific and engineering principles
  • Knowledge and understanding of mathematical principles
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain computer-based systems
  • Principles of appropriate supporting engineering and scientific disciplines


Courses including this module