GSM Drive Test

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Prepared By: Ashish Chopra

3 5. 3. 1.1 5. 4.1 2.Index 1.1 4.3 5 5. 2.2 3. Verification or Cutover Network Maintenance Troubleshooting Summary .2 2.2 5.A PART OF OPTIMIZATION Drive Test Tools Types of Tools Available TEMS Investigation GSM PROCEDURE CONNECTION PROCEDURE Modes Of Drive Test Idle Mode Dedicated Mode Frequency Scanning Types of Drive Test Benchmarking Integration.1 1.4 6. Introduction Purpose DRIVE TEST.1 4.2 4.

However. Further drive tests are conducted to record the modified network status. This happens because of complex nature of the underlying principle based on which GSM wireless cellular network works.2 DRIVE TEST. that the network is optimized. It is said. configuration changes are performed on the network. After a few iterations. status of the existing network gets recorded. Drive Testing Action Steps Post Processing Data Analysis . So.1 PURPOSE: Drive test is a method that is adopted to optimize a GSM network. the network hardly resembles the predictions. competitors network changes. under this condition. once optimization is reached the need for drive test does not end. 1. towards the prediction. as-built network is brought very near to as-predicted network. Network Operators / Service Providers task becomes to bring the network back . This drive-tested data is processed off-line (through GSM RF Post Processing Tool) to know the deviation from prediction. Through the systematic process of collecting air interface data from the already built network. change of man made ambience etc. Status change takes place because of network expansion (in terms of addition of cell sites). based on network planning tool predictions. as nearest as possible. A GSM wireless cellular network does not remain optimized all through. 1. INTRODUCTION This is a general-purpose document on Methods and Procedures of RF drive test in a GSM network. Once a GSM network is rolled out.A PART OF OPTIMIZATION: The position of the drive test in the optimization process of a GSM Network is as shown in the following block diagram.1. Optimization (data collection through drive test) process goes on to keep a live network optimized during its lifetime. As per interpretation of Post Processing result.

Investigation 7. 1) 2) 3) 4) A Laptop with 2GHz processor. and soundcard. Thus the drive test helps in creating and maintaining a robust GSM network 2.1 to run smoothly is given below. 6) Mobile power source for charging Laptop in a vehicle .1 it is advisable to install the drivers for the TEMS test phones being used.1 TYPES OF TOOLS AVAILABLE: The drive test tool is available as a product consisting of software and hardware components. Agilent. The next step is the Data Analysis. TEMS handset and connecting cables. either an inverter or mobile laptop charger. supports GSM 850/900/1800/1900. 1GB of RAM. number of handsets depends on activity being carried out. 5) GPS receiver with power supply. . 1x4 USB multiplexer. 7) Frequency Scanner (Optional) After installation of Investigation 7. The drive test needs to be conducted again after implementing the recommendations. This is how the drive test helps in optimization life cycle of the network. Hardware Lock Key or Dongle.1. Aircom. which results in the recommendation of changes or Action Steps to be taken in network rf parameters. 2. The latest version. EDGE.2 TEMS INVESTIGATION GSM 7. Some of the renowned vendors are Ericsson. The hardware required for Investigation 7. DRIVE TEST TOOLS 2. Nokia. provided with the TEMS application. HSPDA & UMTS. The RF data collected in the drive test is compared with the corresponding planned data by way of Post Processing. GPRS. Sagem etc.OPTIMIZATION PROCESS BLOCK DIAGRAM The drive test is conducted with a goal of collecting measurement data of GSM network as a function of location.0 FROM ERICSSON: The most popular and versatile tool used for Drive tests is TEMS Investigation.

no call or SMS is sent. k) Click on logfiles and scroll down to recording properties. ARFCN. Ensure that all the required equipment is displayed. Click on connect all. 4.3. Connect the other end of the USB cables to USB ports on the laptop. The tab named ‘ Overview ‘ contains the basic data to be monitored. a list of the connected equipment will be displayed. Clicking on the record button will allow the data to be recorded into the desired path..1 CONNECTION PROCEDURE: In order to connect the Drive test equipment also called kit the following procedure should be followed. Connect the GPS to the laptop. In other words. a) b) c) d) Connect the USB cables to the TEMS test phones. Rxlevel. The same tab also contains information about the current channel being used such a CGI. This mode of drive test is usually done in order to determine the coverage of a particular site or network. here give the path where the logfiles have to be recorded. PROCEDURE: 3. The most important parameter to be monitored in Idle mode is RxLevel. 4. etc. The unit displayed for this parameter is dBm. Note*: If the laptop does not have a sufficient number of USB cables then a 1x4 USB multiplexer may be used. The tab named ‘ Control & Configuration’ contains a window called ‘ Port Identification’ Click on ‘Identify equipment’. Insert the Dongle into a USB port. this will cause the red mark against the equipment to turn green. Given below are the accepted values of RxLevel -10 to –70 dBm -71 to –90 dBm -91 and lower Good Average extremely poor .1 Idle Mode Idle mode implies that the test mobile is kept in standby. Modes Of Drive Test. timeslot. etc.0. including radio parameters such as RxQual. either via USB or via serial port. e) f) g) h) i) j) Switch on the laptop and open Investigation 7.

TA etc can also be monitored in dedicated mode. 4. This may either be an incoming call or outgoing call.Idle Mode drive test also allows us to monitor the C/I values on the BCCH. This can be accomplished either by using a scanner or a TEMS handset with scanning properties. MAIO.2 Dedicated Mode Dedicated mode implies that a call has been established by the test mobile. the event is termed as a ‘Cell Reselection’. When a new cell becomes the serving cell . A dedicated mode drive test is done in order to verify a number of things. The post processing may take place using a number of applications.e any frequency in any band may be scanned. the description of which are out of scope of this document. Frequency scanning is independent of operator. When a new cell takes control of the call in dedicated mode. 4. The most important being call quality and call continuity( handover success). the event is termed a handover. i. .3 Frequency Scanning Frequency scanning is the process of scanning multiple frequencies in order to collect data to feed into a post processing tool. The most important parameters to be monitored in dedicated mode are: a) RxQual 0 to 4 5 to 6 7 and above Good Acceptable Extremely poor b) SQI -20 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30 Poor Averages Good Other parameters such as hopping C/I. The most frequently used number is a test number. The test number allows us to imitate an actual call as experienced by a subscriber.

tab files and presented for viewing to the client with the appropriate legend. Types of Drive Test 5. Example Case: Client : Network A Closest Competitor : Network B Network A wishes to conduct a benchmarking activity with his closest competitor. The multiple handsets contain SIM cards of different networks. In order for us to carry out this activity we must use 4 TEMS handsets. This activity gives the operator a clear picture of where his network needs to be upgraded in order to meet the coverage and quality of his competitor.5. quality (dedicated) or both. The logfiles obtained from this procedure are usually exported as Mapinfo . 1st Handset : 2nd Handset : 3rd Handset : 4Th Handset : Network A (Idle) Network A (Dedicated) Network B (Idle) Network B (Dedicated) Using the above configuration we can conduct both coverage and quality drive test simultaneously for Networks A and B. This activity is usually outsourced to a third party in order to obtain unbiased results. Benchmarking may be conducted either for coverage (idle).1 Benchmarking Benchmarking is the process of comparing the performance of two or more networks. Network B in order to asses quality and coverage. Benchmarking involves conducting extensive drive test throughout the entire network with multiple TEMS handsets. .

e . while the Pre drive may be conducted any time prior to swapping. f) Send Test SMS to OMCR and BSS engg. h) Conduct drive test in order to verify that the footprint of the site is as expected. The above described procedure may be used to perform a cutover. The procedure for conducting a Pre and Post drive are the same.2 Integration. c) Confirm allocated MAIO . g) Confirm proper neighbor definition by testing handovers. one TEMS handset can be used to verify and integrate the base station. This procedure should be conducted for all sectors. b) Confirm BCCH and BSIC. However if the base station is being swapped. These are conducted in order to ensure that the parameters after the swap are not degraded in comparison to the parameters prior to the swap. i. integrate and verify the parameters of a base station. The procedure involved in integration and verification is more or less the same. the type or vendor of a base station is to be changed we must keep perform a Pre and Post drive in addition to the above described procedure. Verification or cutover is done either when the parameters of a Base station are changed or when a BTS is swapped for the of a different vendor or type. e) Conduct MTC (mobile terminating call) for 90 seconds by calling MS1 From MS2. The Post drive should be conducted at least 24 hours after the cutover. Do not assume that it is fully functional only from the TEMS information. d) Conduct MOC (mobile originating call) for 90 seconds by calling test number. This activity should be carried using 2 TEMS handsets with SIM cards of the same operator.5. Verification or Cutover Integration drive test are done in order to integrate a new site in an existing network. either by repeated calls or by asking OMCR to change MAIO priorities. The basic procedure to be followed is described below. All data should be recorded and every parameter should be thoroughly verified before giving the site an “OK” status. In situations where a second handset is not available . These may be tested by driving to different areas or by force latching onto the neighbors. a) Confirm from the OMCR that the site is ready. . thus both are clubbed into one category.

Given below is a sample Cutover form. Date Parameters SDCCH Pref MAX TX BTS RXLev Access Min HO EXIST CONGEST PRE CUT POST REMARKS BCCH_1 BSIC_1 BCCH_2 BSIC_2 BCCH_3 BSIC_3 CGI_1 CGI_2 CGI_3 90 SEC MOC CALL 90 SEC MTC SMS OMCR SMS BTS ENGG MAIO LOCKING INTRA CELL HANDOVER INTERCELL HANDOVER FOOTPRINT ENGG NAME .The procedure is as follows: a) Connect One Handset in Idle Mode and one handset in dedicated mode. d) Follow the above procedure for all sectors. b) The handset in dedicated mode should be put on a loop to make 90 sec calls. c) Drive around the vicinity till handovers and cell reselections with different base stations are achieved.

If the sum of the count from 0 to 5 is less than 95 %. usually 120 seconds. a) b) c) d) e) Export the required logfiles to . Another byproduct of these drives are the percentage distribution reports. In case of any events such as low level. quarterly and yearly basis. The TEMS handset is configured into a loop to keep calling the test number for a particular duration.3 Network Maintenance Network maintenance drives are carried out in order to ensure that the network is working as per requirement and also to find faults in the network. Open the exported file with Microsoft Excel. This allows us to simulate a subscriber moving through the city and making calls. Count. A written record should be maintained of the events that have occurred during the drive test and the concerned person should be informed of those events. The repeated calls allow us to ensure that the different sites along the preplanned route are capable of setting up calls. Another round should be made in order to verify whether the issue was random or continual. aim for improvements along that route.5. . Particular routes are designed so that the major roads and areas of the circle are encompassed into the drive test. Create a pivot table as as with Value Vs. These reports are extremely important from a management point of view as they indicate the average quality of the network on a monthly. A major part of the network maintenance drive is to localize and particularize problems in the network for troubleshooting.FMT or text format. The procedure for generating these reports is as follows. poor quality. Call continuity ( handover success) is also continually monitored by this activity. handover failure or call drop. Delete all columns except for Rx Qual Sub.

By interacting with the OMCR and viewing parameters and changes through TEMS. After the problem has been localized either via network maintenance or by using the network statistics. This may be that of call drop. . handover failure or poor quality. Summary This document has entailed the basics of conducting a drive test. The plethora of live information available readily allows an experienced RF enginner to identify and rectify the network issue. a drive test may be carried out in order to rectify the fault. 6. The different modes. It should be remembered that these are basic guidelines that should be followed. types and procedures used to carry out a drive test are defined above.Example Pivot Table: Count of All-RxQual Sub All-RxQual Sub Total 0 51428 95% 1 473 1% 2 400 1% 3 454 1% 4 427 1% 5 367 1% 6 239 0% 7 358 1% (blank) Grand Total 54146 5. actual procedure depends on the customer and task requirement. an RF engineer can resolve network issues and view the results immediately.4 Troubleshooting The drive test apparatus is also a very useful means of troubleshooting critical spots in the network.