Radio Datasheet 0034 GSM Coverage Thresholds
This datasheet is compiled and owned by Radio Engineering. Date of last update : 6 May 2003.

SUMMARY: This document defines the coverage requirement and thresholds that should be
used for GSM coverage planning. Thresholds for planning tool predictions
and survey measurements are included for Gold, Silver and Bronze Quality of
Service targets and each clutter type. Thresholds for Ports of Entry are also
specified on this datasheet.
Target Audience 2G Radio Planners

Introduction Coverage target areas are classified as Gold, Silver or Bronze depending on their
importance and the Quality of Service (QoS) that we intend to provide. These areas
may then be further classified into Industrial, Dense Urban, Suburban etc as
indicated by the land usage database (clutter type). Parts of the road and rail
network and certain point locations such as Ports of Entry (PoE) may also be
classified separately based on QoS target.

The GSM coverage thresholds to be used for coverage planning should be based on
the QoS requirement and the type of area to be covered. This datasheet describes
the different thresholds that should be applied for each of these cases.
Planners should note that new cells will only be built where the incremental
revenue is forecast to give a pay back period of less than 2 years. New cells have to
be PCR’d to the current new cell build list before any resources are committed.
Planners should always consider upgrade cost options to improve coverage before
requesting a new site. E.g. up tilt, tower height upgrade, mast-head amplifiers or
possible use of a Repeater. Planners should be aware of the OPEX cost of the site as
well as CAPEX cost.

GSM Coverage Requirements

Area Coverage Requirements The threshold applicable to a given area depends on its Gold, Silver or Bronze
classification and on the clutter type. The mapping of clutter type to area coverage
requirement is shown in Table 1.
Clutter Type Area Coverage Requirement (see above)
Industrial In building (Suburban)
Dense Urban In building (Urban)
Urban In building (Urban)
Dense Suburban In building (Suburban)
Suburban In building (Suburban)
Rural Urban / Village Centre On street
Agricultural Land N/A
Non Agricultural Land N/A
Semi Natural Vegetation N/A
Water N/A
Wetlands N/A
Deciduous Woodlands / Forest N/A
Coniferous Woodlands / Forest N/A
Mixed Woodlands / Forest N/A
High Rise Buildings In building (Suburban)
Road / Mway Junction On street
Table 1 Area coverage by Clutter Type

Issue 1.2 6 May 2003 In Confidence Page 1 of 4

the appropriate coverage requirement will generally be that of the most stringent clutter type.O2 UK Radio Datasheet 0034 GSM Coverage Thresholds Coverage requirements apply to all built-up areas (towns or urbanised areas) that had a population in excess of 3000 in 2001. However. Road / Rail Coverage Requirements Roads – In car coverage will be provided to motorways and major routes where the cost of new sites or site upgrades give acceptable pay back. Issue 1.2 6 May 2003 In Confidence Page 2 of 4 . There is currently no requirement for coverage in built-up areas with a population of 3000 or less. Where areas consist of multiple clutter types. Tunnels and cuttings should not be targeted unless pay back can be achieved. Tunnels and cuttings should not be targeted unless it gives acceptable pay back. Rail – Coverage will be restricted to Gold Intercity routes and suburban rail. where there are small isolated islands of a more stringent type. radio planners should use their discretion and local knowledge in deciding which is the appropriate type.

Thresholds in Table 3 should not be used for Port of Entry (PoE) In_Building cases.2 6 May 2003 In Confidence Page 3 of 4 . The coverage thresholds presented in Table 4 should be used to evaluate PoE In_Building radio surveys.O2 UK Radio Datasheet 0034 GSM Coverage Thresholds GSM Coverage Thresholds for use with planning tool predictions and combination of radio survey data & predictions There are two sets of coverage thresholds specified below. Thresholds for use when a combination of survey data and planning tool predictions are given in Table 3. GSM 900 GSM 1800 Issue 1. GSM Coverage Thresholds For Ports Of Entry In_Building Radio Survey Data GSM 900 and 1800 frequencies are used to provide In_Building coverage solutions for PoE [2]. PoE In-Building survey data binned threshold values should meet the coverage thresholds specified in Table 4 over 95% of the specified survey route which should consist of all publicly accessible areas. GSM Coverage Thresholds Where Only Planning Tool Predictions Are Available Thresholds presented in this section should only be used for purely prediction based planning to identify likely coverage problems in the GSM network. Gold Silver Bronze On-Street -88 dBm -92 dBm -94 dBm In-Car1 -81 dBm -86 dBm -89 dBm 1 In-Building (Suburban) -77 dBm -83 dBm -85 dBm In-Building (Urban) 1 -70 dBm -74 dBm -76 dBm 2 In-Train (Open Line) -88 dBm -92 dBm -94 dBm In-Train (Cutting) 2 -88 dBm -92 dBm -94 dBm Table 3 GSM Coverage Thresholds for Survey Data 1 If field measurement data is taken with the antenna inside the car or the building On-Street thresholds should be applied. Prediction based cell planning using planning tool thresholds (see Table 2) should only be used to identify possible or likely coverage problems. thresholds for use when only planning tool predictions are available and thresholds for use when a combination of planning tool predictions and survey data are available. 2 Railway measurements assume that the antenna is mounted inside the train and therefore On-Street thresholds should be applied. If there is any doubt about the accuracy of the prediction then a radio survey should be carried out to verify coverage. Table 2 GSM Coverage Thresholds for Use with Planning Tool Predictions GSM Coverage Thresholds Where Both Survey Data And Planning Tool Predictions Are Available Thresholds presented in this section should only be used where a combination of radio survey measurement data and planning tool predictions are available. It is essential that all requirements for new sites are supported by radio surveys to confirm coverage and optimum site location before they are selected.

engineering. Caroline Miller [2] rdr01_12 In_Building Acceptance Test Specifications.2 6 May 2003 In Confidence Page 4 of 4 .uk@O2. Paul Morris END OF DOCUMENT The author of this document is Selladurai Umashangar. Issue 1. Issue 3. For any questions or issues. Issue 1.O2 UK Radio Datasheet 0034 GSM Coverage Thresholds Ports Of Entry (PoE) -72 dBm -74 dBm Table 4 GSM 900 & 1800 Coverage Threshold for Port of Entry In_Building Survey Data Reference Documents: [1] Phase 9 Coverage please contact the Radio Engineering helpdesk on 01753 565882 or e-mail radio. Radio Engineering.