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Adaptive Multi Rate Planning Guidelines

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1. 2.

3.

4.

5.

6. 7. 8. 9.

Introduction ............................................................................................................................................... 3 Adaptive Multi Rate.................................................................................................................................. 3 2.1 Why AMR?........................................................................................................................................ 3 2.2 General description of AMR.............................................................................................................. 4 2.3 What is Link Adaptation (LA)? ......................................................................................................... 5 2.4 Codec Mode Adaptation .................................................................................................................... 5 2.5 Channel Mode Adaptation ................................................................................................................. 6 Benefits of AMR ....................................................................................................................................... 7 3.1 Speech quality enhancement.............................................................................................................. 7 3.2 Capacity and coverage gain ............................................................................................................... 7 3.3 Signalling channel performance......................................................................................................... 7 3.4 Improved BCCH plan ........................................................................................................................ 8 3.5 Mixed EFR AMR traffic networks ................................................................................................. 8 3.6 Half Rate utilisation ........................................................................................................................ 8 AMR parameters ....................................................................................................................................... 9 4.1 Initial codec mode selection............................................................................................................... 9 4.2 Codec mode adaptation...................................................................................................................... 9 4.3 Configuration in handovers.............................................................................................................. 10 4.4 HO&PC thresholds parameters for AMR ........................................................................................ 10 4.5 Channel mode adaptation................................................................................................................. 11 4.6 Prioritisation of AMR capable cells during internal and external handovers .................................. 12 4.7 Direct access to desired layer/band (DADL/B) ............................................................................... 12 4.8 IFH and IUO .................................................................................................................................... 13 Performance of AMR.............................................................................................................................. 13 5.1 AMR in one-layer network .............................................................................................................. 13 5.2 AMR in two-layer network (IFH) .................................................................................................... 15 5.3 Performance in HR AMR ................................................................................................................ 16 5.4 Performance in BCCH layer ............................................................................................................ 18 References ............................................................................................................................................... 19 Abbreviations .......................................................................................................................................... 19 Appendix A: Nokia BSS10 AMR Solution............................................................................................. 20 History..................................................................................................................................................... 20

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1. INTRODUCTION The purpose of this document is to explain the theory and the practice implementation of the Nokia feature adaptive multi rate (AMR), how the AMR is implemented in Nokias network elements, how to choose the right parameters related to AMR, how to analyse the quality of the network and the optimisation process. Also some planning examples are presented.

2. ADAPTIVE MULTI RATE 2.1 Why AMR? GSM speech codecs (full rate - FR, half rate - HR and enhanced full rate - EFR) operate at a fixed coding rate. Channel protection (against errors) is added also at a fixed rate. The coding rates are chosen as a compromise between best clear channel performance and robustness to channel errors. The AMR system exploits the implied performance compromises by adapting the speech and channel coding rates according to the quality of the radio channel. This gives better clear channel quality and better robustness to errors. These benefits are realised whether operating in full-rate or half-rate channels. An example to explain this concept in a more intuitive way can be this: consider the situation where the mobile is in a zone of the cell border where you have a bad C/I (for example 7dB). With EFR you have a degradation of the quality of the speech due to interference. On the other hand, with AMR similar quality can be achieved with a reduced number of speech coded bits, which allows more bits to be used for error protection and correction (see Figure 1). As well as quality improvements, the need to enhance capacity by allocating half-rate channels to some or all mobiles is also recognised. The radio resource algorithm, enhanced to support AMR operation, allocates a half-rate or full-rate channel according to channel quality and the traffic load on the cell in order to obtain the best balance between quality and capacity. An example of the increase in capacity can be this: in normal C/I condition two voice channels can use a single timeslot in the case of Half rate coding (HR) with little or no compromise in voice quality compared to EFR (see Figure 2). Optimal interworking with power control and handover algorithms together with enhanced quality measurements (FER Measurement feature) will provide full benefits and interworking with prior Nokia capacity features including Intelligent Frequency Hopping (IFH).

AMR Full Rate performance compared to Full Rate EFR in Clean Speec
MOS (Mean Opinion Score) 5.0

4.0

3.0

2.0

EFR AMR FR

1.0
No Errors

16 dB C/I

13 dB C/I

10 dB C/I

7 dB C/I

4 dB C/I

Figure 1: ETSI Mean Opinion Score test results for current EFR and AMR FR
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AMR Half Rate performance compared to Full Rate in Clean Speech


MOS (Mean Opinion Score) 5.0

4.0

3.0

2.0

FR AMR HR

1.0

No Errors

19 dB C/I

16 dB C/I

13 dB C/I

10 dB C/I

7 dB C/I

4 dB C/I

Figure 2: ETSI Mean Opinion Score test results for current FR and AMR HR

2.2 General description of AMR AMR consists of 8 different speech codec modes with total of 14 channel codec modes (see Table 1).

Table 1: Channel and speech codec modes for AMR


Channel mode Channel codec Mode
CH0-FS CH1-FS CH2-FS TCH/FR CH3-FS CH4-FS CH5-FS CH6-FS CH7-FS CH8-HS TCH/HR CH9-HS CH10-HS CH11-HS CH12-HS 12.20kbit/s (GSMEFR) 10.20 kbit/s 7.95 kbit/s 7.40 kbit/s (IS-641) 6.70 kbit/s 5.90 kbit/s 5.15 kbit/s 4.75 kbit/s 7.95 kbit/s (*) 7.40 kbit/s (IS-641) 6.70 kbit/s 5.90 kbit/s 5.15 kbit/s

Source coding bit-rate, speech

Net bit-rate, in-band channel


0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s

Channel coding bit-rate, speech


10.20 kbit/s 12.20 kbit/s 14.45 kbit/s 15.00 kbit/s 15.70 kbit/s 16.50 kbit/s 17.25 kbit/s 17.65 kbit/s 3.25 kbit/s 3.80 kbit/s 4.50 kbit/s 5.30 kbit/s 6.05 kbit/s

Channel coding bit-rate, inband


0.30 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s

CH13-HS 4.75 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 6.45 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s (*) Requires 16 kbit/s TRAU. Therefore it is not seen as a feasible codec mode and will not be supported by Nokia BSS10.

Codec mode adaptation for AMR is based on received channel quality estimation in both MS and BTS, followed by a decision on the most appropriate speech and channel codec mode to apply at a given time. In high-error conditions more bits are used for error correction to obtain error robust coding, while in good
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transmission conditions a lower amount of bits is needed for sufficient error protection and more bits can therefore be allocated for source coding. An in-band signalling channel is defined for AMR that enables the MS and the BTS to exchange messages on applied or requested speech and channel codec modes. The above mentioned selected speech codec mode is then sent, by using the in-band signalling channel, to the transmitting side, where it is applied for the other link. BTS commands the MS to apply a particular speech codec mode in the uplink, but MS can only request BTS to apply a particular speech codec mode in the downlink because BTS has an option to override the MS's request. MS shall support all speech codec modes, although only a set of up to 4 speech codec modes is used during a call. BSC supports all of speech codec modes, except 7.95 kbit/s on HR channel, and it has one default set for each channel mode. The default codec sets include also a default set of decision thresholds and hysteresis. The initial codec mode and codec set with thresholds and hysteresis are transferred between network elements and MS by using the existing layer 3 signalling, i.e. the basic principles for EFR are reused. Only a few add-ons are needed. The AMR system makes use of the in-band signalling for the link adaptation. Further, for each codec mode set there is an associated set of decision thresholds for mapping the channel quality measurements to the Mode Commands/Requests. 2.3 What is Link Adaptation (LA)? Link Adaptation is the capacity of AMR feature to vary the codec used according to the link conditions. In this way both network, for uplink, and MS, for downlink, measure the radio conditions in each link and take decisions on which codec should be applied to each way. Two different types of link adaptation algorithms are defined: Codec Mode Adaptation and Channel Mode Adaptation. Channel Mode Adaptation algorithm decides on whether the speech can be handled by a Full Rate Channel or by a Half Rate Channel according to the link conditions. Whereas, for the channel selected, the Codec Mode Adaptation algorithm decides which codec is the one that provides the best speech quality for the current radio conditions. That is, as each codec has different channel protection and speech encoding performance, the idea of the codec mode adaptation is to select the codec that provides the best speech quality for the radio conditions that the receivers are submitted to. 2.4 Codec Mode Adaptation There are two link adaptation (LA) modes; the ETSI specified fast LA and the Nokia proprietary slow LA. Fast LA BTS allows in-band codec mode changes on every other TCH frame, but in Nokia proprietary slow LA BTS allows in-band codec mode changes only on SACCH frame interval. The choice of the LA mode is done on BSC basis with the parameter slowAmrLaEnabled: if it is set to "N" (default) it is used ETSI fast LA; if it is set to "Y" it used Nokia slow LA. With slow LA, BTS allows in-band codec mode changes only on the SACCH frame interval of 480 ms and this option give better flexibility with HO & PC algorithms. During both LA modes BTS indicates the first and the last used codec during the last measurement interval and the average quality. As already said BTS commands the MS to apply a particular speech codec mode in the uplink, but MS can only request BTS to apply a particular speech codec mode in the downlink because BTS has an option to override the MS's request (see Figure 3). The codec mode bit-rate, i.e. the bit-rate partitioning between the speech and channel coding for a given channel mode, may be varied rapidly (see Figure 4) to track changes in the radio link and to account for specific input conditions (speech signal characteristics, acoustic environmental characteristics, etc.). The codec mode can be switched one up or one down at the time so that it is not possible to switch from the mode 12.2 kbit/s to 4.75 kbit/s when for example the modes 5.9 kbit/s and 7.4 kbit/s are included to the mode set. Also, it should be noted that codec changes do not take place immediately after the Codec Mode Command/Request is sent: there is a delay until a frame is received with the new codec.

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Codec mode adaptation operate independently on the up- and down- links. It is transparent to the channel allocation and operate independently of it. Control depends mainly on measurements of the quality of the respective links. 2.5 Channel Mode Adaptation Link adaptation consists in channel mode (i.e. handovers between FR and HR) and codec mode (i.e. source and channel bit-rates for a given channel mode). Details are explained in paragraph 4.2 and 4.4. The channel mode (FR or HR) is switched to achieve the optimum balance between speech quality and capacity enhancements. The up- and down-links shall use the same channel mode. The channel mode is selected by the network based on measurements of the quality of the up- and down-links. MS BTS T

UL Channel Quality DL Codec P l UL adaptatio

16 or 8 kbit/s DL adaptatio

UL codec command DL Channel Quality DL codec

Figure 3: link adaptation


C /I
30

C /I

E F R o p e r a t io n

AM R m ode

AMR

25

1 2 .2 k b it / s

20

7 .9 5 k b it / s

[dB]

15

6 .7 0 k b it / s

10

5 .9 0 k b it / s

0 0 5 10 15
T im e [s ]

20

25

30

Figure 4: example of codec mode link adaptation

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3. BENEFITS OF AMR 3.1 Speech quality enhancement There is a gain in quality by using AMR speech codecs compared to previous GSM speech codecs (FR, EFR, and HR) (see Figure 5). At first, with high C/I the EFR quality is obtained. Then, AMR link adaptation maintains good speech quality in the situation where the connection faces low C/I due to high interference or low signal level. Therefore, the impact on average speech quality based on AMR full-rate codec is clear. Naturally, this requires an effective link adaptation algorithm.

MOS 5.0

4.0

3.0 EFR 12.2 10.2 7.95 7.4 6.7 5.9 5.15 4.75 No Errors EFR 12.2 10.2 7.95 7.4 6.7 5.9 5.15 4.75 4.01 4.01 4.06 3.91 3.83 3.77 3.72 3.50 3.50 4.06 C/I=16 dB C/I=13 dB 4.01 4.13 3.96 4.01 3.94 C/I=10 dB 3.65 3.93 4.05 4.08 3.98 3.80 C/I= 7 dB 3.05 3.44 3.80 3.96 3.84 3.86 3.69 3.58 3.52

2.0

Conditions C/I= 4 dB 1.53 1.46 2.04 3.26 3.11 3.29 3.59 3.44 3.43 1.43 1.39 1.87 2.20 2.43 2.66 C/I= 1 dB

1.0

Figure 5: MOS values for certain C/I (clean speech in FR)

3.2 Capacity and coverage gain Link level results illustrated very high improvement in the terms of TCH FER when robust AMR modes were used. As high as 6 dB improvement at 1% FER in C/I was achieved. Therefore, high capacity gain can be expected when robust AMR modes are utilised. In addition, increased robustness to channel errors can be utilised in the cell coverage, i.e. lower C/N can be allowed at the cell edge. However, in the mixed traffic case the cell coverage has to be planned according to EFR mobiles. 3.3 Signalling channel performance With AMR the performance of traffic channels TCH for speech is improved. However, it is interesting to check also the performance of signalling channels such as SACCH and FACCH which are carried by the same TSL. From FER point of view, the robustness of those signalling channels is not as high as for traffic channels (higher FER for the same CIR than in traffic channels). However, for these signalling channels FER is not a fair parameter to pay attention to but the probability of decoding success of the signalling message.
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In this way, due to retransmissions schemes used by these channels the probability of signalling success maintain very high even for very degraded conditions. 3.4 Improved BCCH plan Since the average C/I found in a cell area can be measurably less than that used in a non AMR network and still provide comparable quality to EFR, the existing clean BCCH layer can be tightened, potentially releasing frequencies to be used on the non-BCCH layer. This offers improved speech quality and extra capacity for TCH, especially in the narrow band deployment (frequency band less than 5 MHz). However, if EFR roaming mobiles are to be taken care of, the BCCH will have to be planned accordingly. 3.5 Mixed EFR AMR traffic networks In many real networks, the AMR mobile penetration will start to grow on top of EFR traffic. Therefore, one major task to study is the mixed AMR EFR case. Is there any capacity gain when the AMR penetration is small? How to plan networks to ensure the quality for the old EFR mobiles? One method to realise AMR gain is to use more aggressive power adjustment for AMR mobiles in order to decrease the average interference level in the network. Due to better error correction capability against the channel errors lower C/I target can be set for AMR mobiles hence lower PC thresholds can be used. Therefore, the overall interference decreases in the network (smaller average transmission power) and thus the quality of the existing EFR connections increase. For example, when AMR FR mode of 7.4 kbit/s is in use instead of the mode 12.2 kbit/s, the target C/I can be set 3 4 dB lower. Quality increase can be turned into capacity by allowing more users to the network, or the number of frequencies can be decreased if the traffic remains the same. Naturally, this increased frequency efficiency is a quality to capacity trade-off for AMR mobiles. There is a small quality loss in the terms of speech quality when AMR codec mode of 7.4 kbit/s is used instead of the mode 12.2 kbit/s. The usage of AMR speech codecs offers an additional gain in two-layer IFH network where the calls can be separated by the current quality. In that approach, the idea is to push all the good quality connections to super layer where the frequency reuse is much tighter than in the regular layer. Therefore, the frequency efficiency increases as a function of super layer usage. Since AMR mobiles can be regarded as good quality connections with lower C/I value, lower access threshold can be used for AMR connections. Then, the usage of the super layer increases in relation to AMR penetration. Moreover, the regular layer ensures the good signal quality for the existing EFR connections. 3.6 Half Rate utilisation Half-rate is an efficient way to increase capacity in the case of limited number of TRXs per cell. A half-rate connection uses the channel only every second burst. In theory, HR utilisation doubles the capacity of the cell since two half-rate connections can be allocated to fill only one timeslot. When the comparison between AMR HR codecs and previous GSM HR codec is made, it is noticed that AMR HR obtains remarkable better speech quality. Moreover, AMR FR obtains better quality than AMR HR only when higher FR modes than 7.4 are used (due to higher number of speech coding bits). For example, AMR FR 7.4 kbit/s mode and AMR HR 7.4 kbit/s mode have the same speech quality when the C/I is high (error free case). In theory for ideal frequency hopping about 11-12 dB C/I is required for AMR HR to obtain the evaluated good speech quality limit (in real networks, depending on the BTS configuration and on FH mode used, it might be necessary 1-4 dB higher). In theory, all connections having at least 12 dB C/I could be handed over to HR channel remaining the good speech quality. When two FR connections are handed over to HR channel and allocated to fill only one timeslot, the other timeslot will be free for new allocations (1 FR or 2 HRs). In reality the channel allocation and repacking algorithms (see paragraph 4.5), measurement delays and increased intracell handovers limit the performance. In addition, HR connections require higher C/I for the same quality than FR thus higher transmission powers are needed for HR connections.
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4. AMR PARAMETERS In this chapter the AMR related parameters are taken into account. In appendix A there is an extract with all the ranges and the default values. Some aspects of the AMR functionality will be explained with the related parameters. All the parameters are on cell basis. 4.1 Initial codec mode selection The two parameters amrConfigurationFR: codecModeSet and amrConfigurationHR: codecModeSet specify which of the possible speech coding bit-rate are implemented in the serving cell: default values are 12.2, 7.4, 5.9 and 4.75 Kb/s (for FR) and 7.4, 5.9 and 4.75 Kb/s (for HR). It has to be remembered that MS supports all speech codec modes, although only a set of up to 4 speech codec modes is used during a call (codec set can be updated during the call, e.g. HO) and BSC supports all of speech codec modes, except 7.95 kbit/s on HR channel. The Initial Codec mode to start the speech coding operation at call set-up and after handover may be signalled by layer 3 signalling, in which case it shall be used by BTS and MS. With the parameters amrConfigurationFr: initCodecMode, amrConfigurationFr: startMode, amrConfigurationHr: initCodecMode and amrConfigurationHr: startMode you can select a different codec mode from the default ones: if the initial codec mode is set to "0" (default) then the most robust codec of the ones available is chosen (start mode is "00" - default); otherwise if the initial codec mode is "1" it is possible to choose one of the 4 codec mode available. Of course the choice of the most robust codec available (less bit rate for speech) is recommended. With initAmrChannelRate parameter you define the initial channel in call set-up (except FACCH call setup), internal inter cell handover (HO) and external HO for an AMR call. The default value is "Any Rate" and this means that the chosen channel rate is defined by taking into account the currently used information (Channel Type IE, resource situation on radio interface, circuit pool, current channel rate, handover parameters, etc.). The other option is "AMR FR", which means that full rate channel is allocated despite of the values of the currently used information. If AMR FR cannot be allocated, then allocation is continued with the currently used information. The reason behind this last parameter is that quality may not be sufficient for HR AMR call set-up (radio measurement is done on SDCCH). 4.2 Codec mode adaptation With the parameters amrConfigurationFr: threshold1, amrConfigurationFr: threshold2, amrConfigurationFr: threshold3 it is possible to define the thresholds for switching respectively from codec mode 2 (second lowest bit-rate) to codec mode 1 (lowest bit-rate most robust), from codec mode 3 to codec mode 2 and from codec mode 4 (highest bit-rate less robust) to codec mode 3. The recommended values are 4dB, 7dB, and 11dB (in ideal conditions simulations show that also the values 6dB, 9dB and 13dB give good results in terms of FER (Frame Error ate) and MOS degradation): higher thresholds means that most robust codecs are used, lower thresholds imply that less robust codecs are used. Aggressive (low C/I) thresholds increases the number of TCH frame errors since the high modes are used even with low C/I values. Conversely, thresholds that are set too high decrease the usage of higher modes thus some speech quality is lost due to lower number of speech bits. With the parameters amrConfigurationFr: hysteresis1, amrConfigurationFr: hysteresis2 and amrConfigurationFr: hysteresis3 together with AMR FR thresholds, it is possible to define the threshold for switching from one codec mode to another. The thresholds and the related hysteresis must be in consistent order, that is, AMR FR threshold 1 and AMR FR hysteresis 1 must be equal to or smaller than AMR FR threshold 2 and AMR FR hysteresis 2 and AMR FR threshold 2 and AMR FR hysteresis 2 must be equal to or smaller than AMR FR threshold 3 and AMR FR hysteresis 3. For HR configuration there are the parameters amrConfigurationHr: threshold1, amrConfigurationHr: threshold2, amrConfigurationHr: threshold3, amrConfigurationHr: hysteresis1, amrConfigurationHr:
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hysteresis2 and amrConfigurationHr: hysteresis3. In case of only three codec modes (default HR codecModeSet) threshold 3 and hysteresis 3 are set to "0" in order not to use them. The basic AMR set for FR and HR channels on BSC are in and in Table 3: Table 2: basic AMR FR codec set
Codec Mode 12.2 7.4 5.9 4.75 Threshold (C/I) 11 7 4 Hysteresis (C/I) 1 1 1 Lower threshold (C/I) 11 7 4 Upper threshold (C/I) 12 8 5

Table 3: basic AMR HR codec set


Codec Mode 7.4 5.9 4.75 Threshold (C/I) 14 11 Hysteresis (C/I) 1 1 Lower threshold (C/I) 14 11 Upper threshold (C/I) 15 12

Lower threshold in the tables above means towards more robust codec and upper threshold means towards less robust codec. 4.3 Configuration in handovers Two BSC related parameter refers to the behaviour during internal and external handovers: amrConfInHandovers and amrSetGradesEnabl. With the first parameter it is possible to define the preference between the currently used multirate configuration and the one defined for the target BTS during internal and external handovers. With the value "1" (default) the currently used multirate configuration is preferred in further channel allocations; with the value "2" the multirate configuration of target BTS is preferred in further channel allocations. With the second parameter it is possible to define whether codec mode set downgrades during internal HOs and upgrades after internal HOs are applied or not. Its value can be "Y" or "N": with "Y" downgrades and upgrades are applied, with "N" (default value) these upgrades and downgrades are not applied. 4.4 HO&PC thresholds parameters for AMR RxQual thresholds (either HO and PC) are specified for FR and HR AMR sets: Power Control Pc lower threshold dl Rx qual AMR FR Pc lower threshold dl Rx qual AMR HR Pc lower threshold ul Rx qual AMR FR Pc lower threshold ul Rx qual AMR HR Pc upper threshold dl Rx qual AMR FR Pc upper threshold dl Rx qual AMR HR Pc upper threshold ul Rx qual AMR FR Pc upper threshold ul Rx qual AMR HR
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Handover threshold dl Rx qual for AMR FR threshold dl Rx qual AMR HR threshold ul Rx qual AMR FR threshold ul Rx qual AMR HR

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With these parameters it is possible to define the threshold level of the signal quality downlink/uplink measurements for triggering the handover. Default values for these new thresholds are set according to the default AMR codec sets. Current Nx and Px values of RxQual thresholds are used. If operator wants to replace or remove a most robust mode on AMR set, the corresponding PC and HO RxQual thresholds has to be edited manually. This also applies to the least robust mode. Replacement or removal of a middle mode on AMR set does not effect on the new PC and HO thresholds. One solution to benefit from AMR penetration is to use more aggressive (higher values) power control for AMR mobiles and thus decrease the average interference. This can be done by having different power control thresholds for AMR mobiles. By using higher thresholds for AMR mobiles (1-2 classes more), lower transmission powers are used and therefore less interference is caused. 4.5 Channel mode adaptation RxQual HO thresholds are specified for FR and HR AMR and they are taken into account when making intra-cell handovers between FR AMR and HR AMR: amrHandoverFR and amrHandoverHR. Current Nx and Px values of RxQual thresholds are used. With these parameter it is possible to define the threshold level of the signal quality downlink and uplink measurements for triggering the intra-cell handover process for an AMR FR call in order to switch it to an AMR HR call and vice-versa. These two parameters together with the parameters lower limit for FR TCH resources and upper limit for FR TCH resources (btsLoadDepTCHRate) and are used to control packing of FR calls to HR AMR calls due to cell load and unpacking of HR calls to FR AMR calls due to call quality. In fact half-rate channels can be used without a noticeable speech quality loss in high C/I conditions. However, with low C/I the speech quality decreases a lot and therefore it is essential to choose the best connections when FR to HR handovers are performed. In addition, if the availability of full-rate timeslots is good in the certain cell, all connections could be kept in full-rate in order to optimise the quality and minimise the number of intra-cell handovers. In Figure 6 there is a simple example on way how packing works. Spontaneous packing of FR AMR calls to HR AMR calls is triggered when the cell load is high enough, i.e. the number of free full rate resources reduces below the value of the parameter lower limit for FR TCH resources (according to the BTS level parameter, if it contradicts with the BSC level parameter). Packing continues until the cell load is low enough, i.e. the number of free full rate resources increases above the value of the parameter upper limit for FR TCH resources (according to the BTS level parameter, if it contradicts with the BSC level parameter). Spontaneous packing is triggered by any new channel allocation.

Free FR TCHs

Upper limit for free FR TCHs

Lower limit for free FR TCHs

No packing of AMR FR calls

Packing of AMR FR calls

No packing of AMR FR calls

Time

Figure 6: packing of FR calls to HR AMR calls due to cell load


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BSC keeps record of the FR and HR AMR calls per BTS and corresponding counters are updated during channel allocations and releases. After a new channel allocation BSC makes a request to perform an intracell HO for N amount of calls. Packing request is done with a new unacknowledged procedure. BSC performs the ordered HOs for FR AMR calls, whose quality is above the amrHandoverFR (intra HO threshold RxQual for AMR FR) and which use the least robust codec mode. A packing request is valid until it is overwritten by a new one. A packing request, which indicates the amount N as 0, is used to remove any pending packing requests. Moreover, algorithm tries to fill the timeslots in HR channel pairs or tries to find an empty half for one HR channel allocation. Before FR HR handover decision the number of timeslots having only one HR connection are measured. For example, if there is only one half timeslot available, that is allocated first. Then, if more FR HR handovers are required, those will be made in pairs so that two FR connections are selected and allocated to same timeslot. Spontaneous unpacking of HR AMR calls to FR AMR calls is triggered when the quality of a HR AMR call degrades below the amrHandoverHR (intra HO threshold RxQual for AMR HR). Cell load does not have an effect. FR and HR AMR call counters of BSC are again updated during channel allocations and releases. With packing and unpacking hard blocking decreases compared to pure FR case. Moreover, low average TCH FER can be maintained based on the allocation criteria that only the good quality connections are allocated to HR channels. 4.6 Prioritisation of AMR capable cells during internal and external handovers In order to support AMR call continuation also after internal or external HO, the handover target cell list is manipulated so, that AMR capable cells which load is low, are on the top. The candidate cells on the target list are already pruned by the adjacent cell parameter hoMarginPBGT. AMR capable cells are verified by the adjacent cell parameter amrDadlbTargetCell (AMR target cell of direct access to desired layer) and those AMR capable adjacent cells are prioritised that are below the threshold of BTS parameter btsLoadThreshold (see Figure 7 n2). Prioritisation is only done when AMR call is the current call type. 4.7 Direct access to desired layer/band (DADL/B) In order to support 2nd generation BTSs in AMR environment, DADL/B is used to handover AMR calls to co-located AMR capable cells during call set-up phase. Both intra and inter BSC DADL/B handovers are possible and preferably inside one frequency band as the failure probability is higher with DADL/B handovers between bands. Figure 7 n1 shows an example of DADL/B.

1) DADL/B used to direct AMR mobiles to AMR capable cells

SDCCH 2nd gen BTS UltraSite (co-located) TCH

2) Prioritisation of AMR capable cells in handovers

Figure 7: DADL/B and prioritisation


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TCH assignment vs. DADL/B handover start: - if AMR call is the aim and there are no TCHs available in the accessed cell, then Directed Retry (DR) due to congestion, with or without queuing, is made; - if on the other hand there are TCHs available in the accessed cell and there are adjacent cells defined as DADL/B handover target cells with the new parameter amrDadlbTargetCell, then the DADL/B handover is applied. Adjacent cells are not verified according to the MS capabilities (single band, dual band or tri-band), but they have to fulfil the current signal level requirements in order to be considered as a target cell for DADL/B handover. Current method for sorting the target adjacent cells is used; - if there are no DADL/B handover target cells defined, the TCH is allocated from the accessed cell and another speech codec than AMR is chosen. 4.8 IFH and IUO AMR specific good and bad C/I thresholds are specified for HR and FR AMR: super reuse good C/I threshold for AMR HR super reuse bad C/I threshold for AMR HR super reuse good C/I threshold for AMR FR super reuse bad C/I threshold for AMR FR Current Nx and Px values of C/I thresholds are used. The new threshold values for HR AMR serve also the basic HR. The current good and bad threshold pair (super reuse good C/I threshold and super reuse bad C/I threshold) is going to serve the basic FR. With these new thresholds operator can control, which type of speech calls are preferred to enter the super layers cells, e.g. HR AMR calls could be packed to the super layer in order to increase the capacity of regular layer cells (good value for HR AMR e.g. - 5 dB (compared to the current value) and good value for FR AMR e.g. + 5 dB).
-

5. PERFORMANCE OF AMR In this chapter are presented some examples to better understand the performances of AMR feature. As this feature is not yet widely implemented in real networks, it is not possible to have a complete record of cases from the planning point of view. 5.1 AMR in one-layer network It is now clear how the usage of AMR full-rate codecs improves the speech quality in the network. There are several possibilities to turn this increased quality to additional capacity in the network. Naturally, if there would be only AMR mobiles in the network, the frequency usage could be easily increased by using tighter frequency reuse. However, most of the practical cases there will be mixed AMR and EFR mobiles in the network at the same time. Therefore, very tight frequency plan may not be allowed in order to maintain good speech quality with existing EFR calls. A way to benefit of AMR feature is to use more aggressive power control algorithm for AMR capable mobile and thus decrease the average interference. In general, the uplink and downlink transmission power of AMR capable mobile could be few dB less than non-AMR capable mobiles. By this way, not only AMR capable mobile but also other mobiles will benefit from AMR solution because AMR capable mobiles require lower C/I level and generate less interference. The level of improvement is dependent on the amount of AMR capable mobiles in the network. The higher AMR mobile penetration, the higher improvement could be achieved. With more aggressive power control algorithm, AMR capable mobiles will also have longer talk time due to the lower transmission power. Figure 8 and Figure 9 depict the one-layer simulation results with different AMR penetrations. In these simulations RxQual thresholds were two class higher for AMR capable mobiles. The number of bad TCH frame samples is presented in the Figure 8. 1.92 seconds (4 SACCH periods) averaging window was used in
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TCH FER measurement. Samples with higher FER than 4% were marked as bad quality samples. It is clear that TCH FER decreases considerably when AMR penetration increases. For example, at the traffic point where the number of bad TCH FER samples is as high as 4.5% in the reference case with 25% AMR penetration the amount is below 3%. Moreover, with 63% AMR penetration there are about 1.3% of bad quality. With 100% AMR penetration the % of bad TCH FER samples is negligible..

EFR vs AMR penetration

4.5% 4.0% 3.5% 3.0% TCH FER > 4% 2.5% 2.0% 1.5% 1.0% 0.5% 0.0% 0% 5% 10% 15% EFL(%) 0 % AMR / 100% EFR 100 % AMR / 0% EFR 25% AMR / 75% EFR Poly. (100 % AMR / 0% EFR) 63% AMR / 37 % EFR 20% 25% 30% 35%

Figure 8: EFR vs. AMR penetration

Increased TCH quality can be turned into capacity by allowing more traffic to the network. Figure 8 shows that for the same FER as the reference case, there is a 145% capacity increase with 100% AMR penetration. Figure 9 depicts the capacity increases for different AMR penetrations. 15% additional traffic can be allowed to the network when AMR penetration is about 25%. With AMR penetration of 63% the capacity gain is about 50%, and about 145% traffic increase is attained with 100% AMR penetration.
A M R cap acity g ain (%)

160 % 140 % C ap acity G ain (% ) 120 % 100 % 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 25% A MR 63% A MR A MR pe netration 100 % A MR

Figure 9: Capacity gain versus AMR penetration


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5.2 AMR in two-layer network (IFH) Some operators may be looking for capacity solution to serve the growing traffic and maintaining the speech quality. In many cases adding more capacity to existing cells is not an easy task or not possible due to limited frequency bandwidth. With lower C/I requirement, the reuse frequency of AMR network can be higher without speech quality deterioration. Nokias AMR solution works together and adds more capacity on top of standard capacity solutions such as FH, HR and Nokias proprietary capacity solutions such as IFH. The more AMR capable mobile in the network (high penetration), the higher frequency reuse will be possible. The usage of the AMR feature together with IFH/IUO allows for increased frequency efficiency since AMR mobiles can be handed over to super layer with lower quality (C/I) limit than the EFR mobiles. This increased absorption allows more TRXs to the super layer hence the frequency efficiency increases. Following IFH simulations demonstrates an example how the TRX configuration can be updated when AMR penetration increases in the network. In this case, the reference IFH plan was as follows:
-

Regular: 3 TRX, BCCH reuse 4/12, TCH reuse 3/9 Super: 3 TRX, RF-hopping reuse 1/1, 15 frequencies

The same number of frequencies was used in all the simulations. Therefore, when the traffic increased, only the number of super TRXs was increased. Figure 10 illustrates the maximum capacity with different AMR penetrations. Moreover, the required number of super TRXs is shown. In the case of IFH network the blocking follows from the quality limit in the super layer (assuming that the super layer is not soft blocking). In these simulations the number of super TRXs was increased so that the super layer was not blocking limited. Therefore, presented maximum capacities were found at 2% hard blocking limit. In the reference case the outage of the bad quality samples indicated 1.4% (TCH FER samples > 5.4%) at 2% blocking limit. Moreover, in all the cases the outage of the bad quality samples remained between 1% and 2%. It is found out that about 17% capacity increase can be attained with AMR mobile penetration of 25%. This requires one additional TRX to the super layer. With this 3+4 configuration about 35% capacity increase can be handled when the AMR penetration is at least 50%. When the AMR penetration increases up to 75% about 57% traffic increase can be allocated to the network. That requires 2 additional TRXs for the super layer traffic.

16

+57%
14
E f f e c t iv e F r e q u e n c y L o a d ( %)

+35%
12

+17%
10

6 re g u la r + s u p e r: 3 + 3 4 re g u la r + s u p e r: 3 + 4 2 re g u la r + s u p e r: 3 + 5

0 0 25 50 75

A M R m o b ile p e n e t r a t io n ( %)

Figure 10: Capacity increase versus AMR mobile penetration in the IFH network

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In Figure 11 the two-layer case is compared to the one-layer network. In this comparison the one-layer set-up was, TCH reuse 1/3 with 7 TRXs, 30 frequencies divided into 3 MA lists, BCCH reuse 4/12. It is seen that two-layer IFH network achieves about 27 % higher capacity than the one-layer network in the reference simulation (100% EFR traffic). Then, relative capacity increase as a function of AMR mobile penetration is about the same in both of the cases.

16.00 14.00 Effective Frequnecy Load (%)


12.0 14.0 12.0

12.00
10.4 9.8

10.00 8.00 6.00 4.00

8.9 7.0

8.2

IFH (3/9 + 1/1) One-layer (1/3)

2.00 0.00 0 25 50 75 AMR penetration (%)

Figure 11: One-layer vs. two-layer (IFH) network with mixed traffic

Even though the relative capacity gains were similar, one layer even slightly better, it should be noted that in the IFH case the calls are distributed to the layers based on current quality thus it is easier to serve an adequate quality for all users in the network. In the one-layer case all the connections are using the same frequencies and are suffering from the same interference hence the quality of the non-AMR connections can not be controlled. Therefore, IFH AMR interworking offers more safe way to utilise the AMR gain in the case of mixed EFR - AMR traffic. 5.3 Performance in HR AMR Usage of the half-rate channels was studied to the one-layer simulation scenario. RxQual threshold for HR capable connections was set to 1. Figure 12 presents the TCH FER outages of the simulation case. The number of TCH FER is very similar compared to the pure AMR FR case. In theory the usage of HR channel decreases the interference 3 dB since only every second burst is used. However, HR channel requires higher C/I to obtain the same MOS than FR channel. Therefore different power control thresholds can be used for HR and FR connections thus the interference deduction is lost due to higher transmission power. In this simulation the PC thresholds for HR traffic were 2 RxQual classes lower than for FR traffic. Figure 13 shows the minimum number of TS required to serve with lower than 2% blocking the traffic for each of the points of previous figures (for each EFL point, different number of users or traffic was simulated). A reduction (saving) in the number of resources or channels needed when using AMR-HR is clearly found. The percentage of resources saved by using AMR-HR is also displayed. Up to 25% of resources can be saved for the simulations that have been run. Additionally, it can be seen that the higher the penetration of HR, the higher the saving of resources. Therefore, Erlang B table can not be used for dimensioning when AMR-HR penetration is foreseen. Table 4 displays the traffic that can be served for different number of Time Slots (TS) available and different penetrations of AMR-HR. In this way, for example, for 70% HR penetration the number of TS required to
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serve 16.7 Erlangs is just 16, while for pure AMR-FR it would require around 24 time slots to serve the same traffic (around 33% saving in resources).

3.0%

2.5%

AMR FR + HR AMR FR

22.98%

2.0%

TCH FER > 4%

HR Usage
1.5%

36.23% 44.83%

31.49%

54.48%
1.0%

0.5%

0.0% 17%

19%

21%

23%

25%

27%

29%

31%

Effective Frequency Load (%)

Figure 12: AMR HR utilisation in one-layer simulation scenario

45 Number of TSLs required for 2% blocking 40 35 30 25

% of saved TSLs Number of TSLs required for AMR FR Number of TSLs required for AMR FR + HR

100% % TSL saved with HR channel mode 90% 80% 70% 60% 50%

20 40% 15 10 5 0 19.56% 22.25% 24.93% 26.91% 27.85% 30.20% Effective Frequency Load (%) 25.93% 23.33% 18.18% 17.14% 16.67% 15.38% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Figure 13: Half rate gain in terms of timeslots requirements

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Table 4: Traffic that can be served with different number of TS for 2% blocking and different penetrations (usage) of AMR-HR.
2% GoS # Time Slots 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 24 32 40 48 56 0% 0.0204 0.2236 0.6024 1.0927 1.6578 2.2769 2.9367 3.6287 4.3468 5.0864 5.8443 6.6178 7.405 8.204 9.0137 9.8328 16.636 23.729 30.998 38.387 45.863 10% 0.02 0.23 0.62 1.12 1.71 2.35 3.04 3.77 4.53 5.31 6.11 6.92 7.75 8.60 9.45 10.32 17.50 24.98 32.62 40.36 48.16 20% 0.02 0.24 0.65 1.18 1.81 2.50 3.24 4.01 4.82 5.65 6.51 7.37 8.25 9.15 10.06 10.98 18.60 26.52 34.61 42.80 51.05 % of users with good conditions to use AMR-HR 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 0.02 0.02 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.25 0.28 0.32 0.37 0.45 0.70 0.77 0.87 1.01 1.19 1.28 1.42 1.59 1.82 2.10 1.96 2.17 2.42 2.73 3.11 2.71 2.99 3.31 3.71 4.19 3.51 3.85 4.25 4.74 5.32 4.35 4.76 5.24 5.81 6.50 5.21 5.70 6.25 6.92 7.71 6.11 6.66 7.29 8.05 8.94 7.02 7.64 8.35 9.20 10.20 7.94 8.65 9.43 10.37 11.48 8.89 9.66 10.53 11.56 12.77 9.85 10.69 11.64 12.76 14.08 10.82 11.74 12.77 13.98 15.41 11.81 12.79 13.90 15.21 16.74 19.94 21.52 23.27 25.33 27.72 28.37 30.52 32.93 35.75 39.04 36.98 39.74 42.82 46.41 50.59 45.71 49.08 52.84 57.20 62.28 54.51 58.52 62.96 68.09 74.07 80% 0.06 0.58 1.44 2.47 3.60 4.80 6.06 7.36 8.69 10.05 11.44 12.84 14.26 15.70 17.15 18.61 30.62 42.99 55.58 68.32 81.16 90% 0.11 0.79 1.80 2.97 4.25 5.60 7.00 8.45 9.93 11.45 12.98 14.53 16.11 17.69 19.29 20.91 34.13 47.73 61.55 75.52 89.60 100% 0.22 1.09 2.28 3.63 5.08 6.61 8.20 9.83 11.49 13.18 14.90 16.63 18.38 20.15 21.93 23.73 38.39 53.43 68.69 84.10 99.62

5.4 Performance in BCCH layer One of the main parameters to fix when planning the BCCH is the frequency reuse. In Figure 14, the TCH FER performance of traffic-carrying channels in BCCH is shown both for AMR and EFR traffic, for reuses 9 and 12. Note that the performance does not vary with traffic, since in BCCH for DL BTS transmit permanently at full power in all time slots. It can be seen the performance of EFR for reuse 12 is the same as the performance of AMR for reuse 9. In this example, this would allow the usage of these three spare frequencies for the hopping layer, whose performance is higher, compared to BCCH's. Also, the figure shows that reuse more relaxed than 12 is needed in AMR to achieve a performance comparable to hopping layer (TCH FER is about 3% for AMR with reuse 2).

PERFORMANCE OF TRAFFIC CHANNELS OF BCCH FOR EFR AND AMR-FR AND BOTH 9-BCCH AND 12-BCCH REUSES

16% 14% 12% TCH FER > 4% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% 1.0 1.5 2.0 Erlangs per cell in BCCH AMR traffic; 12 BCCH AMR traffic; 9 BCCH EFR traffic; 12 BCCH EFR traffic; 9 BCCH 2.5 3.0

Figure 14: Performance of traffic channels in BCCH for EFR and AMR, with different reuse factors
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6. REFERENCES
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Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) Speech Codec Implementation Specification version 1.3 DN09757, Nokia internal document 01/03/01. Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) Performance Simulations version 1.0, Nokia internal document 14/06/01. Laboratory Test Specifications for AMR draft, Nokia internal document 30/12/01. Nokia Adaptive Multi Rate Codec Solution Description version 1.1 Nokia internal document 24/04/02. BSS Radio Network Parameter Dictionary 10.5 issue 18, DN9813866 2002. Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) Performance Simulations version 2.0, Nokia internal document 17/05/01. Blocking Probability for Half and Full Rate Access, by Salvador Pedraza, Nokia Internal, 2001.

7. ABBREVIATIONS AMR BSC BSS BTS C/I DL DTX EFR EFL FER FH FR HO HR IUO LA MOS MS MSC PC RX TRX TX UL Adaptive Multi Rate Codec Base Station Controller Base Station Subsystem Base Transceiver Station Carrier To Interference Ratio Down Link (connection from BTS to MS) Discontinuous transmission Enhanced Full Rate Effective Frequency Load Frame Error Rate Frequency Hopping Full Rate Handover Half Rate Intelligent Underlay Overlay Link Adaptation Mean Opinion Score Mobile Station Mobile Switching Centre Power Control Receiving Transceiver Transmitting Up Link (connection from MS to BTS)

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8. APPENDIX A: NOKIA BSS10 AMR SOLUTION AMR codecs are supported by different Nokia base station generations as follows:
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Nokia 2nd Generation base stations: Nokia 2nd generation DE21 BTS will not support AMR. Nokia Talk-family base stations: Nokia Talk-family BTS will have AMR support for FR modes 4.75, 5.9, 7.4 and 12.2 as well as for HR modes 4.75, 5.9 and 7.4. With this approach, the link adaptation between full scale of FR modes and almost full scale of HR can be achieved. Nokia PrimeSite base station: Nokia PrimeSite base station AMR support is similar to that of Nokia Talk-family base stations. Due to limited DSP processor/memory capacity the frequency hopping functionality will be removed from PrimeSite BTSs to enable this SW modification. This means that the last PrimeSite SW release supporting frequency hopping will be DF5.0. Nokia InSite base station: Nokia InSite BTS will not support AMR. Nokia MetroSite GSM and MetroSite EDGE and UltraSite EDGE base stations: Nokia MetroSite and UltraSite base stations will have full AMR support however Nokia UltraSite EDGE TRXs will have AMR support in CX3.1 software release. AMR codecs support in Nokia BSC and TCSM: All the Nokia BSCs will have full AMR support. - except 7.95 kbit/s on HR channel Nokia TCSM2/E will have full AMR support.

New TC PCM pool type is needed for transcoder configuration in A-interface. At minimum the basic AMR type, which supports FR AMR and HR AMR (pool 23), is at least implemented. The other pool types support is still for further study. Submultiplexing on highway PCM is 8/16 kbit/s, e.g. if AMR FR (16 kbit/s) is used in Abis interface, then Ater interface rate is also 16 kbit/s. Respectively if AMR HR (8 kbit/s) is used in Abis interface, then Ater interface rate is 2 * 8 kbit/s (BSC transmits ones (= bit value 1) on the unused 8 kbit/s sub-timeslot). Nokia TCSM will not support AMR. With the AMR HR implementation BSCs maximum channel capacity 4096 must be taken into the account in BSCs TRX amount dimensioning. For example the BSC2i provides with 512 full-rate TRXs capacity or 256 half-rate TRXs. BSC TRX capacity can be maintained by using FR to HR load threshold parameters described in earlier chapters.

9. HISTORY

Date 07 May 2002 31May 2002

Version 0.1 1.0

Author Simone Cavallini Simone Cavallini

Change Note No./Notes First Draft Approved (incorporating results of Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) Performance Simulations version 2.0

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