You are on page 1of 21

3G Optimisation Workshop

Pilot Pollution
London, 28th of April 2003

A pilot pollution area is an area where an excessive number of

scrambling codes are received and lead to a degradation of quality

In other words Pilot Pollution corresponds to DL interference

Practical condition:
Best server CPICH_Ec is good

Best server CPICH EcNo is bad

A single EcNo threshold is not recommended :

> >

when Ec decreases, even with a single cell and no traffic, the EcNo naturally degrades, therefore at low Ec level it is less straightforward to relate a weak EcNo to pilot pollution When the Ec level is low, the main problem is coverage, not quality

Recommended thresholds:
Best server CPICH_Ec > -100 dBm

for unloaded network only

Best server CPICH EcNo < -10 dB

EcNo: theory

In detail:

Ec: Energy_chip, received level on the CPICH RSSI: Received Signal Strength Indicator

EcNo PNoise


EcNo: Single cell no traffic

EcNo: Handover, no traffic

EcNo: typical values

Ec dBm -115 -100 > -90 EcNo (1 cell) EcNo (2 cells) dB dB -15 -15.5 -4.8 -7 -3 -6 EcNo (3 cells) dB -16 -8.5 -7.8 EcNo (4 cells) dB -16 -9.5 -9 EcNo (15 cells) dB -18 -15 -15

EcNo degrades with Ec level EcNo degrades with overlaps. BLER degradation may occur only when 15 cells are received with the same level (lab test, field test to be performed). In the field it seems that the BLER starts degrading when EcNo < -10 dB. EcNo is almost similar for all overlap situations at lowest Ec levels, meaning that a pilot pollution area has a low impact on cell edge.

Main reasons for pilot pollution

A closer look at the formula gives reasons for a bad EcNo:

EcNo PNoise


Radio design (F factor)

High sites

Traffic (P_bs)
P_bs = DL power used by the Base Station. The higher the number of users, the stronger P_bs More interferences at busy hours

Large antenna beamwidth

Non tilted antennas

How can we improve Pilot Pollution areas?

2 ways: 1) Improve the Ec level of the best server 2) Reduce the Ec level from some of the interferers Either way we need to identify and sort:
the dedicated best serving cells the interfering cells

Generic Process: display

First step is to display the pilot pollution areas

With either scanner or trace mobile data, this can be easily done using the condition:

Best server CPICH_Ec > -100 dBm

Best server CPICH EcNo < -10 dB

Generic Process: pre-check

Before optimising a pilot pollution area, basic questions shall be

Were there maintenance problems? - check if all sites were transmitting properly

Is there a site planned to be on air in a near future? Is the area worth optimising? (Secondary road, hill top)

Generic Process: identify cells

Reporting levels from cells involved in a pilot pollution area is

much easier than tracking an interferer in GSM

With a scanner, all possibly decoded SCs are reported With a trace mobile, all SCs from the monitored set are

reported meaning that no missing neighbours shall remain before analysing pilot pollution

Serving and interfering cells

One basic difficulty when tackling a pilot pollution area is to define

among all reported cell: 1) Which cells are the proper dedicated best servers of the area 2) Which cells are the interferers to optimise

Both local and large scale analysis are needed

Serving cells
The wished best serving cells are not obviously the measured

best cells:
> >
in the area, top cells may fluctuate best or 2nd best measured cell may be a remote cell that we would rather optimise

A practical approach is necessary

> >

define as best cells those from the closest physical sites

keep a remote cell only if absolutely necessary (bringing useful service that closer cell could not provide)

How many cells?


3 cells is a typical number, as it is the size of the active set

Interfering cells
Basically all non best server cells are the interferers Which cells to optimise?


It is necessary to get the big picture of the area and identify the worst interferers

Worst interferers can be defined as:

> >

Cells involved in a high number of pilot pollution areas

Cells received with interfering levels without being best server. The following layer shall be displayed:

0dB EcNo _ best _ server EcNo _ cell _ i 5dB

Optimisation actions
We shall specify which levers may be used to optimise a pilot

pollution area. Ideally we should be able to optimise antennas, namely:

Tilt modification Azimuth change

Change of antenna (to get a more narrow horizontal beam-width, or an electrical tilt)

We do not recommend CPICH power changes

> The best option is tilt modification

Optimisation actions
Ideally the Ec level reduction on the interferer shall be such that:

EcNo _ best _ server EcNo _ int erferer 10dB

Caution when optimising the interferer:

> >

Do not reduce useful coverage

Do not create new pilot pollution area by reducing the Ec level where this interferer is best server

Use the field measurements to assess what dB reduction is

needed, but use planning tool for a full simulation of the optimisation

Summary: flow-chart
Pilot Pollution Flow Chart
Field measurement (Agilent scanner)

Tools required:

Import in post-processing tool (NATSuite)

> Agilent Scanner > NATSuite (post-process) > NetAct planning tool

Display pilot pollution

Pre-check Identify all cells

Note: A different process will be required with a loaded network (to be studied)

Sort best servers from worst interferers

> > >

Updated thresholds

Focus on busy hours

Traffic related optimisation

Optimise interferers and check with planning tool (NetAct)

Risks specific to UMTS



Frequency Planning

High number of frequency

> Few interferences > High sites and large

antenna beam-width may not be a problem

All cell use the same frequency interferences depending on radio design and traffic

> same radio design as

for GSM may not be suitable


In the early days, few pilot pollution areas are expected (e.g. EN in Bristol), Without load we should not drop calls due to pilot pollution

Yet feedback from areas with a higher site density of than EN Bristol will be useful

Moreover interferences will arise quickly with load and can take a few months or more to be optimised

> therefore pre-emptive actions are advised before the network gets

3G Optimisation Workshop

Pilot Pollution
London, 28th of April 2003