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Frequency Planning

Introduction to Basic Concepts

Prepared by : Tauseef Aslam Department : RF Optimization

Pre-requisites Erlang
Unit used to quantify traffic

T = (resource usage duration)/(total observation duration) [ERLANG]

Erlang B-Law :
Call request arrival rate and leaving is not equal so average number of requests exceed number of resources, resulting in probability of blocking. Erlang B-Law is a relationship b/w no. Of resources, offered traffic and Blocking rate

3 TRX -> 14.896 Erlang, 2% blocking probability

14.896 timeslots active during the busy hour. The remaining 7.104 timeslots guarantee a blocking probability of 2%

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Pre-requisites Frequency Hopping

FFH - Fast Frequency Hopping hopping freq > symbol rate i-e 7k hops/sec (1sym~3 bits)

SFH - Slow Frequency Hopping

freq can hop at each TS 1 user ~ 216.6 hops/sec (1/4.616msec) The frequency changes every 8 bursts but the system permits a frequency change at every burst; however there is no benefit for the MS and for the network to change freq at every burst




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Frequency Hopping
Each burst is transmitted on a different frequency Both mobile and base station follow the same hopping sequence

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Frequency Hopping
Base Band Hopping (BBH)
TS hops but H/w dosent

Synthesized freq hopping (SFH)

H/W (TRE) hops

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Frequency Hopping
Comparison b/w BBH & SFH:
--- for SFH, there is no limit for the number of frequencies used for hopping except the software release (recently its 64)! But for BBH Hopping freq should be equal to no of TRXs --- for SFH, the more frequencies are used, the higher the averaging effect that is not possible with BBH BUT --- BBH is intelligent in freq planning p.o.v, means interference can be reduced as much as good planning is possible

SFH not (so much) intelligence in the frequency plan (especially in 1*1). so the drawback is the increased level of interference --- No Hopping possible at BCCH TRX but in BBH, TS 17 of BCCH can hop as well

--- A drawback of SFH is that the BTS cannot use remote tunable combiners (RTC), since the tunable filters cannot change their frequency on a timeslot basis. Therefore a wideband combiner (WBC) has to be used for the connection between transmitter and antenna, ( loss increases by 1.85 dB)
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Frequency Hopping
Why Frequency Hopping?
Frequency Diversity:

--- Avoids Slow fading ( caused by large objects ) & fast fading ( short term breakage of signal strength caused by objects in the size of 10-100 m)
--- Hopping over several frequencies, does not reduce the number of frames being destroyed by fading notches, but reduces the time of being in a fading notch!
Hopping over f1,f2,f3,f4

f1 f2 f3 f4

no fading notch fading notch

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Frequency Hopping
Point to be Noted !!! The FH benefit is not visible in RXQUAL!

Since RXQUAL does not take interleaving into account, so bad BER couldnt necessarily result in bad FER

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Frequency Hopping
Interferer Diversity
means the averaging of the interference within the frequency group

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Frequency Re-use
As the GSM spectrum is limited, frequencies have to be reused to provide enough capacity The more often a frequency is reused within a certain amount of cells, the smaller the frequency reuse and more is the capacity

Re-use Cluster:
Area including cells which do not reuse the same frequency / frequency group

Reuse Cluster Size RCS

If all cells within the reuse cluster have the same amount of TRXs, the reuse per TRX layer can be calculated: ( for variant TRX density per cell, use average no of TRXs / cell) ----- classical defination


B # TRX / cell

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Frequency Re-use
Sectorized sites 4 sites per reuse cluster 3 cells per site

REUSE Cluster Size: 4X3 =12

Fractional Average Reuse Cluster Size Fractional ARCS


Bandwidth Average amount of Frequencies per cell


B 18 1 # f / cell 18

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Frequency Planning
Cell Planning - Frequency Planning
Interdependent or not ?? Off course !!

Bad cell planning results in big overlap areas thus disturbing the reuse pattern , resulting in large RCS necessary
whereas Good cell planning produces Sharp cell borders Small overlap areas good containment of frequency making tighter reuse possible There is a problem with reduced cluster size Increased interference

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Frequency Planning
A Solution --- Multiple reuse patterns (MRPs)
For different types of carriers, different interference potential is expected As the BCCH carrier has the highest interferer potential because of being on air all the time so its REUSE size should be highest TCH layers can be planned with a smaller REUSE Inner zones of concentric cells are able to deal with the smallest reuse

This requires Dedicated band planning instead of Common band.

DB , no doubt, increases capacity BUT BSIC performance isnt good affecting HO reliability. Whereas CB has shown better voice quality but limits capacity.

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Frequency Planning
Capacity Planning:
By adding sites:
--- Adding of new sites in new frequency band (DCS sites) --- Adding of new sites in another layer e.g. adding micro cells for outdoor coverage

--- Adding micro cells indoor coverage By adding cells:

--- Adding new cell, splitting cells ~ adding new BCCH (like D,E,F of GSM)
--- Adding cells using another frequency band (like D,E,F of GSM)

By adding TRXs: --- Adding TRX to existing cells

--- Concentric cells

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Frequency Planning
By adding features: --- Concentric cells --- Half rate --- Frequency hopping How FH is related to capacity solution ??? Here comes the concept of Soft Blocking !!!

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Frequency Planning
Hard Blocking:
--- Hard blocking is determined by the amount of available channels --- With hard blocking, mobiles will not get access to the network, since all channels are in use (100% traffic load)

Soft blocking
--- Soft blocking occurs due to high interference or due to an high call drop rate --- This type of blocking occurs in a network design with a low reuse cluster size, resulting in a high level of interference e.g. when 10% of the mobiles will suffer from a C/I < C/IThr or when the call drop rate reaches 5% --- With increasing traffic load, the capacity will be limited due to soft blocking before the hard blocking limit is reached

Role of Power Control and DTX in soft blocking reduction:

--- DTX and PC reduce interference so reduced soft blocking and more

--- Hopping networks with ARCS < 9 are limited by soft blocking so any interference reducing feature is more effective in such a system

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FH Performance Simulation by Alcatel RNP A9155

Compare points ARCS=12 with ARCS=3 (At 30% of theoratical available H/W
capacity,soft blocking limit is reached)
Hard Block. Soft Block/No Hopping Soft Block/Hopping


Erlang per 3 sector site


150 E: 86.4Erl=+74% 16% Call drop B: 71.1Erl=+42% 50 C: 45Erl 0 D: 20Erl A: 49.8Erl




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FH Performance Simulation by Alcatel RNP A9155

--- The simulation does not take into account real topography, morphology etc. --- 4*3 and 3*3(ARCS 12 & 9): capacity can be calculated easily as soft blocking limit is not reached 49.8 Erl/3 sector site = 16.63 Erl/sector 16.63 Erl : from Erl table with 24 (3*8) channels and GOS=2% ---1*3 case(ARCS=3): capacity can not be calculated easily as soft blocking is reached (hardblocking would lead to 3*84.1=252 Erl per site for 12 (TRX) *8 slots = 96 channels per sector at 2%block) But due to the soft block (interference), the real capacity is lower

What to do practically:
For a first introduction, NTRX=NHop should be used, aiming at an ARCS of 9 for the TCH & ARCS=12 for BCCH Further reduction of the ARCS(1*3 or 1*1) has to be evaluated in a second step, while monitoring the DCR and interference (when softblocking starts)

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Hopping parameters The GSM Hopping Sequence Generator External Parameters (which can be modified by operator)
MA MAI MAIO FHS HSN Mobile Allocation Mobile Allocation Index Mobile Allocation Index Offset Frequency Hopping Sequence Hopping Sequence Number

Internal Parameters (which cannot be modified)

T1, T1R, T2, T3 FN GSM internal timers Frame Number

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Hopping parameters MAL - Mobile Allocation List

--- The MA is the look up table that is giving the relation between the different MAI numbers and the corresponding ARFCN --- The MA gives the number of frequencies over which the target channel hops: the bigger it is, the better is the quality

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Hopping parameters
MAIO - Mobile Allocation Index Offset
--- It is a number that is added to the calculated MAI to avoid intra-site collisions due to co or adjacent channel usage. --- The MAIO is selectable for each timeslot and each TRX separately --- Due to the fact, that normally for each timeslot within one TRX the same FHS is used, there is no need to change the MAIO from timeslot to timeslot. Therefore the MAIO is constant on the TRX. --- Range: 0 .. N-1 (max. 63) --- The FHS is the freq hopping group. It is given by the operator and can be different for each timeslot and each TRX of each cell
TS 0 TS 1 BCCH TCH freq 0, 0 TCH 1, 1 TCH 1, 2 TCH 2, 3 SD/8 1, 1 TCH 1, 2 TCH 2, 3 TS 2 TCH 0, 0 TCH 1, 1 TCH 1, 2 TCH 2, 3 TS 3 TCH 0, 0 TCH 1, 1 TCH 1, 2 TCH 2, 3 TS 4 TCH 0, 0 TCH 1, 1 TCH 1, 2 TCH 2, 3 TS 4 TCH 0, 0 TCH 1, 1 TCH 1, 2 TCH 2, 3 TS 5 TCH 0, 0 TCH 1, 1 TCH 1, 2 TCH 2, 3 TS 6 TCH 0, 0 TCH 1, 1 TCH 1, 2 TCH 2, 3 TS 7 TCH 0, 0 TCH 1, 1 TCH 1, 2 TCH 2, 3

FU 1 fhs_id, maio FU 2 fhs_id, maio FU 3 fhs_id, maio FU 4 fhs_id, maio

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Hopping parameters MAIO - Example

E.g. a TRX has the MAIO 2 Frequencies used on this TRX: f1, f2, f3 ,f4

The frequency hopping generator creates the MAI sequence 3,0,1,2,1,1,3,0,2,

The hopping sequence will be: f2, f3, f4,f1,f4,f4,f2,f3,f1,...

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Hopping modes
Cyclic hopping:
HSN = 0 , All BTS use a unique periodical hopping scheme

Random hopping:
HSN = 1...63 63 possible pseudo random hopping schemes to guarantee uncorrelated hopping

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1x3 Synthesiser Frequency Hopping

3 Groups of MAs per site
Group A: f1, f4, f7, fn-2 Group B: f2, f5, f8, fn-1 Group C: f3, f6, f9, fn

Same HSN Site/Sector

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1*3 reuse

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1x1 Synthesiser Frequency Hopping

1 Group of MAs per site
Group A: f1, f2, f3, fn

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Reuse 1*1
In the reuse 1 case, we use all available frequencies (1..12) on each cell of the site Intra site collisions are only avoided by the MAIO assignment

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RF load Factor
Max RF Load

# TRX / Cell max RF load # Frequencies / Cell

3 sector site, 12 hopping frequencies, 3 hopping TRX per sector
1*1 reuse : max RF load = 3 / 18 = 16.7 % 1*3 reuse: max RF load = 3 / 6 = 50 %

--- These values (16.7% and 50%) are the theoretical maximum achivable RF loads for the two cases. --- Due to inter cell constraint of 2 channels spacing

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RF load Factor
Real RF Load
real RF load # Active timeslots / Cell ( # Frequencies / Cell ) * 8

--- Only active timeslots contributes to the RF Load --- Average number of active timeslots are given by the traffic capacity, in Erlang RF Load

3 TRX -> 14.8 Erlang, 2% blocking probability

14.8 timeslots active during the busy hour.
For 1*1 :
real RF load 14 .8 9.26 % 8 *12

The efficiency of TRX is increased by DR & FTHO The same number of timeslots can carry a higher amount of traffic with the same blocking probability The interference in the network is increased

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RF load Factor Max RF Load vs Real RF Load

--- The maximum RF load is just a theoretical value, up to which we can avoid violating the co-cell and co-site constraints
--- The real RF load of a cell (e.g. the traffic in Erlang) is the real indicator for the interferer potential of the cell --- With increasing number of used hopping TS, the probability of having a collission with a used TS of another cell using the same hopping frequencies is increasing

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Comparison B/W 1x1 & 1x3 SFH

1x3 is the best option in regular (same azimuth in addition to height & tilt) networks 1x3 makes possible the re-use of Hopping freqs for mini sites 1x3 requires that No. of freqs should be multiple of 3 1x1 is the best option in irregular (only same height & downtilt) networks 1x1 reuse is more robust in practice (real networks) 1x1 pattern eliminates the frequency planning effort (Only BCCH planning)

1x1 allow very little overlap

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Field Trial Results

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Influence of FH on RXQual
The higher probability to get into a fading notch (but for a shorter time) leading to a worse RXQUAL Offset_Hopping_PC = 1.0 Offset_Hopping_HO = 1.0 HO_INTRACELL_ALLOWED = DISABLED

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BSIC Planning
Together with the frequencies the Base Transceiver Station Identity Code BSIC has to be planned BSIC = NCC (3bits) + BCC (3bits)

The aim of BSIC planning is not to use the same BCCH/BSIC combination on cells influencing each other (having overlapping area)
What happens if you dont care !!!

Ghost RACH

--- Bad BSIC planning can cause SDCCH congestion cause by the spurious RACH, also known as Ghost RACH --- This problem occurs, when a mobile sends an HO access burst to cell A using the same frequency as a nearby cell Bs BCCH --- Both cells using the same BSIC and Training Sequence Code TSC, the HO access burst is understood by the cell B as a RACH for call setup --- Therefore on cell B SDCCHs are allocated everytime a HO access burst is sent from the mobile to the cell A

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