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Testing of GSM

network
Katja.Koivu@omnitele.fi

Omnitele Ltd. 2003


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Contents
η GSM network quality audit
η Network quality benchmarking
η Optimisation
η Statistics / Operation & Maintenance
measurements
η Field measurements
η GPRS measurements
η Testing of special features

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GSM
Radio Network Quality Audit
and Optimisation

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Background
• On what basis does the customer rate GSM operatorÅs quality ?

_ Prices
_ Coverage area
_ Call blocking/dropping
Radio
Radio network
network
_ Speech quality
quality
quality related!
related!
_ Customer service
_ Else?

• The user experienced service quality in GSM links directly to the


performance of the radio network

• Differentiation from competitors

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Optimisation outcome ?
• Network optimisation is a tradeoff between quality,
traffic/revenues and investments.

• Without fine-tuned network the customer complaints are increas


work load is increased and marketing becomes inefficient

GSM
network
Do you know how your network is performing ?
indicators of
European
operator
customer

Direct impact on customer satisfaction !


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Network quality benchmarking
How does your networkÅs quality match
against the competitors ?
Åand against the world standard ?

Quality Survey /
Example Call Handover DL DL signal MS TX MS TX Handovers/ SQI
Urban area
benchmarking success success signal power level power class power class call
rate rate quality 900 1800
statistics
MTC 95,70 % 97,90 % 0,4 -67.1 dBm 9,6 5,0 3,6 28,1
Competitor 96,80 % 99,00 % 0,4 -61.6 dBm 5,5 3,5 3,5 28,8
Operator 1 (+1m) 97,90 % 99,20 % 0,2 - 8,7 1,8 2,5 29,1
Operator 2 (+1m) 96,90 % 95,50 % 0,5 - 7,2 1,5 1,4 28,2
Operator 3 (< MTC) 95,40 % 96,10 % 0,6 - 7,8 N/A 3,1 27,3
Operator 4 (< MTC) 95,20 % 95,00 % 0,3 - 8,7 N/A 1,7 28,9
Operator 5 (< MTC) 95,20 % 99,10 % 0,5 - 7,3 1,4 2,4 28,8

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Field measurements
• Benchmarking
• Troubleshooting
_ statistics, customer complaints
• Base station start-up

• Testing equipment
_ Testing software e.g. TEMS Ericsson in a laptop
_ Test mobile phones (one or more)
_ Indoor/outdoor antenna
_ Cables + battery chargers

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Field measurements
• Testing route
_ Roads, train
_ Hot spot, pedestrian
_ Urban, suburban, rural

• Test setup
_ Idle mode
_ Continuous call
_ Call sequence (90s calls / 15s idle)

• Tested frequencies: 900/900E/1800

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Example _ Call Success Rate
99,0 %
GSM1800 large European

GSM900/1800 large
98,0 % European
GSM900/1800 large
European
97,0 % GSM900 small Middle East

GSM900 small Middle East


96,0 %
GSM900/1800 large
European
95,0 % GSM900/1800 large
European
GSM900 very small
94,0 % European
GSM900 small European

93,0 % GSM900/1800 very small


Middle East
Call success rate

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Example _ SQI
35 GSM1800 large European

GSM900/1800 large
30
European
GSM900/1800 large
25 European
GSM900 small Middle East

20
GSM900 small Middle East

15 GSM900/1800 large
European
GSM900/1800 large
10 European
GSM900 very small
European
5
GSM900 small European

0 GSM900/1800 very small


SQI (max 30) Middle East

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Network quality benchmarking
• Could there be an indicator that shows your network is
underperforming ?
Independent benchmark needed

• What kind of action should be taken to improve the


situation ?
Correctly targeted network
optimisation
Quality Survey /
Example
Urban area
benchmarking
Call
success
rate
Handover DL
success signal
rate quality
DL signal MS TX MS TX Handovers/ SQI
power level power class power class call
900 1800
statistics
MTC 95,70 % 97,90 % 0,4 -67.1 dBm 9,6 5,0 3,6 28,1
Competitor 96,80 % 99,00 % 0,4 -61.6 dBm 5,5 3,5 3,5 28,8
Operator 1 (+1m) 97,90 % 99,20 % 0,2 - 8,7 1,8 2,5 29,1
Operator 2 (+1m) 96,90 % 95,50 % 0,5 - 7,2 1,5 1,4 28,2
Operator 3 (< MTC) 95,40 % 96,10 % 0,6 - 7,8 N/A 3,1 27,3
Operator 4 (< MTC) 95,20 % 95,00 % 0,3 - 8,7 N/A 1,7 28,9
Operator 5 (< MTC) 95,20 % 99,10 % 0,5 - 7,3 1,4 2,4 28,8

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Network optimisation process

Customer
INPUTS
MANAGEMENT
Feedback

MARKETING

Benchmarking
NETWORK
PLANNING
Field measurements
and performance CUSTOMER
evaluations Postprocessing SERVICE

Operation &
Maintenance
Measurements
Continuous process!

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Optimisation targets

Satisfied customers
Effective and
economic use
of network !
Maximum utilisation
of hardware

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Troubleshooting
OmniteleÅs engineers are experienced to encounte
the major issues effecting the quality of GSM netwo
• Handover problems
• Quality problems
• Coverage problems & New site location identification
• Network layers fine-tuning
• Capacity problematics
• LAC optimisation
• New feature implementation (software and hardware)
• Micro cells introduction
• Indoor coverage fine-tuning
• BSS parameter fine-tuning

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Dual Band considerations
Dual Band Strategy
¥ Spectrum requirements
¥ Network evolution
from traffic hot spots to seamless coverage
¥ 900/1800 spectrum for indoor / outdoor,
interference reduction, data
¥ Capacity gain calculations for different scenarios

Utilisation Planning and Implementation


• Traffic steering between ¥ Planning methods
900/1800 layers ¥ BSS parameters
• Parameter optimisation ¥ Site suitability criteria
• Coverage/capacity ¥ Sharing of RF components
• GPRS strategy ¥ Planning / measurement tool requirements

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Frequency planning & interference analysis

• Frequency planning objectives


• Interference analysis
_ Used by turns with the
_ QoS objectives allocation in order to
_ Overall C/Ic and C/Ia requirements validate (and optimize, if
necessary) the frequency
_ Cell-to-cell C/I requirements
(reuse) plan
• Interference check per
channel
_ Evaluation of the
significance of the residual
5,13 interference
_ HO/Cell selection margin
should be included in the
13,1 analysis
13,8 _ C /Ic (and C/Ia ) statistics per
6,13 channel
• Interference per network
_ On the dominance area
_ C /Ic (and C/Ia ) statistics
Omnitele Ltd. 2003 _ Shows the overall
16 interference picture
Interference reduction
means
¥ Optimising is done frequency by frequency
¥ Antenna redirection
Ð the most predictable
Ð coverage is in danger
¥ Antenna tilting
Ð ideally very useful: steepens
the slope
Ð in practice difficult to predict
è should be always measured
Ð useful for large clearence
angles
¥ Power reduction • All interference reduction means
Ð UL/DL interference power may generate problems in other
balance is lost frequencies
Ð coverage is lost
Ð not recommended Reducing interference
Improves network quality!
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Optimising adjacencies & LAC
• Missing neighbours very often result in unnecessary
dropped calls and bad quality
• Correct neighbour relations can be determined by
analysing measurement results

Unnecessary LAC updates


can easily increase the
singalling load significantly

Increased signalling
reduces the room for payload

Are your adjacencies


and LACs optimised ?

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Optimising parameters
study theoretically the impact
of the intended change

select the set of performance


parameters and test cells

change the cell parameters new


under optimisation conclusions

measure with a test MS

happy with the -


results ?
+
measure the performance and
compare to the ref. performance

happy with the -


results ?
+
apply the changes permanently
in the network/service area
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O&M based performance
parameters
• QOS as well as RF and capacity planning parameters assessed
per cell, per BSC and per network
• QOS parameters • RF planning parameters
_ Dropped call rate _ Number of calls
_ Dropped call rate due to radio _ TCH RF loss rate
_ Cumulative UL/DL quality _ SDCCH RF loss rate
statistics _ TCH mean holding time
_ TCH BH blocking rate _ Handovers per call
_ SDCCH BH blocking rate _ Cumulative UL/DL level statistics
_ (Call setup success rate) _ Idle channel UL interference
_ (Handover success rate) _ Power balance
• Capacity planning parameters
_ TCH BH traffic (e.g. weekly and average of daily BH traffics)
_ BH activity per subscriber (segment)
_ Total TCH time (per subscriber)
_ SDCCH weekly BH traffic
_ BH paging load

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Example _ BH traffic

20 June: 290 000 subs ⇒ 17 mErl/subscriber


Mean holding time ? -> BHCA/subscriber

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Conclusion
• The GSM network optimisation process consists of
complex technical measurements and analysis
• Every network is individually planned and thus have
individual problems which decrease the quality
• Professionally performed optimisation will increase
customer satisfaction
GSM How to increase the quality and capacity
network
indicators of
with minimum investments ?
European
operator
customer

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How can Omnitele assist you?

Radio network quality audit


and optimisation

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Performing the quality audit
Why? To observe and follow the
quality of the network
Where? Predefined areas
How often? Regularly, e.g. once a year

How? With measurements


By comparing
Who? Independent from the
operator and vendor

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Network quality audit
-- Objectives --
Complete analysis of the quality
perceived by subscribers
Location of interference, inadequate
signal strength and quality, congestion
Proposal for corrective actions in both
short and long term
Comparison to the competitors and
world class standard
On-the-job training for OperatorÅs own
staff
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Network quality audit
-- Area definition --

The most important cities, roads, suburbs

Areas representing different kind of coverage,


different subscriber density etc.
Same basic area every time, expanded with
possible new coverage areas

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Measurement route definition
¥ ca. 1/3 of the # of cells in the
area
¥ 30 min. of driving for each
¥ covering the whole sub-service
area
¥ distinction of areas with different
required coverage probabilities
¥ following the foreseen traffic
distribution ¥ emphasis on
¥ all HO pairs tested Ð the city
Ð the most important roads
¥ closing loops & major highways
Ð the most important suburbs
¥ marketing should be consulted Ð the areas with foreseen
difficulties

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Network quality audit
-- Regularity --

Once a year if the network is quite stable


More often if the network is still under
construction
In addition to complete quality audit weekly
measurements are recommended

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Network quality audit
--The auditor --
Should be independent from the OperatorÅs
Technical Department and the Vendor
Should have experience from other networks
Because, then ...
The comparison will be objective
The Operator gets the information what is th
performance level of the network compared
the other networks

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Quality audit
-- Comparison --
Predefined criteria the network should fulfill

Quality Index (measured indicators)


Comparison with competitors
Comparison with previous quality audits

By Quality Index

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Why Omnitele ?
• Long and extensive experience on radio network planning
_ Dimensioning and nominal planning
_ Site planning
_ Parameter planning
_ Network tuning and optimisation
• Experience from several equipment suppliers

Projects:
• GSM planning in Finland
_ Radiolinja project (worldÅs first GSM network)
_ GSM1800 city networks
_ Ongoing Finnish 2G project (3rd Finnish operator)
• GSM planning abroad
_ Italy Czech republic
_ Netherlands Brazil

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Why Omnitele ?
• GSM network dimensioning/nominal planning for start-up operators
_ Tanzania
_ Jordan
_ Pakistan
• Network audits and optimisation projects
_ Finland
• Radiolinja
• City networks
• Finnish 2G
_ Abroad:
• Greece Ivory Coast Kuwait
• Togo Jersey Czech Republic
• Guernsey Faroe Islands Cyprus
• Andorra Bahrain

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GPRS Optimisation in
general

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Optimisation Process
Output
Output
Input
Input ¥Optimal
¥Optimalparameter
parametersettings:
settings:
The ¥Dedicated/dynamic
¥Dedicated/dynamicradio
Thebusiness
businessstrategy
strategyfor
forGPRS
GPRS radio
capacity allocation
capacity allocation
¥Existing
¥Existingand
anddesired
desiredquality
qualityofofthe
the
network (field measurements & OMC ¥Traffic
¥Trafficsteering
steeringbetween
betweenthe
the
network (field measurements & OMC
studies): radio layers
radio layers
studies):
¥Congestion ¥Coding
¥Codingscheme
schemeadaptation
adaptation
¥Congestion
¥QoS ¥Different
¥Differenttimers
¥QoSofofthe
theexisting
existingnetwork
network timers
¥Interference ¥Optimal
¥Optimalhardware
hardwareconfiguration
configuration
¥Interference
¥Different ¥Protocol
¥Protocoloptimisation
¥Differentvendor
vendorsolutions
solutions optimisation
¥Required ¥Key
¥Keyperformance
performanceindicator
¥Requiredservices
servicesand
andexpected
expected indicator
usage definition and measurements
definition and measurements
usage
¥Future
¥Futureplan
planÐÐwinner
winnerstrategy
strategy

Best quality with minimum investment

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Measurement System Set-up
End-to-End data performance
Data at Data at
application layer application layer

GPRS layer data performance


Data at Data at
RLC/LLC layer RLC/LLC layer

RF performance
Air-interface Air-interface

GPRS Mobile Server


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Monitored Key Performance Indicators
(KPI)
Ð C/I of the measured channels
Ð Average RLC throughput (kbit/s)
Ð Average LLC throughput (kbit/s)
Ð Average number of timeslots used by a single user
Ð CS usage (% of time in the CS1/CS2 *)
Ð Average cell reselect time
Ð Network response time (RTT)
Ð RLC bit error rate

*) Available only in networks with dynamic CS adaptation

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GPRS Parameter Planning (1)
¥ Goals:
Ð To handle GPRS in cells with high CS (speech)
traffic
Ð To steer the GPRS traffic to wanted cells
Ð Adequate definition of GPRS timers
Ð Radio interface capacity division between CS/PS
Ð Optimise the performance of specific service

Optimised end-user experience !

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GPRS Parameter Planning (2)
¥ Omnitele has profound hands-on experience with
Ð Alcatel GPRS parameters
Ð Ericsson GPRS parameters
Ð Nokia GPRS parameters

TroubleshootingÅ

Daily planning &


OptimisingÅ

Drive testsÅ

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Measuring GPRS network performance

• Data flow
behaviour
• Re-
transmissions
• Cell re-
selections, RA
• Number of time updates etc.
slots used per
mobile
RLC and LLC • Coding scheme
Throughput usage

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GPRS Network
performance
benchmarking

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Why benchmark the network
performance ?

¥ Performance of the GPRS networks vary significantly


between the operators

¥ The QoS status of operatorÕs GPRS network is best


determined by benchmarking the network performance
against competitorsÕ performance and/or world class operators
operating in different markets

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Benchmarking Results
Examples
¥ Example country:
Ð Three nation-wide GPRS operators
Ð Same drive routes in the benchmarking
Ð Significant differences in KPIÕs of the three operators

Throughput DL [kbit/s] Network response time (s)

1.8
35.0 34.7 1.8
33.3 33.2 32.4 1.5
31.3 31.3 1.6

1.4
30.0
1.2 1.1
RLC Throughput [kbit/s] 1 Network response
25.0
LLC Throughput [kbit/s]
0.8 time (s)
0.6
20.0 0.4

0.2

15.0 0
X Y Z X Y Z

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Improving the Performance of
Your Network

¥ After benchmarking the GPRS performance, the


problem areas will be identified

¥ Recommendations for improvements are given

¥ Service optimisation plan will be made

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BSC Measurements

¥ In addition to end-to-end field measurements, BSC measurements


can be performed from the BSC of the benchmarked operator
Ð Better overall picture of the problem cells: Suggestions to
improvements
¥ Some of the key issues that can be identified from BSC are:
Ð Overall GPRS traffic
Ð Blocking of GPRS calls
Ð Retransmissions
Ð PCU loading
¥ Note: The BSC measurements can only be benchmarked against
Omnitele archive since there is no access to competitorsÕ BSC

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How can Omnitele
assist you ?

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Example of Omnitele Ås GPRS Projects
Network acceptance and optimisation
1 Int roduc tion

2 Descript ion of field measurement s

2.1 GPRS measurement model
2.1.1 Applicat ion layer performance measurements
2.1.2 GPRS layer performance measurement s
2.1.3 RF performance measurement s 5 GPRS Parameter fine-tuning
2.2 Monit ored Key Performance Indicat ors 5.1 Further routing area update testing
2.2.1 Carrier t o Int erference rat io for t he measured channels 5.2
(dB) Optimisation of the coding scheme usage
5.2.1 CS_Lev parameter
2.2.2 Coding scheme usage (%) 5.2.2 CS_Qual_1_2 / CS_Qual_ 2 _ 1
2.2.3 RLC/LLC throughput (kbit/s) 5.2.3 TBF_CS_Period1 / TBF_CS_Period2
2.2.4 Cell reselec tion t ime (s) 5.3 Congestion control
2.2.5 Rout ing area updat e t ime (s) 5.4 network response time optimisation
2.2.6 Ne twork response t ime (s) 5.5 Other investigated issues
† 5.5.1 Frequency scans in the east coast
3 Findings during the Installat ion 5.5.2 Missing adjacencies
3.1 Alcat el acceptance tests †
3.1.1 MFS accep tance t est s 6 Comparison of finnish GPRS operatorsÅ network
3.1.2 Core accep tance t est s Performance indicators
3.2 Detect ed problems 6.1 Throughput
3.2.1 MFS 6.2 Cell Reselection time (s)
3.2.2 Core 7 comparison of different vendorsÅ GPRS features
† 7.1 Automatic Link adaptation (ALA)
4 Int egrat ion t est ing 7.2 Congestion control
4.1 Carrier t o Int erference rat io 7.3 Multiplexing users into the Timeslots
4.2 Coding scheme usage 7.4 TRX preference
4.3 Throughput 8 suggestions for GPRS network development
4.3.1 Normal cell load t hroughput measurement s 8.1 Alcatel GPRS core rel2 and BSS software B7
4.3.2 High cell load t hroughput measurement s 8.2 Traffic monitoring
4.4 Cell reselec tion 8.3 Air-Interface compression software
4.5 rou ting area updat e time 9 Conclusion
4.6 Ne twork response t ime
4.6.1 Pinging wit h Windows Command prompt
4.6.2 Pinging wit h dif ferent int ervals be tween t he pings

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How Can Omnitele Assist You?
¥ Contract negotiations:
Ð Assistance in definition of the technical framework to the system
specifications: How should the GPRS system perform?
Ð Hands-on experience: Alcatel, Ericsson and Nokia GPRS systems
¥ Implementation:
Ð Verification of the system performance: Specification of the operator
acceptance tests and system integration tests
Ð Parameter planning, parameter fine-tuning and optimisation of the GPRS
network
¥ Service optimisation:
Ð WAP&Web: Parameters&timers
Ð Content optimisation: Performance Enhancement Proxy selection process
Ð MMS: Radio capacity optimisation
¥ GPRS performance benchmarking
Ð Comparison of your GPRS networkÕs performance to your competitors

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Please visit our web site
www.omnitele.fi
for more information

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