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Guidelines for Network Design and Optimization

Guideline for Network Design and Optimization

CONTENTS
1 2 OBJECTIVE............................................................................................................................6 SUMMARY..............................................................................................................................7 2.1 REVIEW STRUCTURE ..........................................................................................................7 2.1.1 Performance Review .................................................................................................7 2.1.2 Network Design and Dimensioning Review .............................................................7 2.2 NETWORK PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN REVIEW PHILOSOPHY ........................................7 2.2.1 Network Performance Audit .....................................................................................7 2.2.2 Network Design and Dimensioning Review .............................................................8 3 NETWORK PERFORMANCE REVIEW ..........................................................................9 3.1 OMC STATISTICS REVIEW ................................................................................................9 3.1.1 Call Success Rate......................................................................................................9 3.1.2 Call Setup Success Rate..........................................................................................11 3.1.3 SDCCH RF Loss .....................................................................................................14 3.1.4 TCH Blocking..........................................................................................................15 3.1.5 TCH Assignment Failure (RF) ...............................................................................16 3.1.6 SDCCH Access Performance .................................................................................17
3.1.6.1 3.1.6.2 SDCCH Blocking ............................................................................................................. 17 SDCCH Access Success Rate .......................................................................................... 18

3.1.7
3.1.7.1 3.1.7.2 3.1.7.3

Dropped Calls.........................................................................................................19
Call Drop Rate .................................................................................................................. 19 Mean Time Between Drops (MTBD) .............................................................................. 21 Breakdown of Drop Call Reasons.................................................................................... 22

3.1.8
3.1.8.1 3.1.8.2 3.1.8.3

Handovers ...............................................................................................................23
Intra-BSS Handover Failures ........................................................................................... 23 Inter-BSS Handover Failures ........................................................................................... 24 Handover Causes .............................................................................................................. 25

3.2 A-INTERFACE ANALYSIS .................................................................................................27 3.2.1 Call Setup Failures .................................................................................................27 3.2.2 Location Update Success Rate ...............................................................................29 3.2.3 Handover Causes ....................................................................................................31 3.3 CALL TRACE ANALYSIS...................................................................................................32 3.3.1 Downlink Receive Level and BTS Power ...............................................................32 3.3.2 Uplink Receive Level and Mobile Transmit Power ...............................................34 3.3.3 Uplink and Downlink RxQual Distributions ..........................................................35 4 DRIVE TEST ANALYSIS ...................................................................................................37 4.1 DRIVE TEST PROCESS ......................................................................................................38 4.2 GSM DRIVE TEST METRICS ............................................................................................38 4.2.1 Graphical Presentation ..........................................................................................38
4.2.1.1 4.2.1.2 Route Plots........................................................................................................................ 38 Events ............................................................................................................................... 39

4.2.2
4.2.2.1 4.2.2.2 4.2.2.3 4.2.2.4 4.2.2.5

Statistical Analysis..................................................................................................40
RxLev Distribution:.......................................................................................................... 40 RxQual Distribution: ........................................................................................................ 40 FER Distribution: ............................................................................................................. 41 MS TX Power:.................................................................................................................. 41 Access Failure Rate (1-Call Setup Success Rate):........................................................... 42

Page 2

Guideline for Network Design and Optimization

4.2.2.6 4.2.2.7 4.2.2.8 4.2.2.9

Blocked Call Rate:............................................................................................................ 42 Call Drop Rate:................................................................................................................. 43 Handover Failure Rate: .................................................................................................... 43 Average SQI: .................................................................................................................... 44

4.3 GPRS DRIVE TEST ..........................................................................................................44 4.3.1 Graphical Presentation ..........................................................................................44
4.3.1.1 4.3.1.2 Route Plots........................................................................................................................ 44 Events ............................................................................................................................... 45

4.4 5

NETWORK PERFORMANCE REVIEW - SUMMARY .............................................................45

NETWORK DESIGN AND DIMENSIONING REVIEW...............................................46 5.1 NETWORK DESIGN SUMMARY .........................................................................................46 5.1.1 Size ..........................................................................................................................46 5.1.2 Subscribers..............................................................................................................46 5.1.3 Description of the environment ..............................................................................46 5.1.4 Available Spectrum .................................................................................................46 5.2 RF DESIGN DETAILED ANALYSIS ....................................................................................47 5.2.1 Site Design ..............................................................................................................47
5.2.1.1 5.2.1.2 5.2.1.3 Network Growth Pattern .................................................................................................. 47 High Sites Replacement ................................................................................................... 47 RF Design Strategy .......................................................................................................... 48

5.2.2 5.2.3
5.2.3.1 5.2.3.2 5.2.3.3 5.2.3.4 5.2.3.5

Traffic Distribution .................................................................................................48 Frequency Plan.......................................................................................................49
Site design......................................................................................................................... 49 Terrain and Topography................................................................................................... 49 External Interference ........................................................................................................ 49 BCCH Plan ....................................................................................................................... 49 Non-BCCH Plan............................................................................................................... 50

5.3 OPTIMISING FOR GROWTH ...............................................................................................51 5.3.1 Synthesizer Frequency Hopping (SFH)..................................................................52
5.3.1.1 5.3.1.2 5.3.1.3 Hopping spectrum allocation ........................................................................................... 52 Choice of SFH Design...................................................................................................... 52 Hopping System Parameters ............................................................................................ 52

5.3.2 Baseband Frequency Hopping and Multiple Re-use Patterns (MRP) ..................53 5.3.3 Downlink Power Control and DTX ........................................................................53 5.3.4 Microcell Traffic Management Algorithms............................................................53 5.3.5 Dual Band Traffic Management Algorithms..........................................................54 5.4 THE NETWORK GROWTH PLANNING PROCESS ................................................................54 5.5 BSS DATABASE REVIEW .................................................................................................55 5.5.1 Radio Resource Timers...........................................................................................55
5.5.1.1 5.5.1.2 5.5.1.3 5.5.1.4 5.5.1.5 5.5.1.6 5.5.1.7 5.5.1.8 rr_t3111 (layer 2 channel release guard timer) =>1200ms.............................................. 55 rr_t3212 (Periodic Location Update Timer) => Align With MSC Implicit Detach Timer 55 link_fail => 16 SACCH.................................................................................................... 56 radio_link_timeout => 16 SACCH .................................................................................. 56 rr_t3109 (TCH Reallocation Timer) => 8000ms............................................................. 56 rr_t3103 (Intra-BSS Handover Guard Timer) => 15000ms ............................................ 56 bssmap_t10 (Assignment Guard Timer) => 14000 ......................................................... 57 bssmap_t8 ( Handover Guard Timer) => 14000.............................................................. 57

5.5.2
5.5.2.1 5.5.2.2 5.5.2.3 5.5.2.4 5.5.2.5 5.5.2.6 5.5.2.7 5.5.2.8

Handover and Power Control Parameters ............................................................57
RxQual Handovers: .......................................................................................................... 57 RxLev Handovers:............................................................................................................ 58 Uplink Power Control: ..................................................................................................... 58 MS Fast Power Down: ..................................................................................................... 58 Downlink Power Control: ................................................................................................ 59 Adaptive Handover:.......................................................................................................... 59 Adaptive Power Control:.................................................................................................. 59 Directed Retry and Intelligent Directed Retry (Handover on Congestion):.................... 59

5.6

LOCATION AREA PLANNING AND PAGING PERFORMANCE .............................................60 Page 3

......5 Maintenance Schedules ........9..Guideline for Network Design and Optimization SYSTEM PROCESSOR PERFORMANCE.............10..............63 5.......................................63 5..............................64 5.......10.........3 Transmit Power Calibration....9 ADDITIONAL BSS DESIGN ISSUES .....................................................................................................4 External Alarms ....................................1 Hardware configurations..........................................................................1 Frequently Occurring Alarms ......................................................62 5.........63 5.64 6 RECOMMENDATIONS......7 5.......................................64 5.....4 Diversity Choice...........................................3 Antenna Selection ........10...........................................................................63 5................................................65 Page 4 ..............................................................................................................10........................2 Transmit Combining Options ......................................9.........................62 5...........................................................10 BSS OPERATIONS REVIEW ............................64 5......64 5.............................................................................................................8 MTL PERFORMANCE ....................................................................................................................10.............................63 5..................9............................2 Frequency of Outages...............64 5...................9...............................................

Guideline for Network Design and Optimization REVISION HISTORY Revision Date Name Comments Page 5 .

Operators of GSM/GPRS networks have access to enormous amounts of performance data from a wide range of tools and reporting mechanisms available to them.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 1 OBJECTIVE The purpose of this document is to describe the process of conducting a Network Performance Audit and Design Review. including GPRS. The process is biased towards GSM networks. but can also be applied to other technologies. and identify aspects of the design and operation of the network that can be improved. An audit will typically result in a series of recommendations and an action plan for network design and performance improvements. The purpose of such an audit is to assess the performance of a network using the full range of available data. The aim of a performance audit is to focus on those key metrics which are most useful in measuring system performance and to make efficient use of the tools and large quantities of data available. along with a process for ongoing performance review and analysis. Page 6 .

Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 2 SUMMARY The Network Audit process will be described according to the following outline structure: 2. investigation and in-depth troubleshooting of the major performancePage 7 . The purpose of the audit is to identify as many network design.1 Network Performance Audit The performance Review is not intended to provide all the answers to all the problems. multi-layer.2 • • • • • • RF Planning Tools.1.2 Network Performance and Design Review Philosophy The Network Audit and design review is intended to be the starting point for a network improvement programme. but to highlight the major issues and provide all the necessary background for further analysis.) System Dimensioning and Expansion Strategy Frequency planning. 2. etc.1 • • • • • • • Performance Review Network Performance statistics review (OMC) Call Trace Analysis A-Interface performance statistical analysis Alarms and Events GSM Performance Drive Test GPRS Performance Drive Test Competitive Drive Test Benchmarking Network Design and Dimensioning Review 2. optimisation and maintenance issues as possible and to allow a logical and methodical action plan to be generated from the results and recommendations.1 Review Structure 2. including frequency hopping GPRS Design Strategy 2.2.1. map data and model calibration Link Budgets Design strategy and spectrum utilisation (dual band.

It is important that any network performance audit should follow a methodical process and should be systematic in it’s approach to data collection. and what conclusions can we draw? Recommendations: Based on our observations and conclusions. what recommendations can we make for improvements to the network design and/or design process? Page 8 .2. For each of the performance category headings in the outline structure. in what kind of graph and what format? Interpretation: What are the possible conclusions we can draw from the results? Recommendations: Based on our observations and conclusions. These findings help to guide the auditor towards the aspects of the network design requiring the most attention. the following logical process is applied: • • • • • Objective: What parameter are we trying to measure? Description: Why are we measuring it and what is the relevance of the measurement to network performance? Report Format: How should the measurement be presented. Similarly to the Network Performance Audit.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization impacting problems in the network. the following logical process is then applied: • • • • • Objective: What design parameter (or set of parameters) are we reviewing? Description: Why are we reviewing it and what is the relevance of the parameter (or set of parameters) to network functionality and performance? Format: How should the design data be presented to allow us to effectively review it? Conclusions: How does the observed design practice compare with known best practices. what recommendations can we make for solving the problem or for further investigation? Network Design and Dimensioning Review 2.2 The Network Design Review draws on the conclusions and findings from the Network Performance Audit.

1.1 OMC Statistics Review Key performance metrics required to assess network performance are presented in the following sections. presented in such a way as to extract as much useful information as possible and quickly identify network performance problems.Call Drop Rate) Format 1: Call Success Rate is usually studied for the whole network. AIRCOM International Performance and Benchmarking tools can be used for many elements of the performance review. and may vary according to the network operator and/or network equipment vendor. It is useful to observe changes in Call Success Rate over time.1 Call Success Rate Objective: To determine the percentage of calls which are successfully set up and which are terminated normally (ie.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 3 N ETWORK P ERFORMANCE R EVIEW The network Performance Review aims to make use of all the commonly available data sources. The format of the reports presented in this document is generic. It combines call setup success rate and drop call rate into one single figure. to give an overall indication of network health. and is generally calculated from the following formula: Call Success Rate = Call Setup Success Rate x (1. and also to display along with traffic data to observe the relationship of Call Success Rate with network loading. Application notes covering the use of AIRCOM tools for this purpose are available separately. The choice of tools used to create the required reports is not critical. do not drop). 3. Description: Call Success Rate is a good overall indicator of network health. 3. Page 9 .

Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Conclusions: Call Success Rate in itself does not allow any detailed conclusions to be drawn. and to see the separate contribution of call drops and call setup failures to the total figure. It is useful to observe Call Failure Rate on a per-BSC basis. Format 2: Calculate Call Failure Rate (1-Call Success Rate). Page 10 . Poor Call Success Rate requires further investigation of Call Setup Success Rate and Call Drop Rate as described in the following sections. and show the separate components of call failure rate Objective: To determine the contribution of dropped calls and call setup failures to the total call failures figure.

Description: Call setup failures can occur for a number of reasons. MSC clearing) Blocked TCH Assignment (Insufficient TCH resources) Failed Assignment (Failure to assign to TCH due to RF reasons.1.2 Call Setup Success Rate Objective: To determine the proportion of call attempts that result in a successful call completion (ie. MSC service rejection. eg.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 3. the individual failure categories are calculated as follows: Page 11 . Interference) Format 1 (Failures per BSC): Calculate Call Setup Failure Rate per BSC. Call setup failures can be categorised as follows: • • • Failure before assignment (SDCCH RF loss. There are various ways to accomplish this through statistical analysis as described below. successful call setup). It is important to identify the causes and determine the origin of call setup failures. and to identify and quantify the individual reasons for call setup failure. as described above. and show individual failure categories as components of the overall figure. In generic terms. user clearing.

or the collection of A-Interface logs using a protocol analyser such as K1103/K1205. Failed Assignments (RF): Allocation requests from MSC – Allocation commands blocked – Allocations completed Failed Call Setups before Assignment: Total Call Setup Failures – Failed Assignments (Blocking) – Failed Assignments (RF) Note: Call setup failures before assignment – further analysis The category of call setup failures before assignment can be further subdivided into it’s component failure reasons. This is described in a later section. Page 12 . To do this accurately requires access to MSC statistics.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Failed Assignments (Blocking): TCH Blocking statistic (TCH allocation commands blocked due to lack of Radio Resources).

or important routes). cells on remote highways. call setup failures can be presented for the worst 10 cells per BSC. for example cells inside conference centres while not in use.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Format 2: Worst Ten Cells Having identified the worst BSC’s. Cells known to carry very low traffic should be discounted. Causes of call setup failure for each poorly performing cell can then be identified and analysed. This helps to focus on the cells causing the greatest impact to the call setup success rate. Those cells covering important VIP areas. Failure causes that may be easily analysed from BSS statistics are: • • • SDCCH RF Loss (call setup failure before assignment) TCH Assignment Failure (Blocking) TCH Assignment Failure (RF) Page 13 . etc. This analysis should also be performed for cells whose performance is known to be critical (eg.

Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 3. Hardware problems (Poor link balance.3 SDCCH RF Loss Objective: To determine the proportion of allocated SDCCH’s which are dropped due to RF reasons. Description: SDCCH’s are used in a large number of transactions. Interpretation: High SDCCH RF Loss is generally caused by one of the following problems: • • • Interference on SDCCH carriers. Format: Display the worst 10-20 cells with highest SDCCH RF Loss Rate.1. including call setup. and so on. SMS. location update. poor frequency plan or external interference. Poor coverage. High SDCCH RF loss is not only a cause of poor call setup success rate. IMSI Attach/Detach success rate. many mobiles at the coverage boundary. etc. Page 14 . poor calibration. but also poor location area update success rate. radio failure) Recommendations: Each cell identified with high SDCCH RF Loss should be investigated according to the possible problems shown above.

Interpretation: High TCH Blocking is usually caused by one of the following conditions: • • • • • • Cell requires expansion (sometimes not possible due to frequency plan constraints) Unusual traffic conditions (traffic jam. holiday traffic. Format: Display the worst 10-20 cells with the highest TCH blocking figures. or between 900 and 1800 carrier layers in dual band systems) Surrounding cells temporarily off-air Failure of one or more radio carriers in the cell.1. etc. Between macro and micro layers.4 TCH Blocking Objective: To determine the proportion of attempts by the BSS to allocate a TCH that are blocked due to lack of available TCH resources.) Cell coverage area too large (coverage optimisation required) Poor traffic management between cell layers (eg.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 3. Page 15 . and also handover success rate since TCH resources are required to accept incoming handovers. Description: TCH blocking impacts call setup success rate. causing remaining carrier(s) to become overloaded. exhibition. High TCH Blocking is generally an indication of insufficient capacity in the network (or part of the network).

3 -A 50 60 vu 10 59 2 867 Po rg 11 37 1 10 -Al am 11 5.5 TCH Assignment Failure (RF) Objective: To quantify the proportion of allocated TCH channels that are unable to be successfully accessed by a mobile. This is generally caused by interferencerelated problems on the traffic channel carriers. Optimisation of network design for maximum capacity is a complex process requiring the input of many more design parameters. all of which must be tackled for a complete solution.00 20.64 2 10 5 4.1 10 As 4 ta 13 .00 50 10 850 1 10 701 817 Re pm 11 2 10 7 -R 5e 67 pm 13 18 2 10 -T 4ri 11 658 m4 10 2Pv 510 163 g1 10 6Ja 411 10 643 n1 5516 Bu 17 r 10 3. MSC has assigned a circuit. This process will be discussed in the Network Design and Dimensioning Review section. However for some reason the mobile has been unable to complete the call setup on the allocated traffic channel. Often there will be a combination of issues resulting in TCH blocking in a network. this can be calculated generically as follows: TCH Assignment Failures (RF) = Allocation requests from MSC – Allocation commands blocked – Successful Allocations TOP 20 TCH ASSIGNMENT FAILURE RATE 45.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Recommendations: Cells with high TCH blocking should be investigated according to the above possible causes.1. Format: Display the worst 10-20 cells with highest TCH Assignment Failure Rate.68 10 93 -L 513 16 bt3 10 33 4-F 16 35 ot2 13 1A 1 50 04.bej2 11 10 18 8-A 91 lv 82 -A vl3 D 1200 1100 1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 TCH_assignment_ failure_rate Call Vol Page 16 .00 15.1 m 17 10 35Es 50 65 t1 10 27 -M 8m 16 o2 50 1 10 0 2C 8du 11 11 2 10 56 P 516 es1 50 10 37 Ja 8 n2 11 .00 5. Description: TCH assignment failure refers to the case in which the BSS has allocated a control channel (SDCCH).00 40.00 30. As discussed.00 0.00 35. 3. and the BSS has allocated a traffic channel (TCH).00 25.00 10.

1. etc. poor calibration) Recommendations: Cells with high TCH Assignment Failure Rate (RF) should be investigated according to the possible causes shown above. Regardless of this.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Interpretation: High TCH Assignment Failure Rate (RF) is generally caused by the following conditions: • • • • Interference on TCH carriers due to poor frequency plan. while others do not. or external interference. SDCCH Blocking results in the failure of mobiles to access the network for a number of actions. Poor coverage (many mobiles on coverage boundary) Hardware problem (poor link balance.6 3. Description: Some equipment vendors consider blocking on the SDCCH channels to be a component of Call Setup Failure Rate. Page 17 . location update. IMSI attach/detach. such as call setup.1 SDCCH Access Performance SDCCH Blocking Objective: To determine the proportion of SDCCH allocation attempts that are blocked due to a lack of available SDCCH resources. 3.1. This is usually available as a statistic from the OMC. Antennas too high. Format: Display the worst 10-20 cells with highest SDCCH Blocking Rate. resulting in excessive uplink interference.6.

After the expiry of BSS timers the SDCCH resources are deallocated and returned to the radio resource pool.6. Description: Some RACH’s received and decoded by the BSS are from distant mobiles. Page 18 . cities built on rivers. Poor location area border planning is frequently a cause of SDCCH resource problems.3. bays. and so on (sometimes referred to as ‘phantom RACH’s). too many ‘Phantom RACH’s (also related to poor SDCCH Access Success Rate – Section 2. spurious emissions resembling RACH’s.3. SDCCH resources can simply be increased to carry excessive SDCCH traffic due to poor planning. 3.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Interpretation: • • • • • Increase in traffic requires expansion of SDCCH Resources Cell coverage area too large. especially in difficult RF environments such as coastlines. but can also be calculated from raw statistics.1. and is an inefficient use of network infrastructure. This is gererally available as a statistic reported in the OMC. and so on.2 SDCCH Access Success Rate Objective: To determine the proportion of allocated RACH’s (Random Access Channels) successfully accessed by mobiles. Periodic location update timer too short) Interference. but this in turn reduces available TCH resources and may result in TCH blocking. Format: Display the worst 10-20 cells with lowest SDCCH Access Success Rate. and will result in a SDCCH assignment which cannot be successfully accessed by any mobile.2) Poor Location Area border planning (too many location updates) Inappropriate timer settings in BSS database (eg. causing SDCCH holding time to increase Recommendations: Each cell with high SDCCH Blocking should be analysed according to the above possible causes. but excessive allocation of SDCCH resources to Phantom RACH’s results in a waste of SDCCH resources and contributes to SDCCH blocking.

Dropped calls occur for a multitude of reasons.7. 3. although the most fundamental cause is poor RF planning and poor antenna location. and/or not properly oriented. 3. 900MHz cordless telephones in GSM uplink channels 50-55) Antennas too high and/or inappropriate vertical beamwidth.7 Dropped Calls A call that suffers abnormal termination is termed a dropped call. receiving uplink interference from distant mobiles.1 Call Drop Rate Objective: To quantify the proportion of successful call set-ups that subsequently suffer abnormal termination. poor link balance) Recommendations: Cells with poor SDCCH access success rate should be analysed according to the above possible causes. Hardware problem (eg. Page 19 .1. This can generally be remedied by antenna optimisation of some kind.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Interpretation: • • • • Cell coverage area too large. such as relocating into a less prominent place or making use of building structures to shield the antenna from unwanted interference.1. many of which can be quantified through statistical analysis. Experience shows that all of these causes occur frequently. External uplink interference (eg.

Drop Call Rate is also sometimes calculated per BSC to help identify the worst performing BSC’s or worst performing regions of a network. inappropriate antenna selection. and so on. handover failure. BSS hardware problem. speech quality and data throughput. mobile moving out of range of the cell. etc. Drop calls can also arise due to a failure in communication on any of the interfaces (and subsequent expiry of timers on the air interface). Call Drop Rate is usually a good indication of overall network performance. This is generally available as a statistic reported in the OMC.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Description: Calls usually drop as a result of a failure to maintain communication over the air interface. but can also be calculated from raw statistics. mobile moving indoors. mobile hardware problem. Interpretation: • • • Interference due to poor frequency plan Interference due to poor site design. although experience suggests air interface failure is the most usual cause. Drop Call Rate is calculated with the following generic formula: TCH RF Losses + Handover Failures (RF Loss) Total call setups + Incoming Handovers Format: Display the worst 10-20 cells with highest Drop Call Rate. This can be due to interference. high sites. Poor quality and call drops due to overloaded frequency hopping carriers Page 20 . mobile battery failure. Cells with very low call volume should normally be discounted or treated with a lower priority.

radio failure) Recommendations: Cells suffering from bad call drop rate should be analysed according to the above possible causes. TCH blocking.1. Format: Show the worst 10-20 cells for highest MTBD. Action plans to address poor call drop performance will probably be developed in conjunction with other performance initiatives for improving call setup. Poor call setup success rate. If the number of incoming handovers to a cell increases. Poor link balance. Page 21 .7. TCH blocking and so on. eg. and are generally related to a number of other symptoms of poor performance.2 Mean Time Between Drops (MTBD) Objective: To determine the average time duration between call drops. Hardware problem (eg. The problems causing high drop call rate are many and varied. while MTBD remains the same). hardware problems etc.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization • • • • • Insufficient coverage (indoor or outdoor) Poorly optimised coverage areas causing handover problems Poorly optimised neighbour lists Traffic congestion leading to ‘cell dragging’ (handover delayed due to lack of TCH resources at target cell) and call drops. the drop call rate ratio decreases. This is a useful measure often preferred by network operators as it gives a better indication of actual user perception compared to Drop Call Rate. Description: This is usually calculated as the ratio of number of call drops to total TCH usage time during a given interval. 3. The Drop Call Rate figure can be influenced by other factors such as incoming handovers (eg.

showing contributions of TCH RF Loss and Handover separately. Some equipment manufacturers count handover failures that do not drop but in fact re-establish again on the originating cell (Handover_Fail_RETURN). Format: Display the worst 10-20 cells with highest Drop Call Rate.3 Breakdown of Drop Call Reasons Objective: To break down and quantify the different reasons for dropped calls. High handover failure rate can also be attributed to other handover-specific reasons: • Insufficient coverage at handover boundary Page 22 . Recommendations: Same as for Call Drop Rate. Description Generally speaking. and count only ‘Handover_Fail_DROP’. Make the distinction between ‘Handover_Fail_DROP’ and ‘Handover_Fail_RETURN’. TCH RF Losses and Handover Failures.1. 3. TCH RF Loss and Handover Failures Combined 12 10 Failure % 8 6 4 2 0 cell01 cell02 cell03 cell04 cell05 cell06 cell07 cell08 cell09 cell10 Cell ID Interpretation HO_FAIL_LOST_M S TCH RF Loss Reasons for high TCH RF Loss rate are the same as for Call Drop Rate. Note: Handover Failure in this case specifically means handover failures that result in a dropped call (Handover_Fail_DROP).Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Interpretation: Same as for Call Drop Rate. It is useful to understand the contribution of these two categories to the total drop call rate as this assists troubleshooting.7. dropped calls can be divided into 2 distinct categories.

Format: Display the worst 10-20 cells with lowest intra-BSS Handover Success Rate. It is helpful to consider these different handover types separately.8 Handovers Failures can often occur in GSM during the handover process.1. Description: Intra-BSS handovers are managed by the BSC without MSC involvement. Especially inter-BSC and inter-MSC handover boundaries need larger overlaps as the handover process takes longer than the intra-BSC case. inter-BSS.8. intra-BSS.1 Intra-BSS Handover Failures Objective: To determine the proportion of Intra-BSS handover attempts that are successfully completed. Also examine handover boundaries between cells with high Handover Failure Rate. Page 23 . There are several types of handovers (intra-cell. especially intra-BSS and inter-BSS which combine to make up the majority of all handovers. Intra-BSS handovers taking place between cells of the same BTS site are usually synchronised. inter-MSC).1. 3.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization • • Handover parameters incorrectly set Neighbours incorrectly defined Recommendations: The same as for Drop Call Rate. and their success rate is generally better than intra-BSS handovers between cells of different sites. 3.

This tends to result in a greater chance of the handover failing. 3.2 Inter-BSS Handover Failures Objective: To determine the proportion of Inter-BSS handover attempts that are successfully completed. Format: Display the worst 10-20 cells with lowest inter-BSS Handover Success Rate. poor calibration etc.) Traffic congestion at target cell causing delayed handover Insufficient coverage at handover boundary Handover parameters incorrectly set Neighbours incorrectly defined Recommendations: Cells with poor intra-BSS handover success rate should be examined for the possible causes as described above. Page 24 . Poor link balance. individual neighbour relationships can be analysed for failure causes.8. especially for fast moving mobiles. Having established this. Description: The Inter-BSS handover process involves the MSC. and therefore requires more complex signalling and takes more time compared to intra-BSS handovers. These show for each of the poorly performing cells which neighbour relationships are suffering the worst failure rate. unless specific steps are taken in the design process to allow for larger coverage overlaps at inter-BSS boundaries. Most equipment manufacturers provide ‘per-neighbour’ statistics at the OMC.1.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Interpretation: • • • • • • Interference at handover boundary Hardware problem at target cell (eg.

Page 25 . it is helpful to understand the numbers of handovers taking place according to the different causes. These show for each of the poorly performing cells which neighbour relationships are suffering the worst failure rate. etc.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Interpretation: • • • • • Insufficient coverage at handover boundary. Having established this. Most equipment manufacturers provide ‘per-neighbour’ statistics at the OMC. hilly terrain.8.) Poorly defined inter-BSS boundaries causing high inter-BSS handover traffic. in case inter-BSS handover is across a MSC border Recommendations: Cells with poor inter-BSS handover success rate should be examined for the possible causes as described above. individual neighbour relationships can be analysed for possible failure causes.1. Description: As an input into the audit process. 3. especially for inter-BSS neighbours in difficult RF conditions (highways. This may reveal an abnormally large proportion of handovers due to a specific handover cause. Handover parameters incorrectly set Neighbours incorrectly defined Problems on inter-MSC links.3 Handover Causes Objective: To determine the distribution of handover attempts according to their cause values. and consequently a design problem that needs to be addressed.

Interpretation: The majority of handovers taking place in a properly configured GSM system will be due to Power Budget (Better Cell) decision. It is particularly useful to monitor changes in the distribution of handover causes while monitoring the progress of optimisation action plans. with the majority of handovers caused by Power Budget decision.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization The main handover causes are: • • • • • • • • • Uplink Quality Uplink Level Uplink Interference Downlink Quality Downlink Level Downlink Interference Power Budget (Better Cell) Distance (timing advance) Congestion Format: The pie-chart below shows a typical distribution of handover causes. A large proportion of level handovers would indicate coverage problems and/or incorrect settings of level handover thresholds. Page 26 . A Large proportion of quality handovers would indicate interference problems and/or incorrect settings of quality handover thresholds.

using a K1205 Protocol Analyser. from each of the BSCs under investigation. Analysis of the A-Interface logs requires a post-processing tool of some kind. Page 27 .2. which must include DTAP signalling. In order to achieve a complete understanding of call set-up failures.1 Call Setup Failures Objective: A-Interface analysis allows us to accurately quantify the causes of call setup failure for both mobile-originating and mobile-terminating calls. hence do not include signalling issues between the Mobile and the MSC.2 A-Interface Analysis The BSS performance statistics only refer to radio-related information. the A interface data must be investigated. The exercise should be repeated for Mobile Originating and Mobile Terminating calls. This is more accurate than the previous call setup analysis using BSS statistics. The following example shows 2 charts for the same group of BSC’s. the first showing a simplified breakdown (pre-assignment and post-assignment). Description: It is possible to quantify the following call setup failure causes: • • • • • • CM Service Reject SDCCH RF Loss User Initiated CM Service Abort Set Up / Call Proceeding Losses Blocked TCH Assignment TCH Assignment Failure Format: A-Interface analysis can be presented per-BSC. and the second showing a more detailed breakdown of the pre-assignment failures. showing the different causes for call setup failure. which are transparent to the BSS. The following reports can be generated from the collected data: 3. This is typically achieved by taking a sample 20 Megabytes of data.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 3.

accidentally pressing the call button twice. This is due to mobile users dialling wrong numbers and then quickly clearing the call. Page 28 . and other such unintentional mistakes. Clearly it is not possible to address this problem through network optimisation.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Interpretation: Analysis of Mobile Originated call setup failures immediately shows that around 50% of all failures are caused by ‘user initiated CM service abort’.

Page 29 . Radio Failures: • • • SDCCH RF Losses TCH Assignment Failures Blocked TCH Assignments These failures occur as a result of radio-related problems.3. PSTN interface problems. usually every 4-8 hours) IMSI Attach (Location Update when switching on and registering) The success rates of different types of location update can be helpful in identifying network problems. Recommendations: Having established any call setup problems on a per-BSC basis. as an input into the design review process. Format: Show location update success rates per LU type and per BSC. etc. Description: Location updates can be categorised as follows: • • • Normal (moving between Location Areas) Periodic (set by timer. An action plan addressing the main issues should be made.2. hardware failure and so on.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization The other failure causes give an indication of Network Health as follows: Pre-assignment Failures: • • CM Service Reject Set Up / Call Proceeding Losses These failures indicate problems outside the control of the BSS.2 Location Update Success Rate Objective: To determine the success rates of the different types of location updates. 3. such as MSC circuit problems. It may also be useful to know the number of location updates according to LU type.2. as discussed in detail in section 2. routing errors. such as interference. congestion. further analysis should focus on two main areas: • • Non-BSS issues affecting whole BSC’s or the whole network BSS-related issues probably due to specific cell performance issues.

Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Page 30 .

Description: The handover cause value is contained within the ‘Handover Required’ message on the A-Interface. including interference problems and poor coverage. Very large numbers of normal location updates compared to periodic and IMSI Attach location updates could be due to small location areas with heavy traffic.2. or could indicate excessive location updates due to poor location area planning. according to the above guidelines.3 Handover Causes Objective: To determine the causes of all handovers. Recommendations: The reasons for poor location update should be investigated further.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Interpretation: Poor location update success rate is often an indication of poor RF conditions. Analysis of these messages provides a breakdown of all the handovers by cause value. from analysis of A-Interface logs. However a poor success rate of one particular type of location update suggests there may be a MSC-related problem requiring further investigation. Format: Show Handover causes per BSC in percentage terms: Page 31 . 3.

3. Page 32 . Call trace data collection procedures are vendor-specific. compared to a busy BSC in an urban area with high site density. These may be used to troubleshoot individual cells or carriers. along with BTS Transmit Power measurements Description: The Downlink Receive level distribution gives an indication of the coverage in a cell with respect to the distribution of actual mobiles in the cell. and show BTS Transmit Power distribution per BSC and per Cell.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Interpretation: Typically 70-80% of handovers will be due to Power Budget (Better Cell) decision. Format: Show cumulative distributions of Downlink RxLev per BSC and per Cell. UL/DL RxLev distribution. ‘Call Trace’ refers to the collection of Measurement Reports (MR’s) generated for Uplink and Downlink and made available at the BSC for collection. 3. during a call). Recommendations: BSC’s with abnormally high proportions of Level. A BSC covering predominantly rural areas with low cell density and large areas of marginal coverage will typically have a greater proportion of U/L and D/L Level handovers (if enabled).3 Call Trace Analysis Analysis of call trace files provides additional information not available from BSS statistics and A-Interface logs. and so on. On a BSC level it provides a more general indication of coverage level. or may be monitored on a per-BSC level for more general performance observations. mobiles generate one MR per SACCH multiframe (approx 450ms). 3. While in Dedicated Mode (ie. A large proportion of quality handovers would indicate interference problems and/or incorrect settings of quality handover thresholds. and require vendor-specific tools for analysis and post-processing. neighbour analysis.1 Downlink Receive Level and BTS Power Objective: To observe the distribution of Downlink receive measurements on per-BSC basis and per-Cell basis. UL and DL measurement information is then compiled at the BTS and sent to the BSC on the A-Bis link. Quality or Interference handovers should be investigated further. A large proportion of level handovers would indicate coverage problems and/or incorrect settings of level handover thresholds. Reports available from Call Trace Analysis include UL/DL RxQual distribution. The BTS Transmit Power distribution is also related to this. timing advance.

3. Interpretation: A large proportion of MR’s reported at a very low Downlink RxLev indicates many mobiles are operating in areas of poor coverage. Page 33 .1a .Downlink RxLev distribution shown per BSC Example 3.BTS Power Distribution shown for one BSC.1b .Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Example 3.3.

the analysis could be repeated per cell for all cells in the BSC to establish those with the weakest coverage.2 Uplink Receive Level and Mobile Transmit Power Objective: To observe the distribution of Uplink receive measurements on per-BSC basis and perCell basis.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization In a similar way. The Mobile Transmit Power distribution is also related to this. This could then be an input into a coverage improvement plan.3. On a BSC level it provides a more general indication of coverage level. and show Mobile Transmit Power distribution per BSC and per Cell. 3. Format: Show cumulative distributions of Uplink RxLev per BSC and per Cell. Recommendations: If poor coverage is suspected. a large proportion of BTS transmit power measurements at full or nearly-full power indicates that coverage is weak and consequently the BTS is transmitting at or near full power all the time.Uplink RxLev distribution shown per BSC Page 34 . along with Mobile Transmit Power measurements Description: The Uplink Receive level distribution gives an indication of the coverage in a cell with respect to the distribution of actual mobiles in the cell. This would be typical of a cell covering a rural area.2a .3. Example 3.

large rural cell) There is excessive loss in the receive antennas/feeders causing a loss in sensitivity of the base station. Incorrect settings of power control parameters (power window) Poor frequency plan.3. including any vendor-specific enhanced power control algorithms.2b . and hence need to transmit full power to maintain the uplink (eg. in turn causing the mobiles to transmit full power. Page 35 . excessive interference causing the mobiles to transmit higher power.BTS Power Distribution shown for three BSC’s. If the ms power distribution shows a high proportion of mobile transmit powers at or near full power.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Example 3. Based on the observations.3. 3. the following conclusions could be considered: • • • • Most of the mobiles in the cell are operating at or near the cell boundary. Interpretation: Mobile Transmit Power should always be minimised so as to minimise uplink interference levels and maximise system capacity. all possibilities to reduce mobile transmit power should be considered. Recommendations: Mobile transmit power should always be minimised as far as possible.3 Uplink and Downlink RxQual Distributions Objective: To observe the distribution of RxQual measurements and identify cells or BSC’s with poor RxQual. This is especially true of Frequency Hopping Systems.

Format: RxQual cumulative distributions can be shown per cell or per BSC. as follows: Cumulative RxQual Distributions per BSC and per cell (example of poor quality cell) Page 36 .Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Description: RxQual distributions simply give an indication of the BER (Bit Error Rate) of the received signal at the BTS and Mobile. On a per-cell basis they help to identify cells with particular quality problems.

and combine the results for a more complete understanding of the performance issues in the network. Call Trace is especially useful for fast and efficient trouble-shooting on a cell and carrier level. Therefore it is recommended to conduct analysis based on both drive test and OMC statistics. It is readily available and easy to manipulate into the required report formats. poor link balance. not only those ones driving along certain pre-defined drive test routes. Page 37 . Drive test data is much easier to understand and much harder to dispute. Drive test allows the measurement of speech quality from the subscriber’s perspective It is easy to collect drive test data for several networks simultaneously for competitive benchmarking purposes. poor frequency plan Poor antenna location. Many operators do not fully trust OMC statistics as they may understand or agree with the formulas used to derive key performance metrics. Drive testing has the following advantages over OMC statistical analysis: • • • • Drive test data is representative of the actual experience of subscribers. or as an alternative to. mobiles at cell boundary Hardware problem (poor calibration. 4 D RIVE T EST A NALYSIS Drive Test Performance Analysis can be carried out in addition to. OMC statistical analysis. limited only by the availability of suitable functionality in the tools provided by the vendor. uplink/downlink interference problem Poor coverage. radio failure…) Recommendations: Any cell found with a poor RxQual distribution should be investigated according to the above possible causes. The main advantages of OMC statistical data are as follows: • • It is comprehensive and includes data from all subscribers. There are many other possible applications of Call Trace data.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Interpretation: A poor RxQual distribution indicates a quality problem of some sort: • • • • Interference.

if available) RxQual Full: Route Quality Plot MS TX Power: Route plot of Mobile Transmit Power Page 38 .1 Route Plots RxLev Full: RxLev Sub: RxQual Sub: FER: SQI Plot: Route Coverage Plot Route Coverage Plot (excluding dummy bursts during DTX operation) Route Quality Plot (excluding dummy bursts during DTX operation) Route Frame Erasure Rate Plot Route Plot of Speech Quality Index (or equivalent. Call duration to be equal to the average call duration for the network. Calls to be made preferably mobile-to-PSTN.1. covering a range of different coverage areas (urban. A combination of graphical presentation and statistical analysis is recommended. 4. Allow 10s idle time between calls. allowing the visualisation of specific problems by location: 4.). Drive test to be carried out during normal daylight hours to reflect normal network load conditions. suburban.2 GSM Drive Test Metrics GSM drive test data can be presented in a number of ways. The examples below show measurements for 2 networks for comparison purposes.2. If possible simultaneously collect GSM speech and GPRS drive test data.1 Graphical Presentation The following parameters can be displayed on a map. as derived from OMC statistics.2. A complete GPRS drive test process document is also available separately. GPRS data calls to be set according to the average data call length for the network. At least 1000 calls required for good statistical confidence. Below is a brief summary of the main points to be considered: • • • • • Drive test routes should be chosen to be representative of the part of the network under study. etc.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 4. • 4.1 Drive Test Process A detailed description of the drive test process is outside the scope of this document.

RxLev or RxQual.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 4.2 Events Events plots may be superimposed on one of the above route plots. eg.2.1. Call Drops: Plot of dropped call events Setup Failures: Plot of call setup failure events HO Failures: Plot of Handover Failure events HO Success: Plot of Successful Handover events (if required) Page 39 .

2 Statistical Analysis The following set of statistics should be calculated from the collected drive test data: 4.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 4.2. RxLev Distribution 4500000 Number of Measurements 4000000 3500000 3000000 2500000 2000000 1500000 1000000 500000 0 0-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Network A Network B RxLev 4.2.2.2. RxQual Distribution 12000000 Number of Measurements 10000000 8000000 6000000 4000000 2000000 0 Network A Network B ua l0 ua l1 ua l2 ua l3 ua l4 ua l5 ua l6 R xQ R xQ R xQ R xQ R xQ R xQ R xQ R xQ ua l7 Page 40 .2.1 RxLev Distribution: The proportion of RxLev Measurements falling within defined ranges.2 RxQual Distribution: The proportion of RxQual Measurements falling within defined ranges.

2.2.3 FER Distribution: The proportion of Frame Erasure Rate Measurements falling within defined ranges.2. Frame Erasure Rate Distribution 12000000 Number of Measurements 10000000 8000000 6000000 4000000 2000000 0 0-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81-90 91-100 Network A Network B FER 4.4 MS TX Power: The proportion of Mobile Transmit Power Measurements falling within defined ranges.2.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 4. Mobile Transmit Power Distribution 10000000 Number of measurements 9000000 8000000 7000000 6000000 5000000 4000000 3000000 2000000 1000000 0 33 31 29 27 25 23 21 19 17 15 13 Network A Network B MS TX Power Page 41 .

0% Network A Network B 9.0% em pts 4.0% % 10.3% 0% Network A Network B No Service Attempts Blocked Calls 0.0% ss Att 6.2.0% Page 42 . Blocked Calls and No Service [%] 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0.2.0% 0.2% 9.5 Access Failure Rate (1-Call Setup Success Rate): The proportion of call setup attempts that fail.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 4.2.2.2% 4.8% 8.0% of Ac ce 8.5% 8.0% 2. Access Failure Rate % 12.6 Blocked Call Rate: The proportion of call attempts that fail due to lack of resources.

7 Call Drop Rate: The proportion of calls terminated abnormally before the end of the call.5% % 3. Handover Summary 1600 1400 Nu m be r of Ha nd ov er s 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Network A Network B Handover completed Handover failed 1176 1444 35 12 Page 43 .9% 1.2.5% mp let 2.3% 4.8 Handover Failure Rate: The proportion of handover attempts that fail.2.0% ed Cal 1.2.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 4.0% Network A Network B 2. Dropped Call Rate % 3.0% 0.5% ls 1.2.5% 0.0% of Co 2.

0 Network A Network B 19.3.3 19.1 4.3.2.9 Average SQI: The average Speech Quality Index measured over the combined drive test route. A combination of graphical presentation and statistical analysis is recommended. allowing the visualisation of specific problems by location: 4.3 GPRS Drive Test GPRS drive test data can be presented in a number of ways.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 4. much the same as GSM drive test data.1 Route Plots UL/DL RLC Throughput: UL/DL LLC Throughput: UL/DL RLC Block Error Rate (BLER): UL/DL RLC Retransmission Rate: UL/DL Coding scheme used (CS1-4): UL/DL Number of timeslots used: Radio Link Layer data throughput Logical Link Layer throughput (user data) Radio Link Block Error Rate Radio Link Retransmission Rate Allocated Coding Scheme Allocated timeslots Page 44 .2. Average Speech Quality Index (SQI) 24 21 SQI 18 15 12 9 6 3 0.1 Graphical Presentation The following parameters can be displayed on a map.1. 4.

on Network level.40% 1.3. RxLev.70% • • 93. RLC throughput.10% 1244300 95. at which time all the required information will be available to allow detailed recommendations to be made.Summary The summary of the Network Performance Review should aim to highlight the specific performance problems identified in the network. etc. RxQual.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 4.73% 92. The following headings should be included here: • Network Performance Summary Data SDCCH Assignment Success Rat Call Setup Success Rate Network Name XYZ-net 91. eg. BSC level and Cell level.60% Key Network Performance Observations List of worst performing cells and BSC’s Detailed conclusions can be made only after completing the Network Design and Dimensioning Review.4 Network Performance Review .85% 0. PDP Context Activation Failure: PDP Context Loss: Failure to activate PDP Context (Packet Data Protocol) Loss of PDP Context (GPRS Call Drop) 4.2 Events Events plots may be superimposed on one of the available route plots. Page 45 Handover Success Rate Call Volume / traffic Call Success Rate TCH Congestion Drop Call Rate .1.

pre-paid and fixed contract. estuaries. such as: Type of urban environment (typical building heights. current and projected (typically in the range of 2025mE per subscriber in the busy hour) Description of the environment 5. flat.1 Network Design Summary Before making any recommendations based on network performance reports it is important to know more about the network.1. and the constraints inside which the network has been designed and is being operated. etc. rivers. lakes) 5.) Type of terrain (mountainous.1.1. SMS Centres Subscribers 5.3 It is helpful to know about environmental factors that influence network design and performance.1.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 5 N ETWORK D ESIGN AND D IMENSIONING R EVIEW 5. etc.2 • • • Subscriber Distribution.) Presence of water bodies (coastline. by area or by clutter. usage and growth information: Roughly how many subscribers distributed over the network. building density. and how is it split between the different layers? Page 46 . 5.4 Available Spectrum What spectrum is available.1 Size How big is the network? Plots from network planning tools are useful as a visual aid. Traffic generated by subscriber. hilly. Projected subscriber growth. along with numerical information in spreadsheets: • • • • • • • MSC’s BSC’s BTS’s Cells OMC’s HLR/VLR.

Guard Band 1 ch BCCH 14 ch TCH Hopping 26 ch Guard Band 1 ch MICRO 8 ch Dual Band (900/1800) spectrum should also be shown.2 RF Design Detailed Analysis The high level design summary provides an overview of the relevant information.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization The following example shows a typical allocation of GSM channels given an available spectrum of 10MHz (50 Channels). the problem with this approach is that the legacy sites from the launch rollout phase tend to be high and prominent. Fill in coverage holes and add capacity by cell splitting Add increasing numbers of microcells. in-building cells and street-level cells to increase capacity focused on high subscriber density areas.1 5. Next a more detailed analysis is required. The net effect of this is to minimise frequency re-use efficiency and limit the capacity of the network. identify those cells which contribute the most interference to the largest number of other cells.2.1.1.2.1 Site Design Network Growth Pattern Networks in urban areas (especially older networks) tend to follow a set growth pattern: • • • Launch rollout with minimum sites for maximum coverage. and increasingly contribute uplink and downlink interference into the network as the number of lower sites around them increases. Page 47 . 5.2. Therefore a process is required to identify and eliminate these interferers to allow network growth to continue and high quality to be maintained. 5.2 High Sites Replacement A typical process for replacing or modifying high sites would be as follows: • From BSS performance statistics and call trace logs. 5. In terms of RF design.

5. These included microcell handover algorithms. As new low sites are integrated. • The network design review will include a study of high sites in urban areas of the network where growth is limited by frequency re-use problems. and that a small number of cells may be heavily congested while most others are underutilised. Hotspot detection: Using Call Trace logs.2 In most networks it is found that the distribution of traffic between cells is not even.2. This also has the effect of reducing the average path loss between BTS and mobile (because on average the BTS’s are closer to the mobiles). and will be provided as an input into the network expansion and rollout process.3 RF Design Strategy Although not strictly part of a performance and optimisation review. including: • • • Removal of high or prominent sites which tend to ‘suck in’ disproportionate levels of traffic owing to their high coverage level compared to surrounding sites. or lowering the antennas to a position consistent with surrounding sites if possible. allowing traffic distribution to be controlled to a greater extent by the optimiser. it is important to consider the design strategy in place in the network. Prioritise the integration of the required new sites to target high sites in order of severity. Traffic Management Algorithms: Many BSS vendors provide advanced traffic management algorithms. and therefore the interference levels in the network are reduced. congestionbased handover algorithms and so on. This includes a review of the following design techniques: • • • Microcellular and Picocellular underlay Dual Band (Dual-BCCH and Single-BCCH) In-building cell deployment Traffic Distribution 5. • Page 48 . helping the RF designer to plan new sites in exactly the right locations to serve high traffic areas. Downtilting antennas to reduce levels of unwanted coverage outside the intended coverage area. de-commission or modify the high site in such a way as to cause minimum disruption to coverage. it is possible to determine roughly the location of traffic hotspots. An action plan will be developed according to this outline process.2. Include in the rollout plan the requirements for additional in-fill sites due to the loss of coverage from the high site.1.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization • Develop a plan for de-commissioning the site. The key to the efficient utilisation of network infrastructure is to attempt to distribute traffic evenly between BTS’s and achieve maximum frequency re-use efficiency. There are various techniques available to achieve this. and to provide input into the expansion process to account for performance-related issues.

1 Site design As mentioned in previous sections. in border regions of neighbouring countries there may be spectrum re-use issues. This will also include a review of GPRS traffic projections. Although these phones are generally not licensed to be used outside the USA.2. Inconsistent site heights (mixture of high and low sites) reduce re-use efficiency.2. This could be due to unauthorised users occupying radio spectrum for other communications purposes. 5. etc. and for the most congested cells recommendations will be made for ways to re-distribute traffic.3 External Interference Sometimes the performance of radio channels is affected by external interference (ie. The quality of a frequency plan (re-use efficiency.3. and how this will impact the combined traffic distribution carried by the network.3 Frequency Plan Frequency Planning is a complex subject. These can generally be resolved by agreements between operators in the neighbouring networks.2. that use part of the GSM Uplink spectrum (between channels 70 and 75).2. as cell coverage areas are harder to control and unwanted ‘splashes’ of coverage are hard to avoid. Another example could be interference in coastal or port areas from radio communications systems offshore (such as shipping. 5. interference levels) is directly related to the quality of the RF design. Site design and antenna location can be critical in minimising these effects.).3.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization The design review will include a study of the traffic distribution across the network.) Terrain and topography Subscriber distribution Page 49 . 5. frequency reuse efficiency is affected by site design. they are widely available in most countries of the world and result in strong uplink interference. drilling platforms. resulting in turn in an inability to produce a good frequency plan.3. This is allowed in the USA but causes problems to mobile networks in other countries where these channels are licensed and allocated to GSM operation. An example of this is the 900MHz cordless telephone standard used in the USA. In many cases these inputs are directly relevant to the ongoing network expansion and rollout process.2.4 BCCH Plan The number of channels required to make a good BCCH plan will vary according to a number of factors: • • • Site Design (high sites etc. 5.3.2 Terrain and Topography Hilly terrain presents more frequency planning problems compared to flat terrain. This section attempts to highlight the main considerations behind creating an efficient frequency plan. A poor frequency plan is usually the result of a poor RF design. 5. Finally. interference originating from outside of the network).

Guideline for Network Design and Optimization

Regularity of cell plan

In a well optimised network, it is generally possible to produce a high quality BCCH plan within 14-15 channels.
5.2.3.5 Non-BCCH Plan

The same issues with the BCCH plan also affect frequency planning of the non-BCCH (TCH) carriers. However there are additional techniques available for the TCH layer to improve re-use efficiency and increase capacity, such as: • • • • Synthesizer Frequency Hopping Baseband Frequency Hopping MRP (Multiple Reuse Pattern) Concentric Cell

These are described in detail in the ‘Optimising for Growth’ section. The network design review will include a study of the frequency plan, and will suggest optimisation steps required in order to produce a more efficient plan and hence a better quality and higher capacity network.

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Guideline for Network Design and Optimization

5.3 Optimising for Growth
The need for optimisation generally arises out of a need for growth and expansion of a network to serve a growing number of subscribers, and to support an increasing range of services. This section attempts to describe the optimisation techniques available for maximising network capacity while maintaining high network quality. The availability and effectiveness of these features and optimisation techniques varies between infrastructure suppliers. The network optimisation process can be represented in a diagram, as shown below:

Drive Test Data

A-Interface Data

Call Trace Data

OMC Stats Data

QOS Metrics

Performance Reporting

OMC Management

Field Operations

Database Parameters Quality-Driven Network Design Review, Expansion and Optimisation Process RF Design Parameters

Network Operations - Rollout - Change Control Expansion Plans

Core Network Design Parameters Marketing Strategy Optimisation Plans

Performance Requirements

Network Planning and Optimisation

The effectiveness of all of these features also largely depends on the network design, and how the feature parameters are optimised. A careful examination of all design factors affecting the use of these features should be undertaken, and recommendations made as to the suitability of the features and/or improvements in performance through optimisation.

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Guideline for Network Design and Optimization

5.3.1

Synthesizer Frequency Hopping (SFH)

SFH is a widely accepted technique in GSM for providing capacity and quality improvements. These benefits are as a consequence of the following features of SFH: • • • Increased immunity to fading due to frequency diversity. Better frame erasure rate through interference averaging Greatly simplified frequency planning allowing faster rollout and better quality.

The effectiveness of SFH in achieving capacity and/or quality gains is dependent on a number of optimisation-related factors:
5.3.1.1 Hopping spectrum allocation

Since the benefits of SFH arise as a consequence of the nature of spread-spectrum operation, the amount of benefit is related to the degree of spreading. In SFH this is determined by the spread of channels allocated in the MA list (hopping sequence). Simulations show that up to around 2MHz spread (10 channels) there is an appreciable increase in hopping gain, but above 2MHz spread the additional gain reduces.
5.3.1.2 Choice of SFH Design

SFH can be deployed in a number of ways according to the network design. For example: 1x3 SFH: In this scheme, the hopping band is divided into 3 equal groups and planned according to a regular re-use pattern. This is suited to networks with regular cell plan and 3-sector sites In this scheme, the whole hopping band is allocated to a single hopping group, which is re-used in every cell and every site. This technique is better suited to irregular networks.

1x1 SFH:

1x1 Split SFH: This is similar to the 1x1 SFH scheme, except that it allows for operation with different cell layers (for example high sites and low sites). The hopping band is divided into two groups, and each group is applied according to the 1x1 scheme on a per-layer basis. Other variations are also possible, depending on the particular implementation of the technique in the supplier’s BSS software.
5.3.1.3 Hopping System Parameters

A full review of the use of hopping system parameters is required, to ensure compliance with recommended SFH planning rules. MA List: HSN: MAIO: Frequencies allocated to the hopping sequence Hopping Sequence Number (0 = cyclic, 1-63 = pseudo-random) Mobile Allocation Index Offset. Sometimes set automatically, however manual definition of MAIO is essential for the correct implementation of certain hopping techniques (eg. 1x1 SFH).

These parameters also apply to a baseband hopping system, although their use is somewhat different.
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Since microcell laters are usually designed to carry high capacity in small coverage areas.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 5. the area in which an acceptable C/I can be achieved those carriers is correspondingly smaller. Page 53 . This requires careful optimisation to maximise traffic capacity. and so on. Downlink PC parameters should be reviewed and. TCH2 with 3x3. DTX (Discontinuous Transmission) is also sometimes used. the BCCH carrier would be planned with a 5x3 pattern. In other words.4 Microcell Traffic Management Algorithms Some BSS suppliers provide advanced traffic management alkgorithms designed to control the distribution of traffic between different cell layers of the network. Typically this is applied between macrocell and microcell layers. and then to transmit idle frames during breaks in speech.3. to prevent unnecessary handovers and potential call drops due to handover failure. Encourage handover from micro-to-micro and avoid handing back into the macro layer. MRP is a variation of baseband hopping in which frequencies are allocated to carriers hierarchically with an increasingly aggressive re-use pattern. 5.3. TCH channels are then allocated in priority order.3. One feature of MRP is that since interference increases on the ‘higher’ carriers due to the increasingly aggressive re-use patterns.2 Baseband Frequency Hopping and Multiple Re-use Patterns (MRP) This is a technique preferred by a few suppliers.3 Downlink Power Control and DTX Downlink power control is important in frequency hopping systems as a means of reducing downlink interference. 5. TCH1 with 4x3. thus reducing average downlink power and interference. recommendations made if necessary. Prevent handover from macro layer to micro layer for fast-moving mobiles. notably Ericsson. This feature allows the BTS to use voice activity detection. starting with the BCCH. The use of these algorithms must be reviewed to ensure optimum traffic distribution and correct handover operation. Encourage mobiles to remain camped onto to micro cells despite lower signal level through use of modified cell selection algorithm (C2). although SFH is a more commonly used technique. the principles behind these algorithms are generally as follows: • • • • Prevent handover from micro layer to macro layer unless the handover cause is imperative (Qual or Lev).

4 The Network Growth Planning Process Network growth planning requires a number of inputs. as shown below: Marketing Strategy RF Design Constraints Performance Reports Capacity Requirements Network Design Review.3.5 Dual Band Traffic Management Algorithms In the case of dual band system operation. Page 54 .Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 5.Change Control A typical network expansion process will include all of these inputs as a minimum. most suppliers provide traffic management algorithms to prioritise traffic channel allocation between 900 and 1800 layers.Rollout . Expansion and Optimisation Process Coverage Requirements Site Acquisition Constraints Quality Requirements Available Spectrum Network Planning and Optimisation Capacity and Performance enhancing features Network Operations . A full review of the use and effectiveness of these features is required. 5. Network growth and expansion planning is covered in greater detail in separate documents. however the inputs into the process can be represented in a diagram. These include: • • • Prioritisation of 900 or 1800 layer Rules for assigning TCH in 900 or 1800 layers according to traffic loading Single-BCCH operation allowing 1800 TCH allocation from 900 BCCH. and recommendations made if necessary.

The following timers are by no means an exhaustive list. A lower setting could result in two mobile stations being active on the same channel. 5. If the IMSI detach feature is enabled this timer should be set to a value less than the MSC implicit detach timer.5.1. and up to 5 repetitions of the DISC are allowed.1. If rr_t3212 is set higher than the MSC implicit detach timer then mobiles which are camped on the network will not be paged if they do not location update before expiry of the MSC implicit detach timer. but are commonly optimised to maximise resource utilisation. their main purpose is to ensure de-allocation of radio resources after the failure of some resource allocation process. The mobile restarts the timer each time it successfully location updates.2 rr_t3212 (Periodic Location Update Timer) => Align With MSC Implicit Detach Timer rr_t3212 is transmitted by the BSS in the BCCH System Information and is used by the mobile as the periodic location update timer.5 BSS Database Review Many BSS database parameters are specific to equipment vendors. so it is not possible to derive a single set of default values valid for all equipment vendors. it is recommended that rr_t3111 be set to 1200ms across all cells. The results obtained from the network performance review will tend to suggest which aspects of the BSS database may be able to be optimised. To avoid the possibility of 2 mobile stations active on the same channel and to safely minimise channel usage. at intervals of T200 (235ms on SDCCH. 5.5. while some are defined by ETSI in the GSM specification.5.1 Radio Resource Timers Many radio resource timers exist in GSM. 5. If the timer ever expires then the mobile makes a periodic location update. and thus ensure maximum utilisation and minimum wastage of resources. Its purpose is to maintain the dedicated channel in an active state long enough for the MS to repeat the L2 DISC message if required. 166ms on FACCH). This means that the maximum time that the dedicated channel needs to be held is 1175ms (5 x 235ms). Generally speaking. Page 55 .Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 5. rr_t3111 commences when the first DISC is received by the BSS. Even those which are ETSI-defined may be optimised slightly differently according to the vendor-specific implementation of software algorithms.1 rr_t3111 (layer 2 channel release guard timer) =>1200ms This timer is used during the normal layer 2 channel release procedure. This section attempts to suggest which specific areas within the BSS database should be reviewed. possibly introducing SDCCH or TCH congestion. A higher setting of rr_t3111 will hold SDCCH or TCH resources longer than necessary.

rr_t3109 should therefore be set to a value greater than radio_link_timeout.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization It is recommended to set this timer to a lower value than the MSC implicit detach timer. It is a very small percentage of calls which would recover from a losing SACCH for longer than 7. then it is recommended that rr_t3109 should be reduced to 8000ms for all cells. This represents a time period of 7. The effect of this timer change will be to improve the mobile terminated call set up success rate measured by the MSC and perceived by anybody trying to call a mobile station from either the fixed network or another mobile station.5.1.3 link_fail => 16 SACCH The link_fail timer governs the number of missing uplink SACCH messages that should occur before a radio-link-loss is determined by the BSS.5.1. but without losing calls which might otherwise recover. increasing channel availability.6 rr_t3103 (Intra-BSS Handover Guard Timer) => 15000ms This BSC call processing timer is used during an intra BSS inter cell handover. This will help to maximise the use of TCH resources by returning them to the radio resource pool as soon as possible.1.5 rr_t3109 (TCH Reallocation Timer) => 8000ms This timer prevents the reallocation of a channel.7 seconds (16 SACCH) for all cells. 5. following the detection of an uplink radio link loss. Based on a radio_link_timeout of 16 SACCH as recommended above. in line with the link_fail recommendation above. to guard against allocation of resources to a handover after it has failed. This will ensure that channels will be released as soon as is safely possible following a radio link loss.4 radio_link_timeout => 16 SACCH Radio_link_timeout governs the number of missing downlink SACCH messages which should occur before a radio-link-loss is determined by the mobile.5. To maximise the intra BSS handover success rate this timer should be long enough to allow the MS to receive the handover command over the air interface. The MS may still be transmitting on the channel until radio_link_timeout expires.5. The benefit of minimising this timer value is that the holding time of the channel following any radio link loss is minimised.1. it is likely that the subscriber will have terminated the call after 16 SACCH multiframes have passed. avoiding any unnecessary SDCCH or TCH congestion.7 seconds. try and fail to Page 56 . 5.7 seconds and the user is likely to have released the call anyway due to loss of audio. As the loss of uplink SACCH indicates that uplink audio is also lost. 5. It is recommended to set this timeout to 7. 5. while still allowing sufficient time for the link to recover before the subscriber gives up and terminates the call.

1 RxQual Handovers: It is recommended to configure settings such that a handover will be triggered when 4 consecutive measurement reports contain at least one RxQual value of 7. then bssmap_t8 should be set to 14000 ms. If it expires. guarding the non-receipt of the assignment complete or assignment failure message from the MS. 5. 5. as recommended.5. It starts when the Handover Command is transmitted. but not too quickly such that excessive handovers take place along with a higher risk of call drop The RxQual handover should only take place if the BTS/MS are at full power and a target cell is available at an equivalent or stronger downlink RxLev as the server. Therefore if rr_t3103 is set to 15000 ms. 5. In worst case conditions the MS will take about 13s to fail an assignment and recover to the source channel. Again. To maximise the intra BSS handover success rate it is recommended that this timer should be set to 15000ms.5. the radio channels will be released and a Clear Request message sent to the MSC This timer must be sufficiently long to maximise the probability of a successful assignment.2. and is stopped when the BSC clears the source cell resources following a successful handover or when a Handover Failure message is received. However there are some general guidelines and recommendation that can be applied independently of vendor-specific implementations. 5. but it also needs to be set slightly smaller than rr_t3103.7 bssmap_t10 (Assignment Guard Timer) => 14000 This timer runs at the BTS during the assignment procedure. including LAPDm layer 2 repeats at each stage. If Page 57 . Therefore the timer setting 14000 ms is recommended. this timer needs to be long enough to allow the MS a reasonable chance to recover in poor radio conditions. The timer should not be so long that resources are held up unnecessarily introducing channel congestion.5. RxQual handovers should take place relatively quickly to avoid potential loss of speech quality. resources at the source BTS are released. On expiry of this timer.5.1.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization access the target channel and to return to the source channel.1. together with at least one RxQual value of 5 and two RxQual values of 6 (or some setting similar to this). It is recommended to set this timer less than rr_t3103 (15000 ms).2 Handover and Power Control Parameters Handover and power control parameters are set according to the implementation of handover and power control algorithms on a vendor-specific basis.8 bssmap_t8 ( Handover Guard Timer) => 14000 This timer runs at the source BTS during an intra-BSC or inter-BSC handover.

5. dB) (power decrease step size. Power-up needs to be fast in order to quickly overcome quality problems by increasing power.2.5. and power down through normal power control thereafter. the MS should power up again.5. and the RxLev handover cause should be generated only when the RxLev reaches a very low value. until the RxQual improves. Page 58 . a handover can be performed based on RxQual. RxLev handovers should be considered only as a ‘last resort’.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization possible. dB) 5.3 Uplink Power Control: The basic philosophy of uplink power control is that the MS should be powered down while the received signal level at the BTS is of good quality (RxQual =0). since hopping channels can tolerate a worse BER for the same FER as compared to non-hopping channels. If bad RxQual should occur (RXQual >0). This process can be slow and results in mobiles transmitting higher than required power for a significant time. Similarly if the RxLev is low and the quality is poor. If a call is in progress and the quality is acceptable. power-down commands are given based on good level. In case they are used. and it should be checked that a handover to a weaker cell is not possible. Occasionally powerup commands will given based on low level.2. provided the RxLev is above a defined threshold. A ‘feature’ of GSM is that mobiles transmit full power at call setup.4 MS Fast Power Down: Some equipment vendors provide a feature allowing the mobile to be quickly powered down immediately following call setup by a large step. different RxQual thresholds should be set for hopping and non hopping channels. Fast power down algorithms should be used wherever available as this reduces average uplink interference in the network.2 RxLev Handovers: RxLev handovers are generally not too useful. while power-up commands are given based on poor quality. 5. and the recommendation in most cases would be to keep them disabled.2. Typical power control thresholds are as follows: l_rxqual_ul_p = u_rxqual_ul_p = l_rxlev_ul_p = u_rxlev_ul_p = pow_inc_step_size pow_red_step_size 56 0 20 30 4 2 (lower RxQual threshold) (upper RxQual threshold) (lower RxLev threshold) (upper RxLev threshold) (power increase step size. So there are very few situations in which an RxLev handover is useful. there is no need to perform a handover purely based on a low RxLev. 5. Generally speaking.

allowing the operator to control the conditions under which neighbours can qualify for Page 59 .2.5 Downlink Power Control: Downlink power control is useful as a means of reducing levels of downlink interference. 5. but based on the principle of ‘Handover on Congestion’ The Handover on Congestion feature works as follows: • • • • Call setup attempt is blocked due to lack of TCH resources Blocked call setup attempt is queued. This should also be used wherever available. One of the existing calls in the congested cell is handed over to a neighbour cell.5. The TCH thus freed is allocated to the call in the queue. rather than reverting the mobile to full power automatically. This represents an improvement over the standard voting mechanism (n out of p etc.5.). vendors offer the Directed Retry feature.2. The handover has a margin associated with it. occupying a SDCCH. if there is a sudden large reduction in RxQual the handover will be triggered more rapidly compared to a slow and gradual reduction. Parameter settings could be similar to those used for Uplink Power Control.5. and some offer an enhanced version known by various names. 5.2. and is handled in a similar way to a normal power budget handover. freeing a TCH. and the call setup is completed. and is recommended to be used wherever available. This enables a faster power control within the defined power thresholds and minimizes uplink and downlink interference. The handover cause generated is ‘congestion’. In other words.6 Adaptive Handover: The principle of adaptive handover is to replace the usual fixed voting algorithm used for handover decision making with an algorithm based on ‘rate of change’ of a condition.7 Adaptive Power Control: Some equipment vendors provide an adaptive power control algorithm.5. if not all.2.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization Some vendors also offer a feature to set the mobile power at the required level on handover based on path loss measurements. 5.8 Directed Retry and Intelligent Directed Retry (Handover on Congestion): Most. which allows the step size of power control commands to be changed according to how far above or below the thresholds the measurements are. 5. and should be particularly applied to cells known to be interferers (such as high or prominent cell sites possibly over-shooting lower cell sites).

The main benefits of this are: • Reduction in SDCCH resource usage through minimised location update traffic. 5. as well as the number of location areas. • Page 60 .Guideline for Network Design and Optimization congestion handover. since cell_reselect_hysteresis applies only at location area borders (on location update) but not between cells of the same location area.6 Location Area Planning and Paging Performance Good location area planning should minimise the number of location areas in the network and minimise the amount of location update traffic. increasing the probability of poor quality. Directed Retry has no equivalent measurement history. Handover on Congestion is generally more effective than normal Directed Retry for the following reasons: • • Directed Retry allows call setup to cells outside the intended coverage area. Handover on congestion chooses the best candidate in the cell for handover based on a measurement history. Improved Call Setup Success Rate: The mobile is more likely to be established on the best serving cell when away from a location area border. The location of location area borders is also critical for this. and allows the network operator some enhancement in capacity during periods of rapid network growth. Handover on Congestion is recommended as an effective method of limited redistribution of traffic in a congested network through improved trunking efficiency.

and so on. The PCH capacity is fixed on a per cell basis by the CCCH configuration and access grant block reservation set in the BSS database by the parameters ccch_conf and bs_ag_blk_res respectively. avoiding borders following rivers through large cities (RF propagation is difficult to control over water. A very small paging load would suggest that the location area is too small and could be combined with neighbouring location areas. Additional Location Area planning issues are as follows: • • Location Areas must be contained within an MSC. A paging load too close to the Page 61 . A well-planned network should have similar paging loads in each location area with the maximum paging load within reasonable range of the theoretical maximum paging capacity. so results in many unplanned location updates). The theoretical maximum paging capacity for each possible CCCH configuration is shown in the following table: Paging capacity is the primary consideration for calculating location area size. minimising location update activity and reducing use of SDCCH resources.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization The maximum size of a location area is limited by the available Paging Channel (PCH) capacity. such as planning to minimise movement of mobiles across location area borders. so MSC borders place a restriction on Location Area border planning Geographical and topographical considerations impact location area planning.

8 MTL Performance The MTL C7 signalling links between BSC and MSC (A-Interface) are key system components to ensure high system performance. Paging load too high: Consider splitting location area into smaller ones. Page 62 . 5. and processor expansion/upgrade recommended as necessary.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization theoretical maximum paging load would suggest that the location area is too large and should be split up into multiple location areas to avoid paging overload. Location area planning should be reviewed by investigating the paging load per location area. estuaries etc.). and action recommended as necessary. Any observed overload conditions or outages should be reported. including call setup success. Therefore these links should be designed with high availability and dimensioned appropriately to avoid any overload or congestion conditions. Paging load OK but location update activity too high: Consider re-planning location update borders to minimise cross-border mobile movement and thus minimise location update activity. 5. and making recommendations as required: Paging load too low: Combine small location area with other adjacent location area(s) to reduce SDCCH usage and reduce unnecessary location update activity. The following processors should be checked: • • BSC processors BTS processors Any overload conditions should be reported.7 System Processor Performance The loading of system processors should be checked in accordance with the planning and dimensioning guidelines provided by the equipment vendor. Look for ‘islands’ (cells accidentally hosted in the wrong location area causing unnecessary location updates) and coverage ‘splashes’ (especially near rivers.

and recommendations made if necessary. as diversity provides little gain in microcells where line-of-sight RF paths are Page 63 .2 Transmit Combining Options The choice of transmit combining method has a significant impact on coverage (due to insertion loss of the combiners).9. The suitability of antennas should be reviewed according to the observed performance problems in the network.9 Additional BSS Design Issues The following additional BSS design issues should also be reviewed: 5.3 Antenna Selection Antenna specifications have a significant impact on network performance. In the case of microcells this is normal. Transmit combining should be considered as part of the BSS design review.9. This should also be studied in relation to the RF design strategy.9.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 5. in turn resulting in poor call setup performance and poor quality.4 Diversity Choice The use of diversity should be reviewed. and the possibility to use certain capacity features (SFH. and recommendations made as necessary. etc). 5.1 Hardware configurations Networks often tend to consist of multiple generations of GSM hardware. as well as BSS supplied from several vendors.9. MRP. 5. 5. eg: • • • • • Vertical and Horizontal Beamwidth Gain Front-to-Back Ratio Null Fill Downtilt (electrical/mechanical) Antenna positioning is also improtant with resopect to minimising interference and unwanted radiation. It is important to check hardware configurations to ensure they support the required quality and capacity features (such as synthesiser frequency hopping). Lack of diversity can result in link balance problems. Different types of diversity are possible: • • • Horizontal space diversity Vertical space diversity Polarisation diversity Sometimes diversity is not used at all.

air conditioning failure. and so on. lack of diversity can result in significant performance problems. They warn about environmental failures such as power failure. and so on.3 Transmit Power Calibration It is important that all BTS radios are properly calibrated within the defined range. intruder access.10.4 External Alarms External alarms are not always provided.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization predominant. 5.1 Frequently Occurring Alarms A high frequency of occurrence of a particular alarm of group of alarms suggests a specific software or hardware problem in the network (usually vendor-specific).10.10. to ensure the proper calculation of handover and power control algorithms. dropped calls. 5. interference.5 Maintenance Schedules It is advisable to check that regular maintenance is carried out according to manufacturers recommendations.10. 5. This should be taken into account when considering network quality. Page 64 . but are strongly recommended. 5. However in large macrocells.10. 5. all of which contributes to poor network quality. frame slip alarms indicating poor calibration of BTS clocks).2 Frequency of Outages Frequent BTS or BSC outages cause a significant impact on network quality.10 BSS Operations Review The following aspects of BSS operations should be reviewed: 5. The lack of proper regular maintenance results in poor equipment performance and a high rate of failure. alongside network performance statistics. due to loss of coverage. Sometimes it indicates a deficiency in a routine maintenance procedure (eg. This can include the following: • • • • • • Radio Calibration Clock Calibration Antenna VSWR Checks Equipment filter cleaning Earth testing …and so on.

both immediate and long-term. as well as design and parameter changes. changes to operational procedures. This could include suggested process changes to manage growth. The structure of recommendations will approximately follow the logical flow of the Network Performance Audit and Design Review Process. for improving network quality and preparing for growth.Guideline for Network Design and Optimization 6 RECOMMENDATIONS The recommendations made from the network performance audit and design review findings will be in the form of a series of recommended actions. Page 65 . as described in this document.

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