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RNP Processes & Methodologies


RNP Processes

Network Dimensioning
Nominal Planning
RF Engineering
Detailed Planning

RNP Methodology

Static Calculation
Static Simulation
Dynamic Simulation

Objectives of Radio Network Planning

It should be balanced off among:

To support the subscriber traffic with sufficiently low blocking and delay

To obtain the ability of the network ensure the availability of the service
in the entire service area

Linking the capacity and the coverage and still provide the required

To enable an economical network implementation and a controlled
network expansion during the life cycle of the network

What Is New in WCDMA

Multiservice environment

Bit rates from 8 kbits/s to 2 Mbit/s, also variable rate

Quality classes
Different QoS requirements

Asymmetrical up and downlink traffic

Air Interface

Capacity and coverage coupled via interference margin

Neighbor cells coupled via interference
Receiver performance depends on
bit rate

Soft handover

What Is New in the RNP of WCDMA

Dependency among Capacity, Coverage and
Quality of WCDMA System

WCDMA system is interference-limited.

Capacity vs. Coverage
Increase intended system loading will offer more
capacity while increasing intra-cell interference
and thus reduce coverage range (Application:
Cell breathing)

Capacity vs. Quality

System capacity can be achieved by relaxing
quality requirement for some connections
(Application: Reduce BLER target value by
outer-loop power control)

Interference is the dominant

concern in capacity analysis

Coverage vs. Quality

Coverage range can be expanded by relaxing
quality requirement for some connections
(Application: Slow down data speed by AMRC to
accommodate large path loss)




Simplified Radio Network Planning Flowchart

Preparation Phase
Network Dimensioning
Nominal Planning

RF Engineering
Detailed Planning
Site Construction

Link Budget
Capacity Analysis
Static&Dynamic Simulation
RNP Tools

Preparation Phrase
In the preparation phase, prerequisites of network planning
are defined:

Coverage & capacity objectives

Selection of network planning strategies
Initial design and operation parameters
Geographical information
Forecast of service distribution & traffic density
GoS/QoS requirements

Network Dimensioning
Network dimensioning is carried out in the beginning of a
project. It results in:

First and most rapid evaluation of the network elements count and
capacity of these elements.
Offered traffic estimation.
Joint capacity coverage estimation.


Link budget and coverage analysis

Capacity estimation
Estimation of the BS hardware and sites, RNCs and equipment at
different interfaces. Estimation of Iur, Iub, Iu transmission capacities.
Cell size estimation

Network Dimensioning
System Constrains

Spectrum available
Target Area to


Traffic type
Traffic model
Traffic distribution
Forecast of growth

GoS & QoS

Coverage probability
Blocking rate
Delay & Delay

Scale of network

Number of sites

Site configuration


Carrier number


Cost of Node B &

RNC equipment

Network Dimensioning
In this phase, the assumptions for dimensioning are usually:

The planning area is covered with a hexagonal grid for each morphology, neither
the terrain nor the clutter information available.
For roads, there is no hexagonal grid, but the approach takes into account cells
face to face. Usually the length of the roads is divided by twice the cell range to
find the required number of cells.
The cell range is defined for each morphology or for the roads by the link budget
of the limiting service in this morphology (service with the smallest cell range)
The different morphologies generally considered are dense urban, urban,
suburban and rural.
No propagation model calibration being available in this phase, the standard
propagation model like COST231 Hata is generally used.
The sites are not positioned, only a global number of sites is given.

Network Dimensioning
Simple coverage estimation

Link budgets are used to calculate max path losses.

Path loss is converted into cell range for different environments.
Cell ranges are used to estimate typical site coverage areas.
Estimate the average site coverage area for each environment.

Simple capacity estimation

Given an estimate of the traffic profile per subscriber we can calculate

the offered traffic per km2 per environment
Given the capacity of a cell we can estimate the average site capacity
area per environment
Note we may wish to take factors such the uneven distribution of traffic
between sectors into account

Network Dimensioning
Tools aided dimensioning

Dimensioning for UMTS

The coverage and capacity relationship in UMTS is very close
Typically spreadsheet dimensioning tools for UMTS take a
combined iterative approach:

The range of a cell is calculated from a link budget containing an

interference margin calculated from the loading
The area covered by the cell is then calculated from the range
The traffic captured by a cell is then calculated from the area and
subscriber density
The loading of the cell is then calculated from the captured traffic
And then the link budget is recalculated from the new loading

The loop is repeated until convergence is reached

Network Dimensioning
Service-specific Information
Service Type, Proportion
Service Density
Service Forecast

Applicable Propagation Model

COST231-HATA,.. .

UL cell range


DL Loading
in specific


Cell Range

Geographical information

Number of Site

Shrink the Cell

Y (Capacity-limited)
Cell Range
Add the amount of configuration
(sectorization, carriers,...)
UL loading


If the upper limit

of configuration

be reached

Equal to
Cell Loading vs.
Maximum Allowable Value

Large than
Less than (Coverage-limited)


Nominal Planning
A nominal plan is initially a hypothetical wireless network
and a starting point for the cell rollout process.
Information of theoretical
sites is presented in the
nominal plan, including
following specifications:

Site coordinates
Antenna height above
ground: this specification
requires the knowledge of
the average clutter height
in each morphology
Antenna azimuths and tilts

Nominal Planning
Based on the result of coverage prediction, site location
and cell configurations like azimuth and tilt of antenna are
adjusted to fulfill the requirements on coverage.

Nominal Planning
Constraints on nominal planning:

Performance objectives
The definition of the target zones

Residential zones
Business zones
Mix business/residential zones
Busy roads, avenues, highways
Harbor, Airport, other zones with high traffic

For each target zone

Priority & schedule for deployment

Expected traffic and service distribution
Type of coverage per zone: outdoor, in car, indoor window, deep indoor, etc
Type of service per zone: voice, 64 UDD U/L and D/L, etc

Nominal Planning

Antenna Height, which is needed in the dimensioning phase and

must be refined for the pre-engineering

Note that the antenna height above ground are only given as example. They depend
on the morphology and link budget. Here are typical figures just for reference.

Nominal Planning

Friendly sites, which may be imposed by the operator (e.g. re-use of

2nd generation sites) or by the need to shorten the deployment time
line (e.g. by signing frame agreements with large real estate holders)
none or reduced negotiation delays
none or reduced acquisition /lease costs

Draw back
Maybe a great deal of extra work on gathering necessary information on
the sites

Anchor site
When a friendly site has been checked to be suitable and possible, it can
be used as an anchor site around which the nominal plan will be build.

RF Engineering
For each theoretical site, a physical site will be acquired in this
phase through following steps:
Define search areas
Identify site options
Site selection

Probably best to use:

Site acquisition

Static analysis for initial candidate shortlisting

Static Simulation over a small area for final candidate selection
Static Simulation over a large area for final validation

RF Engineering
Define search areas

The sites in a nominal plan are only imaginary.

To become a real network, physical sites are required.
A suitable physical site must be found for each nominal site.
A suitable physical site must amongst other things:

Give adequate radio coverage.

Have connectivity into the transmission network.
Be aesthetically and politically acceptable to the local community.
Have power nearby, good access and a co-operative owner.

A survey of each nominal site is normally carried out to identify

possible site options which meet the above criteria.

RF Engineering
Define search areas (Con.)

Guidelines have to be given to the surveyor so the options give

appropriate radio coverage.
The guideline is given in the form of a search area. Could be:
Radius from the nominal site.
One or more polygons following height contours.


RF Engineering
Identify site options

Surveyor visits each search area and identifies potential site options.
The first sites to be considered should be
Existing radio sites.
Sites offered from major site owners (MSO) E.g. Utilities &

All options should meet certain criteria to ensure that they are
Technically acceptable.

A good idea to consult with the planning/zoning authority during the

Good training of surveyors will save time later in the build process.

RF Engineering
Identify site options

The surveyor will prepare a

report listing the options.
Report will include:
Accurate grid reference.
Accurate height of
structures or available
antenna windows.
Photographs of the site.
360 panoramic photos
from site or if obstructed
from nearby


RF Engineering
Site selection

Normally a desk study.

Radio coverage and interference
Static analysis by the help of RF
tool or relevant function in RNP


Deployment ranking


Site sharing
Room for equipment
Power supply & transmission line

Nominate a preferred option and

possibly a backup option.


B - Unsuitable

RF Engineering
Site acquisition

Run more than one site simultaneously.

Negotiate with site owners.
Prepare drawings.
Draw up leases.
Apply for planning permissions.
As soon as one option is ready to proceed
Sign the lease
Abandon the alternative
Enter site into building program.

Detailed Planning
By approaching a practical operation environment for radio
network, more accuracy is achieved in the simulation in this phase.
The process of detailed planning involves repeated static analysis,
static and dynamic simulations by the help of simulators, which
base on:

Digital map
Propagation model calibration
Site coordinates and parameters
Node B parameters
Cell parameters
Service & traffic distribution
Call admission and radio resource management algorithms if available

Detailed Planning
The simulator verifies and optimises equipment configurations and
operation parameters for the implementation of radio network by:

Link loss calculation

Site configuration. Propagation model. Calculation area. Cable and indoor loss.
Line-of-sight settings. Clutter type correction. Topographic corrections.

Best Server locating

Downlink: the BS connected with minimum path loss to the UE
Uplink: the BS connected with minimum required transmission power of the UE

Interference analysis
Ec/Io on CPICH. Downlink & Uplink EbNo. Noise rise in BS.

Capacity analysis
Throughput of each cell for services.

Detailed Planning
The simulator consists of three basic parts:

Detailed Planning

RNP Processes

Network Dimensioning
Nominal Planning
RF Engineering
Detailed Planning

RNP Methodology

Static Calculation
Static Simulation
Dynamic Simulation

This section includes a comparison of the different methods
of analysis that could be carried out to analyze a UMTS
It is important the we understand the differences between
these methods to understand:

their merits and demerits

likely advantages of tools employing them

The aim of this section is to understand the alternatives and

how/when they might be used

Planning Methodologies
There are basically two possible types of 3rd Generation
planning methods

Static Calculation
A deterministic algorithm is used to analyse the performance of
the network configured within the planning tool
Repeating an analysis gives the same result

Statistical processes and an iterative system status calculation
used to analyse the performance of the network configured
within the planning tool
Repeating an analysis may give different results

Some tools use a combination of methods or hybrid methods

Static Calculation
Static Calculation is a similar approach GSM planning
A statistical analysis of the network is used to derive design
In UMTS the following mechanisms must be accounted for:

Soft handover gain (typically ~5dB at the cell edge)

Interference Margins (both intra cell and inter cell)
Control and signalling overheads
Fade Margins (to design to a given coverage probability)
Special technique margins(Adaptive antennas, Transmit
diversity, Smart Radio)

There are two types of simulation that might be used for
radio planning
Static Simulations

Static simulations analyse the performance of a snapshot of

the network
A snapshot is an instance in time, with UEs in statistically
determined places

Dynamic Simulations

Dynamic simulations simulate UEs moving through the

network in successive timeslots

Static Simulations
One or more snapshots of the network are taken
In each snapshot a mobile or terminal list is generated
The ability of each terminal to make its connection to the
network is calculated through an iterative process
Various failure mechanisms will typically be considered
(maximum mobile power, maximum Node B power
reached, no available channels, low pilot Ec/Io,
uplink/downlink interference)
The performance of the network is then analysed from the
results of the snapshots carried out

Monte Carlo Simulations

Monte Carlo Simulations are a form of static simulation
They rely upon a large number of statistically independent
The mean performance of the network over these
snapshots is then determined
3G uses a Monte Carlo Simulation engine

Overview of Monte Carlo Simulation

Overview of Snapshot

Monte Carlo Simulation - Coverage Probability









Monte Carlo Simulation


500 iteration

10 iteration

100 iteration

1000 iteration

10000 iteration

Dynamic Simulations
Dynamic simulations look at mobiles moving through the
A mobile list is generated and solved for the first timeslot
The simulation may consider time to be split into:

chip periods
bit periods
timeslots (SNR considered)

Successive timeslots are then simulated dependant upon the

results of the previous timeslot
New mobiles are simulated coming into the network and
terminating their calls

Dynamic Simulation

I think
a call

I think
a call

Which method is best?

This is a little like saying - which is the best tool:

A hammer
A screwdriver
A spanner

All three methods have different advantages and

disadvantages - and may be used for different tasks
These can be broadly considered in three areas:

Computational overhead -i.e. time taken to use the tool

Comparison of methods

Static Analysis

Time Taken


Not very particularly Reasonable but

with global margins
doesnt deal with the
(IS-95 experience)
dynamic network
More difficult to
straightforward to use configure and more
once configured
complicated results.
Shortest as quick
as for GSM

Probably quite high assuming no bad
assumptions are
made to speed it up
Difficult to judge

Extremely long if
depending on number multiple runs
of terminals and cells performed for
statistical validity