1.1 OBJECTIVE The objective of this document is to give a brief overview of the Global System of Mobile Communication (GSM) and describe in detail the RF design consideration, methodology and RF simulation results for the coverage area of a Model City and. RF design parameters that are considered are described in this report and results of the simulations conducted to ascertain coverage are also included.

1.2 INTRODUCTION The GSM system design process consists of several levels or phases. These levels range from an initial budgetary design to a final design used to implement the system. The amount of time and effort required to complete a design increases as one moves from a budgetary design to a final design. However, this additional time and effort results in a more accurate system design & predictions. The design of a wireless system revolves around three main requirements. Those principles are coverage, capacity and quality and all three of these quantities are interrelated. • The coverage of a system relates to the area within the network that has sufficient signal strength to provide for a call of acceptable quality. • The capacity of a system relates to the ability of the system to support a given number of users • The quality of the system reflects the degree of naturalism or reproduction of speech & data and ease of two-way communication

This report starts with an overview of the GSM 900 network. It is worth mentioning that DCS 1800 is also a part of the GSM standard. Hence the general concepts of GSM 900 can also be applied to DCS 1800. In India both these systems are used either separately or together. In this report GSM is explained using the GSM 900 and then a shift is gradually made to the 1800 band.




Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM)
2.1 Definition Global system for mobile communication (GSM) is a globally accepted standard for digital cellular communication. GSM is the name of a standardization group established in 1982 to create a common European mobile telephone standard that would formulate specifications for a pan-European mobile cellular radio system operating at 900 MHz. It is estimated that many countries outside of Europe will join the GSM partnership. 2.2 Introduction The concept of cellular service is the use of low-power transmitters where frequencies can be reused within a geographic area. The idea of cell-based mobile radio service was formulated in the United States at Bell Labs in the early 1970s. However, the Nordic countries were the first to introduce cellular services for commercial use with the introduction of the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) in 1981. The Development of Mobile Telephone Systems Year 1981 1983 1985 1986 1991 1991 1992 1994 1995 1996 Mobile System Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) 450 American Mobile Phone System (AMPS) Total Access Communication System (TACS) Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT) 900 American Digital Cellular (ADC) Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) Digital Cellular System (DCS) 1800 Personal Digital Cellular (PDC) PCS 1900-Canada PCS-United States

2.3 GSM Standards
Since the scope of the project deals with the Radio Frequency planning, the full specifications of GSM are not mentioned here. However the relevant details regarding the air interface and the mobile handset are mentioned.




The system specifications for GSM networks are: Frequency Band: Uplink 890MHz-915Mhz

Downlink: 935MHZ-960MHz The GSM system is originally specified to operate in the 900MHz band, so even before a commercially viable system could be in place governments of various countries were told to reserve the frequency band for GSM. The frequencies are arranged into pairs so that unique sets can be defined. There are 125 channels in GSM 900, however only 124 are used the first pair are not used, as it is employed as a Guard Band. Shown below is the GSM frequency band, although this is not the only band over which GSM operates it also operate in the 1800Mhz and 1900Mhz band also.

At this moment it would be important to mention here the need to use a lower frequency for uplink. The reason is, since this carries the information from the MS to the BTS over the Air Interface, using a higher frequency means higher attenuation. Secondly to compensate for the attenuation we need to send the signal at a higher power, which consumes more battery, power and leading to a smaller talk time. Duplex Distance: 45MHz This is the standard distance between the uplink and the downlink frequencies. This is not constant for all versions of GSM however the separation between the uplink & downlink bands is constant to 20kHz. Carrier Separation: 200kHz

In GSM we have uplink and downlink carriers. These individual carriers are separated 200kHz apart; therefore we get 125 uplink & downlink carriers. These carriers are then so arranged so that we get 124 ARFCN’s (absolute radio frequency carrier numbers), for GSM 900 they start form 1-124. Henceforth any mention of channels will be done using their ARFCN.



 Modulation: Gaussian Minimum Phase shift Keying The modulation method used in GSM had to be very specific. The 200khz channel is divided into 8 slots and each slot represents a call. However the whole channel is available to the caller. A multiframe is made up of 26 frames.   Transmission Rate: 270kbps Access Method: Time Division Multiple Access(TDMA) TDMA is used in GSM in conjunction with FDMA to allow voice communication. according to the needs of communication and also to cater for the anomalies in the radio interface. Each carrier frequency is then divided according to time using a TDMA scheme.RF PLANNING The figure below shows the carriers. Two of these frames are used for control purposes. while the remaining 24 frames are used for traffic as shown below. Each of the carrier frequencies is divided into a 120ms multiframe. NEW DELHI 4 . were a caller gets particular time duration in a round robin fashion to proceed with his call as described in the figure below IDEA CELLULAR LTD. However this would be taken in detail in a later section of this report.

RF PLANNING  Speech Coder: Rapid Pulse Excitation linear Predictive Coder coding at 13kbps In modern landline telephone systems. The frequencyhopping algorithm is broadcast on the Broadcast Control Channel. A form of slow frequency hopping is used by GSM to help combat the multi path burst errors characteristic of cellular environments. where the journey from speech to radio waves is considered. The voice waveform is then sampled at a rate of 8 kHz. Since we sample 8000 times per second and each sample is 8 binary bits. This bit rate is unrealistic to transmit across a radio network since interference will likely ruin the transmitted waveform.8kbps Slow Frequency Hopping: 217hops/second  GSM can use slow frequency hopping where the mobile station and the base station transmit each TDMA frame on a different carrier frequency. This frequency hopping also reduces the incidence of co-channel interference between clusters of cells. with mobiles using that base station following suit. In GSM speech encoding works to compress the speech waveform into a sample that results in a lower bit rate using RPE-LPC. we have a bit rate of 8kHz X 8 bits = 64kbps. Diversity: Channel Coding  Interleaving Frequency Hopping Adaptive Equalisation   Over The Channel Bit Rate: 22. The electrical variations induced into the microphone are sampled and each sample is then converted into a digital code. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. The actual process will be discussed later in the section. slow frequency hopping help mitigate the problem. Each sample is then converted into an 8 bit binary number representing 256 distinct values. digital coding is used. Since multi-path fading is dependent on carrier frequency. Each base station has its own pattern for hopping from one carrier frequency to another from slot to slot. NEW DELHI 5 . Frequency hopping is an option for each individual cell and a base station is not required to support this feature.

being the most popular and by far the most used cellular technology. which is MS minus the antenna.   These were a few of the specification that were described by GSM for the network. Uplink Frequency: 1710Mhz-1785Mhz Downlink Frequency: 1805Mhz-1880Mhz  IDEA CELLULAR LTD. for two sub-blocks of 75Mhz with duplex spacing of 95Mhz. However the MS manufactures also had to adhere to certain specific standards which are discussed as below: There are various types of mobile handsets that are used. today GSM accounts for 69. the same happened with GSM too.8 GHz. The figure above speaks volumes about the rise in popularity of the mobile communication: E-GSM: This represents an extension of the lower end of the two sub blocks by 10MHz adding 50 More ARFCN’s to the Primary GSM (P-GSM). Portable: This equipment can be hand carried or vehicle mounted and the antenna is not connected to the Mobile Termination unit. which moves spectrum allocation up to around 1.  Uplink Frequency: 880MHz-915MHz Downlink Frequency: 925MHz-960MHz DCS 1800: At a late stage in GSM development the existing technology was modified to meet the need for PCN networks.7% of the World's wireless market. 3. This involves changes to the radio interface.5% of the World's digital market and 64. giving a total of 374 carriers. This astounding popularity and has put immense burden on the limited number of ARFCN’s. More spectrum is available in this frequency range. namely: 1. 2. as a result various bands have been covered and now GSM is called P-GSM (primary GSM) and its cousins have emerged. Vehicle Mounted: Attached to a vehicle and operate on all power ranges and the antenna is physically mounted on the vehicle. NEW DELHI 6 .4 Different Forms of GSM As all things grow and need space.615ms Channel Coding: Half rate Convolution. Hand-held: This is the normal piece of equipment that we see generally being carried by people. 2.RF PLANNING  Typical Base Station Transmit Power: 16W Frame Duration: 4.

whilst a BTA approximates to a large city. The SS Includes the Following Subsystems: Mobile services Switching Centre (MSC) Visitor Location Register (VLR) Home Location Register (HLR) Authentication Centre (AUC) Equipment Identity Register (EIR)      IDEA CELLULAR LTD. NEW DELHI 7 . However before undertaking to study the main functional components a brief overview of the complete system is deemed necessary. where all systems functions are realised. Such interfaces are the Air interface (MS-BSS). An MTA is broadly equivalent in size to a state. Each of these contains a number of functional units. 2. the Abis interface (BTS-BSC) and the A interface (BSC-MSC).RF PLANNING  PCS 1900: Used in the USA. The FCC has split the designated spectrum into six duplex blocks. Each MTA has access to 3x15MHz block and each BTA has access to 3x5MHz blocks.5 COMPONENTS OF NETWORK: GSM is divided into two separate entities the Switching System (SS) and the Base Station System. Functional units within the system are separated by interfaces. These functional units are implemented into various hardware components. The USA has been divided into 51 Major Trading Areas and 493 Basic Trading Areas.

It is a high-capacity switch that provides functions such as handover. The BSC provides all the control functions and physical links between the MSC and BTS. Mobile services Switching Centre A number of BSC’ are served by a MSC which controls calls to and from other telephony and data communication systems. network interfacing. public data networks (PDN) and possibly. NEW DELHI 8 . These are different from the channels used in neighbouring cells to avoid interference. BSC controls such information as handover and power control. The MSC performs the telephony switching functions of the system. various private networks. common channel signalling. BSC can be implemented as a stand-alone node or as integrated with the MSC. It also performs such functions as toll ticketing. When someone buys a subscription from one of the GSM operators. such as the public switched telephone network (PSTN).RF PLANNING The Base Station System (BSS) includes: Base Station Controller (BSC) Base Transceiver Station (BTS) Transcoder Rate Adapter Unit (TRAU)    Base Transceiver Station Each cell has a Base Transceiver Station (BTS) operating on a set of radio channels. Due to this we need a number of databases in the network to keep track of the MS. It controls calls to and from other telephone and data systems. If it were not for the possibility of making calls to an MS we would not need any further equipment. The originator hardly ever knows where the called MS is. and control of radio frequency (RF) power levels in base transceiver stations. he will be registered in the IDEA CELLULAR LTD. public land mobile networks (PLMN). The most important of these databases is the Home Location Register (HLR). The problem arises when we want to make an MS terminated call. Base Station Controller A base station controller (BSC) controls a group of BTS’. The BTS is the radio equipment (transceivers and antennas) needed to service each cell in the network. cell configuration data. A number of BSC's are served by an MSC. integrated services digital network (ISDN). Databases The above-mentioned units are all involved in carrying out speech connections between an MS and for example a subscriber in a PSTN. and others. The BTS handles the radio interface to the mobile station.

This then raises the problem of stolen MS’. which can be vehicle installed. The HLR contains subscriber information. The HLR will reply with the address to the current MSC area. the exchange in the PSTN will connect the call to a gateway. the VLR connected to that MSC would request data about the MS from the HLR. While the SIM-card is connected to the subscription and not to the MS. The GMSC will have to find the location of the searched MS. If. Mobile Station In GSM there is a difference between the physical equipment and the subscription. Later. the VLR connected to that MSC would request data about the mobile station from the HLR. later on the MS wants to make a call. The function of the AUC is provided the HLR with authentication parameters and ciphering keys. As soon as an MS roams into a new MSC area. also called a smart card.RF PLANNING HLR of that operator. the VLR will have the information needed for call set-up without having to interrogate the HLR each time. We need a database that contains the unique hardware identity of the equipment. The VLR will also contain more exact information about the location of the MS in the MSC area. Now the GMSC can re-route the call of the current MSC. the MS cannot get access to the GSM network. The Visitor Location Register is a database containing information about all the MS’s currently located in the MSC area. the IDEA CELLULAR LTD. Authentication Centre (AUC) is connected to the HLR. SIM and the mobile equipment together make up the mobile station. The AUC protects network operators from different types of fraud found in today's cellular world. thus providing means to make a call. NEW DELHI 9 . In GSM there is a small unit called the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM). there will be information about the location of the MS. an IC-card. which is a separate physical entity e. he will be registered in the HLR of that operator. then the VLR will know in more detail where the MS is. The VLR is always integrated with the MSC. since it is no use barring the subscription if the equipment is stolen. If someone in a fixed network (PSTN) wants to make a call to a GSM subscribe. i. such as supplementary services and authentication parameters. The gateway is often implemented in an MSC.g. AUC provides authentication and encryption parameters that verify the user's identity and ensure the confidentiality of each call. portable or hand-held. The mobile station is piece of equipment. in which MSC area the MS resides presently. When the call reaches that MSC. This information changes as the MS moves around. When a mobile station roams into a new MSC area. The gateway is often realised in an MSC. interrogating the HLR where the MS is registered can do this. The VLR is a database that contains temporary information about subscribers that is needed by the MSC in order to service visiting subscribers. Without SIM.e. the VLR will have the information needed for the call set-up without having to interrogate the HLR each time. Gateway A gateway is a node used to interconnect two networks. The MSC is then referred to as the GMSC. It can be any one of the MSC in the GSM network. The call can then switched through. At the same time the HLR will be informed in which MSC area the MS resides. The MS will send location information to its HLR. both used for security reasons. the subscriber can use another MS as well as his own. Furthermore. if the mobile station makes a call. except for emergency traffic. The VLR can be seen as a distributed HLR.

RF PLANNING Equipment Identity Register (EIR). The Location Area (LA) Each MSC/VLR service area is divided into several Location Areas. The authentication of the subscription is done by parameters from AUC. An non-type-approved MS can also be barred in this way. The EIR is connected to the MSC over a signalling link. A location Area is the area where a paging message is broadcast in order to find the called mobile subscriber. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. The cell is an area of radio coverage. which the network identifies with the Cell Global Identity (CGI). The mobile station itself distinguishes between cells using the same carrier frequencies by the use of the Base Station Identity Code (BSCI). The Cell A location area is divided into a number of cells. The location Area is used by the system to search for subscriber inactive state. but it belongs to only one MSC/VLR. The Location Area can be identified by the system. NEW DELHI 10 . This enables the MSC to check the validity of the equipment. The Location Area can have several cells and depend on one or more BSC’s. using the Location Area Identity (LAI). A Location Area is a part the MSC/VLR in which an MS may move freely without updating location information to the MSC/VLR exchange that controls the Location Area.

The complete range of functions required is defined by a set of Logical Channels.6 The Radio Interface The channels in GSM are used to carry both user traffic and control data.RF PLANNING 2. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. This control data performs functions such as paging. It utilises the TDMA-concept with one TDMA-frame per carrier frequency. it would be mandatory to list out all the channels that are used in GSM communication. access and call set-up. NEW DELHI 11 . The direction from the BTS to MS is the downlink and the opposite is defined as uplink. Before we go on to discuss the various channels in GSM. The radio interface is the general name of the connection between the mobile (MS) and the base transceiver station (BTS). Each frame consists of eight time slots (TS).

The information sent during on single TS is called burst. we refer to different logical channels i. which will be discussed in Frame formation. Superframes and Hyperframes. the different types of information are transmitted on the physical channel in a certain order. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. Like we said earlier one time slot in a TDMA frame on one carrier is referred to as a physical channel. The frame structure of 8 time slots is relevant only in defining a physical channel. Depending on the kind of in information transmitted. Each time slot on a radio carrier is called a ‘Physical Channel’.e. NEW DELHI 12 . and the P-GSM allocation therefore. One physical channel can support a number of logical channels. Consequently. These logical channels are mapped on to the physical channels.e.RF PLANNING   Physical Channel Logical Channel  Control Channel • Broadcast Channels • Common Control Channels • Dedicated Control Channels  Traffic Channel The Physical Channel In GSM each carrier or radio channel is divided into the time domain to produce eight time slots. user data and control signalling. It could be compared with one physical channel in a FDMA system where every user is connected to the system via one out of a number of frequencies. channel 0-7 (timeslot 07). there are different kinds of bursts that will be discuss when we will discuss the Traffic Channel. there are eight physical channels per carrier in GSM. In order to describe allocations of time and frequency used by a particular logical channel it is necessary to utilise a structure of Multiframes.g. The combination of time division techniques and the access mechanism gives rise to term Time Division Multiple Access. supports 992(i. Logical channels are defined functions that can be supported within a physical channel. an individual mobile station will therefore be transmitting and receiving bursts. 8X124 physical Channels). During operations in a GSM system. For example speech is sent on the logical channel “Traffic” which during the transmission is allocated a certain physical channel say channel 6 or TS 6. The logical channels are divided into two groups control channel and traffic channels. The Logical Channels A great variety of information must be transmitted between the BTS and the MS e.

the MS receives information on the TDMA frame structure in this cell (the TDMA frame number) and also the Base Station identity code (BSIC).  Broadcast Control Channels. CCCH  Paging Channel: Within certain time intervals the MS will listen to the paging channel (PCH) to see if the network wants to get in contact with the MS. BCCH is transmitted on the downlink.  Synchronisation Channel: Next thing for the MS is to synchronise to the structure within this particular cell. SCH is transmitted on the downlink point-to-multipoint. maximum output power allowed in the cell and the BCCH carriers for the neighbouring cells. the other enables the MS to synchronise the frequency.RF PLANNING The Control Channels. of the chosen base station. Listening to the synchronisation channel. FCCH is transmitted on the downlink point-to-multipoint. waiting for calls to arrive or making calls & some general information concerning the cell. The base station are not synchronised to each other. and also to make sure that the chosen base station is a GSM base station. so.  Now the MS is tuned to the base station and the synchronised with the frame structure in this cell. on which the MS will perform measurements. When the MS has found the strongest carrier it has to find out whether this is a BCCH carrier. This is broadcast on the broadcast control channel BCCH. This is done by scanning the whole frequency band or optionally uses a list containing the allocated BCCH-carriers for this operator. A BCCH carrier is the frequency used to carry the control channels. This serves two purposes: one to make sure this is the BCCH carrier. BCCH Frequency Correction Channel: On the FCH a sinusoidal wave signal is transmitted. SCH. and doe among others to include the Location Area Identity (LAI). every time the MS changes cells FCCH.  Common Control Channel. SCH and BCCH have to be read. The information on PCH is a paging message. NEW DELHI 13 .  Broadcast Control Channel: The last information the MS must receive in order to start roaming. CCH When the MS is witched on and is searching for a radio broadcast station (RBS) to camp on. PCH is transmitted on the downlink. The reason could be an incoming call or an incoming short message. point-to-point IDEA CELLULAR LTD. including the Ms’s identity number IMSI or a Temporary number TMSI. point-to-multipoint. BSIC can only be decoded if the base station belongs to the GSM network.

This assignment is performed on the Access Grant Channel. On the uplink MS sends averaged measurements on own base station (signal strength and quality) and neighbouring base stations (signal strength). when setting up a call. meaning that 20ms segment of speech is exchanged for stealing information necessary for handover. and also on the traffic channel. SDDCH. TCH. point-to-point. in the future. SAACH is transmitted.RF PLANNING  Random Access Channel: If listening to the PCH. NEW DELHI 14 . FACCH works in stealing mode. on the random access channel. FAACH is used. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. Among others the call set up procedure on the SDDCH as well as the transmission of textual messages (SMS & CellBroadcast). On the downlink the MS receives information on which transmitting power to use and also an instruction on the timing advance. The Subscriber will not recognise this interruption in necessary for speech since the speech coder will repeat the previous speech block. When the call set up is performed.   SDCCH is transmitted on both up &downlink. information on the Slow Associated Control Channel. TCH The traffic channels are if two types. The difference between full rate & half rate TCH is that a full rate TCH occupies one complete physical channel (on TS on a carrier). The MS answers. DCCH Stand Alone Dedicated Control Channel: The MS (as well as the BTS) switches over to the assigned signalling channel-the Stand Alone Dedicated Control Channel.  Traffic Channels. Today only full rate TCH is used. RACH. the SACCH is transmitted on both up & downlink point-to-point.   Dedicated Control Channel. defined by the carrier and the time slot. point-to-point. when the half rate speech coders with a tolerable quality have been designed there will be the possibility to use half rate TCH. whereas two half rate TCH’s can share one physical channel. suddenly during the conversation a handover must be performed the Fast Associated Control Channel. AGCH. e. As seen. AGCH is transmitted on the downlink. SDCCH). RACH can also be used if the MS wants to get in contact with the network. Slow Associated Control Channel: Within a certain time interval on the SDCCH.g. requesting a signalling channel. the MS is told to switch to a traffic channel. full rate and half rate. the MS realises it is being paged. Access Grant Channel: The network assigns a signalling channel (the stand alone dedicated channel. RACH is transmitted on the uplink point-to-point.  Fast Associated Control Channel: If.

IDEA CELLULAR LTD.4 TIME VARIABILITY Signal strength and quality varies with time. 3. 3.1 PROPAGATION is a key process within every radio link.RF PLANNING 3 INTRODUCTION TO PROPAGATION 3.3 MULTIPATH AND GROUP DELAY DISTORTIONS The signal diffracts and reflects off irregularly shaped objects. 3. 3.5 SPACE VARIABILITY Signal strength and quality varies with location and distance. many processes act on the radio signal. During propagation. Attenuation is the most important single factor in propagation. the signal will fall below the reliable detection threshold at the receiver.6 FREQUENCY VARIABILITY Signal strength and quality differs on different frequencies. 3. This blurs pulses and also produces intermittent signal cancellation and reinforcement. if there is too much attenuation. often dramatically. producing a host of components which arrive in random timings and random RF phases at the receiver. These effects are combated through a variety of special techniques. NEW DELHI 15 .2 ATTENUATION The signal amplitude is reduced by various natural mechanisms.

λ = wavelength C = distance propagated in 1 second F = frequency. or larger.7 EFFECTIVE MASTERY OF PROPAGATION RELIES ON Physics: understand the basic propagation processes. INFLUENCE OF WAVELENGTH ON PROPAGATION Radio signals in the atmosphere propagate at almost speed of light. Statistics: characterize what is known and extrapolate to predict the unknown. Model making: formalize all the above into useful models. Objects bigger than a wavelength can reflect or obstruct RF energy. RF energy can penetrate into a building or vehicle if they have apertures a wavelength in size. • IDEA CELLULAR LTD. NEW DELHI 16 . Measurement: obtain data on propagation behavior in area of interest.RF PLANNING 3. Hertz The wavelength of a radio signal determines many of its propagation characteristics eg: • • Antenna elements size are typically in the order of 1/4 to1/2 wavelength.

Required separation D for good de-correlation is • 12-24 ft. very short percentage Two several generally experience fades at the same time. @ 800 MHz. NEW DELHI 17 .RF PLANNING Fortunately. antennas separated by wavelengths will not “Space Diversity” can be obtained by using two receiving antennas and switching instant by instant to whichever is best. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. Rayleigh fades are and last a small of the time.

space diversity is applied only on the “uplink”. IDEA CELLULAR LTD.no diversity results. Transmitting on two antennas would: • fail to produce diversity.RF PLANNING • 5-10 ft.e. SPACE DIVERSITY APPLICATION LIMITATIONS Space Diversity can be applied only on the receiving end of a link. @ 1900 MHz. reverse path • There isn’t room for two sufficiently separated antennas on a mobile or handheld. since the two signals combine to produce only one value of signal level at a given point -. NEW DELHI 18 . i. • produce objectionable nulls in the radiation at some angles Therefore.

this is almost as good as separate space diversity Antenna pair within one casing can be V-H polarized. or diagonally polarized duplexing OK receive IDEA CELLULAR LTD.RF PLANNING USING POLARIZATION DIVERSITY WHERE SPACE DIVERSITY ISN’T CONVENIENT Sometimes zoning considerations or aesthetics preclude using separate diversity antennas. NEW DELHI 19 . Dual-polarized antenna pairs within a single casing are becoming popular • Environmental clutter scatters RF energy into all possible polarizations • Differently polarized antennas receive signals which fade independently • In urban environments.

RF PLANNING THE RECIPROCITY PRINCIPLE DOES IT APPLY TO WIRELESS? Between two antennas. different TX & RX antennas • RX diversity Notice also the noise/interference environment may be substantially different at the two ends. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. on the same exact frequency. NEW DELHI 20 . path loss is the same in both directions But things aren’t exactly the same in cellular because • Transmit and receive 45 MHz. apart • Antenna: gain/frequency slope? • Different Rayleigh fades up/downlink • Often.

RF PLANNING 3. Prevent “Overshoot” • Improve coverage of nearby targets far below the antenna otherwise within null” of antenna pattern IDEA CELLULAR LTD. Reduce Interference • Reduce radiation toward a distant co-channel cell • Concentrate radiation within the serving cell 2. NEW DELHI 21 .8 Antenna Down tilt-What’s the goal? Down tilt is commonly used for two reasons 1.


Types Of Down tilt

Mechanical down tilt • Physically tilt the antenna • The pattern in front goes down, and behind goes up • Popular for sectorization and special omni applications Electrical down tilt • Incremental phase shift is applied in the feed network • The pattern “droops” all around, like an inverted saucer • Common technique when down tilting omni cells




4 RF Planning
4.1RF PLANNING The GSM/DCS system design process consists of several levels or phases. These levels range from an initial budgetary design to a final design used to implement the system. The amount of time and effort required to complete a design increases as one moves from a budgetary design to a final design. However, this additional time and effort results in a more accurate system design & predictions. The design of a wireless system revolves around three main criteria. Those principles are coverage, capacity and quality and all three of these quantities are interrelated. • The coverage of a system relates to the area within the network that has sufficient signal strength to provide for a call of acceptable quality. • The capacity of a system relates to the ability of the system to support a given number of users • The quality of the system reflects the degree of naturalism or reproduction of speech & data and ease of two-way communication. Thus a well-planned cell should meet the following requirements • Required and predicted coverage. • Predicted levels of Co channel and adjacent channel interference. • Minimum antenna adjustments during the optimization process. • Minimum changes in the BSS parameters • Facilitate easy expansion of the network with minimal changes in the system.

4.2 Problem Definition:
To plan and optimize the network for DCS-1800 of a model city. Initially, neither the capacity nor the coverage requirements are known to the planners. The planning is based on projections given by the customer. The customers may specify the maximum number of sites they desire in the city or the total number of subscribers that need to be catered to. Based on either of these inputs the planning process begins. Planning is done based on the following steps:  Procurement of land data from vendors.  Selection of location of sites  Selection of Antenna  Selection of Antenna parameters  Optimizing the Network  Generation of Polygon statistics  Frequency Planning  Co-channel Interference Statistics




 Adjacent channel Interference Statistics Procurement of land data City survey report is procured from the map vendors. It comprises of the following: 1. Map 2. Land use cover 3. Heights 4. Vectors This data is then fed into the NetPlan tool. 4.2.1Link Budget Link budget spreadsheet is used to make the "first attempt" at system design. The link budget provides an estimate of the cell radius for a given coverage reliability and thus provides an estimate of the number of cells required to cover a certain area. Ideally elaborate RF propagation tests are necessary to characterize the radio environment and determine the standard deviation, In-building losses etc. However for this design purpose, standard propagation models have been used combined with idea’s expertise and experience in this field and based on the design planning done by idea for its various customers in India. Two different link budgets were used in calculation the path loss and cell radius for Nokia and Lucent BTS’s. The details for both the link budgets (Street Level) are given below.

Link Budget Assumptions (Nokia BTS’s)
Mobile • • • • • Transmit Power = 1 watt (30 dBm) Sensitivity = -102 dBm Body Loss = 3dB Tx/Rx Antenna Gain = 0 dBi Cable Loss = 3 dB

Base Station • • • • Transmit Power = 16 watt (42dBm +/-1 dBm ) Sensitivity = -110dBm (This is the typical sensitivity of nokia BTS) Tx/Rx Gain = 17.0/18 dBi Diversity Gain = 3 dB

• Cable Loss (Feeder) = 3 dB (This is of course is dependent on the length of the feeder which varies from site to site depending on the height the antenna is mounted, but here an approximation has been made) • Interference Degradation Margin = 3 dB (This is margin for other interference sources)



docks.2. container depots etc.RF PLANNING Uplink Link Power Budget Allowable Path Loss = [MS transmit power – Body Loss] – [BTS Sensitivity + BTS Cable Loss – BTS Receive antenna gain – Diversity gain + Duplexer loss + Fading Margin + Interference degradation margin] 4. the k739495 (Kathereine) antenna was chosen. NEW DELHI 25 .4 Selection of Antenna parameters: IDEA CELLULAR LTD. 2 o 4. VIP areas etc.2. business center. the process involves selection on the basis of the following considerations:  Population density in the area  Type of Land clutter • Dense Urban • Urban • Suburban • Suburban with dense vegetation • Rural • Industrial area • Utilities (marshalling yards.) • Quasi open area • Forest • Water  Significance of area (markets.2.)  Permission to install site 4.3 Selection of Antenna For this design.85 dBd • Horizontal Beam width of 65o • Vertical Beam width of 7 o • Less power radiation from the back lobe of the antenna • Electrical tilt of 0 o .2 Selection of location of sites Once provided with the map and the population density. which has the following specifications: • Gain of 15. airport.

After simulating the above inputs planning tool can be used to generate various images to check the resultant network. NEW DELHI 26 .RF PLANNING Antenna parameters of height. • 4. This is done to avoid interference arising out of the fact that the sector under consideration is radiating out of the desired area of its coverage and hence affecting other neighboring sectors. Frequency reuse is the central part of this frequency planning because most of the times frequency channels are much less than the number of sectors. Tilt is given by the following means: • Electrical tilt: This tilt is given by changing the phase relations in between various elements of an antenna. orientation and tilt are so chosen to obtain the best possible coverage with the least possible signal suppression. Mechanical tilt is more often used than electrical tilt. Orientation: Orientation of the antennas is the direction at which the specified area to be covered. With the help of this image an RF engineer can visualize the amount of signal that is being released by each sector of the site. If a down tilt is being given mechanically. Some of the important images that are used to analyze the network are as follows: • Downlink best signal strength: The image provides a comprehensive knowledge of the zones receiving signal sent out by Base Transceiver Station (BTS) and the amount of signal received. The initial stage of planning and designing the network is followed by a second stage of optimization of network. • Mechanical tilt: This tilt is given manually by changing the angle antenna makes with the vertical. then there will be a down tilt in both the front and the back lobe of the antenna. If a down tilt is being given electrically. This has to be done in such a manner so that to minimize co-channel and adjacent channel interference. then we categorize channels as follows: IDEA CELLULAR LTD. The orientation angle for the sectors is taken in the clockwise direction considering north as the reference at 0°. Downlink best Server/Sector: Different antennas of the site are called sectors. Height: Height ranges from 20m to 30m (for rooftop antennas) and 35m to 50m (for ground base towers) depending upon the height of clutter and the area in vicinity. let there be 12 sites with 3 sectors each and channels given be 12 (32 to 43).3 Frequency Planning This allows us to allot frequencies to all the sectors of the network. This is done as follows: For example. This signal is the signal received by our handsets or Mobile Stations (MS). Tilt: This is done to carry out the process of either decreasing or increasing the coverage area of a sector. then there will be a down tilt in the front lobe but an up tilt in the backlobe.

Now of the numerous BTS sites that a mobile station may be looking at. 4. Main considerations-: 1. This process of defining the handover candidates is called as Neighbour Planning. 2. 3. The handover candidate of first layer (generally in city center and urban areas) is not very far (600-1000m) from the mobile station as the signal strength is very important for successful handover. though they are a little far (1000-6000m) but that is just to avoid congestion in the network at certain times. A3 and A4. However as the losses in case of 1800 MHz network is more . A mobile station keeps track of its six nearby BTS so that it can undergo Handover when required. Also in outskirts of cities and on highways the handover candidates can be as far as 10km or more. IDEA CELLULAR LTD.RF PLANNING A1 32 36 40 A2 33 37 41 A3 34 38 42 A4 35 39 43 Now allocation is done so that the antennas of a particular site are allotted channels from one group out of A1. The neighbouring cell must be neither a Co-channel nor an Adjacent channel to our serving cell. A2. NEW DELHI 27 . the next step is neighbour planning. Second and third layers candidates (for less urban and suburban areas) are also marked. thus the above stated values for neighbor site distance also decreases and is approximately half of that in a 900MHz network. the cell radius decreases considerably . we have to define at least six neighbours. i. the most probable BTS to which a call handover process may take place.1 Neighbour Planning Once the frequency planning is over.e. These distances are for a 900Mhz network. 4.3.

Once data has been procured in the form of land use cover sets. Its fruitions are evident from the overwhelming response Nokia receives from cellular operators worldwide. NEW DELHI 28 . heights and vectors from vendors.RF PLANNING 4. which are Base Transceiver Stations (BTS). An overview how to use this tool for planning a MODEL CITY is given below: Open the Net act Plan Interface IDEA CELLULAR LTD. This is carried out using the highly acclaimed idea RF planning tool namely “Network Planning (Netact Plan)” tool which is based on Sun Solaris platform. The planning tool takes input data in the form of land use cover sets. Radio frequency planning is carried out using the idea proprietary Netact Plan tool. Ltd.4 PLANNING TOOL Idea cellular Pvt. heights and vectors (roads and railways etc) from vendors and follows already fed in path loss algorithms to simulate a virtual network based on which real time networks are implemented. This tool enables RF Engineers to carry out exhaustive analysis prior to actual installation of network components. has emerged as the global leader in Radio Frequency (RF) Planning for the Cellular operators. the ideaRF team can provide efficient and good capacity network based on the customer requirement.

NEW DELHI 29 . a new analysis is created using the various data like • • • Clutter Elevation Vectors (roads etc) Here an existing analysis is being opened named Model City. IDEA CELLULAR LTD.RF PLANNING Fig: Netact Plan Interface (Courtesy Nokia) Open the analysis of a Model City To start .

RF PLANNING Fig: Opening analysis of Model City (Courtesy Nokia) Identify the areas for sites to be placed on the basis of user density The next step involves studying the clutter data so that sites could be placed on the map of the city. In order to define predicted signal strength in outdoors. The downlink signal strength in the coverage area should be –90 dbm or better in 90% of the coverage area. NEW DELHI 30 . following values may be considered for penetration loss of different clutter profiles: Clutter Profile Dense urban area Urban area Suburban area Rural area In car loss Loss 25dB 20dB 10-15dB 5-10dB 6dB IDEA CELLULAR LTD.

RF PLANNING Body loss 3dB The following figure shows the clutter (i. Fig: Clutter Image with Map (Courtesy Nokia) IDEA CELLULAR LTD.e. NEW DELHI 31 . type of population in a particular area).

NEW DELHI 32 .RF PLANNING The sites are selected according to the Clutter data Fig: Sites with Clutter image and Map (Courtesy Nokia) IDEA CELLULAR LTD.

NEW DELHI 33 . calibrate and validate the accuracy of the algorithms of Xlos. • Comparison between measured and predicted data. • A matrix merge between the predicted and measured data that provides the optimal solution for a particular region. and JTC Microcell propagation models. Due to the complexities of simulating real world phenomena. thus Netact Plan has some additional features like: • An automated fine tuning feature to correct the propagation model for different environments can improve coverage prediction for a region in which no measured data is available. Extensive resources have been employed to test. To provide maximum flexibility when conducting certain propagation studies. no prediction model will be completely accurate all of the time. Netact Plan also incorporates the COST 231 Hata.RF PLANNING Create the image for Best Signal Strength (Downlink) Once the sites are placed with all the antenna parameters the image of this analysis is created so as to have an idea of the predicted coverage in the city Here the image is being created using the XLOS Propagation model that is a proprietary of Nokia and gives fairly accurate results . IDEA CELLULAR LTD. Walfish-Ikegami.

RF PLANNING Fig: Creating the Downlink Best Signal Strength Image (Courtesy Nokia) IDEA CELLULAR LTD. NEW DELHI 34 .


RF PLANNING Fig: The beginning and end of creation of the image for best signal strength.(Courtesy Nokia) Displaying the created image Once the image is created it is displayed on the analysis showing the coverage prediction for the specified area and with specified parameters . NEW DELHI 36 . The signal strength is measured in dbm at any particular point with the foll0wing criteria : Signal Strength(SS)(in dbm) SS <= -65 -75 <= SS < -65 -85 <= SS < -75 -95 <= SS < -85 -110 <= SS < -95 -110 <= SS Coverage Excellent Very good Good Average Poor No Calls IDEA CELLULAR LTD.

IDEA CELLULAR LTD.RF PLANNING Fig: The Coverage Plot with Sites and Map (Courtesy Nokia) Studying the various site parameters The various site parameters can be viewed and modified if required. and other losses etc. These include -: • • • • • • • Latitude Longitude Site Id Site Name Antenna Model Antenna height .bore and tilt Parameter set that defines Propagation Model. NEW DELHI 37 .

we plan it manually and then feed it in NetPlan. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. NEW DELHI 38 . The frequencies are loaded as ARFCNs and then they can be marked as BCCH and also they are locked so as to prevent any accidental change in the frequencies assigned.RF PLANNING Fig: The Site Data Window (Courtesy Nokia) Frequency Plan window o o Though we can go for automatic frequency plan but as it suffers from few limitations.

NEW DELHI 39 . IDEA CELLULAR LTD.RF PLANNING Fig: A typical channel assigner Window with the Network Analysis window (courtesy Nokia) Once we have assigned the frequencies to the various sites we can easily take a look at Co-Channel Adjacent Channel Channels along with The handover Candidates for any site.

RF PLANNING Fig: Sites with Frequencies along with the Co-Channel and Adjacent Channels marked in Red and Yellow while handover Candidates are in Blue. Creating C/I and C/A Image IDEA CELLULAR LTD. NEW DELHI 40 .

NEW DELHI 41 .RF PLANNING Once we have assigned frequencies to the sites we can also go for generating Co Channel and Adjacent Channel C/I image. The image thus created gives us a fair idea about the areas at which we have interference so that we could mark those areas and induce the necessary changes in the frequency plan. Fig: Creating Co Channel and Adjacent Channel C/I image. IDEA CELLULAR LTD.

IDEA CELLULAR LTD. NEW DELHI 42 .RF PLANNING Fig: Co Channel C/I image with legend.

If we go beyond that. there is a probability that what we predicted would not be available to us on the field For site surveys and feasibility of a location there is a site survey form that gives us a fair idea about the situation at a particular site.RF PLANNING Fig: Adjacent Channel C/I with legend. During site survey the engineer locates the best building or plot where a tower can be put and then a detailed survey of the surrounding area is done and compiled. Various requirements such as the strength of the building etc. A sample RF survey form is depicted here to give a better understanding of the whole procedure. IDEA CELLULAR LTD.5 RF surveys and site acquisition Once the process of planning of planning is over then teams are sent on the field for performing RF surveys. Generally the search ring for a site in city center is about 50m and outside the city it is up to 150m. After the survey is complete and compiled then the acquisition team has the responsibility to proceed with the legal formalities regarding the acquisition of the building or plot . must also be taken into account . 4. NEW DELHI 43 . These surveys are meant for finding the most suitable place near our proposed place where a tower can be installed.

on the basis of which network was designed. b) To check whether the parameters and configurations are defined correctly or not. software to control and log data from the phone and a Global positioning system receiver for position information as shown in figure (1).6 RF Optimization : Once the sites are acquired and everything installed. Collection of Data and extraction of relevant information: IDEA CELLULAR LTD. The BTS is installed and commissioned. Quality of service can be characterized by factors such as contiguity of coverage. Drive Test system comprises of a test mobile phone. Various sites are linked with each other using microwave links or fiber cables.RF PLANNING After the survey and acquisition is complete then the construction of the tower and tower shelter starts . accessibility to the network. The site is then said to be on air 4. b) Analysis of the extracted data. the next most important process is that of optimization. speech quality and number of dropped and blocked calls. Once the sites have been commissioned and interconnected to the BSC the are made to radiate. NEW DELHI 44 . A number of parameters are checked as a measure of quality of service by using a drive test system. one can trace the cause. a) Collection of Data and extraction of relevant information from it. c) Suggesting changes in the network configurations based on the analysis. c) To find out and suggest changes in the defined parameters and configurations to achieve best possible quality of service. The objective of optimisation procedure is: a) To check whether the network meets the customer’s given requirements. A drive test system can only indicate the type of problem in the network that exists. I Optimization is done to check the performance of the network. just after it is made operational and to get best possible quality of service. it doesn’t indicate cause of the problem but with the help of knowledge of possible reasons of a problem. Following steps are taken to fulfill the objective of network optimization using a drive test tool.

5. 3. commercial areas. 4. Rx Quality Timing Advance Handover parameters Data of six best neighbor cells. In general following parameters are checked during the drive test for different categories of terrains like dense urban. 2. Layer 2 and layer 3 messages. With the help of this coverage plot the edge probability or the probability of getting a signal level better than a specific value over the boundary of all cells is obtained which helps in determining the performance of the network with respect to coverage boundary requirements given by the customer. NEW DELHI 45 . 6. industrial areas etc. Rx Level. is obtained and is plotted over the geographical map of the area. sub-urban. residential areas. From the data collected various information can be extracted which depict the performance of BTS sites and the network as a whole. Handover details. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) Coverage edge probability Coverage area probability Speech quality Frequency and BSIC reuse Neighbor cell definition details. highways and for different clutters like in building. The coverage boundary of a cell is considered to be made up of equal received level points on the field. rural. coverage boundary of all the cells based on received signal level (RXLEV). Following information can be extracted from this drive test data. The various data observed and analyzed are 1.RF PLANNING Drive test involves setting up a call to best carrier and driving along the roads. While driving the radio parameters and air interference signal data are collected as a log file. Edge Probability: To get an idea of coverage area. Area Probability: IDEA CELLULAR LTD.

offset and penalty for the handovers. handover threshold. and measuring on the cell edge. RXQUAL. the value of the handover margin can be determined and a decision can be made whether that value is appropriate for the quality of service desired. With a call established. The reuse distance for all the reused frequencies can be determined Neighbor cells definition details: With the help of collected data 6 best serving neighbours of all the cells can be determined. one of the neighbor’s RXLEV will become stronger than the server’s signal level and when this difference of the two exceeds the handover margin.RF PLANNING The obtained signal levels from the cells at all the points of the network. a best server plot. values of handover timers. in car coverage and on street coverage. we can display the phone measurements of serving and neighbor cells. Its level characterizes speech quality where 0 indicates the highest quality and 7 the worst. like handover margin. NEW DELHI 46 . This best server plot is drawn by categorizing it on the basis of in building coverage. Speech quality is inferred by the RXQUAL measurements during the drive test. poor quality areas can be found and marked by looking over the quality on the scale of 0 to 7. Co-channel interference. The difference between the RXLEV of the server and that of neighbors can be monitored on the amplitude and time scale. Speech Quality: Speech quality is a very important aspect for determining the quality of service for whole of the network. The drive test window of the antenna system gives details of 6 best neighbors at an instance. RXQUAL can be poor due to poor RXLEV. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. These categories are defined on the basis of the coverage area where a good quality conversation is required. Frequency and BSIC reuse: From the collected data the frequency reuse pattern with the BSIC (Base Station Identity Codes) planning of all the cells of the network can be obtained. are then used to make. a handover will occur. Thus by simultaneously monitoring RXQUAL during the handover. Thus during drive test. is the Bit error rate (BER) derived from the 26 bits midamble on TDMA burst. Handover details: There are certain other very important parameters which has to be checked during drive test as these parameters directly reflects on the performance of the network. adjacent channel interference or multi-path. RXQUAL is measured and tested for all the categories of clutter and terrain. The details about threshold defined for these categories are discussed in ‘coverage planning report’. for at least a timing set in the ‘handover required’ counter in BSS. At some point on the drive-test route.

while very low values of handover margin can produce “PingPong” effects as mobile switches too often between cells. If same BSIC is defined for cells having same BCCH frequency and these cells coexist in the neighbor list then understandably lot of handovers will be unsuccessful. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. NEW DELHI 47 . If it is not because of multi-path then spectrum analyzer can be used to find out whether it is adjacent channel interference or it can be deducted that it is Co channel interference. call drop. RXQUAL is also matched with the given requirement. It is also used to infer cause of detected problem in the network if there is any. quality. handover success rate etc and is used to infer the cause of the deviation from given requirements and set benchmarks. If RXQUAL is poor and RXLEV is sufficiently good it can reasonably be deducted that the cause is interference. very poor speech quality or any other abnormality in the performance of the network. The configuration parameters can be divided into two groups hard configuration and soft configuration. High handover margins can result in poor reception and dropped calls. With the help of collected data it can be found out weather uplink and downlink are balanced or not. Network performance can be influenced by the network parameters. BSIC for all the cells are also checked and verified with what is defined in the BSS. Layer 2 and 3 messages can be used for analyzing cause of a particular handover failure. measures are taken to improve the performance of the network and to match customer’s requirement. handover is taking place. Suggesting changes in the network configurations based on the analysis: After detection of the causes of the deviation from the requirement or network related problems. depending on the type of control and action required to modify them. A handover margin on the high side will result in a handover occurring after the user has experienced some deterioration in quality. Generally a test frequency which has no adjacent or Co channel present in that area is used to find out if interference is because of multi-path. There are special coverage requirement which are discussed in ‘coverage planning report’ under ‘special coverage category’ these specific coverage requirements are matched to find out whether the requirement of customer is taken care of or not. If even after having good RXLEV and RXQUAL. it indicates that the link needs to be balanced.RF PLANNING Analysis of extracted data: The information extracted from the collected data is then analyzed to compare it with the agreed benchmarks related to coverage. calls are dropping or even when RXLEV and RXQUAL of serving cell is better than that of neighbor cell.

If interference is observed during drive test then apart from reducing coverage area. Similarly to improve coverage in certain areas the transmitted power of BTS can be changed. antenna orientation. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. NEW DELHI 48 . Shrinking of coverage area can be achieved by reducing EIRP that is by replacing the existing antenna with a lower gain or narrower horizontal beam width antenna system and by reducing transmitted power under limitation of not loosing the link balance. If the mentioned measures don’t work for matching coverage and capacity requirement then relocation or addition of site can also be suggested. For further specific coverage and quality requirements Pico or micro cells can be installed inside the residential places. Note that the neighbor list for these pico cells is defined differently than that for normal Macro cells. In the similar way if capacity requirement of certain area is more. After carefully studying the statistical data about the network performance if it is found that congestion for some particular sites are more and call successful rate is less. then the coverage of a cell is to be compressed by any of the means discussed above so that it may cater to lesser number of customers. For an example if certain area is affected by interference resulting in poor quality then one of the way to reduce interference level is by shrinking the coverage area. antennas with different gain or beam width can be used and the height of antenna system can be changed. amplify it and direct it towards the area required to be covered.RF PLANNING Hard Configuration: The hard configuration parameters are aspects of base station configuration and include antenna type. commercial buildings. use of space diversity. Micro cell has also got lesser coverage area than that of Macro cells. A pico cell is nothing but a cell with very low EIRP in comparison to a Macro Cell. then more resources (TRX) can be added to improve availability of the traffic channels or additional BTS sites can also be added but this addition has a limit because of limited available frequency spectrum hence with higher number of sites or frequency used. stadiums and car parks etc. Repeaters can also be used for providing coverage to specific areas. and effective height of antenna radiation centre. antenna gain. antenna feeder loss and effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP). There can be Channel selective or Band selective Repeaters where band selective repeaters amplifies the whole GSM band and transmit it towards the area required to be covered while channel selective repeaters receive power from selected channels of one or more than one parent cells. Most effective solution used to shrink coverage area is by increasing antenna down tilt and/or reducing antenna height. reuse distance of the sites will reduce which will increase interference and hence the quality will go poorer. Changes in this configuration are made to meet the requirements and to deal with the analyzed problems. frequency plan for the network can be redefined and reuse distances can be increased.

It is possible that after addition of certain TRXs frequency reuse distance will decrease to such a level that it will introduce unacceptable amount of interference and deployed frequency plan will require to be redefined. In certain cases. affecting the users initiating calls from that cell. C2 parameters also allow the mobile to apply temporary offsets for a period known as IDEA CELLULAR LTD. causing the handover to be attempted to the next best neighbor.RF PLANNING There are lots of other ways by which capacity can be increased without much affecting the speech quality. The situation can also occur in reverse. such as macro-micro cell architecture. Under certain circumstances. frequency plan of the network or a portion of the network has to be changed which will further require to analyze the network using drive test system. the application of C2 parameters could delay reselection. although C1 might be better for a neighbor cell. which can delay the process and deteriorate the quality further. So. we want a handover to be made to the strongest neighbor. a) Addition of Micro and pico cells. Even then. In the idle mode. GSM defines around 150 soft parameters. The best cell is decided on the basis of uplink and downlink path balance in the cells. the mobile always prefers to remain with or move to the best serving cell. c) Deploying frequency hopping Every time TRXs are added in the network. C2 parameters provide the option of adding fixed positive or negative offsets to the C1 calculation in each cell. Usually. and include categories such as common BTS parameters. if it is found that number of unsuccessful handover is high then redefining the neighbor list in BSS can control it. when a handover required to the best neighbor can result in a rejection due to unavailability of resources. but in some cases frequent handovers to this best neighbor can result in congestion in this cell. Several neighbors for a serving cell can be defined in GSM. For an example if it is found from the BSS statistics details that excessive handovers hence more utilization of resources is taking place then reduction of overlap of the cell coverage areas can avoid them. NEW DELHI 49 . but instead remain in a cell depending on traffic loading. b) Using Underlay and overlay cells. we may need to remove a potential neighbor from the neighbor list and provide alternatives. These affect operation of algorithms within the system. This balance is calculated by GSM defined C1 calculations. optimization may require that in certain areas the mobile not remain in the best cell. cell access parameters etc. Defined BSIC’s for the cells especially for cells transmitting same frequencies are set to be different otherwise lot of unsuccessful handovers will take place. Soft Configurations: Other parts of the system can be controlled with soft parameters. C1 calculations force the mobile to move to the strongest cell. to monitor the network’s performance.

Several teams of field personnel drive around each site making a number of calls. In order to do this you need to measure the QOS. concentrating on testing the handover between each cell. Optimization is traditionally undertaken immediately after the commissioning stage. For statistical data to be used as in the advanced optimization process. With the help of carefully done drive test these parameters like offset or penalty time for handovers can also be checked and verified. the neighbor list and any margins/timers will be examined and optimized for improved performance. or after a new frequency plan in a deployed network. termed “drivetesting” as a tried and tested way to improve their network. in terms of maximizing calls carried. In GSM there are a series of parameters that control mobility. Tuning these parameters for improved GSM operations.RF PLANNING penalty time. which helps reduce Ping-Pong effects. Most network operators use this methodology. if the network does not have a substantial amount of active subscribers. improved handover performance and increased call success rate.) Only Basic optimization can be done in the network. Optimization philosophy: Setting the parameters that control mobility have equal importance to the frequency plan. and then take steps to correct the causes of any deviations from the desired value. Basic Optimization Philosophy It is typical that during optimization the choice of cell frequency. Optimization is divided into the following criteria when tuning a cell: • • • • -Frequency plan -Topology (neighbors) -Cell dynamics (handover timers and margins) -Real-estate (antenna tilts etc. NEW DELHI 50 . Each call is investigated and any potential problems resolved by classical faultreasoning/resolution methods. compare the measured value with the desired value. the network must be carrying a significant amount of traffic IDEA CELLULAR LTD. is termed ‘Optimization’. The aim of optimization is to maximize the Quality of Service of the GSM network.

RF PLANNING Basic Optimization pre-requisites Personnel Requirements The intention here is to show the engineers required in the optimization process and not the amount of engineers. Routes of major importance should be identified prior to starting and should be driven first.e Airports to the city center IDEA CELLULAR LTD. The routes should be approximately 2 . The engineers required in the optimization process is as follows Change Control Procedure A procedure to manage changes within the network is required to maintain the integrity and quality of the network.3 hours in duration. The amount of engineers will depend on the size of the network. This procedure below is the change control procedure and ensures changes on the network have been fully evaluated before implementation and that each change has a test plan and a back plan in case of failure. i. Drive Test Routes Before drive testing is started drive test route need to be agreed with the operator. The procedure ensures all changes required to improve the quality of the network are valid and that precautions against failure of the change have been considered. the amount of area to be covered and the roll out schedule. All major roads and highways should be tested at least twice within the agreed routes. Once the above information is known a more precise proposal can be done detailing specific numbers of people required.. These routes should cover the following points before agreement is reached. • • • All sites and sectors should be tested within the drive test routes at least once. NEW DELHI 51 . This is required to manage the data collected. All cells should be tested for handout and hand in within the routes if possible.

The format of providing information is usually graphically based around the Mapinfo this provides coverage maps from the RF planning tool and live data gathered from drive test data. GSM vendor however have closely worked with customer care departments to assist in providing information as to the coverage and quality of the network. so in the event of any dropped or unavailable calls they will all be in the mobile network . The information feed back is also used in the growth of the network by identifying were subscribers are using there mobiles.RF PLANNING RF Design and Database Parameters Before Optimization can begin the RF design and database parameters will be required. Switch Test Number To aid in the optimization of the network a test number is required within the MSC. The process of feeding information back is an internal process for each operator. This is normally presented in spreadsheets from the RF planning tools. This is required for the drive test teams to access from the test mobiles in the car. The received information is used to target areas of optimization and to verify coverage against the RF design. Timescales IDEA CELLULAR LTD. The information is also used to evaluate possible changes to improve the quality of service. a test number in the MSC is preferred as this removes any contact with the land system. This information is required to help the drive test engineers to identify possible sources of interference. Customer Feedback Procedure A procedure is required to feed back customer information on the performance and coverage of the network. This support can be provided to any future customers. NEW DELHI 52 .

If a faster optimization process is required more engineers will be required. Note . another team would see a reduction of 10 days in the process. The procedure below is the basic method for optimizing a system and can be modified to each operator to maximize results. this will always mean that optimization will be required to maintain and improve the quality of the network. During times of little change to the network Performance Engineering monitor the quality of the network and will seek assistance from Optimization Engineers if the quality of the network begins to fall. NEW DELHI 53 .c. The drive test teams make test calls on the network of 2 minute duration with a 15 second break between calls to the MSC test number with the Test Mobile equipment (TEMS) and all data is logged to the computer. The rate of growth in most cellular networks means the network continues to expand with new sites or more capacity with different RF design techniques. There must be a change control procedure in place with the operator that GSM vendor are familiar with.t. All drive test teams must have test mobiles and SIM cards provided by the operator. Basic optimization procedure The optimization process starts immediately the network is brought into operational service or an enhancement takes place on the network. the RF design and Database parameters must be presented to the Optimization control manager. area to be optimized. The drive test routes must be agreed with the operator and a priority set on the routes for testing.e amount of sites. road traffic density e. the process usually evolves into the performance engineering department as the network evolves. • • IDEA CELLULAR LTD. However as an indication until the precise information is known on the network it takes approximately 2-4 weeks for one drive test team to optimize a BSC.18 sites at with present software load. • Before Optimization starts all of the pre-requisites must have been done or be in place. The initial optimization of a system is somewhat variable depending on many factors i. location information is also taken using a GPS receiver to provide location information.The Optimization control personnel are usually situated with the OMC personnel for maximum efficiency as OMC and Optimization control are continually passing information between each other.RF PLANNING The optimization process never comes to an end within a network. a BSC usually consists of about 14 .

If a call is dropped and no interference is present a retest is made in the same area.e. The solution is implemented and proven immediately.with the aid of the RF design and Database parameters an assessment is made to identify the possible source of interference causing the noisy or dropped call. Should the analysis of the route indicate problems of either dropped or noisy calls .c. NEW DELHI 54 . If the operator is in agreement this particular problem will be removed from the drive tests until such time a solution is implemented. During or after completion of the drive test route analysis of the data collected is done to find areas of dropped or noisy calls. Neighbor addition required e. If the solution requires a major database change or antennae work a change request must be raised via the Optimization Control Engineers. This can be one of a number of possibilities i. this will then be escalated to Optimization control to seek assistance from the BSS maintenance engineers to investigate the cell dropping calls.4 hours in duration so that the data collected can be managed. This can either be done on the RF planning tool . Power Change to BTS. this usually relates to minor database changes and adding neighbors. • IDEA CELLULAR LTD. After the solution is implemented a retest of the problem area is carried out to confirm the problem has been solved. information of the problem cell should be obtained. this process continues until it becomes impossible to find a solution. the drive test engineer will attempt to find a solution to the problem.RF PLANNING • The drive test routes are usually 3 . • • • • Once a possible solution to the problem has been found it may be possible in some circumstances to immediately attempt the solution via the OMC. if the scenario of the dropped call can be repeated. If the problem is rectified the change remains in place and a change request is raised for the solution for the purpose of keeping records of all changes in the network. In the event of the problem not being solved alternative solutions may be attempted.t. clearly this is beyond the scope of optimization. At this point the problem is discussed with the operator as to the reasons that the problem cannot be solved for example the solution may require a new cell to be built. After conformation as to what is causing the problem with the drive test route. Frequency Plan change.

Rx-Qual. It contains various information about the Rx-Level . an Ericsson GH688 test mobile and a GPS receiver for positioning information. and various other parameters. The first snapshot represents a simple drive test of a model city.RF PLANNING Basic optimization tools and software OMC The OMC is an integral part of a GSM system. neighbor list . speech quality index SQI . its relationship to the Optimization process is to provide statistics for the quality metrics and information on the status of the network. Tems Tems is the drive test mobile and software from Erisoft. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. Serving Cell . The kit consists of a laptop P. NEW DELHI 55 .C.

Subscribers To gather meaningful data for the advanced optimisation tools the network should have a substantial amount of traffic being generated by subscribers on the network. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. all field engineers should be equipped with a test mobile to identify problem areas. NEW DELHI 56 . The requirement for drive test engineers will still be valid for verification purposes. RXQual value.D and six neighbors with rxlevels. Test Mobiles Test mobiles are an invaluable source of information. but a there should be a significant reduction in the amount of drive test engineers required. The test mobile should be capable of giving the received signal level. the Call Trace Product Tool and the Cell Analysis Tool. The reduction will be based on the amount of advanced tools available in the network and the timescales involved. There will however be a requirement for extra performance engineers to analyze data gathered from the intelligent optimization tool. Mapinfo Mapinfo is a GIS software tool. Personnel Requirements The type of engineers required will remain the same as the requirements in the basic optimization pre-requisites. Cell I. it is used to display drive test data for analysis and to produce Optimization reports in a clear and easy manner.RF PLANNING RF Planning Tool – Netact plan An RF planning tool is required in the Optimization Process for displaying drive test routes for analysis. Advanced optimization pre-requisites The advanced optimization toolset developed by GSM vendor will be required to undertake the advanced optimizations procedure in the network. modifications to the frequency plan and antennae azimuths and down tilt changes.

Rx Quality. The aim is to match field results with the predicted values and for that the process of optimization is carried out. Rx level 2. For this process the most common and reliable method is Drive test. we have to optimize the network so that what we simulated could be matched with the actual field results . This gives a fair idea about the efficiency and accuracy of our plan as now we can compare the signal that we predicted at a point and what we are getting at that point. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. The log files recorded are processed and converted into text files that could be loaded on NetPlan. NEW DELHI 57 . The interval used is same as that we have for generating the image of Rx Level . The process involves the use of Tools like TEMS and Agilent Drive test tools. The two most important Parameters that are checked upon are 1.RF PLANNING Drive Test -: Once the network is up and running . Once the drive test is over we have to study the Statistics collected during the drive. Rx Level -: It is an indication of the signal strength in dbm that is available to a cell phone at any point.

IDEA CELLULAR LTD. NEW DELHI 58 .RF PLANNING Fig: Drive test image for Rx Level Rx Quality -: This is another important parameter that gives us an idea about the signal quality or the bit error rate called as BER.The calculation is done on the basis of the 26 bit training sequence that is transmitted along with the voice data that is transmitted on the air interface . The ideal value of Rx Quality should lie between 0 to 4. This indicates that out of out of the total number of bits that were transmitted what was the percentage of the bits that got corrupted .As the contents of this training sequence is known to the mobile station the error in it is taken as the error in the data packet transmitted and thus the percentage of the total data that got corrupted can be calculated.

6 %< BER<3.2 %< BER<0. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 :( BER<0.8%) :( 0.2 %< BER<6.RF PLANNING Following are the BER that define a particular Rx Quality. IDEA CELLULAR LTD.8 %< BER<1.6%) :( 1.4%) :( 6.4%) :( 0.4 %< BER<12.8 %< BER) Fig: Drive test plot of Rx Qual with Legend.8%) 7 :( 12.2%) :( 3.2%) :( 0. NEW DELHI 59 .4 %< BER<0.

giving rise to a particular re-use pattern . they do care about the quality of their calls. system access and grade of service. each channel set may be re-used many times throughout the coverage area. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. We have to do this in a proper manner for Optimization. NEW DELHI 60 . These channel groups are assigned on a per cell basis in a regular pattern which repeats across all of the cells. This planning depends on various actors FREQUENCY Re-use pattern The total number of radio frequencies allocated is split into a number of channel groups or sets.RF PLANNING 5 Conclusion RF PLANNING RF Planning is the main process of network planning. However. for example). Thus. as perceived by the customer. Customer satisfaction is also depends on this planning. The everyday subscriber neither knows or really cares about the high level of technology incorporated into a cellular network. Subscriber environment System quality (voice quality. are the most significant factors in the success of a cellular network.

RF PLANNING Frequency planning The ultimate goal of frequency planning in a GSM network is attaining and maintaining the highest possible C/I ratio everywhere within the network coverage area. Code storage facility processor. Check with the appropriate Motorola sales office regarding software availability with respect to these features. Average traffic per site. NEW DELHI 61 . Call duration. Short message.) and there is no universal textbook plan that suits every network. The actual plan of a real network is a function of its operating environment (geography. Nevertheless. Category of service. Traffic model and capacity calculations The following information is required to calculate the capacity required: Traffic information (Erlangs/BTS) over desired service area. Diversity. Frequency hopping. Ratio of location updates to calls. A general requirement is at least 12 dB C/I. Initial information required The information required before planning can begin can be categorized into three main areas: Traffic model and capacity calculations. some practical guidelines gathered from experience can help to reduce the planning cycle time. Number of handovers per call. allowing tolerance in signal fading above the 9dB specification of GSM. and that should be taken into consideration before planning actual equipment. Packet Control Unit (PCU) for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) upgrade. Features that affect planning This section provides a description of the software features that might affect the required equipment. cell broadcast. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. Site planning. etc. RF.

Antenna type(s) and gain specification. IDEA CELLULAR LTD. Redundancy level requirements. Supply voltage.RF PLANNING Ratio of total pages sent to time in seconds (pages per second). such as Netplan or Planet. but for the intervention of the software planning tool. determined for each item. We have done drive test and survey for optimization. . Link utilization (for C7 MSC to BSS links). This can be fed with all the details of the cell. Several planning tools are available on the market. Where the BSC and BTSs will be located. Diversity doubles the number of Rx antennas and associated equipment. from the BTS. Environment. NEW DELHI 62 . at regular intervals. SMS utilization (both cell broadcast and point to point). equipment shelters. and it is up to the users to choose the tool(s) which suit them best. Diversity requirement. Expected (applied and effective) GPRS load. This would be time consuming in practice. Planning tools In order to predict the signal strength in a cell area it would be necessary to make many calculations.Number of RF carrier frequencies available. Site planning The following information is required to plan each site.Spectrum availability. Ratio of SDCCHs to TCHs. is the necessity to perform hundreds of calculations for each cell. The result. Local restrictions affecting antenna heights. such as: Type of terrain. and so on. Re-use plan (frequency planning) omni or sector: . Ratio of intra-BSC handovers to all handovers. . Heights of antennas. Number of TCHs. Number of sites required (RF planning issues).

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