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WCDMA Network Deployment Issues and

Qualcomm ESG

Q U A L C O M M C O N F I D E N T I A L 1
WCDMA Network Planning WCDMA vs GSM Network Planning (1 of 2)

WCDMA is the 3G evolution of GSM

When GSM operators are upgrading the networks to WCDMA,
network planning approach is typically strongly influenced by
GSM planning techniques
There are differences in GSM and WCDMA planning!!

In GSM planning, received downlink signal strength is used for

coverage design
Interference is managed by frequency planning at the next stage
Significant cell-to-cell interference (co-channel) can be eliminated by
assigning different frequency carriers
Bad RF design can be masked if the number of GSM carriers is
sufficient to eliminate cell-to-cell interference
Spectrum utilization becomes inefficient

Q U A L C O M M C O N F I D E N T I A L 2
WCDMA Network Planning WCDMA vs GSM Network Planning (2 of 2)

In WCDMA, frequency reuse is ONE meaning that each cell uses

the same frequency
Co-channel interference exists between cells and between users
Co-channel interference is reduced by CDMA technology
spreading and de-spreading steps result in processing gain
CDMA advantages diminish if interference is uncontrolled

WCDMA coverage planning needs to consider both received

downlink signal strength and interference!!
Too much cell overlap and overshooting cells will cause
unnecessary interference
Interference will limit WCDMA network capacity

Q U A L C O M M C O N F I D E N T I A L 3
WCDMA Network Planning Common Mistakes

Adopting 1:1 overlay of WCDMA on GSM without design

There are lots of GSM capacity sites which can be very dense (<300
m spacing)
Without proper RF planning, this can cause significant interference!

Relying too heavily on received signal strength planning

(neglecting interference)
WCDMA coverage depends on both RSCP (signal strength) and
Ec/No (similar to C/I in GSM) which are equally important

Designing many cells in a hotspot to provide more capacity

Ec/No can be impacted unnecessarily
This can lead to pilot pollution when there are more cells than what
can be supported in soft handover, and the additional cells are just
Q U A L C O M M C O N F I D E N T I A L 4
WCDMA Network Planning Common Mistakes

Using umbrella cells (common in GSM) to provide wide area

Umbrella cells create too much interference to the wide area unless
a different frequency carrier is used (but there are typically not many
5MHz WCDMA carriers)

Design guidelines not considering increase in network loading

The design guidelines should consider what could be offered to the
customers even when the network is fully loaded
For example, if RF optimization target for Ec/No is -10 dB over 95%
of area in unloaded network
Then Ec/No will be around -17 dB in loaded NW
PS data throughput of 64 kbps can be supported at best
Then, the constructed network will not be able to meet the market
expectations if PS128kbps is the guaranteed minimum data rate
Higher target for Ec/No should be used!!
Q U A L C O M M C O N F I D E N T I A L 5
WCDMA Network Planning Common Mistakes

Focusing only on common channel coverage (i.e., CPICH)

Good CPICH coverage (high Ec/No and RSCP) is important for
system acquisition but it is not everything
Service coverage may not necessarily be good because it depends
also on:
Call Setup:
Random access settings need to be configured properly
Call Retention
Power allocation and power control settings need to be
configured properly
Link budgets for different services (AMR, CS64, PS64, PS384,
HSDPA, HSUPA, etc.) should be set up properly
Note that soft handover is not supported for HSDPA only
one HSDPA serving cell, and this requires pilot dominance
and good RF plan to achieve good performance!

Q U A L C O M M C O N F I D E N T I A L 6
Network Planning Steps Obtain Propagation
Network Model Tuning
Critical aspects
Define traffic demand and the
associated call/user models Project Setup
Ensure that the assumptions
reflect the actual configuration Nominal Design
Ensure that design guidelines
are appropriate Site Acquisition & Review
Ensure that coverage and
capacity design are run
concurrently (and iteratively) as Design for Design for
both interact with each other Capacity Coverage


Initial Optimization
Q U A L C O M M C O N F I D E N T I A L 7
Designing with GSM Sites Site Categorization
Categorize the GSM sites:

Capacity Sites: are for consideration only when coverage sites are
not providing sufficient coverage

Coverage Sites: further categorization should be done

Full configuration control: full flexibility in changing antenna

type, azimuth, down tilt and so on
Limited configuration control: limited flexibility in changing
antenna type, azimuth, down tilt and so on
No configuration control: no flexibility in changing antenna
type, azimuth, down tilt and so on
Umbrella/Boomer Sites: SHOULD NOT be used to avoid high
interference to wide area

Q U A L C O M M C O N F I D E N T I A L 8
Designing with GSM Sites Site Evaluation

Learn from the existing sites:

Network planning tool can provide coverage estimation
Coverage can be verified with estimates based on GSM
measurements (GSM1800/GSM1900), with a frequency
correction factor of 1.5 to 2.5 dB (2.2 is typical)

Can be estimated from network simulations
Can also be compared to estimates based on GSM C/I

Q U A L C O M M C O N F I D E N T I A L 9
Designing with GSM Sites Site Selection

Site selection

Verify whether sites can be discarded:

Assess the sites with no configuration flexibility first.
Assess the sites with limited configuration second.

When antenna sharing is the only option:

Use a dual-band (or tri-band) antenna instead of a wideband
Select an antenna with variable electrical tilt, independently
controlled for each band.
Plan these sites first.

Q U A L C O M M C O N F I D E N T I A L 10