Search course

Use the search function to find more information about the study programmes and courses available at Chalmers. When there is a course homepage, a house symbol is shown that leads to this page.

Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
SSY135 - Wireless communications
Syllabus adopted 2016-02-12 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPCOM
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Electrical Engineering

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: B

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0107 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   16 Mar 2018 pm SB,  08 Jun 2018 pm SB,  30 Aug 2018 pm M

In programs



Bitr professor  Henk Wymeersch


ESS036   Wireless communications


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

A passing grade in SSY125 Digital Communications, or a similar course, is required.

This implies working knowledge of basic concepts in signal processing (linear filtering, convolution, impulse response, frequency response, Fourier transforms), probability and random processes (probability density functions, conditional probabilities, expectation, power spectral density), modulation (pulse-amplitude modulation, quadrature modulation, intersymbol interference), error-control coding (block codes, convolutional codes), error probability analysis for additive white Gaussian (AWGN) channels, power efficiency, and spectral efficiency, and channel capacity for AWGN channels. Basic MATLAB skills programming skills are required to complete the course projects.


The course is concerned with design of wireless communication systems. This includes link design (i.e., choice of modulation, channel coding, and possible use of multiple antenna techniques), channel access design (i.e., choice of multiple access, multiplexing, and duplexing techniques), and network design (e.g., choice of cell layout, power control, frequency and channel reuse strategies). Wireless channel models, coding, and modulation are particularly emphasized. The aim is that the students will acquire enough understanding of the wireless channel and the state of the technology to explain why today's systems are designed as they are and how they can be improved as technology evolves.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • explain why small-scale and large-scale fading occurs
  • describe the conditions under which the standard path loss and fading models accurately predicts real-world radio wave propagation
  • define Doppler spread, delay spread, coherence time, and coherence bandwidth and explain how these parameters are related and affect the wireless physical layer design
  • define the performance metrics instantaneous error probability, average error probability, and outage probability and understand which metric is appropriate for a given scenario
  • define ergodic and outage channel capacity and explain under which conditions these concepts indicate the spectral efficiency of an optimum link design
  • evaluate the performance of communication links over fading channels by analysis and computer simulations
  • define the concepts of channel reuse, uplink, downlink, multiple access, multiplexing, frequency-division, time-division, code-division, and space-division
  • define the concepts of time, frequency, and space diversity and explain how diversity can be achieved in practice
  • explain the concept of spatial channels for multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) systems
  • describe and compare complexity and performance of the following channel equalizations methods: zero-forcing, linear MMSE, maximum likelihood
  • design and interpret power and rate allocation algorithm, including statistical and deterministic water-filling
  • explain the effect of phase noise and power amplifier nonlinearities on the communication link
  • describe the current knowledge of health effects of electromagnetic radiation and how this affects the design of wireless communication equipment via regulations, recommendations, and measurement methods for determining safe levels of exposure
  • describe the foundations for ethical scientific research (e.g. related to dual use, data collection, plagiarism and authorship)


  • Radio propagation mechanisms
  • Antenna gain
  • Path loss: free-space, log-distance, empirical models
  • Large-scale fading: log-normal shadow fading
  • Small-scale fading: Rayleigh, Ricean, and Nakagami-m
  • Time-varying impulse and frequency response
  • Statistical characterization of wide-sense stationary uncorrelated scattering channels
  • Coherence time and coherence bandwidth
  • Power delay profile, mean delay spread, and rms delay spread
  • Doppler spectrum and Doppler spread
  • Space, time, and frequency diversity
  • Diversity combining schemes: maximum ratio, equal-gain, selection, and switched combining
  • Transmit and received diversity
  • Average and instantaneous error probability for fading channels
  • Outage probability for fading channels
  • Outage and ergodic channel capacity for fading channels
  • Single-carrier equalization and orthogonal frequency-division
  • Multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) antennas systems
  • Medium access schemes (TDMA, FDMA, CDMA)
  • Fundamentals of cellular systems
  • Hardware impairments: phase noise, nonlinearities
  • Biological effects of electromagnetic radiation


The course is comprised of approximately 18 lectures, 14 exercise sessions, 12 homework problems, 2 projects, and 6 quizzes (short written tests).


Andrea Goldsmith, Wireless Communications, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN-13: 9780521837163, ISBN-10: 0521837162.


The final grade (TH) is based on scores from projects, quizzes, homeworks, and a written exam.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.