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Traffic Analysis in TEMS Investigation


White Paper
Traffic Analysis in TEMS Investigation CDMA White Paper 2003/02/04

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1. Introduction ...............................................................................4
1.1. Abstract............................................................................................. 4
1.2. Keywords .......................................................................................... 4
2. Generalities ...............................................................................4
2.1. Shannon limit .................................................................................... 4
2.2. Capacity performance of the CDMA systems .................................... 5
2.3. Pool capacity in the CDMA network .................................................. 7
3. Traffic evaluation in CDMA networks ........................................8
4. Traffic analysis in TEMS Investigation CDMA ...........................8
4.1. Traffic threshold .............................................................................. 10
5. Reference................................................................................11

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1. Introduction

1.1. Abstract
The application note discusses capacity issues in the CDMA networks and the
importance of the traffic analysis performed by the drive test tools. The procedure
used by TEMS Investigation for the traffic evaluation is also explained.

1.2. Keywords
Shannon limit, pool capacity, processing gain, loading factor, traffic analysis,
code domain, TEMS Investigation.Introduction

2. Generalities

2.1. Shannon limit

The theoretical capacity of any communication channel is defined by C.E.
Shannon’s formula [1]

C= Bw*log2 (1+ S/N) = 1.44*Bw *ln (1+S/N) ~ 1.44 * Bw *S/N (1)

C (bps) denotes the channel capacity, Bw (Hz) represents the bandwidth, S is the
signal power and N is the noise power. The equation (1) shows the theoretical
ability of a channel to transmit information without errors for a given SNR and a
given Bw. Increasing the Bw, the signal power or both could determine a boost of
the capacity.

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The Shannon formula is based on a base-band model. However, the formula is

applicable to an RF channel by assuming that the IF filter has a flat frequency
response with a bandwidth > 2*Bw. The capacity bound assumes that the channel
noise is AWGN. For most communication systems that are limited by thermal
noise, this assumption is true. For interference-limited systems like wireless
networks, however, this assumption is not valid, and the Shannon bound is
practically not achievable.

2.2. Capacity performance of the CDMA systems

CDMA networks are spread spectrum systems that cope with the interference
phenomena by the usage of the processing gain Gp. The Gp represents the ratio
of the RF bandwidth to the information rate

Gp = Bw/R (2)

Typical processing gains lie between 20 to 60dB. The noise level is determined by
thermal noise and interference. For a given user, the interference is processed as
noise. The input and output SNRs are related as shown in

(S/N)out = Gp * (S/N)in (3)

This discussion addresses digital systems, so it is instructive to relate the SNR to

Eb/N0 ratio, where Eb is the energy per bit and N0 is the noise power spectral
density. The relationship is given by (4)

(S/N)in = (Eb * R) / (N0 * Bw ) = (1/Gp) * Eb/N0 (4)

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Unlike TDMA and FDMA systems, the spread spectrum systems can tolerate
some interference, so the introduction of each additional user increases the overall
level of interference to the cell-site receiver (BS). Each MS introduces a unique
level of interference that depends on its received power level at the BS, its timing
synchronization relative to other signals at the cell site, and its specific cross
correlation with other CDMA signals. The number of CDMA channels in the
network depends on the level of total interference that can be tolerated in the
system. Modulation and FEC coding techniques improve tolerance for interference
and increase overall CDMA system capacity. The performance of the modulation
and coding methods used on the signals and the tolerance of the digitized voice
and data-to-errors ratio defines the minimum Eb/N0 that should be maintained by
the network to ensure the required transmission quality expressed by the error
probability. The relationship between the number of mobile users M, the
processing gain Gp and the Eb/N0 ratio is given by (5).

M ~ Gp /(Eb/N0) (5)
For a given error probability Pe, the actual Eb/N0 ratio depends on the radio
system design and the error correction code. This ratio may approach but never
equal the theoretical calculations. It is shown [2] that for the Shannon limit the
number of users can be (6).

M = 1.45*Gp (6)

which corresponds to Eb/N0 = -1.59dB. This is a theoretical limit. In practice,

wireless systems are engineered for an Eb/N0 of 6dB-7dB. In addition, equation
(5) shows that Gp limits the upper bound theoretical capacity of an ideal noise-free
CDMA channel. Actually, the CDMA cell capacity is affected by the receiver
modulation performance, power control accuracy, interference from other non-
CDMA systems sharing the same frequency band, and other factors. Therefore,
the estimated number of users that can be supported by a CDMA system is given
by (7).

M ~ Gp * λ * α / (Eb/N0) * (1 + β) * υ (7)

The λ factor represents the interference improvement factor that is obtained by

using directional antennas at the BS, with an average value of 2.55. The α factor
denotes the power accuracy, which has an average value of 0.85. The number of
users in a cell is reduced by the interference from users in other cells. The
additional interference is accounted for by the factor β, with an average value of
0.5. The voice activity reduces the interference level at the BS by an average
factor υ of 0.6. For data communication, the υ factor equals unity.

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Applying formula (7), yields an estimated number of 21 voice users being

supported by a sector of a 3 sector - CDMA cell using the Bw=1.25MHz, an Eb/N0
value of 6.8dB (usual value for cdmaOne), and transmitting data at 9.6kb/s.

2.3. Pool capacity in the CDMA network

The maximum number of users that can be supported on the downlink of a CDMA
network is different from the uplink. Generally, the capacity of a CDMA network
depends on the uplink capacity. The downlink capacity is governed by the total
transmitted power of the cell site and its distribution to traffic channels and other
overhead channels (e.g. paging, pilot, sync). The power amplifiers are designed to
provide enough power to the downlink traffic channels, so that the network’s
capacity is not generally expected to be downlink limited. Therefore, network
developers and operators are more concerned with the uplink capacity. They use
the terminology of pool capacity, which represents the asymptotic cell capacity
that can be achieved as the power received by the BS from the MS approaches
infinity. Actually, this terminology refers to the same equation (7) but from a
different view that allows a more practical method of capacity calculation.
The loading of the BS is defined by the total interference level (8).[2]

Itot = N0 *Bw / (1 – χ) (8)

Itot gives the total interference level at the BS, and N0 is the thermal noise level
determined at the cell site. The uplink loading factor of the BS is denoted by χ and
is given by (9).

χ = (1 + β) * M * L (9)

M represents the number of users and L the user’s loading factor, which is
calculated with formula (10).

L = 1 / (1 + Gp * υ /(Eb/N0)) (10)

Equation (8) shows that the asymptotic interference level (the ∞ value)
corresponds to the unity uplink loading factor χ. Therefore, using (9), the pool
capacity is defined by (11).

M = 1 / ((1 + β) *L) (11)

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In live networks, a common value for the uplink-loading factor is 50%. Applying
(11) results in a number of 17 users for the example presented in the previous
paragraph. This value is more realistic than the one estimated by using equation
(7). However, as expected, the value is highly dependent on the Eb/N0 ratio that
can be obtained in the network and on the uplink-loading factor at the evaluation
Soft handoffs represent a factor that can improve the capacity on the uplink.
Conversely, the number and type of soft handoffs can reduce the downlink

3. Traffic evaluation in CDMA networks

Traffic is one of the most influential dimensions that could affect the performance
of a CDMA network. Therefore, developers and operators need to evaluate the
value of the traffic in their network and the time distribution of the traffic. This task
is performed by the means of drive test tools.
The voice traffic roughly exhibits the same value, regardless of communication
link. The data traffic is strongly asymmetric, generally with an excess load on the
uplink (e.g. the users’ web downloading). Therefore, regardless of link and
application type (voice or data), it is recommended that an evaluation be
performed that can give an estimate of the all-active channels of a site.

4. Traffic analysis in TEMS Investigation

The TEMS Investigation drive test tool uses the concept that an active CDMA
channel of a cell can be identified by evaluating the signal power on each Walsh
code. This procedure is straightforward and suitable for a drive test tool, because
it requires only the assessment of the power on each Walsh code. The accuracy
of the traffic estimation can be affected by making a distinction between active and
inactive channels.
TEMS uses the PN scanning to identify the dedicated BS. Once the BS is
detected, the measurement is locked on the correspondent PN code, and a Walsh
code correlation algorithm decodes each CDMA channel. The power transmitted
in each Walsh channel is assessed in the code-domain measurement
environment. The number of active channels that do not represent the pilot (Walsh
0), the paging channels (Walsh 1-7), and the synch channel (Walsh 32) provides
the estimator of the traffic on the tested cell at a given moment.

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The contribution of each Walsh channel is displayed in real time (figure 1). The
power calculations can be performed using absolute values (parameter Ec) or
values relative to the total power of the CDMA signal (parameter Ec/Io).
The channels that exhibit a power above the traffic threshold represent active
users. Figure 1 represents a snap shot in time that shows the active channels W9,
W12, W13, W20, W25, W29, W33, W32, W37, W39, W51, W61. The active code
value and its Ec/Io value are also displayed.
The number of active users at a certain moment and their time distribution is
presented as a graph in the Traffic Analysis view (figure 2). The Y-axis represents
the number of active channels and X-axis represents the time. The plot is
accompanied by additional code domain statistics, such as the maximum and
average number of active channels at a certain moment, and the maximum and
average traffic power. The pilot PN code and its power, the RF channel, and the
total power of the channel are also displayed.

Figure 1

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Figure 2

4.1. Traffic threshold

The traffic threshold affects the estimated number of active users at a certain
moment. The value for the threshold is selected by the user and can be changed
during data collection and replay of the data file. When determining the traffic
threshold, however, a set of factors should be considered. Some guidance is
presented below.
Generally, a CDMA BS is designed to provide 10% of its maximum power on the
pilot. It is expected that on average, each channel will exhibit a power close to the
pilot channel.
In addition, the CDMA standards [3] require all inactive codes to be at least 27dB
below the total channel power. Considering the waveform quality, this requirement
is tight. However, it should be considered that the sum of all the uncorrelated
power will create a noise floor in all the code channels. This is of no consequence
on the active channels, but since the noise floor sets a performance limit on the
inactive channels, it could be used to establish a minimum value of the traffic

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Noise is another factor that needs to be considered. In addition to the uncorrelated

power that is spread equally over all Walsh codes and contributes to the code
domain noise floor power, pure noise often degrades CDMA system’s
performance. The calculation of the noise in the code-domain uses the fact that
1/128 of the noise energy occupies each Walsh code (1/64 for cdmaOne). Each
active Walsh code contains its own power plus a fraction of error power that is
assumed to be equally distributed among all Walsh codes. Therefore, the code
domain power coefficient ρk of the kth active Walsh code is defined by (13).

ρk = (Pk +Pnoise/128) / Σ ( Pk + Pnoise ) (13)

For unused codes there is no signal power Pk=0. Assuming that the noise has the
same power as the CDMA signal, the power coefficient associated to the inactive
code is given by:

ρk = (Pnoise/128) / (2*Pnoise ) = -24dB (14)

The example above shows an average code domain floor of –24dB, suggesting a
traffic threshold that should be above this value. However, the pilot dominance,
the measurement integration time, and retriever’s noise performance should be
considered when the traffic threshold is evaluated.

5. Reference
[1]. C.E. Shannon, ”Communications in the Presence of Noise”, Proceedings of
the IRE, no.37, 1949.
[2]. V. Garg, “IS-95 CDMA and CDMA 2000. Cellular/PCS Systems
Implementation”, Prentice Hall 2000, NJ.
[3]. IS-2000 Rev B

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