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Work Instructions For RF Survey


RF site survey is a process oI identiIying GSM cell site location by visiting the predicted place and
conducting a search within the speciIied area Ior the suitability in terms oI RF coverage, access and various
other Iactors governing the implementation oI the site as per design.



It is likely that the system operator has a number oI alternative buildings, which may be used in the cellular
network-planning phase. One reason Ior this is to reduce the initial cost. The Iollowing aspects oI site
selection must be studied:

O!osition relative to nominal grid

OSpace Ior antennas
OAntenna separations
ONearby obstacles
OSpace Ior radio equipment
O!ower supply/battery backup
OService area study
OContract with the owner

The initial study Ior a cell system oIten results in a theoretical cell pattern with nominal positions Ior the site
locations. The existing buildings must then be adapted in such a way that the real positions are established
and replace the nominal positions. The visit to the site is to ensure the exact location (address/coordinates and
ground level). It is also possible Ior more than one existing site to be used Ior a speciIic nominal position.

The radio propagation predictions provide an indication on what type oI antennas can be used on the base
station and in what direction the antennas should be oriented. The predicted antenna height should be used as
a guideline when the on site study starts. II space can be Iound within an acceptable distance Irom the
predicted height, a deviation oI maximum 15, the original predictions can be used with suIIicient accuracy.
II it is possible to install the antennas at a higher position than the predicted position, the operator must ensure
that there is no risk Ior co-channel interIerence. II the antennas are to be installed at a lower position than
predicted, new predictions must be carried out based on this position. It is not necessary that all antennas in
one particular cell have the same height or direction. That is, it is possible to have cells on the same base
station with diIIerent antenna heights. This can be the case iI space is limited in some directions. There are
also cell planning reasons Ior placing antennas at diIIerent heights. This includes coverage, isolation,
diversity and/or interIerence (some oI these considerations are discussed below).

There are two reasons for antennas to be separated from each other and from other antenna
systems. They are:

Oto achieve space diversity
Oto achieve isolation

The horizontal separation distance to obtain suIIicient space diversity between antennas is 12-18 2or 4-6
meter Ior GSM 900. Typical values oI separation distances between antennas to obtain suIIicient isolation
(normally 30 dB) are 0.4 m (horizontal) and 0.2 m (vertical) Ior GSM 900.

One very important part in the Radio Network Survey is to classiIy the close surroundings with respect to
inIluence on radio propagation. In traditional point-to-point communication networks, a line-oI-sight path is
required. A planning criterion is to have the Iirst Iresnel zone Iree Irom obstacles. It is not possible to Iollow
this guideline because the path between the base and the mobile subscriber is normally not line oI- sight. In
city areas, one cell planning criterion is to provide margins Ior these type oI obstacles.
II optimal coverage is required it is necessary to have the antennas Iree Ior the nearest 50-100 m. This means
the lower part oI the antenna system has to be Iive meters above the surroundings.

Radio equipment should be placed as close as possible to the antennas in order to reduce the Ieeder loss and
the cost Ior Ieeders. However, iI these disadvantages can be accepted, other locations Ior the equipment can
be considered. In addition suIIicient space should be allotted Ior Iuture expansions. The radio network survey
includes a brieI study with respect to this matter. A more detailed analysis takes place when the location is
chosen to be included in the cellular network.

The equipment power supply must be estimated and the possibility oI obtaining this must be checked. Space
Ior battery-back-up may be required.

During the network survey it is important to study the intended service areas Irom the actual and alternate
base station locations. Coverage predictions must be checked with respect to critical areas. Also it is
important to note down the geographical area along with inIormation about type oI area such as Urban,
Suburban, Rural, Open etc along with density oI vegetation which will in turn help the Network !lanner to
take these actual conditions into consideration.

Check at Site visit

The purpose oI the site visit is to collect and record (on the spot) all data that may have an inIluence on the
installation engineering and the site preparation and to make a report that will be the basis Ior an agreement
on the ConIirmed System Design. The Iollowing actions should be taken on site:

OFill in the address/location in the checklist
OLocate the site on the map
OCheck that the allocated space is suIIicient
OMake a sketch oI the premises/rooItop including existing structures, and take measurements
OIndicate the north direction on the sketch
OSelect a location Ior the RBS equipment
OII the RBS is to be located indoors, make a Iloor plan sketch and indicate north on the sketch.
ONote heights oI buildings
OMake a sketch oI any existing tower
OTake measurements oI tower legs, distances between legs, and height. Try to establish a suitable antenna
location and note measurements oI the tower at that location.
OMeasure location oI existing antennas
OFind cable paths and check cable ladders, ducts, and trays
OMeasure the length oI the cable way Ior antenna cables
OFind out Irom where the mains power can be supplied and iI it has capacity Ior the increased load
OInvestigate Irom where the transport network can be brought into the site
OMake a sketch oI the layout oI the earthing system and lightning protection system
OTake photographs to back up the notes.

For the RF site survey, tools required are listed below:
1. G!S
2. Magnetic compass
3. Binocular
4. Camera
5. Location area map
6. Measuring tape

Search Ring Form

Site ID: ____________ Site Name: _____________

Site Details


Morphology Type:


Co-ordinates: (GPS) deg min sec

Latitude: N

Longitude: E

Site AGL (m):

Antenna Orientation (Deg)

Sector1 Sector2 Sector3

Antenna Type:

Coverage Objectives:


Name & signature of RF coordinator: _______________________________
Date: _______________

Date ___________
SITE ID: ________

Location 1 Location 2 Location 3




Sig. Of R.F. Engineer