Consideration of MIMO in the Planning of LTE

Networks in Urban and Indoor Scenarios
Oliver Stäbler, Reiner Hoppe, Gerd Wölfle, Thomas Hager, Timm Herrmann
AWE Communications GmbH
Otto-Lilienthal-Straße 36, 71034 Böblingen, Germany

Abstract— Broadband wireless access is emerging as one of the
hottest areas of growth within mobile communications. It enables
users to enjoy the same QoS they have at home, in the office or
wherever they go. 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) is the latest
standard in the mobile cellular network technology. Innovative
wireless communication systems, such as LTE, are expected to
offer highly reliable broadband radio access in order to meet the
increasing demands of emerging high speed data and multimedia
services. For the planning of LTE networks, the investigation of
radio transmission in urban areas, but also within and into
buildings is getting more important.
This paper introduces a deterministic approach for the
simulation and performance evaluation of LTE networks in
urban and indoor scenarios. Besides signal levels the expected
MIMO capacity is evaluated. Comparisons with two
measurement campaigns verify the high accuracy of the
presented prediction model.

Keywords – LTE, MIMO channel, deterministic channel model,
ray tracing, comparison with measurement data.
After the great success of wireless communications used in
land and personal mobile radio networks, the growing demand
for high data rates and high reliability becomes more and
more important. Not only WLAN and WiMAX, but also 3G
and LTE networks with their wireless multimedia services
(e.g. video terminals) are used inside and outside buildings
and rely on the same high Quality of Service (QoS)
everywhere. 3GPP Long Term Evolution is able to cope with
those requirements using the MIMO technology in order to
guarantee high data rates and sufficient QoS. The LTE
specification provides downlink peak rates of at least 100
Mbit/s, uplink rates of at least 50 Mbit/s and RAN round-trip
times of less than 10 ms. As LTE uses OFDMA in downlink
and SC-FDMA for the uplink, scalable carrier bandwidths,
ranging from 1.4 MHz to 20 MHz are supported as well.
The performance of such wireless communication systems
depends in a fundamental way on the mobile radio channel.
As a consequence, predicting the propagation characteristics
between two antennas belongs to the most important tasks for
the radio planning of LTE networks. In order to calibrate and
evaluate the accuracy of the prediction models, comparisons
with measurement data are inevitable. The next paragraph
gives an overview of the deterministic ray tracing simulation
approach, which is used to predict LTE systems in a time
efficient and highly accurate way. The following sections
show comparisons of measured LTE channel data with
prediction results obtained from the 3D ray tracing
propagation model within an urban area and inside a building.
A. 3D Ray-Optical Propagation Model
The mobile radio channel in urban and indoor areas is
characterized by multi-path propagation. Dominant
propagation phenomena in these scenarios are the shadowing
behind obstacles, the reflection at the walls of buildings, the
wave guiding effects (due to multiple reflections) in street
canyons or corridors, and the diffractions at vertical and
horizontal wedges. The ray tracing algorithm used for the
deterministic modeling is based on the evaluation of 3D
building data representing the evaluated environment [1].

Figure 1: 3D vector database with propagation paths between transmitter and
receiver in an urban environment
The propagation model is fully three dimensional and
computes all rays with up to three interactions (incl. double
diffractions and combinations of reflections and diffractions).
The prediction of the path loss along the ray is computed with
the uniform theory of diffraction (UTD) and with the Fresnel
coefficients for the reflections. In order to accelerate the time-
consuming path determination the Intelligent Ray Tracing
(IRT) model can be utilized. The IRT is based on a pre-
processing of the building data, thus combining high accuracy
with short computation time [2], [3].
B. Post-Processing for Computation of MIMO Channels
The main disadvantage of the deterministic wave
propagation models is their excessive computation time. The
most time-consuming part is the determination of all relevant
paths between transmitter and receiver. To avoid large
computation times, the IRT (Intelligent Ray Tracing) is used
to predict the SISO channel impulse response between the
centers of the transmitter and the receiver antenna arrays. As
the spacing between the antenna elements of the arrays is
rather small it can be assumed that the same propagation paths
exist for all antenna elements of the array and only the signal
phases are changing from one element to the other (assuming
planar incidence of the waves) [4]. Considering such a
modular approach avoids re-computing the ray tracing
between all the antenna elements of the transmitter and the
receiver station during the generation of the MIMO channel
In order to verify prediction results in urban environments,
results from a measurement campaign provided by the
University of Ilmenau [5] have been used for comparison.
A. Modeling of Simulation Scenario
The urban simulation scenario [5] was modeled using a 3D
CAD model of the buildings located in the city center of
Ilmenau as well as the corresponding digital terrain elevation
database. Figure 2 depicts the simulation scenario together
with the location of the base station and the two receiver
trajectories, which have been taken into account for the
measurement comparison. Further details of the computation
parameters and databases are summarized in Table 1.

Figure 2: Simulation scenario with transmitter location and receiver
Simulation area 1000 m x 1000 m
No. of vector buildings 4506
Min. building height 0.8 m
Max. building height 27.3 m
Min. elevation 474.2 m
Max. elevation 519.7 m
Std. dev. of elevation 12.1 m
Resolution of prediction 5.0 m

The uniform linear antenna array of the base station is
located 26.5 meters above the ground level with an azimuthal
adjustment of 315 degrees and a down tilt of 10 degrees. The
two antenna elements are spaced 0.49 λ apart and radiate at a
centre frequency of 2.53 GHz with a total transmission power
of 46 dBm. The mobile receiver is equipped with a uniform
linear antenna array, which is oriented always perpendicular
to the direction of movement. It is located on top of a vehicle
1.9 meters above street level. The car drives with a nearly
constant velocity along two different trajectories, which are
show in Figure 2. The first route (10b-9b) is approximately
123 meters long and covers locations with and without direct
line-of-sight between transmitter and receiver. The second,
upper trajectory (41a-42) is about 54 meters long and has
always no line-of-sight between transmitter and receiver (cf.
Figure 3).
B. Results of Comparison
The measurement routes coincide with 30 prediction pixels
for route 10b-9b and 14 prediction pixels for route 41a-42.
Since the predictions are computed for each pixel separately,
the measurement data is averaged and mapped to the
prediction pixels using the following procedure: First, each
measurement snapshot is mapped to the pixel, whose center is
closest to the location where the measurement snapshot was
recorded. In a second step, the median values of the received
power, delay spread and channel capacity values of all
snapshots mapped to the same pixel are calculated in order to
obtain one measured value [5] for each pixel to compare it
with the predicted results.

Figure 3: Predicted LOS status along the two receiver routes
The following graphs show the comparison between
measured and predicted values of received power, delay
spread and channel capacity along the receiver trajectories
considering a 2x2 MIMO system. The two curves of the
graphs represent the measurement values (blue line) and the
prediction values (red line), respectively. Prediction values are
depicted additionally in the scenario map together with the
building vector database of the surrounding.
The curves of the received power prediction show a good
agreement with the corresponding measurement values.
As the delay spread is a measure of the multi-path richness
of a wireless channel, it is a further crucial parameter for the
characterization of MIMO channels used in broadband LTE
networks. Figure 7 and Figure 8 show the comparison of the
occurring delay spread along the two receiver trajectories.

Figure 4: Received power along receiver route 10b-9b

Figure 5: Received power along receiver route 41a-42

Figure 6: Power predictions along the two receiver routes

Figure 7: Delay spread along receiver route 10b-9b

Figure 8: Delay spread along receiver route 41a-42

Figure 9: Delay spread predictions along the two receiver routes
The comparison of the delay spread values also turned out
to look very promising, especially for the receiver trajectory
10b-9b. The values of the statistical evaluation and the mean
prediction errors can be found in Table 2 and Table 3,
Channel capacities of the 2x2 MIMO channels shown in
Figure 10 and Figure 11 have been computed using a post-
processing step for the 3D ray tracing results of a SISO
channel. For the prediction a fixed mean signal-to-noise-ratio
of 15 dB was assumed.

Figure 10: Channel Capacity along receiver route 10b-9b

Figure 11: Channel capacity along receiver route 41a-42

Figure 12: Channel capacity predictions along the two receiver routes
Mean Std. Dev. Channel
Rx Power
10b-9b -50.8 -50.9 6.2 5.3
Rx Power
41a-42 -62.4 -62.5 2.2 2.1
Delay Spread
10b-9b 173.4 172.4 75.5 70.6
Delay Spread
41a-42 195.3 208.8 17.1 37.5
Channel Capacity
10b-9b 6.1 6.3 0.2 0.3
Channel Capacity
41a-42 6.3 6.5 0.1 0.2
Channel Parameter Route Mean Std. Dev.
Rx Power dBm] 10b-9b 0.0 1.7
Rx Power [dBm] 41a-42 0.1 0.7
Delay Spread [ns] 10b-9b 0.9 27.2
Delay Spread [ns] 41a-42 13.5 33.3
Channel Capacity [bit/s/Hz] 10b-9b 0.1 0.2
Channel Capacity [bit/s/Hz] 41a-42 0.2 0.2

Table 2 summarizes the results of the statistical evaluation
of the measurement data as well as of the prediction results
along the two receiver trajectories. The mean prediction errors
and the corresponding standard deviations are listed in Table 3.
These numbers refer to a case where measurement results
have been subtracted from ray tracing predictions. The
graphical comparisons as well as the statistical evaluation
indicate a good matching between the predicted values and the
measurement data for both receiver trajectories.
The availability of high data rates and QoS inside buildings
becomes more and more important nowadays. The indoor
coverage provided by macro cellular LTE networks can be
improved substantially using indoor MIMO antenna systems,
as shown in the measurement campaign presented in [6].
A. Modeling of Simulation Scenario
The results of these measurements taken in the 2.6 GHz
LTE test setup of the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute in
Berlin [6] have been used for evaluation of the MIMO
prediction module [7]. The corresponding simulation scenario
is depicted in Figure 13. Further details are given in Table 4.

Figure 13: 3D vector database of simulation scenario
Simulation area 30 m x 30 m
No. of vector objects 164
Height of floor 4.0 m
Prediction height 1.5 m
Resolution of prediction 1.0 m

The indoor antenna system was fed from an urban macro
cell eNodeB, which is located on the left hand side of the
building, approximately 500 meter apart. Four different indoor
antenna configurations have been investigated in order to
identify the best solution for maximum radio coverage and
data rate on the depicted floor of the building. The following
sub sections show the comparisons between predicted (left
part) and measured (right part) maximum achievable data
rates for four different antenna configurations.
B. Scenario A: Single Antenna Pair
A simple approach to obtain radio coverage at indoor
locations, where no coverage from the outdoor macro cell is
available, is to deploy indoor antennas in these areas. As the
outdoor eNodeB is placed on the left hand side of the building,
Scenario A introduces two MIMO antenna elements in the
shadowed part of the building (cf. Figure 14) in order to
enhance the coverage in this area.

Figure 14: Measurement comparison for maximum achievable data rate in
scenario A
C. Scenario B: Distributed Antennas
Due to the floor plan of the building and the anticipated
wave guiding effects in the corridors, a system with two
distributed antennas radiating one spatial stream each was
evaluated as well. The comparison between prediction and
measurement is depicted in Figure 15 and shows a good

Figure 15: Measurement comparison for maximum achievable data rate in
scenario B
D. Scenario C: Distributed Antenna Pairs
Radiating both spatial streams from two separated locations
further enhances the maximum achievable data rate in large
parts of the floor to a nearly optimum level as depicted in the
following figure.

Figure 16: Measurement comparison for maximum achievable data rate in
scenario C
E. Scenario D: Interleaved Antennas
The scenario with four interleaved antennas provides the
best configuration regarding the maximization of the
achievable data rate. With this configuration, maximum
achievable data rates above 100 Mbit/s can be reached all over
the building floor.

Figure 17: Measurement comparison for maximum achievable data rate in
scenario D
The simulation results for the maximum achievable data
rate depicted on the left hand side of the Figures 14-17 show a
good agreement between measured and predicted values and
therefore proof the high simulation accuracy of WinProp [7]
in indoor environments.
The baseline of the paper introduces a deterministic
approach for the simulation and performance evaluation of
LTE networks in urban and indoor scenarios.
In the second part simulation results predicted with a 3D
ray tracing model are compared to measurement data taken
within an urban city center and inside a building. Based on the
deterministic simulation approach presented in this paper,
received power, delay spread and data rate predictions in
urban macro cellular and in indoor pico cellular propagation
environments are achieved with high accuracy in very short
simulation times.
This work has been supported by the German Ministry for
Education and Research (BMBF) within the project
SIMPLON, which is kindly acknowledged.
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