PCell Functionality in LTE-Advanced

In LTE Rel-1o, the concept of Primary Cell (PCell) and Secondary Cell (SCell) was introduced to support Carrier Aggregation. The PCell is more or less like the serving cell in the non-CA case. The functions provided by the PCell are summarized below (see Section 7.5 of 3GPP TS36.300 for more details).

–     Provides Security inputs

–     Provides NAS mobility functions

–     Have always Uplink and Downlink resources: Carrier frequency (FDD) or UL/DL subframes (TDD)

–     Used for PUCCH transmission

–     Used for RRC connection re-establishment

–     Used for Radio Link Monitoring

–     Can be changed only by Handover

–     Cannot be deactivated

–     Cannot be cross scheduled

–     Semi-persistent resources can only be configured for the PCell

–     UE acquires system information of PCell from the Physical Broadcast Channel (PBCH)


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