Changing the RF cost performance paradigm
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Noise is a fact of life in radio communication systems, withsome background noise always present.Noise can also emanate from many sources including:-
Cable, filters and other passive elements whichexhibit a loss.
Intermodulation Distortion (IMD), and
The environment - broad band RF interference fromelectricity static, ionic clouds or corona discharge,electric appliances and tools, automobiles, lightningand spurious RF etc.The radio receiver will see any interference as unwantednoise, and
reducing noise levels or noise rise at the BTS receiver is key to network health
. Any internal or external interference is likely to result insome degree of ‘deafening’ in a TDMA receiver or ‘robbing’ of Interference Margin in CDMA systems. The result isreduced coverage, capacity or both, causing:
Lost Revenue, and
High OPEXFigure 1
Noise and Network Topology
In today’s wireless networks, mobile connectivity ismaintained by handing a call from one cell to the nextalong the subscriber’s route. The point of handover isdetermined by the subscriber’s detected signal quality, orBit Error Rate (BER), with the actual acceptable signal andnoise level ratios varying between TDMA and CDMA technologies.RF theory suggests the noise floor level is the sum of allthe noise sources and unwanted signals within a system.It limits the accuracy of the smallest measurements, sincedetectable signal amplitude must be no less than the noisefloor for TDMA systems, or within a tolerable level under itfor spread spectrum technology.Receiver noise levels degrade further as evolvingtechnologies utilize wider channel bandwidths.ChannelBandwidthkTB Thermal 50ohm Noise FloorGSM 250 kHz -119 dBmCDMA 1.25 MHz -112 dBmWCDMA 5 MHz -107 dBmTable 1
The specified sensitivity of a BTS receiver in conjunction with expected noise levels determines the geographic layout of the network and the hardware needed to support it.Higher than anticipated noise levels or noise rise challenge planned cost performance models through reduced practical receiver sensitivity, coverage and capacity.
We have previously sighted Holma and Toskala (WCDMA & UTMS Nokia Finland 2004) who suggest 1dB loss inCDMA and UTMS receiver sensitivity can mean as much as11% loss of coverage.
Interference Generated Noise
Increased receiver interference adds to the noise floorcausing the rejection of the subscriber call that wouldotherwise be of acceptable quality.Figure 2Figure 2 is the display from a spectrum analyser on “Maximum Hold”, capturing wide band noise resultingfrom the presence of PIM in the RF interconnection overtime. In this case GSM900 and WCDMA800 were co-located with resulting PIM products degrading the receiver
Noise and the RF Infrastructure – (Part 4 of 6)
Coverage and capacity are critical cost performance metrics in wireless systems, with both generally limited by degradedreceiver performance from the introduction of unwanted noise. This interference can come from multiple possible sources,but is commonly introduced into the system by deteriorating components or less than perfect RF infrastructure.