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Radio Propagation Theory

Electric wave propagation in

mobile environment
Radio Wave propagation models

 Radio wave propagation models are used in the network

planning process to predict the average received signal
strength at a given distance from the transmitter for large
scale (>1km) and for small-scale or fading propagation

 For such fading propagation models the variability of the

signal strength at a close spatial proximity to a particular
location is of major interest.
Radio wave propagation Mechanism

Under ideal conditions radio waves propagate in free space

from the transmitter to the receiver straight in all directions
without being disturbed.

In real environments the received signal power is influenced

by the following effects:

• reflection
• scattering
• diffraction at edges
• shadowing behind buildings or walls
• fading
• refraction.
Radio wave propagation mechanism –contd..
Signal Propagation Ranges
Multipath propagation

Fig. Multi-path propagation

Fig: Inter-symbol interference
General Classification
General classification of propagation models
Free Space and Log Distance Model

Fig: Free Space or Log Distance Model

Definition of Path Loss and Path Loss Exponent
 The Path Loss is the difference (in dB) between the transmitted
power (PT) and the received power (PR).

 It represents signal level attenuation caused by free space

propagation, reflection, diffraction and scattering.

 The path loss is a fundamental unit for radio network planners, since it
affects the minimum number of basestations (dimensioning) and the
necessary output power (link budget). ( Here n is called pathloss

 The higher the frequency the higher the path loss!

Fig: Definition of path loss exponent
Okumura-Hata Model

The advantage of the Okumura-Hata model is that the equations

require only the following four parameters and needs therefore a very
short computation time:

• frequency (f = 150…1500 MHz)

• distance between transmitter and receiver (r = 1 …20 km)
• antenna height of transmitter (hBS = 30…200 m)
• antenna height of transmitter (hMS = 1…10 m).

The isotropic Okumura-Hata model presumes a quasi flat surface

without e.g. buildings, trees, walls, etc. It is not applicable when the BS
is below the rooftops. Nevertheless it is the most applied model in
network planning.
To improve the accuracy of this model an effective antenna height has been
introduced. Be aware that the terrain profile between BS and MS is not taken
into account.

Fig: Okumura-Hata model - Effective antenna height

The path loss is calculated according the following formulas:

Neither hills between BS and MS nor local effects around the receiver
(reflections, shadowing, etc.) are taken into account.
Okumara-Hata Model Example
Okumara-Hata Model Example Contd..
COST-Hata Model
The new model is known under the name: COST-Hata model and is defined for
the following parameters:
• frequency (f = 1500…2000 MHz)
• distance between transmitter and receiver (r = 1 …20 km)
• antenna height of transmitter (hBS = 30…200 m)
• antenna height of transmitter (hMS = 1…10 m).
Figure: COST-Hata model example
Knife-Edge Model

The knife-edge effect is explained by Huygens' Principle, named for

the Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens, which states that a well-
defined obstruction to an electromagnetic wave acts as a secondary
source, and creates a new wave front. This new wave front
propagates into the geometric shadow area of the obstacle.
Fig: Diffraction loss as function of v
Ray-Tracing Method
Deterministic models, like Ray-Tracing, are most accurate. They are
site-specific and require enormous number of geometric site
information and are therefore only feasible for very limited areas
like indoor pico cells.
COST-Walfish-Ikegami Model

The most important semi-empirical model that is developed

especially for urban areas with BS antennas placed below the
roof tops is called COST-Walfish-Ikegami.

It is defined for the following parameters:

• frequency (f = 800…2000 MHz)
• distance between transmitter and receiver (r = 20 …5000 m)
• antenna height of transmitter (hBS = 4…50 m)
• antenna height of transmitter (hMS = 1…3 m).
Fig: COST-Walfish-Ikegami model

Further parameters that are shown in the figure are:

h: mean value of building heights (m)
b: mean value of building separation (m)
w: mean value of street widths (m)
φ : mean angle between direct radio path and street (°).
COST-Walfish-Ikegami model
Even though the COST-Walfish-Ikegami model is suitable only for
chessboard-like inner cities, it is commonly used for all kinds of city
centres. Be aware that this model shows often significant inaccuracies,
when using it for irregular building pattern like historically grown towns.
The main advantage of this semi-empirical model is its short
computation time.
Combinations of Models, Applicability

The mentioned empirical models (Okumura-Hata and COST-Hata)

are only applicable for a quasi flat surface. In combination with
the deterministic model Knife-Edge they can be extended to hilly
terrain or mountainous areas:

• Okumura-Hata and Knife-Edge

• COST-Hata and Knife-Edge.

Data for empirical models can be collected from propagation


Empirical (e.g. Okumura-Hata) or semi-empirical models (e.g. COST-

Walfish- Ikegami) includes some free parameters which can be tuned
in order to fit the model with measured samples. This makes the model
applicable in certain environment.
Fig: Applicabilityof propagation models

Remark: Ray-tracing can be applied to urban or rural environments,

but due to the very long computation time it is technically not
Fading Effects
Fading effects
Fig: Fading effects
Slow Fading
Fig: Slow fading - Q function
Fast Fading

Fig: Fast fading - Doppler shift

• Thank You
Radio Environment Features
 MS antenna is not very high above the ground
surface, so the received signal mainly consist of
multiple reflection waves generated by the dispersion
objects near the MS.
 MS is often in the constant moving state, so the
received signal amplitude and phase will vary with
time and place.
 Wave-guide effect in city streets.
 Man-made noise:like industrial noise
 Sever interference: co-frequency, neighbor frequency
and mutual modulation interference.
Propagation Mode

• Electric wave propagation mode

The line-of-sight direct wave and reflection wave,
most of them are multiple reflection waves generated
by the dispersion objects near the MS.

Multiple path reflection include two type of signals

• Reflection from far place generated by dispersion
• Reflection within 50-400 wave length generated by
the reflection and dispersing objects near the near
Field intensity

The real received signal level is formed

by overlaying the fast fading upon the
slow fading signals.
r (t )  m(t )  r0 (t )
r (d )  m(d )  r0 (d )
Where d is the distance, t is time.
m(x)--local mean value,which is synthesized by long-term fading and space loss,slow
fading,long-term fading.
r0(x)-short-term fading,fast fading,Rayleigh fading
local mean value change much with distance than time.
Field intensity

• Definition of local mean value

x L
m( x ) 
2L  r ( y )dy
The average value of receiving signal.
2L: 40 , 36-50 sampling points.
• The geographic conditions and objects in
the service area are basically not
changeable in a certain period of time, so
the local mean value m(x) is a fixed value
for the fixed BTS in a certain place.
Field intensity test

 Suppose the car speed is v, the test

equipment (e.g. high speed sweep generator)
samples n receiving powers of the same point
in a second, the wavelength is λ(1/3m for
900MHz, and 1/6m for 1800MHz), then:
 40λ/v*n<=50 and 40λ/v*n>=36
 For instance, at 900MHz, the test equipment
samples 25 data of the same frequency point,
then the reasonable car speed is 24~33km/h.
Propagation Loss

• Definition:The power attenuation between

output signal of transmitting antenna and
that of the receiving antenna.
• The relationship between the propagation
loss and distance is proportional.around
Propagation Model

In the free space, the electric wave transmitted

will not generate the reflection, refraction,
dispersion, diffraction and absorption, instead
there will be only attenuation caused by
diffusion, so its basic transmission loss Lbf
can be calculated with the formula below:
Lbf  32.5  20 log f MHz  20 log d km
Propagation Model

 Okumura-Hata

1、Application conditions:
Effective BTS antenna height :30~200m;
MS antenna height: 1~10m;
Communication distance: 1~20km;
Quasi-smooth topography、urban downtown、suburb、open
Propagation Model

2、Propagation loss formula(Urban downtown):

Lb城  69.55  26.16 lg f 13.82 lg hb  a(hm )  (44.9  6.55 lg hb )(lg d )
3、Correction factor:
City type:Suburb、Open air、open air、Rural area;
Topography:Hill、Slope、Isolate mountain、Sea(lake) mixed;
City dedicated correction factor:Street 、Building density;

4、Total path loss:

 0
K s R
K  u
 h
L  Lb  K street  S (a)    K sp   K mr
 im  Q0
0 
 Qr
Propagation Model
For 1800Mhz use the COST-231Model
Application condition:
Effective BTS antenna height :30~200m;
MS antenna height: 1~10m;
Communication distance: 1~35km;
Quasi-smooth topography、urban downtown、suburb、open

Lb城  46.3  33.9 lg f  13.82 lg hb  a(hm )  (44.9  6.55 lg hb )(lg d )

Propagation Model
General Model
1、Application condition:
Effective BTS antenna height :30~200m;
MS antenna height: 1~10m;
Communication distance: 1~35km(may be farther);
Quasi-smooth topography、urban downtown、suburb、open
2、Basic idea:
Combine Okumura-Hata with Cost-231 formula;
Consider clutter correction factor;
All correction factor K can be modified by test data.
Propagation Model
3、Propagation loss formula:

Lb城  K1  K 2 lg d  K 3 lg hb  K 4 lg d lg hb  K 5  K clutter  K d Ld  a(hm )  K street

 K1  K 21 lg d  K 3 lg hb  K 4 lg d lg hb  K 5  K clutter  K d Ld  a(hm )  K street d  d0
Lb城  
K1  K 22 lg d  K 3 lg hb  K 4 lg d lg hb  K 5  K clutter  K d Ld  a(hm )  K street  ( K 21  K 22 ) lg d 0 d  d 0
Propagation Model
1、Application condition:
MS antenna height 1~10米;
Communication distance:20m~5km;
2、Basic idea:
The macro cellular model basis is: the propagation loss between
the BS and the MS is dependent on the surrounding environment
of the MS; but within 1km, the direction of the buildings around
the BS and the streets seriously affect the propagation loss between
the BS and the MS, so the macro cellular model mentioned earlier
is not suitable for the forecast within 1km.
Propagation Model
3、Propagation loss formula:
Visual pass: Lb  42.6  26 lg d( km)  20 lg f ( MHz )

Non-visual pass: Lb  L0  Lrts  Lmsd

L0—— transmission loss in free space
Lrts——diffraction and dispersion loss from roof to street
Lmsd——multi-shield diffraction loss
Propagation Model

Micro Cell: Cost-231-Walfish-Ikegami Model

900M in Urban Area: Okumura-Hata Model

1800M in Urban Area: COST-231 Model

Correction of propagation model

The necessity of propagation model


As the propagation environment of the empirical propagation

model is different from the actual propagation environment,
it is necessary to test the electric wave propagation in a
typical environment in the area where the GSM network is to
be constructed, and use the test data to correct the
propagation model and enhance the correctness of the
propagation forecast.
Field intensity test method

Select the test station

To select the typical propagation environment in the service area,
such as densely-populated urban area, general urban area and
suburban area.
To select a station that can cover as more clutter types as
possible (based on the electric map);
The antenna of the test station shall be higher by 5m than the
obstacles within the range of 150~200m;
for every artificial environment, it would be better to select three
or more test stations to eliminate the location factor as much as
Field intensity test method

Determine the parameters related to the test


Use the omni-directional antenna

Ensure the cleanness of the test frequency point
Record the longitude and latitude of the test station,
its antenna height, antenna type, feeder cable loss,
transmitting power of the transmitter, gain of the
Field intensity test method

Determine the test route

1. Get the test data of different distances in different directions;
2. There should be at least 4~5 test data in a certain distance to eliminate
the location effect;
3. Try to go through various clutters;
4. Try to avoid selecting the expressways or wider highways. The optimal
selection is the road that is not more than 3m in width.

 way test path Spiral test path

Field intensity test method

Requirement for the electronic map

Rural areas: 50m and 100m

Cities and suburbs:20m
Micro cells: 5m
Correction factor

Lb =K1+K2lgd+K3lghb+K4lgdlghb+K5+K6+K7
• K1 (146.83 900MHz)(156.65 1800MHz)

 K2 44.9 Modify K5、K6

 K3 -13.82 K5 Artificial environment factor
 K4 -6.55
K6 clutter factor
 K7 0.5
Correction factors

Correction factor in common urban area

Factor K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K7
City 156.65 44.9 -13.8 -6.55 -9.99 0.5
Clutter factor K6:
Water: -4.52
Open air in suburb area: -2.24
Open air in city: -8.49
Grass: -4.21
Middle density build below 20m: 3.11