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Version 3.3.

Information Note on
VoLTE Modelling

November 2015
Information Note on VoLTE Modelling in Atoll

Introduction
Among the various technical aspects of the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service, the following should be modelled in radio network
planning and optimisation software:

Radio bearers
Receiver sensitivity
Voice codecs
TTI bundling
Semi-persistent scheduling

This note briefly describes how the VoLTE service is modelled in Atoll.

VoLTE Service Modelling in Atoll


The VoLTE service is modelled in Atoll as a voice type service with specific parameters. In certain cases, some additional
parameters may have to be defined as well. The following sections describe relevant parameter settings in the order in which
they must be defined in Atoll.

Dedicated VoLTE Radio Bearers


VoLTE may require a specific set of radio bearers in the uplink and/or downlink. For example, you may need to define separate
radio bearers for VoLTE if specific mechanisms, such as TTI bundling, are used in the network.

If this is the case, you can add radio bearers dedicated to the VoLTE service in Atolls radio bearers table. The following figure
shows an example of such radio bearers.

Notice the separate radio bearer indexes and names that help identify these bearers in other user interface elements such
as the bearer selection thresholds defined in the reception equipment.

The bearer efficiency in Atoll corresponds to the number of useful bits per symbol transmitted over the air. Whether these
bits are user data or also include headers, CRC bits, etc., is not relevant at the physical layer.

Once you have defined dedicated VoLTE bearers, you must specify their required sensitivity levels, i.e., the bearer selection
thresholds, and map these bearers to the VoLTE service. These are explained in the following sections.

Required Radio Quality for VoLTE Bearers


Bearer selection thresholds in Atoll define the radio signal quality (C/I) required to use a certain modulation and coding
scheme. These values are defined in Atolls reception equipment entities. You may use the same reception equipment in
downlink and uplink, in which case, the same bearer selection thresholds will apply in both directions. You can also define
separate reception equipment for uplink, assigned to the cell, and downlink, assigned to each used terminal.

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Information Note on VoLTE Modelling in Atoll

The following figure shows an example of an uplink reception equipment (assigned to cells) that can use all the defined
bearers in uplink. However, which bearers are used for a user depends on the range of bearers that are allowed by the service
being used.

If your equipment supports TTI bundling, the bearer selection thresholds must be adjusted to include the TTI bundling gain
as explained in the next section.

TTI Bundling
TTI bundling provides improved uplink coverage for VoLTE. Using TTI bundling, a UE transmits different redundancy versions
of identical data in four consecutive TTIs, hence improving the reception. The eNB determines which UEs benefit from TTI
Bundling by measuring the uplink channel quality (C/I). TTI Bundling is not beneficial when the UE is in good radio conditions
because a UE in good radio conditions can transmit several packets in one TTI, which allows for efficient scheduling.

Usually, TTI bundling is enabled for QPSK bearers and if the number of allocated physical resource blocks for transmission is
less than or equal to 3. Therefore, as the TTI bundling gain depends on the modulation and coding scheme, it can hence be
modelled in Atoll by modifying the corresponding bearer selection thresholds.

For example, if the equipments TTI bundling gains are as follows:

Bearer Gain (dB)


QPSK 1/3 or lower 4
QPSK 1/2 5
QPSK 2/3 6
Higher than QPSK 2/3 7

The corresponding bearer selection thresholds in Atoll become:

Bearer Index Name Bearer Selection Bearer Selection


Threshold (dB) Threshold with TTI
Bundling Gain (dB)
100 VoLTE QPSK 1/12 -6.5 -10.5
101 VoLTE QPSK 1/9 -4 -8
102 VoLTE QPSK 1/6 -2.6 -6.6
103 VoLTE QPSK 1/3 -1 -5
104 VoLTE QPSK 1/2 1 -4
105 VoLTE QPSK 2/3 3 -3

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Information Note on VoLTE Modelling in Atoll

Using these bearers and selection thresholds in the uplink, the TTI bundling gain is applied to QPSK bearers only.

Atolls uplink bandwidth allocation mechanism defined in the scheduler properties (Uplink Bandwidth Allocation Target set
to Best Bearer) ensures that the number of physical resource blocks becomes less than 3 before TTI bundling gain is applied.
In other words, using this method, Atoll calculates the uplink C/I such that QPSK modulations are used when the uplink
allocated bandwidth has already been reduced to 3 physical resource blocks or less.

RLC segmentation is another method for improving uplink VoLTE coverage. RLC segmentation increase the probability of
correct reception of signals in the uplink. If the increase probability of reception can be translated into C/I gains, it can be
modelled in Atoll in a way similar to that for TTI bundling.

VoLTE Service Voice Codecs


The VoLTE service may use AMR-NB or AMR-WB codecs. The following example describes how a VoLTE service using the
AMR-NB 12.2 kbps codec can be defined in Atoll.

A VoLTE service that uses the AMR 12.2 kbps codec has the following characteristics:

Frame size = 244 useful bits = 30.5 octets rounded to 31 octets with 4 empty bits in the end of the AMR frame
AMR frame header = 5 bits, rounded to 1 octet
Compressed RTP/UDP/IP header = 24 bits
PDCP+RLC+MAC header = 24 bits
CRC = 24 bits
Total = 328 bits
If 1 voice packet of 328 bits is sent every 20 ms, the bit rate would be 328/0.02=16.4 kbps.

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Information Note on VoLTE Modelling in Atoll

Looking at these figures from the point of view of Atoll, we can say that the AMR core throughput (12.2 kbps) is the application
throughput (codecs are application layer entities) required for the VoLTE service, and in order to achieve 12.2 kbps at the
application layer, the over-the-air throughput must be at least 16.4 kbps. Whether this includes header bits, CRC bits, padding
bits or any other information, added by the layers between the application layer and the physical layer, is the same for Atoll.

In order to model this service in Atoll, you can set the services minimum and maximum throughput demands to 16.4 kbps
and the scaling factor to 12.2 / 16.4 = 74.4%. Moreover, in the service properties, you can assign the range of dedicated uplink
bearers corresponding to VoLTE.

Semi-Persistent Scheduling
Semi-persistent scheduling (SPS) allows a single PDCCH transmission to allocate resource grants over multiple TTIs for the
VoLTE service. Therefore, SPS has the effect of reducing the PDCCH load since the control information for a user scheduled
with SPS is only transmitted once for several following TTIs. Less PDCCH load ensures less interference over the PDCCH and
better quality.

Atoll models the PDCCH load according to the PDSCH load. This means that Atoll considers the PDCCH to be loaded according
to the amount of traffic served by a cell. Considering Atolls existing interference model, once implemented, SPS will result in
slight decrease in the calculated interference from PDCCH.

VoLTE Analyses in Atoll


Atoll offers various coverage predictions and Monte Carlo simulations that allow analysing VoLTE coverage as well as its
overall impact on the network.

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