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BASIC CELLULAR

RADIO
ENGINEERING
Abstract

This paper is intended to provide a better understanding in basic


propagation theory, cell planning, basic teletraffic theory, basic
antenna theory and common RF ancilliaries.
REVISION LIST
Date Revision Description Responsibility Approvals Comments

13rd April 2001 1.0 Initial draft Edwin Yapp

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

REVISION LIST.................................................................................................................................................................................................2

1. BASIC PROPAGATION THEORY................................................................................................................................................5


1.1 PROPAGATION BASICS.......................................................................................................................................................................5
1.2 RULE OF THUMB.................................................................................................................................................................................6
1.3 ATTENUATION SLOPE .......................................................................................................................................................................6
1.4 PROPAGATION PROBLEMS................................................................................................................................................................7
1.4.1 Rayleigh Fading......................................................................................................................................................................7
1.4.2 Time Dispersion .......................................................................................................................................................................8
1.4.3 Shadowing................................................................................................................................................................................9
1.4.4 Diffraction.................................................................................................................................................................................9
1.4.5 Reflection ............................................................................................................................................................................... 10
1.4.6 Natural Path Loss ................................................................................................................................................................ 10
1.4.7 Interference............................................................................................................................................................................ 10
1.5 PROPAGATION PROBLEMS – SOLUTIONS...................................................................................................................................11
1.5.1 Equalization.......................................................................................................................................................................... 11
1.5.2 Diversity ................................................................................................................................................................................. 12
1.5.3 Frequency Hopping............................................................................................................................................................. 13
1.5.4 Interleaving ........................................................................................................................................................................... 13
1.5.5 Channel Coding................................................................................................................................................................... 14
1.5.6 Discontinuous Transmission/Reception .......................................................................................................................... 15
1.5.7 Dynamic Power Control ..................................................................................................................................................... 15
2. CELL PLANNING........................................................................................................................................................................... 17
2.1 NOMINAL CELL PLANNING ............................................................................................................................................................17
2.2 CELL PLANNING TOOL .................................................................................................................................................................... 17
2.3 PROPOGATION MODELS ..................................................................................................................................................................18
2.4 T HE GRID............................................................................................................................................................................................18
2.5 CELL PLANNING PROCESS ............................................................................................................................................................... 19
2.6 CELL PLANNING CONSID ERATIONS............................................................................................................................................... 20

3. BASIC TELETRAFFIC THEORY ................................................................................................................................................ 22


3.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................................................22
3.2 ERLANG TABLES ............................................................................................................................................................................... 23
3.3 T RAFFIC CONCEPTS .........................................................................................................................................................................24
3.4 DIMENSIONING A CELL...................................................................................................................................................................24
3.5 SECTORED VS OMNI SITES.......................................................................................................................................................... 25
4. BASIC ANTENNA THEORY........................................................................................................................................................ 28
4.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................................................28
4.2 ISOTROPIC RADIATION.................................................................................................................................................................... 28
4.3 COMMON ANTENNA.........................................................................................................................................................................29
4.4 ANTENNA SPECIFICATIONS ......................................................................................................................................................29
5. COMMON RF ANCILLIARIES ................................................................................................................................................... 36
5.1 EQUIPMENT .......................................................................................................................................................................................37
5.1.1 Couplers ................................................................................................................................................................................. 38
5.1.2 Splitters/Combine ................................................................................................................................................................ 39
5.1.3 Filters ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 40
5.1.4 Duplexers ............................................................................................................................................................................... 40
5.1.5 Isolators ................................................................................................................................................................................. 41
5.1.6 Cables/Connectors .............................................................................................................................................................. 41
5.1.7 Attenuators ............................................................................................................................................................................ 41

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CHAPTER 1
BASIC PROPAGATION THEORY

Objectives: This chapter will describe the basic studies of


wave propagation, some of the problems
encountered in propagation as well as the
solutions to overcome these problems.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Understand the basics of wave propagation


• Explain the problems encountered in propagation
• Describe the solutions for the propagation problems

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1. BASIC PROPAGATION THEORY

1.1 PROPAGATION BASICS


The Decibel:
A unit measurement in the logarithmic scale as opposed to the linear scale.

Use the formula below to convert from linear scale to log scale.

10 log10 (Po /PI )

For example,

dBW = 10 log 1 0 (P o/1W) or

dBm = 10 log1 0 (P o /1mW)

For quick references,

10W = 10 log1 0 (10/0.001W) dBm = 40dBm

However, when power is

a) Doubled, add 3dB (e.g. 40dBm + 3dBm = 43dBm)


b) Tripled, add 5dB
c) Quadrupled, add 6dB
d) Ten-fold, add 10dB

Basic free space path loss (FSPL) propagation equation, as illustrated in Figure
1-1, is

Radio tower FSPL MS

Figure 1-1
Where, N = D/λ = number of
FSPL = 10 log1 0 [(4πD/λ)]2 dB or
wavelengths from the antenna
FSPL = 22 + 20 log1 0 N dB

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1.2 RULE OF THUMB
Furthering the equation above and knowing that

c = fλ

32.4 + 20log2D + 20logF dB = 32.4 + 6 + 20logD + 20logF dB

32.4 + 20log4D + 20logF dB = 32.4 + 6 + 6 +20logD +20logF dB

Hence, at every doubling (octave) of the distance, D, add 6dB/octave.

32.4 + 20log10D + 20logF dB = 32.4 + 20 + 20logD + 20logF dB

32.4 + 20log100D + 20logF dB = 32.4 + 20 + 20 + 20logD +20logF dB

Hence, at every ten-fold (decade) of the distance, D, add 20dB/decade.

1.3 ATTENUATION SLOPE


The FSPL can be re-written as,

FSPL = Lo + 10γγ log D

Where γ is the slope of the attenuation with respect to distance, D.

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1.4 PROPAGATION PROBLEMS
1.4.1 Rayleigh Fading

This occurs when a signal takes more than one path between the MS and BTS
antennas. In this case, the signal is not received on a line of sight path directly from
the Tx antenna. Rather, it is reflected off buildings, for example, and is received
from several different indirect paths. Rayleigh fading occurs when the obstacles
are close to the receiving antenna.

The received signal is the sum of many identical signals, which differ only in phase
(and to some extent amplitude). A fading dip and the time that elapses between
two fading dips depend on both the speed of the MS and the transmitting
frequency. As an approximation, the distance between two dips caused by
Rayleigh fading is about half a wavelength. Thus, for GSM 900 the distance
between dips is about 17 cm. Figure 1-2 below shows an example of Rayleigh
fading.

Figure 1-2

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1.4.2 Time Dispersion

Time dispersion is another problem relating to multiple paths to the Rx antenna of


either an MS or BTS. However, in contrast to Rayleigh fading, the reflected signal
comes from an object far away from the Rx antenna.

Time dispersion causes Inter-Symbol Interference (ISI) where consecutive


symbols (bits) interfere with each other making it difficult for the receiver to
determine which symbol is the correct one. An example of this is shown in the
figure below where the sequence 1, 0 is sent from the BTS.

If the reflected signal arrives one bit time after the direct signal, then the receiver
detects a 1 from the reflected wave at the same time it detects a 0 from the direct
wave. The symbol 1 interferes with the symbol 0 and the MS does not know which
one is correc t. This can be shown in Figure 1-3.

Figure 1-3

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1.4.3 Shadowing

Shadowing occurs when there are physical obstacles including hills and buildings
between the BTS and the MS. The obstacles create a shadowing effect that can
decrease the received signal strength. When the MS moves, the signal strength
fluctuates depending on the obstacles between the MS and BTS.

A signal influenced by fading varies in signal strength. Drops in strength are called
fading dips.

Figure 1-4

1.4.4 Diffraction

Diffraction occurs at objects, which are in order of the wavelength λ. Radio waves
are ‘bent’ around objects and the bending angle increases if the object’s thickness
is smaller compared to λ. The influence of the object also causes a form of
attenuation also known as diffraction loss.

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1.4.5 Reflection

Pr = Rh/v • PO

Rh/v = f(ϕ , ε , σ, ∆h)

Where Rh = Horizontal reflection factor


Rv = Vertical reflection factor
ϕ = Angle of incidence
ε = Permitivity
σ = Conductivity
∆h = Surface roughness

Pr
ö Äh

Po
Figure 1-5

An example of reflection if shown in Figure 1-5.

1.4.6 Natural Path Loss

This can be due to rain attenuation, clutter or foliage.

1.4.7 Interference

Frequency can be re-used to achieve capacity in the cellular system. However, this
can cause interference. There are 2 types of interference namely:-

a) Co-channel interference

b) Adjacent channel interference

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1.5 PROPAGATION PROBLEMS – SOLUTIONS
1.5.1 Equalization

Adaptive equalization is a solution specifically designed to counter act the problem


of time dispersion. It works as follows:

1. A set of predefined known bit patterns exists, known as training


sequences. These are known to the BTS and the MS (programmed
at manufacture). The BTS instructs the MS to include one of these
in its transmissions to the BTS.

2. The MS includes the training sequence (shown in the figure as “S”)


in its transmissions to the BTS. However, due to the problems over
the radio path, some bits may be distorted.

3. The BTS receives the transmission from the MS and examines the
training sequence within it. The BTS compares the received training
sequence with the training sequence that it had instructed the MS to
use. If there are differences between the two, it can be assumed
that the problems in the radio path affected these bits must have
had a similar effect on the non-training sequence bits.

4. The BTS begins a process in which it uses its knowledge of what


happened to the training sequence to correct the other bits of the
transmission.

Because some assumptions are made about the radio path, adaptive equalization
may not result in a 100% perfect solution everytime. However, a “good enough”
result will be achieved. A viterbi equalizer is an example of an adaptive equalizer.
This can be shown in Figure 1-6.

Figure 1-6

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1.5.2 Diversity

Antenna diversity increases the received signal strength by taking advantage of the
natural properties of radio waves. There are two primary diversity methods, namely
space diversity and polarization diversity.

a) Space Diversity
An increase in received signal strength at the BTS may be achieved
by mounting two receiver antennas instead of one. If the two Rx
antennas are physically separated, the probability that both the
antenna signals are simultaneously affected by a deep fading dip is
low. At 900 MHz, it is possible to gain about 3 dB with a distance of
five to six meters between the antennas. At 1800 MHz the distance
can be shortened because of its decreased wavelength.

By choosing the best of each signal, the impact of fading can be


reduced. Space diversity offers slightly better antenna gain than
polarization diversity, but requires more space. Space diversity can
be shown in Figure 1-7.

Figure 1-7

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b) Polarization Diversity
With polarisation diversity the two space diversity antennas are
replaced by one dual polarized antenna. This antenna has normal
size but contains two differently polarized antenna arrays. The most
common types are vertical/horizontal arrays and arrays in ±45
degree slant orientation. The two arrays are connected to the
respective Rx branches in the BTS. The two arrays can also be
used as combined Tx/Rx antennas. For most applications, the
difference between the diversity gain for space diversity and
polarization diversity is negligible, but polarization diversity reduces
the space required for antenna.

1.5.3 Frequency Hopping

As mentioned previously, Rayleigh fading is frequency dependent. This means that


the fading dips occur at different places for different frequencies. To benefit from
this fact, it is possible for the BTS and MS to hop from frequency to frequency
during a call. The frequency hopping of the BTS and MS is synchronized. Figure 1-
8 shows frequency hopping.

In GSM there are 64 patterns of frequency hopping, one of which is a simple cyclic
or sequential pattern. The remaining 63 are known as pseudo-random patterns that
an operator can choose from.

Figure 1-8

During TDMA frame N, C1 is used and during TDMA frame N+1, C2 is used. The
call uses the same time slot but changes frequencies according to an identified
pattern.

1.5.4 Interleaving

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In reality, bit errors often occur in sequence, as caused by long fading dips
affecting several consecutive bits. Channel coding is most effective in detecting
and correcting single errors and short error sequences. It is not suitable for
handling longer sequences of bit errors.

For this reason, a process called interleaving is used to separate consecutive bits
of a message so that these are transmitted in a non-consecutive way.

For example, a message block may consist of four bits (1234). If four message
blocks must be transmitted, and one is lost in transmission, without interleaving
there is a 25% Bit Error Rate (BER) overall, but a 100% BER for that lost message
block. It is not possible to recover from this.

Figure 1-9

If interleaving is used, as shown in Figure 1-9 and Figure 1-10, the bits of each
block may be sent in a non-consecutive manner. If one block is lost in
transmission, again there is a 25% BER overall. However, this time the 25% is
spread over the entire set of mes sage blocks, giving a 25% BER for each. This is
more manageable and hence the greater the possibility that the errors can be
corrected through the use of a channel decoder.

Figure 1-10

1.5.5 Channel Coding

In digital transmission, the quality of the transmitted signal is often expressed in


terms of how many of the received bits are incorrec t. This is called Bit Error Rate

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(BER). BER defines the percentage of the total number of received bits that are
incorrectly detected as shown in Figure 1-11.

Transmitted bits 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0
Received bits 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0

Errors = 3/10 (BER = 30%)

Figure 1-11

This percentage should be as low as possible. It is not possible to reduce the


percentage to zero because the transmission path is constantly changing. This
means that there must be an allowance for a certain amount of errors and at the
same time an ability to restore the information, or at least detect errors so the
incorrect information bits are not interpreted as correct. This is especially important
during transmission of data, as opposed to speech, for which a higher BER is
acceptable.

Channel coding is used to detect and correct errors in a received bit stream. It
adds bits to a message. These bits enable a channel dec oder to determine
whether the message has faulty bits, and to potentially correct the faulty bits.

1.5.6 Discontinuous Transmission/Reception

Discontinuous Transmission (DTX) increases the efficiency of the system through


a decrease in the radio transmission interference level. This is achieved when the
MS does not transmit during ‘silences’.

1.5.7 Dynamic Power Control

This is a feature in the GSM air interface. Both the BTS and MS adjust their power
output taking into account the distance between them.

END OF CHAPTER 1

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CHAPTER 2
CELL PLANNING

Objectives: This chapter describes briefly the cell planning


process and some of the factors involved. In this
chapter as well, some of the planning tools used
will also be introduced.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Understand the idea and main reasons for cell planning


• Explain briefly the major steps in cell planning

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2. CELL PLANNING
Cell planning is defined as the use of a systematic and scientific approach to
designing a cellular network. It can also be described as all the activities involved in
determining which sites will be used for the radio equipment, which equipment will
be used and how the equipment will be configured. Cell planning is needed to avoid
interference and ensure good coverage.

2.1 NOMINAL CELL PLANNING


Nominal cell plan is the first cell plan and a starting point for the planner to use for
further cell planning or designing. It is based on some measurable as well as
educated forecast of data or market research data.

2.2 CELL PLANNING TOOL


Normally, coverage and interference predictions are needed for a cell plan.
Hence, at this stage, computer-aided cell planning tools are used for radio
propagation analysis. These cell planning tools are needed for:

a) Predictions for coverage, interference, traffic and etc.

b) Simulations for frequency planning

These tools are needed to simplify the planners’ task through the use of
simulations and calculations as well as for the planner to have a starting point to
work on.

Among the commercial cell planning tools:

a) Asset Planning Tool

b) TEMS Cell Planner

c) Planet from MSI

d) Odyssey from Aethos

e) TOTEM from Nokia

f) Netplan from Motorola

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2.3 PROPOGATION MODELS
Propagation models are essentially a curve fitting exercise. Tests are conducted
at various frequencies, locations, periods, distances and antenna heights. The
received signal is analysed and fitted into an appropriate curve. Hence, the
formulas used to match these curves are generated and used as models.

Among the classical models are:

a) Longley-Rice Model – used for irregular terrain model

b) Okumura-Hata Model – used for urban/suburban model at 900MHz

c) Cost 231-Hata Model – used for 1500MHZ to 2000MHz

d) Walfisch-Ikegami Cost 231 – used for dense urban/microcell areas

2.4 THE GRID


A grid is a mesh of hexagons to represent graphically the equal signal contours of
the cell sites within a given system. Relationships can be drawn to describe the
theoretical limits of the sites from this graphical representation between the sites
and the way signal attenuates as they travel from the sites. Thus, design guidelines
can be developed to enable the system towards the theoretical limits in its
performance.

The main reasons to use grids is to have uniformity in planning such as:

a) To visualise the minimum re-use distance

b) To visualise the re-use pattern

c) To ensure co-channel interferer is ‘streamlined’ in one direction

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2.5 CELL PLANNING PROCESS

Start

Example:
• Coverage
Understand
requirements
customer
requirement • Initial roll out plans
• Budget
Example:
• Traffic distribution
Survey • Growth areas
(CBD or not)
• Coverage
Prepare Cell (Inbuilding or not)
Planning Tool
(CPT)
Example:
• Digitised maps
• Tool fine tuning
through survey of
Draft Plan
data

NO Division of Areas:
• CBD
Is draft
• Suburban
plan ok? • Rural
• In-building

Fine Tune • Perform Drive


Tests to confirm
NO CPT predictions
• Review plan with
Finalise customer
plans?

Build

End

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2.6 CELL PLANNING CONSIDERAT IONS
Some considerations are taken in cell planning. In the case of coverage versus
capacity, normally new networks need not concern itself with capacity as much
as coverage. Hence, high sites are normally built to maximise coverage (e.g. 50-
70m high sites are very common).

However, as the network grows and become a more matured network, new
considerations are taken. In this grown network, capacity is considered but the
quality of service (QoS) is also important. Hence, there is a tradeoff between
these two factors. If more capacity is built, the quality will suffer.

END OF CHAPTER 2

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CHAPTER 3
BASIC TELETRAFFIC THEORY

Objectives: This chapter describes the concept of traffic in a


cellular network. The description is from the
Erlang tables to dimensioning a cell.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Explain the terms ‘traffic’ and ‘GoS’


• Understand the concept of traffic
• Use the Erlang B table to dimension the number of
channels needed in the system

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3. BASIC TELETRAFFIC THEORY

3.1 INTRODUCTION
Traffic refers to usage of channels and is usually thought of as holding time per
time unit or the number of ‘call hours’ per hour for one or several channels. Traffic
is measured in the unit Erlang (Er) and Erlang is defined as:-

The average number of channel simultaneously occupied during a


defined period of time and it is dimensionless. For example, as shown
in Figure 3-1.

1
2
3
channels

4
No of

Time Unit

Figure 3-1
Traffic from time period 0 to 10
= (0+1+1+2+3+3+3+2+2+2)/10
=1.9Er

The amount of traffic one cell can carry depends on the number of traffic
channels available and the acceptable probability that the system is congested
(Grade of Service, GoS).

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3.2 ERLANG TABLES
Different Erlang model are used in the calculations of traffic. Among these Erlang
models are:

a) Erlang B
b) Erlang C
c) Erlang D

However, the most common model used is Erlang B, as shown in Table 3-1,
because it is the simplest yet still accurate model. Erlang B model is used base
on several assumptions. These assumptions are:

a) The subscriber will wait for a short period of time before retrying.
b) All calls are generated randomly.
c) Number of subscribers is much higher than number of traffic
channels.
d) No dedicated (reserved) channels.
e) No queues.

Table 3-1: Erlang B Table

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3.3 TRAFFIC CONCEPTS
There are 3 different types of traffic. There are:-

a) Offered traffic (AO)


This is the traffic offered to a group in accordance with a defined
theorectical description of the traffic case. It is consequently also a
hypotectical quantity and it becomes only meaningful if it is referred
to a specific theorectical model.

b) Carried traffic (AC)


This is the traffic handled by a group. It can be measured and is
more practical to quote this traffic.

c) Loss traffic (AL )


This is a portion of the traffic lost to an auxilliary route when the
primary route is occupied.

Generally,

AO = AC + AL and

AO = AC /(1-GoS)

3.4 DIMENSIONING A CELL


Dimensioning the network now implies using demographic data to determine the
sizes of the cells. Dimensioning a whole network while maintaining a fixed cell
size means estimating the number of carriers needed in each cell. In addition,
traffic is not constant since it varies between day and night, different days as well
as with a number of other factors. In GSM cellular system, the following are the
typical dimensions of a cell. For GoS of 2%, the number of offered traffic is:-

1 carrier = 2.9Er
2 carrier = 8.2Er
3 carrier = 14.03Er
4 carrier = 21.04Er

It is important that the number of signalling channels (SDCCHs) is dimensioned


as well, taking into account the estimated system behaviour in various parts of the
network. For example, cells bordering a different location area may have lots of
location updating and cells on a highway probably have many handovers. In order
to calculate the need for SDCCHs, the number of attempts for every procedure
that uses the SDCCH as well as the time that each procedure hold the SDCCH
must be taken into account. The procedures involved are location updating,
periodic registration, IMSI attach/detach, call setup, SMS, facsimile and
supplementary services. The number of false accesses must also be estimated.
This is typically quite a high number but still small compared to traffic.

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3.5 SECTORED VS OMNI SIT ES
Omni sites are used in suburban to rural sites, which do not need capacity and
when interference is not an issue. Meanwhile, sectored sites are used when
interference needs to be split and usually is used in suburban to urban and dense
urban sites. The tradeoff between omni and sectored sites is the trunking
efficiency. This can be illustrated in an example given below.

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Assume the task is to find the necessary number of traffic channels for one cell to
serve subscribers with traffic of 33Er. The GoS during the busy hour is not to
exceed 2%. By considering the above requirements and consulting Erlang’s B-
table, 43 channels are found to be needed as shown in the Figure 3-2.

Figure 3-2: Part of Erlang B’s Table for 43 channels


giving the offered traffic (Er) as a function of the GoS
(%)

Assume five cells are designed to cover the same area as the single cell. These
five cells must handle the same amount of traffic as the cell above, 33Er.
Acceptable GoS is still 2%. First, the total traffic is divided among the cells (Table
3-2). Traffic distribution over several cells results in a need for more channels
than if all traffic had been concentrated in one cell.

This illustrates the fact that it is more efficient to use many channels in a larger
cell than vice versa. To calculate the channel utilization, the traffic offered is
reduced by the GoS of 2% (yielding the carried traffic) and dividing that value by
the number of channels (yielding the channel utilization).

With 43 channels (as in the previous single cell example), the channel utilization
is 33.083/ 43 = 77%, i.e., each channel is used approximately 77% of the time.
However, by splitting this cell into smaller cells, more traffic channels are required
hence the channel utilization decreases.

Table 3-2: A certain amount of traffic is distributed over several cells

END OF CHAPTER 3

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CHAPTER 4
BASIC ANTENNA THEORY

Objectives: This chapter explains the basic antenna studies


from the type of radiation to the type of antennas
used as well as some of the antennas’
specifications.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Understand the concept of the antenna radiation


• Describe some of the antenna types as well as the
specifications needed

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4. BASIC ANTENNA THEORY

4.1 INTRODUCTION
An antenna is a radiating element that is fed with an electromagnetic energy.
Oscillating charges on a transmitting antenna typically generate ultra high
frequency radio waves. Each antenna has a unique radiation pattern. This pattern
can be represented graphically by plotting the received, time-averaged power as a
function of the angle that is with respect to the direction of maximum power in a
log-polar diagram. The pattern is a representative of the antenna’s performance in
a test environment. However, it only applies to the free-space environment in which
the test measurement takes place. Upon installation, the pattern becomes more
complex due to factors affecting propagation in the reality. Thus, the real
effectiveness of any antenna is measured in the field.

4.2 ISOTROPIC RADIATION


An isotropic antenna is a completely non-directional antenna that radiates equally
in all directions. Since all practical antennas exhibit some degree of directivity, the
isotropic antenna exists only as a mathematical concept. The isotropic antenna
can be used as a reference to specify the gain of a practical antenna. The gain of
an antenna referenced isotropically is the ratio between the power required in the
practical antenna and the power required in an isotropic antenna to achieve the
same field strength in the desired direction of the measured practical antenna.

Isotropic radiation only exists in an ideal situation. In practice, radiation does not
propagate equally in all direction but favouring one direction over another.

Figure 4-1

Figure 4-1 above shows an isotropic source, which is an imaginary origin point
where energy is being radiated equally in all spherical direction.

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4.3 COMMON ANTENNA
Among some of the common antennas are:-

a) Dipole-half wave

b) Yagi Antenna

c) Log Periodic

d) Co-linear panel

Dipole-half wave antenna

This is a straight conductor cut to one-half of the electrical wavelength with the
radio frequency signal fed to the middle of the conductor.

Figure 4-2

Figure 4-2 above shows the radiation pattern of the half-wave dipole, which is
normally referred to as a dipole.

4.4 ANTENNA SPECIFICATIONS


A few antenna specifications are taken into account. There are:

a) Gain

When an antenna ‘focuses’ its energy in one particular direction, an


effective gain is achieved. This effective energy focused is known as
the gain of the antenna. Gain measurements are usually made with
reference to a reference radiator and it is never absolute.

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The directive gain in relation to an isotropic antenna is expressed in
units of dBi and the directive gain in relation to a dipole is expressed
in units of dBd. For a dipole and an isotropic antenna with the same
input power, the energy is more concentrated in certain directions by
the dipole.

Generally,

dBi = dBd + 2.15dB

Cellular antennae specifications are usually quoted in dBi.

Figure 4-3

Figure 4-3 above shows the differences in gain between the


isotropic, dipole and practical antenna. The vertical pattern for the
practical antenna is that of a directional antenna.

The gain of an antenna is related to its effective aperture according


to the formula below,

Ae = Gλ2 /4π

Thus, Ae ∝ λ. This means that the greater the affective aperture, the
greater the gain of the antenna and the size of an antenna is
inversely proportional to the frequency of operation.

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PASSIVE 6dB
antenna
gain

ACTIVE

3dB cable loss How much power radiating?

20W

10W

Power Amplifier Figure 4-4

An antenna and the cable are passive elements whereas the power amplifier is an
active element. The reason that the output power can be higher than the input
power is because of the directive gain of the antenna as shown in Figure 4-4.

b) Beamwidth

Figure 4-5

Beamwidth is defined as the angular separation between two –3dB


points on the field strength radiation pattern of an antenna. It can be
specified horizontally and vertically. The beamwidth specification is
useful because it gives us an idea of where most of the useful
antenna energy is pointing. This specification can be found from the
polar plots provided by the manufacturer. The typical values are 90°,
65° and 120°.

Basic Ce llular Engineering CPO2 31 For Internal Use Only


Figure 4-5 shows the definition of beamwidth. Both the horizontal and vertical
beamwidths are found using the 3dB down points, alternatively referred to as half-
power points.

Figure 4-6 below shows the vertical and hozintal antenna pattern for a ‘real’
antenna.

Figure 4-6

Basic Ce llular Engineering CPO2 32 For Internal Use Only


c) Antenna Data Sheet

When choosing an antenna for a specific application, the


manufacturer’s data sheet must be consulted. The data sheet
contains information including antenna gain, beamwidth (vertical and
horizontal) and graphs showing the vertical and horizontal patterns.

Figure 4-7

Figure 4-7 is an example of an antenna data sheet, where the patterns of the
beamwidths are also shown.

d) Front to back ratio

This is a ratio of the front gain to the back gain specified in dBs.
The front to back ratio is a useful information to have when
considering an antenna type for a specific design. The typical value
is between 25-30 Bs. The larger the value, the better the separation
between the front and back ratio radiation lobe.

e) Polarisation type

Basic Ce llular Engineering CPO2 33 For Internal Use Only


There are 2 types of polarisation namely:-

i) Uni-polar
This antenna only has elements radiating in one phase. It is
used when spatial diversity is employed.

ii) Dual polar


This antenna has elements radiating in two phase either in 90°
of each other or 45° of each other. It is used when polarisation
diversity is used.

f) Beam tilt angle

There are 2 types of beam tilt namely:-

i) Mechanical
In mechanical tilting, the horizontal beamwidth increases with
the rising of the downtilt angle. The resulting gain reduction
depends on the azimuth directions.

Figure 4-8

Figure 4-8 above shows the mechanical beam tilt of an antenna.

ii) Electrical

Basic Ce llular Engineering CPO2 34 For Internal Use Only


This type of beam tilt has a constant downtilt angle over the
whole azimuth range. The horizontal beamwidth is
independent of the down tilt angle.

Figure 4-9

Both the diagrams in Figure 4-9 above show the effect of horizontal radiation
pattern at various tilt angles. Other specifications that are taken into account are: -

a) Other auxilliary specification


b) Power handling
c) Connector type
d) Dimensions and weight
e) VSWR/Return loss specification
f) Impedance

END OF CHAPTER 4

Basic Ce llular Engineering CPO2 35 For Internal Use Only


CHAPTER 5
COMMON RF ANCILLIARIES

Objectives: This chapter explains on the general equipment


used in antenna installations such as the
couplers, isolators, duplexers and many more.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Describe the concept of the equipment used for RF


networks

5. COMMON RF ANCILLIARIES

Basic Ce llular Engineering CPO2 36 For Internal Use Only


5.1 EQUIPMENT
The concepts involved in dealing with the equipment are:-

a) Insertion loss
Losses that are due when two ports are connected together,
typcically connectors or equipment ports.

b) Impedance matching/VSWR
Reflections cause standing waves of voltage and current on a
tranmission line if it is not terminated with the characteristic
impedance, Zo .

The characteristic impedance is defined as below:

Zo = [138/√K] • [log (b/a)]

Where a = inner conductor diameter


b = inner diameter of outer conductor
K = relative dielectric constant = 1 in vacuum

Standing waves increase line losses, mostly due to higher currents.


They are also indicative of mismatches that result in losses and can
degrade filter performance. The Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) or
Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) is defined as:

VSWR = [1 + ρ] / [1 - ρ]

Where ρ = reflection coefficient


= [ZL – Zo ] / [ZL + Zo ] and ZL is complex

Also,

ρ = [VSWR – 1] / [VSWR + 1]

For purely resistive loads only,

VSWR = R L / Zo (RL ≥ Zo) or

VSWR = Zo / R L (RL ≤ Zo)

c) Bandwidth

Basic Ce llular Engineering CPO2 37 For Internal Use Only


Bandwidth is the term used to describe the amount of frequency
range allocated to one application. The bandwidth given to an
application depends on the amount of available frequency spectrum.
The amount of bandwidth available is an important factor in
determining the capacity of a mobile system, that is the number of
calls, which can be handled.

d) Power rating
The power rating is an important figure that decribes the optimum
and maximum power range that a passive device can handle before
reaching critical breakdown of the device.

5.1.1 Couplers

This is a device, which distributes power unequally. It has low insertion loss in the
forward direction and is typically 1dB. The auxiliary output is 3dB to 70dB down
depending on the coupler. It is used for testing purposes and in building design.
This is shown in Figure 5-1.

Auxilliary Line Output


(Coupled Output)
A/C = P1
C
B/C = P2

Aux.
A Line Internal B
Main Line Terminatio
Input Main Line n

Figure 5-1

Figure 5-2 below shows an in-building design example. The design is a 10-storey
building covered with directional coupler/multiple antenna configuration.

Basic Ce llular Engineering CPO2 38 For Internal Use Only


3dB Gain Ant
FLOOR
+9dBm/Ch ERP
10
3dB Gain Ant
1:2 Splitter/
FLOOR +9dBm/Ch ERP
Combiner +9dBm/C
9
6dB 3dB Gain Ant h
FLOOR Couple +8dBm/Ch ERP
8 +11dBm/C
3dB Gain Ant h
6dB
FLOOR +10dBm/Ch ERP
Couple +13dBm/C
7
6dB 3dB Gain Ant h
FLOOR
Couple +12dBm/Ch ERP +15dBm/C
6
h
10dB 3dB Gain Ant
FLOOR
Couple +9dBm/Ch ERP
5 +16dBm/C
h
FLOOR 10dB 3dB Gain Ant
4 Couple +10dBm/Ch ERP +17dBm/C
10dB 3dB Gain Ant h
FLOOR
Couple +11dBm/Ch ERP
3 +18dBm/C
10dB 3dB Gain Ant h
FLOOR
Couple +12dBm/Ch ERP
2 +19dBm/C
10dB 3dB Gain Ant h
MICROCELL
FLOOR REMOTE Couple +13dBm/Ch ERP
1 UNIT +20dBm/C
h

Figure 5-2

5.1.2 Splitters/Combine

Splitters are used to distribute power evenly between all output ports. Meanwhile,
combiners are used to combine the signals from the input ports to one output.
There is negligible insertion loss but there is splitting and combining loss of about
3dB for 2-way splitter/combiner.

Basic Ce llular Engineering CPO2 39 For Internal Use Only


5.1.3 Filters

Bandpass filters allow signals within a band of frequency to pass and attenuate all
signals outside the band. An example is the GSM bandpass filter. Combline filters
are used when sharp roll-off or attenuation is required. Typically, it is used to
differentiate TX and RX band. This is illustrated in Figure 5-3.

Attenuation in dB
PD5182 RESPONSE CURVE (896-902)
MHz)

Frequency in MHz
Figure 5-3

5.1.4 Duplexers

Duplexer is used to separate transmit and receive signals by using 2 combline


filters. It allows for transmit and receive from a single antenna as shown in Figure
5-4.

Antenna
Tx/Rx

Tx

Rx
DUPLEXER

Figure 5-4

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5.1.5 Isolators

Isolator is a directional device, which protects the equipment (typically transmitters)


from damage by any power flowing in reverse. Isolation also prevents inter-
modulation by preventing any unwanted signals from entering back into the active
devices (i.e. high isolation between transmitters).

5.1.6 Cables/Connectors

The RF cables are the primary mode of transport of RF signals between the
transmitters and antennas. Typically, it is co-axial cables but now fibre-optics and
twisted pair are used as well. The radiating cables combine the features of RF
cables and antennas. Connectors can provide a good interface between the cables
and other RF equipment. Good connectors have low VSWR and can minimise
inter-modulation. An example of cable specification is given in the table below. It is
important that the cell planner knows this as this will influence the design of the
network.

Table 5-1

5.1.7 Attenuators

Attenuator can reduce the power of the RF signals. The size of the attenuators
depends on the power rating. However, higher power ratings require heat sink.

END OF CHAPTER 5

Basic Ce llular Engineering CPO2 41 For Internal Use Only