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Impact of the Base Station Antenna Beamwidth on Capacity in WCDMA Cellular Networks

Jarno Niemelä and Jukka Lempiäinen
Tampere University of Technology, Institute of Communication Engineering P.O.BOX 553, FIN-33101 TAMPERE, FINLAND and
Abstract –- In this paper the impact of the base station antenna horizontal beamwidth on radio network capacity in WCDMA cellular networks in the downlink direction is studied. Influence of coverage overlapping and radio propagation environment together with antenna beamwidth are also studied. A radio network planning tool is used to simulate WCDMA macro cellular network performance in urban and suburban area in Tampere, Finland. By utilizing digital morphology and topography information in the simulations reliable and practical results were expected. The simulation results show that the effect of the base station antenna horizontal beamwidth on capacity is almost unremarkable in three-sectorised sites between 65° and 90° antennas. Meanwhile the capacity enhancement between 33° and 65°/90° beamwidths in six-sectorised sites is significant. Altogether, the results of this study yield for exact planning guidelines of the base station antenna configuration for different capacity needs.

each other. Hence, the downlink performance of coverage and capacity depends heavily on the interference from the neighbour cells. This other-cell interference (also called intercell interference) in the downlink direction is moreover related to the base station antenna configurations as beamwidth. The simplest way to improve the capacity of a network is to add more carriers. However, once all available carriers have been used, other methods have to be utilized. In reference [1] the following methods have been proposed for capacity enhancements in WCDMA networks: transmit diversity, beamforming, additional scrambling codes, increased sectorisation and micro cells. From these methods sectorisation is highly linked to the selection of the base station antenna beamwidth because it plays an important and crucial role in sectorisation. By a careful selection of antenna beamwidth in different sectorisation cases interference leaking to neighbour cells can be controlled at a certain level. The reduction of the base station transmit power can be performed due to higher gain of the sector antennas, and thus additional power is left over for capacity increase. In contrast, more interference is radiated in the direction of the main beam with high gain sector antennas and also the coverage area may diminish due to narrower antenna beamwidths forcing the base station to rise its transmit power. Downlink capacity equation for sectorised WCDMA cellular network has been derived as a function of antenna beamwidth in [2]. In consequence of this research an optimum base station antenna beamwidth for WCDMA cellular network has been found in relatively ideal conditions. The effect of antenna beamwidth and sectorisation on capacity and coverage are explored in [3] and [4]. Based on these simulations narrower antenna beamwidth brings more capacity into WCDMA network and additionally an optimum antenna beamwidth exists for each site configuration. Narrower antenna beamwidth has also brought capacity enhancements and interference reductions in CDMA wireless local loop systems in [5]. In this paper the effect of base station antenna beamwidth on capacity in the WCDMA cellular networks is analysed. The results are based on the simulations done in real propagation environment. Various simulations with typical UMTS antennas of different scenarios have been done. The

I. INTRODUCTION The demand of different mobile services in the 3rd generation mobile communication systems, especially the varying bit rates, will rise causing a need of more efficient systems to be designed and thus also new challenges in the field of radio network planning. European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) selected Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) as a multiple access technique for the radio interface in the 3rd generation mobile telephone communication systems. This new radio access technology changes the radio network planning process and planning principles. Multiple access schemes as TDMA and FDMA used in the 2nd generation mobile communications systems make it possible to divide different network planning phases more clearly into individual parts because different frequencies are used at different time moments. In WCDMA systems the same frequency is used simultaneously in neighbour cells and interference should be taken into account already in the coverage planning phase because the sensitivity of the base stations depends on the number of users and their bit rates (= cumulative interference). Furthermore, coverage and capacity planning cannot be separated into different phases because the coverage of a cell is changing according to the amount of users (and their bit rates) in a cell. This well-known phenomenon is called ‘cell breathing’ and it shows that coverage and capacity depends on

g. a certain (C/IC)–ratio has to be achieved for a proper quality of speech and it is mainly determined by the frequency reuse factor utilized in a network. The exponent of the attenuation of the radio wave is denoted by γ. η DL = ∑υ j =1 N j ⋅ (E b N0 ) j W Rj ⋅ 1−α j + i j [( ) ] (1) where υj is the channel activity factor for jth analyse the impact of base station antenna configuration (beamwidth and number of sectors) on the on capacity and also on coverage. (3) Because WCDMA capacity is interference limited as Equations (1) and (3) show it is crucial to control the base station transmit power accurately. αj is the orthogonality factor and ij is the other-to-own-cell interference.information of digital topography has been used in the simulations and also the effect of morphology information for different clutter types has been simulated. by utilizing narrower antenna beamwidth other-cell interference is decreased due to less radiation power leakage to other cells and due to the fact that the base station antenna main beam is directed more precisely towards the mobiles. .to evaluate the practical capacity per site basis when the impact of environment is taken into account and . The downlink load factor can be defined by the following equation [6] the downlink direction based on carrier-to-interference ratio (C/IC) and it can be defined by Equation (4). . II. the total received interference (noise + other users) is a function of load called interference margin (IM) IM = −10 log10 (1 − η DL ) . analyse the impact of distance between base station sites (coverage overlapping). W is the system chip rate. Rj is the bit rate of jth user. Thus. the system approaches its pole capacity and the required transmission power approaches evaluate the impact of base station antenna horizontal beamwidth as a function of base station transmit power. Eb/N0 is the required energy per bit divided by noise spectral density. Moreover. When the downlink load factor saturates. THEORY OF THE DOWNLINK CAPACITY In this section downlink capacity related functions as well as the effect of antenna beamwidth on downlink load factor are presented. Because of wide antenna beamwidth interference is leaking from adjacent cells thus rising the noise floor at the serving cell and forcing the serving base station to rise its transmit power. Required transmit power PBS for a base station can be defined mathematically as a function of downlink load factor [7] N rf ⋅ L ⋅ PBS = ∑υ j =1 N (E b j N0 )j W Rj (2) Figure 1: Other-cell interference with 90° antenna beamwidth. In WCDMA systems all cells are using the same frequencies and thus the interfering base station can locate within the same distance as the serving base station. GSM. The main targets of these simulations are . This power is controlled in The situation is improved by narrowing the base station antenna beamwidths in Figure 2. Equation (1) shows also that orthogonality and interference are directly proportional to the downlink load factor. e. This parameter is different for each user because it depends on the location of user. when narrowing antenna beamwidth too much it is possible that coverage thresholds can not be anymore exceeded. 1 C = I N Rγ ∑D γ ∑ n =1 n n =1 1 = R −γ N Dn −γ (4) where R is the distance between the serving base station and mobile and Dn is the distance between the nth interfering base station and the mobile. 1 − η DL where Nrf is the noise spectral density and L is the average path loss between base station transmitter and mobile receiver. In Figure 1 an arbitrary situation is depicted where the mobile is camped on the cell of antenna direction 90° of the base station at centre. Carrier-to-interference ratio (C/IC) in WCDMA networks is considered and finally discussion about propagation model and slope as well as the effects of the environmental factors on propagation model are brought up. . In the 2nd generation systems.

Interference is also decreased because of environment. Soft/softer handover gain was maximally 2.6 3dB 3. Morphology and topology information of the simulation area were used in part of the simulations defined by a digital map of 5m x 5m resolution. i.Eb/N0 . Table 1 gathers the essential simulation parameters used in simulations.9 dB in the downlink direction. 180° and 300° for three-sectorised sites and 0°. respectively.e. open areas. Compared to homogeneous terrain. The antenna installation height at every base station site was constantly 25 m.5dB -21dB 9 dB Figure 2: Other-cell interference with 65° antenna beamwidth. 60° and 120°. i.Okumura-Hata propagation model was used as for a large city environment with a path loss exponent of 3. altered propagation slope for each terrain type) were not utilized in the first part of the simulation because one objective of this paper was to simulate the effect of nonhomogeneous terrain on capacity. In the network simulation process mobiles (also called users and terminals) are spread randomly according to created traffic raster over the area under investigation. 180°.Eb/N0 . In a certain direction a radio wave can propagate for a long distance simultaneously causing interference to surrounding cells and moreover reducing the capacity of a network. Three and six-sectorised base station sites were simulated. Power control standard deviation was set to 1dB to illustrate the effect of an unideal power control. forest. Area correction factors (i. different propagation slopes cause strong variations of the coverage areas.5 and mobile station heights were set to 1. SIMULATION PARAMETERS The utilized static radio network planning tool uses MonteCarlo simulations.Activity factor Other Slow fading standard deviation Uplink noise rise Orthogonality Handover margin Chip rate Power control std deviation 43dBm 33dBm 33dBm 40dBm 5 dB 21dBm 70dB 6 0.e. III. buildings) radio wave propagation slope changes typically between 25 – 40 dB/dec. other-to-own-cell interference and noise figure PBS = (E b N 0 )DL. 240° and 300° for six-sectorised sites in all simulations. 8dB 0. TABLE 1: SIMULATION PARAMETERS.req is the required energy per bit divided by noise spectral density ratio. the terrain is flat and the same terrain type covers the area. The user profile consisted of a homogeneous distribution of speech (8 kbit/s) users with activity factors of 60% in both directions (DL and UL). Base Station Maximum transmit power Pilot power Common channel power Maximum transmit power per connection Noise figure Mobile Station Maximum transmit power Dynamic range Active set Power step size Required Ec/I0 Noise figure 3G service – Speech Downlink . The locations of the base stations were kept fixed (except in the coverage overlapping simulations where the simulation area was diminished but the network layout remained the same).84Mchips 1dB The capacity results are plotted as a function of required base station transmit power that can be calculated from (5) G where (Eb/N0)DL. The digital map included basic terrain types and also buildings of different heights. While investigating the effect of more accurate propagation model the building vectors were used to give more realistic results. Above the water the attenuation does not differ much from free space attenuation but in other terrain types (e. Required transmit powers in the network are then computed iteratively for each mobile and base station.req ⋅ N terminal ⋅ L .5 m. In three-sectorised sites the selected horizontal half power antenna beamwidths were 65° and 90° and in six-sectorised sites 33°.e. 20 dB/dec in dB scale. Nterminal is a function of orthogonality. The base station antenna orientations were 60°.Activity factor Uplink . L is the path loss between a base station and a mobile and G is the processing gain.g. The network consisted of a regular hexagonal grid of 10 base stations covering total area of 35 km2. 65° and 90°.6 6dB 0. Coverage threshold in each simulation case was demanded to be -90 dBm at least with 95% probability. Radio wave attenuates in free space proportional to the square of distance r.6 8dB 6dB 0. The most interesting variable in this equation is Nterminal which is the noise received at the mobile.

4 dB were added to the propagation model and new simulations were done.0 km base station separation was used as a reference case. On the other hand. Thus.5 0. the distances of 1. Table 2 shows that 2. The capacity difference between six-sectorised Next. The achieved capacity enhancement of 33° antenna compared to 65° and 90° antennas is obvious already with low base station transmit powers in Figure 4. 65° and 90° antennas. comparing the needed transmit powers between different site configurations the effect of different antenna beamwidths can be clearly outlined. sectorisation clearly enhances the capacity of a network.0 km distance between the base stations was best possible from capacity and interference point of view in downlink.49 Figure 3: Capacity (users per site) as a function of downlink transmit power in three and six-sectorised sites.5 dBm. Networks of three-sectorised sites were already highly loaded with relatively low user densities when in the networks of six-sectorised sites the load remained low and thus the average required transmit power for the base stations remained also low. In all cases average downlink transmit power was 41. coverage overlapping and the impact of area correction factors i. Distance [km] Capacity per site [users] Load [%] Other-to-own cell interference 1. The capacity enhancement due to narrower antennas is significant between 33° and 65°/90° beamwidths in sixsectorised sites. Moreover. All cases were simulated with six-sectorised sites and with 33° antenna beamwidth. Figure 4: Capacity as a function of downlink transmit power per site in case of six-sectorised sites of 33°.e. In order to present the effect of higher load all the six-sectorised sites were strongly loaded in the second part of the simulation. TABLE 2: THE IMPACT OF COVERAGE OVERLAPPING ( DISTANCE) ON RADIO NETWORK CAPACITY. The enhancement of capacity is achieved due to smaller interference level in a case of narrower base station antenna beamwidth.of the mobile receiver and it describes the total interference received by a mobile.0 km.5 km and 1.20% service probability and average .e. 1.2 users per sector with 82. and three-sectorised networks is 70 – 80% when comparing base station transmission levels 40 – 42 dBm referring high load situation in the network (Figures 3 and 4).50 2. The capacity difference is even higher when the needed base station transmit power (or load) is higher: base station transmit power of 42 dBm in Figure 4 corresponds to approximately 70% load. The results of loading are depicted in Figure 4. The curves in Figure 3 show that capacity differences are getting higher when the load of the network growths. The impact of distance between the base stations i.0 313 63 0. while in six-sectorised sites there is sufficiently power left. Table 3 shows that the capacity of the reference case (no area corrections) is slightly better than in the first part of the simulations because the power control in this case was assumed not to have deviation. The capacities of the different simulation cases are presented as a function of transmit power in Figure 3. Without and with area correction factors the network was able to serve average 56. The average base station transmit powers were also adjusted to the same level as in reference case. LOAD AND OTHER-TO-OWN CELL INTERFERECE WITH EQUAL DOWNLINK TRANSMIT POWER. The load of the network was set to 60 – 70% and the distance between the base station sites was 2. the area correction factors of average weighting of -8. radio propagation environment on capacity was simulated next.5 310 61 0. The difference between 65° and 90° antennas in three-sectorised sites is small even if the load and transmit powers are higher.0 km were chosen for these simulations. SIMULATION RESULTS In the first part of the simulations different base station antenna horizontal beamwidths with different sectorisation cases were simulated. IV. The impact of coverage overlapping was simulated by diminishing the distance between the base station sites.0 295 62. Capacity increase of six-sectorised network of 33° antennas compared to network of 65° antennas is up to 20% and even higher compared to network of antennas of 90° beamwidth.55 1.5 km configuration creates less load in the network. While 2. Transmit power in three-sectorised cases starts to run out a bit after 120 users per sector.

2359-2363. p. “Radio network Planning and Optimisation for UMTS”. pp. 2002. “The Impact of the Base Station Sectorisation on WCDMA Radio Network Performance”. In the left-handed picture coverage areas of one six-sectorised site of 33° antenna beamwidth is presented and in the right-handed picture a three-sectorised site of 90° beamwidth antennas. pp. [3] Janna Laiho-Steffens. Proceedings of IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference. [8] Mathias Coinchon. Moreover. Jean-Frédéric Wagen. it was presented the number of users per site as a function of the required transmit power and number of sectors. Transmission. Proceedings of IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference. For six-sectorised sites the required coverage threshold was achieved with 4 dB lower power than for three-sectorised sites.6 41. “ WCDMA for UMTS”. .90% service probability. [7] Jaana Laiho. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Authors would like to thank European Communications Engineering (ECE) Ltd for helpful comments concerning simulation parameters and simulation environment.3 41. In threesectorised sites required transmit power of the base stations in order to achieve 95% coverage at -90 dBm threshold level was higher than in six-sectorised sites. Johansson. Proceedings of IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference.49 V. The growth of service probability is achieved due to the improved coverage thus also rising interference level and causing degradation of capacity. Achim Wacker. July 2002.55. The impact of different antenna beamwidths on coverage areas was not as huge as in [3] where no digital topography or morphology information was utilized. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS In this paper the impact of base station antenna horizontal beamwidth has been evaluated by using a sophisticated radio network planning tool for simulations which are based on a real radio wave propagation environment defined by a high resolution digital map. Thesis for the Degree of Doctor of Science in Technology. Tomáš Novosad. The increase of sectors in WCDMA network brings clearly more capacity into network as simulation results show. Figure 5 depicts two different coverage schemes. Nokia Networks for providing NetAct Planner tool for simulations and FM Kartta for providing a digital map. Antti Toskala.45 With ACF 86. VTC1999. pp. Finally coverage areas were studied based on the simulations that were done for capacity evaluations. Sara Stefansson. 66. The capacity of the network reduces when more accurate propagation model is used and when nonhomogeneous radio propagation environment is taken into account but the degradation is not enormous as seen from the results. [4] Jaana Laiho-Steffens. Access. respectively. Furthermore. Networking. The required transmit power also decreased when a narrow antenna beamwidth was utilized. [2] B. Ari-Pekka Salovaara. Service Probability [%] Capacity per sector [users] Capacity per site [users] Downlink TRCH power [dBm] Without ACF 82.20 56. REFERENCES [1] Jaana Laiho. with higher transmit power (higher load) the effect of narrower antenna beamwidth is more distinct even if capacity increase due to ‘optimal’ antenna beamwidth is not evident as other studies have been pointed out before. Radio Laboratory. Finally. [6] Harri Holma. Figure 5 shows also that more interference is directed to other cells in six-sectorised configuration but in contrast coverage near the base stations is better (the darkest colour) and thus capacity is increased due to sectorisation and narrowbeam antennas. “Downlink Capacity of Multirate CDMA Wireless Local Loop System with Narrowbeam Antenna and SIR Based Power Control”. VTC2000. Figure 5: Coverage schemas of two different sectorisation cases. Ying-Chang Liang. Helsinki University of Technology. [5] Yan Zhou. 32-1 – 32-6. 1524-1531. 2002. Achim Wacker. Simulation results show that the effect of antenna beamwidth is less significant with low base station transmit powers (low load) in the WCDMA radio network. VTC2000. pp. John Wiley & Song Ltd. VTC2001. 2001. “Optimizing Antenna Parameters for Sectorized W-CDMA Networks”. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. ”The Impact of radio propagation predictions on urban UMTS planning”. “Radio Network Planning and Optimisation for WCDMA”. “The Impact of the Radio Network Planning and Site Configuration on the WCDMA Network Capacity and Quality of Service”. Chi-Chung Ko.90 55. In this case the difference between the required base station transmit powers was the highest. 1006-1010.1 330. This reduction of 2 to 5% was expected to be higher as it was shown in the results. Achim Wacker. TABLE 3: THE EFFECT OF AREA CORRECTION FACTORS (ACF).2 337. Kari Sipilä and Kari Heiska. coverage area overlapping and environment (area correction factors) increase interference and thus reduce capacity. 2002. Broadband Communications.1 users per sector with 86. pp. 2611-2615. Christer V. Francois Chin. Proceedings of IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference. Pauli Aikio.