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Kamran Afzal AIRCOM International Pakistan

Using ILSA

Step by Step Frequency Planning Process

By: Kamran Afzal Product Support Consultant AIRCOM International Pakistan

Kamran Afzal AIRCOM International Pakistan


TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................................................ 4 1.0 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 2 2.1 2.2 3. 4. 5. 5.1 5.11 5.12 COVERAGE AND CAPACITY IN A RADIO NETWORK......................................................................... 5 GSM 900 OPERATING SPECTRUM...................................................................................................... 5 UPLINK AND DOWNLINK ARFCNS FOR GSM 900............................................................................. 6 DCS 1800 OPERATING SPECTRUM .................................................................................................... 6 UPLINK AND DOWNLINK ARFCNS FOR DCS 1800............................................................................ 7 GSM CHANNELS.................................................................................................................................. 7 BCCH.................................................................................................................................................... 8 TCH....................................................................................................................................................... 9 FREQUENCY HOPPING ....................................................................................................................... 9 ILSA FLOW......................................................................................................................................... 10 FREQUENCY PLANNING ................................................................................................................... 11 FREQUENCY PLANNING TECHNIQUE .............................................................................................. 12 STEP 1................................................................................................................................................ 12 STEP 2................................................................................................................................................ 14

Filters ..................................................................................................................................................... 14 Sector wise: ........................................................................................................................................ 14 Carrier and Cell Layers ............................................................................................................................ 15 5.13 STEP 3................................................................................................................................................ 18

Best Server ............................................................................................................................................. 18 5.14 STEP 4................................................................................................................................................ 19

Neighbors Creation.................................................................................................................................. 19 5.15 STEP 5................................................................................................................................................ 22

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Interference Matrix................................................................................................................................... 22 5.16 STEP 6................................................................................................................................................ 23

ILSA Tool ................................................................................................................................................ 23 ILSA Frequency Planning Window ............................................................................................................ 26 Important Check ...................................................................................................................................... 30 HSN (Hopping Sequence Number) ............................................................................................................ 32 BSIC (NCC, BCC) ..................................................................................................................................... 33 References: ............................................................................................................................................. 34

Kamran Afzal AIRCOM International Pakistan

Introduction
ILSA is a very powerful Automatic frequency planning tool, the best thing about ILSA is that it does frequency planning dynamically and to get the best results, proper and accurate inputs are required. If the input to ILSA is not complete then there is a chance that frequency plan will not be the best. ILSA requires that the inputs provided are accurate as much as possible. Many people complain that ILSA plan only up to 60% frequency planning and rest we have to do by our self. Why is it like that? Is there any limitation? To answer this question we need to know that frequency planning can be done in different ways depending upon the network plus some other factors such as frequency reuse, frequency load, effective reuse, allocation techniques. The basic requirement of ILSA is that the propagation model should be accurate; if it is not properly tuned then ILSA will not give the best results. The costs should be defined properly and interference should be calculated in such a way that it reflects the real network statistics. The neighbors should be planed very accurately so that there is no missing or extra neighbor. There is still chance that ILSA might not produce the best result and requires some fine tuning but the important point is that ILSA will do its best if inputs are proper. We have to use ILSA in such a way that we get frequency plan quickly and efficiently. In this document I will explain a real network example where frequency plan has to be made on monthly basis and planner only has few days to submit it. I hope this document will benefit us all.

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1.0

Coverage and Capacity in a Radio Network.

In Simple words, coverage is where you get usable Radio signals and capacity is how much calls can be handled. The cellular structure of GSM allows it to reuse a limited number of frequencies to increase the capacity of network. Planning the pattern of this reuse is important part of the network. The frequency band to be utilized by GSM was specified in GSM standard. Whenever a new cellular company starts working in a country it is assigned a number of frequencies. These frequencies must be unique as compared to any other cellular company of the same region.

1.2

GSM 900 Operating Spectrum

The allocation of GSM provides 124 carriers with Frequency Division Duplex for uplink and downlink.

Fig 1: P-GSM Spectrum and Channels

Width of Duplex sub-band is 25 MHz and Duplex spacing is 45 MHz. Frequency spacing between carriers is 200 KHz (0.2MHz) Total number of carriers = [ Duplex band (Uplink or Downlink) Frequency Spacing] / Frequency Spacing] = [ 25 0.2 (Guard band) / 0.2 ] = [ 24.8 / 0.2] Total number of carriers = 124

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1.3

Uplink and Downlink ARFCNs for GSM 900

Uplink and Downlink ARFCNs can be calculated from the following formulae Uplink Frequencies: Fu(n) = 890 + 0.2 n where (1<=n<=124) Downlink Frequencies: Fd(n) = Fu(n) + 45

Where n is ARFCN (Absolute Radio Frequency Carrier Number)

1.4

DCS 1800 Operating Spectrum

Digital Communication System 1800 has introduced a further spectrum range for GSM

Fig 2: DCS 1800 Spectrum and Channel

Width of duplex sub-band is 75 MHz and Duplex spacing is 95 MHz. Frequency spacing is 200 KHz and with one guard band we get Total number of carriers = (75 0.2) / 0.2 Total number of carriers = 374

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1.5

Uplink and Downlink ARFCNs for DCS 1800

Uplink and Downlink ARFCNs can be calculated from the following formulae Uplink Frequencies: Fu(n) = 1710.2 + 0.2 (n 512) where (512 <=n<= 885) Downlink Frequencies: Fd(n) = Fu(n) + 95

Where n is ARFCN (Absolute Radio Frequency Carrier Number)

2 GSM Channels
There are two types of channels in GSM Physical: The physical resource is available for use Logical: Various ways we use the resource

Physical Channels Using FDMA and TDMA techniques, each carrier is divided into 8 time slots.

Fig 3: Physical Channel GSM

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Logical channels Logical channels are divided into Control channels and Traffic channels. Control channels are used for signaling and information transfer while traffic channels are used to carry speech or data.

Fig 4: Physical and logical channels

2.1 BCCH
Each cell has one Broadcast Common Control Channel (BCCH) and it transmits on full power. Information on BCCH comprises of Network Identities Cell Parameters Cell Channels Option configurations The mobile station reads the BCCH after it is camped on to a cell, it also reads the BCCH after intervals to detect any parameter change. Due to the fact that BCCH carrier can not utilise downlink DTX, power control or RF hopping, it is more sensitive to interference and justifies special care for the frequency planning

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The level of interference on the BCCH frequencies would mainly depend on the selected BCCH reuse. Generally, it is aimed to have a looser reuse rate for the BCCH layer than the TCH layer. The frequency spectrum and number of subscribers to be accommodated in the network would decide the actual frequency reuse.

2.2 TCH
TCH carries payload data such as speech and fax. It can be circuit switched (voice) or packed switched (data). TCH can be full rate (13kbps) or half rate (6.5kbps)

3.

Frequency Hopping
Radio carrier suffers from Frequency interference, as the carrier signal attenuates with distance the frequency interference can be significant and quality of service starts to suffer. Frequency hopping constantly changes frequency on the radio carrier which reduces the interference by averaging effect, this improves S/N ratio BCCH carrier must be non-hopping to ensure constant Neighbor cell monitoring and when entering in a cell with FH, BCCH of that cell will pass the hopping information. TCH must start hopping at different points in sequence (MAIO) to avoid co channel interference. MAIO (Mobile Allocation Index Offset) helps to avoid the interference between the cells inside the site, whereas, MAIO_step avoids the interference inside the cell. The cell level MAIO_offset parameter defines the MAIOs for the first TRXs in each cell. MAIOs of the other hopping TRXs are assigned by adding MAIO_step to MAIO of the previous hopping TRX. HSN (Hopping Sequence Number) shows in which order frequencies in the MA list to be used. There are 64 sequences. HSN: 0 is for cyclic, HSN: 1-64 are for random sequences.

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4.

ILSA FLOW

ILSA works in the following manner. It needs to know the Best server, which is the coverage of each cell on pixel level. This helps ILSA in doing two things, Neighbor planning and Interference analysis. Appropriate neighbors are required for a good frequency plan, if neighbors are less then required then ILSA can assign wrong frequencies to sites by considering them non-neighbors. If some extra neighbors are defined then ILSA will have to face difficulty while minimizing the cost because this extra cost will be added which ILSA will try to reduce. Interference matrix is required but not compulsory during frequency plan (it is more then 90% recommended to use it). ILSA at every pixel finds C/I and will try to reduce the Interference to obtain a defined threshold usually 9db for C/I. ILSA finds the worst interferer and will try to assign frequencies in such a way that Interference can be reduced. A cost matrix is assigned to ILSA which defines the priorities for the frequencies to be assigned, for example you can specify that the neighbor cell can use adjacent frequencies or nor not. Separation cost among cells, equipment cost and other cost are defined. ILSA will add all these cost and tries to reduce them in order to meet the required criterion for frequencies. The algorithms in ILSA allows it to do different things for example if ILSA no longer reduces cost of a plan for a long period of time then it assigns some random frequencies or does something to reduce cost dramatically.

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5. Frequency Planning
Before Starting ILSA, one should know the following Is it a single frequency to be added on to existing cell? Are there new sites to be integrated? Is it a re-tune of large number of sites? What frequency planning technique to be used? (1x1, MRP etc.,)

To help us better understand the process lets do frequency planning of a real network. An XYZ network is to be launched in a country. The Frequency allocation board assigns the XYZ network ARFCN from (1-28) GSM-900, (812-874) GSM-1800. The strategy which is decided for frequency planning is as follows. 1x1 frequency strategy will be implemented for GSM 900. Common BCCH will be used (GSM 900 BCCH) BCCH Frequency range (1-21) TCH 900 frequency range (23-28) note:- 22 is guard band ARFCN. TCH 1800 frequency range (812-874)

Group planning will be done as in following table

You joined the company few months after its launch and given a monthly target for 25 sites to plan.

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5.1

Frequency Planning Technique

RF hopping will be utilised throughout the network. For the GSM900 hopping TRXs, frequency allocation of one (i.e. single MA list) is chosen because the band for the GSM900 TCHs is very limited. For the GSM1800 hopping TRXs, frequency allocation of three (one for each cell) is chosen, as there is enough GSM1800 frequencies for the TCH band. This configuration would give us more flexibility in frequency planning To make efficient frequency strategy for a network Frequency load and effective reuse should be calculated but they are out of the scope of this document.

5.11 STEP 1
Add the given monthly target sites to Asset Database (manually or by import).

Make a new filter (New sites), all the previous sites are in a filter called (Old filter 2). Filter can be made going to Database Filters Add After creating the two filters assign the old and new sites with different colors just to distinguish between the two. Old Sites = Green New sites = Blue

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Old sites

New sites

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5.12 Step 2 Filters


Sector wise: Now we will create sector wise filters, so that ILSA assigns frequencies according to the groups we will specify. We will create carrier layers for each sector. Make three filters for GSM900 ( Sector A, Sector B, Sector C) and three filters for DCS1800 (Sector A, Sector B, Sector C), the procedure is to separate the sectors of site (I did it using the names of sectors, A, B, C for cells and GSM layers 900 and 1800 to distinguish between GSM and DCS) After making the filters you can see the sectors as below A, B, C respectively.

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Carrier and Cell Layers


The Carrier and Cell Layers must be created already and this time you do not need to create new ones but for the mater of understanding I will show you how to create these.

Carrier Layers A carrier layer is a sub-set of the total list of available carriers, grouped together under a common name. This allows logical groups of carriers to be associated with the relevant cells in the network. For example, for a 900 MHz network: Carriers to be used as control channels could be grouped into a carrier layer called BCCH900. The maximum allocation per cell would be set to 1. Carriers to be used as traffic channels could be grouped into a carrier layer called TCH900 The maximum allocation per cell would be set to a value greater than 1.

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In our case we are doing group planning so carrier layers for each sector is be specified each for (BCCH, TCH900, TCH1800) In carrier layers General Tab it is also specified that whether it is a control layer or not.

The appropriate ARFCN (carriers) are assigned to the layer created

Cell Layers Cell layers define logical groups of transceivers on a cell. Using cell layers means you can distinguish between micro cells and macro cells or between carriers of different frequency bands. Cell layers usually have at least one carrier layer associated with them, which you assign. As carriers are associated with carrier layers and the carrier layers with the cell layers, it is possible to determine the available control and traffic carriers for a particular cell layer.

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If you have more than one cell layer, you need to set their respective priorities, with the highest priority being 1. For example, if a macro and a micro cell layer were created, then the micro cell layer would be given the higher priority. The priorities are used to control which layer provides service when coverage from multiple layers overlaps. In order to create cell layer you have to go to Configuration Layers Cell Layers

After specifying the name and technology (GSM, AMPS) for cell layer appropriate carrier layers are chosen for that cell layer. For example GSM 900 contains BCCH of 900, TCH of all three sectors of 900 band. These carrier layers are then assigned to each of the appropriate filter. These layers should contain the following data. GSM900 BCCH_S1 BCCH_S2 BCCH_S3 TCH_S1_900 TCH_S2_900 TCH_S3_900 DCS1800 TCH_S1_1800 TCH_S2_1800 TCH_S3_1800

Layer 1 Layer 2 Layer 3 Layer 4 Layer 5 Layer 6

BCCH_S1: BCCH of sector A BCCH_S2: BCCH of sector B BCCH_S3: BCCH of sector C TCH_S1_900: GSM900 TCH of sector A TCH_S2_900: GSM900 TCH of sector B TCH_S3_900: GSM900 TCH of sector C TCH_S1_1800: DCS1800 TCH of sector A TCH_S2_1800: DCS1800 TCH of sector B TCH_S3_1800: DCS1800 TCH of sector C

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5.13 STEP 3 Best Server


In order to complete Step 2, Best server has to be made so that coverage of each sector can be calculated at pixel level. Select old sites and new sites filter through selection arrow.

Go to Path loss prediction manager and run the prediction for the selected sites.

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Go to create Arrays and run best server

5.14 Step 4 Neighbors Creation


After running the best server, we have to create neighbors to our new sites. Neighbors are created by using either Best Server of Overlapping Areas and normally 3db HO margin is used. Other parameters can also be specified which determine the number of neighbors to create, neighbor planning margin etc., Go to ToolsNeighborsNeighbor Wizard

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Select the filters you want to create neighbors for, in our case it is Old sites 2 and New sites

Select the technology; we will select GSM to GSM because all of the cells in our network belong to GSM technology. There are other options available from which select Best server because we want only those sites to be neighbors which are best serving in area until the next best server starts. This will save us from extra unnecessary neighbor list.

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After completing the neighbor wizard go to go to Map Information and Control tab and display Handover neighbors

Do keep in mind that for a good neighbor plan the propagation model must be correctly tuned. If you find some problems in the neighbor plan (missing neighbors, extra non-required neighbors) then you can do the neighbor planning manually through Add Neighbor Cell button, press the button and click the serving cell on 2D window then select the neighbor cells for this on 2D window one by one.

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5.15 Step 5 Interference Matrix


After creating the Neighbor wizard we have to create Interference matrix. Interfering matrix is optional in ILSA but it is more then 90% recommended. From the create array option select the selection filter already created and select worst interferer and total interference.

Interference per carrier will be calculated, now ILSA knows for the previous plan about interference and interferer on pixel level.

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You can also see the value of Total C/I and worst interferer ID and carrier in Map Gadget Panel.

5.16 STEP 6 ILSA Tool


Go to tools menu Frequency Planning Frequency hopping process selector Here you will specify the type of hopping carriers will perform.

Check the GSM900 layer and select site hopping

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After that go to Tools frequency planner ILSA Frequency Planner, a new window will appear where you have to specify the filters, interference and Handover counts (if available).

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Click the import filter button and select the filters per sector for GSM 900 (old sites and new sites)

Pres the next button, and chose the cell layers, GSM900 in this case

Press next and finish the filter, layer selection process. When you finish this step you will be on the same screen form where you selected the import filter option. Select the Interference (Data from memory), it means the interference matrix values will be taken from the array you made previously in STEP 5. We are not using handover counts so press the initialization button.

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ILSA Frequency Planning Window


After initialization a new window will appear (ILSA Frequency Planner)

Go to view and select Plan list option.

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In Plan List you can specify which cell are to be planned, which are not to be planned but there frequencies will be considered while assigning new frequencies to planned sites. Select the cells and layers of new sites and assign them plan status, assign Read only status to old sites. The new sites BCCH and TCH for sec A, sec B, sec C will be Plan, and rest will be Read Only.

After assigning the status for the layers close this window and go to Cost MatrixEdit

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In cost Matrix you will specify the costs for the frequency plan. It will show different costs and for this plan we are only interested in neighbor cost and filter priorities.

Setting the values in neighbor cost will specify that which neighbors to be avoided from co or adjacent channel interference. 1st order and 2nd order neighbors are provided and in minimum separation field it will be assigned against each layer that what is allowed co / adjacent / both / neither Specify 1 for neighbor and 0 for 2nd order neighbor; (0=co, 1=adjacent, 2=neither) In tools options Planning features uncheck all values.

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Click ok and start frequency planning, ILSA will start to minimize cost and will start to plan frequencies.

You can also see the cost and interference in form of Graph from Viewgraph

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Important Check
After a while (1000 iterations) stop ILSA and from tools Apply to database, after this go to 2D window and run the interference Array and Save the screen shot for interference, go back to ILSA window and continue the ILSA frequency plan again and let it run till 20,000 iterations, stop ILSA then apply changes to database and run interference wizard again to compare it with screen shoot of interference at 1000th iteration

From this you will see the decrease in the interference, if you are satisfied then close the ILSA window otherwise still you can continue it for further modifications in frequencies. Once this process is complete then display the frequencies which are assigned to the cells by clicking on frequency reuse and selecting the frequencies and colors for display.

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Here you can do analysis by seeing which frequencies are being reused at what area, please keep in mind that this is not a one time process, you have to fine tune this plan to get better results. If the results are not according to your requirement then try minimizing cost your self and trying again.

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HSN (Hopping Sequence Number)


After planning the frequencies the HSN of these new sites have to be planed, for this go to ToolsFrequency PlannerHSN Planner

Select the site hopping as process and exclude 0 from the list ( 0 is cyclic hopping) Select the old and new sites filter and for new sites select Plan for old sites select Read Only and press OK.

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BSIC (NCC, BCC)


After HSN is planned its time to plan BSIC. Go to toolsfrequency plannerBSIC Planner

Select the NCC and BCC range defined and select the filters same as in HSN Planning and press OK to finish.

After this you can go to sites database and see the frequencies in carrier layer. You can also generate the report showing the frequencies, HSN, BSIC and neighbors.

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References:
AIRCOM International Asset User manual v 5.1 AIRCOM International Advanced Cell Planning Manual P/TR/005/G103/2.0c

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