What is the PCI in LTE?

Hello Experts,

What is the use of PCI in LTE?

PCI stands for Physical Cell Identity, to make is as easy as possible, it is the identifier of LTE eutrancell, same like PSC in 3G or BCCH in 2G, it consists of 2 parts PSS (Primary Synchronization Signal) and SSS (Secondary Synchronization Signal), both used to give PCI, PCI=3xSSS+ PSS, they are used mainly to achieve radio frame, subframe, slot and symbol synchronization in the time domain and to Identify the center of the channel bandwidth in the frequency domain.


In physical data processing flow we know scrambling step the scrambling uses PCI to be SC so if UE want to decode information from LTE Cell PCI need to be informed.

So, how is it informed? it carried by two synchronization signals (PSS&SSS) as PCI=3xSSS+ PSS after UE read these two signals UE can calculate current PCI configuration of the Cell.

PCI in LTE is physical layer Cell Identifier. Its range is from 0-503 total Identities as 504. It is consist of Primary Sync signal and Secondary Sync signal.
PSS possible values can be 0,1,2 and SSS value can be 0-167

PCI can be calculated as PSS+3x SSS
for an examples

PCI = 1+ 3*5=16
Here is an good read about PCI from techplayon.