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2G, 3G Network Planning and Optimization...

, 28 2009 .

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3.6 Concentric Cell Technology


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3.6.1 Concept

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In the GSM network, concentric cell technology is used to divide the service area into two
parts: overlay and underlay. In essence, the concentric cell technology concerns channel
allocation and handover. When combining this technology with various frequency planning
technologies, you can both expand network capacity and improve network quality.
The underlay covers the traditional cells, and the overlay covers the areas near the base
station. Generally, 4 x 3 frequency reuse pattern is used for the underlay. For overlay, the
frequency reuse patterns, such as 3 x 3, 2 x 3, or 1 x 3, are used. Therefore, all carriers
can be divided into two groups, one for underlay, and the other one for overlay. The overlay
and underlay share the same base station address, one set of antenna feeder system, and
one BCCH, so you must set the BCCH on the underlay.
If the capacity of the overlay is great, you can group the channel numbers according to
Table below.

Archives
2009 (56)
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(41)
3.8 Network Capacity Comparison For the
comparis...
3.7 Multiple Reuse Pattern Technology3.7.1 Basic...
3.6 Concentric Cell Technology 3.6.1 Concept I...
3.5 Aggressive Frequency Reuse Technology
3.5.1 ...
3.4 Normal Frequency Reuse Technology 3.4.1 C...
3.3 Frequency Planning Principle Generally, when ...
3.2 Frequency Division and C/I Requirement 3.2.1 ...
3 GSM Frequency Planning 3.1 Overview Frequency
...
2.13 Conclusion Network planning is the foundatio...
2.12 Repeater Planning 2.12.1 Application Backg...
2.11 Tunnel Coverage 2.11.1 Characteristic of T...
2.10 Design of Indoor Coverage System 2.10.1 Ch...
2.9 Dual-Band Network Design 2.9.1 Necessity for...
2.8 Location Area Design 2.8.1 Definition of Loc...
2.7 Design of Base Station Address 2.7.1 Address
d...
2.6 Base Station Number Decision After traffic an...
2.5 Traffic Analysis 2.5.1 Traffic Prediction an...
2.4 Network Structure Analysis When considering
t...
2.3 Coverage Analysis 2.3.1 Area Division I. Typ...
2.2 Planning Foundation 2.2.1 Coverage and
Capacit...
2 GSM Radio Network Planning 2.1 Overview The
de...
1.17 CBS Cell Broadcast Service (CBS) is similar ...
1.16 Call Re-Establishment 1.16.1 Introduction ...
1.15 HOAs a key technology in the cellular mobil...
1.14 MS Originated Call Flow 1.14.1 Enquiry Afte...
1.13 MS Originating Call Flow The MS needs to set ...
1.12 Location Update In GSM, the paging informati...
1.11 Authentication and Encryption GSM takes lots...
1.10 Immediate Assignment Procedure The purpose
o...
1.9 Power Control 1.9.1 Power Control Overview P...
1.8 Discontinuous Reception and Discontinuous
Tra...
1.7 Frequency Hopping With the ever growing traff...
1.6 Cell Selection and Re-Selection 1.6.1 Cell S...
1.5 System Information System information is sent ...
1.4 Timing advance Signal transmission has a dela...
1.3 Data Transmission Radio channel has totally d...
1.2 Multiple Access Technology and Logical
Channel...
1 GSM Principles and Call Flow 1.1 GSM Frequency
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Radio Network Planning Optimization The objective ...
History of GSM 1 GSM Development Mobile
telecommun...

In this case, the overlay has more channel numbers, which is beneficial for the base
station to absorb nearby traffic volume.
Channel number grouping for 6MHz bandwidth concentric cell
Logical
channel

(a)

Channel number

Underlay
66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77
(12)
Overlay
(18)

78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 98 90 91 92 93 94 95

If traffic volume is evenly distributed, you can enhance the underlay capacity through
grouping the channel numbers according to Table below.
In this case, the underlay can absorb more traffic volume.
Channel number grouping for 6MHz bandwidth concentric cell
Logical
channel

(b)

Channel number

Underlay
66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89
(24)
Overlay
(6 )

90 91 92 93 94 95

3.6.2 General Underlay Overlay


General underlay overlay (GUO) aims to restrict the intra-frequency interference. To realize
this purpose, you can reduce the overlay coverage area. That is, if the transmit power of
the overlay carriers is lower than that of the underlay carriers, the coverage area of the
overlay is smaller than that of the underlay.
The handover between the overlay and underlay is related to the receiving level of the MS
and the TA (timing advance) from the MS to the base station. You should allocate the

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channel numbers (such as BCCH number) with looser frequency reuse aggressiveness to
the MSs in the underlay. For the MSs in the overlay, you should allocate the channel
numbers with aggressive frequency reuse to them. In this case, you can expand the
network capacity by using aggressive frequency reuse pattern in overlay.
For general underlay overlay, the coverage area of the underlay is inconsistent with that of
the overlay, so problems concerning traffic and handover control are often caused. The
general underlay overlay is applicable to the areas near the base station where the traffic is
concentrated. The more concentrated the traffic near the base station, the more apparent
the effect of capacity expansion is. However, the transmit power of the carriers in the
overlay is low, so it is hard for the base station to absorb indoor traffic volume. In this case,
when the traffic volume is evenly distributed, the general underlay overlay has little effect on
capacity expansion.

3.6.3 Intelligent Underlay Overlay

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Intelligent underlay overlay (IUO) technology can ensure that the coverage areas of call
carriers are the same. For an IUO, the transmit power of the carriers in the underlay and
overlay is the same.
In an IUO, the frequencies of a base station are divided into two layers: one is regular
layer, and the other one is supper layer. At the regular layer, the frequency reuse distance
is large, so you can use looser frequency reuse pattern, such as 4 x 3 frequency reuse
pattern. At the supper layer, the frequency reuse distance is relatively small, so you can
use aggressive frequency reuse patterns, such as 2 x 3 and 1 x 3 frequency reuse pattern.
In an IUO, the interference at the supper layer is great, so designated equipments and
handover algorithms on C/I must be provided.
In an IUO, the conversation is first established at the supper layer, and then the BSC
monitors the C/I of the channels at the supper layer without any stop. If the C/I is greater
than the Good C/I Threshold, the conversation seizes a channel at the supper layer. If the
C/I is smaller than the Bad C/I Threshold, the conversation seizes a channel at the regular
layer. In addition, you can control the traffic volume at the supper layer and the regular
layer by adjusting the handover threshold.
For an IUO, the transmit power of the carriers at the regular layer is the same as that at
the supper layer, so the network can absorb the traffic flexibly, which is beneficial for the
expansion for actual network capacity.
If the IUO technology is used, you must add the functions, including the estimation of
intra-frequency protection C/I for downlink channels and the handover algorithms related to
IUO, to the system.

3.6.4 Characteristics of Concentric Cell Technology


The characteristics of concentric cell technology are listed below:
l
Any change of the network structure is unnecessary.
l
Special software and designated algorithms on channel allocation and handover
are needed.
l
The system has no special requirement on hardware.
l
GUO is applicable to the areas near the base station where the traffic is
concentrated.
l
The overlay coverage of the GUO is small, so the intra-frequency reuse
attenuation factor (q) is great, which increases interference in the network.
l
The transmit power of the overlay carriers in the GUO is low, so it is hard for the
carriers to absorb indoor traffic.
l
The transmit power of the underlay carriers in the GUO is the same, so the
carriers can absorb indoor traffic, which contributes to network capacity expansion
and good conversation quality.
For the comparison between the GUO and IUO, see Table:
A comparison between GUO and IUO.

GUO

IUO

Coverage
area

Frequency
reuse pattern

Transmit
power

Logical
channel
allocation

Handover
algorithm

Underlay

4x3

High

BCCH/TCH

Power&
Distance

Overlay

3 x 3/2 x 3/1 x 3 Low

TCH

Underlay

4x3

BCCH/TCH

Overlay

3 x 3/2 x 3/1 x 3 Same

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