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Radio Network Planning and Optimisation for UMTS, Second Edition, is a comprehensive and fully updated introduction to WCDMA radio access technology used in UMTS, featuring new content on key developments. Written by leading experts at Nokia, the first edition quickly established itself as a best-selling and highly respected book on how to dimension, plan and optimise UMTS networks. This valuable text examines current and future radio network management issues and their impact on network performance as well as the relevant capacity and coverage enhancement methods.

In addition to coverage of WCDMA radio access technology used in UMTS, and the planning and optimisation of such a system, the service control and management concept in WCDMA and GPRS networks are also introduced. This is an excellent source of information for those considering future cellular networks where Quality of Service (QoS) is of paramount importance.

Key features of the Second Edition include:

  • High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) – physical layer, dimensioning and radio resource management
  • Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms in network for service differentiation
  • Multiple Input – Multiple Output (MIMO) technology
  • Practical network optimisation examples
  • Service optimisation for UMTS and GPRS/EDGE capacity optimisation
  • The ‘hot topic’ of service control and management in WCDMA and GPRS networks, that has evolved since the first edition

Companion website includes:

  • Figures
  • Static radio network simulator implemented in MATLAB®

This text will have instant appeal to wireless operators and network and terminal manufacturers. It will also be essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students, frequency regulation bodies and all those interested in radio network planning and optimisation, particularly RF network systems engineering professionals.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…a wonderful reference for anyone interested in planning radio-based networks." (Computing, May 2, 2007)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470015759
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/13/2006
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 662
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

All three editors work on WCDMA research at Nokia Networks, Nokia Group, Finland. Jaana Laiho is currently Senior Research Engineer at Nokia Networks. More recently she has worked with CDMA issues, particularly UMTS WCDMA radio networks.

Achim Wacker is Senior Research Engineer at Nokia Networks, where he has studied the use of adaptive antennas in radio network planning and WCDMA radio networks.

Tomáš Novosad is Senior Specialist at Nokia Networks, and previously worked at Motorola, European Cellular Infrastructure. Dr. Novosad is oriented towards network planning and WCDMA research, and his technical interests include wireless communication performance, digital modulations and spread spectrum systems.

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Table of Contents




1 Introduction (Jaana Laiho, Achim Wacker, Tomas˘Novos ad, Peter Muszynski, Petri Jolma and Roman Pichna).

1.1 A Brief Look at Cellular History.

1.2 Evolution of Radio Network Planning.

1.3 Introduction to Radio Network Planning and Optimisation for UMTS.

1.4 Future Trends.

2 Introduction to WCDMA for UMTS (Tomáš Novosad, David Soldani, Kari Sipilä, Tero Kola and Achim Wacker).

2.1 MathematicalBackgrou nd of Spread Spectrum CDMA Systems.

2.2 Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum System.

2.3 CDMA in Cellular Radio Networks.

2.4 WCDMA Logical, Transport and Physical Channels.

2.5 WCDMA Radio Link Performance Indicators.

3 WCDMA Radio Network Planning (Achim Wacker, Jaana Laiho, Tomáš Novosad, Terhi Rautiainen and Kimmo Terävä).

3.1 Dimensioning.

3.2 Detailed Planning.

3.3 Verification of Dimensioning with Static Simulations.

3.4 Verification of Static Simulator with Dynamic Simulations.

3.5 Optimisation of the Radio Network Plan.

3.6 Interference in WCDMA Multi-operator Environment.

3.7 Cell Deployment Strategies.

4 Radio Resource Utilisation (Achim Wacker, Jaana Laiho, Tomáš Novosad, David Soldani, Chris Johnson, Tero Kola and Ted Buot).

4.1 Introduction to Radio Resource Management.

4.2 Power Control.

4.3 HandoverControl.

4.4 Congestion Control.

4.5 Resource Management.

4.6 RRU for High-speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA).

4.7 Impact of Radio Resource Utilisation on Network Performance.

5 WCDMA–GSM Co-planning Issues (Kari Heiska, TomášNovos ad, Pauli Aikio, Chris Johnson and Josef Fuhl).

5.1 Radio Frequency Issues.

5.2 Noise Measurements.

5.3 Radio Network Planning Issues.

5.4 Narrowband and WCDMA System Operation in Adjacent Frequency Bands.

6 Coverage and Capacity Enhancement Methods (Chris Johnson, Achim Wacker, Juha Ylitalo and Jyri Hämäläinen).

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Techniques for Improving Coverage.

6.3 Techniques for Improving Capacity.

6.4 Uplink Cell Load and Base Station Transmit Power.

6.5 AdditionalCarrier s and Scrambling Codes.

6.6 Mast Head Amplifiers and Active Antennas.

6.7 Remote RF Head Amplifiers.

6.8 Higher Order Receive Diversity.

6.9 Transmit Diversity.

6.10 Multiple Input Multiple Output in UTRA FDD.

6.11 Beamforming.

6.12 Rollout Optimised Configuration.

6.13 Sectorisation.

6.14 Repeaters.

6.15 Micro-cell Deployment.

6.16 Capacity Upgrade Process.

6.17 Summary of Coverage and Capacity Enhancement Methods.

7 Radio Network Optimisation Process (Jaana Laiho, Markus Djupsund, Anneli Korteniemi, Jochen Grandell and Mikko Toivonen).

7.1 Introduction to Radio Network Optimisation Requirements.

7.2 Introduction to the Telecom Management Network Model.

7.3 Tools in Optimisation.

7.4 Summary.

8 UMTS Quality of Service (Jaana Laiho, Vilho Räisañen and Nilmini Lokuge).

8.1 Definition of Quality of Service.

8.2 End-user Service Classification.

8.3 Characteristics and Requirements of Services.

8.4 3GPP Bearer Concept.

8.5 Overview of 3GPP Quality of Service Architecture.

8.6 Quality of Service Management in UMTS.

8.7 Concluding Remarks.

9 Advanced Analysis Methods and Radio Access Network Autotuning (Jaana Laiho, Pekko Vehviläinen, Albert Höglund, Mikko Kylväjä, Kimmo Valkealahti and Ted Buot).

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 Advanced Analysis Methods for Cellular Networks.

9.3 Automatic Optimisation.

9.4 Summary.

10 Other 3G Radio Access Technologies (Jussi Reunanen, Simon Browne, Pauliina Erätuuli, Ann-Louise Johansson, Martin Kristensson, Jaana Laiho, Mats Larsson, Tomáš Novosad and Jussi Sipola).

10.1 GSM Packet Data Services.

10.2 Time Division Duplex Mode of WCDMA (UTRA TDD).


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First Chapter


Jaana Laiho, Achim Wacker, Tomas Novosad,
Peter Muszynski and Wolfgang Steffens

1.1 A Brief Look at Cellular History

The first cellular system in the world became operational in Tokyo, Japan, in 1979. The network was operated by NTT, known also as a strong driver for cellular systems based on Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA). The system utilised 600 duplex channels in the 800 MHz band, with a channel separation of 25 kHz. Another analogue system in Japan was JTACS. During the 1980s it was realised that, from the users’ point of view, a single air interface was required to provide roaming capabilities. A development study was initiated in 1989 by the Japanese government, and a new digital system, Pacific Digital Cellular (PDC), was introduced in 1991.

In 1981, two years later than in Japan, the cellular era reached Europe. Nordic Mobile Telephone started operations in the 450 MHz band (the NMT-450 system) in Scandinavia. The Total Access Communication System (TACS) was launched in the United Kingdom in 1982, and Extended TACS was deployed in 1985. Subsequently in Germany the C-450 cellular system was introduced in September 1985. Thus, at the end of the 1980s Europe was equipped with several different cellular systems that were unable to interoperate. By then it was clear that first-generation cellular systems were becoming obsolete, since integrated circuit technology had made digital communications not only practical but also more economical than analogue technology. In the early 1990s second-generation (digital) cellular systems began to be deployed throughout the world. Europe led the way by introducing Global System for Mobile communications (GSM). The purpose of GSM was to provide a single unified standard in Europe. This would enable seamless speech services throughout Europe by means of international roaming.

The situation in the United States was somewhat different. Analogue first-generation systems were supported only by the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) standard. There were three lines of development of digital cellular systems in the US. The first digital system, introduced in 1991, was the IS-54 (North American TDMA Digital Cellular), of which a new version supporting additional services (IS-136) was introduced in 1996. Meanwhile, IS-95 (cdmaOne) was introduced in 1993. Both of these standards operate in the same band as AMPS. At the same time, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auctioned a new block of spectrum in the 1900 MHz band (PCS). This allowed GSM1900 to enter the US market.

During the 1990s the world of telecommunications changed dramatically for various technical and political reasons. The widespread use of digital technology has brought about radical changes in services and networks. Furthermore, as time has passed, the world has become smaller: roaming in Japan, roaming in Europe or roaming in the United States is no longer enough, as globalisation demands worldwide capabilities in cellular technology. In addition, the current strong drive towards wireless Internet access through mobile terminals has generated a need for a universal standard. This has become known as the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System, or UMTS.

These new third-generation (3G) networks are being developed by integrating the features of telecommunications and IP-based networks. Networks based on Internet Protocol (IP), initially designed to support data communication, have begun to carry streaming signals such as voice/sound traffic, though with limited voice quality and with delays that are hard to control. Commentaries and predictions regarding wireless broadband communications and wireless Internet access are cultivating visions of unlimited services and applications that will be available to the consumer ‘anywhere, anytime’. Consumers expect to surf the Web, check their emails, download files, make real-time video-conferencing calls and perform a variety of other tasks through wireless communication links. They expect a uniform user interface that will provide access to wireless links whether they are shopping at the mall, waiting at the airport, walking around town, working at the office, or driving on the highway.

The new generation of mobile communications is revolutionary not only in terms of radio access technology, and equally the drive for new technical solutions is not the only motivation for UMTS. The requirements come also from expanded customer demands, new business visions, and new priorities in life.

1.2 Introduction to Radio Network Planning and Optimisation for UMTS

The mobile telecommunications industry throughout the world is currently shifting its focus from second-generation ('2G') to third-generation ('3G') UMTS technology; that is, it is investing in the design and manufacture of advanced mobile Internet/multimedia-capable wireless networks based on the Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) radio access platform. While current 2G wireless networks, in particular the extremely successful and widespread global GSM-based cellular systems, will continue to evolve and to bring such facilities as new Internet packet data services onto the market, more and more radio network planners and other wireless communication professionals are becoming familiar with WCDMA radio technology and are preparing to build and launch high-quality 3G networks. This book has been written in particular for those RF engineering professionals who need to thoroughly understand the key principles in planning and optimising WCDMA radio networks, though it should also prove useful to others in the industry.

Radio network planners particularly face a number of new challenges when moving from the familiar 2G to the new 3G networks, many of them related to the design and planning of true multi-service radio networks, and some to particular aspects of the underlyingWCDMA radio access method. In this introductory chapter we provide a brief outline of these challenges, which will then be discussed in much greater detail in the following chapters of this book.

Before considering in detail what actually will be new (and different) in WCDMA compared to GSM, for example, we summarise here some of the defining characteristics of 3G multi-service radio networks in an abstract setting, regardless of the particular incarnation of the underlying 3G radio access protocol, such as WCDMA or EDGE. Hence, one could attempt to characterise 3G radio access with the following attributes:

  • Highly sophisticated radio interface, aiming at great flexibility in carrying and multiplexing a large set of voice, and in particular data, services, with constant as well as variable throughput ranging from low to very high data rates, ultimately up to 2 Mbps. Efficient support for carrying traffic under IP.
  • Cell coverage and service design for multiple services with largely different bit rates and QoS requirements. Due to the great differences in the resulting radio link budgets, uniform coverage and capacity designs as implemented in today’s voice-only radio networks could no longer be obtained economically for the high bit rate services. Consequently, traffic requirements and QoS targets will have to distinguish between the different services.
  • A large set of sophisticated features and well-designed radio link layer ‘modes’ to ensure very high spectral efficiency in a wide range of operating environments, from large macrocells to small picocells or indoor cells. Examples of such features are various radio link coding/throughput adaptation schemes; support for advanced performance enhancing antenna concepts, such as BS transmission diversity for the downlink; and the enabling of interference cancellation schemes.
  • Efficient interference averaging mechanisms and robustness to enable operation in a strongly interference-limited environment in order to support very low frequency reuse, with the goal of achieving high spectral efficiency. This will require good dominance of, and striving for, maximum isolation between cells through the proper choice of site locations, antenna beamwidths, tilts, orientation, and so on. Tight frequency reuse in conjunction with interference-limited operation, on the other hand, means that cell breathing effects will necessarily occur.
  • Extensive use of ‘best effort’ provision of packet data capacity. Temporarily unused radio resource capacity will be made available to the packet data connections in a flexible and fair manner so as to improve the commonly perceived QoS. This will result in networks operating at a higher spectral loading compared to today’s voice-dominated networks. This higher load on the RF spectrum will result in higher interference levels, thus requiring ever better RF planning to achieve high throughput. This trend is amplified by the signifi- cant spectrum licensing costs which some service providers, especially in Europe, are having to bear for providing their 3G services.
  • IP packet services, with their possibly ‘unlimited’ demand for radio capacity together with network-based best-effort packet data allocation and strong interference limitations, will place a higher than ever burden on pre- and post-deployment optimisation of the cell sites, if satisfactory cell throughput and QoS targets are to be met. As a consequence, the effort and cost of the radio network optimisation phase will exceed that of today’s 2G networks, in which the primary burden is on initial frequency planning. Furthermore, the current practice of using the ample available 2G spectrum to circumvent interference problems by appropriate frequency planning will no longer be viable for the high-throughput services relying on high spectral efficiency and tight reuse of the available spectrum.
  • In order to provide ultimately high radio capacity, 3G networks must offer efficient means for multi-layered network operation, supporting micro- and picocellular layers, for example, and ways of moving the traffic efficiently between these layers as appropriate. This will require efficient interlayer handover mechanisms, together with the required dimensioning and RF planning of the cell layers.
  • Introduction and roll-out of 3G networks will be costly and will happen within a very competitive environment, with mature 2G (e.g. GSM) networks guiding end-users’ expectations of service availability and quality. Therefore, service providers will utilise their existing GSM networks to the fullest possible extent. The most obvious way to do this is to use the comprehensive GSM footprint as a coverage extension of 3G, providing 3G services initially only in limited, typically urban, areas, thus relying on 3G to GSM intersystem handover to provide coverage continuity for basic services. Therefore, it will be important for 3G service providers to implement 3G handover to GSM cells, in order to accelerate 3G roll-out and minimise up-front deployment costs. This will require RF planning methods that allow for joint 2G–3G coverage and capacity planning, i.e. some degree of integration of the tools and practices used.
  • Another very important aspect is the possibility of co-siting 3G sites with existing 2G sites, reducing costs and overheads during site acquisition and maintenance. However, such cositing raises a number of issues for the radio network planner to consider. Should shared antenna solutions be used? Would the RF quality of the underlying 2G network meet acceptable standards for the 3G quality targets, or would there have to be a prior optimisation phase for the 2G sites? Might there exist other constraints on site reuse, such as shelter space? Are there any potential interference-related problems in co-siting? And so forth. Again, an integrated approach, recognising the operation of 3G jointly with 2G from a multi-radio perspective with the goal of achieving a good cost/performance ratio for both systems operating concurrently, will be required.

Any generic radio access method (TDMA, FDMA, CDMA, OFDM, etc.) designed for high spectral efficiency operation and to meet the above 3G service requirements would face the issues listed, which suggests that most of the challenges faced by network planners in moving towards 3G actually stem from dealing with an integrated multi-service, multi-datarate system providing end-users with capacity and bit rates on demand, rather than predominantly from the radio protocol, WCDMA.

What, therefore, are the radio network planning challenges specific to WCDMA? Obviously there are many differences in detail between WCDMA and GSM, in the radio network parameters, for example, but let’s look at the more fundamental differences.

  • Planning of soft(er) handover overhead. Soft handover is a feature specific to CDMA systems, such as IS-95 based systems, or as in our case WCDMA. However, a closer look reveals that minimising soft handover overhead is closely correlated with establishing proper cell dominance, which we have already identified as generically desirable for maturing 2G systems as well. Thus, planning for low soft handover overheads does not require any new skills or tools, but rather adherence to good radio network planning practices already known from today’s systems.
  • Cell dominance and isolation. These will become relatively more important in WCDMA than in 2G, due to the frequency reuse in WCDMA being 1 (in other systems it is greater) and the resulting closer coupling of mutually interfering, nearby cells. WCDMA will ‘see’ Radio Network Planning and Optimisation for UMTS 4 different and, of course, more sites/cells than GSM does. This is particularly relevant when 2G–3G co-siting and antenna sharing is attempted.
  • Vulnerability to ‘external’ interference, e.g. interference leaking from adjacent carriers used in other systems or similar interference between different WCDMA cell layers. Again, this issue is not so much specific to WCDMA, but its importance has been dramatically increased: with an operating bandwidth of 5 MHz, a single WCDMA carrier can consume as much as 25–50% of a service provider’s available spectrum. Any residual interference leaking into a WCDMA carrier and desensitising the receivers will have a much more dramatic impact on service quality than for today’s 2G narrowband systems.

In this introduction we have taken a ‘bird’s eye’ view of WCDMA. Summarising, we can see some new challenges and certainly much new detail for the designer to consider when planning WCDMA networks, yet in a way there is very little new about planning WCDMA: it merely requires good planning practices from today’s wireless systems to be recognised and implemented in a consequent and disciplined fashion.

But exactly where do radio network planning and optimisation fit into the whole UMTS mobile network business concept? In terms of technological expertise, mobile networks represent a heavy investment in human resources. This will be even more true for 3G networks. However, not only are mobile networks technologically advanced, but the technology has to be fine-tuned to meet demanding coverage, quality, traffic and economic requirements. Operators naturally expect to maximise the economic returns from their investment in the network infrastructure – i.e. from capital expenditure (CAPEX). Here we should note two important aspects of network performance – planning and optimisation. Any network needs to be both planned and optimised. To what degree depends on the overall economic climate, but network optimisation is much easier and much more efficient if the network is already well planned initially. A poorly laid out network will prove difficult to optimise to meet long-term business or technical expectations. Optimisation is a continuous process that is part of the operating costs of the network, i.e. its operational expenditure (OPEX). However, the concept of autotuning (see Chapter 10) offers new opportunities for performing the optimisation process quickly and efficiently, with minimal contribution from OPEX, in order to maximise network revenues.

Operators face the following challenges in the planning of 3G networks:

  • Planning means not only meeting current standards and demands, but also complying with future requirements in the sense of an acceptable development path.
  • There is much uncertainty about future traffic growth and the expected proportions of different kinds of traffic and different data rates.
  • New and demanding high bit rate services require knowledge of coverage and capacity enhancement methods and advanced site solutions.
  • Network planning faces real constraints. Operators with existing networks may have to colocate future sites for either economic, technical or planning reasons. Greenfield operators are subject to more and more environmental and land-use considerations in acquiring and developing new sites.
  • In general, all 3G systems show a certain relation between capacity and coverage, so the network planning process itself depends not only on propagation but also on cell load. Thus, the results of network planning are sensitive to the capacity requirements, which makes the process less straightforward. Ideally, sites should be selected based on network analysis with the planned load and traffic/service portfolio. This requires more analysis with the planning tools and immediate feedback from the operating network. The 3G revolution forces operators to abandon the ‘coverage first, capacity later’ philosophy. Furthermore, because of the potential for mutual interference, sites need to be selected in groups. This fact should be considered in planning and optimisation.

1.3 Future Trends

Even though 3G telecommunications systems are still under development and not yet in widespread operation throughout the world, it is not possible to stand still. In today’s fastmoving information society, continuous improvement is essential. This applies equally to 3G systems themselves, which have already evolved a long way from the first such systems in terms of services and capacities. Although the detailed steps in their evolution since 3GPP R99 are still somewhat unclear, some long-term trends are already visible. One major change will be separating more or less completely the user plane from the control plane, changing more and more from circuit switched to packet switched connections, thus making the whole network ready to be based completely on IP technology. The technology for accessing a network and transporting the information will become less important, but greater emphasis will be put on the services and the quality thereof. Users will no longer even know which access technology they are using – they will just request a service and the network will decide at the time on the optimum technology (GSM/EDGE, CMDA2000, WCDMA, WLAN, DVB, etc.) to provide it.

And what comes after 3G? Obviously, 4G – but nobody knows yet what it will be! Fortunately, also here there seems to be some consensus on the features of such a system. Even higher bit rates will be supported, averaging perhaps around 2 Mbps with some peaks at 20 Mbps and in extreme cases up to 200 Mbps. But maybe more significant than the bit rate will be the capabilities beyond those of current systems that speculatively include even smaller cells, self-planning dynamic topologies, full integration of IP, more flexible use of the spectrum and other resources, and utilisation of precise user position. Perhaps more likely than a completely new air interface (though OFDM seems to be a promising access technique) is an even more flexible one with bigger bandwidth (e.g. 20–100 MHz). Quality of service for end-users will play a more important role, so that even radio resource management, for example intersystem handovers, might be based on, for example, changing quality requirements or swapping services during one communication.

As to trends in services, it will become more and more important to deliver the right information at the right time and to the right place. Content and applications become of high importance.

Location-based services (LCS) are enabling a variety of new applications and are complementing many existing applications with a new dimension. It is thought that many services will exist at the same time in different environments and with different resolutions.

The mobile society is big and has many faces, each with its own requirements. Therefore there is a need for correct market segmentation to match services, costs and user profiles. Location-based services are adding value to users but also to many third parties. One could categorise users into commercial users, private users, private users with advanced needs, and operators.

Commercial users such as transportation and taxi companies will find much of value in the new services. Fleet management could be seen as a basic-level application, whereas route finding would require a higher level of quality. Additional investment in high-end mobile phones could be justified to improve operational efficiency.

For most private users, personal applications are more important, such as friend finder and Yellow Pages. Location-based services are helping users receive the answers to their enquiries quickly and directly, with exactly the right location information. They are generally sensitive to mobile phone costs and will benefit from more efficient services.

There are also private users who have more specialised needs and require fuller and more accurate location information, in addition to basic services. They require a higher quality of service, similar to such as a commercial user would need. Location-based services could include navigation for people on the move, which requires fast download of large amounts of data, such as maps and street plans.

Different locations have practical boundaries. For example, in an urban environment, basic location methods are quite accurate, due to the small cell sizes. The mobile user might be located with a predictable accuracy which could be assumed is within walking distance of a person. Here the quality of the content seems to become more important. Such high accuracy may not be considered so necessary by users in a rural situation. On the other hand, there are applications such as navigation or rescue services that require exactly the same location accuracy independently of geographical area.

Many location-based services are already possible today provided that the location is input manually. The enhancement of those services with automatic location by the network will add value for all parties. In the end the market will decide on service profitability and on which location methods will succeed. Location-based services, as well as many other applications, are already well underway.

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