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Huawei Communicate

Mitigating interference

between LTE and 2G/3G networks
Radio interference is one of the key factors affecting the quality of wireless networks. As wireless communications technologies have developed, networks of different frequency bands and standards operating in the same region have become commonplace. Interference between wireless networks has grown more troublesome. When operators start to deploy LTE networks, how can operators address the more complex type of interference between wireless networks?
By Sun Jingfei

Challenges of wireless interference
ll of the signals emitted by a w i re l e s s n e t w o rk a re interference to another and this is particularly true when the networks use adjacent frequencies. This kind of interference will affect the quality of networks, impair user experience and


even cause network failures in extreme circumstances. Currently, many operators are trying to cope with interference between their own 2G and 3G networks. The frequency bands used by some 2G networks often overlap those of other 2G networks and 3G networks. For example, the CDMA downlink frequency band partially overlaps the uplink frequency band for Extended GSM

(EGSM), causing marked interference. Many operators use 900MHz for UMTS, but the frequency bands of GSM900 and UMTS900 are close to each other, as those of GSM1900 and UMTS1900, and interference is inevitable in such situation. In the near future, most operators in the world will face a more complex situation with 2G, 3G and LTE networks coexisting. LT E h a s m a n y s p e c t r a l o p t i o n s .
DEC 2009 . ISSUE 53


while ensuring the capacity and quality Solutions for typical scenarios When a new LTE network is built. The decreased bandwidth of a guard band can increase available frequency bands to GSM900 and the performance loss due to interference is acceptable. like the co-site adjacent channel interference solution. The bandwidth assigned to UMTS and GSM are standard-compliant and also adjacent. while GSM is given the 200KHz band. In this case. UMTS is given the 5MHz. 60% of operators in Europe use 12. Co-site interference Operators have invested heavily in 2G. ISSUE 53 . 2100MHz and 2600MHz.Solution Mitigating interference between LTE and 2G/3G networks Frequency bands specified for LTE include 700MHz. because the spectrum resources are limited. In this case. 900MHz. but LTE requires EGSM880. The actual width of a guard band depends on the anti-interference capability of equipment and the amount of interference from existing networks.5MHz for the 900MHz frequency band. causing greater co-channel and adjacent channel interference between wireless networks. Along with the rapid growth of wireless communications. it is necessary to analyze the current use of frequency bands in 2G and 3G networks. but interference is controllable and network performance is not affected. As a result. These frequency bands are very close to those of existing 2G and 3G networks and some even partially overlap those of 2G and 3G networks. For example. the CDMA850 frequency band already interferes with that of EGSM880. Interference between wireless networks has become a prime concern for operators and equipment suppliers. More and more spectrums will be refarmed. no guard band is provided. This can minimize interference. if a 3G network uses a frequency band for a 2G network. 3G and LTE networks. the most pressing problem for operators is to combat co-site interference. Filters and spatial isolation are needed in some extreme situations. 3G and LTE networks. the 3G network can use a bandwidth smaller than the standard one. a solution with an operator bandwidth of 4. spectrums have become increasingly scarce. the most direct mitigation measure is to reserve a guard band between two wireless communication networks. The analysis is intended to give early warnings to possible interference scenarios and help formulate preventive measures.2MHz can be used by UMTS900. Take UMTS and GSM for example. Many large companies are currently researching the issue and solutions are evolving. but it may also waste frequency resources. while 50% of operators in the Asia-Pacific region use 6–10MHz for the 900MHz frequency band. and co-channels are also among the typical scenarios that cause interference. If there are interference risks. In this scenario. to ensure the capability and quality of GSM networks. Costs can be considerably reduced if it is possible to utilize the resources of existing 2G and 3G networks by sharing sites with the LTE network. 1800MHz. Solutions have matured. In a co-site adjacent channel construction of UMTS900 and GSM900 networks. Co-sites 45 DEC 2009 . radio interference inevitably exists between 2G.

After implementation. Other interference There are still many other complex scenarios involving interference. Fortunately. The network was found being affected by existing networks such as GSM1900. subscribers using GSM900 networks in urban areas will gradually decrease or turn to other networks. the method for controlling cosite interference between GSM and UMTS can also be used in the co-site construction for GSM. GSM900 networks in urban areas can then gradually evolve to UMTS900 or LTE in the future. LTE network building will create more complex interference problems in the future. This can minimize interference. guard bands and other approaches. ISSUE 53 46 . equipment isolation. the same spectrum is used by UMTS900 in rural areas and GSM900 in urban areas. When Vietnam’s HT Mobile swapped its CDMA800 network to EGSM. In the future. Compared with 2100MHz. The interference between the two networks was then effectively eliminated with corresponding solutions. Along with network evolution. operators can not only streamline their operations but also gain an advantageous strategic position. Experience in 3G deployment can be used to deploy LTE networks beginning with hotspots. DEC 2009 . and double the coverage of 2100MHz. the uplink frequency of EGSM was adjacent to the downlink frequency of CDMA800 of other operators. after the frequency band of GSM900 is refarmed to UMTS900 in rural areas. CDMA1900 and DECT1900. HT Mobile used filters in some places after analyzing frequency assignment. isolation zones are set up between GSM900 and UMTS900 networks. Huawei provides optimal anti-interference solutions through spatial isolation. performance is guaranteed and interference controlled. The existing antiinterference solutions are inherited and existing investment is protected. Thailand’s DTAC realized that the downlink frequency was adjacent to the uplink frequency of the existing GSM900 network. Optus in Australia has refarmed part of the GSM900 frequency band to UMTS900. To save money and maximize benefits during the construction of LTE networks. facilitating network construction and development. causing a great deal of interference. Take the new UMTS2100 network at Vivo in Brazil for example. To improve 3G coverage in r ural areas. 3G and LTE networks coexist in the future there are viable solutions to eliminate interference. After analysis. The actual width of a guard band depends on the anti-interference capability of equipment and the amount of interference from existing networks. Inter ference has long been a key concern for both operators and equipment suppliers. Huawei has conducted in-depth research and gained rich experience in eliminating interference caused by the coexistence of 2G. It is possible to have an isolation zone using another frequency between the two areas. but it may also waste frequency resources. the interference problem was resolved with five customized filters. For If there are interference risks. Co-channel interference Geographical isolation zones can be used to counter interference where different wireless networks use the same frequency bands.Huawei Communicate of the 2G network. when 2G. it is highly important for operators to tailor optimal solutions for all issues and potentialities from the very beginning. 3G and LTE networks. and the co-channel and adjacent-channel interference between wireless networks. such as better indoor coverage. The 900MHz frequency band can notably reduce the number of base stations. UMTS and LTE networks to control interference between the three. so the GSM900 frequency band can be retained for LTE. the most direct mitigation measure is to reserve a guard band between two wireless communication networks. the 900MHz frequency band has many inherent advantages. Editor: Wang Hongjun whjun@huawei. To eliminate the interference between the two types of networks. Because UMTS900 networks deployed in rural areas will strongly interfere with GSM900 networks in rural areas. In the proposed UMTS850 (refarming of the AMPS spectrum) network construction. With this approach to building UMTS900 networks.