Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Cellular capacity estimation from ANTIUM measurements

For a UMTS operator, the ANTIUM tool is very useful in order to analyse interference situations, to optimise the radio planning process and also to estimate the cellular capacity from simple measurements. In fact, by measuring different radio parameters such as P PCICH level, Ec/I0, total interference factor, number of BTS in the active set, it is not only possible to optimise the 3G network planning process but it is also possible to analyse and estimate the network cellular capacity. Combining ANTIUM field trials measurements and a simulation tool developed for that purpose, it allows us to estimate the capacity of a site or the impact of certain radio planning parameters such as the active set margin on capacity and power consumption. This is very valuable for an operator during the deployment phase and afterwards. For example, it is possible to use estimated traffic volume as an input and estimate the needed BTS power in order to decide whether the network planning is correct or if it will be necessary to add new base stations in the future (as a function of traffic volume forecast).

Some tests based on a fiels trial in Paris have been performed and used as an input for the capacity estimator. One of the conclusions we can draw is that intermediate values of the active set margin (3dB or 5dB) are more suitable for resource consumption optimisation. Thus, by reducing the required base station power, soft handover optimisation can increase capacity by a factor of 30%. We can see that this effect depends on the environment (different optimal soft handover margins for different sites). This result is non-trivial and very valuable for an operator.

Another possible operational use for a UMTS operator is the analysis of the impact of the target Block Error Rate (BLER). This is an important parameter in the QoS profile that characterizes the UMTS Radio Bearer. It is usually set to 1% for conversational services such as voice and to 10% for data services such as web browsing (because these services often rely on layer 2 retransmissions). Of course, when the target BLER decreases, the power required serving users increases. These results also help the operator to tune the QoS profile parameters as a function of the network performance. Given a certain configuration, (active set margin, traffic model, BLER, site...), it is also possible to determine the number of Erlang a cell is able to serve for a given blocking rate. Moreover, such a graph can be established for any service (voice and data) at any bit rate.

Reported by

Bouygues Telecom SA
20 quai du point du jour
92100 Boulogne
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