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WCDMA Coverage Estimation

ZTE University

Link Budget
Coverage Scale Estimation
Link Budget

Antenna gain Penetration

loss Shadow
Feeder loss Propagation
Human body
loss UE power loss
NodeB sensitivity

Simply, link budget is to perform accounting on all losses and

gains on a communication link.
Definition: Estimate the system coverage capability by
reviewing and analyzing all kinds of influence factors in the
propagation path of forward and reverse signals, and obtain the
maximum propagation loss allowed on the link under certain call
Transmitting Power
The transmitting power is different for individual services.
It shall be determined in accordance with service type
and service coverage.
Normally, The maximum NodeB transmitting power of
one sector is 43dBm(20W) or 46dBm(40W). The power
of the Dedicated Channel (DCH) accounts for 80% of the
total power.
Transmitting Power
TS25.101 stipulates the UEs in four power levels

Nominal Maximum
Power Class Tolerance
Output Power
1 +33 dBm +1/-3 dB
2 +27 dBm +1/-3 dB
3 +24 dBm +1/-3 dB
4 +21 dBm 2 dB
Antenna Gain
NodeB antenna gain
During link budget, suppose the directional antenna gain of the
NodeB to 17 dBi and the omni-directional receiving antenna gain to
11 dBi.
In practice, different antennas can be selected in accordance with
different region types and coverage requirements.
UE antenna gain
The UE antenna gain is 0 dBi normally.
Feeder Loss
For a feeder of 30-40 meters long, suppose the total feeder loss to 4
dB (including the connector loss) during link budget.
For a feeder of 40-50 meters long, suppose the total feeder loss to 5
dB (including the connector loss) during link budget.
The feeder loss may decrease the NodeB receiving level and shorten
the coverage radius. Tower amplifiers can be used to compensate the
feeder loss on the uplink.
Processing Gain
Processing gain = Chip rate/Bit rate (PG = W/R)
Different services have different processing gains. As a result, their
service coverage is different.

PG = 25dB

PG = 18dB
PG = 10dB
Voice 12.2 kbps Data 64 kbps Data 384 kbps
Power spectrum


Subscriber 3
Subscriber 2
Noise Subscriber 1

Eb indicates the signal energy per bit, that is, Eb = S/R where S
indicates signal energy and R indicates service bit rate.
No indicates the noise power spectrum density, that is No = N/W where
W indicates bandwidth (3.84 M) and N indicates noise (total receiving
power except the signal itself).

Eb/No = S W S W = S PG

= N
Interference Margin
Typical value: 1~3dB, according to load between 20~50% (uplink).

Interference margin = 10 lg(1 ,)where indicates the cell load.

For the downlink, the relationship between load and interference still exists.
The interference margin shall be determined by simulation because it is
hard to make the theoretic calculation.
Thermal Noise
Noise = KTW (in the unit of W), -174 dBm at the normal
KBoltzmann constant, 1.3810^(-23)J/K
TKelvin temperature , 290 K
WSignal bandwidth, 3.84 M

When dBm is taken as the calculation unit:

Noise=10lg(KT)+10lg(W) where 10lg(KT) indicates the
thermal noise density (in the unit of dBm/Hz).
Noise Figure
Noise figure of the receiver indicates the noise that the
receiver introduces in the processing. It is equal to the ratio of
input S/N to output S/N.
It is generally 2.2 dB for the NodeB and 5 dB for the UE.
Receiver Sensitivity
It indicates the minimum receiving level that the service channel
requires to guarantee the decoding requirement with a certain
communication quality.
S (dBm) = Eb/No (dB) + N (dBm) - 10lg(W/R)
N indicates the total noise that the NodeB receives.
N = Noise + Nf + IM.
Noise Thermal noise, Nf NodeB noise figure, IM Interference
Receiver Sensitivity

Noise Rise Noise Figure

(interference Margin)

Rx sensitivity
+ De-spread De-modulation

Thermal Noise
Soft Handover Gain
Soft handover gain indicates the gain to overcome slow fading. When
the mobile equipment is located in the soft handover region, multiple
wireless links of soft handover receive signals at the same time, which
decreases the requirement for the shadow fading margin.
Macro diversity gain

Soft handover region

Power Control Margin (fast fading margin)
WCDMA adopts the closed-loop fast power control to fight fast fading
influences under the low-speed moving condition, so as to decrease
the required Eb/No.
In the actual environment, the maximum transmitting power is limited
and the demodulation performance degrades.
The fast power control cannot compensate deep fading when the low-
speed mobile terminal is in deep fading. In this case, the UE (Node B)
needs to overcome deep fading by increasing the average transmitting
In the case of low-speed moving, it is generally taken to 3 dB fading
Penetration Loss
The penetration loss of buildings refers to the attenuation of radio
waves when they pass through the outer structure of buildings. It
equals the difference between field-strength medians in and out of a
It is related to the material and thickness of buildings.
Shadow Fading Margin
The shadow fading complies with lognormal distribution. Its value is
related to the sector edge communication probability and shadow
fading standard deviation, while the latter is related to the
electromagnetic wave propagation environment.
In the radio space propagation, the path loss of any a given distance
changes rapidly and the path loss value can be regarded as a random
variable in conformity with lognormal distribution.
In the case of network design in accordance with the average path
loss, the loss value of points at the cell edge shall be larger than the
path loss median for 50% of time period, and smaller than the median
for the left 50% of time period. That is, the edge coverage probability of
the cell is 50% only.
To improve coverage probability of the cell, it is necessary to reserve
the fading margin during link budget.
Shadow Fading Margin

Suppose the random variable of propagation loss to , the average value to m, and the
standard deviation to .
Set a loss threshold 1 .
When < 1 , the signals can meet the demodulation requirement of expected
service qualities.

The edge coverage probability equal to or larger than 75% can be represented as:
1 ( m )2
Pcov erage Pr ( 1)
2 e

2 2
d 0.75

For the outdoor environment, the standard deviation of the random

variable of propagation loss is always taken to 8 dB.
The corresponding shadow fading margin is:

| m 1 | 0.675 0.675 8 5.4dB

Shadow Fading Margin

1 m 0.675 0.675 8 5.4dB
Shadow Fading Margin
Uplink Budget Process
Parameter Symbol
Maximum transmitting power of UE A
UE antenna transmitting gain B
Uplink Budget Process

UE transmitting loss (human body loss) C

Actual maximum transmitting power of UE per channel D= A +B C
Environment thermal noise power spectrum density E
Uplink noise figure F
Uplink receiving noise power spectrum density G = E +F
Uplink noise rise H
Total BS uplink receiving interference power spectrum I=G+H
Uplink signal quality requirement Eb/No J
Uplink service rate K
Uplink receiving sensitivity L = I + 10lg(3.84*106) +(J
10lg (3.84*106/ k ))
BS antenna gain M
BS integrated loss N
Shadow fading margin P
Soft handoff gain Q
Power control margin R
R99 Uplink Link Budget Example
Mobile Tx Power [dBm] 21.00 21.00
TX Antenna Gain [dBi] 0.00 0.00
Body Loss [dB] 3.00 3.00
Thermal Noise Density [dMm/HZ] -174.00 -174.00
Thermal Noise(dbm) -108.16 -108.16
Receiver Noise Figure(db) 2.80 2.80
Interference Margin(db) 3.01 3.01
RX Bit Rate(kbit) 12.20 12.20
Process Gain(db) 24.98 24.98
Required Eb/No(db) 4.20 4.20
Antenna Gain (dbi) 18.00 18.00
Cable Loss 3.00 3.00
Power control headroom 3.00 3.00
Soft Handover Gain 3.00 3.00
Shadow Fading Margin 13.00 11.00
Penetration Loss 22.00 18.00
HSDPA Link budget
Cell edge coverage bit rate decide the cell radius
Demodulation threshold is Es/No
Without soft handover and fast power control, so the Power control
headroom and soft handover gain is zero
Body loss is Zero.
HSDPA Downlink budget Example
Antenna Tx Power [dBm] 34.77 34.77
TX Antenna Gain [dBi] 18 18
Cable Loss[dB] 3.00 3.00
Thermal Noise Density -174.00 -174.00
Thermal Noise(dbm) -108.16 -108.16
Receiver Noise Figure(db) 7 7
Interference Margin(db) 3.01 3.01
RX Bit Rate(kbit) 150 150
Process Gain(db) 12 12
Required Es/No(db) -0.5 -0.5
Antenna Gain (dbi) 0 0
Body Loss(dB) 0 0
Power control headroom 0 0
Soft Handover Gain 0 0
Shadow Fading Margin 10.4 10.4
Penetration Loss 25 20
Uplink/Downlink Balance
The downlink cell radius is related to the
connected number of subscribers in the
cell, the moving speed and distribution of
the subscribers. Its difficult to do the
accurate downlink link budget. Normally,
the power of NodeB can satisfy the
coverage requirement.
The cell coverage is usually limited by

Link Budget
Coverage Scale Estimation
Calculation of NodeB Coverage Radius
The maximum allowed path loss and radio propagation model that
have been known can be used to conversely deduct the maximum
NodeB coverage radius.

Coverage requirement
For example, Link budget
Maximum allowed path loss
CS64k continuous
coverage Coverage radius

Propagation model
Cell Coverage Radius Calculation
Calculate the cell coverage radius based on a specific propagation
Path loss k1 k2log(d) k3Hms k4log(Hms) k5log(Heff) + k6log(Heff)log(d)
k7(diffraction loss) clutter loss

k1 152.4

k2 44.6

k5 -13.82

k6 -6.55

Heff 30
Calculation of NodeB Coverage Area

Three-sector directional Six-sector directional

Omni-directional NodeB NodeB (65) NodeB (65)

9 3
3 S 3R 2 1.95 R 2 S 3R 2
S 3R 2 8 2
3 D 3R
D 3R D R