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UMTS900 Co-Existence with GSM900

Harri Holma Nokia Networks P.O. Box 301, FIN-00045 Nokia Group, Finland

harri.holma@nokia.com

Timo Ahonpää Nokia Networks P.O.Box 319, FIN-90651 Oulu, Finland timo.ahonpaa@nokia.com

Eetu Prieur Elisa P.O.Box 40 FIN-00061 Elisa, Finland eetu.prieur@elisa.fi

Abstract UMTS was initially deployed in Europe and in Asia using new spectrum at around 2 GHz. The deployment at 2 GHz frequency requires fairly high site density making it challenging to match existing GSM900 coverage with the same sites. Now also UMTS can take benefit of the better signal propagation at 900 MHz since 3GPP has defined UMTS specifications for 900 MHz and UMTS900 products are entering the market during 2007. The target of UMTS900 is to bring UMTS coverage to new areas with less base station sites and to improve the indoor coverage in the existing UMTS coverage area. This paper shows that UMTS900 can reduce the required number of base station sites by 60% and improve the indoor data rates by more than 50% compared to UMTS2100. When UMTS900 is deployed with co-sited GSM900, the required spectrum for UMTS carrier is 4.2 MHz or equivalently 21 GSM carriers. This 4.2 MHz spectrum corresponds to the carrier spacing of 2.2 MHz between UMTS carrier and closest GSM carrier. The feasibility of 2.2-MHz carrier spacing is verified by GSM power level measurements in a live network combined with the commercial UMTS base station blocking measurements.

1. INTRODUCTION

The signal attenuation increases with higher frequency. Any wireless system should be preferable deployed using low frequency from the coverage point of view. UMTS was first deployed at 2 GHz frequencies where the signal attenuation is higher than at 900 MHz. That makes it challenging to provide good indoor coverage and large cell sizes. UMTS900 looks therefore attractive in providing better indoor coverage in existing UMTS deployment areas and enabling larger cell sizes in new UMTS areas. UMTS900 can share existing GSM900 antennas, mast head amplifiers, feeders and repeaters making the deployment of UMTS900 fast. From the regulatory point of view, CEPT (Conference of European Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) supports UMTS900 by changing its regulation to allow UMTS deployment at 900 MHz. ECC decision ECC/DEC/(06)13 on the designation of the bands 880-915 and 925-960 MHz for terrestrial IMT-2000/UMTS

systems was adopted in November 2006 and it has entered in force on 1 st January, 2007. [1]

900 MHz spectrum today is already used by GSM making the UMTS900 deployment challenging as the spectrum needs to be refarmed. Therefore, it is essential to minimize the amount of spectrum required for UMTS900. This paper discusses in more detail the benefits of UMTS900 and the technical challenges.

UMTS is being already built using low frequency in USA and in some parts of Asia, like in Australia, to get the benefit of better signal propagation. The frequency in those deployments is 850 MHz. The learnings from this paper can be applied to UMTS850 deployments as well.

This paper is organized as follows. First, UMTS900 requirements in 3GPP are presented in Section 2. Section 3 estimates the coverage gains from UMTS900 compared to UMTS2100. The interference scenarios between GSM and UMTS are introduced in Sections 4 and 5. GSM live network measurements for power levels and the UMTS base station blocking performance measurements are presented in Section 6. The remaining GSM900 capacity is estimated in Section 7 in the case when UMTS900 is deployed. GSM and UMTS antenna sharing is discussed in Section 8 and conclusions are drawn in Section 9.

2. 3GPP SPECIFICATIONS FOR UMTS900

3GPP has specified 10 frequency bands for UMTS covering essentially all existing cellular bands where 5-MHz carrier fits. The bands and their frequencies are shown in Table 1. UMTS900 is Band VIII and it was added during 2005.

The different frequency variants use exactly the same 3GPP standard except for differences in RF parameters. Therefore, UMTS900 supports the same services and the same peak data rates as UMTS2100 version. The main additions of UMTS900 can be found from [2] and [3]. The differences between UMTS2100 and UMTS900 are summarized below

Table 1. 3GPP specified bands

Operating Total Uplink [MHz] Downlink [MHz] band spectrum Band I 2x60 MHz 1920-1980 2110-2170 Band
Operating
Total
Uplink [MHz]
Downlink [MHz]
band
spectrum
Band I
2x60 MHz
1920-1980
2110-2170
Band II
2x60 MHz
1850-1910
1930-1990
Band III
2x75 MHz
1710-1785
1805-1880
Band IV
2x45 MHz
1710-1755
2110-2155
Band V
2x25 MHz
824-849
869-894
Band VI
2x10 MHz
830-840
875-885
Band VII
2x70 MHz
2500-2570
2620-2690
Band VIII
2x35 MHz
880-915
925-960
Band IX
2x35 MHz
1749.9-1784.9
1844.9-1879.9
Band X
2x60 MHz
1710-1770
2110-2170

Channel numbering is added for UMTS900 using the same 200 kHz resolution as with UMTS2100

UE sensitivity is relaxed by 3 dB from -117 dBm in UMTS2100 to -114 dBm UMTS900. That allows small size Duplex filter implementation in UE even if the gap between uplink and downlink is only 10 MHz. The base station sensitivity requirement is not changed since base station Duplex filters are larger.

Relevant spurious emission requirements added

Narrowband blocking requirement added due to the same band GSM signal

3GPP narrowband blocking requirements are defined for the case where GSM and UMTS are deployed uncoordinated by different operators. The UMTS and GSM carrier spacing is 2.8 MHz which can be achieved when UMTS is deployed in 5.0 MHz block and there is one GSM guard carrier between operators, see Figure 1. The requirements are shown in Table 2. These blocking requirements are the worst case since continuous interfering GSM signal is used while typical interfering mobile only transmits with 1 time slot.

UMTS900 requirements were added as part of 3GPP Release 6 specifications. UMTS900 products can still be based on Release 99 or Release 5 specifications since the frequency variants are independent of 3GPP release features.

Table 2. 3GPP blocking requirements

 

GSM blocker

UMTS receiver

power level

sensitivity

UMTS BTS [3]

-47 dBm

<REFSENS>+6 dB

UMTS UE [3]

-56 dBm

<REFSENS>+10 dB

UMTS5.0 MHz 2.8 MHz
UMTS5.0 MHz
2.8 MHz

GSM

Figure 1. 3GPP scenario for UMTS900 blocking testing

3. UMTS900 COVERAGE AND DATA RATES

UMTS900 coverage is compared to GSM900 and to UMTS2100 in this section. The following assumptions are used for UMTS:

Data rate for voice 12.2 kbps and for data 64 kbps uplink and more than 500 kbps downlink

Terminal capability 3.6 Mbps downlink (HSDPA Cat 6) and 1.45 Mbps uplink (HSUPA Cat 3)

Base station output power 46 dBm = 40 W

Mobile maximum transmission power 24 dBm

Antenna gain 18 dBi at 2 GHz and 15 dBi at 900 MHz. If larger antennas are allowed in 900 MHz, the antenna gain could be increased to 18 dBi.

Body loss 3 dB for voice and data

Mast head amplifier is used to compensate uplink cable loss

Cable loss (downlink) 3 dB

Base station antenna height 30 m

Mobile antenna height 1.5 m

Slow fading standard deviation 8.0 dB

Location probability 95 %

Okumura-Hata propagation model with correction factor of 5 dB in sub-urban case

Indoor penetration loss 15 dB

UMTS interference margin 3 dB

The cell area in suburban environment is illustrated in Figure 2. The cell area with UMTS2100 is 2.5-3.0 km 2 while UMTS900 pushes the cell area to 7-8 km 2 . The UMTS900 cell area can be 2.5 times larger than UMTS2100 cell area. Alternatively, the UMTS900 network could be deployed with 60% less base station sites than UMTS2100 while maintaining the same coverage. Fewer base station sites directly imply lower cost for the network deployment since most of the costs are related to the base station sites. The calculation also shows that UMTS900 voice and data have similar coverage as GSM900 voice network.

UMTS2100 Data UMTS2100 Voice GSM1800 Voice UMTS900 Data UMTS900 Voice GSM900 Voice 0.0 2.0 4.0
UMTS2100 Data
UMTS2100 Voice
GSM1800 Voice
UMTS900 Data
UMTS900 Voice
GSM900 Voice
0.0
2.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
12.0
14.0

Cell area [km2]

Figure 2. Suburban cell size with 95% indoor coverage

3.0 UMTS900 Downlink UMTS2100 Downlink 2.5 UMTS900 Uplink UMTS2100 Uplink 2.0 +100% 1.5 1.0 +400%
3.0
UMTS900 Downlink
UMTS2100 Downlink
2.5
UMTS900 Uplink
UMTS2100 Uplink
2.0
+100%
1.5
1.0
+400%
0.5
0.0
-90
-95
-100
-105
-110
-115
-120
Mbps

CPICH RSCP [dBm] at 2 GHz

Figure 3. Data rate as a function of CPICH RSCP in noise limited case

Figure 3 presents downlink and uplink data rates as a function of received pilot channel signal power, CPICH RSCP at 2 GHz in noise limited case. It is assumed that UMTS900 RSCP value is 9 dB higher due to lower frequency compared to UMTS2100. The better propagation helps especially uplink data rates that are limited by the terminal output power. At RSCP = -110 dBm the UMTS2100 uplink data rate is 200 kbps while UMTS900 can still transmit in excess of 1 Mbps. The difference in downlink is smaller since base station power of 40 W is much more than terminal power. The downlink improvement is still 100% from 1 Mbps to 2 Mbps at RSCP = -110 dBm. The uplink data rate with UMTS900 happens to be similar to the downlink data rate with UMTS2100. The reason is that the lower propagation loss at 900 MHz compensates the lower transmission power in uplink compared to downlink.

The difference between UMTS900 and UMTS2100 data rates would be less in small cells and in interference limited cases.

G G G U U U G G G U U U
G
G
G
U
U
U
G
G
G
U
U
U

= UMTS900 base stationlimited cases. G G G U U U G G G U U U = GSM900

= GSM900 base stationG G G U U U G G G U U U = UMTS900 base station

Figure 4. Worst case GSM – UMTS interference scenario in uncoordinated deployment

4. UNCOORDINATED GSM900 + UMTS900

3GPP has studied the interference between GSM and UMTS [4]. The simulations show that UMTS does not cause interference to GSM system due to the fast power control in UMTS and due to the narrowband GSM carrier. The interference caused by GSM BTS to UMTS UE has approx 1% capacity loss in UMTS downlink. The most difficult interference scenario is the interference from GSM UE to UMTS BTS. The simulations show up to 2-4% capacity loss in UMTS uplink. The studied scenario is the worst case since the UMTS base stations are located at the edge of GSM cells where the GSM interference levels are at its highest, see Figure 4. In case of co-sited deployment the capacity loss would be substantially smaller as shown in the next section.

5. COORDINATED GSM900 + UMTS900

Coordinated deployment of GSM and UMTS refers to the case where GSM and UMTS are sharing the same site. If GSM and UMTS are deployed by the same operator, they are typically co-sited to save site acquisition and rental costs. When GSM and UMTS are co-sited, the carrier spacing can be pushed smaller than 2.8 MHz. The following sections analyze the required carrier spacing in the coordinated case. The following interference scenarios need to be considered.

UMTS BTS GSM UE and GSM BTS UMTS UE

The received power levels from UMTS BTS and from GSM BTS are similar in the mobile receiver since the base stations are co-sited. Since there are no power differences, the adjacent channel interference rejection is able to prevent inter-system interference even if the carrier separation between GSM and UMTS is less than 2.8 MHz.

UMTS UE GSM BTS

The WCDMA UE uses fast and accurate uplink power control to prevent near-far issues in WCDMA. For most practical data rates, the received uplink WCDMA signal is clearly below noise level and any interference to GSM BTS reception can be avoided.

GSM UE UMTS BTS

The GSM UE does not need fast or accurate power control since GSM users are orthogonal in time domain. The minimum GSM900 UE transmission power is 5 dBm. The potential interference from GSM UE to UMTS BTS can happen when GSM UE comes close to UMTS BTS. If the minimum coupling loss is 75 dB in macro cells, the GSM uplink power level can be 5 dBm – 75 dB = –70 dBm.

6. GSM900 UPLINK POWER LEVEL AND UMTS900 BASE STATION BLOCKING MEASUREMENTS

In order to evaluate the potential interference from GSM UE to UMTS BTS, we have collected the received GSM uplink power levels from live GSM network with thousands of base station sites. The total number of samples is more than 25 billion. The samples are collected from sites with and without mast head amplifier (MHA) and from broadcast control channel (BCCH) and non-BCCH frequencies. The distribution of the received levels is shown in Figure 6. The interesting area is the samples with high values. The percentage of samples above -70 dBm is below 2%. The reasons for these few samples with high values are

Mast head amplifier (MHA) has increased the signal levels by 12 dB. MHA is used in several sites in the network.

Random access (RACH) is transmitted with full mobile power on BCCH frequency

Slow dedicated control channel (SDCCH) is started with full mobile power on BCCH frequency

Uplink power control target level was in normal operation -78 dBm and after handover -72 dBm. These values are fairly close to the level of -70 dBm and some samples will exceed -70 dBm level due to the slow update frequency of GSM power control.

If we would set the uplink power control targets slightly lower than -78/-72 dBm, the number of samples above - 70 dBm level would be even less. If we collect the uplink measurements from non-BCCH frequencies and remove the effect of mast head amplifier, there are practically no samples in macro cells with the level above -70 dBm.

Low path loss Co-sited GSM900
Low path
loss
Co-sited GSM900

+ UMTS900

above -70 dBm. Low path loss Co-sited GSM900 + UMTS900 GSM only terminal close to BTS

GSM only terminal close to BTS at 5 dBm

Figure 5. Worst case GSM – UMTS interference scenario in coordinated deployment

60 % 50 % 40 % 30 % 20 % 10 % 0 % <
60
%
50
%
40
%
30
%
20
%
10
%
0 %
< -100
-100
-95
-95
-90
-90
-80
-80
-70
>-70
Distribution

GSM uplink level [dBm]

Figure 6. Distribution of received GSM uplink levels

The received GSM power levels up to -70 dBm were used in testing the blocking performance of UMTS900 base station receiver with 2.2-MHz carrier spacing. The measurement results show that there is practically no effect from GSM interference to the UMTS900 base station sensitivity.

We can conclude that 2.2 MHz carrier separation is adequate between GSM and UMTS carries in co-sited case based on the interference analysis and measurements in Sections 5 and 6

7. REMAINING GSM900 VOICE CAPACITY

The remaining GSM voice capacity is estimated in two cases: GSM with Adaptive Multirate (AMR) Voice Codec and GSM without AMR. AMR link adaptation allows using smaller frequency reuse factors since higher interference levels can be tolerated. We assume BCCH reuse of 12 with AMR and 15 without AMR. The effective frequency loading (EFL) for the hopping carriers is assumed 20% with AMR and 8% without AMR [5]. If the operator has total 10 MHz or 49 GSM carriers, there are 28 carriers available after UMTS has been deployed. That leaves 13-16 carriers for the hopping layer. The maximum GSM configuration in that case would typically be 4+4+4 with AMR and 2+2+2 without AMR.

The minimum spectrum required to deploy UMTS900 and GSM900 BCCH layer is approximately 7.5 MHz.

8. GSM900 AND UMTS900 ANTENNA SHARING

It is preferable to share antennas and feeders for GSM900 and for UMTS900 to simplify site solution and to make installation faster. It is also preferable to avoid any extra insertion losses in combiners. A typical cross-polarized antenna has two ports where UMTS900 transmission can use one of the antenna ports and GSM900 the other antenna port. The loss in the transmission path is very low. The uplink direction can apply shared mast head amplifiers to compensate uplink losses both for GSM and for UMTS. The antenna sharing solution is illustrated in Figure 7.

9. CONCLUSIONS

The paper shows that UMTS900 can provide 2.5 times larger cell area than UMTS2100 due to better signal propagation at lower frequency. UMTS900 can provide 0.5 Mbps downlink data coverage with GSM900 footprint.

When GSM900 + UMTS900 are co-sited, the most challenging interference scenario is GSM mobile interfering UMTS base station. The reason is the limited power control dynamics in the GSM mobile. GSM live network measurements indicate that the maximum uplink received power levels are below -70 dBm in macro cells when GSM uplink power control is used. WCDMA base station blocking measurements show that GSM blocker at -70 dBm level can be tolerated with 2.2 MHz spacing between GSM and UMTS carriers without degrading UMTS900 reception quality. The 2.2-MHz carrier spacing corresponds to 4.2 MHz spectrum, or 21 GSM carriers, required for UMTS carrier.

If the operator’s spectrum allocation is 10 MHz, or 49 GSM carriers, it leaves 28 GSM carriers when UMTS is deployed. That allows typically 4+4+4 GSM configuration to be used when AMR (Adaptive Multirate) feature is used in GSM. The minimum spectrum for GSM900 + UMTS900 deployment is approximately 7.5 MHz.

10. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors would like to acknowledge Vesa Orava and Marko Salmi from Elisa and Arto Jäntti, Jukka Kämäräinen, Peter Muszynski and Harri Posti from Nokia.

900 MHz antenna shared by GSM and UMTS

 
900 MHz antenna shared by GSM and UMTS    
 

Multiradio

TX loss <0.5 dB RX loss compensated with MHA

 

combiner

GSM BTS

TX/RX RX

 

RX TX/RX

UMTS BTS

Figure 7. Antenna sharing for GSM900 and UMTS900

11. REFERENCES

[1] ECC Decision of 1 December 2006 on the designation of the bands 880-915 MHz, 925-960 MHz, 1710-1785 MHz and 1805-1880 MHz for terrestrial IMT-2000/UMTS systems, (ECC/DEC/(06)13)

[2] 3GPP. TSG RAN. UE Radio transmission and Reception (FDD). 3GPP TS 25.101, 7.6.0, Release 7.

[3] 3GPP. TSG RAN. BS Radio transmission and Reception (FDD). 3GPP TS 25.104, 7.5.0, Release 7.

[4] 3GPP. TSG RAN. UMTS 900 MHz Work Item Technical Report. 3GPP TR 25.816, 7.0.0, Release 7.

[5] Melero, J., Halonen, T. and Romero, J. “GSM, GPRS and EDGE Performance: Evolution Towards 3G/UMTS, 2nd Edition”, 2003.