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CHAPTER 1 Introduction of GSM


At the beginning of the 1980s it was realized that the European countries were using
many different, incompatible mobile phone systems. At the same time, the needs for
telecommunication services were remarkably increased.due to this, CEPT (Conference
Europeenne des Postes et Telecommunications) founded a group to specify a common
mobile system for Western Europe. This group was named “Groupe Speciale Mobile”
and the system name GSM arose.

This abbreviation has since been interpreted in other ways, but the most common
expression nowadays is Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications.

In addition to the commercial demands main objectives are defined:

• The system must be Pan European.
• The system must maintain a good speech quality.
• The system must use radio frequencies as efficiently as possible.
• The system must have high adequate capacity.
• The system must be compatible with the ISDN (Integrated services Digital
• The system must be compatible with other data communication specifications.
• The system must maintain good security concerning both subscriber and
transmitted information.

The economically most successful wireless application in the first half of the 20th
century was radio broadcast. There is one transmitter, the so-called radio station.
Information, such as news, music, etc. is transmitted from the radio station to the receiver
equipment, the radio device. This type of one-way transmission is called simplex
transmission. The transmission takes place only in one direction, from the transmitter to
the receiver. When we take a human conversation, a technical solution is required, where

the information flow can take place in two directions. This type of transmission is called
duplex transmission. Walky-talky was already available the early 30ies. This system
already allowed a transmission of user data in two directions, but there was a limitation:
The users were not allowed to transmit at the same time. The transmission of user data
from the base station to the mobile phone is called downlink (DL), the transmission from
the mobile phone to the base station uplink (UL) direction. The area, where the wireless
transmission between mobile phones and the base station can take place, is the base
stations supply area, called cell.

Figure 1.1 UL/DL Frequencies

GSM frequency bands
In Europe, Australia, most parts of Asia and South America, GSM 900 and GSM
1800 are available. In North America, some parts of Asia and South America, there is
GSM 1900. Numbers, such as 900 and 1900, indicate the frequency bands applied. GSM
900, 1800 and 1900 are the most commonly used frequency bands.
• GSM-900 (standard GSM, P-GSM, Primary GSM)
UL: 890 – 915 MHz and DL: 935 – 960 MHz

• Extended GSM 900 (E-GSM; only in combination with GSM-900)

UL: 880 – 915 MHz and DL: 925 – 960 MHz

• Railway GSM-900 (R-GSM; in combination with GSM)

UL: 876 – 980 MHz and DL: 921 – 925 MHz

• GSM-1800(DCS-1800)
UL: 1710 – 1785 MHz and DL: 1805 – 1880 MHz

• GSM-1900(PCS-1900)
UL: 1850 – 1910MHz and DL: 1930 – 1990 MHz


Imagine that one GSM 900 subscriber gets 25 MHz for both downlink and uplink
communication. Then there would be no resources left for other GSM 900 users in the
same geographical area. One user would block all available radio interface resources.
Luckily, this is not the case in GSM.

Two principles are applied to allow multiple access in GSM:

• FDMA: Frequency Division Multiple Access, and

• TDMA: Time Division Multiple Access.

Figure1.2 FDMA

Figure 1.3 TDMA

Multiple Access is achieved in FDMA by dividing the UL and DL frequency bands

into sub-frequency bands. Each active subscriber thus gets one downlink and one uplink
sub-frequency band allocated. The table below shows how this is done in GSM. The

uplink and downlink resources are organized in 200 kHz sub-frequency bands. The sub-
frequency bands are called carriers. In GSM 900, the 25 MHz bands for uplink and
downlink communication are divided into 124 carriers. (Two times 100 kHz are used as
guard bands on the left and right hand side of the UL and DL frequency ranges.)
Channel numbers identify the uplink and downlink carriers. If a subscriber’s call is
conducted on Channel 2, then uplink is performed on the frequency band 890.3-890.5
MHz and downlink on the frequency band 935.3-935.5 MHz. In GSM 900, the duplex
frequency (the difference between uplink and downlink frequencies) is 45 MHz.

Table-1.1 GSM 900 frequencies

Channel Uplink signal (MHz) Downlink signal (MHz)

1 890.1 – 890.3 935.1 – 935.3

(890.2 –centre freq.) (935.2 -centre freq.)

2 890.4 (centre freq.) 935.4 (centre freq.)

3 890.6 (centre freq.) 935.6 (centre freq.)

… ... ...

124 914.8 (centre freq.) 959.8 (centre freq.)

In GSM 1800 the number of carriers is 374 and the duplex frequency is 95 MHz.
The devices in the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) that transmit and receive the radio
signals in each of the GSM channels (uplink and downlink together) are known as
Transceivers (TRX).

FDMA is combined with TDMA to increase the number of simultaneous users of the
radio interface. Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), as the name suggests, is a
method of sharing a resource (in this case a radio frequency) between multiple users, by
allocating a specific time (known as a Time Slot) for each user. This is in contrast to the
analogue mobile systems where one radio frequency is used by a single user for the
duration of the conversation. In Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) systems each
user either receives or transmits bursts of information only in the allocated time slot.
These time slots are allocated for speech only when a user has set up the call. Some
timeslots are, however, used to provide signaling and location updates etc. between calls.

Figure illustrates the TDMA principle.

TS L 7

T SL 6

T im eS Lot 0
TS L 5
T SL 1
T SL 4

Figure 1.4 Time Division Multiple Access principle

In GSM, a TDMA frame is defined as a grouping of TSs which is numbered 0 to 7

as shown below. It has duration of 4.615ms (8 x 577µs).

TDMA frames are transmitted one after another. Every TDMA frame is allocated a
frame number.


t im
Physcial channel, 1
e.g. allocated to one 0
subscriber with FR voice & 7
no frequency hopping 6
TDMA frame
0 = 8 timeslots
TDMA frame
200 kHz

Figure 1.5 Physical channel and TDMA frame


The purpose behind the GSM specifications is to define several open interfaces,
which then are limiting certain parts of the GSM system. Because of this interface
openness, the operator maintaining the network may obtain different parts of the network
from different GSM network suppliers. Also, when an interface is open it defines strictly
what is happening through the interface and this in turn strictly defines what kind of
actions\procedures\functions must be implemented between the interfaces.

Nowadays, GSM specifications define two truly open interfaces. The first one is
between the Mobile Station. This open air interface is appropriately named the “Air
Interface”. The second one is between the Mobile Services Switching Center – MSC &
the Base Station Controller (BSC). This interface is called the “A Interface”. These two
network elements will be discussed in greater detail in later part. The system includes
more than two defined interfaces but they are not totally open as the system specifications
had not been completed when the commercial systems were launched.

In a GSM network, this decentralized intelligence is implemented by dividing the
whole network into three separate subsystems:

 Network Switching Subsystems (NSS)

 Base Station Subsystems (BSS)
 Network Management Subsystems (NMS)

The actual network needed for establishing calls is composed of the NSS and the
BSS. The BSS is responsible for radio path control and every call is connected through
the BSS. The NSS takes care of call control functions. Calls are always connected by and
through the NSS. The NMS is the operation and maintenance related to the network and
it is needed for the control of the whole GSM network. The network operator observes
and maintains network quality and service offered through the NMS. The three
subsystems in a GSM network are linked by the Air, A and O&M interfaces as shown in
figure 1.6

Figure 1.6 Three Subsystems of GSM and their Interfaces

The MS (Mobile Station) is a combination of terminal equipment and subscriber data.

The terminal equipment as such is called ME (Mobile Equipment) and the subscriber’s
data is stored in a separate module called SIM (Subscriber Identity Module). Therefore,
ME + SIM = MS given in Figure 1.7

Figure 1.7 Inserting a SIM Card in a Mobile Phone


1.4.1 Base Station Subsystem (BSS)

The BSS consists of the following elements:
 BSC ( Base Station Controller)
 BTS ( Base Transceiver Station)
 TC ( Trans Coder)
As shown in Figure 1.8, The Base Station Controller (BTS) is the central network
element of the BSS & it controls the radio network. This means that the main
responsibilities of the BSC are: Connection establishment between MS & NSS, Mobility
Management, Statistical raw data collection, Air and A interface signaling support.

The Base Transceiver Station (BTS) is a network element maintaining the AIR
interface. It takes care of the Air interface signaling, Air interface ciphering and Speech
processing. In this context, speech processing refers to all the functions the BTS performs
in order to guarantee an error-free connection between the MS and the BTS.

The Transcoder (TC) is a BSS element taking care of speech transcoding, i.e. it is
capable of converting speech from one digital coding format to another and vice versa.
Also TC is known as Multiplexer. It changes speech from 13 Kbps from 64 Kbps & vice

The Main Function of the BSS is as follows:
Radio Path Control:
In the GSM network, the BSS is the part of the network taking care of Radio
Resources, i.e. radio channel allocation and quality of the radio connection. For this
purpose, the GSM Technical specification defines about 120 different parameters for
each BTS. These parameters define exactly what kind of BTS is in question & how MSs
may “see” the network when moving in this BTS area. The BTS parameter handle: what
kind of handovers, paging organization, radio power level control and BTS identification.

BTS and TC Control:

Inside the BSS, all the BTSs & TCs are connected to the BSCs. The BSC maintains
the BTSs. In other words, the BSC is capable of separating a BTS from the network &
collecting alarm information. Transcoders are also maintained by the BSC, i.e. the BSC
collects alarms related to the Trancoders.

Figure 1.8 Base Station Sub-system (BSS)

The BSS uses hierarchical synchronization which means that the MSC synchronizes
the BSC & the BSC further synchronizes the BTSs associated with that particular BSC.

Synchronization is a critical issue in the GSM network due to the nature of the
information transferred. If the synchronization chain is not working properly, calls may
be cut or the call quality may not be the best possible. Ultimately, it may even be
impossible to establish a call.

Air & A Interface Signaling:

In order to establish a call, the MS must have a connection through the BSS. This
connection requires several signaling protocols.

Connection Establishment between MS & NSS:

The BSS is located between two interfaces, the Air & A interface. From the call
establishment point of view, the MS must have a connection through these two interfaces
before a call can be established. Generally speaking, this connection may be either a
signaling type of connection or a traffic (speech, data) type of connection.

Mobility Management and Speech Transcoding:

BSS Mobility Management mainly covers the different cases of Handovers.

Collection of Statistical Data:

The BSS collects a lot of short-term statistical data that is further sent to the NMS for
post processing purpose. By using the tools located in the NMS the operator is able to
create statistical “views” & thus observe the network quality.

Transmission between BSC and BTS

There are three alternative methods to provide the connections between a BSC &
several BTS. They are:
 Point to Point connection
 Multi Drop Chain
 Multi Drop loop

Figure 1.9 BTS - BSC Connections
As shown in Figure 1.9, Point to Point connection indicates that the BSC is
connected directly to every BTS whit 2 Mbps PCM line. If the BSC–BTS distance is few
kilometers were as the distance between groups of BTS is much shorter it does not make
sense to draw a Point to Point connection to every BTS. One PCM line is capable to
transfer data to several BTS simultaneously. There for it possible to draw just one BSC-
BTS connection and link. The BTS as a chain, this technique is called Multi Drop
Chain. The BSC sends all the data in one 2 Mbps PCM line and each BTS in turn
analyses the signal, collect the data from correct time slots assign for itself and passes the
signal to next BTS. But there is a one problem with Multi Drop Chain. Consider if there
is a break in chain more BTS are isolated from BSC. This problem can be solved by
using Multi Drop Loop technique. In Multi Drop Loop if there is a break the signal split
in two directions. So if there is a break in one side than BTS can also able to receive
signal from the other side.

1.4.2 Network Switching Subsystems (NSS)

The GSM network is divided into three subsystems: NSS, BSS, and NMS. The
concept of NSS is introduced in this section.

The elements of Network Switching Subsystem (NSS) are as follows:

 MSC (Mobile Service Switching Center)

 VLR (Visitor Location Register)
 HLR (Home Location Register)
 AC (Authentication Center)
 EIR (Equipment Identity Register)

The MSC is responsible for controlling calls in the mobile network. It identifies the
origin & destination of a call as well as a type of call. An MSC acting as a bridge
between a mobile network and a fixed network is called a “GATEWAY MSC”
(GMSC). An MSC is normally integrated with a VLR, which maintains information
related to the subscribers who are currently in the service area of the MSC. The VLR






Figure 1.10 Network switching Subsystem (NSS)

carries out location registration & updates. The MSC associated with it initiates the
Paging process. A VLR database is always temporary whereas the HLR maintains a
permanent register of the subscribers. In addition to the fixed data, the HLR also
maintains a temporary database which contains the current location of its customers. This
data is required for routing the calls.

In addition there are two more elements in the NSS. They are AC & EIR. They are
usually implemented as a part of HLR & they deal with the security functions.

The main functions of NSS are as follows:

Call Control:
This identifies the subscriber, establishing a call and clears the connection after the
conversation is over.

This collects the charging information about a call as the members of the caller and
the called subscriber, the time & type of the transaction, etc., and transfers it to the
Billing Center (BC).

Mobility Management:
This maintains information about the location of the subscriber.

Signaling with other network & the BSS:

This applies to interfaces with the BSS and PSTN (Public Switch Telephone

Subscriber Data Handling:

This is the permanent data storage in the HLR and temporary storage of relevant data
in the VLR.

Transmission between BSC & MSC

As shown in figure 1.11, BSC & MSC can be connected via TCSM. Between the
BSC and TCSM, the interface is called Ater-interface. And connection between TCSM
and MSC is called A-interface.

Figure 1.11 BSC – MSC Connection

1.4.3 Network Management Subsystem (NMS)
The NMS is the third subsystem of the GSM network in addition to NSS & BSS. The
purpose of the NMS is to monitor various functions and elements of the network. These
tasks are carried out by the NMS/2000 which consists of a number of Work Stations,
Servers & a Router which connects to a “Data Communications Network” (DCN). As
shown in Figure 1.12.

Figure 1.12 Network Management subsystems (NMS)

The operator work stations are connected to the database and communication servers
via a Local Area Network (LAN). The database servers store the management
information about the network. The communications servers take care of the data
communication between the NMS and the equipment in the GSM network known as
“Network Elements”. These communications are carried over a Data communication
Network (DCN) which connects to the NMS via a Router. The DCN is normally
implemented using an X.25 Packet Switching Network.

The functions of the NMS are as follows:

Fault Management:
The purpose of Fault Management is to ensure the smooth operation of the network
& rapid correction of any kind of problems that are detected. This provides the network
operator with information about the current status of the Alarm events and maintains a
history database of Alarms.

Configuration Management:
The purpose of Configuration Management is to maintain up to date information
about the operation & configuration status of network elements. Specific configuration
functions include the management of the radio network, software & hardware
management of the network elements, time synchronization and security operations.

Performance Management:
In Performance Management, the NMS collects measurements data from individual
network elements and stores it in a database. On the basis of these data, the network
operator is able to compare the actual performance of the network with the planned
performance & detect both good and bad performance areas within the network.

1.5 GSM Network Architecture

Whole GSM architecture containing all the three systems is drawn as under Figure

Figure 1.13 GSM Architecture

Chapter 2 Physical and Logical Channels in GSM



Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) divides one radio frequency channel
into consecutive periods of time, each one called a "TDMA frame". Each TDMA frame
contains eight shorter periods of time known as "timeslots". These timeslots can be
compared to the seats in the vehicle. The TDMA timeslots are called "PHYSICAL
CHANNELS", as they are used to physically move information from one place to



Mobile Station




There are twelve different types of logical channels, which are mapped into
physical channels in the radio path. Logical channels comprise of common channels and
dedicated channels. Common channels are those that are used for broadcasting different
information to mobile stations and for setting up signalling channels between the
MSC/VLR and the mobile station.
Over the radio path, different types of signalling channels are used to facilitate the
discussions between the mobile station and the BTS, BSC and the MSC/VLR. All these
signalling channels are called dedicated control channels.
Traffic channels are also dedicated channels, as each channel is dedicated to only
one user to carry speech or data. The only dedicated channel among the blue ones above
is the SDCCH. It is used for system signalling during idle periods and also for call set-up
before a traffic channel has been allocated. Furthermore, the common and dedicated
channels are grouped in different multiframes. The common channels are grouped in a 51
TDMA frame order, and the dedicated channels are grouped in a 26 TDMA frame order.

Why this organisation? The reason is that we need to be able to receive and decode
common channels along with (but independently of) the dedicated channels used in busy
mode. By multiplying 51 with 26, we can conclude that any TDMA frame number will
occur simultaneously in both multiframes every 1326 TDMA frames (which corresponds
to 6.12 seconds). Such cycles are called super frames.

Broadcast channels
Base stations can use several TRXs, but there is always only one TRX that can
carry common channels. Broadcast channels are downlink point-to-multipoint channels.
They contain general information about the network and the broadcasting cell. There are
three types of broadcast channels:
Frequency Correction Channel (FCCH)
FCCH bursts consist of all "0"s that are transmitted as a pure sine wave. This acts like a
flag for the mobile stations and enables them to find the TRX among several TRXs,
which contains the broadcast transmission. The MS scans for this signal after it has been
switched on, since it has no information as to which frequency to use.
• Synchronisation Channel (SCH)

The SCH contains the Base Station Identity Code (BSIC) and a reduced TDMA
frame number. The BSIC is needed to identify that the frequency strength being
measured by the mobile station is coming from a particular base station. In some cases, a
distant base station broadcasting the same frequency can also be detected by the mobile
station. The TDMA frame number is required for speech encryption.
• Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH)

The BCCH contains detailed network and cell specific information such as:
• Frequencies used in the particular cell and neighbouring cells.

• Frequency hopping sequence

This is designed to reduce the negative effects of the air interface, which
sometimes results in the loss of transmitted information; the mobile station
may transmit information on different frequencies within one cell. The
order in which the mobile station should change the frequencies is called
the "frequency hopping sequence". (However, implementing frequency
hopping in a cell is optional.)
Channel combination
As we mentioned previously, there are a total of twelve logical channels. All the
logical channels except traffic channels are mapped into timeslot 0 or timeslot 1 of the
broadcasting TRX. The channel combination informs the mobile station about the
mapping method used in the particular cell.
Paging groups
Normally there is more than one paging channel in one cell (describer later). To
prevent a mobile from listening to all the paging channels for a paging message, the

paging channels are divided in such a way that only a group of mobile stations listens to a
particular paging channel. These are referred to as paging groups.
Information on surrounding cells
A mobile station has to know what the cells surrounding the present cell are and
what frequencies are being broadcast on them. This is necessary if, for example, the user
initiates a conversation in the current cell, and then decides to move on. The mobile
station has to measure the signal strength and quality of the surrounding cells and report
this information to the base station controller.

Common control channels

Common control channels comprise the second set of logical channels. They are
used to set up a point to point connection. There are three types of common control
Paging Channel (PCH)
The PCH is a downlink channel that is broadcast by all the BTSs of a location
area in the case of a mobile terminated call.
Random Access Channel (RACH)
The RACH is the only uplink and the first point to point channel in the common
control channels. It is used by the mobile station in order to initiate a transaction, or as a
response to a PCH.
Access Grant Channel
The AGCH is the answer to the RACH. It is used to assign a mobile a Stand-alone
Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH). It is a downlink, point to point channel.

Dedicated control channels

Dedicated control channels compose the third group of channels. Once again,
there are three dedicated channels. They are used for call set-up, sending measurement
reports and handover. They are all bi-directional and point to point channels. There are
three dedicated control channels:
Stand Alone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH)
The SDCCH is used for system signalling: call set-up, authentication, and
location update, assignment of traffic channels and transmission of short messages.
Slow Associated Control Channel (SACCH)
An SACCH is associated with each SDCCH and Traffic Channel (TCH). It
transmits measurement reports and is also used for power control, time alignment and in
some cases for transmitting short messages.

Fast Associated Control Channel (FACCH)

The FACCH is used when a handover is required. It is mapped onto a TCH and it
replaces 20 ms of speech and, therefore, it is said to work in "stealing" mode.


We have already seen that the technique used in the air interface is Time Division
Multiple Access (TDMA) where one frequency is shared by, at the most, eight users.
Consider the example of a 2 Mbit/s PCM signal that can carry 30 speech channels, with
each channel occupying 64 Kbits/s. The speech signals from the mobile stations must be
placed into a 2 Mbit/s signal that connects the BTS and the BSC.
It is very important that all the mobile stations in the same cell send the digital
information at the correct time to enable the BTS to place this information into the
correct position in the 2 Mbit/s signal.
How do we manage the timing between multiple mobile stations in one cell? The
aim is that each mobile sends its information at a precise time, so that when the
information arrives at the Base Transceiver Station, it fits into the allocated time slot in
the 2 Mbit/s signal. Each mobile station must send a burst (a burst occupies one TDMA
timeslot) of data at a different time to all the other mobile stations in the same cell. The
mobile then falls silent for the next seven timeslots and then sends the next burst and so
It can be seen that the mobile station is sending information periodically. All the
mobile stations send their information like this. If we go back to the analogy of the army,
the road is the radio carrier frequency, the vehicle is the TDMA frame and the seats in
each vehicle are the TDMA timeslots.
In the air interface, a TDMA timeslot is a time interval of approximately 576.9 µs,
which corresponds to the duration of 156.25 bit times. All bursts occupy this period of
time, but the actual arrangement of bits in the burst depends on the burst type. Two
examples are:
Normal burst: which is used for the traffic channels, stand alone dedicated channels,
broadcast control channel, paging channel, access grant channel, and slow and fast
associated control channels.
Access burst: which is used to send information on the Random Access Channel
(RACH). This burst contains the lowest number of bits. The purpose of this “extra free
space” is to measure the distance between the Mobile Station and the BTS at the
beginning of a connection. This process determines a parameter called "timing advance"
which ensures that the bursts from different mobile stations arrive at the correct time,
even if the distances between the various MSs and the BTS are different. This process is
carried out in connection with the first access request and after a handover. A maximum
theoretical distance of about 35 kilometres is allowed between the BTS and the MS.

1 TDMA FRAME 4.615ms




As you can see, the normal burst contains a training sequence and an SB (Stealing
Bit). The training sequence is known, which makes it possible to correct bit errors by
applying Viterbi Equalisation. There are eight different sequence patterns, and the one to
be used is determined at the time of call set-up. The stealing bits indicate if the burst
contains FACCH (handover) information.
The Frequency Correction Burst is used by the MS to synchronise on a cell. In
each cell, the Frequency Correction Burst is transmitted on the same carrier as the BCCH.
It is transmitted every 10th or every 11th TDMA frame (see 51 multiframes) with a higher
output power than every other burst. This helps the MS to find to determine the 51
multiframes structures as well as the position of the SCH and BCCH. The Frequency
Correction Bursts transmits a sinusoid wave, which is used to synchronise the local
oscillator of the MS to the BCCH carrier frequency band.




The Synchronisation Burst is equipped with a very long, well known training
sequence. This long sequence helps the MS to get time synchronised downlink. If the MS
is time synchronised downlink, it knows when BCCH and PCH information is
transmitted, and it can read it. The Synchronization Burst also transmits the cells BSIC.
On the BCCH carrier of a cell, there must be permanently a high output power. In
timeslot 0, there are the 51 multiframes with FCCH, SCH, and BCCH. If timeslot 1 to 7
are not in use, or resources within the 51 multiframes of TS 0 are not used (e.g. SDCCH
resources), then the dummy burst is transmitted to guarantee, that there is permanently a
load on this carrier.


Time Slots 0 and 1 in each TRX are usually needed for the use of all of these
above-mentioned Signalling channels (Control channels). So they are used in different
combinations. They are in combined or non combined mode as given below.







Figure 2.6 Common Channel Downlink

Figure2.7 Common Channel Uplink

2.7 Speech Coding

In order to fully understand speech and channel coding it is easier to start from the very
beginning of the process. The first step in speech coding is to transform the sound waves
of our voices (and other ambient noise) into an electrical signal. This is done by a
microphone. A microphone consists of a diaphragm, a magnet, and a coil of wire. When
you speak into it, sound waves created by your voice vibrate the diaphragm which is
connected to the magnet which is inside the coil of wire. These vibrations cause the
magnet to move inside the coil at the same frequency as your voice. A magnet moving in
a coil of wire creates an electric current. This current which is at the same frequency as
the sound waves is carried by wires to where ever you wish it to go like an amplifier,
transmitter, etc. Once it gets to its destination the process is reversed and it comes out as
sound. Speakers basically being the opposite of microphones. The signal created by a
microphone is an analog signal. Since GSM is an all digital system, this analog signal is
not suitable for use on a GSM network. The analog signal must be converted into digital
form. This is done by using an Analog to Digital Converter (ADC).

In order to reduce the amount of data needed to represent the sound wave, the analog
signal is first inputted into a band pass filter. Band pass means that the filter only allows
signal that fall within a certain frequency range to pass through it, and all other signals
are cut off, or attenuated. The BP filter only allows frequencies between 300Hz and 3.4

kHz to pass through it. This limits the amount of data that the Analog/Digital Converter is
required to process.

Figure 2.8 Band Pass Filter

The filtered signal is inputted into the analog/digital converter. The analog/digital
converter performs two tasks. It converts an analog signal into a digital signal and it does
the opposite, converts a digital signal into an analog signal.

In the case of a cell phone, the analog signal created by a microphone is passed to the
analog/digital converter. The A/D converter measures the analog signal, or samples it
8000 times per second. This means that the ADC takes a sample of the analog signal
every .125 sec (125 µs). Each sample is quantified with a 13-bit data block. If we
calculate 13 bits per sample at 8000 samples per second, we determine a data rate of
104,000 bits per second, or 104 kb/s.

Figure 2.9 Analog/Digital Converter

A data rate of 104 kbps is far too large to be economically handled by a radio transmitter.
In order to reduce the bit rate, the signal is inputted into a speech encoder. A speech
encoder is a device that compresses the data of a speech signal. There are many types of
speech encoding schemes available.
The speech encoder used in GSM is called Linear Predictive Coding (LPC) and Regular
Pulse Excitation (RPE). LPC is a very complicated and math-heavy process, so it will
only be summarized here.

2.8 Linear Predictive Coding (LPC)

Remember that the ADC quantifies each audio sample with a 13-bit "word". In LPC, 160
of the 13-bit samples from the converter are saved up and stored into short-term memory.
Remember that a sample is taken every 125 µs, so 160 samples cover an audio block of
20ms. This 20ms audio block consists of 2080 bits. LPC-RPE analyzes each 20ms set of
data and determines 8 coefficients used for filtering as well as an excitation signal. LPC
basically identifies specific bits that correspond to specific aspects of human voice, such
as vocal modifiers (teeth, tongue, etc.) and assigns coefficients to them. The excitation
signal represents things like pitch and loudness. LPC identifies a number of correlations
of human voice and redundancies in human speech and removes them.

The LPC/RPE sequence is then fed into the Long-Term Prediction (LTP) Analysis
function. The LTP function compares the sequence it receives with earlier sequences
stored in its memory and selects the sequence that most resembles the current sequence.
The LTP function then calculates the difference between the two sequences. Now the
LTP function only has to translate the difference value as well as a pointer indicating
which earlier sequence it used for comparison. By doing this is prevents encoding
redundant data

You can envision this by thinking about the sounds we make when we talk. When we
pronounce a syllable, each little sound has a specific duration that seems short when we
are talking but often lasts longer than 20ms. So, one sound might be represented by
several 20ms-blocks of exactly the same data. Rather than transmit redundant data, LPC
only includes data that tells the receiving which data is redundant so that it can be created
on the receiving end.

Using LPC/RPE and LTP, the speech encoder reduces the 20ms block from 2,080 bits to
to 260 bits. Note that this is a reduction by eight times. 260 bits every 20ms gives us a net
data rate of 13 kilobits per second (kbps).

Figure 2.10 Speech Encoding

This bit rate of 13kbps is known as Full Rate Speech (FS). There is another method for
encoding speech called Half Rate Speech (HS), which results in a bit rate of
approximately 5.6kbps.

Calculate the net data rate:

Table 2.1 Calculation Of Data Rate

Description Formula Result

Convert ms to sec 20 ms ÷ 1000 .02 seconds
Calculate bits per second 260 bits ÷ .02 seconds 13,000 bits per second (bps)
Convert bits to kilobits 13,000 bps ÷ 1000 13 kilobits per sec (kbps)

As we all know, the audio signal must be transmitted across a radio link from the handset
to the Base Station Transceiver (BTS). The signal on this radio link is subject to
atmospherics and fading which results in a large amount of data loss and degrades the
audio. In order to prevent degradation of audio, the data stream is put through a series of
error detection and error correction procedures called channel coding. The first phase of
channel coding is called block coding.

2.9 Block Coding
A single 260-bit (20ms) audio block is delivered to the block-coder. The 260 bits are
divided up into classes according to their importance in reconstructing the audio. Class I
are the bits that are most important in reconstructing the audio. The class II bits are the
less important bits. Class I bits are further divided into two categories, Ia and Ib.

Figure 2.11 Classes of Bits

The class Ia bits are protected by a cyclic code. The cyclic code is run on the 50 Ia bits
and calculates 3 parity bits which are then appended to the end of the Ia bits. Only the
class Ia bits are protected by this cyclic code. The Ia and Ib bits are then combined and an
additional 4 bits are added to the tail of the class I bits (Ia and Ib together). All four bits
are zeros (0000) and are needed for the next step which is "convolution coding". There is
no protection for class II bits. As you can see, block coding adds seven bits to the audio
block, 3 parity bits and 4 tail bits, therefore, a 260-bit block becomes a 267-bit block.

Figure 2.12 Block Coding

2.10 Convolution Coding

This 267-bit block is then inputted into a convolution code. Convolution coding allows
errors to be detected and to be corrected to a limited degree. The class I "protected" bits
are inputted into a complex convolution code that outputs 2 bits for every bit that enters
it. The second bit that is produced is known as a redundancy bit. The number of class I
bits is doubled from 189 to 378.

This coding uses 5 consecutive bits to calculate the redundancy bit, this is why there are 4
bits added to the class I bits when the cyclic code was calculated. When the last data bit
enters the register, it uses the remaining four bits to calculate the redundancy bit for the
last data bit. The class II bits are not run through the convolution code. After convolution
coding, the audio block is 456 bits

Figure 2.13 Convolution Coding

2.11 Reordering, Partitioning, and Interleaving

Now, one problem remains. All of this error detection and error correction coding will
not do any good if the entire 456-bit block is lost or garbled. In order to alleviate this, the
bits are reordered and portioned onto eight separate sub-blocks. If one sub-block is lost
then only one-eighth of the data for each audio block is lost and those bits can be
recovered using the convolution code on the receiving end. This is known as interleaving.

Each 456-bit block is reordered and partitioned into 8 sub-blocks of 57 bits each.
These eight 57-bit sub-blocks are then interleaved onto 8 separate bursts. As you
remember from the TDMA Tutorial, each burst is composed of two 57-bit data blocks,
for a total data payload of 114 bits.

The first four sub-blocks (0 through 3) are mapped onto the even bits of four consecutive
bursts. The last four sub-blocks (4 through 7) are mapped onto the odd bits of the next 4
consecutive bursts. So, the entire block is spread out across 8 separate bursts.

Taking a look at the diagram below we see three 456-bit blocks, labeled A, B, and C.
Each block is sub-divided into eight sub-blocks numbered 0-7. Let's take a look at Block
B. We can see that each sub-block is mapped to a burst on a single time-slot. Block B is
mapped onto 8 separate bursts or time-slots. For illustrative purposes, the time-slots are
labeled S through Z.

Let's expand time-slot V for a close-up view. We can see how the bits are mapped onto a
burst. The bits from Block B, sub-block 3 (B3) are mapped onto the even numbered bits
of the burs (bits 0,2,4....52,54,56). You will also notice that the odd bits are being mapped
from data from block A, sub-block 7 (bits 1,3,5....53,55,57). Each burst contains data
from separate 456-bit blocks. This process is known as interleaving.

Figure 2.14 Reordering, Partitioning, and Interleaving

In the following diagram, we examine time-slot W. We see that bits from B4 are mapped
onto the odd-number bits (bits 1,3,5....53,55,57) and we would see bits from C1 mapped
onto the even number bits (bits 0,2,4....52,54,56). This process continues indefinitely as
data is transmitted. Time-slots W, X, Y, and Z would all be mapped identically. The next
time-slot would have data from Block C and Block D mapped onto it. This process
continues for as long as there is data being generated.

Figure 2.15 Interleaving

The process of interleaving effectively distributes a single 456 bit audio block over 8
separate bursts. If one burst is lost, only 1/8 of the data is lost, and the missing bits can be
recovered using the convolution code.

Now, you might notice that the data it takes to represent a 20ms (456-bits) audio block is
spread out across 8 timeslots. If you remember that each TDMA frame is approximately
4.615ms, we can determine that it takes about 37ms to transmit one single 456-bit block.
It seems like transmitting 20ms worth of audio over a period of 37ms would not work.
However, this is not what is truly happening. If you look at a series of blocks as they are
mapped onto time-slots you will notice that one sub-block ends every four time-slots,
which is approximately 18ms. The only effect this has is that the audio stream is
effectively delayed by 20ms, which is truly negligible.

In the diagram below, we can see how this works. The diagram shows 16 bursts.
Remember that a burst occurs on a single time-slot and the the duration of a time-slot is
577 µs. Eight time-slots make up a TDMA frame, which is 4.615ms. Since a single
resource is only given one time-slot in which to transmit, we only get to transmit once
every TDMA frame. Therefore, we only get to transmit one burst every 4.615ms.

During each time-slot, a burst is transmitted that carries data from two different 456-bit
blocks. In the diagram below, Burst 1 carries data from A and B, burst 5 has B and C,

burst 9 has C and D, etc. Looking at the diagram, we can see that it does take
approximately 37ms for Block B to transmit all of its data, (bursts 1-8). However, in
bursts 5-8, data from block C is also being transmitted. Once block B has finished
transmitting all of its data (burst 8), block C has already transmitted half of its data and
only requires 4 more bursts to complete its data.

Block A completes transmitting its data at the end of the fourth burst. Block B finishes in
the eighth, block C, in the 12th, and block D in the 16th. Viewing it this way shows us
that every fourth burst completes the data for one block, which takes approximately

The following diagram illustrates the entire process, from audio sampling to partitioning
and interleaving.

Figure 2.16 Speech Coding

Chapter 3 NOKIA Base Transceiver Station

3.1) Nokia Metro Site GSM BTS

The Nokia Metro Site GSM BTS is a complete, all-climate microcellular base transceiver
station. It can be used in GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900 systems, or as a GSM
900/GSM 1800 dual band BTS. Both omni and sectored configurations are supported.
The small-sized Nokia Metro Site GSM BTS cabinet accommodates up to four
transceiver units (TRXs).In order to ensure high quality of calls, the Nokia Metro Site
GSM BTS supports versatile features, such as frequency hopping. Due to its compact
size, low weight, and high level of integration, the Nokia Metro Site GSM BTS is fast
and easy to install, either indoors or outdoors with minimal preparations. Both wall and
pole installations are supported.

Figure 3.1: Nokia Metro Site - an ideal solution for dense, urban environment


Building microcells with Nokia MetroSite BTS:

The efficient frequency reuse requires that the size of the coverage areas (cells) be

Figure 3.2: Microcells built with Nokia Metro Site BTSs

The Nokia Metro Site GSM BTS can be sectored freely. A sector consists of one
broadcast control channel (BCCH) TRX and, often, of one to three traffic channels
(TCH) TRXs. The maximum number of TRXs in one sector is four.

1) Figure 3.3 shows a single band (GSM 900) BTS which has four TRXs in one sector.
The antennas are directed to the same direction; the resulting coverage area comprises
four TRXs. In order to employ the diversity, it is most feasible to connect the TRXs
which share the diversity to different antennas.

Figure 3.3 TRXs in one sector single band configuration

2) Figure 3.4 shows schematically the coverage areas created with a BTS that has four
sectors (two GSM 900 sectors and two GSM 1800 sectors). In Figure 7one GSM 900 and
one GSM 1800 sector are connected to each antenna. The antennas are directed to
different directions.

3) The 2+2 Dual Band configuration can be used to build one directional Dual Band
coverage. This configuration has one GSM 900 sector which includes two TRXs, and one
GSM 1800 sector also including two TRXs. One TRX from the GSM 900 sector and one
TRX from the GSM 1800 sector are connected to one antenna. The antennas are directed
to the same direction. Consequently, the coverage area comprises four TRXs (two GSM
900 and two GSM 1800 TRXs). In this kind of configuration diversity can also be
utilized. Figure 5 shows 2+2 Dual Band configuration.

Figure 3.4: (1+1)/(1+1) Dual Band configuration

Transmission of Nokia Metro Site BTS

The following Transmission Units are used in Metro Site BTS:
 FXC E1/T1
 FC E1/T1


Figure3.5: Examples of transmission connections

Examples of transmission topologies built with different transmission units are presented
in Figure 3.5. Depending on the type of transmission unit, it is possible to use the
following network topologies:
• Chain connection (A and B in Figure 3.5)
• Star connection (C and D in Figure 3.5; with the radio transmission alternative, the
centre point of the star is always a transmission node)
• Loop connection (E and F in Figure 3.5)

General Function, Construction and Units:

Figure 3.6: General principle of signaling between network, BTS and mobile station

In the uplink direction, the signal from the MS is picked up by the antennas and from
there on the signal goes through the duplex filter to the RX part of the transceiver unit. In
the RX part, the signal is converted to the Intermediate Frequencies and filtered. The
baseband module performs the digital signal processing and sends the signal via the D-
bus to the transmission unit. The transmission unit connects the BTS via the Abis
interface to the BSC. The Abis interface can physically be either cable or radio link.
In the downlink direction, the signal from the network is submitted via the transmission
unit and D-bus to the baseband module for digital signal processing. The transmitter part
of the transceiver unit receives the modulated baseband signal from the baseband module
and filters the signal to sufficient output spectrum purity, and raises it to the carrier
frequency. The signal goes through the duplex filter to the antenna, and the antenna sends
the signal via the Air interface to the receiving MS.

Figure 3.7: Nokia Metro Site BTS block diagram

3.2) Units and their arrangement within the Metro BTS

Figure 3.8: Arrangement of units

3.2.1) Transceiver unit (VTxx, HVTxx) :

The transceiver unit of Nokia Metro Site GSM BTS consists of digital and analogue parts
and mechanics. The digital functions are in the baseband module whereas the analogue
part consists of an RF module and integrated duplex filter.

Figure 3.9 Transceiver unit

3.2.2) Interface unit (VIFA) :

The extension and control interfaces of the Nokia MetroSite GSM BTS are located on the
interface unit. Furthermore, the BTS master clock is provided by the interface unit. The
interface unit provides the 26 MHz master clock generation and conversion to 6.5 MHz

Figure 3.10: Interface unit of Nokia MetroSite BTS

The LMP provides the connection to the Manager PC. The connector type for
LMP is BQ, RS-232.
The Nokia Q1 interface provides a connection for supervising the Nokia Q1-bus
compatible external equipment, such as DMR radios. The Q1 interface connector type is

The Extension Interface is a 50-pin mini D-type connector which can be used for
BTS chaining and for connecting Nokia Metro Hub Transmission Node.

The External Alarms and Controls (EAC) connector provides the interface for 10
customer definable external alarm inputs (EA) and 4 control outputs (ECO).

3.2.3) Power supply unit (VSxx, HVxx) :
The purpose of the power supply unit is to convert the incoming AC or DC supply
voltages into appropriate DC output voltages. The power is distributed to the unitsof the
Nokia MetroSite GSM BTS and to radio outdoor units (if used) via the backplane.

Figure 3.11: Power Supply Unit

The output voltages from the power supply unit are the following:
• +3.4 VDC, +5.1 VDC, -5.1 VDC, +9.1 VDC, -9.1 VDC, +26.2 VDC and +55 VDC
• 24 VDC for fan unit.

3.2.4) Fan unit (VMFA, HVMF) :

The fan unit is located at the bottom of the cabinet. The master TRX controls the
fan unit via I2C-bus according to temperature information from other units. The cooling
is performed by adjusting the rotation speed of the fan. The adjustable speed also
minimizes the noise generated by the fan unit. The fan unit has 16 gradually adjustable

Two cooling fan units are available, one for a BTS fitted with 1W TRXs, and the
other for a BTS fitted with 5W or 1W + 5W TRXs.

Figure 3.12: Fan Units

3.3 Nokia Ultrasite EDGE BTS:

Nokia Ultrasite is designed to make the macro cellular network expansion and
upgrade feasible. Not only has Nokia Ultrasite BTS a high TRX count per cabinet but the
cabinets on site can also be chained together. Further, flexible antenna combining stages
allow building various configurations.

The Nokia Ultrasite BTS cabinet accommodates upto 12 TRXs. This makes the
Nokia Ultrasite BTS an efficient solution for building capacity in mobile networks in the
areas of heavy telecommunication traffic. With the BTS’s high output power and receiver
sensitivity, large coverage can be achieved in rural areas when building the network.

Chaining Nokia Ultra site BTS can increase capacity. Upto nine Ultrasite BTS can be
chained together. Base-band Frequency Hopping is not possible between the chained
cabinets i.e. they must have separate hopping groups. Base-band Frequency Hopping
with TRXs in a single-cabinet sector is supported.

Nokia Ultrasite BTS can also be used in cases where the expansion of existing
Talk Family site is needed. Nokia Ultrasite can be placed side by side and integrated into
a Talk Family Site as an upgrade cabinet.

Ultrasite BTS offers a platform for GSM multimedia services. HSCSD and GPRS
services are supported with the existing hardware. EDGE support can be easily
accomplished with minimum hardware changes. Only the EDGE TRX and Base band
Units need to be installed; all the other units remain as they are. BTS SW release in use
must support EDGE functionality. Basic GSM and EDGE TRXs can coexist in the same
cabinet and cell. WCDMA carriers can as well be added into Nokia Ultrasite BTSs. They
can operate simultaneously with the basic GSM and EDGE TRXs. The use of WCDMA
equipment reduces the maximum number of GSM and EDGE TRXs to six in one cabinet.

The Nokia Ultrasite BTS has four slots reserved for the integrated transmission
units. The BTS can even be used as a transmission hub in the BSS network.

3.3.1) General Description :

The Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS is available in different cabinets for outdoor and indoor
• Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS Outdoor – 12 TRX
• Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS Indoor – 12 TRX
• Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS Midi Indoor - 6 TRX (valuable where vertical space is

For sites with minimized requirements, both the Outdoor and Indoor cabinets can hold an
Integrated Battery Backup Unit (IBBU). When installed, an IBBU reduces the maximum
number of Transceiver (TSxx) units in the cabinet from 12 to 6. With IBBU 40 Ah
capacity can be provided, which means 45 minutes backup time for those six TRXs.

3.3.2) Operation :
The Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS performs the radio functions of the Base Station
Subsystem (BSS). The BTS receives and sends signals through:
•Air interface — frequencies that connect the BTS to the Mobile Station (MS)
•Abis interface — cable or radio link that connects the BTS to the Base Station Controller
(BSC), which is the central element of the BSS

Uplink and downlink signaling :

In the uplink path, the BTS receives signals from the MS; in the downlink path, the BTS
sends signals to the MS. Uplink and downlink signals travel through the Air interface on
different frequencies, the higher frequency carrying downlink signals.

Uplink path :
The antenna picks up a signal from the MS through the Air interface. The antenna passes
the signal to the optional Masthead Amplifier (MNxx) and Bias Tee (BPxx) units or to
the optional Dual Band Diplex Filter (DU2A) unit. The signal then goes through either
the Dual Variable Gain Duplex Filter (DVxx) unit or the Remote Tune Combiner (RTxx)
unit to the Receiver Multicoupler (M2xx and M6xx) and TSxx units. The Transceiver
module (TRX) on the TSxx unit converts the received signal to Intermediate Frequency
(IF) levels and filters the signal. The TSxx then sends the signal to the Transceiver Base
band (BB2x) unit for digital signal processing. The BB2x sends the processed signal via
the D-Bus to the Transmission (VXxx) unit, which passes the signal through the Abis
interface to the BSC.

Downlink path :
The BSC receives a signal from the network and sends the signal to the VXxx unit
through the Abis interface. The VXxx passes the signal to the BB2x unit for digital signal
processing via the D Bus. The BB2x sends the processed signal to the TSxx unit. The
TRX module on the TSxx unit filters the signal, raises it to the carrier frequency, and

amplifies it. The TSxx then sends the signal either to the RTxx unit or through the
optional Wideband Combiner unit (WCxx) to the DVxx unit. The DVxx or RTxx unit
sends the signal through either the optional DU2A unit or the BPxx and MNxx units to
the antenna, which passes the signal through the Air interface to the MS.

Figure 3.13: BTS Interfaces

Internal BTS signaling:
Uplink path

Figure 3.14 Uplink Signaling

Downlink path

Figure 3.15 Downlink Signaling

3.3.3) Related software :
The following Nokia software applications relate to the Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS:
• NMS and BSC software
• Nokia SiteWizard
• BTS software

I. NMS and BSC software :

Nokia NMS/2000 software in the Network Management System (NMS) manages the
entire GSM network, including the Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS, through the BSC. This
remote software minimizes the need for on-site BTS management. Nokia NMS/2000
software incorporates a full range of functions — from fault, performance, and
configuration management to transmission, trouble, and security management.

II. Nokia SiteWizard :

Nokia SiteWizard is a collection of software for managing the Nokia UltraSite EDGE
BTS on site. The applications run under Windows NT 4.0, Windows 95, or Windows 98.

Nokia SiteWizard consists of the following applications:

• Nokia BTS Manager for managing Nokia UltraSite EDGE base stations
• Nokia E1/T1 Manager for FC E1/T1, FXC E1, and FXC E1/T1 transmission units
• Nokia RRI Manager for FXC RRI transmission units
• Nokia Hopper Manager for Nokia MetroHopper and FlexiHopper Radio
• Nokia UltraSite BTS Hub Manager for the hub part of the UltraSite EDGE BTS
• Nokia BTS HW Configurator for configuring the UltraSite EDGE BTS cabinet

The commissioning procedure in Nokia SiteWizard consists of the following tasks:

• starting Nokia BTS HW Configurator for defining the BTS cabinet configuration
• starting Nokia UltraSite BTS Hub Manager for commissioning the FXC transmission
units in the hub part of the BTS
• starting Nokia BTS Manager for commissioning the BTS (and FC transmission unit)

Figure 3.16Nokia BTS Manager Window

III. BTS software :

The Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS software includes an auto-detection feature that automatically
identifies the active BTS hardware. This feature saves time in commissioning by reducing the
number of required system data entries. Nokia BTS Manager displays this information. The
Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS software features an advanced BTS diagnostics system that
considerably reduces the number of alarms. This system makes alarm information easily
accessible and understandable. The Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS can store two software packages
in its memory. Software is loaded either locally with Nokia BTS Manager or remotely from the
BSC or the NMS (through the BSC). The operator can download the Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS
software as a background operation (without interrupting the BTS operation) and can activate the
new software at any time.

3.3.4) NOKIA Ultrasite Units :

Figure 3.17 Nokia Ultrasites

1 Transceiver unit (TSxx)
2 2-way Receiver Multicoupler unit (M2xx)
3 Transceiver Baseband unit (BB2x)
4 Base Operations and Interfaces unit (BOIx)
5 Transmission unit (VXxx)
6 Wideband Combiner unit (WCxx)
7 Dual Variable Gain Duplex Filter unit (DVxx)
8 DC/DC Power Supply unit (PWSB)
9 6-way Receiver Multicoupler unit (M6xx)
10 Remote Tune Combiner unit (RTxx)
11 AC/DC Power Supply unit (PWSA)
12 Bias Tee unit (BPxx)
13 Dual Band Diplex Filter unit (DU2A)

Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS units (with IBBU):

1 Transceiver unit (TSxx)

2 2-way Receiver Multicoupler unit (M2xx)
3 Transceiver Baseband unit (BB2x)
4 Base Operations and Interfaces unit (BOIx)
5 Transmission unit (VXxx)
6 Dual Variable Gain Duplex Filter units (DVxx)
7 DC/DC Power Supply unit (PWSB)
8 Rectifier unit (BATx)
9 Battery unit for IBBU (BBAx)
10 AC/DC Distribution unit for IBBU (ADUx)
11 Cabinet Control unit (CCUx)
12 Bias Tee unit (BPxx)
13 Dual Band Diplex Filter unit (DU2A)
NOTE: Items 12 &13 are not plug-in units.

F igure 3.18 Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS

Unit descriptions :

I.Base Operations and Interfaces (BOIx) unit

Figure 3.19: Base Operation and Interface Unit (BOI)

The BOIx unit handles the control functions common to all other units in the BTS. These
functions include:

• Software download
The BSC or Nokia BTS Manager downloads software to the FLASH memory of the
BOIx unit. (During download, an LED on the BOIx unit indicates the status of the board.)
The BOIx unit downloads BTS software and configuration data to other BTS units.

• Configuration
The BTS configuration data is also downloaded to the BOI unit.

• Collection and management of external and internal alarms

The BOIx unit detects unit alarms and performs recovery actions. In certain situations,
the BOIx unit resets itself.

• The BOIx unit also controls the uplink and downlink cross-connection between the
Transceiver Baseband unit (BB2x) and the Transceiver (TSxx) unit.
• Main clock functions

The BOIx unit generates an accurate reference clock signal for the TSxx unit, BB2x unit,
and Remote Tune Combiner (RTxx) unit.

•The mechanics of the BOIx unit provide EMI/EMC shielding for internal electrical

II. Transceiver Base Band Unit:

Figure 3.20: Transceiver Baseband Unit

The BB2x unit of the Nokia Ultra Site EDGE BTS has the following main
• performs digital signal processing for speech and data channels
• manages signaling for speech functions
• uses software downloaded from the Base Operations and Interfaces (BOIx) unit
• sets its timing according to references from the BOIx unit
• supports synthesized (RF) and baseband (BB) frequency hopping
The BB2x communicates with the following units:
• BOIx
• Transceiver (TSxx)
• Transmission (VXxx)
These units send and/or receive signals according to the uplink and downlink paths.
Uplink signal processing :
In the uplink path, the TSxx unit sends a demodulated digital signal to the BB2x unit in
High Level Data Link (HDLC) format. The BB2x unit samples the signal and extracts
and decodes the information bits. The BB2x unit then sends the processed signal to the

VXxx unit, which passes the signal through the Abis interface to the Base Station
Controller (BSC).
Downlink signal processing :
In the downlink path, the BSC sends a signal through the Abis interface to the VXxx unit,
which passes the signal to the BB2x unit. The BB2x unit encodes the signal and
reformats it as a GSM TDMA burst. The BB2x unit then sends the signal to the TSxx
The TSxx unit modulates and amplifies the signal and sends it to the RF filter units. From
those units, the signal goes to the antenna, which passes the signal through the Air
interface to the Mobile Station (MS).

III. Transceiver Unit :

Figure 3.21: Transceiver Unit

The TSxx unit of the Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS performs RF modulation/
demodulation and amplification for one RF carrier. The TSxx unit handles uplink signals
from the Mobile Station (MS) to the BTS and downlink signals from the BTS to the MS.

Three versions of the TSxx unit are available for different frequency bands:
• TSGx for GSM 900

• TSDx for GSM 1800
• TSPx for GSM 1900

IV. Dual Variable Gain Duplex Filter Unit:

The DVxx performs the following primary functions:

• combines transmitted and received signals into one antenna
• amplifies received signals with a variable-gain Low Noise Amplifier (LNA)

The following versions of the DVxx unit are available for different frequency bands:
• DVTB (full band for GSM 850)
• DVGA (full band for GSM 900)
• DVHA (customer specific for GSM 900)
• DVJA (customer specific for GSM 900)
• DVDA (A band for GSM 1800)
• DVDB (B band for GSM 1800)
• DVDC (full band for GSM 1800)
• DVPA (full band for GSM 1900)

Figure 3.22: Dual Variable Gain Duplex Filter Unit

V. Wide Band Combiner Unit:
The WCxx unit combines transmit (TX) signals from two Transceiver (TSxx) units and
feeds the combined signal to the TX port of the Dual Variable Gain Duplex Filter (DVxx)
The WCxx unit is available in three versions for different frequency bands:
• WCGA for GSM 850 and 900
• WCDA for GSM 1800
• WCPA for GSM 1900

Figure 3.23: Wideband Combiner Unit

Figure 3.24: Isometric view of Wide Band Combiner

VI. Receiver Multi Coupler Unit :
The M2xx and M6xx are passive units. The units divide Received (RX) and Diversity-
Received (DRX) signals and distribute them to the Transceiver (TSxx) units.

Two versions are available for different frequency bands:

• M2Lx and M6Lx covers GSM 850 and 900 bands
• M2Hx and M6Hx covers GSM 1800 and 1900 bands

Each version is available as a 2-way (M2xx) or 6-way (M6xx) unit.

Figure 3.25: 2-way (M2xx) and 6-way (M6xx) Receiver Multicoupler units

The M2xx unit divides the RX signals into two outputs for the RX path and two outputs
for the DRX path. These outputs can feed the receivers of two TSxx units.
After receiving RX signals from the Dual Variable Gain Duplex Filter (DVxx) unit, the
M2xx distributes the RX signals to the TSxx units.

The M2xx unit provides the following outputs:

• two RX (RX 1 and RX 2)
• two DRX (DRX 1 and DRX 2)

Figure3.26: M2xx unit

Figure 3.27: M2xx Main Block

The M6xx unit divides the RX signals into six outputs for the RX path and six outputs for
the DRX path. These outputs can feed the receivers of six TSxx units.
After receiving RX signals from the DVxx unit or the Remote Tune Combiner (RTxx)
unit, the M6xx distributes the RX signals to the TSxx units.

The M6xx unit provides the following outputs:

• Six RX (RX 1 to RX 6)
• Six DRX (DRX 1 to DRX 6)

Figure 3.28: M6xx main blocks

Figure 3.29: M6xx unit

VII. Remote Tune Combiner Unit:

The primary functions of the RTxx unit are to connect up to six Transceiver (TSxx) units
into a single BTS antenna and provide main RX signal filtering and amplification. Also,
the RTxx unit includes RX filtering and amplification for the diversity branch.

Figure 3.30: RTxx unit

The following versions of the RTxx unit are available with different frequency bands:
• RTGA (full band for GSM 900)
• RTHA (H sub-band for GSM 900)
• RTJA (J sub-band for GSM 900)
• RTDA (A band for GSM 1800)
• RTDB (B band for GSM 1800)
• RTDC (full band for GSM 1800)
• RTPA (full band for GSM 1900)
One cabinet can contain two RTxx units.
VIII. Dual Band Diplex Filter Unit:

The DU2A unit is a passive unit that serves the following purposes:
• combines GSM 850/900 and GSM 1800/1900 TX signals into one antenna
• receives GSM 850/900 and GSM 1800/1900 RX signals through one antenna

Figure 3.31: Dual Band Diplex Filter Unit

IX. Power Supply Unit :
The primary function of the PWSx is to convert and distribute input AC or DC voltage to the DC
voltages required for the Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS.

Two PWSx units are available:

• PWSA (up to two AC Power Supply units)
• PWSB (up to three DC Power Supply units)

In addition to its primary function, the PWSx performs the following functions:
• Sends an input alarm to the Base Operations and Interfaces (BOIx) unit when the input voltage
is out of range.
• Sends an output alarm to the BOIx unit when any output voltages fall below specified limits.
• Turns off any output voltages to the units and sends out an output alarm to the BOIx when any
output voltages exceed the specified over voltage protection limit.
• Turns off any output voltages to the units and sends an output alarm to the BOIx when the
temperature exceeds the specified limit.

The maximum output power rating for the PWSA is 2250W. As many as two units can be
used per cabinet. The PWSA produces 8 different supply voltages on 37 output pins.
The regulated voltages for output to various other units are:
• +3.4 VDC
• +5.1 VDC
• ±9.1 VDC
• +13.5 VDC
• +26.2 VDC
• ±55 VDC

Figure 3.32: PWSA unit (AC)

The maximum output power rating for the PWSB is 600 W. As many as three units can
be used per cabinet.
The regulated voltages for output to various other units are:
• +3.4 VDC
• +5.1 VDC
• ±9.1 VDC
• +13.5 VDC
• +26.2 VDC
• +55 VDC

Figure 3.33: PWSB unit (DC)

3.3.5) Transmission Unit Description :

I. FXC E1 and FXC E1/T1 :

Figure 3.34: FXC E1

Figure 3.35: FXC E1/T1

FXC E1 has four pairs of unbalanced 75 ohm connectors (type BT-43). Each pair forms a
transmission interface (IF). The upper connector is always the Tx connector of any given
transmission interface. The lower connector is always the Rx connector.

FXC E1/T1 has four balanced TQ connectors (Tx and Rx in the same connector). Each
line interface can be independently configured to be a 120 ohm E1 interface or 100 ohm
T1 interface which also makes it possible to use it as an E1/T1 converter.

Figure 3.36: TQ Connector

II. FC E1/T1 :
FC E1/T1 transmission unit operates as the termination point in a star or chain
topology network.
On its front panel, the FC E1/T1 has two unbalanced connectors (separate Tx and
Rx connectors) for the 75 ohm E1 interface.
There is also one balanced connector, which can be configured to be a 120 ohm
E1 interface or 100 ohm T1 interface. The balanced connector offers both the Tx and Rx

Figure 3.37: FC E1/T1


The main features of FXC RRI transmission unit are:
• two Flexbus interfaces, which give support for two radio outdoor units or any other
network elements with Flexbus interfaces
• capacity bypassing possibility at 2M level from one Flexbus interface to another
• up to 16 x 2 Mbit/s add/drop capacity (platform interfaces)

Figure 3.38: FXC RRI

3.3.6) Temperature Control System (TCS) :

The TCS of the Nokia UltraSite EDGE BTS consists of the following hardware elements:
• unit cooling fans — included in the cabinet core mechanics (indoor and outdoor BTS)
• heater (HETA) unit — optional in the outdoor BTS
• cabinet cooling fan — included in the outdoor BTS
The main purpose of the TCS is to monitor and control the internal temperature of the
BTS cabinet. The TCS uses integrated control software in the Base Operations and
Interfaces (BOIx) unit and unit temperature sensors to monitor the temperature of the
BTS cabinet. Using these temperature measurements, the TCS adjusts the speed of the
fans and turns the optional HETA on or off. The alarm handling software in the BOIx
unit also uses these measurements to generate temperature alarms. The TCS also
monitors the rotation of the unit cooling fans and the cabinet cooling fan.

I. Unit Cooling Fans :
The unit cooling fans cool the various units inside the BTS cabinet.

Figure 3.39: Names and locations of unit cooling fans

Their normal operating temperature is from -33°C to 70°C (-27.4°F to 158°F).

Figure 3.40: Airflow of unit cooling fans in the indoor BTS cabinet

The HETA has the following functions:
• raises the internal BTS temperature when it falls below -5°C (23°F) during normal
• protects the BTS during cold-start operation

Figure 3.41: HETA

Cabinet cooling fan :

The cabinet cooling fan is included in the Outdoor Application Kit (OAKx). This fan
draws cool air into and exhausts warm air from the BTS cabinet. The normal operating
temperature of the fan is from -33°C to 70°C (-27.4°F to 158°F).

Figure 3.42: Cabinet cooling fan mounted in cabinet door (with optional HETA)

Figure 3.43: Airflow of cabinet and unit cooling fans in the outdoor BTS unit

Chapter 4 BTS Commissioning

4.1 Introduction :

The BTS is commissioned with BTS HW Configurator, UltraSite BTS Hub Manager (if
there are FXC units in the configuration), BTS Manager (includes FC E1/T1 transmission
unit configuration).

Figure 4.1: Commissioning Procedure

4.2 HW configuration definition :
If there is no predefined HW configuration file available for the BTS, you can create the
configuration with the Create New Configuration option in the Wizard. Creating a new
configuration with the Wizard requires no BTS connection, so you can create the
configuration in advance and save it as an .hwc file. A BTS HW configuration file (Basic
Configs.hwc) with basic UltraSite BTS configurations is delivered with Nokia BTS HW
Configurator. You can use the configurations as such, if possible, or you can modify
them to suit your purposes.

Choose Nokia BTS HW Configurator from the Nokia Applications submenu in the Start
 Programs menu in Windows.
Choose the Wizard command on the Configuration menu.

Figure 4.2 BTS Configuration Wizard

Select the Check BTS Configuration and Update BTS option and click Next.
Select the BTS to be configured. The Wizard automatically displays the BTS HW
configuration file that was used last. If the configuration you want is not in the list, click
Browse to load the appropriate .hwc file.

Check that the configuration information is correct. The BTS Connection Status list
displays information about the BTS connection and the state of the BCF. Click Next
when the BCF is in the correct state.
Check miscellaneous information concerning the BTS cabinet type, clock
synchronization and the LTEs (Line Terminal Equipment) in the Site Support cabinet.
Click Next.

 Check the BB2 cross-connections to the TSxs. Click Next. If there are units that
have not been detected automatically, click Autodetect. You can select the View

Autodetected Units option to see the autodetected units in the Graphical view in
BTS HW Configurator.
 Check the TX, RX main and RX diversity cable connections for TRX1 - TRX12.
Click Next.
 Check antenna unit connections. To enable VSWR monitoring for an antenna,
select the antenna from the list and then select the VSWR Monitoring Enabled

10. Check antenna unit connections. To enable VSWR monitoring for an antenna,
select the antenna from the list and then select the VSWR Monitoring Enabled option.

11. Click Import to open the HW information file (.hwi) (see Figure ). Click Next.

12. Click Finish to save the configuration information in the BTS.

13. Exit BTS HW Configurator.

4.2.1 Different Hardware Configurations :

4.2.2 Different Cabling of the Hardware Configuration:

Cabinet Units


Tx Cabling

Rx Main Cabling

RX Diversity Cabling

4.3 Manual FXC transmission unit configuration
The transmission of the BTS and its Hub node must be configured and tested during the
commissioning with Nokia UltraSite BTS Hub Manager.

To access the Hub node:

1. Choose Nokia UltraSite BTS Hub Manager on the Nokia Applications submenu on the
Start  Programs menu in Windows.

2. Choose the Connect Locally command on the Connection menu.

The equipment view opens automatically when the connection has been established.

If the connection fails, check the connection speed and LMP cable connection. Also, in
the case of failure, make sure the manager SW installation is complete. You can also try
the Connection  Connect... command and enter the connection parameters in the
Connect to Node dialog box.

3. Right-click on a unit in the Equipment view and choose Install All from the pop-up

Line interface settings
The line interface settings available for each transmission unit depend on the type of the
unit: FXC E1(/T1) or FXC RRI.

Figure 4.3 Line interface settings for E1 120 ohm mode

TS0 fixed bits from 1 to 3 are reserved for CRC and frame locking. Bits from 4 to 8 are
used for alarms and data transfer in national connections.

Line interface settings for T1 100 ohm interface mode

LIF settings with FXC RRI unit

4.4 Radio configuration :

If there are FXC RRI transmission units in the configuration, you also need to configure
the outdoor units (Nokia FlexiHopper or Nokia MetroHopper microwave radios)
connected to the RRI units.

1. Click a FXC RRI transmission unit in the Equipment view in UltraSite BTS Hub

2. Choose Radio Wizard on the FXC RRI menu to launch the Wizard. The Radio Wizard
is launched from the Nokia RRI Manager application.

3. The Flexbus Settings page displays the type of the indoor unit and the outdoor units
connected to each Flexbus
Select the capacity for each outdoor unit from the Capacity list and select the In Use
option for each Flexbus you want to use.
Click Next to continue.

4. The Flexbus 1 settings page appears on the screen. The options on the page depend on
the outdoor unit connected to the interface. The settings for the FlexiHopper outdoor unit
are presented in Figure below.

Chapter 5 RF Planning
5.1 Introduction:

Optimization involves monitoring, verifying and improving the performance of

the radio network. It starts somewhere near the last phase of radio network planning, i.e.
during parameter planning. A cellular network covers a large area and provides capacity
to many People, so there are lots of parameters involved that are variable and have to be
continuously monitored and corrected. Apart from this, the network is always growing
through increasing subscriber numbers and increases in traffic. This means that the
optimization process should be on-going, to increase the efficiency of the network
leading to revenue generation from the network as we have seen, radio network planners
first focus on three main areas: coverage, capacity and frequency planning. Then follows
site selection; parameter planning, etc. In the optimization process the same issues are
addressed, with the difference that sites are already selected and antenna locations are
fixed, but subscribers are as mobile as ever, with continuous growth taking place.
Optimization tasks become more and more difficult as time passes. Once a radio network
is designed and operational, its performance is monitored. The performance is compared
against chosen key performance indicators (KPIs). After fine-tuning, the results
(parameters) are then applied to the network to get the desired performance. Optimization
can be considered to be a separate process or as a part of the network planning
process.The main focus of radio network optimization is on areas such as power control,
quality, handovers, subscriber traffic, and resource availability (and access)
After the complete roll out of the network, the planning team’s job is to verify the
quality of network and to optimize it. This process includes extensive field testing (Drive
Testing) and analyzing the results along with the data regarding performance of the
network from the Operation & Maintenance Center. Different parameters such as number
of TRXs, ARFCN, Hopping Sequence Number, Mobile Allocation List etc. are checked
and confirmed and if required the values may be changed as per the requirement of the
The adjacencies are verified and new adjacencies are added if required. The main
goal of this process is to have a network with minimum dropped calls, call setup failures,
interference and congestion of traffic and signalling channels. This network verification
process is an ongoing process, every week drive test is to be done in a redefined path and
comparison of the current test data with previous test data will show the quality of the
network on a weekly basis. These test data and performance data from OMC help the
planning team to know the overall and specific network quality and also aids them to plan
for upgrading the network in future. Hence the different parts of optimization process are
as listed below.


 Storage and Analysis of KPIs

 Conducting Drive tests to know the actual coverage
 Troubleshooting of customer complaints regarding coverage or quality issues
 Storage and analysis of daily reports showing network performance
 Physical Optimization of cell sites (changing antenna tilts)

5.2 Goals Of RF Optimization:

The optimization of the network, which is done to check the performance of the
network, just after it is made operational and to get best possible quality of service. It is
essential if an operator wants to implement changes to the network to maintain the high
quality of service levels expected by subscribers in networks. Without optimization the
network will degrade from the commissioned state, due to the network changing radically
as the traffic on the system grows, and snapshot optimization will not keep pace with
these changes. Without optimization the system will suffer poor call quality, many
dropped calls due to interference and inaccurate parameters resulting in poor handover
performance. These together with other problems, have the same result, subscriber

5.3 Key Performance index:

For radio network optimization (or for that matter any other network
optimization), it is necessary to have decided on key performance indicators. These KPIs
are parameters that are to be observed closely when the network monitoring process is

going on. Mainly, the term KPI is used for parameters related to voice and data channels,
but network performance can be broadly characterized into coverage, capacity and
quality criteria also that cover the speech and data aspects. The performance of the radio
network is measured in terms of KPIs related to voice quality, based on statistics
generated from the radio network. Drive tests and network management systems
(described later) are the best methods for generating these performance statistics. The
most important of these from the operator’s perspective are the BER (bit error rate), the
FER (frame error rate) and the DCR (dropped call rate). KPIs can be subdivided
according to the areas of functioning, such as area level, cell level (including the adjacent
level), and TRX level. Area-level KPIs can include SDCCH requests, the dropped
SDCCH total, dropped SDCCH Abis failures, outgoing MSC control handover (HO)
attempts, outgoing BSC control HO attempts, intra-cell HO attempts, etc. Cell-level KPIs
may include SDCCH traffic BH (av.), SDCCH blocking BH (av.), dropped SDCCH total
and distribution per cause, UL quality/level distribution, DL quality/level distribution etc.
The TRX level includes the likes of UL and DL quality distribution.


The bit error ratio (BER) is the most important indicator of the link quality in
GSM systems. Both the mobiles and the base stations estimate it and report the result to
the base station controller where it is used as a factor in handover and power control
decisions and also for statistical purposes. The BER estimation procedure is not
standardized, so each manufacturer can select the method themselves. The most common
way is to decode a data frame by using the standard GSM procedure and then code it
back again. After that a comparison is made with the original received data frame in order
to verify how many bits have been changed. However, the actual estimated BER is not
transmitted. Instead the BER value is transformed to RXQUAL class, which is reported
to the BSC once in every SACCH frame of 480 ms. The BER ranges increase
exponentially as the RXQUAL classes become higher as presented in table 5.1

Bit error ratio (BER)

RXQUAL level
RXQUAL 0 BER < 0.2
RXQUAL 1 0.2 < BER < 0.4
RXQUAL 2 0.4 < BER < 0.8
RXQUAL 3 0.8 < BER < 1.6
RXQUAL 4 1.6 < BER < 3.2
RXQUAL 5 3.2 < BER < 6.4
XQUAL 6 6.4 < BER < 12.8
RXQUAL 7 12.8 < BER


The Frame Erasure Ratio (FER) is a ratio of discarded speech frames compared to
all the received speech frames. A speech frame is generally discarded if after the
decoding and error correction process any of the category 1a bits is found to be changed
based on the three parity bits following them in a speech frame.
The FER is a measure of how successfully the speech frame was received after
the error correction process and it is thus a better indication of the subjective speech
quality compared to the RXQUAL which gives an estimate of the link quality in terms of
BER. The RXQUAL doesn’t indicate how the bit errors were distributed in a speech
frame. The bit error distribution affects the ability of the channel decoding to correct the
errors. The table 4.2 shows the relation between FER and subjective speech quality. The
results should be the same also in DL direction since the speech coding mechanism is the
same. The relation of FER and RXQUAL is important because the RXQUAL is widely
used in the network for handover and power control decisions and for network quality
statistics. Its relation to the subjective speech quality and the FER varies depending on
the used features in the network such as DTX and frequency hopping.

Uplink FER [%] Subjective opinion on speech quality

0–4 Good

4 – 15 Fair

15 - 35 Understandable, but scrappy

> 35 Not understandable


The BER is based on measurement of the received signal bits before decoding
takes place, while the FER is an indicator after the incoming signal has been decoded.
Correlation between the BER and the FER is dependent on various factors such as the
channel coding schemes or the frequency hopping techniques used. As speech quality
variation with the FER is quite uniform, FER is generally used as the quality performance
indicator for speech. The FER can be measured by using statistics obtained by
performing a drive test. Drive testing can generate both the uplink and the downlink FER.


Both the mobile and the base station always report the Received Signal Level
(RXLEV) at the same time they report the RXQUAL. Based on these reports the
RXQUAL samples can be categorized according to the corresponding received signal
level. This way a rough estimation can be made about the causes of high RXQUAL

values. If the RXQUAL is high and the received signal level is low, it is probable that the
bad quality was caused by low field strength suggesting that a coverage problem exists. If
the RXQUAL is high and the received signal strength is adequate, it can be suspected that
the deterioration of quality is caused by interference.
The dropped call rate, as the name suggests, is a measure of the calls dropped in
the network. A dropped call can be defined as one that gets terminated on its own after
being established. As the DCR gives a quick overview of network quality and revenues
lost, this easily makes it one of the most important parameters in network optimization.
Both the drive test results and the NMS statistics are used to evaluate this parameter. At
the frame level, the DCR is measured against the SACCH frame. If the SACCH frame is
not received, then it is considered to be dropped call. There is some relation between the
number of dropped calls and voice quality. If the voice quality were not a limiting factor,
perhaps the dropped call rate would be very low in the network. Calls can drop in the
network due to quality degradation, which may be due to many factors such as capacity
limitations, interference, unfavourable propagation conditions, blocking, etc. The DCR is
related to the call success rate (CSR) and the handover success rate. The CSR indicates
the proportion of calls that were completed after being generated, while the handover rate
indicates the quality of the mobility management/RRM in the radio network.
Handover failure ratio indicates the proportion of failed handovers from all
attempted handovers. Handover failures may be caused by many reasons. If the inter-cell
handovers on one cell layer are considered, the mobile is probably in the cell border area
where interference is likely to be the worst. The high failure rate in that category may
indicate an interference problem. However, also a bad parameter plan, equipment failures
etc. may cause handover failures. Because of this, these figures should be interpreted


For drive testing, a test mobile is used. This test mobile keeps on making calls in a
moving vehicle that goes around in the various parts of the network. Based on the DCR,
CSR, HO, etc., parameters, the quality of the network can then be analyzed. Such drive
tests need to be conducted on a regular basis.
The quality of the network is ultimately determined by the satisfaction of the
users of the network, the subscribers. Drive tests give the ‘feel’ of the designed network
as it is experienced in the field. The testing process starts with selection of the ‘live’
region of the network where the tests need to be performed, and the drive testing path.
Before starting the tests the engineer should have the appropriate kits that include mobile
equipment (usually three mobiles), drive testing software (on a laptop), and a GPS
(global positioning system) unit. The MSs may be kept in ‘Idle’ or ‘Dedicated’ mode as
per requirement.
The quality of the network is ultimately determined by the satisfaction of the
users of the network, the subscribers. Drive tests give the ‘feel’ of the designed network
as it is experienced in the field. The testing process starts with selection of the ‘live’

region of the network where the tests need to be performed, and the drive testing path.
Before starting the tests the engineer should have the appropriate kits that include mobile
equipment (usually three mobiles), drive testing software (on a laptop), and a GPS
(global positioning system) unit. The MSs may be kept in ‘Idle’ or ‘Dedicated’ mode as
per requirement.


The quality of the network is ultimately determined by the satisfaction of the
users of the network, the subscribers. Drive tests give the ‘feel’ of the designed network
as it is experienced in the field. The testing process starts with selection of the ‘live’
region of the network where the tests need to be performed, and the drive testing path.
Before starting the tests the engineer should have the appropriate kits that include mobile
equipment (usually three mobiles), drive testing software (on a laptop), and a GPS
(global positioning system) unit. The MSs may be kept in ‘Idle’ or ‘Dedicated’ mode as
per requirement.

In idle mode, the MS will do no activity. It will be camped on the serving BCCH
carrier. As the MS moves from one cell to another, the cell reselection will take place.
The basic difference between cell reselection and handover is that handover takes place
when a call is going on while cell reselection takes place when the MS is in idle mode.
Thus in idle mode, only the received signal level will be detected and stored.

In dedicated mode, the MS will do either of two tasks as per need. The first task is
that it will make many calls of short intervals. The other alternative is that it will continue
with a single call. While doing either of these two activities, it will measure and store
different parameters such as signal level, signal quality, number of dropped calls etc.

There are two types of drive tests.
Testing of a new or faulty site

In benchmarking, the performance of different operators is compared. For this
kind of a drive test, other than the required equipment like drive test kit, laptops,
software, GPS etc. One will need MSs (mobile handsets) which have subscribed to
different operators that are operating in that region. E.g. If you are conducting the drive
tests for Airtel, then it is obvious that you will need an MS with Airtel’s SIM. Other than
that, you will need MSs with SIMs of Hutch, Idea and any other operator with whom you
want to compare the performance of your network. The relevant software will store all
the data related to the drive test such as the path followed, the number of dropped calls,
the average signal strength, average quality etc for all the MSs of different operators. This
data can be later being analyzed and appropriate remedial action can be taken if required.
An operator can compare its performance with that of the other operators using such
drive tests.


When a new site is included in to the network, then it is necessary to find out
whether it is actually providing the coverage that it is supposed to provide. Moreover one
also needs to verify whether the required adjacencies have been defined or not. This
means that when an MS moves in to the serving region of a neighbouring cell, the
handover should take place. For this, an exhaustive drive test needs to be conducted, so
that it verifies all parameters related to the new site. The path to be followed is in and
around the new site.
Sometimes, due to various reasons, a particular site may not provide the kind of
service that is expected from it. The reasons may vary from hardware problems to faults
in software definitions of the site parameters. In order, to find out the solution to the
problem, one may need to conduct drive tests around that particular site.


Nemo Outdoor is one of the software tools used by Nokia for drive testing. Other
tools like TEMS Investigation are also used. A snapshot of Nemo outdoor is shown in
figure 5.3. The path followed during the drive test is clearly visible. The handshake
symbol suggests that a successful handover has been executed. Different parameters such
as RX level (received signal level), RX quality etc are displayed in the small window on
the left side. Figure 5.4 shows the colour legend used for RX level. It suggests that a path
showing a patch of red has a signal level of around -100 dBm. Figure 5.5 shows the
signal level of the neighbouring channels. After the drive test has been conducted, the
files created by Nemo Outdoor which contain all the information of the drive test are
loaded on to another tool called Nemo Analyze. This tool is specifically used for analysis
of the drive test files and also for generation of specific reports called Quality Survey

Reports (QSR). A QSR contains all the information pertaining to the drive test such as
the average signal level, the average signal quality, number of dropped calls, handover
failures, number of calls attempted, successful calls etc. The QSR is directly generated in
Microsoft Excel format by Nemo Analyze. This tool also generates bar graphs showing
the comparison between the network parameters of different operators.





There are two types of Network Non hopping network and Hopping network.
Frequency planning starts with nominal frequency planning. First of all nominal
frequency planning is implemented. The whole frequency planning is based on the
frequency re-use concept. The different frequency re-use factors used in frequency
planning are 3*9, 4*12 and 5*15.
 Suppose we have a frequency band of 41-64.
 Then using 3/9 re-use pattern we get distribution as shown below:
 This is nominal frequency planning for non- hopping network.
 Here, we will get maximum 3+3+2 configuration.
 E.g. Site A will have 3 sectors [A1+A2+A3].

A1 B1 C1 A2 B2 C2 A3 B3 C3
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
59 60 61 62 63 64




The rapid growth of the customer basis and competition increased the emphasis on
network capacity and service quality. Both of these issues are highly dependent on the
efficient use of the available radio spectrum. GSM is based on Frequency Division and
Time Division Multiple Access (FDMA/TDMA). The available bandwidth is partitioned
into frequencies (FDMA). The time horizon is divided into time frames, which in turn are
divided into eight time slots. Each time slot is used to handle the call of one subscriber
(TDMA). Only a limited bandwidth is available for each network operator. This implies
that inevitably a number of different mobile subscribers will use the same frequency or

adjacent frequencies. This results in Co-channel interference and Adjacent-channel
interference, respectively. Interference levels depend on the network configuration: the
number of Transceivers, and the location, transmission power and configuration of the
antennas. They also depend on the position of the mobile users in the network.
An efficient use of the radio spectrum corresponds to an efficient allocation of
frequencies to Transceivers so as to minimize interference. This problem has been
tackled as a combinatorial optimization problem, and several good algorithms for solving
it are already available. However, the effectiveness of these methods is somewhat limited
when applied to congested networks because the frequency allocation they provide is
static: When two mobile subscribers are simultaneous allocated interfering frequencies
for their respective communications, the interference remains as long as both
communications are active since the frequencies on which the communications are
established do not change. If, due to network characteristics, the interference levels are
high, the mobile subscribers may experience bad communication quality or, even worse,
one or both communications may be interrupted.
Frequency Hopping (FH) is a feature in GSM that aims at overcoming this problem
through the introduction of frequency and interference diversity. Currently two types of
hopping patterns can be used: Cyclic and Random Hopping.

Frequency Hopping
Frequency Hopping is a technique where the frequency used by a given pair of a
Base-Station (BS) and a mobile unit is allowed to change over time at a prescribed rate
(217 times per second). A Base-Station contains one or more cells. Each cell may contain
one or more transceivers (TRX). The first time slot in the first TRX of a cell is used as
the Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH). The remaining time slots in that TRX and the
time slots in the other TRXs are used as Traffic Channels (TCH). The Mobile Allocation
(MA) is the set of frequencies allocated to a cell. Under static allocation, the MA contains
a number of frequencies that is equal to the number of TRXs. Each TRX uses only one
frequency for, say, the Down-Link. (The Up- Link is processed symmetrically).
From an implementation point of view, there are two types of FH: Baseband FH
and Synthesized FH, and this depend on the type of equipment installed at the TRX. In
Baseband FH, each TRX is tuned on a fixed frequency. Hopping is obtained by shifting
the information from one TRX to another. As a consequence, the cell MA contains as
many frequencies as the number of TRXs in that cell. In Synthesized FH, the TRXs are
capable of, and are allowed to, retune to different frequencies. Any given call goes
through one TRX but the frequency used changes over time. This allows the number of
frequencies in the MA to be larger than the number of TRXs (no more than 64, however).
Two types of frequency hopping patterns can be used: Random FH and Cyclic
FH. Under Random FH, the hopping sequence is randomly generated. Under Cyclic
Hopping, the hopping sequence cycles through the available frequencies in the MA from
the lowest index to the highest index. The sequence length is equal to 64 TDMA Frames.
In GSM, the Hopping Sequence Number (HSN) is the parameter that determines the type
of hopping pattern to be used: If HSN is set equal to 0 then the Cyclic Hopping is active.
If HSN is set to an integer value in the interval [1, 63], then random hopping is active and
each value corresponds to a different seed for the random number generator. The Mobile
Allocation Index Offset (MAIO) is used to avoid that two TRXs with the same HSN (i.e.,

the same hopping sequence) interfere with each other. This index makes sure that the two
TRXs start hopping from different positions in the hopping sequence. This situation
occurs in the case of TRXs belonging to the same cell. Since these TRXs are part of the
same Base-Station, the interference level would be unacceptably high. To avoid this
situation, the hopping sequences for these TRXs are made orthogonal by adjusting them
to different MAIOs.


If the number of available hopping frequencies used by the FHS falls below a
given threshold due to severe RT faults, this threshold represents the percentage of
frequencies in the cell that must still be operational before FH is switched to non-
hopping. This percentage is defined in the LMB Enable/Disable CH options of the BSS
Controller Equipment (BCE) or Base Station Controller Frame (BCF) local configuration
As the BSS does not redefine the list of allocated frequencies when an RT fails,
the threshold should be set to 100% (the default) to avoid bad quality connections due to
frequency loss.
Note: The Frequency redefinition procedure (Page 10) triggered with the
deactivation of Frequency hopping prevents all the calls in the base station from being
dropped when an RT fails. Only calls served by the affected RT are dropped (as happens
in a non-hopping system).
The quality of the other calls will degrade for as long as the takes place. The level
of degradation depends on the number of hopping frequencies: the greater the number,
the lower the degradation. This behaviour is however typical of any baseband hopping
system, irrespective of the vendor, and is due to the way baseband frequency hopping is


With synthesiser hopping, each RFU within a transceiver retunes to a

different frequency (following a defined hopping sequence) before transmitting a frame.
Therefore, unlike baseband hopping, the output of each baseband processing section is
always connected to the same RFU. This allows each transceiver to hop over as many
frequencies as desired, regardless of the number of transceivers in the cell.

However, traditional filter combiners (which are frequency specific) cannot be used with
Synthesiser hopping because they are too slow in changing frequency. Hybrid combiners
(which can operate across a frequency range and are therefore also known as wide-band
combiners must be used instead. Because hybrid combiners have much higher insertion
losses than filter combiners, the maximum number of radios per cell is reduced.


 Random Hopping: Frequencies change according to a pseudo-random sequence.

HSN = 1...63.
 Cyclic Hopping: Frequencies are used one after another in ascending order in the
hopping sequence. HSN = 0.
 HFS (Hopping Frequency Set) : defines total number of frequencies to be used
for hopping in the network. This parameter is also called as MAL(Mobile
Allocation List).
 HSN: defines a number that is fed into the frequency hopping algorithm to
generate the hopping sequence. Values can be 0 to 63. Value 0 defines cyclic
hopping; all other values generate a pseudo random sequence.

 The total number of available hopping sequences is 64 multiplied by the number

of hopping frequencies (64xN).

 MAIO (Mobile Allocation Index Offset): defines the starting frequency, or offset,
the transmission will start on within a hopping sequence. The value can be 0 to N-
1 where N is the number of allocated frequencies.

• Each hopping TRX is allocated a different MAIO.

• In Nokia solution, the MAIO offset is a cell specific.
• The MAIOs for the other hopping TRXs are automatically allocated according to
the MAIO step – parameter.
• MAIO Step: The MAIO for the first hopping TRXs in each cell is defined by the
cell specific MAIO offset parameter. MAIOs for the other hopping TRXs are
assigned by adding the MAIO step to the MAIO of the previous hopping TRX.

 At baseband hopping each transceiver operates on a fixed frequency.


 In Synthesizer hopping, the call stays on one transceiver but a frequency

change takes place with every frame.


Chapter 6 Softwares

6.1 Introduction to Softwares:


This software helps us to access a particular site whose id is known. It shows

current internal structure of a specific site.


This Software shows the abis interface. Using this software the TCH data,
signaling data, GPRS data i.e. whole data of an BTS is mapped into 32 PCM channels.


This software helps us to find a particular site, it’s orientation with respect to
latitude & longitude. Also we can find neighbouring sites and its details.


This software is installed in a mobile station. It is used when we go for a customer

complaint. It is used to measure signal strength, voice quality, serving station & other

This software is used when we go out for a drive test. It actually makes call in the
3 mobile stations, takes reading & saves the whole file.


The file which was saved using Nemo outdoor is opened in Nemo Analyzer. This
software maps the whole data of that drive test into different voice quality levels and
signal strengths, so that we can easily analyze.


When we want to remote log in a particular BSC, clear alarms find out current
status of our site from BSC point of view, we use reflection.



BTS manager is a tool which is used for remote login. It gives the information
about the site and about the traffic condition on that BTS. It shows the hardware status
and configuration. The further stage of this software is traffic manager, cross-connection.



The traffic manager gives us the information about the traffic condition of a
particular bts. One E/T is allocated to a bts for voice and data transmission. This E/T is
having 2.048 Mbps total space. There are 32 slots or channels in each E/T. Each is
further divided into 4 time slots. Each time slot is of 16kbps ( as shown in the figure).
Using traffic manager we can remotely log in into any BTS. The traffic can also
be assigned to that BTS remotely. The topology in which the particular BTS will work is
decided by using traffic manager. Topology can be chain topology or loop topology. The
signalling (Normal or Satellite) is chosen in to traffic manager and according to that the
BTS gets its signalling in future.
Once the traffic is assigned onto the E/T in traffic manager it can be changed in
future and also can be reassigned.

Abis allocation:
Channel 0: It always dedicated to BCH signalling.
Channel 1 to 21: Generally these channels are assigned to TCH . On TCH the voice call
take place. 2 channels are given to one TRX. So at a time one TRX can handle up to 8
In traffic manager the TCH is shown in yellow colour.
Channel 28 to 31(except 2nd slot of channel 31): These all slots are assigned to TRX
signaling. The signaling if TRX is necessary for synchronization. Through these slots the
instructions are transmitted for a desired TRX.
In the figure of traffic manager it is shown in red color.
Channel 31 and time-slot 2: This time a lot is always assigned to OMU signaling.
OMU(Operation Maintenance Unit) is the heart of a BTS. It is very important part of a
site. OMU is the intelligent pare of a BTS. The instruction regarding to any BTS is given
to that BTS through OMU signaling. If the OMU signaling is not proper then the site will
not work properly.
In traffic manager it is shown in blue color.
Channel 22 to 27: The remaining time slots are assigned to EDAP. EDAP is for the data
transmission for GPRS usage of MS (Mobile station). Data packets are handled by these
In traffic manager they are shown in orange colour.



This is a very useful tool (software) used extensively by RF engineers. It provides
the user with a bird’s eye view of the cell sites in a particular region. This tool can be
used in conjunction with databases and maps for obtaining an accurate approximation of
the cell site locations. The different parameters associated with a particular cell site such
as the frequency assigned, orientation of antennas, etc. can be easily viewed using this
software. There are different layers in this tool such as streets, cell sites, neighboring cells
which can be added or removed as per the requirement of the RF engineer.

The figure 6.3 shows a generic view of the planning tool. It shows a cell site with
3 sectors. The different landmark points seen in the background such as street name,
building name etc give the RF engineer a better idea of the site location. Each sector is
shown having its own set of parameters such as BCCH frequency, HSN (Hopping
Sequence Number), Network color code and Base Station color code.

Example: One of the sectors in the figure has the following parameters listed against it
BCCH frequency: 614
Hopping Sequence Number: 35
Network Color Code: 6
Base Station colour code: 5
The network colour code varies from 0 to 7. Hence the maximum number of
operators that can exist in an area is 8. The base station color code varies from 0 to 7. The
base station color code is used by mobile stations to distinguish between two base
stations having the same frequency. Sometimes another integer is seen in the map along
with all these values. It indicates the Mobile Allocation List being used by that particular


With the help of this planning tool, all the information pertaining to a particular site is
just a click away. As seen in figure 6.4, different parameters such as the Cell ID, latitude,
longitude, type of frequency hopping, hop sequence number (HSN) etc can be viewed for
any cell site. The distance between any two sites can also be easily viewed.

Particular frequency used in any sector can also be easily detected in Map Info. It
shows the frequency and also the adjacent frequencies to that particular frequency. This is
shown in figure 6.5 that the desired frequency is in red color and the two adjacent
frequencies are in blue and green color.

It is software used in mobile equipment to measure signal strength and signal
quality along with variety of other parameters. Signal strength is measured in dBm
whereas signal quality is measured in BER.


Display 1: Serving Cell Information


 a - contains H, if frequency hopping is enabled (otherwise empty). This
information can also be found in test 11 and test 12.

 bbb - CH (channel): number of the channel used in communication with cell

(decimal). If frequency hopping is enabled, this number changes when the display
gets refreshed. This parameter determines frequencies used in communication
with BTS: and informs, whether phone use cell working in GSM 900 or 1800
MHz (I write more about channel numbers in test 17).

 ccc - RX: minus is not show if <=-100. This parameter affects following
RXLev parameter value:

 ddd - TX: level of the transmitted signal (only during connection). If the phone's
transmitter is active, there is an * (asterisk) before the value. The lower value, the
higher power level (also the one received by your head!) and energy consumption.
Min. phone transmission power in GSM 900 is 0.02 W and in GSM 1800 is
0.0025 W (4 dBm).

• Max BTS power level can be found in their description

 e - This TS indicator shows number of the used time slot (0.7 for FR (EFR) or
0.15 for HR). For phones with HSCSD (like Nokia 6210) use also test 8 for it.
 ff - (Timing Advance): BTS informs the phone, when it should start transmission
(so that it reaches BTS in time). This information is shown by this indicator. It
lets us calculate approximate distance between phone and BTS, which is a value
between TA*550 m and (TA+1)*550 m (remember, that sometimes signal is
refracted and distance evaluated with this parameter can be wrong). This
parameter is updated during communication with network (sending/receiving
SMS, calling, requesting services), for example when using SDCC and TFR
channels. It ranges from 0 to 63 (up to 35 km) with FR and EFR channels. HR
channels offer theoretically (for example with a car antenna (higher transmitting
power) and a flat terrain) twice this range (up to 70 km) and TA contains value up
to 128 (English descriptions which I use don't say a word about it - so, it's
possible, that for values bigger than 64 phone (?) decreases 64 from it and
displays such value in this menu).
 g - RXQUAL_SUB (rate of transmission errors with DTX active (DTX state can
be checked in test 12)): it determines, how many errors during connection have to
be corrected by the phone for the call to be possible. Range 0 - 7 (0 - means no
errors; more than 5 - connection may be interrupted). The higher it is, the worse
quality you have...

RQ value 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Max error amount <0.2% <0.4% <0.8% <1.6% <3.2% <6.4% <12.8% >12.8%


 mmmm - RLT (Radio Link Timeout): if it is negative, 0 is shown. Max value of

this parameter is 64. If the phone uses a channel different than TCH or SDCC, xx
is displayed
 nnn - C1 parameter

 ppp - C2 parameter. If network supports only GSM Phase 1, C1 value is
displayed here.
 oooo - type of channel currently used by the phone .With HR channels phone
even show, if first or second part of TS is used (sub channel 0 or 1 is written).


 Column 1- BCCH Channel Number
 Column 2- C1
 Column 3- RXL
 Column 4- C2


 CC- Colour Code
 NC- Network Code
 LAC- Location Area Code
 CH- BCCH Channel
 CID- Serving Cell Identification


6.6 NEMO OUTDOOR (Drive test tool):


Nemo Outdoor is one of the software tools used by Nokia for drive testing. Other
tools like TEMS Investigation are also used. A snapshot of Nemo outdoor is shown in
figure 6.10. The path followed during the drive test is clearly visible. The handshake
symbol suggests that a successful handover has been executed. Different parameters such
as RX level (received signal level), RX quality etc are displayed in the small window on
the left side. Figure shows the colour legend used for RX level. It suggests that a path
showing a patch of red has a signal level of around -100 dBm. Figure shows the signal
level of the neighboring channels. After the drive test has been conducted, the files
created by Nemo Outdoor which contain all the information of the drive test are loaded
on to another tool called Nemo Analyze. This tool is specifically used for analysis of the
drive test files and also for generation of specific reports called Quality Survey Reports
(QSR). A QSR contains all the information pertaining to the drive test such as the

average signal level, the average signal quality, number of dropped calls, handover
failures, number of calls attempted, successful calls etc. The QSR is directly generated in
Microsoft Excel format by Nemo Analyze. This tool also generates bar graphs showing
the comparison between the network parameters of different operators.





Nemo analyser is a tool that is used to examine the data of drive-test. In the figure
the receive quality data of the sites considered in drive-test is shown. With this report the
RF engineers come to know about the problems and working of the sites regarding
quality issue.

Reflection is like a window to get enter into any router. Router is the gate to enter
into any BSC. Using different commands which are predefined one can login into
particular BSc and also one of the BTS of that BSC.


7.1 Analysis Of report and Monitoring of alarm:
The optimization part also includes the functionalities such as analysis of call
setup failures, dropped calls, and handovers (successes and failures). It also includes
analysis of data related to traffic and blocking in the radio network, apart from data
related to quality issues such as frequency hopping, FER and BER, field strength, etc.
Utilization reports are generated periodically. These are analyzed to find out whether the
equipment is being used to its full capacity or not. If it is found that traffic being handled
by a site having 12 TRXs is less than its full potential, then the TRXs from that site can
be shifted and moved to a site handling large amount of traffic.
Grade of Service reports (GOS) are analyzed periodically to check whether
parameters such as SDCCH blocks or TCH blocking are greater than the threshold and
remedial measures are taken if required. If it is found that there has been a surge in the
traffic being handled by the cell sites in a region, then expansion strategies are chalked
out such as increasing the number of TRXs or setting up of new sites.
In case of system errors or faults in the working of the network, alarms are
generated. It is the task of the RF planners to monitor the alarms. Some of the alarms are
as described below

Alarm 2993
Calls have been cleared three successive times on the same Abis interface channel
due to BTS and Transcoder out of synchronization.

Alarm 7725
The system has blocked the radio time slot because the call control has failed a
number of times in the activation of the traffic channel.

Alarm 7734
The BTS has at least one TRX defined as preferred BCCH TRX but the BCCH
channel is not on such a TRX so the BCCH coverage may have decreased.

Alarm 7738
The BTS has had no successfully terminated calls, SDCCH transaction or GPRS
releases during the supervision period. The alarm is used for supervising the BTS traffic
capacity and to indicate a sudden loss of service on BTS level.

Alarm 7745
The rate of calls terminating in failure on a channel is above the threshold value
set by the operator. The alarm is used to supervise the functioning of traffic and
signalling channels, and to detect the possible faulty channels.

7.2 Analysis Of Rf Problems:
Things which subscribers normally experience (Common problems) –
 No coverage/poor coverage issues.
 Dropped calls.
 Failed handovers/Dominant server issues.
 Breaks in speech/crackling sound or bad voice quality.
 Access related problems – “Network Busy”.
 Often all the above problems are addressed to the RF
 Optimization team for resolution


Coverage problems are one of the most concerning issues. Subscribers experience
a “No network” or “Network Search” scenarios on the fringe area of the cells. Mostly
these problems are experienced in suburban areas and also in many cases in building
coverage problems occur. TEMS equipment/test phone displays Rx level of serving cell
and neighbours cells – Generally problem occurs when Rx level drops below –95 dBm.
When the Rx level drops to –100 dBm or lower the subscriber experiences a “fluctuating
single bar” or a “network search” scenario. When Rx level (DL) drops below –95 dBm
it’s very difficult to have successful call setup, as typically the uplink Rx level would be
much lower.

Steps to solve Poor Coverage Issues

 Analyze the extent of area which is experiencing a coverage problem.
 Possible steps would be to improve the existing serving cell strength by proper
antenna orientation or up-tilting the antenna.
 If it is an indoor coverage/limited area coverage issue, this could be resolved by
deploying a repeater/micro cell if the traffic requirement in the question area is
 In case of rural/suburban cells where the concern is a weak uplink – TMA could
be installed.

Dropped calls may be attributed to several reasons. Usually categorized as –
 Drop during call setup – as SDCCH Drop.
 Drop during call progress – as TCH Drop.
 Drop due to failed handovers – with no recovery.
 Call drops may occur due to RF/non RF reasons.

RF Reasons attributing to dropped calls

 Weak coverage – RL timer times out.
 Interference – low C/I – bad Rx quality – RL timer times out.

 Faulty TRX – resulting in low C/I – call may drop during setup or after TCH
assignment – RL timer may/may not time out.

Non RF Reasons attributing to dropped calls

 Switch related – MS experiences a “Downlink Disconnect” – abnormal release,
usually with a Cause Value.
 CV 47 is a common example – Layer 3 messages “DL Disconnect”.
 Non RF related call drops need to be escalated to isolate the fault which could be
related to the switch/transcoder or at any point in the Abis/A Interface.


Handover failures may also be attributed to different reasons. Usually occur due to RF

Common RF reasons for handover failures:

 Interference – Co BCCH/Co BSIC issue.
 Faulty hardware on target cell.
 Improper neighbour list definition

Steps to identify and solve Handover issues

 Use TEMS (layer 3 messages) to identify the cell to which the MS attempts
handover and results in a failure
 The “Handover Command” message contains information about the BCCH and
BSIC of the target cell to which the handover was attempted. Check for any
possible Co BCCH/Co BSIC interferers.
 Check for possible hardware faults on the target cell.


Sometimes handover problems occur due to improper neighbour list definition.
Neighbour Rx level are reported to be strong, but “Handover Command” does not get
initiated. Call drags on the source cell and in some situation drops.

Steps to identify and solve Neighbour list problems

 Most common cause is improper definition of “neighbour BSIC/BCCH”
 Crosscheck with RF BSC dump to confirm the BCCH/BSIC and other parameters
of the target cell.
 Report any inconsistencies to the OMCR personnel.

The Crosstalk phenomenon has been found out to happen within some of the
GSM networks. One known Crosstalk situation happens in the following way: A mobile
call is going on (a mobile originated or a mobile terminated call). A subscriber (A or B)

hears suddenly a speech from some other call, and other end of the original call may be
dropped. However the call is not always dropped, in some case the subscriber gets
occasionally a very short cut of another unknown caller and the original call is going on.
The known reason for this Crosstalk phenomenon is related to the GSM networks where
Ciphering is not used and Frequency and Base Station Identity Code (BSIC) pairs are
used too close each other in Radio Network planning. If a certain frequency and BSIC
combination is used too tight in the network, this may occasionally cause interference and
disturbance and in certain circumstances, two independent Handover messages may
cause a short Crosstalk phenomenon. Whether Ciphering is in used then too tight use of
Frequency and Base Station Identity Code (BSIC) pairs may cause interference and
disturbance and it is heard as a short mute in speech and the call may be dropped.


Crosstalk is caused in simultaneous Handover (HO) phase within two separate

calls. In the following example, the Crosstalk situation is explained more detailed. The
used frequencies, BSIC values etc. are illustrated in this case. The subscriber is located
in Cell 1 with the frequency 55. He is having a call on and it is going to make Handover
to Cell 2 that has the frequency 78 and BSIC 8. Suddenly the mobile makes Handover to
another Cell x that has the similar BSIC (8) and the similar frequency (78), but this Cell x
is not the one the mobile was signalling concerning Handover attempt. At this point, the
subscriber hears some unknown subscriber’s speech.
Crosstalk occurs because there are two cells with the same combination of the
frequency (78) and the BSIC (8) influencing to each other. It does not matter whether
these cells were situated several kilometres from each other, but the antennas are pointing
to the same direction causing the co-channel interference seen between these two cells.
The area where the subscriber gets Crosstalk is situated in this interference area.
When a mobile is making a handover it gets Handover Command from BSC.
Handover Command includes among others the frequency, BSIC and the Handover
Reference. The Handover Reference has information of a new timeslot. The mobile
sends back Handover Access to BTS where it is going to make a handover. Handover
Access includes the Handover Reference. With the Handover Reference BTS identifies
the mobile that is making the handover.

In this situation the subscriber was expecting to make a handover to Cell 2 with
the frequency 78. At the same time there was another mobile going to make a handover
to another Cell x that had the same frequency 78. Both mobiles had received Handover
command from the BSC and were sending to BTS Handover. In this case both mobiles
were defined to make Handover to a similar timeslot in different cells. Handover
Reference of Subscriber MS1 was noticed in Cell x with frequency 78 although Cell 2
(with the same frequency) was expecting it. The mismatch happened because of the same
BSIC code and the same frequency. While Ciphering is not yet used in the network the
subscriber is able to hear clear speech from an unknown person. It might happen that the
call drops within Crosstalk situation. Then the MSC clear code for the drop is B14
(handover failure).

7.3 Customer Care Management :
This is a system, which provides direct duplex window to the planners with the
customers. Due to the availability of such a management system it allows the planners to
come to know about the customer complaints regarding outdoor/indoor coverage and
correspondingly planners will also get an overview of the signal strength and signal range
in different areas of network and help them to find a new site so as to solve the coverage
problem and improve the network as a whole.

In this system, the problems of customer that come to customer care dept. are
forwarded to OMC department and depending on its regard it is then forwarded either to
PLANNING or NETWORK SUPPORT SYSTEM dept. The planners will respond to
complaint and they will ask the BSS team to provide the Rx Quality level and thereafter
analyzing the condition, provide a solution so as to overcome the crisis. This is forwarded
to OMC and then to CC. If problem is solved great, else the process continues.

7.4 TRx Addition and Deletion:

To fully utilize the network equipments and to have best network performance it
is necessary to continuously monitor the network parameters. There are various reports
which reflect the network performance. According to these reports the traffic in a
particular can be monitored and from this analysis the RF Optimization engineer decides
whether to increase the capacity or to make decrement in the recent configuration. From
this report which includes blocking, hand over success ratio; traffic in a particular sector
in Earlang. Therefore the TRx addition and deletion process comes in the picture. The
BSS engineers make change in the current configuration. If the traffic in any particular
site is more than the current capacity then the TRx addition has to be done. And if the
configuration is higher than the current traffic than the TRx has to be removed from the
current configuration. This reports has been frequently and according to that decisions
has been taken.

7.5 Network Optimization:

The network optimization process includes optimizing the network for better
coverage and capacity. For better network coverage it is necessary that antenna is
directional that’s why we are using directional antenna in the GSM network. Network
planners often have the problem that the base station antenna provides an over coverage.
If the overlapping area between two cells is too large, increased switching between the
base stations (handover) occurs. There may even be interference of a neighbouring cell
with the same frequency. If hopping is used in the network, then limiting the overlap is
required to reduce the overall hit rate. In general, the vertical pattern of an antenna
radiates the main energy towards the horizon. Only that part of the energy which is

radiated below the horizon can be used for the coverage of the sector. Down tilting the
antenna limits the range by reducing the field strength in the horizon.

Antenna down tilting is the downward tilt of the vertical pattern towards the
ground by a fixed angle measured with respect to the horizon. Down tilting of the antenna
changes the position of the half-power beam width and the first null relative to the
horizon. Normally the maximum gain is at 0• (parallel to the horizon) and never intersects
the horizon. A small down tilt places the beams maximum at the cell edge
With appropriate down tilt, the received signal strength within the cell improves due to
the placement of the main lobe within the cell radius and falls off in regions approaching
the cell boundary and towards the reuse cell.

There are two methods of down tilting

 Mechanical down tilting
 Electrical down tilting

Mechanical down tilting consists of physically rotating an antenna downward
about an axis from its vertical position. In a mechanical down tilt as the front lobe moves
downward the back lobe moves upwards. This is one of the potential drawbacks as
compared to the electrical down tilt because coverage behind the antenna can be
negatively affected as the back lobe rises above the horizon. Additionally,
mechanical down tilt does not change the gain of the antenna at +/- 90deg from antenna
horizon. As the antenna is given down tilt, the footprint starts changing with a notch
being formed in the front while it spreads on the sides. After 10 degrees down tilt the
notch effect is quiet visible and the spread on the sides are high. This may lead to
interference on the sides.



Vertical antenna pattern at 0°

Vertical antenna pattern at 15° downtilt

Backlobe shoots over the horizon

(a) (b)



Electrical down tilt uses a phase taper in the antenna array to angle the pattern
downwards. This allows the antenna to be mounted vertically. Electrical down tilt is the
only practical way to achieve pattern down tilting with Omni directional antennas.
Electrical down tilt affects both front and back lobes. If the front lobe is down tilted the
back lobe is also down tilted by equal amount. Electrical down tilting also reduces the
gain equally at all angles on the horizon. The adjusted down tilt angle is constant over the
whole azimuth range. Variable electrical down tilt antennas are very costly.


7.6 In Building Solution

• It is a process, where in we radiate adequate Mobile signals of one particular

Network operator in that entire building.

 Airports and bus/train stations.
 Conference and exhibition centres.
 Shopping malls.

Figure 7.5 IBS

The repeater system is a two-way amplifier that provides booster performance to extend
the coverage of radio communications in buildings, basements and other RF shadow
areas. The Repeater receives signals from one antenna, amplifies them and transmits
through the other antenna. Features such as high linearity amplifier characteristics, and
sharp out of band rejection duplexers, assist in avoiding interfering signals & makes it an
Ideal solution.

Types of repeaters
1.RF Repeater : RF is used between BS and repeater

Figure 7.6 RF Repeater

2.Optical Repeater : Optical fiber is used between BS and repeater.

Figure 7.7 Optical Repeater

Active or regenerating repeaters are used when the distance between terminal
stations is too great to allow a received signal of acceptable level and also when it is
necessary to insert and drop channels at points between terminal stations. An active
repeater can be used at one or more intermediate points to regenerate the signal or to
allow adding or dropping of channels.

Figure 7.8 Block Diagram

The received pulses that are demodulated from the incoming RF frequency trigger
the generation of new pulses to be modulated onto the succeeding transmitter, so that any
pulse that has been degraded by noise is completely renewed. Thus, even though this
process is continued at each repeater, noise and distortion is not added to the system, as in
analogy radio transmission. The receivers and transmitters used in a regenerating repeater
are the same type as those used at a terminal station, and the repeater can be actually
thought of as two terminal stations connected back-to-back at the base band level.

Repeaters are unintelligent units, which receive a signal, amplify the signal and
retransmit it. Repeaters are often used to relay signals into shadowed areas or into

Repeaters in GSM system need a “donor cell” from which to pick up the signal. They add
coverage area to a network but no additional capacity. Narrow-band repeaters can be
tuned to a certain channel, which shall be repeated into the target area. Wideband
repeaters retransmit anything they receive side. Separation between receiving and
transmitting antenna of a repeater must ensure that the amplification factor, else the
repeater will start oscillating (feed-back loop), a phenomenon well known from acoustic
microphone systems.

Power Calculation

+43dbm :ultra site power

-5dbm :cable loss
-1dbm :connector loss
+18dbm:GSM antenna gain
+55dbm:EIRP {Equivalent isotropically radiated power }
-115dbm: Path loss
-8dbm:Multipath Fading loss
+12dbm:Gain of Yagi Antenna
-5dbm:Rf cable loss
-1dbm:Connector loss
+90dbm:Repeater Gain
-1dbm: Repeater Connector loss
-5dbm:Repeater cable loss
+6dbm :Panel Gain
-80dbm:Free space loss
-52dbm: Repeater o/p power in room


Section 1 Introduction of GSM

I understood the basic terminologies of GSM and its architecture by the Syatra Nokia
training Manual.

Section 2 Physical and Logical Channels in GSM

I understood the types of channels in GSM because with out these we can’t solve the
problem that occurs via maintaining a proper call, like TCH blocking, SD Blocking.

Section 3 NOKIA Base Transceiver Station

I understood the terminologies that are NOKIA specific related to BTS and the different
blocks that collectively constitute a BTS.Also got hand on experience of cabling.

Section 4 BTS Commissioning

After the installation of the physical hardware we have to install the software and
configure it so that the site can be set for functioning so I got experience of the process of

Section 5 RF Planning

For proper functioning of calls we need to have sound understanding of frequency

planning for that I understood the types of frequency hopping and drive test.

Section 6 Softwares
I had hand on experience on different softwares like BTS manager ,Traffic Manager,
Map info, Net monitor which are very much essential for the different type of tasks and
in problem solving .

Section 7 Practical Activities

I have included various practical tasks that I have performed during various site visits like
analysis of alarm reports, Antenna Tilts for Rf problems, TRx addition and deletion and
replacement of defective components of BTS and we have provided In building solution
(IBS) in a office building at C.G Road

Training Schedule

Week 1 : Basic of GSM from Systra Nokia Training Manual.Avdesh Site visit

Week 2: Types Of BTS and Mobile Devices and Zodiac Square Site visit.

Week 3: Fundamental of E1 Line, Bavla site visit, Sectorization.

Week 4: Path loss factors, Basic Rf reports,LAC and handoff Concept.

Week 5: Study Of repeaters, Basic about BSC and FIU.

Week 6: Repeater Losses, Loop Protection and Metro HUB.

Week 7: Signaling and Different protocols like X.25 and SS7,Node Saving.

Week 8: TRx addition and Reflection Terminal Commands

Week 9: Transmission, SDH-PDH fundamentals,FIU and types of MUX.

Week 10: Trx Addition, BSC Visit.

Week 11:TRx Deletion at terminal, Node saving.

Week 12:E1 Patching, Netmonitor and Map Info

Week 13: Traffic Shifting and Drive Test.

Week 14: E1 Bypass and Crossconnection, KLM Addressing.

Week 15: Basic of FIU and RRI at BSC and Switching Center Visit at Bharti House.


1] Nokia Systra Training Manual.

2] Nokia Training Document, Explain Extended Planner’s Introduction, version 1.1,
Apr 1998.
3] Nokia Training Document, Frequency Hopping Network Planning Guide,
version 1.0.0, Oct 1998.
4] Nokia Net-Monitor Manual.
5] Nokia Metrosite base station user manual.
6] Nokia Ultrasite EDGE base station user manual.
7] GSM and UMTS The Creation of Global Mobile Communication by
Friedhelm Hillebrand.

8] Theodore S. Rappaport, “Wire-less Communications, Principle and Practice, second

9] http://www.3gpp.org/
10] http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com



AC Authentication Center
AGCH Access Grant Channel
AMPS Advanced Mobile Phone System
AMR Adaptive Multi-Rate
ARFCN Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Number
BBFH Base-Band Frequency Hopping
BC Billing Center
BCH Broadcast Channel
BCCH Broadcast Control Channel
BER Bit Error Rate
BH Busy Hour
BHCA Busy Hour Call Attempts
BPSK Binary Phase Shift Keying
BSC Base Station Controller
BSIC Base Station Identity Code
BSS Base Station Subsystem
BTS Base Transceiver Station
CA Cell Allocation
CCCH Common Control Channel
CCH Control Channel
CCI Co-Channel Interference
CCR Call Completion Rate
CEPT Conference Europeene des Postes et Telecommunications
C/I Carrier-to-Interference Ratio
dBi dB gain with respect to an isotropic antenna

dBm dB gain with respect to a half-wave dipole
DCCH Dedicated Control Channel
DCS1800 Digital Communication System-1800
EFR Enhanced Full Rate
EIR Equipment Identity Register
EIRP Effective Isotropic Radiated Power
Eb/No Bit Energy-to-noise Density
ERP Effective Radiated Power
ETSI European Telecommunications Standard Institute
FACCH Fast Associated Control Channel
FCCH Frequency Correction Channel
FDMA Frequency Division Multiple Access
FN Frame Number
FR Full Rate
GMSK Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying
GSM Global System for Mobile Communication
HFS Hopping Frequency Set
HLR Home Location Register
HR Half Rate
HSN Hopping Sequence Number
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
LA Location Area
LAN Local Area Network
MA Mobile Allocation
MAIO Mobile Allocation Index Offset
MAL Mobile Allocation List
MS Mobile Station
MSC Mobile Switching Center
NMS Network Management Subsystems
NSS Network and Switching Subsystems

OMC Operation Maintenance Center
OSS Operation Support Subsystem
PCH Paging Channel
PCM Pulse Code Modulation
PCS Personal Communication System
PSK Phase Shift Keying
PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network
RACH Random Access Channel
Rx Receiver
SACCH Slow Associated Control Channel
SCH Synchronization Channel
SDCCH Stand-alone Dedicated Control Channel
SIM Subscriber Identity Module
SMS Short Message Service
TACS Total Access Communication System
TC Transcoder
TCH Traffic Channel
TDMA Time Division Multiple Access
Tx Transmitter
TRX Transceiver
UMTS Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
VLR Visitor Location Register
WAN Wide Area Network