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CELL PLANNING

FUNDAMENTALS
Abstract

This document is intended to provide a sound understanding of the


concept of cell planning and how cellular networks are designed.
REVISION LIST
Date Revision Description Responsibility Approvals Comments

13th April 2001 1.0 Initial draft Edwin Yapp

Cellular Planning Fundamentals CP0 3 2 For intenal use only


TABLE OF CONTENTS

REVISION LIST................................................................................................................................................................................2
1 CELL PLANNING INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................................5
1.1 CELL PLANNING DEFINITION .......................................................................................................................................................5
1.2 CELL PLANNING GOALS .....................................................................................................................................................................5
1.3 CELL PLANNING FACTORS................................................................................................................................................................6
1.4 TYPE OF CELLS ...................................................................................................................................................................................6

2 CELL PLANNING PROCES S .........................................................................................................................................................9


2.1 ST E P 1 : TRAFFIC & COVERAGE ANALYSIS.....................................................................................................................................9
2.2 STEP 2 : NOMINAL CELL PLAN.......................................................................................................................................................10
2.3 STEP 3 : SITE SURVEY .......................................................................................................................................................................10
2.4 STEP 4 : SYSTEM DESIGN ..................................................................................................................................................................10
2.5 STEP 5 : SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION & TUNING ........................................................................................................................10
2.6 SYSTEM GROWTH / CHANGE ...........................................................................................................................................................11

3 CELL PLANNING TOOLS & PROPAGATION MODELS .................................................................................................... 13


3.1 CELL PLANNING TOOLS............................................................................................................................................................... 13
3.2 PROPAGATION MODELS .............................................................................................................................................................13
3.2.1 Flat Conductive Earth.............................................................................................................................................................. 14
3.2.2 Knife Edge Diffraction.............................................................................................................................................................. 15
3.2.3 Fresnel zone clearance............................................................................................................................................................. 17
3.2.4 Field measurements and Semi -Empirical Models ............................................................................................................... 19
3.2.5 Okumura -Hata Model ............................................................................................................................................................... 19
3.2.6 Cost 231 – Hata Model ............................................................................................................................................................ 20
3.2.7 Path Loss (Attenuation) Slope ................................................................................................................................................ 21
3.2.8 Okumura -Hata Corrections..................................................................................................................................................... 21
3.2.9 Walfisch-Ikegami Model ........................................................................................................................................................... 22
3.2.10 Choice of propagation model ............................................................................................................................................ 22
4 FREQUENCY PLANNING CONCEPTS..................................................................................................................................... 24
4.1 F REQUENCY RE-USE......................................................................................................................................................................24
4.2 FREQUENCY PLANNING...................................................................................................................................................................25
5 LINK POWER BUDGET ................................................................................................................................................................ 28
5.1 PATH BALANCE ................................................................................................................................................................................28
5.2 MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE P ATH LOSS ............................................................................................................................................29
6 FUTURE GROWTH AND EXPANSION..................................................................................................................................... 31
6.1 INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................................................................................31
6.2 CELL SPLITS......................................................................................................................................................................................31
6.3 MULTIPLE RE -USE PATTERN.........................................................................................................................................................33
6.4 FRACTIONAL RE -USE PATTERN .....................................................................................................................................................34
6.5 MICROCELLULAR UNDERLAYER...................................................................................................................................................35
6.5.1 Layered Architecture ................................................................................................................................................................ 35
6.5.2 Combine Cell Architecture ...................................................................................................................................................... 36
6.6 DUAL BAND NETWORKS.................................................................................................................................................................37

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CHAPTER 1
CELL PLANNING INTRODUCTION

Objectives: This chapter will describe the basic studies on


cell planning concepts, the goals in cell planning
and the factors involved. It also describes the
types of cells in cellular network.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Understand the main reasons for cell planning


• Explain the types of cells involved

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1 CELL PLANNING INTRODUCTION

1.1 CELL PLANNING DEFINITION


Cell planning can be described as all the activities involved in:-

a) Selecting the sites for the radio equipment


b) Selecting the radio equipment
c) Configuring the radio equipment

Every cellular network requires cell planning in order to provide adequate


coverage and call quality.

1.2 CELL PLANNING GOALS


When designing a network, a network planner needs to achieve an overall goal to
ensure that there that the plans can be implemented properly. These goals
includes:-

a) Providing desired capacity


A plan that meets all design criteria.
b) Offering good efficiency
A plan that utilizes all the spectrum given in the best possible
way.
c) Implementing the network at low cost
A plan that uses the right amount of equipment to provide the
best possible capacity and coverage.
d) Offers high grade of service
A plan that ensures the customers are satisfied.

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1.3 CELL PLANNING FACTORS
Many factors can affect the design of a network. Among these cell planning
factors are:

a) Effects of propagation – how the propagation of electromagnetic


waves travels and propagates in the air and through buildings
and obstacles.
b) Efficient traffic capacity – how subscriber traffic is spread
throughout the network and how these needs are met.
c) Subscriber environment – the behavior of subscribers with
respect to its environment and circumstances.
d) Frequency spectrum – how much physical resources is
available to the network.
e) Site planning – how sites are planned and designed, and the
cost of these sites.

1.4 TYPE OF CELLS


A cell may be defined as an area of radio coverage from one BTS antenna
system. There are two main types of cell:

a) Omni Cell
This cell is served by a BTS, with an antenna, which transmit in
all directions. This is shown in Figure 1-1.

Figure 1-1

b) Sectored Cell
This cell is an area of coverage with an antenna, which transmit
in a given direction only. This is shown in Figure 1-2.

Figure 1-2

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The cells in a network can be divided into different categories,
defined on the position of the antenna as shown in Figure 1-3.

Figure 1-3

Among these different types of cells are:-

a) Macro Cell
A macro cell is a traditional cell with the antenna above the
average obstacle (building) height. This gives a good outdoor
coverage, and pretty good indoor coverage.

b) Mini Cell
The mini cell is a low macrocell or a roof micro cell. The
antennas are mounted just below the rooftop level. The buildings
shadow the line-of-sight waves, making the cell area more
contained. The minicells are most effective in areas where the
buildings have approximately the same height.

c) Micro Cell
A microcell uses low antenna height (typically 4 to 10 m). The
antenna is mounted outdoors. The waves propagate between
the buildings and not over the roof tops. The cell size is typically
150 to 500 meters.

d) Indoor Cell
The indoor cell (or pico cell) has the antennas inside a building.
This indoor cell covers a building or a part of a building. This is
the best solution when high capacity and very good indoor
coverage is required.

END OF CHAPTER 1

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CHAPTER 2
CELL PLANNING PROCESS

Objectives: This chapter describes briefly the cell planning


process and some of the factors involved.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Describe the processes involved in cell planning

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2 CELL PLANNING PROCESS
The major activities involved in cell planning are shown in Figure 2-1.

Figure 2-1

2.1 STEP 1 : TRAFFIC & COVERAGE ANALYSIS


The cell planning process starts with traffic and coverage analysis. The analysis
should produce information about the geographical area and the expected need of
capacity. The types of data collected are:

§ Cost

§ Traffic distribution

§ Coverage

§ Grade of Service (GoS)

§ Available frequencies

§ Speech Quality Index

§ System growth capability

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The traffic demand provides the basis for cellular network engineering.
Geographical distribution of traffic demand can be estimated by using
demographic data.

2.2 STEP 2 : NOMINAL CELL PLAN


Nominal cell plans are the first cell plans and form the basis for further planning. It
is a graphical representation of the network and simply looks like a cell pattern on
a map.

It is also based on some measurable and educated forecast of data or market


research data. At this stage of nominal cell plan, coverage and interference
predictions is often included using some planning tools.

2.3 STEP 3 : SITE SURVEY


Site surveys are performed for all proposed site locations. The following must be
checked for all the sites:

a) Exact location
b) Space for equipment, including antennas
c) Power facilities
d) Contract with site owner

This is a critical step because it is necessary to as sess the real environment to


determine whether it is a suitable site location when planning a cellular
network.

2.4 STEP 4 : SYSTEM DESIGN


Once the planning parameters have been adjusted to match the actual
measurements, dimensioning of the BSC, TRC and MSC/VLR can be adjusted
and the final cell plan is produced. The final cell plan is then completed. In
conjunction with this, a cell design parameter document is produced specifying all
the cell parameters for the cell to be entered into the site database.

2.5 STEP 5 : SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION & TUNING


Once the system has been installed, it is continuously monitored to determine
how well it meets demand. This is called system tuning. It involves:

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§ Checking that the final cell plan was implemented successfully

§ Evaluating customer complaints

§ Checking that the network performance is acceptable

§ Changing parameters and taking other measurements, if


necessary

The system needs constant retuning because the traffic and number of
subscribers increases continuously. Eventually, the system reaches a point
where it must be expanded so that it can manage the increasing load and new
traffic. At this point, a traffic and coverage analysis is performed and the cell
planning process cycle begins again.

2.6 SYSTEM GROWTH / CHANGE


Cell planning is an ongoing process. If the network needs to be expanded
because of an increase in traffic or because of a change in the environment (e.g.
a new building), then the operator must perform the cell planning process again,
starting with a new traffic and coverage analysis. Some re-engineering work that
need to be done are:

a) Antenna downtilts, azimuths and antenna heights

b) Cells splits

c) Frequency re-tuning

d) Implementation of microcell underlayers

END OF CHAPTER 2

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CHAPTER 3
CELL PLANNING TOOLS &
PROPAGATION MODELS

Objectives: This chapter describes briefly the cell planning


process and some of the factors involved. In this
chapter as well, some of the planning tools used
will also be introduced.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Explain the various types of cell planning tools.


• Describe the few kinds of propagation models.

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3 CELL PLANNING TOOLS & PROPAGATION MODELS

3.1 CELL PLANNING TOOLS


Normally, coverage and interference predictions are needed for a cell plan.
Hence, at this stage, computer-aided cell planning tools are used for radio
propagation analysis. These cell planning tools are needed for:

a) Predictions for coverage, interference, traffic and etc.

b) Simulations for frequency planning

These tools are needed to simplify the planners’ task through the use of
simulations and calculations as well as for the planner to have a starting point to
work on.

Among the commercial cell planning tools are:-

a) Asset Planning Tool

b) TEMS Cell Planner

c) Planet from MSI

d) Odyssey from Aethos

e) TOTEM from Nokia

f) Netplan from Motorola

3.2 PROPAGATION MODELS


It is important to be able to estimate cell coverage to determine the size of the cell
and also the interference. The definition of coverage is that an area is considered
covered if in 95% of that area, the signal received by the MS is larger than some
required value. Hence, in order to achieve this, the predicted signal strength at the
cell border must be larger than some design value (e.g. SS design = -85dBm) giving
Pin(MS)(predicted) ≥ SS design .

The signal strength required and design values are estimated by adding margins
to the MS receiver sensitivity. These are fast and slow fading margins,
interference margins, margins for body loss and possibly additional margins for
in-car and indoor coverage. The margins depend on the type of environment and
operator requirements. It is very important to be able to estimate or predict the
pathloss. Improvements can be made by taking into account the following:

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a) The fact that radio waves are reflected towards the earth surface
(the
Conductivity of the earth is then an important parameter)

b) The transmission losses due to obstructions in the line of sight.

c) The finite radius of the curvature of the earth.

d) The terrain type in a real case, as well as the different


attenuation properties of different land usages such as forest,
urban areas and etc.

Propagation model is essentially a curve fitting exercise. Tests are conducted at


various frequencies , locations, periods, distances and antenna heights. The
received signal is analysed and fitted into an appropriate curve. Hence, the
formulas used to match these curves are generated and used as models. In order
that these models be understood fully, the following concepts needs to be
explained.

a) Flat Conductive Earth

b) Knife Edge Diffraction

c) Fresnel zone clearence

3.2.1 Flat Conductive Earth


In Figure 3-1, reflections against the surface of the earth are taken into account. If
we assume an unobstructed propagation through free space, the signal at the
receiving antenna can be seen as the sum of one direct signal and the reflected
signal, if we also assume that the earth is a perfect conductor (hardly a good
assumption, except possibly for sea water), i.e. loss free reflection, this yields (for
the received power at the receiving antenna) the interference term:

Pr = [Pt GrGtλ2 sin2 (2πh1 h2 /λd)] / (2πd)2

Which is the squared sum of the field amplitudes from the direct and reflected
wave. Assuming that h 1h2 << λd (i.e., small angles), the sine function can be
replaced with its argument (radians) and so,

Pr = [Pt GrGt (h1 h2 )2] / d 4

or
L = 10 log(Pt/P r) = 20 log(d2/h1h2) – 10 log(Gr) – 10 log(Gt)

and the term 20 log(d2 /h1 h2 ) corresponds to the path loss.

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.

Figure 3-1

3.2.2 Knife Edge Diffraction


Additional path loss due to objects obstructing the line of sight can be taken into
account by calculating the (Fresnel) diffraction pattern at the receiver. The
intensity is a function of the height of the obstruction above (or below) the line of
sight as well as the distances transmitter-object and receiver-object as shown in
Figure 3-2 below.

Figure 3-2

Derivations of the expression is somewhat lengthy, so here we must be satisfied


with expressing the additional attenuation caused by these so-called “knife edges”
in a diagram. The additional attenuation (also known as diffraction attenuation) is
read as a function of the parameter ν (also known as the Fresnel diffraction
parameter) which is given as (Figure 3-3),

ν = h√[(d 1 + d2 ) / λd1 d2 ]

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Figure 3-3

An illustration of how the diffraction gain/attenuation can be related to its diffraction


attenuation parameter is shown below. For a fixed distance of d1 (distance of
antenna to the diffracting object=5m and d2 =495m and a frequency of operation at
900Mhz, we have Table3-1.

h d2 d1 λ ν
-10 495 5 0.3 -11.6052
-9 495 5 0.3 -10.4447
-8 495 5 0.3 -9.28414
-7 495 5 0.3 -8.12362
-6 495 5 0.3 -6.96311
-5 495 5 0.3 -5.80259
-4 495 5 0.3 -4.64207
-3 495 5 0.3 -3.48155
-2 495 5 0.3 -2.32104
-1 495 5 0.3 -1.16052
0 495 5 0.3 0
1 495 5 0.3 1.160518
2 495 5 0.3 2.321035
3 495 5 0.3 3.481553
4 495 5 0.3 4.642071
5 495 5 0.3 5.802589
6 495 5 0.3 6.963106
7 495 5 0.3 8.123624
8 495 5 0.3 9.284142
9 495 5 0.3 10.44466
10 495 5 0.3 11.60518

Table 3.1

Note that h is negative if the obstruction tip does not protrude into the propagation
path, h=0 if the obstruction tip is tangent with the propagation path and h is
positive if the obstruction tip does protrude into the propagation path.

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From the reading of ν in the table and comparing with the graph, we see that if
the knife edge does not protrude in to the wave, there exist some diffraction gain.
When h becomes positive, and protrudes in to the line of sight of the wave, the
diffraction gain quickly turns to diffraction attenuation.

3.2.3 Fresnel zone clearance


The concept of the Fresnel zone is illustrated below:

1st Fresnel zone


radius

Tx Rx

d1 d2
Figure 3-4

When electromagnetic wave encounters objects in its path, it gets diffracted.


Imagine that these waves travel as spherical wave fronts. Looking at the cross
section, Fresnel Zones are a set of concentric circles, which are loci of all points
having the same signal strength. The Fresnel zone are λ/2 apart from one
another.

The radius of the first Fresnel zone is dependent on the frequency of the wave
and the antenna height. For a given antenna height, the primary energy of the
wave is contained inside the first Fresnel zone. In other words, for the wave to
have its maximum energy transmitted without any diffraction attenuating the
signal, the wave must be within the radius of the first Fresnel zone. To illustrate
this further, please refer to figure 3-5.

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d1

d2

Rn

Transmitter

Receiver
Obstruction
Building

Figure 3-5

Figure 3-5 shows a typical setting where an building is obstructing the line of sight
path from the transmistter to the receiver. The diagram illustrates that in order for
the majority of line of sight energy to get to the receiver, it must be within the first
Fresnel radius, Rn .

The radius of the nth Fresnel zone circle is denoted by R n and can be expressed
in terms of n, λ , d 1 and d2 by

nλ d 1 d 2
Rn = d +d
1 2

for d1 & d2 >>Rn

For the aforementioned parameters of d1(distance of antenna to the diffracting


object=5m and d2 =495m and a frequency of operation at 900Mhz, we have

Rn = 1.21m

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3.2.4 Field measurements and Semi-Empirical
Models
The models discussed previously do not take into account the topographical
variations in a real environment nor the different attenuation properties of different
land usages such as forests, urban areas, etc. Although calculations taking all
details into account are possible, they are tremendously time consuming and not
practical to use for the cell planner. Indeed, empirical data can be used.

Among these classical empirical models are:

a) Longley-Rice Model – used for irregular terrain model

b) Okumura-Hata Model – used for urban/suburban model at


900MHz

c) Cost 231-Hata Model – used for 1500MHZ to 2000MHz

d) Walfisch-Ikegami Cost 231 – used for dense urban/microcell


areas

3.2.5 Okumura-Hata Model


Among the model mentioned above, the Okumura-Hata model is arguably the
most important model that has been developed. In the 1960’s, Japanese engineer
Okumura carried out a series of detailed propagation test for land-mobile radio
services at various different frequencies. The freqeuncies were 200Mhz, 453Mhz,
922Mhz, 1310Mhz, 1430Mhz and 1920Mhz. The results were stastically analysed
and described for distance and frequency dependancies of median field strength,
location variabilities and antenna height gain factors for the base and mobile
stations in urban, suburban and open areas over quasi-smooth terrain.

The results of the median field strength with respect to the distance in kms from
the site at the stated frequencies were displayed graphically as shown in Figure 3-
6 below. It is interesting to note that the free space model yields consistently
higher field strengths. This means that it yields lower path loss than the
measurements.

As this is a graphical representation of the results, the Okumura model cannot


use computer based analysis to aid cellular engineers to plan a network.
However, the results provided by Okumura are the basis on which path loss
prediction equations have been formulated. Perhaps the most significant
contribution to the extension of this model was carried out by another Japanese
engineer named Hata, who took Okumura’s graphical results and derived generic
equations to describe the path loss in various environments. It is through his work
that computer based analysis present in many of the commercially available cell
planning tools have been made possible.

The general description of the OH model is given by:

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Lp (urban) = 69.55 + 26.16logf - 13.82logh b + (44.9 - 6.55loghb )logd - a(h m )

Where a(h m ) = (1.1 log f - 0.7)h m - (1.56 log f - 0.8)

f = carrier frequency in MHz (150 - 1000 MHz)

hb = the base station antenna height in meters (30 - 200 m)

d = distance in km from the base station (1 - 20 km)

hm = mobile antenna height in meters above ground (1 - 10 m)

However, the figure can only be used as a rough guide since terrain types differ
from place to place and local variations in the topography as well as in the land
usage cannot be accounted for. Empirical data can be used to improve more
elaborate models.

Figure 3-6

3.2.6 Cost 231 – Hata Model


The Cost 231-Hata model is essentially the same as the Okumura-Hata equation
except that it is valid for frequencies between 1500Mhz to 2000Mhz.

Thus, the general equation is given by:

Lp (urban) = 46.3 + 33.9logf - 13.82loghb + (44.9 - 6.55logh b )logd - a(h m)

Where a(hm ) = (1.1 log f - 0.7)h m - (1.56 log f - 0.8)

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f = carrier frequency in MHz (1500 - 2000 MHz)

hb = the base station antenna height in meters (30 - 200 m)

d = distance in km from the base station (1 - 20 km)

hm = mobile antenna height in meters above ground (1 - 10 m)

3.2.7 Path Loss (Attenuation) Slope


The equations derived by Okumura and Hata can be further simplified to
represent the path loss in a straight line graph, so that the path loss can be a
function of distance traveled. The simplified equation is given by

Lp (urban) = L0 + (44.9 - 6.55loghb ) log(d)

Where L0 = 69.55 + 26.16log f - 13.82log hb - a(hm ) for 150-1500Mhz


(Okumura-Hata) and

L0 = 46.3 + 33.9log f – 13.82logh b – a(hm) for 1500-2000Mhz

(Cost 231-Hata)

or this can be further simplified to,

Lp = L0 + 10γ log(d)

Where γ is the slope and is (44.9 – 6.55loghb )/10 and γ varies from 3.5 to 4 for
urban environments. The typical value for free space path loss is 2.0 and the
typical value for line of sight propagation is approximately 2.6. This is consistent
with the fact that for a denser the environment, the greater the path loss (γγ), and
hence the signal will attenuate faster given that all else factors are equal.

3.2.8 Okumura-Hata Corrections


The abovementioned equation describes what is generally applicable to suburban
to urban terrains. This is because Okumura conducted his empirical experiments
using this kind of terrains. To compensate for other types of terrains, there needs
to be some corrections made to the urban path loss equation. These corrections
are given by:

Lsub = Lp – 2 log2 (f/28) –5.4

Lopen = Lp – 4.78{log (f)}2 +18.33log(f) –40.94

Lsemiopen = Lp – 4.78{log(f)} +18.33log(f) – 35.94

Where Lpsub is area over a suburban terrain

Lpopen is area over a open terrain

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Lpsemiopen is area over a semi open terrain

3.2.9 Walfisch-Ikegami Model


This model is applicable to line of sight (LOS) propagation. Usually takes place in
street canyons where microcells are implemented.

The pass loss is given by:-

Llos = 42.6 + 20log(f) + 26 log(d) or

Llos = L0 + 10γ log(d)

where L0 = 42.6 + 20log(f) and γ = 2.6

3.2.10 Choice of propagation model


It can be seen that the choice of a propagation model for cell planning becomes
critical in determining the correct cell plan. Below is a table that guides a cell
planner what are the general models in a given terrain.

Environment type Model Type


Dense Urban
Street Canyons (Line of Sight) Walfisch-Ikegami, LOS
Macrocells (above roof tops) Okumura-Hata

Urban
Urban areas Walfisch-Ikegami, LOS
Mix of building of varying heights, open Okumura-Hata
areas & vegetation

Suburban
Business & residential area Okumura-Hata (with correction factor)

Rural
Large open areas, field, highways Okumura-Hata (with correction factor)

Table 3-2

END OF CHAPTER 3

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CHAPTER 4
FREQUENCY PLANNING CONCEPTS

Objectives: This chapter describes briefly the frequency


planning process in a network.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Understand the concept of frequency planning.


• Explain the use of frequency re-use pattern.

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4 FREQUENCY PLANNING CONCEPTS
4.1 FREQUENCY RE-USE
Cellular systems re-use frequencies, which is needed to support its system
capacity. This means that co-channel interference exists in the network. The way
we re-use can vary from totally rigid (system atic) to totally flexible (adhoc). A
totally systematic approach makes the job much easier but if a systematic
approach is not possible, then flexibility can be introduced.

The level of this interference is dependent on the cell radius (r) and the distance
(d) between them.

The minimum re-use distance is d is given by the equation:

d = (√3N)r

Where N = re-use pattern

= i2 + ij + j2 (i & j are integers)

Thus, if i = j = 1, N = 3 and d = 3r

And,

i = 2, j = 0, N = 4 and d = (√12)r =3.464r


i = 2, j = 1, N = 7 and d = (√21)r = 4.583r
i = 2, j = 2, N = 12 and d = (√36)r = 6r

The re-use distance d and cell radius r are related to the C/I as given by:

γ
(d/r) = 6 (C/I)

Where γ = attenuation slope or path loss coefficient with the assumptions that:
i) All the cells have the same size and transmit the same power.
ii) The path loss is not of free space and is govern by γ.

For example, in an urban environment, what should be the re-use distance if the
required C/I is 11dB? (γ is assumed to be 3.525 in an urban environment)

(d/r)3.525 = 6(C/I) = 6 * (12.59)

d/r = 3.410

And if the cell radius is 2km, the minimum re-use distance is 6.8kms.

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4.2 FREQUENCY PLANNING
Once the frequency re-use pattern has been decided, a system can be assigned
a frequency plan.

For example, if a system has 10Mhz, and the frequency re-use is N=4, then
10Mhz/200kHz = 50 channels are available. Assuming that 48 channels are used
(76-123), how many channels can be allocated per cell?

48 channels/(N=4) = 12 channels per site

And assuming that a site has 3 sectors,

12 channels /3 sectors cells = 4 channels per sector cell

Hence, the frequency plan is shown in Table 4-1:

Frequency group A1 B1 C1 D1 A2 B2 C2 D2 A3 B3 C3 D3
BCCH 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87
TCH 1 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99
TCH 2 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111
TCH 3 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123

Table 4-1
Figure 4-1 below shows an example of a typical 4/12 frequency re-use.

Figure 4-1

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However, the example given is of an ideal case. In the real world, channels are not
so uniformly assigned because of the few reasons below:

a) Traffic density is never homogenous for every cell.


b) The sites built are sometimes not on the exact grid.
c) Terrain and clutter issues always affect the coverage.

For the given reasons above, we can conclude that a theoretical frequency plan
has its limitation. Frequency planning in practice is a balance between the ideal
plan based on equations and the practical plan based on the limitation of physical
resources. For example, it is quite rare that two or more neighboring cells need
the same amount of channels. It must be always kept in mind that the values
calculated for traffic distribution are only crude estimates and the real traffic
distribution always deviates from these estimates. Consequently, the frequency
plan should be flexible enough to allow for rearrangement of the network to meet
real traffic needs.

END OF CHAPTER 4

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CHAPTER 5
LINK POWER BUDGET

Objectives: This chapter introduces the calculations involved


in link power budget.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Describe the parameters involved in link power


budget calculation.

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5 LINK POWER BUDGET
5.1 PATH BALANCE
Path balance implies that the coverage of the downlink is equal to the coverage of
the uplink. The power budget shows whether the uplink or the downlink is the
weak link.

A typical power budget is shown Table 5-1 below.

RF LINK BUDGET UL DL
TRANSMITTING END MS BTS

Tx RF OUTPUT POWER 33 dBm 40 dBm


Body Loss -3 dB 0 dB
Combiner Loss 0 dB 0 dB
Feeder Loss 0 dB 1.5 dB
Connector Losses 0 dB 2 dB
Tx Antenna Gain 0 dB 18 dB
EIRP 30 dBm 55 dBm
(A) (C)

RECEIVING END BTS MS

RX sensitivity -107 dBm -102 dBm


Rx Antenna Gain 17.5 dBm 0 dB
Diversity Gain 3 dB 0 dB
Connector Loss 2 dB 0 dB
Feeder Loss 1.5 dB 0 dB
Interference Degradation Margin 3 dB 3 dB
Body Loss 0 dB 3 dB
Duplexer Loss 0 dB 0 dB
Rx Power -121 dBm -96 dBm
Fade Margin 4 dB 4 dB
Required Isotropic Rx. Power -117 dBm -92 dBm
(B) (D)
Maximum Permissible Path Loss 147 dB 147 dB
(B-A) (D-C)

Table 5-1

Why is the link power budget an important parameter to look at? Firstly, a balance
link budget will ensure that the coverage be equal between the downlink and
uplink. This means that the uplink signal can always be received by the BTS and
the downlink signal can always be received by the MS.

Secondly, the link power budget tells us the maximum permissible path loss
(Lpmax ). The Lpmax will define the absolute minimum signal that must be receive by
a BTS in the uplink direction (and conversely in the MS in the downlink direction)
beyond which the BTS will not be able to receive each the MS’s signal.

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Looking at the table above, we can see that the link for the uplink is balance with
the downlink. It is worth noting that, in practice, the link budget is almost never
exactly balanced. This is due to a number of factors. For example, the receiver
sensitivity of the BTS is taken as –107dBm, but it could be as good as –109dBm.
Similarly, the MS receiver sensitivity could be as good as –105dBm. Another point
is that practically, the antenna peak transmit power is never exactly 33dBm, and
lies more in the region of 31 or 32 dBm. Hence the uplink budget is normally 1-2
dB worse than what is shown in the table. Also, the diversity gain is assumed to
be 3dB but actually, it could range from 0-4dB, depending on the propagation
environment, location of the mobile and the kind of diversity employed.

From the link budget example, it can be seen that except for the fade margin, all
other parameters are more or less fixed, as these are part of equipment
specification. The fade margin added into the calculation is to compensate for the
slow and fast fading (multipath fading) of the signals will invariably experience in a
wireless system. This fade margin effectively gives an extra margin of error for
the receiver sensitivity in that it ensures that the receiver is still able to receive
severely faded signals.

The main factors that affects the fade margin is the attenuation coefficient (γγ), the
mean and standard deviation of the receive signal strength(RSS) and the
probability factor (usually 90%) of the RSS receiving equal or better than the
design criteria in a given coverage area.

5.2 MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE PATH LOSS


Once the link budget and Lpmax has been calculated, the corresponding cell radius
can be determined by using a suitable wave propagation (that fits the
environment), for example the Okumura-Hata model. For a given cell radius, the
coverage of a cell can be estimated by using formula:

3 3×r
2

2
Where r= radius of the cell, in km

For example, if we had a maximum permissible path loss of 147dB and a wanted
RSS of at least 92dBm at the minimum signal strength, and the frequency =
900Mhz, the hbts = 30m and hm = 3m, the cell radius will be approximated (using
the Okumura-Hata equation) to

Lp = 69.55+77.28 –20.41 – 3.81+35.525 log(r)

147 = 122.61 + 35.525 log(r)

d = 4.85 kms

Thus, a cell with a radius of 4.85kms, will provide a RSS of –92dBm in 90% of
the area, including a fade margin of 4dB.
END OF CHAPTER 5

Cellular Planning Fundamentals CP0 3 29 For intenal use only


CHAPTER 6
FUTURE GROWTH AND EXPANSION

Objectives: This chapter describes briefly the different


alternatives in handling a network expansion.

Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to:

• Explain the different options to increase the capacity


of a network.

Cellular Planning Fundamentals CP0 3 30 For intenal use only


6 FUTURE GROWTH AND EXPANSION
6.1 INTRODUCTION
Normal practice in network planning is to choose one point of a well known re-use
model as a starting point. Even at this early stage the model must be improved
because any true traffic density doesn’t not follow the homogeneous pattern
assumed in any theoretical model.

Small sized heavy traffic concentrations are characteristic of real traffic


distributions. Another well known traffic characteristic feature is the fast descent
in the density of the traffic when leaving urban areas. It therefore uneconomical to
build the whole network using a fixed cell size covering every area, but rather
using cells of varying size. Because of the aforementioned factors, the capacity
requirements for a given area will differ from networks to networks and that
different networks operators and vendors will have their own solutions to these
problems.

General speaking, the following methods are used to cope with the increasing
capacity requirements usually found in dense urban areas.

a) Using cell splits by employing a tighter frequency re-use pattern


incorporating frequency hopping.

b) Multiple re-use pattern

c) Fractional re-use pattern

d) Deploy microcellular underlayers.

e) Increase the frequency band by deploying dual band network ( if


licensing is possible).

6.2 CELL SPLITS


Cell splitting as the names implies, is a technique use to “break down” the size of
an original cell so that more cells can be built to serve the same given
geographical area. This can potentially give rise to capacity increase because
more cells are being used in the same given area. The compromise is that, the
frequency re-use pattern is closer or “tighter” together which then leads to higher
interference in the network. This concept is illustrated below.

Before splitting the cells, they look as shown in Figure 6-1.

Cellular Planning Fundamentals CP0 3 31 For intenal use only


Figure 6-1

After phase 1 of cell split, the cells look like as shown in Figure 6-2. The grey cells
are the original cells and the cells are now split into 3 cells per one original cell.

Figure 6-2

After phase 2 splitting, the cells look as shown in Figure 6-3. Final step in cell
splitting yields 4 times more cells than the original cell. This theoretically yields 4
times more capacity.

Figure 6-3

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It is clear that a smaller cell size increases the traffic capacity. However, a
smaller cell size means more sites and higher cost for the infrastructure. Hence,
it is preferable not to work with an unnecessary small cell size. The system is
started using a large cell size and when the system capacity needs to be
expanded, the cell size is decreased in order to meet the new requirements. This
normally also calls for using different cells sizes in different areas.

6.3 MULTIPLE RE-USE PATTERN


This is a method used to increase the capacity whereby the BCCH is fixed but
separately planned. The available frequencies are split into a number of segments
each representing a re-use situation on each of the carriers of the cell. This can
be illustrated in Figure 6-4.

Figure 6-4

TCH re-use is grouped into 9 frequencies for TCH1, 6 frequencies for TCH2 and
4 frequencies for TCH3. Each cell is only allocated with the necessary number of
carriers (starting from the most relaxed re-use) given by the traffic requirements
per cell up to a maximum of four TRXs per cell. The average re-use for 12/9/6/4 is
(12+9+6+4)/4=7.75 for the cell and (9+6+4)/3=6.3 for the TCH frequencies.

Multiple Re-use Pattern (MRP) is a scheme to gradually tighten the frequency re-
use in a cellular network. It is also very well suited to handling networks with
uneven traffic distribution, i.e. different number of transceivers (TRXs) in each
cell. A tighter frequency re-use means an increased interference level.

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The idea is that instead of organizing the TCH carriers according to a single re-
use scheme, the available frequencies could be split into a number of segments
each representing a re-use cluster. The BCCH carriers are already planned
separately. These re-use clusters are of different sizes providing different re-use
situations on each of the carriers in the cell.

By then applying frequency hopping over all the carriers averaging the interference
situation in each overlaid re-use cluster, a very efficient system is built. This
method allows a gradual tightening of the re-use as more transceivers are
installed in the cell. The re-use group on the last transceiver can be tight since it
probably will not be used in every cell. This can be traded into tighter re-use.

6.4 FRACTIONAL RE-USE PATTERN


There is another alternative for advance re-use especially when only a limited
bandwidth (≤ 6MHz) is allowed. This method is called fractional re-use.

With this type of frequency planning the interference is averaged in the time
domain and the cumbersome task of frequency planning gets less complicated.
This method can be shown in Figure 6-5.

Figure 6-5

Both systems utilizes the strength of frequency hopping, namely interference


averaging and frequency diversity.

The diagram shows 2 different re-use pattern namely:

Cellular Planning Fundamentals CP0 3 34 For intenal use only


a) 1*3*N fractional re-use
With the 1*3*N re-use patterns, the frequency groups are
repeated in every 3 cells.

b) 1*1*N fractional re-use


With the 1*1*N re-use patterns, the frequency groups are
repeated in every cell.

6.5 MICROCELLULAR UNDERLAYER

6.5.1 Layered Architecture


The basic term “underlayer” is used in the microcellular context to explain how
macro cells overlay microcells. It is worth noting that when talking of the traffic
capacity of a micro cell, it is additional capacity to that of the macro cell in the
areas of microcellular coverage.

Top view

MACRO CELL

Micro Cell A Micro Cell B

Side view
MACRO CELL

Micro Cell A Micro Cell B

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The traditional cell architecture design ensures that, as far as possible, the cell
gives almost total coverage for mobile subscribers within its area.

6.5.2 Combine Cell Architecture


A combine cell architecture is a multi-layer system of macro and micro cells. The
simplest implementation contains two layers. The bulk of the capacity in a
combined cell architecture is provided by the micro cells. Combined cell systems
can be implemented in a multi vendor environment.

Underlayed
micro cell
(could be a
different
vendor)

Overlayed macro Contiguous coverage


cells over
areas of high slow
moving

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6.5.2.1 Macro cells
Implemented specifically to cater for fast moving mobile subscribers and to
provide a fall-back service in the case of coverage holes and pockets of
interference in the micro cell layer. Macro cells form an umbrella over the smaller
micro cells.

6.5.2.2 Mirco cells


Mirco cells handle the traffic from slow moving mobile subscribers. The micro
cells as shown in the diagram can give contiguous coverage over the required
areas of heavy subscriber traffic.

Some points to note


• Macro and micro cells networks may be operated as individual
systems.
• The micro cell network is more dominant as it handles the greater
amount of traffic.
• Microcells can be underlayered into existing systems.

As the GSM network evolves and matures its traffic loading will increase as the
number of subscribers grow. Eventually a network will reach a point of traffic
saturation. The use of micro cells can provide high traffic capacity in localised
areas.

6.6 DUAL BAND NETWORKS


Dual band networks as the name suggest is a network that consist of two
physical GSM infrastructure (GSM 900Mhz & 1800Mhz) but only seen as one
logical entity. It enables a network operator with licenses in two or more frequency
bands to support the use of multiband mobiles in all bands of the licenses.

GSM 1800 for


capacity
GSM 900 for
coverage

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The concept of a dual band network is not unlike the microcellular concept except
that a dual band normally employs the GSM 1800Mhz infrastructure as the micro
cell layer. Because of the increase number of channels inherent in GSM 1800, the
capacity gains far outweighs the capacity increase of other capacity gaining
systems. The design of these networks can be quite complicated, but if design
and optimized properly, the can be tremendous gains available for the network
operator.

END OF CHAPTER 6

Cellular Planning Fundamentals CP0 3 38 For intenal use only