You are on page 1of 100

Introduction to RF Planning

A good plan should address the following Issues :

Provision of required Capacity.

Optimum usage of available frequency spectrum.
Minimum number of sites.
Provision for easy and smooth expansion of the
Network in future.
Provision of adequate coverage.

Introduction to RF Planning
In general a planning process starts with the inputs from the customer. The
customer inputs include customer requirements, business plans, system
characteristics, and any other constraints.
After the planned system is implemented, the assumptions made during the
planning process need to be validated and corrected wherever necessary
through an optimization process.
We can summarize the whole planning process under the 4 broad headings

Capacity planning
Coverage planning
Parameter planning


1) To provide adequate coverage
- C ontiguous coverage of the required areas without
appreciable holes
- Adequate depth of coverage (i.e. outdoor or indoor , 2 W
or 1.2 W mobiles ) to meet the companys marketing plans.

2) To provide adequate network capacity

- Acc ommodating traffic in the busiest hour with only a low
probability of blocking (congestion).

3) To accommodate network growth

- Extension of coverage in new areas
- Expanding the network capacity so that the quality of
service is maintained at all times.

4) To achieve a cost effective design

- Lowest possible cost over the life of the network while
meeting the quality targets.


The cellular mobile radio system design can be broken down
in the following elements, which have a mutual relationship.
- Reuse of frequency channels
- C o- channel interference reduction
- A desired minimum carrier to interference ratio (C /I)
- Handover mechanism
- C ell Planning

Historical perspective
- Wireless telephony network design is relatively new
business with a 10-15 year history
During this period many new tools and techniques have
been developed:
- More accurate radio c overage prediction
- More accurate facility network design
- Enhanc ed field measurement analysis to improve
network performance.
- New technology applications ( microcells, repeaters,
smart antennas systems. )
- Better tools and methods to evaluate and predict traffic


The challenge of accurate cellular network planning is still a
complex task.
Potential cost of Opportunities Lost Due to Network Planning
Lost Subscribers
- Lost base subscriber fee revenues
- Lost enhanced service fee revenue
- Lost airtime revenues (local and long distance)
- Damaged reputation will impact competitive strength
Cost Considerations That Include in the Design of a quality
- Design optimal network : extensive modeling and numerous
revision of design.
- Acquire radio site candidates that meet the design
- Manage delays in permitting / zoning of best candidates
- Extensive testing of radio site performance (coverage )
before commissioning.
- Integration of field measurements in design.


Design Activity to compensate for Improperly designed or
less than than optimal radio site in design.
- Modify cell operational parameters (eg. Handover values
and location)
- Modify output power
- Modify equipment (eg. C hange antenna )
- Move site location
- Add new sites (micro or macro cells)


An equation for Costing Comparison of Accurate
Network Planning
Option one : Poor design / no redesign
- Weak competitive position
- Lost disgruntled subscribers
- Earn a poor service reputation (Weak attraction for
new subscribers ).
Option two : Quality network design
- Additional design cost (engineering and equipment ).
- Teardown and reinstall cost.
Simple equation for characterizing cost /benefits
- Quality network performances = ( C ost of engineering ,
equipment, installation ) (Lost revenues, cost of
engineering, equipment, installation )
- The benefits of quality design should farweigh lost
revenues particularly in the fact of competition from
new wireless companies.


The objective of radio planning is a technical

realization of the marketing requirements, taking
into account of the following constraints.
- Technical requirements from the license conditions.
- GSM system specific parameters (e.g. GSM recs 5.05
- Manufacturer specific features and parameters.
- Radio communications principles and fundamentals.
- Budgetary factors.

An example of technical requirements following from a
C overage requirements.
- C lass 2 or class 4 coverage of 60 % of the population 12
months from commercial launch.
- C lass 2 or class 4 coverage of 95 % of the population 36
months from the commercial launch.
Quality of coverage
- Service to be available in 90 % of the declared area and for
90 % of the time.
Grade of Service
- Endeavour to achieve 5 % or better
Frequency Allocation
- One of the major limitations in the G SM 900 system is the
number of frequencies available to a G SM network
operator. There is a relatively small bandwidth available that
has to be divided over all the licensed operators. Most
network operators are limited to 30-60 frequencies for
handeling all traffic .
- GSM 1800 offers 75 MHz bandwidth


BTS Transmit power

Receiver sensitivity
C ombiner performances
C able loss
Antenna performanc e
Availability of frequency hopping and power control
Handover algorithm
C apacity number of TRX provided.


Propagation loss
Multipath fading
Power link budgets
Interference effects
The (un)predictability of radio wave propagation


The service requirement from the marketing should include
information on which the technical plan can be based ,
including :
Coverage Quality : Defined as a part of optimizing the
business plan (indoor / outdoor coverae, handheld car,
mobile set). Interference should be taken into account for
coverage quality inc luding margin of 12 dB) :
C o channel C /I
Adjacent channel C /I
Call completion and Dropped call Rates : Dictated by the
lisence conditions and quality of the competing
network(includes Blocking rates 2% etc.)
Service availibility


Traffic forecast:
- Longterm forecast and trends for the network must be
developed by the marketing.
- Traffic distributions for the existing coverage areas and
typical densities may be obtained from the network.
Spectral effeciencies : for demonstration within the context of
winning maximum points for a mobile license. The spectral
efficiency is determined by decisions taken in :
- Quality of coverage
- Frequency Reuse plan
- Use of cell splitting
- Design for traffic demend
- Feedback into the business plan
Customer support measures


Outdoor coverage:
- Default definitions of coverage
- Refers to 2 Watt class 4 mobiles in the street
- Probability of coverage is 95 % averaged across the cell area.
- C overage probability at the edge of cells is less than this
In car coverage :
- A supplementary level of coverage for highways
- Refers to a C lass 4 mobile inside car or other vehicles.
- C overage probability is nominally 95% averaged
- C overage is critically dependent on the position of the
handheld mobile within the vehicle.
8 Watt Coverage
- A Supplementary level of coverage for remote areas.
- Refers to class 2 mobile or class 4 with an 8 watt booster and
external antenna


Indoor coverage
- Especially good coverage for city centers and stragetic
- Refers to a class 2 mobile indoors
- Building loss is very variables, so indoor coverages can
never be guaranteed
- Where indoor coverage is provided , outdoor coverage will
be nearly 100 %

BLOCKING RATE ( Grade of Service, GOS )

G OS is defined as the probability that a call will be blocked or
delayed due to unavailability of the radio resource. Example
for license requirement
- 5 % Averaged over a defined sub-network (e.g. weighted
average by traffic load over the worse 10 cells )
- No cell to be worse than 10%
- By a particular date , 8 % of the c ells permitted to be
between 2 % and 10 % GOS.
- By a particular date , 5 % of the c ells permitted to be
between 2 % and 10 % GOS.
- Ultimate target is that no c ells should be worse than 2 %


C all failure may be due to :
- C overage holes
- Interferenc e
- C ongestion
- Problem in fixed network
- Handover failures
- Equipment failures
C all succ ess rate is often expressed as the proportion of c alls
connected and held for 2 min.
- Target is normally 90 % at launch of service
- Mature networks ac hieve in exc ess of 98 %
- Only applies within a declared coverage area.
By a partic ular date , 95 % of the c alls to the network
boundary should be set up within four sec onds and held for
two min.


Overall picture
It is important to c reate an overall pic ture of the network
before going into the detailed network planning. This is the
fac t the main objec tive of this presentation.
Coverage Capacity and Quality
Providing c overage is usually c onsidered as the most
important ac tivity of a new c ellular operator. For a while ,
every network is indeed c overage driven. However the
c overage is not the only thing. It provides the means of
servic e and should meet c ertain quality measures.
The starting point is a set of c overage quality
To guarantee a good quality in both uplink and downlink
direc tion, the power levels of BTS and MS should be
balanc ed at the edge of the c ell. Main output results of
the power link budget are:
- Maximum path loss that c an be tolerated between MS
and the BTS.
- Maximum output power level of the BTS transmitter.

Introduction to RF Planning
A simple Planning Process Description
Business plan.
No of Subs.
Traffic per Subs.
Subs distribution
Grade of service.
Available spectrum.
Frequency Reuse.
Types of coverage
RF Parameters
Field strength studies
Available sites
Site survey


Plan verification
Quality check
Update documents
&C/I study
Search areas




Capacity Studies
Coverage plan & Interference studies
Frequency plans and interference Studies
Antenna Systems
BSS parameter planning
Data base & documentation of approved sites
Expansion Plans.

Introduction to RF Planning
Data Acquisition
OMC Statistics
A Interface
Drive Test



Recommendations :
Change frequency plan
Change antenna orientation/Down tilt
Change BSS Parameters
Dimension BSS Equipment
Add new cells for coverage
Interference reduction
Blocking reduction
Augment E1 links from MSC to PSTN

Cell Planning Aspects

At the end of it all, a good cell plan should have the following
characteristics :
Coverage as required as predicted.
Co Channel and Adjacent Channel interference levels as predicted.
Minimum antenna adjustments during the optimization process.
Minimum changes to the BSS parameters/database during the
optimization phase.
Should be well phased, requiring optimization only for short periods in
the initial commissioning phase and during
Facilitate easy expansion of the network with minimal changes in the

The Basic Cell Planning Process

The basic approach to cell planning is to provide good coverage and capacity.
Initially, both are not known !!
Hence the planning is based on the projections given by the customer. The
customer based on market surveys and the company plans, may specify :
Number of sites he want in the city
Number of subscribers expected in a city.
Base on the inputs from the customer, the initial planning process begins. From
these we can determine either the capacity that is possible for a given number
of sites OR minimum number of sites needed to provide service to a given
number of subscribers. The site density required for a specific capacity should
also pass the coverage criteria. This aspect will be covered later in the course.

Cell Planning Aspects

What is the area of coverage needed ?
How many sites are required for this area ? ( cell radius of 1
Km. Means an approximate coverage area of 3 sq. Kms. )
Do we need so many sites ? C an some site be bigger ?
Dec ide number of sites based on capacity and coverage
Divide c ity into c lutter types such as .
>Quasi Open
Identify searc h areas covering all clutter types.
C ustomer selects a few sample sites.

Cell Planning Aspects

Survey sites with reference to :
>C lutter heights
>Vegetation levels.
>Sec tor orientations
>Building strengths and other civil requirements
Prepare Power Budgets.
C onduct propagation tests
C alculate C overage probabilities based on the drive test
Verify Power budget sensitivityagainst drive test result ,
modify planning tools parameters.
Prepare final coverage maps.

A typical Power Budget

RF Link Budget



Transmitting End



Tx Rf power output

33 dBm

43 dBm

Body Loss

-3 dB

0 dB

Combiner Loss

0 dB

0 Db

Feeder Loss(@2 Db/100


0 dB

- 1.5 dB

Connector loss

0 dB

- 2 Db

Tx antenna gain

0 dB

17.5 dB

30 dBm

57 dBm


A typical Power Budget

RF Link Budget





Rx sensitivity

-107 dBm

-102 dBm

Rx antenna gain

17.5 dBm

0 dB

Diversity gain

3 Db

0 dB

Connector Loss

- 2 dB

0 dB

- 1.5 dB

0 dB

Interference degradation

3 dB

3 Db

Body loss

0 dB

-3 dB

Duplexer loss

0 dB

0 dB

-121 dBm

-96 dBm

4 dB

4 dB

Reqd Isotropic Rx. Power

-117 dBm

-92 dBm

Maximum Permis. Path los

147 Db

149 dB

Receiving End

Feeder loss

Rx Power
Fade margin

A good RF Planning ensures that the mobiles receive certain minimum
signal strength for specified percentage of time over a spec ified area of
The MS rec eive signal strength depends on the path loss depends on
the path loss between the MS and the BTS.
The path loss in a mobile environment includes :
> Free spac e path loss
>Additional Loss due to Topography of the site ( clutter Factor )
>C onfidence level required. (Probability of area coverage )
In general RF Planning means the understanding of :
> Propagation Models
> C overage aspects
> Link Budgets ( Power Budgets)
> Antenna considerations
> Frequenc y planning and reuse aspects.

Urban Propagation Environment

This is the most common and yet unpredictable propagation environment for a mobile
Building Penetration:
Building are responsible for the reflection and shadowing of signals. Trees and foliages
also contribute to shadowing as well as scattering of radio signals.
Attenuation of signals by building is measured by taking the difference between the
median signal level in front of the building and inside the bu9ilding. Obviously, the
building attenuation depends on the type of construction and the material used as well
as how big or small it is.
Typically the attenuation values may cause the signal levels to vary by 40 to +80 Db
The negative value implies that the signal is attenuated and the positive values implies
that the increase in the signal level.
Windows and Doors in general give a good penetration of RF signals. Another
important factor is the angle of arrival of RF signals in to the building. Generally, a
building facing the BTS site has better penetration than the one that is side facing and
without windows.
The furniture used in the building also contributes to attenuation. Typically a furnished
building gives a loss of 2-3 dB more than an empty one.

Propagation Environment
Some Typical values for Building Attenuation
Type of building

in dBs

Farms, Wooden houses, Sport halls


Small offices,Parking lots,Independent

houses,Small apartment blocks


Row Houses, offices in containers, Offices,

Apartment blocks


Offices with large areas


Medium factories, workshops without roof tops



Halls of metal, without windows


Shopping malls, ware houses, buildings with



Propagation Models
Classical Propagation models :

Log Distance propagation model

Longley Rice Model (Irregular terrain model )
Cost 231 Hata (Similar to Hata, for 1500-2000 MHz band
Walfisch Ikegami Cost 231
Walfisch-Xia JTC
XLOS (Motorola proprietary Model )
Du path Loss Model
Diffracting screens model

Propagation Models
Important Propagation models : Okumara Hata model (urban / suburban areas )( GSM
900 band )
Cost 231 Hata model (GSM 1800 band )
Walfisch Ikegami Model (Dense Urban / Microcell
areas )
XLOS (Motorola proprietary Model )

Okumara Hata Models

In the early 1960 , a Japanese scientist by name Okumara conducted
extensive propagation tests for mobile systems at different frequencies.
The test were conducted at 200, 453, 922, 1310, 1430 and 1920 Mhz.
The test were also conducted for different BTS and mobile antenna
heights, at each frequency, over varying distances between the BTS
and the mobile.
The Okumara tests were valid for :

150-2000 Mhz.
1-100 Kms.
BTS heights of 30-200 m.
MS antenna height, typically 1.5 m. (1-10 m.)
The results of Okumara tests were graphically represented and were not
easy for computer based analysis.
Hata took Okumaras data and derived a set of empirical equations to
calculate the path loss in various environments. He also suggested
correction factors to be used in Quasi open and suburban areas.

Hata Urban Propagation Model

The general path loss equation is given as :Lp = Q1+Q2Log(f) 13.82 Log(Hbts) - a(Hm)+{44.9-6.55
Lp = L0 +10r Log (d) path loss in dB
F = frequency in Mhz.
D = distance between BTS and the mobile (1-20 Kms.)
Hbts = Base station height in metres ( 30 to 100 m )
A(hm)={ 1.1log(f) - 0.7 } hm - {1.56log(f) - 0.8} for Urban areas and
= 3.2{log(11.75 hm)2 - 4.97 for dense urban areas.
Hm= mobile antenna height (1-10 m)

Q1 = 69.55 for frequencies from 150 to 1000 MHz.

= 46.3 for frequencies from 1500 to 2000 MHz.
Q2 = 26.16 for frequencies from 150 to 1000 MHz.
= 33.9 for frequencies from 1500 to 2000 MHz.
Q0 = 0 dB for Urban
= 3 dB for Dense Urban

Path Loss & Attenuation Slope

The path loss equation can be rewritten as :
Lp = L0 + { 44.9 6.55 + 26.16 log (f) 13.83 log (h BTS)-a(Hm)
Where L0 is = [69.55 + 26.16 log (f) 13.82 log ( H BTS ) A (Hm)
Or more conveniently
Lp = L0 + 10 log(d)
is the SLOPE and is = {44.9 6.55 log(hBTS)}/10
Variation of base station height can be plotted as shown in the
We can say that Lp 10 log(d)
typically varies from 3.5 to 4 for urban environment.
When the environment is different, then we have to choose
models fitting the environment and calculate the path loss
slope. This will be discussed subsequently.

Non line of Sight Propagation

Here we assume that the BTS antenna is above roof level for any
building within the cell and that there is no line of sight between
the BTS and the mobile
We define the following parameters with reference to the diagram
shown in the next slide:
W the distance between street mobile and building
Hm mobile antenna height
hB BTS antenna height
Hr height of roof
hB difference between BTS height and roof top.
Hm difference between mobile height and the roof top.

Non line of Sight Propagation

The total path loss is given by:
LFS= Free space loss = 32.44+20 log(f) + 20 log(d)
LFS = Free space loss.
LRFT = Rooptop diffraction loss.
LMDB = Multiple diffraction due to surrounding buildings.
LRFT = -16.9 10 log(w) +10log(f) +20log(^Hm)+L(0)
L( ) = Losses due to elevation angle.
L( ) = -10 + 0.357 ( -00)
0< <35
2.5 +0.075 ( -35)
35< <55
4.0 +0.114 ( -55)
55< <90

Non line of Sight Propagation

The losses due to multiple diffraction and scattering
components due to building are given by :
LMBD = k0 + ka +kd.log(d) +kf.log(f) 9.log(w)
K0 = - 18 log (1+ hB)
Ka = 54 0.8 ( hB)
Kd = 18 15 ( hB/hr)
Kf = - 4 +0.7 {f/925) 1 } for suburban areas
Kf = - 4 +1.5 {f/925) 1 } for urban areas
W= street width
hB= hB hr
For simplified calculation we can assume ka = 54 and kd = 18

Choice of Propagation Model

Environment Type


Dense Urban
Street Canyon propagation

Walfish Ikegami,LOS

Non LOS Conditions, Micro cells


Macro cells,antenna above rooftop


Urban Areas


Mix of Buildings of varying heights, vegetation,

and open areas.


Sub urban
Business and residential,open areas.

Okumara Hata

Large open areas,fields,difficult terrain with


Calculation of Mobile Sensitivity.

The Noise level at the Receiver side as follows:
K is the Boltzmanns constant = 1.38x10-20
T is the receiver noise temperature in 0Kelvin
B is the receiver bandwidth in Hz.

Signal Variations
Fade margin becomes necessary to account for the
unpredictable changes in RF signal levels at the receiver.
The mobile receive signal contains 2 components :
A fast fading signal (short term fading )
A slow fading signal (long term fading )

Probability Density Function

The study of radio signals involve actual measurement of signal levels at
various points and applying statistical methods to the available data.
A typical multipath signal is obtained by plotting the RSS for a number of
We divide the vertical scale in to 1 dB bin and count number of samples is
plotted against RF level . This is how the probability density function for
the receive signal is obtained.
However, instead of such elaborate plotting we can use a statistical expression
for the PDF of the RF signal given by :
P(y) = [1/2 ] e [ - ( - y m )2 / 2 ( )2
Where y is the random variable (the measured RSS in this case ), m is the mean
value of the samples considered and y is the STANDARD DEVIATION of
the measured signal with reference to the mean .
The PDF obtained from the above is called a NORMAL curve or a Gaussian
Distribution. It is always symmetrical with reference to the mean level.

Probability Density Function

Plotting the PDF :
Plotting the PDF






Probability Density Function

Plotting the PDF :

Plotting the PDF

P(x) = ni/N


Ni = number of RSS within

1 dB bin for a given level.

Bin Numbers


Probability Density Function

A PDF of random variable is given by :
P(y) = [ ] e [ - (y-m)2 / 2( )2 ]
Where, y is the variable, m is the mean value and is the Standard
Deviation of the variable with reference to its mean value.
The normal distribution (also called the Gaussian Distribution ) is
symmetrical about the mean value.
A typical Gaussian PDF :

Probability Density Function

The normal Distribution depends on the value of Standard
We get a different curve for each value of
The total area under the curve is UNITY

Calculation of Standard Deviation

If the mean of n samples is m, then the standard deviation is
given by:
= Square root of [{(x1-m)2 + ..+( xn-m)2 }/(n-1)]
Where n is the number of samples and m is the mean.
For our application we can re write the above equation as :
= Square root of [{RSS1-RSSMEAN)2+..+(RSSN-RSSMEAN)2/(N1)}]

Confidence Intervals
The normal of the Gaussian distribution helps us to estimate the
accuracy with which we can say that a measured value of the
random variable would be within certain specified limits.
The total area under the Normal curve is treated as unity. Then for
any value of the measured value of the variable, its probability
can be expressed as a percentage.
In general, if m is mean value of the random variable within
normal distribution and is the Standard Deviation, then,
The probability of occurrence of the sample within m and any
value of x of the variable is given by :
By setting (x-m)/ = z, we get,

Confidence Intervals
The value of P is known as the Probability integral or the ERROR
The limits (m n )are called the confidence intervals.
From the formula given above, the probability
P[(m- ) < z < (m+ )] = 68.26 % ; this means we are 68.34 % confident.
P[(m- ) < z < (m+ )] = 95.44 % ; this means we are 95.44 % confident
P[(m- ) < z < (m+ )] = 99.72 % ; this means we are 99.72 % confident.
This is basically the area under the Normal Curve.

The Concept of Normalized Standard Deviation

The probability that a particular sample lies within specified limits is given
by the equation :

We define z = (x-m)/ as the Normalized Standard Deviation.

The probability P could be obtained from Standard Tables (available in
standard books on statistics ).
A sample portion of the statistical table is presented in the next slide..

Calculation of Fade Margin

To calculate the fade margin we need to know :
Propagation constant()
>From formulae for the Model chosen
>Or from the drive test plots
Area probability :
>A design objective usually 90 %
Standard Deviation()
>Calculated from the drive test results using statistical formulae or
>Assumed for different environments.
To use Jakes curves and tables.

Calculation of Edge Probability and Fade Margin

From the values of and we calculate :
= /
Find edge probability from Jakes curves for a desired coverage probability,
against the value of on the x axis.
Use Jakes table to find out the correlation factor required
Look for the column that has value closest to the edge probability and read
the correlation factor across the corresponding row.
Multiply by the correction factor to get the Fade Margin.
Add Fade Margin to the RSS calculated from the power budget

Significance Of Area and Edge Probabilities

Required RSS is 85 dBm.
Suppose the desired coverage probability is 90 % and the edge probability
from the Jakes curves is 0,75
This means that the mobile would receive a signal that is better than 85
dBm in 90 % of the area of the cell
At the edges of the cell, 75 % of the calls made would have this minimum
signal strength (RSS).

In Building Coverage
Recalculate Fade Margin.
>Involves separate propagation tests in buildings.
>Calculate and for the desired coverage ( say 75 % or 50% )
>Use Jakes Curves and tables to calculate Fade Margin.
>Often adequate data is not available for calculating the fade margin
>Instead use typical values.
Typical values for building penetration loss :


75 % coverage

50 % coverage

Central business area

< 20 dB

< 15 dB

Residential area

< 15 dB

< 12 dB

Industrial area

< 12 dB

< 10 dB

In Car

6 to 8 dB

Fuzzy Maths and Fuzzy Logic

The models that we studied so far are purely empirical.
The formulas we used do not all take care of all the possible environments.
Fuzzy logic could be useful for experienced planners in making right
We divide the environment into 5 categories viz., Free space, Rural,
Suburban, urban, and dense urban.
We divide assign specific attenuation constant values to each categories ,
Fuzzy logic helps us to guess the right value for , the attenuation constant
for an environment which is neither rural nor suburban nor urban but a
mixture, with a strong resemblance to one of the major categories.
The following simple rules can be used :
Mixture of Free space and Rural :
Mixture of Rural and Suburban :
Mixture of Suburban and Urban :
Mixture of Urban and Dense urban :

Cell Planning and C/I Issues

The 2 major sources of interference are:
Co Channel Interference.
Adjacent Channel Interference.
The levels of these Interference are dependent on
The cell radius
The distance cells (D)
The minimum reuse distance (D) is given by :
D = ( 3N ) R
Where N= Reuse pattern
= i2 + i j + j 2
Where I & j are integers.

Cell Planning and C/I Issues


Cell Planning and C/I Issues

Assuming the cells are of the same size .
All cells reansmit the same power.
The path loss is not free space and is governed by the
attenuation constant .
By geometry, for every cell there are 6 interfering cells in the
first layer.
The reuse distance Dand cell radius R are related to the c/I as
given below
(D/R) = 6 (C /I)
The C / I is in absolute value.

Cell Planning and C/I Issues

Co Channel Interference C/I for Omni Cells
D/ R = 3N
C / I = 10 Log [ 1/ m (D/ R ) ], where m is the number of interferers.
M= 1 to 6 for the first layer of interfering cells.
Assuming = 3.5, m = 6 (worst case ), we calculate the theoretical
C / I available for various reuse plans as shown below :
D/ R = 3N
C / I = 10 Log [ 1/ 6 (D/ R) ]
8.917 dB
13.29 dB
21.80 dB
25.62 dB
29.99 dB

Cell Planning and C/I Issues

Adjacent Channel Interference :
Adjacent C hl Interference = - 10 Log [1/ m (D/ R) ]+

is the isolation offered by post modulation filters

Minimum value of is 26 dB , as per EIA standards.

If ( C / I ) for co channel interference is 10 dB, then for adjacent
channel interference it is 36 dB.

Frequency Planning Aspects

The primary objective of frequency planning is to ensure that,
given the limited RF spectrum, we achieve the required capacity
(traffic channels), keeping the interference within specified limits.
There are two types of frequency planning :
>Frequency planning based on Reuse patterns (manual)
>Frequency planning based on heuristic algorithm (automatic)
Manual planning is done by dividing the available frequencies in
to a number of frequency groups (as per a selected reuse pattern
) and assigning frequencies to various sectors / cells.
Suppose we have n frequencies . For a 3 cell repeat pattern with
3 sectors, we have 9 frequency groups, each group having n/ 9
The sectors are labeled A1,A2,A3,B1,B2,B3 and so on..
Assuming that an operator has 32 frequencies, say, from ARFC N 63
to 94, the frequencies could be grouped as shown in the table

Frequency Planning Aspects

Say, for 32 frequencies (ARFC N 63 94 ), for a 3*3 reuse
pattern, the frequencies are grouped as shown below









Frequency Planning Aspects

The Frequency reuse could be done in either of 2 ways
mentioned in the tables in the previous slide :

Frequency Planning Aspects

Directional reuse :
In a sectorised site, a group of channels (ARFC N) is
transmitted in the direction of antenna orientation , This is
based on tri cellular platform consisting of 3 identical cells
as shown in the diagram in the last slide.
Every cell is considered as an omni logically. The cells
are excited from the corners, separated by 1200
The axes of the diagram represent the 3 directions of
reuse. These are designated as {f(00)}, {f(1200)}and
Because we use directional antennas, the worst co
channel interference will be from only one interfering
station in the same direction

Frequency Planning Aspects

We form a generic combination of the tricell pattern
using 7 such pattern, as shown in fig. Down. From this
we can see that each of three axes has three parallel
This result in a total of six or multiples of six frequency
While assigning frequencies to individual calls we have
to take the directions of reuse into account.

Antenna Considerations
Uniform c overage in all cells
Alignment with hexagonal pattern
Space availability
C onnectivity to BSC /MSC
Urban areas may have the following conditions :
Several sites may be needed.
Frequency reuse is unavoidable
In building penetration is must
Building act as RF shield and contain coverage.
Buildings reflect signals and provide c overage to
areas where LOS would have failed.
Such additional paths improve in building
Antenna at a very high point may not meet in
building c overage requirements

Tackling Multipath Fading

In general we have the following methods to combat Multipath
In time domain
In Freq. Domain
In spatial domain
In the polarization domain

Interleaving and c oding

Frequency hopping
Space diversity
Polarization diversity

The last two are related to Antenna Systems.

Diversity Antenna Systems

A diversity antenna System essentially has :
Two or more antenna
A combiner circuitry.

Signals A and B should have minimum correlation between them

typic ally the correlation coefficient <0.7

Diversity Antenna Systems

Antenna Spacings :
900 Mhz
3.3 m
1.7 m
5.7 m
2.8 m
>Figures in the table are of minimum required separation
>If space is not a constraint, larger separation is always
>Horizontal separation is preferred because it provides low
correlation values.
>However, horizontal separation suffers from angular
dependence (demonstrated in the diagram, next page ).
>Vertical separation does not suffer much from the angular
>It also requires minimum supporting fixtures and does not
occupy a lot of space.
>But as the distance increases the correlation between the RF
signal at the antenna points increases rapidly, thereby negating
the very advantage of space diversity.

Diversity Antenna Systems

Space diversity can be achieved using:
3 antenna system
2 antenna system
The 3 antenna system provides very good spatial separation
between the two receive antenna and avoids the use of
duplexers. This reduces the risk of generating intermodulation
The 2 antenna system is preferred where the space for the
antenna struc ture is limited or where the operators want to use
less number o antenna.

Diversity Antenna Systems

Advantages of dual polarization :
Reduced support structure for the antenna
Reduced weight
Slim towers and hence quicker construction and low cost.
C ost of one dual polarized antenna is generally lower than the
cost of two space diversity antenna.
C hoice of Dual Polarized type
H/V type :
As most mobile are held at an angle 450, H/ V is more likely to
cause balanced signals at the two branches.
The diversity performance is less dependent on the mobile
Slant type
C orrelation between the two elements is angular dependent.
Unbalanced signals at the two arms of the receive antenna, since
one of the signal could be at the same angle as the mobile

General Antenna Specifications

Typical parameters of importance :
Linear polarization :Evector contained in one plain
Horizontal polarization :H Vector parallel to the horizontal
Vertical Polarization : E Vector parallel to the vertical plane
C ircular / Elleptical Polarization
The extremity of the E or H field describes a circle or an ellipse in
the direction of propagation
Radiation pattern
This is a plot of electric field intensity as a function of direction from
the antenna, measured at the fixed distance.

General Antenna Specifications

When the main radiation lobe of the antenna is intentionally
adjusted above or below its plane of propagation, the result is
known as a beam tilt. When tilted downward, we get the Downtilt.
Down tilt can be done in two ways :
Electrical down tilt
Mechanical down tilt


Overall picture
It is important to c reate an overall pic ture of the network
before going into the detailed network planning. This is the
fac t the main objec tive of this presentation.
Coverage Capacity and Quality
Providing c overage is usually c onsidered as the most
important ac tivity of a new c ellular operator. For a while ,
every network is indeed c overage driven. However the
c overage is not the only thing. It provides the means of
servic e and should meet c ertain quality measures.
The starting point is a set of c overage quality
To guarantee a good quality in both uplink and downlink
direc tion, the power levels of BTS and MS should be
balanc ed at the edge of the c ell. Main output results of
the power link budget are:
- Maximum path loss that c an be tolerated between MS
and the BTS.
- Maximum output power level of the BTS transmitter.


These values are calculated as a result of design
- BTS and MS rec eiver sensitivity.
- MS output power level
- Antenna G ain
- Diversity rec eption
- Losses in c ombiners, c ables etc .
The c ell ranges are derived with propagation loss
formulas suc h as Okumara Hata or Walfisc h Ikegami,
whic h are simply to use . G iven a maximum path loss,
differenc es in the operating environment and the quality
targets will result in different c ell ranges.
The traffic c apac ity requirement have to be c ombined
with the c overage requirements, by alloc ating
frequenc ies. This also may have impac t on the c ell


The selec tion of site c onfigurations, antenna and c ables in
the c ore of the c overage planning strategy. The right
c hoic e will provide c ost saving and guarantees smooth
network evolution.
Some typical configurations are :
- 3 sec tor site for (sub)urban areas
- 2 sec tor site for road c overage.
- Omni site for rural areas.
These are not the ultimate solutions, dec isions should be
based on c areful analysis.
Cell Range and Coverage Area :
For any site c onfigurations, the c ell ranges c an be
determined given the equipment losses and gains. The site
c overage areas c an be c alc ulated then and these will lead
to required number of sites for a given c overage region. This
makes it possible to estimate the c ost, eg. Per km2, to be
used for strategic dec isions
After getting the overall pic ture, the ac tual detailed
radio network planning is done with a RNP tool.



Marketing specifications
Define design rules and parameters.
Set performance targets.
Design nominal cell plan.
Implement c ell plan.
Produc e frequency plan.
Optimize network.
Monitor performances.

Define design rules and parameters
- Identify design rules to meet c overage and c apac ity targets
effic iently
- Ac quire software tools and databases
- C alibrate propagation models from measurements.
Set performanc e targets
- C lear statement of c overage requirements (rollout and
- Forec ast traffic demand and distribution.
- Test business plan for different roll out sc enarios and quality
Design nominal c ell plan.
- Use c omputer tool to plac e sites to meet c overage an d
c apac ity targets.
- Verify feasibility of meeting servic e requirements
- Ensure a frequenc y plan c an be made for the design.
- Estimate equipment requirement and c ost.
- Develop implementation and resourc e plans (inc luding
personal requirements)
- Radio plan will provide input to fixed network planning.

Implement C ell plan
- Identify physical site locations near to nominal or
theoretical loc ations, using search areas.
- Modify nominal design as theoretical sites are replac ed
with physical sites
- Modify search areas in accordanc e with envolving
Produc e Frequenc y Plan
- Fixed C luster c onfigration, can be done manually.
- Flexible, based on interferenc e matrix using an automatic

Optimize the network
- C ampaign of measurements
- Analyze results
- Adjust network parameters such as : antenna direc tions,
handover parameters, and frequencies.
Expand the network
- In acc ordance with rollout requirements
- In acc ordance with forec ast traffic levels
- To improve coverage quality.
- To maintain blocking performances.

RF Planning Process
1 Understand the C ustomers requirements
C overage requirements
In building coverage experiments
Initial Roll out plans
Pre determined number of sites ?
2 Survey
Traffic Distribution and Pattern
G rowth areas
High density business/ residential areas
Propagation tests for in building coverage estimates
and model calibrations
3. Prepare Planning Tool
G et Digitized maps
Load maps in the planning tool.
Use survey data and run the programme.

RF Planning Process
4. Draft Plan
Divide the city into number of regionsBusy business areas
Areas that need excellent inbuilding coverage
Use appropriate model and link budgets to
calculate the number of sites required per region.
5. Fine Tune plan.
Perform more with drive test, confirm plan
Review plan with customer and fine tune the plan.

RF Planning Process
Understanding C ustomer Requirements :
What are the boundaries for the network ?
Are there any spec ial pockets to be covered due to
Govt. requirements ?
What are the areas in which medium to average in
building coverage is ac ceptable ?
What are the areas where excellent in building
coverage is needed ?
Areas with high growth potential
Need colonies under development
High revenue areas
Shopping malls , offices complex, industrial estates

RF Planning Process
Initial Implementation Strategy :
High usage, high revenue users first ?
High end residential and business areas ?
Street c overage first ?
Spec ial areas like 5 star hotel, c ommerc ial
building with fine in building c overage ?
High way c overage c ritic al ?
Total c overage on day one ?
Number of sites more than the c ompetition ?
Any Budget Limitations ?
G ive an ideal plan to start with.
Let the c ustomer c ut c orners.
Not an easy job !!

RF Planning Process
C ity Surveys :
Basically a scouting exercise
Looking for :Major traffic routes
Business C entres
Shopping malls
General customer behaviors
Telephone density
C ongested areas with narrow lanes
Narrow water canals/lakes/ ponds
General city layout
Prestigious residential areas.
VIP areas
Parks/ playground/ open areas.
General Building types.. Multistoried, Row houses,
apartments, colonies etc.
Airport coverage

RF Planning Surveys

In building C overage Surveys :

C lassify BuildingsHotel/restaurants
C ommercial
Shopping malls/markets
Propagation tests in a number of buildings in each variety.
Rf signal on road Vs. inside building gives building penetration loss.
Repeat tests in as many buildings as possible to get an estimate of
building loss for the area.
In building coverage affected mostly in ground floor/ basement
Typical values (examples only) :
> Hotel restaurants
15 dB
> C ommercial buildings
20 dB
> Shopping malls
15 dB
> Industrial Estates
12-15 dB
> Residential buildings
15-20 dB
> Old/Historical buildings 25-30 dB

RF Propagation Test Kits

Battery powered Transmitter.
Portable mast

Transmit antenna
Rec eiver TEMS mobile

Positioning system
C omputer
C ables acc essories

Power meter, VSWR meter.

10 or 20 Watts output : frequenc y in

GSM 900/1800 Mhz.
Adjustable upto 5 m. With 1 m
antenna on top, effective height
above ground is 6 m.
High gain omni or direc tional antenna
as required
Hand held mobile phone with RS232
c onnection to a laptop. Or an
accurate portable RF sensitivity meter
/ C W rec eiver if model calibration is
GPS system, with PC MC IA card
Laptop PC with TEMS software and
GPS software
C alibrated c able lengths (10 m) of low
loss feeder with known attenuation
values; 12 Volts battery with
appropriate cable to c onnect to

RF Planning Tool
Planning Tool preparation and Model Calibration :
There are many planning tool available toaday :
Cell Cad (LCC)
Odessy (Aethos)
Asset (Aircom)
NetPlan (Motorola)
A planning tool Should be :
Easy to use
Compatible with tools like TEMS
Minimum hardware requirements.
Maps collected from authorized sources.
1:50000 or 1:25000 scale
50 m resolution for macro
Less than 30 m resolution for Micro cell planning using Ray tracing Tool
Maps are digitized under 3 categories :
Digital Terrain Map
Vectors (Roads, Railways, etc.)

RF Planning Tool
Planning Tool preparation and Model Calibration :
Most Planning tools use corrections for the land use or clutter.
Propagation Model tuned by assigning the values to
Clutter factor (Gain or Loss due to clutter )
Clutter Heights (for diffraction modeling)
Different types of clutter are defined in these models/ tools
1. Dense Urban
2. Urban
3. Suburban
4. Suburban with Dense Vegetation
5. Rural
6. Industrial area
7. Utilities (marshalling yards, docks, container depots etc. )
8. Open area
9. Quasi Open Area
Too many clutter type definitation complicate planning process 10 to 15 is

RF Planning Tool
Planning Tool preparation and Model Calibration :
Provided by the map vendor
Provides contour information as a digital map.
Main Roads
Canals / water ways.
Coast line
Each categories is digitized as different layer
Displayed separately if required
Map information is set up in the planning tool.
Model calibration carried out.

Model Calibration

All tools have provision for manipulating clutter values.

Different tools have different directory structures and means of handling
geographical data.
The procedure mainly talks about ensuring correct data header files to
BTS location
Antenna Type
BTS antenna height
Description of surrounding area.
Procedure uses a general core model equation :
The equation has constant k1 to k6 and a constant of clutter, kclutter
Initial values for the constants are set as per the model chosen (say
Okumara Hata )
PLANET programme is run repeatedly to make RMS error values for
all data files ZERO or a minimum.
For each run of the programme, the values of k1 to k6 are manipulated.
This completes model calibration.

Link Budget and other Steps

Key Points To be C onsidered :
C overage Probability
Expected inbuilding coverage
Edge probability
Fade margin required
Maximum permissible path loss ( from the link Budget )
What is the radius of the cell ?
Number of sites required (from coverage point of view )
Is the number of sites calculated as above adequate for
capacity ?
Decide on more sites for capacity.

Capacity Calculations
C apac ity calculations :
C hec k if number of sites is enough to give capacity.
Depends on
Spectrum available
This dec ides the site configuration.
Availability of features like frequency hopping etc.
If C apac ity is not met, add more sites.
If number of site is not OK with the customer, then :Recalculate site density, for 50 % in building coverage in plac e
of 75 %

Fine Tune The Plan

Use Planning tool to return C overage predictions
Iterate the process in consultation with the customer.
Finalize Plan and document it.
Search Areas
Planner issues search areas for each site location with information
on :
Lat/ Long
Antenna heights
Specific target areas if any
Size of search areas
Size acquisition team scouts for buildings.
3-5 alternatives preferred.

Site Selection
C entral Business area
Small Search areas (100 m)
A void near field obstruction.
A ntenna at or slightly above the average clutter height.
O rientation is critical.
Try solid structure (lift room ) for antenna mounting.
This helps reduce backlobe radiation problems
A void towers on building tops. This reduces interference to neighbouring cells.
Residential suburban areas :
Larger search areas (200 m)
Location not very critical.
A ntenna 3-5 metres above average clutter height.
A ntenna orientation less critical.

Site Selection
Industrial area :
A suitable central loc ation.
Avoid proximity to electrical installations like towers, transformers
Towers are common
Quasi / open Highways
Larger search areas (500 m)
Limited by terrain and not the clutter. Hilly areas need care.
Highways need closer search areas along road.
Tall sites give better coverage.

Extending Cell Range

Extended cell range reduces number of sites.
Cell range improvement achieved through :
BTS transmit power enhancement
BTS sensitivity enhancement
Combination of both

Extending Cell Range

Increasing BTS transmit EIRP:
To maximize BTS O/P power, single carrier cells can be used.
This will avoid the combination losses of multiple carrier cells.
The output power at the top of the cabinet could be set to 40 Watt, giving an
increase in signal strength of 3 Db.
For cells with more than aone carrier, air combination can be implemented so
that the combination loss is minimized.
Another way to maximize Tx and Rx signals is to implement lowloss feeder
A typical 7/8 Andrewscoaxial cable has an attenuation of 3.92 dB/100 m. If
a 5/8 Andrews cable with an attenuation of 2.16 dB/100 m is used, then an
increase of 1.6 dB can be obtained per 100m.

Extending Cell Range

Improving BTS receiver sensitivity :
Better devices in the BTS receiver.
Using Mast Head amplifiers with very low noise figures.
Better RF cables.

Extending Cell Range

Improvement in the transmit side gives 2 dB advantage.
MHAs extend the BTS receiver sensitivity to 110 dBm instead of the usual
107 dBm.
Overall improvements result in 4-5 dB advantage in path loss, leading to
extended coverage.
This improves quality of coverage.
Experiments with MHAs have shown improvements
In areas with 50 % probability to approximately 70 % probability.
In areas with 70 % probability to approximately 85 % probability.
In areas with 85 % probability to approximately 95 % probability.
In areas with 95 % probability to approximately 98 % probability.