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Planning Guideline:
SDCCH dimensioning

Issued by
Communication Mobile Networks
Com MN PG NT NE 1
Munich
© SIEMENS AG 2005

The reproduction, transmission or use of this document or its contents is not permitted without express written authority.
Offenders will be liable for damages. All rights, including rights created by patent grant or registration of a utility model or
design, are reserved. Technical modifications are possible. Technical specifications and features are binding only in so
far as they are specifically and expressly agreed upon in a written contract.
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Contents

1.1 HISTORY...................................................................................................................... 4
1.2 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................... 4
1.3 ABBREVIATIONS, DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS................................................... 5
2 GENERAL INFORMATION ....................................................................................... 10
2.1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................... 10
2.2 DEFINITIONS.............................................................................................................. 11
3 INTRODUCTION TO STANDALONE DEDICATED CONTROL CHANNEL ... 12

4 FEATURES RELATED TO SDCCH .......................................................................... 16


4.1 SDCCH HANDOVERS ................................................................................................ 16
4.2 DIRECT TCH ASSIGNMENT ....................................................................................... 18
4.3 CELL BROADCAST CHANNEL .................................................................................... 18
4.4 SMOOTH CHANNEL MODIFICATION ........................................................................... 19
4.4.1 SDCCH allocation in case of SCM .................................................................. 22
4.4.2 TCH allocation in case of SCM........................................................................ 23
4.4.3 Recommendations for configuration of TCHSDs for SCM .............................. 23
5 SDCCH CONFIGURATIONS...................................................................................... 24
5.1 SDCCH/4 ................................................................................................................. 24
5.2 SDCCH/8 ................................................................................................................. 24
5.3 POSSIBLE CHANNEL CONFIGURATIONS WITH SDCCH ............................................... 25
5.4 SDCCH WITH CBCH................................................................................................ 27
5.5 SDCCH IN CASE OF DUAL BAND STANDARD CELL .................................................. 28
5.6 SDCCH LIMITATIONS ............................................................................................... 29
5.7 LIMITATIONS OF CHANNEL TYPE TCHSD.................................................................. 29
6 SIGNALING EVENTS WHICH REQUIRE SDCCH RESOURCES ...................... 30
6.1 CALL SETUP............................................................................................................... 30
6.2 LOCATION UPDATE ................................................................................................... 30
6.3 PERIODIC REGISTRATION (PERIODIC LOCATION UPDATE)......................................... 31
6.4 SHORT MESSAGE SERVICE ........................................................................................ 31
6.5 SUPPLEMENTARY SERVICES MANAGEMENT .............................................................. 32
6.6 UNSTRUCTURED SUPPLEMENTARY SERVICE DATA ................................................... 32
6.7 IMSI ATTACH / DETACH ........................................................................................... 32
6.8 LOCATION REQUEST.................................................................................................. 33
6.9 PHANTOM RACH...................................................................................................... 33
7 SDCCH CHANNEL PLANNING AND DIMENSIONING....................................... 35
7.1 SDCCH SEIZURE TIMES ............................................................................................ 38
7.2 SDCCH LOAD GENERATED BY SUBSCRIBER .............................................................. 39
7.2.1 Call attempt ...................................................................................................... 39
7.2.2 Location Update............................................................................................... 39
7.2.3 Periodic Registration (Periodic Location Update).......................................... 39
7.2.4 SMS................................................................................................................... 40
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7.2.5 Location Request .............................................................................................. 40
7.2.6 IMSI Attach/Detach.......................................................................................... 40
7.3 REQUIRED AMOUNT OF SDCCH RESOURCES PER CELL ............................................. 40
7.3.1 Mixture of HR and FR...................................................................................... 47
8 DIMENSIONING EXAMPLES.................................................................................... 51
8.1 EXAMPLE OF MIXTURE OF FR AND HR...................................................................... 51
8.1.1 Example using values from HR/FR tables........................................................ 51
8.1.2 Complete calculation (without HR/FR tables) ................................................. 52
8.2 DIMENSIONING EXAMPLE OF SMS CELL BROADCAST IMPLEMENTATION.................. 56
8.3 SDCCH IN CASE OF DUAL BAND STANDARD CELL .................................................. 59
9 APPENDIX A: SIEMENS TRAFFIC MODEL .......................................................... 62

10 APPENDIX B: DESCRIPTION OF MESSAGES USED IN MESSAGE FLOWS


63

11 APPENDIX C: USE CASE: SDCCH CREATION FOR A CELL ....................... 65

12 APPENDIX D: PARAMETERS AND SETTINGS ................................................ 66


12.1 SIEMENS BSS PARAMETERS RELEVANT FOR SDCCH CHANNEL ................................ 66
12.2 PARAMETERS FOR SMOOTH CHANNEL MODIFICATION .............................................. 67
13 APPENDIX E: PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENTS AND COUNTERS........ 68
13.1 SDCCH RELATED MEASUREMENTS ........................................................................... 68
13.2 TCH AND SDCCH ASSIGNMENT RELATED MEASUREMENTS ................................... 68
13.3 RELEASE AND LOSS OF DEDICATED CONNECTIONS RELATED MEASUREMENTS........ 69
13.4 HANDOVER RELATED MEASUREMENTS .................................................................... 69
13.5 MISCELLANEOUS MEASUREMENTS ........................................................................... 70
13.6 SCM RELATED MEASUREMENTS .............................................................................. 70

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1.1 History

Version Date Chapter(s) Changes / Reasons


1.0 07.2006 All First version of document.

1.2 References
The following documents are relevant and will be used as references in the
forthcoming chapters of this document:
[CML] Command Manual, CML: BSC, BR8.0
[PMMF] Performance Measurement, PM: SBS Message Flows BR 8.0
[PMC] Performance Measurement, PM: SBS Counters, BR8.0
[DB] SBS BSC Database Parameter Description BR8.0

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1.3 Abbreviations, Definitions and Explanations
Abbreviations and definitions used throughout the document are explained in the
table below.

Abbreviation Definition, explanation


3GPP 3rd Generation Partnership Project
Abis Interface between BSC and BTSE(s)
AGCH Access Grant Channel
BSDCCH Blocking rate on SDCCH channel
Bsignaling Blocking rate for signaling
BTCH Blocking rate on TCH channels
BBSIG Baseband and Signaling board
BCCH Broadcast Control Channel
BER Bit Error Rate
BH Busy Hour
BSC Base Station Controller
BSSMAP Base Station Management Application Part
BTSE Base Transceiver Station Equipment
Capacity of SDCCH channels (= number of Erlangs that can be
capSDCCH
conveyed by all SDCCH sub-channels (usually per cell))
Capacity of TCH channels (= number of Erlangs that can be
capTCH
conveyed by all TCHs (usually per cell))
CB Call Barring
CBC Cell Broadcast Centre
CBCH Cell Broadcast Channel
CBS Cell Broadcast Services
CCCH Common Control Channel
CCH Control Channel
CF Call Forwarding
CITA Cell Identifier Timing Advance
CLIR Calling Line Identification Restriction
CS Circuit Switched
CU Carrier Unit
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Abbreviation Definition, explanation
DCCH Dedicated Control Channel
DL Downlink
DR-TCH Dual Rate TCH (Full Rate or Half Rate)
DT1 Data Form 1; SCCP Message
DTAP Direct Transfer Application Part
Erl Erlang
fErlangB Erlang B formula
FACCH Fast Associated Control Channel
FR Full Rate
FR% Full Rate percentage
FRTRUNKS Number of Full Rate trunks
HLR Home Location Register
HO Handover
HR Half Rate
HRTRUNKS Number of Half Rate trunks
IF Interface
IMEI International Mobile Equipment Identification
IMSI International Mobile Subscriber Identity
KPI Key Performance Indicators
LA Location Area
LAPD Link Access Procedure on the D channel
Link Access Protocol on Dm Channel; Maintenance information
LAPDm
exchange
LCS Location Services
loadsub,SDCCH SDCCH load per subscriber
loadsub,TCH TCH traffic per subscriber
LPDLR LAPD Link Radio Signaling
LR Location Request
LUP Location Update
MOC Mobile Originating Call attempt
MS Mobile Station
MSC Mobile Switching Center
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Abbreviation Definition, explanation
MSLS Multi Service Layer Support
MTC Mobile Terminating Call attempt
NCA/sub, BH Number of Call Attempts per subscriber per Busy Hour
NLR Number of Location Requests per subscriber and BH
NLUP Number of Location Updates per subscriber and BH
NMOC Mobile Originating Call attempts per subscriber and BH
NMTC Mobile Terminating Call attempts per subscriber and BH
NP-LUP Number of Periodic Location Updates per subscriber and BH
NSMS Number of SMS messages per subscriber and BH
NSS/USSD Number of SS/USSD messages per subscriber and BH
NTRX, cell Number of TRXs per cell
PCH Paging Channel
PLMN Public Land Mobile Network
PM Performance Management
RACH Random Access Channel
RR Radio Resources
RSL Radio Signaling Link
RSSI Received Signal Strength Indicator
RxLevel Receive Level
RxQual Receive Quality
SACCH` Slow Associated Control Channel
SBS Siemens BSS System
SCCP Signaling Connection Control Part
SCI Subscriber Controlled Input
SCM Smooth Channel Modification
SDCCH Standalone Dedicated Control Channel
One of 4 SDCCH/4 sub-channel in combined configuration or
SDCCH/4
group of SDCCH/4 sub-channels within combined configuration
One of 8 SDCCH/8 sub-channel in uncombined configuration or
SDCCH/8
group of SDCCH/8 sub-channels within one TS
A variable corresponding to amount of SDCCH load in a cell for
SDCCHLOAD
certain number of subscribers
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Abbreviation Definition, explanation
SDCCHSUB-CHANNELS Number of SDCCH sub-channels
SDCCHTS Number of SDCCH timeslots
SLL Service Layer List
SMLC Serving Mobile Location Centre
SMS Short Message Service
SNIR Signal to Noise and Interferer Ratio
SOVA Input Soft decision Value for the decoder
SS Supplementary Services Management
STM Siemens Traffic Model
Subscriber capacity of SDCCHs (= number of subscribers that
subSDCCH
can be served by SDCCHs)
Subscriber capacity of TCHs (= number of subscribers that can
subTCH
be served by TCHs)
tcall setup The time an SDCCH is seized by an call setup
tLR The time an SDCCH is seized by an Location Request
tLUP The time an SDCCH is seized by an Location Update
tSMS The time an SDCCH is seized by an SMS message
The time an SDCCH is seized by a SS/USSD message to be
tSS/USSD
sent
Tmh Mean holding time
TCH Traffic Channel
A variable corresponding to amount of traffic in a cell for certain
TCHtraffic
number of subscribers
TCHTRUNKS Number of TCH trunks
TEI Terminal Endpoint Identifier
TMSI Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity
TRAU Transcoding and Rate Adaptation Unit
TRX Transmitter / Receiver
TS Timeslot
TSFR Number of TSs for Full Rate traffic
TSHR Number of TSs for Half Rate traffic
TSsign Number of TSs for signaling (include SDCCHTS)

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Abbreviation Definition, explanation
TSTCH Number of TSs for TCH channels
Um Air interface
UL Uplink
USSD Unstructured Supplementary Services Data
VLR Visiting Location Register

In some equations presented in this document the following symbols are used:

Abbreviation Type Definition, explanation


⎣x ⎦ Bracket Round down of evaluated ‘x’ value, i.e. ⎣π ⎦ = 3

⎡x ⎤ Bracket Round up of evaluated ‘x’ value, i.e. ⎡π ⎤ = 4

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2 General Information
The purpose of this document is to present SDCCH dimensioning aspects and to
serve as a guidebook for dimensioning of signaling channels on air interface for
Siemens BSS. This document presents the different possible configurations of
SDCCH channels with recommendations which configuration should be used in
which case. The document also describes the events and transactions that require
the allocation of SDCCH resources. In addition, the mean values of the SDCCH
holding times associated to these SDCCH transactions are shown to give a detailed
overview of the SDCCH requirements. The document explains in detail how the
number of required SDCCH resources must be calculated depending on given
conditions and requirements.

2.1 Introduction
Dimensioning examples of SDCCH and TCH channels given in the document are
based on Siemens Traffic Model. This traffic model is included in Appendix A:
Siemens Traffic Model.

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2.2 Definitions
Few definitions were provided as an introduction to the document in order to avoid
misunderstandings in meaning of certain technical terminology.

Control channels – denotes channels used for signaling and controlling, like e.g.
SCH, BCCH, SACCH, RACH, SDCCH.
SDCCH load – a term describing signaling, user data, etc. conveyed by SDCCH
channels. Please also refer to definition of the term ‘signaling.’
Signaling – load which is not (directly) generated by subscribers (i.e. measurements,
control messages etc.). To describe signaling a term ‘signaling load’ will be used in
compare to term ‘traffic’ which will be used only with respect to TCH load.
Sub-channel – a term describing one of SDCCH/8 (uncombined configuration) or
SDCCH/4 (combined configuration) channels. E.g. one SDCCH/8 channel (which
require one radio TS) is composed of 8 SDCCH/8 sub-channels.
Sub-slot – term used to describe one HR trunk, where one timeslot can convey two
HR trunks.
TCH traffic – a term describing, within this document, load conveyed by TCH
channels. Please also refer to definition of ‘signaling’.
Timeslot - one of 8 TDMA carriers conveyed by one radio carrier (i.e. by one TRX by
means of hardware).
Traffic – this term denotes carried calls. Term traffic will be used only to describe
load generated by user (e.g. TCH traffic). Please compare this description with
definition of ‘signaling’.
Trunk - traffic channel element that can be used for a single call. This element may
be only a subset of a physical channel (timeslot). For example, a HR trunk
corresponds to one Halfrate sub-slot of a physical dual rate timeslot (i.e. one timeslot
corresponds to two HR trunks or one FR trunk). E.g. one trunk conveys one TCH
channel which requires one timeslot in case of Full Rate traffic or half of timeslot in
case of HR traffic.

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3 Introduction to Standalone Dedicated Control Channel
The SDCCH load in network consists of call establishments, Location Updates
(normal and periodic ones), SMS messages and few other events. The signaling load
is conveyed by signaling channels depicted in figures below. As can be seen
Standalone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH) belongs to Dedicated Control
Channel (DCCH) group which belongs to Control Channels (CCH) group:

Figure 1: Logical Channel types

Figure 2: Dedicated Control Channels

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An SDCCH channel is required for call establishments in voice services and carries
also non-call-associated signaling information, e.g. for mobility management such as
Location Updates and Attach/Detach procedures or user data transfers processed via
SDCCH, such as SMSs or Supplementary Service management. Additionally, the
SDCCH is utilized to support Location Services (LCS).
Every call (MOC, MTC) or dedicated transaction (LUP, SMS, IMSI Detach etc.)
requires the assignment of a dedicated signaling channel. In mobile originating
procedures, the MS starts a connection establishment by sending CHANNEL
REQUEST message on the Random Access Channel (RACH). The assignment of a
dedicated signaling channel is performed using the IMMEDIATE ASSIGNMENT
procedure. Once the network has received the CHANNEL REQUEST message, it
reserves an SDCCH sub-channel (if there is an idle SDCCH available) for
subsequent signaling and sends IMMEDIATE ASSIGNMENT message on the AGCH
channel, which is used to forward this message to MS. If all the SDCCH
sub-channels are occupied (busy), the network rejects the SDCCH request by
sending an IMMEDIATE ASSIGNMENT REJECT message.
The allocated SDCCH channel is used for the security procedures such as
authentication and transmission of ciphering parameters and call initialization
(exchange of MS capabilities and service requirements). In case of a call (MOC,
MTC) a traffic channel is requested and allocated, if available. After successful
seizure of the allocated TCH by the MS (or after unsuccessful TCH allocation and
seizure), the SDCCH is released.
The figure below shows the basic successful message flow of an originating SDCCH
request and the subsequent (immediate) assignment procedure that takes place for
each call transaction procedure requiring a dedicated control channel (assuming that
Direct TCH Assignment is disabled). A short description of message acronyms used
in the presented message flows can be found in chapter 10: Appendix B: Description
of messages used in message flows.
Please do also refer to customer document [PMMF] (Performance Measurement,
PM: SBS Message Flows) for further message flows and details about transactions
performed on a SDCCH.

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Figure 3: Signaling procedure for CS during mobile originating call

A similar procedure takes place in Mobile Terminating Call. A PAGING REQUEST


message is sent on the PCH channel (broadcast message) to the cells within the
Location Area in which the called MS performed the last Location Update, in order to
find appropriate MS in one of the cells associated to the Location Area. When called
MS receives PAGING REQUEST message, it sends CHANNEL REQUEST via
RACH (just like in originating mobile) in order to transmit the PAGING RESPONSE to
the network via the dedicated control channel. If an unoccupied SDCCH is available,
the network grants the SDCCH by sending a corresponding IMMEDIATE
ASSIGNMENT message on the AGCH.
In downlink direction the AGCHs and PCHs share the same CCCH resources on
radio interface. This means that the same resources (CCCH blocks) are used for
transmission of PAGING REQUEST message (on PCH channel) and IMMEDIATE
ASSIGNMENT messages.

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Figure 4: Signaling procedure for CS during mobile terminating call

For further details related to message flows please refer to customer document
[PMMF] (Performance Measurement, PM: SBS Message Flows).

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4 Features related to SDCCH
The following sub-chapters describe the most relevant signaling features that impact
the SDCCH channel load, dimensioning and functionality.

4.1 SDCCH handovers


Usually the seizure time of an SDCCH channel is so short that a channel change via
handover is not needed (and also not favourable, especially if the time needed for the
signaling and execution of the handover procedure is longer than the SDCCH
seizure). SDCCH seizure periods may be longer in particular cases only, e.g. in case
of TCH queuing or multiple transmission of SMSs in idle mode, only in these cases
SDCCH handover should be considered. SDCCH handover may happen for two
main reasons:
MS mobility,

Bad radio conditions for the seized channel.

Because of these reasons different handover types may occur. More detailed
possible handovers are presented in the table 1. Moreover no forced
SDCCH-SDCCH handover is supported.
In case of concentric cells: no SDCCH-SDCCH intracell handover inner complete /
complete inner area is possible as in a concentric cell all SDCCHs are configured
in the complete area only.

Figure 5: Concentric cell configuration

In case of extended cells: no SDCCH-SDCCH intracell handover near far /


far near (single timeslot  double timeslot) is possible as in an extended cell all
SDCCHs are configured in the far (double timeslot) area only.
The following handover types involving an SDCCH as originating or target channel
are possible (and supported):

Internal Intracell SDCCH-SDCCH handover: This handover type comprises


handovers from SDCCH to SDCCH within the same cell.
Internal Intercell SDCCH-SDCCH handover: This handover type comprises:

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o handovers from an SDCCH in one cell to an SDCCH in another cell
managed by the same BSC,
o handovers from an SDCCH in one cell to a TCH in another cell (i.e.
Directed Retry (1)) managed by the same BSC.
MSC-Controlled handover: This handover type comprises:
o handovers from an SDCCH in one cell to an SDCCH in another cell
managed by a different BSC,
o handovers from an SDCCH in one cell to a TCH in another cell (i.e.
Directed Retry) managed by a different MSC.

Which intercell handover causes are supported when a call is served by an SDCCH
(and when intercell SDCCH-SDCCH handover is enabled) is listed in the table below:
Handover due to low receive level on uplink or downlink. If the receive level is below
RxLevel handover
the minimum threshold handover is necessary.
Handover due to bad receive quality on uplink or downlink. Bad receive Quality is
RxQual handover
determined by Bit Error Rate (BER) measurements in the MS and the BTS.

Distance handover Handover due to long distance between MS and BTS.

Handover due to power budget. Power budget handover is a handover to another


Power budget
cell if this cell offers a higher transmission level (irrespective of whether the power
handover
level of the actual cell is above the minimum or not).
Fast Uplink Handover was introduced in BR6.0 as an additional fast handover
mechanism that is able to prevent call drops that occur due to a sudden and drastic
Fast Uplink drop of the UL receive level. Such level drops can occur e.g. in urban areas with
handover small cells and obstacles in the radio path (e.g. buildings). If the level drops too
quickly, the standard level handover mechanism is often too slow to ‘rescue’ the
call.

Table 1: Possible SDCCH handover causes

1 Directed Retry - SDCCH-TCH handover; Because SDCCH channels are usually seized for a short period of time, it is
suggested to perform TCH allocation on SDCCH resources in case of no TCH and TCHSD resources.
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4.2 Direct TCH Assignment
Direct TCH assignment is a cell specific optional feature. If this feature is enabled the
BSC, when it receives an SDCCH request indicating a call (MOC or MTC) in the
Establishment Cause embedded in the CHANNEL REQUEST message, tries to
allocate a TCH immediately, without allocating an SDCCH first. In this case the
FACCH associated to the TCH is used as main control channel for the call setup
messages. If the Direct TCH Assignment procedure is disabled, or if the
Establishment Cause indicates that no TCH is needed (e.g. the SDCCH request is
started for Location Update) or if 'TCH needed' is indicated but there are no TCH
resources available, the BSC allocates an SDCCH channel, if available.

4.3 Cell Broadcast Channel


Cell Broadcast Channel (CBCH) is used when Short Message Service Cell Broadcast
(SMS-CB) is applied. For this service type, SMS-CB messages are broadcasted via
CBCHs within the area where this service is enabled. In this case SMS-CB
messages are sent to all MSs in the serving area of BTS. CBCHs use the same
physical channel as SDCCHs. If Cell Broadcast is supported, the CBCH will replace
one SDCCH sub-channel no matter how the SDCCH was configured (for details
concerning SDCCH configuration please refer to chapter 5).

CBC

CBS message

CBS message

CBS message

MSC BSC
BTS
MS

Figure 6: Cell Broadcast functionality

The feature Short Message Service Cell Broadcast introduces a Cell Broadcast
Center (CBC) which sends Cell Broadcast Services (CBS), which are text messages
to all MSs in defined area (some part of PLMN). Examples for this kind of messages
are weather forecasts, road traffic reports etc. In contrast to standard (point-to-point)
SMS messages Cell Broadcast messages do not require acknowledgements from
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Mobile Stations and thus no dedicated control channel is required. The CBC forwards
broadcast messages directly to the BSC, and they are directed to the BTSs over the
Abis IF. The BTS periodically sends received information on CBCH channel over air
interface.

4.4 Smooth Channel Modification


The Smooth Channel Modification feature supports the dynamic utilization of a radio
channel as either TCH or SDCCH depending on the current traffic situation. This
allows radio resources to be used for speech, data, signaling and SMS dependent on
the current needs without any interruption of other service. Before implementation of
this feature it was only possible to configure each radio timeslot either to support
TCH or SDCCH manually; a change of the channel type via operator command, led
to a reset and thus to a service interruption of the complete associated TRX.
The feature SCM avoids SDCCH blocking in cases of large SDCCH loads generated
by high signaling load peaks in specific areas (e.g. airports, train stations or PLMN
borders). SCM allows the system to flexibly react to SDCCH load which is higher
than planned.
As a consequence, call setups on the SDCCH are not impacted even when sudden
high SMS traffic peaks occur. When operators define timeslots as combined channel
type (TCH/SDCCH) the switchover is made automatically without further operator
interaction. After configuration by the operator the system automatically adapts the
channel configuration to the current traffic situation. This approach avoids also some
manual interactions required to change the channel type.
The customer selects and configures channels usable as TCH or SDCCH for each
carrier. This can be done when new cells are introduced to the network or new
carriers are added to a cell. The mentioned 'hybrid' channels (TCH/SDCCH) are
created using the channel type TCHSD. When the BSC selects a TCHSD channel for
TCH allocation for a specific service (and it selects a hybrid TCH only if all other
TCHs or SDCCHs, respectively - depending on whether the TCHSD is to be
activated as TCH or SDCCH, are already in state 'busy'), the BTS receives the
indication about the current operational mode (TCH or SDCCH sub-channel) within
the individual CHANNEL ACTIVATION message. The system can thus dynamically
use the timeslot as either a TCH or a SDCCH without further service interruption - the
BTS simply activates and operates the channel in correspondence with the channel
mode as indicated by the BSC in the CHANNEL ACTIVATION message.
Smooth Channel Modification introduces a radio channel pool concept to provide
flexible radio resources allocation. Automatic modification of the channel type
(e.g. between TCH and SDCCH/8) is performed without operator interaction. If the
SDCCH load is higher than a configurable threshold, the TCHSD is automatically
re-configured to operate as an additional SDCCH. If one SDCCH sub-channel of this
TCHSD is 'busy', the TCHSD cannot be used as TCH anymore and is thus
temporarily excluded from the list of idle TCHs in the cell.
During creation, each TCHSD is assigned to a specific pool by the operator using the
new specific object attribute CHPOOLTYP (for details please refer to [DB]).

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The following Radio Resource Pools are implemented:

Pool Description
SDCCH_POOL Contains all the channels configured as SDCCH/4, SDCCH/8 and TCHSD to
be used as SDCCH only.
TCH_POOL Contains all channels declared as Full Rate/Half Rate TCH or TCHSD to be
used as TCH only. These TCHs may be used for both CS and PS traffic.
TCHSD_POOL Contains all the channels created as TCHSD that are seized as dual rate
TCH if no TCHs are available in the TCH_POOL anymore. Depending on the
SDCCH load, the TCHSD can be moved to the SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL,
from where they can be allocated as SDCCH.
SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL This pool is not configurable and contains the TCHSD sub-channels which
have been temporarily moved to the SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL from where
they can be allocated as SDCCH. The allocation is, however, only done
when all SDCCHs in the SDCCH_POOL are already busy.

Table 2: Pools used by Smooth Channel Modification feature

There is the following correspondence between radio timeslots and Radio Resource
Pools:
Radio timeslots created as SDCCH automatically belong to the SDCCH_POOL,

Radio timeslots created as TCH are automatically belong to the TCH_POOL,

Radio timeslots created as TCHSD TS can be configured as belonging to the


SDCCH_POOL, to the TCH_POOL or to the TCHSD_POOL.

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TCHPOOL TCHSDPOOL SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL SDCCHPOOL

Full/Half Rate TCH TCHSD belonging to TCHPOOL


SDCCH/4 or SDCCH/8 TCHSD belonging to SDCCHPOOL

TCHSD belonging to TCHSDPOOL

Figure 7: Channel pools for Smooth Channel Modification

Figure 7 shows an example of the relation between pools and channel types. In this
example, the following TSs have been created and assigned to the pools:
6 TSs created as TCH (allocated automatically to the TCH_POOL),

8 TSs created as TCHSD (2 TCHSD TSs allocated to TCH_POOL, 2 TCHSD TSs


to SDCCH_POOL, and 4 TCHSD TSs to TCHSD_POOL),

2 TSs created as SDCCH (allocated automatically to the SDCCH_POOL).

TCHSD_POOL resources are not directly assigned to any service request, but when:
The TCH_POOL is congested they are seized as dual rate TCH, or
The SDCCH load in the cell has exceeded a configurable load threshold (SDCCH
Congestion Threshold - SDCCHCONGTH parameter; for details please refer to
[DB]), the first TCHSD is moved (as 8 SDCCH sub-channels) from the
TCHSD_POOL to the SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL. When this has taken place, the
BSC has created the preconditions that the 8 associated SDCCH sub-channels
can be activated for additional SDCCH requests. This however, is done only when
all SDCCHs in the SDCCH_POOL are busy, i.e. even with a TCHSD in the
SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL the BSC always allocates SDCCHs from the
SDCCH_POOL first. As long as the TCHSD is assigned to the
SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL, the BSC checks the SDCCH load situation on every
release of an SDCCH. When this check establishes that all SDCCHs in the
SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL are idle and the SDCCH load has dropped below the
configurable threshold, the BSC starts an additional delay timer
(TGUARDTCHSD, for details please refer to [DB]). When this timer expires while
all SDCCH sub-channels in the SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL are still idle, the
TCHSD is moved back to the TCHSD_POOL.
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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
Only TCHSD TSs configured with channel pool type TCHSD_POOL can be allocated
either as SDCCH or TCH. TCHSD channel configured with channel pool type
TCH_POOL can be used only for TCH support.

4.4.1 SDCCH allocation in case of SCM


The algorithm evaluates the SDCCH sub-channel occupancy (also called ‘SDCCH
load’). The occupancy is evaluated as the ratio of the busy sub-channels and the
sub-channels in SDCCH_POOL and SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL (for details of these
calculations please refer to [DB]).
Whenever the BSC accesses the 'SDCCH idle list' (pool of available SDCCHs) in a
particular cell because it has received an SDCCH request, it checks the current
SDCCH load in the cell and compares it against a configurable threshold,
represented by the parameter SDCCHCONGTH. If the BSC detects that the current
SDCCH load exceeds the threshold SDCCHCONGTH, the BSC moves one TCHSD
(the TCHSD with the best interference class is moved first) as 8 additional SDCCH
sub-channels from the TCHSD_POOL to the SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL.
If the threshold value is high (i.e. SDCCHCONGTH = 100 [%]), a TCHSD TS will be
moved from TCHSD_POOL to SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL, only if all the sub-channels
in SDCCH_POOL and all SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL are busy, i.e. if the occupancy
is 100%.
If the threshold value is lower (e.g. 70 [%]), sub-channels will be moved from
TCHSD_POOL to SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL even if not required immediately but in
order to reserve them for future SDCCH requests.
When a SDCCH sub-channel (coming from SDCCH_POOL) is released, the
sub-channel is returned to that pool. If the sub-channel to be released comes from
SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL and is not the last busy sub-channel in the TCHSD, the
sub-channel is returned to the SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL.
If the SDCCH load check during the release SDCCH procedure establishes that the
current SDCCH load has dropped below the SDCCHCONGTH threshold, a guard
timer (parameter TGUARDTCHSD - Guard Timer TCHSD, for details please refer to
[DB]) is started for those TCHSDs in the SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL which are in 'idle'
mode (no SDCCH sub-channel in state 'busy'). When it expires, the TCHSD is moved
back from the SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL to the TCHSD_POOL. The timer
TGUARDTCHSD avoids oscillation between TCHSD_POOL and
SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL.
During the SDCCH allocation the SDCCHs of the SDCCH_POOL are always handled
with priority, i.e. an SDCCH request will only be satisfied by a sub-channel from the
SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL, if there is no sub-channel available in the SDCCH_POOL.
This means that, when the SDCCH load decreases and the congestion in the
SDCCH_POOL ends, no SDCCH will be allocated in the SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL
anymore.

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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
4.4.2 TCH allocation in case of SCM
In case of TCH Full Rate request, the TCH with the best quality (i.e. the best
interference class as indicated by the Idle Channel Measurements) is used from the
TCH_POOL. In case of TCH Half Rate request, unpaired channels (with the best
interference class) are used first. If the TCH_POOL is empty or congested, the BSC
tries to get a TCHSD from the TCHSD_POOL. If both pools are empty or congested,
a Directed Retry procedure is attempted for new MOC or MTC.
At TCH release the traffic channel is returned to the original pool.

4.4.3 Recommendations for configuration of TCHSDs for SCM


As described in chapter 4.4 the feature Smooth Channel Modification deals with
unexpected SDCCH load. In other words, SCM allows the system to flexibly react to
SDCCH load peaks which exceed the usually managed SDCCH loads in the busy
hours. From this point of view the number of TCHSD channels in TCHSD_POOL
does not have to be huge, especially considering the fact that one TCHSD in the
TCHSD_POOL represents 8 SDCCH sub-channels when moved to the
SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL. The required number of TCHSD channels in the
TCHSD_POOL should be derived from the SDCCH load and SDCCH blocking KPIs,
which can be calculated from PM data of those networks, in which SDCCH load
peaks are observed (based on available counters).
Another reason which suggests keeping the number of TCHSD channels in
TCHSD_POOL not to high, is the possibility of improper radio resources allocation in
case of Smooth Channel Modification and Multi Service Layer Support (MSLS)
features. This can happen because the BSC will always allocate TCHs from the
TCHPOOL from a less-priorized service layer first, before is starts to allocate a TCH
from the TCHSD_POOL belonging to a TRX of the higher priorized service layer.
Thus, the more TCHSDs in TCHSD_POOL are configured, the less TCHs can be
allocated in correspondence with the configured service layer priorities.
The suggested basic approach for the number of TCHSD channels in TCHSD_POOL
to be configured in a particular cell is the following:
1) Determine the number of required SDCCHs and TCHs in correspondence with
the iteration approach as described in chapter 7.3.
2) For each SDCCH (as determined by iteration), create one additional TCHSD
in TCHSD_POOL (ideally on a different TRX to avoid LPAD congestions) and
take this timeslot from the number of TCH timeslots as determined by iteration.
3) Verify from PM data if further SDCCH blocking situations occur. If yes,
additional TCHSDs in TCHSD_POOL should be added step by step. If the
configured TCHSD is never seized as SDCCH, then its pool type should be
converted to CHPOOLTYP=TCHPOOL.

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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
5 SDCCH configurations
There are few SDCCH configurations possible depending on requirements and traffic
model.

5.1 SDCCH/4
SDCCH/4 consists of 4 dedicated sub-channels for signaling. This channel is
mapped on the timeslot used for BCCH (combined configuration of SDCCH and
BCCH, also called Combined BCCH). It results in reduced paging capacity on the
BCCH channel so this configuration can be used only in areas with low paging load.
Only one SDCCH/4 channel can be configured per cell.
In the table 3 this channel type is represented by the channel type
acronym MBCCHC. A variant of this channel type that reserves one of the 4 SDCCH
sub-channels for the CBCH, has the acronym BCBCH. For more details about CBCH
please refer to chapter 5.4.

5.2 SDCCH/8
One SDCCH/8 channel carries up to 8 SDCCH/8 sub-channels on one carrier for
SDCCH load. As this channel type claims one complete radio timeslot, one SDCCH/8
channel decreases the number of available traffic channels (TCHs) by one.
The first configured SDCCH/8 must be defined on the BCCH TRX, further SDCCH
channels may be either placed on the BCCH TRX or on further TRXs. It is, however,
recommended to distribute the SDCCH channels over different TRXs:

Due to redundancy reasons,


In order to achieve better load sharing among the Abis LAPD transmit queues
which are managed per TRX/LPDLR. The TRX/LPDLR-specific LAPD transmit
queue buffers are emptied in a cyclic Round Robin mechanism. As the vast
majority of all signaling messages are processed via the SDCCHs, it is
recommended to configure the SDCCHs on separate TRXs (to spread SDCCH
channels between TRXs). This ensures a harmonized emptying of the LAPD
transmit buffers and avoids excessive buffering times or buffer overflow for
particular LAPD queues/TRXs.
It should be mentioned that SDCCH/4 together with SDCCH/8 configuration is
possible. Despite of that this configuration can be used only in areas with low paging
because of reduced BCCH capacity. For this reason this configuration (as well as
higher configurations using both SDCCH/4 and SDCCH/8, i.e. one SDCCH/4 and 2
SDCCH/8) will not be suggested in this document.
This channel type is presented in the table below as a channel with database
acronym SDCCH.

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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
5.3 Possible channel configurations with SDCCH

Possible channel types are presented in table below; channel types containing
SDCCH sub-channels are highlighted. SDCCH configurations with CBCH are also
presented; they are described in next chapter (chapter 5.4).

Database
Channel type Configuration
Acronym
Full Rate Channel and
TCHFULL TCH/F + FACCH/F + SACCH/F
associated control
Main Broadcast and
MAINBCCH FCCH + SCH + BCCH + CCCH (AGCH + PCH + RACH)
Common Control Channel
Main BCCH Combined
MBCCHC FCCH + SCH + BCCH + CCCH + 4 (SDCCH + SACCH)
(BCCH + 4 SDCCH).
Stand-alone Dedicated
Control Channel and SDCCH 8 (SDCCH + SACCH)
dedicated control
Dual Rate Channel HR TCH/H(0,1) + FACCH/H(0,1) + SACCH/H(0,1)
TCHF_HLF
(FR and HR) FR TCH/F + FACCH/F + SACCH/TF

Broadcast Channel with Cell FCCH + SCH + BCCH + CCCH + 3 SDCCH +


BCBCH
Broadcast Channel 3 SACCH + CBCH
SDCCH Channel with Cell
SCBCH 7 SDCCH + 7 SACCH + CBCH
Broadcast Channel
Broadcast and Common
CCCH BCCH + CCCH
Control Channel
Half/Full Rate Channel and
TCH/H(0,1) + FACCH/H(0,1) + SACCH/H(0,1)
associated control
Full Rate Channel and
TCH/F + FACCH/F + SACCH/TF
associated control TCHSD
Stand-alone Dedicated
Control Channel and 8 (SDCCH + SACCH)
dedicated control

Table 3: Possible channel types and configurations

Each of the logical channel types listed above requires one radio timeslot.
The possible channel combinations can be summarized as presented in table 4. In
cells with one TRX, one Combined BCCH (MBCCHC or BCBCH) signaling channel
(1 TS) should be used. This configuration is presented as Case 1 in table 4 (values
and equations used to determine this statement will be presented in further chapters).
When more signaling channels are required it is suggested to use the
Uncombined BCCH (channel type MAINBCCH) and SDCCH channels (channel type
SDCCH or SCBCH) what leads to Case 2. As stated in the previous chapter, a
combination of SDCCH/4 and SDCCH/8 is not recommended.
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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
No. of
Case Timeslot Channel combination Database acronym
TSs
1 BCCH + 1 CCCH + 4
Number of TSs

MBCCHC (w/o CBCH)


Case 1 1 TS 1st TS SDCCH
for control

BCBCH (with CBCH)


channels

1st TS 1 BCCH + 1 CCCH MAINBCCH


More than
Case 2 Further SDCCH (w/o CBCH)
1 TS 8 SDCCH + 8 SACCH
TSs SCBCH (with CBCH)

Table 4: Possible configurations of SDCCH channels

For example in a cell with a single TRX the allocation of timeslots should look like
presented in table below. Timeslots from 1st to 7th are configured as traffic channels
(TCHs) with associated signaling (FACCH and SACCH; for possible channels
configurations please refer to table 3). SDCCH is allocated on timeslot number 0
together with BCCH channel.

Timeslot 0 CHTYPE = MBCCHC (FCCH+SCH + BCCH + CCCH + 4 (SDCCH + SACCH))


Timeslot 1...7 CHTYPE = TCHF (TCH/F + FACCH/F + SACCH/F)

Table 5: SDCCH configuration with one TRX

In the pictures below for both configurations (e.g. Case 1 and Case 2) the detailed
TDMA slot mapping patterns is shown. Figure 8 (Case 1) shows the SDCCH/4
channel with its SACCH channels for both uplink and downlink. With this combined
configuration, the BCCH channel includes four SDCCH sub-channels with their
SACCHs and three blocks of four timeslots for the CCCH. In the downlink, the PCH
and AGCH share the same CCCH blocks.
The BCCH channel (physical channel that carries the broadcast channels) always
occupies timeslot 0 of carrier. The remaining frames are allocated to the common
and dedicated control channels (CCCH and DCCH respectively), for which the
operator can use either a combined or a non-combined configuration, depending on
the number of carriers in the cell.

Figure 8: Combined configuration of control channels


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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
Figure 9 (Case 2) shows the detailed TDMA slot mapping patterns for an SDCCH/8.
As presented in table above, SDCCH/8 channels can be configured starting from the
second TS on the BCCH TRX. On the first TS only BCCH/CCCH channels (DL) can
be configured. In the non-combined configuration, all the TDMA slots not used for
broadcast channels are reserved for the CCCH blocks, therefore at least one
additional physical channel must be used as SDCCH. Additional physical channels
can, of course, be allocated for the SDCCH.

Figure 9: Non combined configuration of control channels

5.4 SDCCH with CBCH


A Cell Broadcast Channel (CBCH) is used when the feature Short Message Service
Cell Broadcast (SMS-CB) is applied in a cell. If the feature is enabled, SMS-CB
messages are distributed via the CBCH towards the Mobiles Stations that are
configured to receive these messages. CBCHs use the same physical channel as
SDCCHs. If SMS-CB is supported, the CBCH will “steal” one SDCCH sub-channel,
no matter how the SDCCH channels were configured.
In detail, the numbers of SDCCH channels from configurations described above are
reduced by one in order to allocate one CBCH channel:

Database
Channel type Configuration SDCCH capacity
Acronym
Broadcast Channel with FCCH + SCH + BCCH + CCCH + Dedicated signaling channels for
BCBCH 3 subscribers
Cell Broadcast Channel 3 SDCCH + 3 SACCH + CBCH
SDCCH Channel with Dedicated signaling channels for
SCBCH 7 SDCCH + 7 SACCH + CBCH 7 subscribers
Cell Broadcast Channel

Table 6: Possible SDCCH+CBCH configurations

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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
This corresponds with the following possible configurations of SDCCH TSs per cell:

No. of Database
Case Timeslot Channel combination
TSs acronym
Case1
1st TS
Number of TSs for control

1 TS 1 BCCH + 1 CCCH + 3 SDCCH + 1 CBCH BCBCH


CBCH
Case2 1st TS 1 BCCH + 1 CCCH MAINBCCH
channels

2 TS
nd
CBCH 2 TS 7 SDCCH + 7 SACCH + 1 CBCH SCBCH
1st TS 1 BCCH + 1 CCCH MAINBCCH
Case3 More than 2nd
TS 7 SDCCH + 7 SACCH + 1 CBCH SCBCH
CBCH 2 TS
Further
8 SDCCH + 8 SACCH SDCCH
TSs

Table 7: Possible configurations of SDCCH with Cell Broadcast

Seizure of 1 SDCCH sub-channel by CBCH leads to decrease of SDCCH capacity


per cell and the subscriber’s capacity per cell in consequence.

5.5 SDCCH in case of Dual Band Standard Cell


(2)
In case of Dual Band Standard Cells the SDCCH channel allocation can be
performed in a more efficient way.
Dual band cells (i.e. two independent cells with different bands covering certain area)
with a BCCH layer in both frequency bands have independent pools of SDCCH
channels (one per frequency band). This realisation is not optimal in case of
congestion on SDCCH in one of frequency bands. In such a situation there is no
possibility to use the SDCCH resources from the second (not congested) SDCCH
pool.
Moreover, in a Dual Band Standard Cell the maximum number of served users can
be increased, what is possible thanks to common SDCCH resources for both
frequency bands (one SDCCH pool). This approach allows reduction of timeslots
required for SDCCH and this leads to increased number of TSs for traffic channels.

2 Dual Band Standard Cell - Realisation of multi-band cells approach with a common BCCH layer. In contrary to the concentric
cell approach, a cell radius is assumed to be the same for both frequency bands. It means that both bands shall have
well-matching cell borders. Dual Band Standard Cell has only one common BCCH layer and a common cell identity.
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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
5.6 SDCCH limitations
Only one CBCH channel allowed per cell,
In case of concentric cells: no SDCCH-SDCCH handover inner complete /
complete inner area possible,
In case of extended cells: no SDCCH-SDCCH handover near far /
far near (single timeslot  double timeslot) possible,
Up to 4 radio timeslots per TRX can be configured as SDCCH/8 (TCHSD) on
BTS due to memory availability,
There is only one SDCCH/4 channel per cell possible.

5.7 Limitations of channel type TCHSD

In case of Dual Band Cells GSM900/1800 the SDCCH/8 and TCHSD used as
SDCCH has to be configured in the same BCCH frequency band,
The channel configuration changes from TCH (Full Rate or Dual Rate) to
(3)
TCHSD or vice versa cause a reset of BBSIG (for generation 'BTS one') or
CU (for 'BTSplus' family),
Only TCHSDs with CHPOOLTYP=TCHPOOL can be used for GPRS traffic,
TCHSD creation is possible since BR6.0 release,
In case of Concentric Cells the TCHSD type with SDCCH_POOL or
TCHSD_POOL is configurable only on Complete Area,
In case of Extended Cells the TCHSD type with SDCCH_POOL or
TCHSD_POOL is configurable only on Far Area.

3 BBSIG - Channel oriented board in BTS, which is handling Layer 1 functions related to the channel codec and Layer 2 and
Layer 3 functions, especially all channel related call control functions.
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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
6 Signaling events which require SDCCH resources
There are several procedures which require SDCCH resources to be allocated and
which are affecting SDCCH load:
Mobility Management:

• Location Update (LUP),

• Periodic Registration,

• Location Request (LR),

• IMSI Attach/Detach;

Connection Management:

• Call setup,

• Short Message Service (SMS),

• Subscriber Controlled Input (SCI) for


Supplementary Services Management (SS)

• Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).

All these events are shortly described below. Seizure times as well as number of
events per Busy Hour will be presented in further chapters.

6.1 Call setup


In case a connection has to be established, a channel for signaling has to be
allocated. The authentication, ciphering mode initiation and set-up signaling are
performed on the SDCCH channel. The estimated time that the SDCCH is occupied
with the performance of a call set-up differs slightly between MS originated (MOC)
and MS terminated (MTC) calls.
The number of other events like LUPs and the SMSs affects the SDCCH load and
therefore also the call setup capacity.

6.2 Location Update


Location Update (LUP) procedure is performed after every change of Location Area
(LA) of certain Mobile Station (MS) when the MS is in idle mode. This procedure
requires an SDCCH which is occupied during the whole LUP procedure. These
events will increase SDCCH load in border cells on Location Area in comparison to
average inner cell of this LA.

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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s

Figure 10: Location Area scheme and explanation of border cells


SDCCH dimensioning should also reflect LA size because smaller Location Areas
mean more Location Updates during movement of MSs between LAs which causes a
higher SDCCH load.

6.3 Periodic Registration (Periodic Location Update)


In order to avoid unnecessary paging of Mobile Stations that have not performed any
dedicated call or signaling transaction in the last hours, the MSC may set a
subscriber to 'detached' after some time without any activity (Implicit Detach
procedure (4)). To make sure that an MS is always reachable if it is really attached to
the network, a special type of Location Update called Periodic Registration is
performed. This procedure is periodically repeated by the MS and confirms its
reachability towards the network before it is implicitly set to ‘detached’. Location
Updates and Periodic Registrations are treated as the same events from traffic model
point of view.

6.4 Short Message Service


The transmission of a Short Message Service (SMS) normally takes place on the
SDCCH when the affected MS was previously in 'idle' mode (not connected). If TCH
is already allocated ('connected mode' or 'busy mode') and an SMS is to be delivered
the SMS transmission takes place on the allocated TCH, using the SACCH channel.

4 Implicit Detach - is the action taken by the VLR to mark an MS as detached when there has been no successful contact
between the MS and the network for a time determined by the Implicit Detach timer. The value of the Implicit Detach timer is
derived from the Periodic Location Updating timer (for more details please refer to chapter 7.2.3). During an established radio
contact, the Implicit Detach timer shall be prevented from triggering Implicit Detach. At the release of the radio connection, the
Implicit Detach timer shall be reset and restarted.

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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
The time that is required for transmission of an SMS on the SDCCH is the sum of the
set-up time for the SMS transmission, the time it takes to transfer the message itself
and the time to close the connection. The holding time for the set-up is slightly
shorter than the time for a normal call set-up since less signaling is involved. The
SDCCH holding time varies depending on the length of the SMS.

6.5 Supplementary Services Management


Supplementary Services like Call Forwarding (CF), Call Barring (CB), Calling Line
Identification Restriction (CLIR) etc. are by the GSM/3GPP standard as
Supplementary Services for defined GSM/3GPP teleservices and bearerservices. As
these Supplementary Services are standardized, their control (activation,
deactivation, interrogation etc.) is usually supported by menu options of the mobile
phone but can also be controlled by defined phone key sequences (so-called
Subscriber Controlled Input (SCI)). The mobile phone in any case recognizes the SCI
and the associated Supplementary Service and signals the corresponding
Supplementary Service code towards the network within the messages. For this
procedure, a dedicated SDCCH connection is required.

6.6 Unstructured Supplementary Service Data


The Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) mechanism allows the
subscriber and the PLMN operator to define own non-standardized Supplementary
Service applications which are associated to specific key sequences
(e.g. *88*99# SEND). These key sequences are signalled to the MSC in a
transparent manner in form of the entered key combination (as opposed to SCI for
standardized Supplementary Services, where the MSC indicates the recognized SS
type within the embedded messages). USSD transactions can be both subscriber-
initiated and network-initiated (MSC, VLR or HLR). The network (network initiated
USSD) can at any time send a USSD message towards an MS. This operation may
be either a request (asking the MS to provide information) or a notification (requiring
no information in the response from the MS). In case of MS initiated USSD a MS can
at any time initiate a USSD request to the network.

6.7 IMSI Attach / Detach


The IMSI Attach is performed when the MS is turned on. IMSI Attach is a variant of
the Location Updating procedure and usually requires the same holding time as a
normal Location Update.
The IMSI Detach procedure enables the MS to indicate to the network that it is about
to become inactive. This procedure is usually shorter than an IMSI Attach procedure
as the Siemens MSC keeps the duration of the Signaling Connection Control Part
(SCCP) connection at a minimum time as it immediately closes down the SCCP
connection requested by the BSC (via the message CONNECTION REQUEST) via a
CONNECTION REFUSED message (even if the contents of the previously received
message is accepted and correctly processed). As opposed to that, the SCCP
connections for other SDCCH transaction are established according to the SCCP
message sequence: CONNECTION REQUEST CONNECTION CONFIRM

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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
signaling message exchange embedded in DT1 messages RELEASED
RELEASE COMPLETE.
For more information concerning message flows please refer to [PMMF].

6.8 Location Request


Location Requests are messages used to initiate Location Services. Location
Services (LCS) are used for different location applications, which may be service
provider dependent. The LCS feature tries to locate the target MS in terms of latitude,
longitude and optionally altitude.
A new network element which is required to determine the position was introduced,
which is called Serving Mobile Location Centre (SMLC). The fundamental purpose of
the SMLC is to calculate the location of a MS. The SMLC receives location requests
via its associated BSCs. It determines the positioning capability of the MS to assist in
the position calculation and after all it calculates the final location and returns it in a
location response to the requesting BSC.
Number of Location Requests per Busy Hour depends on SMLC version and on
positioning method.

6.9 Phantom RACH


The BTS Um Layer 1 functions continuously measure the signal on the RACH.
Usually, in alive network, there are always signals to be measured on the RACH slot
but not all of them are real accesses from Mobile Stations. The BTS Um Layer 1
functions perform a number of checks to distinguish valid RACH accesses from
invalid radio noise signals on the RACH. These checks are based, among others, on
criteria such as signal level (RSSI – Received Signal Strength Indicator), signal to
noise ratio (SNIR – Signal to Noise and Interferer Ratio), soft decision criterion
(SOVA - Input Soft decision Value for the decoder), the Convolution Code and the
Training Sequence Code. If these checks fail, the signal is regarded.
Moreover, the signal level is checked against the level threshold RACHBT (5) (for
details please refer to [DB]) and the burst delay is checked against the distance
threshold EXCDIST (6) (accesses with levels lower than RACHBT and distance values
greater than defined by EXCDIST are discarded).
If, despite all these checks, an invalid RACH signal (noise) is recognized as RACH
access by mistake, the BTS forwards this putative CHANNEL REQUEST as a
CHANNEL REQUIRED message which leads to an SDCCH activation. As no MS will
answer to the associated IMMEDIATE ASSIGNMENT message (no ESTABLISH
INDICATION will be received), the SDCCH will be released after expiry of a timer.

5 RACHBT (RACH busy threshold) - defines a threshold for the signal level on the RACH. The general purpose of this
parameter is to define a minimum level criterion a received RACH signal must fulfil to be regarded as a real RACH access.

6 EXCDIST (Excessive distance) - this parameter specifies the distance limit (between MS and BTS) to be used for call release
if the feature 'call release due to excessive distance' is enabled. For details please refer to [DB].

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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
Moreover, it has to be considered, that the scenario described above (no
ESTABLISH INDICATION received after IMMEDIATE ASSIGNMENT) is not
necessarily a real 'phantom RACH' in all cases. The sequence of events is the same
if either the IMMEDIATE ASSIGNMENT message is not correctly received at the MS
(due to radio interface problems in DL), or if the MS does not manage successfully to
transmit the SABM message to the BTS after receipt of the IMM ASS message.
Both phantom RACHs and the scenarios described above hint to radio interface
problems that require analysis of the planning. From SDCCH point of view phantom
RACH mean that the signaling load will be higher than planned because of false
SDCCH assignments.

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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
7 SDCCH channel planning and dimensioning
Dimensioning of SDCCH is strongly connected with network capacity and
dimensioning of traffic channels (TCHs) because there is subscriber related signaling
load which is handled by SDCCH channels. The point is that SDCCH capacity, in
terms of number of subscribers, must be higher than TCH capacity to avoid network
limitation caused by limited number of SDCCH channels. Prior to dimensioning of
SDCCHs, dimensioning of TCHs needs to be done first.
The dimensioning process is strongly dependent on the used traffic model. Through
this document the Siemens Traffic Model will be used (for more details about the
STM please refer to Appendix A: Siemens Traffic Model). In this traffic model values
for signaling are specified which are calculated as it is presented in chapter 7.1.
Because abovementioned events are SDCCH related (please refer to chapter 6 for
definitions and to chapters 7.1 and 7.2 for detailed values), the calculated signaling
related values can be treated as SDCCH related. As this document is focused on
SDCCH dimensioning ‘SDCCH’ abbreviation will be used instead of ‘signaling’ in
order to avoid misunderstanding, as term ‘signaling’ is more general and can trigger
improper understanding of described issues.
Dimensioning of SDCCH channels is some trade-off between required capacity for
TCH and SDCCH. In order to set up a complete voice connection, TCH and SDCCH
channels must be available simultaneously (there are some exceptions to this
statement; please refer to chapter 4.2, Direct TCH Assignment). Both of them are
equally important in call setup but in any case SDCCH channels should be
dimensioned for a lower rate of blocking than TCH channels. This can be justified
considering the fact that an SDCCH can only be dimensioned in SDCCH/8 units (i.e.
8 SDCCH sub-channels). Thus the loss of a single SDCCH radio timeslot has a
bigger impact on the cells capacity to manage the traffic than the loss of s single TCH
(however, usually there is no failure of a single TCH but of a TRX - and usually a
TRX contains more TCHs than SDCCH timeslots). Moreover, the signaling capacity
cannot be limiting factor during dimensioning (for example describing this relation
please refer to chapter 7.3).
Based on values from the Siemens Traffic Model (please refer to the Siemens Traffic
Model description: chapter 9), it is suggested that blocking rate for signaling
(SDCCH) shall not be more than 25% of the TCH blocking rate (i.e. 0.5% for SDCCH
and 2% for TCH in case of STM).
To enable the planning of the BSS part for a given number of subscribers the
following parameters must be known:
Cell configuration,
TCH traffic per subscriber,
SDCCH load per subscriber,
Maximum blocking rate of TCH,
Maximum blocking rate of SDCCH,

35
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
FR/HR ratio, if applicable.

The aim is to find the optimal share of available resources between traffic channels
(TCHs) and signaling channels (we are focused on SDCCHs, which are conveyed
together with other associated control channels; for more details about possible
channel configuration please refer to chapter 5.3) with respect to optimum subscriber
capacity (number of subscribers that can be served by the system).
As stated in the beginning of this chapter, the subscriber capacity of the SDCCH
channels (i.e. subSDCCH) shall not be lower than subscriber capacity of
the TCHs (i.e. subTCH):
subSDCCH ≥ subTCH
Where:
subSDCCH - Subscriber capacity of SDCCH channels (= number of subscribers
that can be served by SDCCH channels of the system),
subTCH - Subscriber capacity of TCHs (= number of subscribers that can be
served by all TCHs of the system).

Both these values depend on the blocking probabilities for SDCCHs and TCHs,
respectively. To determine the subscriber capacity for SDCCH and TCH (i.e. the
maximum number of subscribers the cell can handle, also called 'SDCCH capacity'
and 'TCH capacity' in the following chapters) the following calculations have to be
done by means of Erlang B formula (fErlangB):

⎢ cap SDCCH ⎥ ⎢ f ErlangB (# SDCCHs; BSDCCH ) ⎥


subSDCCH = ⎢ ⎥=⎢ ⎥
⎣⎢ load sub , SDCCH ⎦⎥ ⎢⎣ load sub , SDCCH ⎦⎥
⎢ capTCH ⎥ ⎢ f ErlangB (# TCHs; BTCH ) ⎥
subTCH = ⎢ ⎥=⎢ ⎥
⎣⎢ load sub , TCH ⎦⎥ ⎢⎣ load sub, TCH ⎦⎥

Where the results of these calculations are in numbers of users, and moreover:
capSDCCH – capacity of SDCCH channels per cell [Erl],
capTCH – capacity of TCH channels per cell [Erl],
loadsub, SDCCH – SDCCH load per subscriber [Erl],
loadsub, TCH - TCH traffic per subscriber [Erl],
#SDCCH – Number of SDCCHs,
#TCH – Number of TCHs,
BSDCCH - Maximum blocking rate of SDCCH,
BTCH - Maximum blocking rate of TCH.

36
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
The denominators loadsub, SDCCH and loadsub, TCH are values of SDCCH and TCH load
per subscriber respectively. Both these values are calculated in chapter 7.1.
Blocking rate value of SDCCH channels (i.e. BSDCCH) in this document will have value
of blocking rate for signaling (i.e. BSignaling) taken from Siemens Traffic Model (for
details please refer to chapter 9).
The subscriber related SDCCH load (loadsub, SDCCH; in the Siemens Traffic Model this
value is 4 mErl) used in equations above is borne by the SDCCH channels. This
traffic can be calculated by the following formula:
loadsub, SDCCH = (NCA/sub, BH tcall setup + NLUP tLUP + NSMS tSMS + NLR tLR) [Erl]
Where:
NCA/sub, BH - Number of Call Attempts per subscriber per Busy Hour,

tcall setup - Call setup time: the time an SDCCH is seized by an call setup,

NLUP - Number of location updates per subscriber and BH,

tLUP - Location update time,

NSMS - Number of SMS messages per subscriber and BH,

tSMS - SMS time,

NLR - Number of Location Requests per subscriber and BH,

tLR - Location Request time.

This equation can be extended when other events which require some SDCCH
capacity occur (e.g. SS/USSD). In such a case respective term (NSS/USSD tSS/USSD)
must be added, assuming number of SS/USSD messages per subscriber and BH
(NSS/USSD) according to relevant Traffic Model and SDCCH seizure time per SS/USSD
(tSS/USSD) event:
loadsub, SDCCH = (NCA/sub,BH tcall setup + NLUP tLUP + NSMS tSMS + NLR tLR + NSS/USSD tSS/USSD)

The used time figures generally depend on several factors. As an example tcall setup
strongly depends on used core features like authentication, TMSI reallocation and
IMEI check and as well on mechanisms like "late TCH assignment" (CS4 message
flow redesign with respect to R4 core architecture) which also affects the TCH
holding time.

37
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
7.1 SDCCH seizure Times
Assuming that the Siemens Traffic Model applies, a value of 4 mErl of SDCCH load
per subscriber (loadsub, SDCCH) results from the inputs presented below. These values
should be treated as “rough guess” values and, as it was stated in the previous
chapter, all the time figures must be verified case by case. After the dimensioning
process these values should be verified by measurements performed in the network,
in order to check the correctness of values used during the dimensioning process.

Event Symbol Description Unit Value


Call Attempt.
CA tcall setup 3
Time for MOC/MTC setup signaling (Call setup time)
Location Update time.
LUP tLUP Periodic Registration is assumed to require the same time 5
as normal Location Update. second

SMS tSMS Short Message Service 6


LR tLR Location Request ≈ 1.3 (7)
USSD tUSSD Unstructured Supplementary Services Data 3

Table 8: Seizure times of events on SDCCH channel

The abovementioned value of 4 mErl of SDCCH load per subscriber is calculated as


follows:
NCA/sub, BH ⋅ t call setup + N LUP ⋅ t LUP + N SMS ⋅ t SMS 1 ⋅ 3 + 2 ⋅ 5 + 0.2 ⋅ 6 14.2
loadsub, SDCCH = = = ≅ 4 mErl
3600 3600 3600

For number of events generated per subscriber please refer to next chapter.
In the similar way is calculated voice traffic per subscriber per BH:

(N MOC + N MTC ) ⋅ Tmh (0.6 + 0.4) ⋅ 90 90


load sub , TCH = = = = 25 mErl
3600 3600 3600

Where:
NMOC - Mobile Originating Call attempts per subscriber and BH,
NMTC - Mobile Terminating Call attempts per subscriber and BH,
Tmh - Mean holding Time.

7 This value of SDCCH seizure time corresponds to CITA positioning method.


38
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
7.2 SDCCH load generated by subscriber
Assuming that the Siemens Traffic Model applies, a value of 4 mErl of signaling load
per subscriber (loadsub, SDCCH) results from the input values presented below. All these
values are numbers of events per Busy Hour.

7.2.1 Call attempt


Number of call attempts (CA) that can be handled by one TCH in the BH:
NCA/sub, BH = 1

7.2.2 Location Update


Location Update (LUP) procedures amount is strongly dependent on the cell location
inside the Location Area (LA) because the number of updates is higher on the border
of LA than inside of it. Moreover the number of LUPs on the LA border cell depends
on traffic load.
NLUP = 2.

7.2.3 Periodic Registration (Periodic Location Update)


If Periodic Registration is used, the time between these registrations depend on
operator choice. If so, the SDCCH load caused by Periodic Registration varies
depending on the setting of the Periodic Location Update timer, which is managed by
the BSC database parameter T3212 (8).
The expected number of periodic LUP transactions can be estimated by dividing
60 minutes (i.e. duration of the BH) by periodic LUP timer value which is
multiplied by 6.
Assuming the default value of T3212 = 6 = 36min (with granularity of
decihour = 6 min.), the average number of periodic LUPs per subscriber and BH can
be estimated as follows:
60 min 60 min 60 min
N P − LUP = = = = 1,67
T 3212 value ⋅ 6 min 6 ⋅ 6 min 36 min
Thus a qualified guess for the expected number of periodic LUPs per subscriber and
BH is:
NP-LUP = 1,5.
If T3212 is set to 60 minutes (T3212 = 10), the resulting value is:
NP-LUP = 1.

8 T3212 - Timer for periodic Location Update (please refer to chapter 6.3 for more information about periodic LUP).
The periodic LUP procedure is controlled by the timer T3212 in the MS. This timer is reset to 0 and started when a signaling
activity has taken place on the radio path (e.g. Location update, MOC, IMSI Attach). When the MS is powered down the current
value of T3212 is kept in memory. When the MS is powered up the timer starts running from the value thus contained in
memory. On expiry the MS initiates a Location Updating.

39
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
7.2.4 SMS
The number of SMS transmissions strongly depends on the subscriber’s behavior
and network specific conditions, such as the operator’s habits to transmit terminating
SMS messages to registered subscribers, either distributed or in 'bursts'.
NSMS = 0.2.

7.2.5 Location Request


The default value of Location Requests per hour is zero (Location Services not
considered; this value shall be adapted according to customers requirements).
NLR = 0
When LCS is enabled, typically a value of around NLR = 0.092 shall be taken into
account (please refer to chapter 9: Appendix A: Siemens Traffic Model).
NLR = 0.092
Number of Location Requests per Busy Hour depends on SMLC version and on
positioning method.

7.2.6 IMSI Attach/Detach


Based on information from the Siemens Traffic Model the number of
IMSI Attach/Detach events is assumed to be zero, because these events are taken
into account within Location Update events amount.

7.3 Required amount of SDCCH resources per cell


The tables below show all the information needed to calculate required number of
SDCCH resources for certain number of TRXs per cell. The SDCCH load depends on
amount of load per subscriber, so number of TCHs must be considered.
Based on the already presented information (description of the dimensioning process
in chapter 7) sum of #TCH/Fs and #TSs for signaling (both are columns in the
table 9) is total number of timeslots (#TSs) for certain number of TRXs (#TRXs).
Moreover both these values (i.e. #TCH/Fs and #TSs for signaling) depend on each
other and are obtained with respect to flow chart presented on figure 12, which
shows principles of iterative calculation of required number of SDCCH channels
where number of TRXs is an input value.
The calculation presented in the table below assumes values from Siemens Traffic
Model:
loadsub, TCH = 25 mErl,

loadsub, SDCCH = 4 mErl,

BSDCCH = 0.5%,

BTCH = 2%.

40
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
All the 4 input values mentioned above may be different for other traffic models. Thus
the table below is only an example to show the principle way of computation.
The traffic value (in Erl) is always related to calls, no matter whether FR or HR.
E.g. 26 Erl for HR means that 26 HR trunks can be served utilizing only 13 TSs.

Full Rate subscriber (FR)

TCH channels Signaling channels

BCCH SDCCH
TCH capacity
Capacity
# TCH/Fs

+ 8SDCCH
# TRXs

#subscribers #TSs BCCH #subscribers


# TSs

capTCH total
(TCH) + capSDCCH (SDCCH)
for CCCH +
#SDCCH
(subTCH) signaling + CCCH 8SACCH (subSDCCH)
[Erl] [Erl]
4SDCCH

1 8 7 2.9354 117 1 1 0 0 4 0.7011 175


2 16 14 8.2 328
2 0 1 1 8 2.729 682
3 24 22 14.895 595
4 32 29 21.039 841
5 40 37 28.253 1130
6 48 45 35.607 1424 3 0 1 2 16 8.099 2024
7 56 53 43.06 1722
8 64 61 50.587 2023
9 72 68 57.225 2289
10 80 76 64.856 2594
4 0 1 3 24 14.203 3550
11 88 84 72.528 2901
12 96 92 80.235 3209

Table 9: Calculation of #TCH and #SDCCH depending on #TRX for 100% Full Rate

The value of TCH capacity (capTCH) as well as SDCCH capacity (capSDCCH) is


calculated using Erlang B formula, e.g. for 1 TRX:

⎢ capSDCCH ⎥ ⎢ f ErlangB (# SDCCHs; BSDCCH ) ⎥ ⎢ f ErlangB (4; 0.5% ) ⎥ ⎢ 0.7011 Erl ⎥


subSDCCH = ⎢ ⎥=⎢ ⎥=⎢ ⎥ = ⎢ 4 mErl ⎥ = 175
⎣⎢ load sub , SDCCH ⎦⎥ ⎣⎢ load sub , SDCCH ⎦⎥ ⎣ 4 mErl ⎦ ⎣ ⎦

⎢ capTCH ⎥ ⎢ f ErlangB (# TCHs; BTCH )⎥ ⎢ f ErlangB (7; 2% ) ⎥ ⎢ 2.9354 ⎥


subTCH = ⎢ ⎥=⎢ ⎥=⎢ ⎥=⎢ ⎥ = 117
⎢⎣ load sub , TCH ⎥⎦ ⎢⎣ load sub , TCH ⎥⎦ ⎣ 25mErl ⎦ ⎣ 25mErl ⎦
For detailed description of above equations please refer to chapter 7.
As can be seen in the table above, 1 TS for signaling is only applicable in case of
one TRX per cell, because the amount of subscribers for two TRXs
41
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
(i.e. 328 subscribers) is higher than signaling capacity of 1 TS (i.e. 175 subscribers).
This leads to the conclusion:
1 TRX per cell: 1 signaling TS per cell,

> 1 TRX per cell: > 1 signaling TS per cell.

The flow chart presented below can be used in order to calculate required number of
TRXs for specified amount of TCH traffic. This flow chart corresponds to values from
Table 9 (FR trunks).
The table above, as well as the flow chart, assumes the Siemens Traffic Model. The
operator must be aware that different traffic models (or just a modification of STM)
may cause values different from those presented in this document and moreover
presented flow charts may be not optimal anymore.

42
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
TCH traffic

TCH TRAFFIC [Erl]


INPUT

TCH TRUNKS = 1
⎢ TCH TRAFFIC ⎥
subTCH = ⎢ ⎥
⎣ 25 mErl ⎦

Find number of traffic trunks


required to convey given TCH
traffic. capTCH [Erl] = f ErlangB (TCH TRUNKS; 2 %)

TCH TRUNKS = TCH TRUNKS + 1

No
capTCH ≥ TCH TRAFFIC

Yes

SDCCH SUB-CHANNELS = 1
SDCCH LOAD [Erl] = subTCH * 4 mErl

Find number of signaling sub- cap SDCCH [Erl] = f ErlangB (SDCCH SUB-CHANNELS; 0.5 %)
channels required to convey
signaling caused by users.
SDCCH SUB-CHANNELS =
SDCCH SUB-CHANNELS + 1

cap SDCCH ≥ SDCCH LOAD No

Decide wheatear this is


combined or uncombined
configuration. Yes No
SDCCH SUB −CHANNELS ≤ 4
Using Siemens Traffic Model
combined configuration of
signaling channels is BCCH = 0 BCCH = 1
applicable only for Combined configuration Uncombined configuration
configuration with 100% FR SDCCH/4 SDCCH/8
and one TRX (per cell).

⎡ SDCCH SUB−CHANNELS ⎤
∑ TS = ⎢⎢ 8 ⎥ + TCH TRUNKS + BCCH

Calculate number of TRXs. RESULT
⎡ ∑ TS ⎤
∑ TRX = ⎢⎢ 8 ⎥⎥

Figure 11: Flow chart for calculation of #TRXs for specified TCH load (Full Rate)

43
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
In order to use this flow chart to Half Rate trunks, the calculation of the number of
TSs (in the last step of this flow chart) should look as follows:

⎡ SDCCH SUB −CHANNELS ⎤ ⎡ TCH TRUNKS ⎤


∑ TS = ⎢⎢ 8 ⎥+⎢
⎥ ⎢ 2 ⎥ + BCCH

After this correction, the values from table below can be found.

Half Rate subscriber (HR)

TCH channels Signaling channels

TCH BCCH SDCCH


capacity Capacity
# TCH/Hs

+ 8SDCCH
# TRXs

#subscribers # TSs BCCH #subscribers


# TSs

capTCH total capSDCCH


(TCH) CCCH + + (SDCCH)
for
#SDCCH
(subTCH) signaling + CCCH 8SACCH (subSDCCH)
[Erl] [Erl]
4SDCCH

1 8 12 6.614 264 2 0 1 1 8 2.722 682


2 16 26 18.382 735
3 24 42 32.836 1313 3 0 1 2 16 8.099 2024
4 32 58 47.758 1910
5 40 72 61.036 2441
4 0 1 3 24 14.204 3551
6 48 88 76.378 3055
7 56 102 89.91 3596
8 64 118 105.468 4218 5 0 1 4 32 20.677 5169
9 72 134 121.104 4844
10 80 148 134.837 5393
11 88 164 150.581 6023 6 0 1 5 40 27.381 6845
12 96 180 166.37 6654

Table 10: Calculation of #TCH and #SDCCH depending on #TRX for 100% Half Rate

According to equation:

subSDCCH ≥ subTCH

all the time the number of subscribers on SDCCH must be greater than the number
of subscribers on TCHs.
The number of timeslots per cell differs depending on the trunk type:

44
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
In case Full Rate: # TS = # TS SDCCH + # TCH / F

⎡ # TCH / F ⎤
In case Half Rate: # TS = # TS SDCCH + ⎢ ⎥⎥
⎢ 2

As can be seen above, for a given #TRXs the #TCH/Fs is almost half of #TCH/Hs.
One TS for CCCH is considered regardless of the cell configuration. The number of
resources needed for the CCCHs must be calculated separately. The dimensioning
of CCCHs is not in the scope of this document.
The picture below depicts a flow chart that presents how the number of radio
timeslots for TCH and for SDCCH can be determined. This flow chart was prepared
for 100% Full Rate traffic. In order to use it in case of Half Rate traffic the only
difference is to change equation to calculate number of trunks:

TCH TRUNKS = TCH TS ⋅ 2

Additional assumption for HR traffic calculations is that cells are equally loaded with
HR mobiles (the same HR penetration in all cells).

45
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
#TRX
INPUT

#TS = #TRX * 8

Configuration with one TRX


and 100 % Full Rate traffic
#TRX = 1 Yes
&
Full Rate traffic

No SDCCH SUB-CHANNELS = 4
SDCCH SUB-CHANNELS = 8 (SDCCH/4)
(SDCCH/8)

⎢ SDCCH SUB−CHANNELS ⎥
TS TCH = # TS − ⎢ ⎥ − 1 (BCCH )
⎣ 8 ⎦
TCH TRUNKS = TS TCH
SDCCH SUB-CHANNELS = cap SDCCH [Erl] = f ErlangB (SDCCH SUB-CHANNELS; 0.5 %)
SDCCH SUB-CHANNELS + 8
cap TCH [Erl] = f ErlangB (TCH TRUNKS; 2 %)
capTCH
subTCH =
25 mErl
capSDCCH
subSDCCH =
4 mErl

subSDCCH ≥ subTCH
No

Yes

⎢ SDCCH SUB−CHANNELS ⎥
TS TCH =# TS − ⎢ ⎥ − 1 (BCCH )
⎣ 8 ⎦
TCH TRUNKS = TS TCH RESULT
⎢ SDCCH SUB−CHANNELS ⎥
SDCCHTS = ⎢ ⎥
⎣ 8 ⎦

Figure 12: Flow chart for calculation of TSs for traffic and signaling (Full Rate)

46
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
7.3.1 Mixture of HR and FR
In contrast to the previously described cases there is usually a mixture of FR and HR
in the TCH utilization. Half Rate will increase the number of TCH channels and
therefore more signaling will be required what leads to SDCCH re-dimensioning. Of
course also in these cases the equation

subSDCCH ≥ subTCH
must be fulfilled.
Examples of dimensioning in case of FR/HR mixture are presented in
chapter 8: Dimensioning examples, section 8.1: Example of mixture of FR and HR.
Depending on the FR/HR ratio the following table defines the optimum number of
TSs to be spent for TCH. Calculations were performed for values of traffic and
blocking taken from Siemens TM:

FR percentage
# TRX 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
1 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 7 7
2 13 13 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
3 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 22 22
4 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29
5 36 36 36 36 37 37 37 37 37 37 37
6 44 44 44 44 44 44 44 45 45 45 45
7 51 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 53 53
8 59 59 59 59 60 60 60 60 60 60 61
9 67 67 67 67 67 67 68 68 68 68 68
10 74 75 75 75 75 75 75 76 76 76 76
11 82 82 82 83 83 83 83 83 84 84 84
12 90 90 90 90 90 91 91 91 91 91 92

Table 11: Number of TCH TSs (TSTCH) in case of HR/FR mixture

The table above was computed by means of the Erlang B formula. The numbers of
TSs to be used for traffic are chosen in such a way that, considering the number
of TSs remaining for signaling, the maximum number of subscribers can be served.
Detailed calculation example can be found in chapter 8.1.2.

47
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
The table below gives the figures for the number of signaling TSs:

FR percentage
# TRX 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
1 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
2 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2
4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3
7 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
8 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
9 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4
10 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4
11 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4
12 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 4

Table 12: Number of signaling TSs (TSsign) in case of mixture of HR and FR

Adding values from both tables from the same cell should give in total the number of
TS for certain number of TRXs: #TRX * 8, e.g.:
#TRX = 8,
FR percentage = 60%.
For such an input there is:
60 TSs for TCHs (table 11),
4 TSs for signaling (table 12),
Total number of TS is: 60 + 4 = 64 TSs.

In the table 13 values of the number of trunks for certain configuration are presented.
These values are calculated based on values from table 11 in the way presented in
the following example:
#TRX = 11,
FR percentage = 30%.

For such an input there is (based on the table 11) 83 TSs for TCHs. This value has to
be multiplied by FR percentage in order to calculate Full Rate TSs:
TS FR = ⎡TS TCH ⋅ FR% ⎤ = ⎡83 TS ⋅ 30%⎤ = ⎡24.9 TS ⎤ = 25 TS

TS HR = TS TCH − TS FR = 83 − 25 = 58 TS
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Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
Based on the number of timeslots for certain rate, the number of trunks can be
calculated:
FRTRUNKS = TS FR = 25
HRTRUNKS = TS HR ⋅ 2 = 58 ⋅ 2 = 116
Total number of trunks is the sum of above values:
TCH TRUNKS = FRTRUNKS + HRTRUNKS = 25 + 116 = 141
The value calculated above value can be found in the table 13.

FR percentage
# TRX 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
1 12 11 10 10 9 9 9 9 8 7 7
2 26 24 23 23 22 21 19 18 16 15 14
3 42 39 37 35 33 31 29 27 25 24 22
4 58 55 52 49 46 43 40 37 34 31 29
5 72 68 64 61 59 55 51 48 44 40 37
6 88 83 79 74 70 66 61 58 54 49 45
7 102 98 93 88 83 78 72 67 62 58 53
8 118 112 106 100 96 90 84 78 72 66 61
9 134 127 120 113 107 100 95 88 81 74 68
10 148 142 135 127 120 112 105 98 91 83 76
11 164 155 147 141 132 124 116 107 100 92 84
12 180 171 162 153 144 136 127 118 109 100 92

Table 13: Number of trunks (HR and FR)

Based on the tables above the following table defines the total traffic that can be
conveyed on the TCHs. Values in the table 14 were calculated in terms of Erlang B
formula, witch blocking probability of 2 % (Siemens Traffic Model) and for number of
trunks taken from the table 13.

49
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s

FR percentage
# TRX 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
1 6.61 5.84 5.08 5.08 4.34 4.34 4.34 4.34 3.63 2.93 2.93
2 18.38 16.63 15.76 15.76 14.90 14.04 12.33 11.49 9.83 9.01 8.20
3 32.83 30.08 28.25 26.43 24.63 22.83 21.04 19.26 17.50 16.63 14.90
4 47.76 44.94 42.12 39.32 36.53 33.76 31.00 28.25 25.53 22.83 21.04
5 61.04 57.23 53.43 50.59 48.70 44.94 41.19 38.39 34.68 31.00 28.25
6 76.38 71.57 67.73 62.94 59.13 55.32 50.59 47.76 43.98 39.32 35.60
7 89.91 86.03 81.20 76.38 71.57 66.77 61.04 56.27 51.53 47.76 43.06
8 105.47 99.62 93.79 87.97 84.10 78.31 72.53 66.77 61.04 55.32 50.59
9 121.10 114.25 107.42 100.60 94.76 87.97 83.13 76.38 69.65 62.94 57.23
10 134.84 128.95 122.08 114.25 107.42 99.62 92.82 86.03 79.27 71.57 64.86
11 150.58 141.71 133.86 127.97 119.15 111.32 103.52 94.76 87.97 80.24 72.53
12 166.37 157.48 148.61 139.75 130.91 123.06 114.25 105.47 96.71 87.97 80.24

Table 14: Traffic capacity [Erl]

50
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
8 Dimensioning examples

8.1 Example of mixture of FR and HR

8.1.1 Example using values from HR/FR tables


Assumption: A cell is equipped with 2 TRXs which 10 % of FR connections.
This configuration (after comparison of signaling and traffic capacities and iterative
recalculations) allows 13 TS for TCH and 3 TSs must be allocated for signaling. In
case of 10 % of FR connections there would be 1.3 FR subscribers what require
roundup and results with 2 FR users, and 11 HR timeslots.
The total number of TCHs in this case is 24 (2 TCH/F trunks + 22 TCH/H trunks).
TCH capacity is then calculated for 22 TCHs using Erlang B formula and certain
blocking rate.
Below an example of mixture of HR and FR is shown with detailed calculation
performed step by step. Input values are:
Full Rate percentage - FR% = 10 %,
#TRXs = 2.

Values Remark
Number of TSs available for traffic
1 13 According to table 11.
(TSTCH)
TSFR = TSTCH * FR% = 13 TSs * 10 % = 1.3
2 Number of FR trunks (FRTRUNKS) 2 TSs – 2 trunks
2 TSs for FR
TSHR = TSTCH – TSFR = 13 TSs - 2 TSs for FR =
3 Number of HR trunks (HRTRUNKS) 11 TSs – 22 trunks
11 TSs for HR
TCHtrunks = TCHtrunks + TCHtrunks =
4 Total number of trunks (TCHtrunks) 24
22 HR trunks + 2 FR trunks = 24 trunks
Calculated by Erlang B formula (24 trunks; 2%
4 total offered traffic (capTCH) 16.63
blocking rate)
# subscribers according to TCH
5 665 subTCH = capTCH / 25 mErl
(subTCH)
TSsign = 8 * #TRXs – TSTCH = 16 – 13 = 3
Number of TSs available for
6 3 3 TSs for signaling means 1 TS for BCCH and 2
signaling (TSsign)
TSs for SDCCH (16 SDCCH/8 sub-channels)
Calculated by Erlang B formula (16 sub-channels;
7 SDCCH capacity (capSDCCH) 8.1
0.5% blocking rate)
# subscribers according to
8 2025 subTCH = capSDCCH / 4 mErl
SDCCH (subTCH)
# subscribers according to TCH
9 665 min(subTCH, subSDCCH)
and SDCCH

Table 15: Calculation example


51
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
8.1.2 Complete calculation (without HR/FR tables)

Assumptions:
TRXs: #TRX = 12
Full Rate percentage: FR% = 40%

Calculation:

Step 1
1. Total number of TSs: #TS = 96
TS =# TRX ⋅ 8 = 12 ⋅ 8 = 96

2. TCH trunks: 100% FR: FRTRUNKS = 92 (According to Table 13)


100% HR: HRTRUNKS = 180 (According to Table 13)

3. TCH TSs for 100% FR: TSTCH 100% FR = 92


TS TCH 100% FR = FRTRUNKS = 92 = TS TCH temp

4. TCH TSs for 100% HR: TSTCH 100% HR = 90


HRTRUNKS 180
TS TCH 100% HR = = = 90
2 2

5. Signaling TSs for 100% FR: TSsign 100%FR = 4 (According to table Table 12)

6. Signaling TSs for 100% HR: TSsign 100%HR = 6 (According to table Table 12)

The number of TCH TSs in case of FR/HR mixture will be within the range (90 - 92).
To evaluate these value iterative calculations needs to be done. Starting from the
higher value (in this example 92 TSs), the calculation will be proceeded in order to
find the optimal ratio between TCH and SDCCH channels providing the maximum
number of subscribers.

52
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
7. TCH TSs for mixture: FR: TSTCH MIX FR = 37
TS TCH MIX FR = ⎡TS TCH temp ⋅ FR% ⎤ = ⎡92 ⋅ 0.4⎤ = ⎡36.8⎤ = 37

8. TCH TSs for mixture: HR: TSTCH MIX HR = 55


TS TCH MIX HR = TS TCH temp − TS TCH MIX FR = 92 − 37 = 55

9. TCH trunks: TCHTRUNKS = 147


TCH TRUNKS = TS TCH MIX FR + TS TCH MIX HR ⋅ 2 = 37 + 55 ⋅ 2 = 147

10. Signaling TSs: TSsign = 4


TS sin g = TS − TS TCH temp = 96 − 92 = 4

11. SDCCH sub-channels: SDCCHSUB-CHANNELS = 24


[ ]
SDCCH SUB −CHANNELS = TS sign − 1( BCCH ) ⋅ 8 = (4 − 1) ⋅ 8 = 24

12. SDCCH capacity: capSDCCH = 14.2 [Erl]


cap SDCCH = f ErlangB ( SDCCH SUB −CHANNELS ; 0.5%) = 14.2 [ Erl ]

13. SDCCH subscribers: subSDCCH = 3550


⎢ cap SDCCH ⎥ ⎢ 14.2 ⎥
subSDCCH = ⎢ ⎥ = ⎢ 0.004 ⎥ = 3550
⎣ 4 mErl ⎦ ⎣ ⎦

14. TCH capacity: capTCH = 133.86 [Erl]


capTCH = f ErlangB (TCH TRUNKS ; 2%) = f ErlangB (147; 2%) = 133.86 [ Erl ]

15. TCH subscribers: subTCH = 5354


⎢ capTCH ⎥ ⎢133.86 ⎥
subTCH = ⎢ ⎥=⎢ ⎥ = 5354
⎣ 25 mErl ⎦ ⎣ 0.025 ⎦
The calculated number of TCH subscribers is greater than that of SDCCH
subscribers (i.e. 5354 vs. 3550) so a recalculation must be done for a changed
number of SDCCH sub-channels (increase number of SDCCH TSs which leads to
reduction of traffic TSs).
53
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
Step 2
Starting from point 7 the results are recalculated for:
TS TCH temp = TS TCH temp − 1 = 92 − 1 = 91

7. TCH TSs for mixture: FR: TSTCH MIX FR = 37


TS TCH MIX FR = ⎡TS TCH temp ⋅ FR% ⎤ = ⎡91 ⋅ 0.4⎤ = ⎡36.4⎤ = 37

8. TCH TSs for mixture: HR: TSTCH MIX HR = 54


TS TCH MIX HR = TS TCH temp − TS TCH MIX FR = 91 − 37 = 54

9. TCH trunks: TCHTRUNKS = 145


TCH TRUNKS = TS TCH MIX FR + TS TCH MIX HR ⋅ 2 = 37 + 54 ⋅ 2 = 145

10. Signaling TSs: TSsign = 5


TS sin g = TS − TS TCH temp = 96 − 91 = 5

11. SDCCH sub-channels: SDCCHSUB-CHANNELS = 32


[ ]
SDCCH SUB −CHANNELS = TS sign − 1( BCCH ) ⋅ 8 = (5 − 1) ⋅ 8 = 32

12. SDCCH capacity: capSDCCH = 20.68 [Erl]


cap SDCCH = f ErlangB ( SDCCH SUB −CHANNELS ; 0.5%) = 20.68 [ Erl ]

13. SDCCH subscribers: subSDCCH = 5170


⎢ cap SDCCH ⎥ ⎢ 20.68 ⎥
subSDCCH = ⎢ ⎥ = ⎢ 0.004 ⎥ = 5170
⎣ 4 mErl ⎦ ⎣ ⎦

14. TCH capacity: capTCH = 131.89 [Erl]


capTCH = f ErlangB (TCH TRUNKS ; 2%) = f ErlangB (145; 2%) = 131.89 [ Erl ]

54
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
15. TCH subscribers: subTCH = 5275
⎢ capTCH ⎥ ⎢131.89 ⎥
subTCH = ⎢ ⎥=⎢ ⎥ = 5275
⎣ 25 mErl ⎦ ⎣ 0.025 ⎦

SDCCH capacity is still smaller than TCH capacity (5170 SDCCH users < 5275 TCH
subscribers) so another iteration must be performed. Number of SDCCH timeslots is
increased again by 1 TS.

Step 3
TS TCH temp = TS TCH temp − 1 = 91 − 1 = 90

7. TCH TSs for mixture: FR: TSTCH MIX FR = 36


TS TCH MIX FR = ⎡TS TCH temp ⋅ FR% ⎤ = ⎡90 ⋅ 0.4⎤ = ⎡36.0⎤ = 36

8. TCH TSs for mixture: HR: TSTCH MIX HR = 54


TS TCH MIX HR = TS TCH temp − TS TCH MIX FR = 90 − 36 = 54

9. TCH trunks: TCHTRUNKS = 144


TCH TRUNKS = TS TCH MIX FR + TS TCH MIX HR ⋅ 2 = 36 + 54 ⋅ 2 = 144

10. Signaling TSs: TSsign = 6


TS sin g = TS − TS TCH temp = 96 − 90 = 6

11. SDCCH sub-channels: SDCCHSUB-CHANNELS = 40


[ ]
SDCCH SUB −CHANNELS = TS sign − 1( BCCH ) ⋅ 8 = (6 − 1) ⋅ 8 = 40

12. SDCCH capacity: capSDCCH = 27.38 [Erl]


cap SDCCH = f ErlangB ( SDCCH SUB −CHANNELS ; 0.5%) = 27.38 [ Erl ]

13. SDCCH subscribers: subSDCCH = 6845


⎢ cap SDCCH ⎥ ⎢ 27.38 ⎥
subSDCCH = ⎢ ⎥ = ⎢ 0.004 ⎥ = 6845
⎣ 4 mErl ⎦ ⎣ ⎦
55
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
14. TCH capacity: capTCH = 130.91 [Erl]
capTCH = f ErlangB (TCH TRUNKS ; 2%) = f ErlangB (144; 2%) = 130.91[ Erl ]

15. TCH subscribers: subTCH = 5236


⎢ capTCH ⎥ ⎢130.91⎥
subTCH = ⎢ ⎥=⎢ ⎥ = 5236
⎣ 25 mErl ⎦ ⎣ 0.025 ⎦

Finally the SDCCH capacity is not smaller than the TCH capacity (6845 SDCCH
subscribers and 5236 TCH subscribers) and the calculation is finished.
Based on the presented calculation, also the number of TCHSD channels in
TCHSD_POOL can be derived. For recommendation describing suggested approach
of TCHSD channels creation for TCHSD_POOL, please refer to chapter 4.4.3. For
more information about the Smooth Channel Modification feature, please refer to
chapter 4.4.

8.2 Dimensioning example of SMS Cell Broadcast implementation


The following picture shows a 4/4/3 BTSE configuration (100% Full Rate and 100%
Half Rate):

4 TRX

3 TRX

4 TRX

Figure 13: 4/4/3 site configuration

There are two cells with 4 TRXs (NTRX, cell = 4) and one cell with 3 TRXs. In case of HR
the number of trunks per TRX is doubled compared to FR and the calculation of TCH
channels considers this fact.

56
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
Full Rate Half Rate
#cells 3
#TRXs 4/4/3
NTRX, cell* 8 - TSsign = NTRX, cell *16 - TSsign * 2 =
3 TRX 3*8-2= 3 * 16 – 3 * 2 =
22 42
#TCHs
NTRX, cell* 8 - TSsign = NTRX, cell*16 – TSsign * 2 =
4 TRX 4*8-3= 4 * 16 – 3 * 2 =
29 58
3 TRX 14.895 Erl 32.836 Erl
Traffic
4 TRX 21.039 Erl 47.757 Erl
14.895 Erl 32.836 Erl
3 TRX = 595 = 1313
25 mErl 25 mErl
#subscribers
21.039 Erl 47.757 Erl
4 TRX = 841 = 1910
25 mErl 25 mErl

Table 16: Calculation of values for FR and HR

The number of TCHs is calculated as the number of TRXs multiplied by the number
of trunks per one carrier (8 in case of FR and 16 in case of HR) and this number is
reduced by number of signaling TSs. The number of signaling channels varies by the
number of TRXs for FR and HR separately. The number of signaling channels for a
certain number of TRXs can be found in Table 9 (FR) and Table 10 (HR).
For the calculated number of TCHs the amount of traffic is calculated based on the
Erlang B formula. Considering the Siemens TM, the number of subscribers per cell is
calculated as traffic divided by loadsub, TCH = 25 mErl.
The table below shows the impact of SMS Cell Broadcast activation on the
subscriber’s capacity of cell. In the example below the Siemens Traffic Model is
considered.

57
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
Full Rate (FR)
per cell: SMS-CB disabled SMS-CB enabled
# TRXs NTRX, cell 3 4 3 4
# TCHs TCH 22 29 21 29
# TSs for signaling TSsign 2 3 3 3
# SDCCHs SDCCH 8 16 15 = 16 – 1 15 = 16 – 1
TCH capacity capTCH 14.895 Erl 21.039 Erl 14.036 Erl 21.039 Erl
SDCCH capacity capSDCCH 2.729 Erl 8.099 Erl 7.3755 Erl 7.3755 Erl
subscriber capacity subTCH 595 841 561 841
(TCH)
subscriber capacity subSDCCH 682 2024 1843 1843
(SDCCH)

Table 17: Impact of SMS Cell Broadcast on cell capacity

Results for cell with 3 TRXs:

In case of 3 TRXs the required number of TSs for signaling is 2 (Case 2; please refer
to chapter 5.3 and 5.4). As a CBCH requires resources on one of available TSs there
would be reduction of available SDCCH sub-channels (from 8 to 7 in this case).
2 TSs for signaling are no longer sufficient when Cell Broadcast is enabled. They
correspond with 7 SDCCH sub-channels available and a subscriber’s capacity of 539
(instead of 8 SDCCHs and 682 subscribers for case without Cell Broadcast).

1st TS 1 BCCH + 1 CCCH


W/o CBCH 2 TS nd
2 TS 8 SDCCH + 8 SACCH
st
1 TS 1 BCCH + 1 CCCH
With CBCH 2 TS
2nd TS 7 SDCCH + 7 SACCH + 1 CBCH

Table 18: Configuration of control channels in cell with 3 TRXs

Due to the fact that the subscribers capacity of TCH channels remains the same (and
thus exceeds SDCCH capacity of the cell) another TS must be assigned for SDCCH
purposes. The number of SDCCH channels must be increased at the cost of TCH
channels. This will lead to a configuration with 3 signaling TSs and 21 TCHs (instead
of 22 TCHs). Three available TSs for signaling leads to SDCCH with CBCH
configuration Case 3 (please refer to chapter 5.3 and 5.4):

58
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
1st TS 1 BCCH + 1 CCCH
Case3 More than nd
2 TS 7 SDCCH + 7 SACCH + 1 CBCH
CBCH 2 TS
Further TSs 8 SDCCH + 8 SACCH

Table 19: Expansion of signaling channels in order to ensure required signing capacity

Now SDCCH capacity is not the limiting factor anymore, but there is a reduction of
the TCH capacity because of the reduction of TCH channels.

Results for a cell with 4 TRXs:

3 TSs for signaling are also sufficient when SMS Cell Broadcast is enabled. It is still
possible although the number of SDCCHs was decreased because the number of
subscribers that can be served by means of 15 SDCCH sub-channels (i.e. 1843)
exceeds subscriber capacity of TCHs (i.e. 841). Therefore the number of subscribers
per cell is the same, regardless of whether SMS Cell Broadcast is enabled or not.

8.3 SDCCH in case of Dual Band Standard Cell


The example below shows the benefits of the Dual Band Standard Cell configuration
in comparison to the Dual Band Cell (legacy approach). In case of a Dual Band
Standard Cell only common BCCH is used whereas in case of Dual Band Cell there
are two BCCHs (one per band).
For description of Dual Band Standard Cell please refer to chapter 5.5.
For better understanding of calculations described in this example please refer to
chapter 7, where dimensioning rules were presented.

Assumptions:
5 TRXs for 900 MHz frequency band,
5 TRXs for 1800 MHz frequency band,
Traffic per subscriber on a TCH: loadsub, TCH = 25 mErl,
Traffic per subscriber on a SDCCH: loadsub, SDCCH = 4 mErl,
Blocking probability of TCH: BTCH = 2%,
Blocking probability of SDCCH: BSDCCH = 0.5%,
100% Full Rate: FR% = 100%.

59
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
Dual Band Cell Dual Band Standard Cell

TRX TS
# TS = ⋅ = 5 ⋅ 8 = 40
band TRX
In order to fulfil restriction described in chapter 7
per
split of TS should be as follows:
band
TSTCH: 37; TSsign: 3

Number of These values can be found in tables 11 and 12


timeslots respectively (5 TRXs, 100% Full Rate).
TRX TS
# TS = number _ of _ bands ⋅ ⋅ = 2 ⋅ 5 ⋅ 8 = 80
band TRX
per TSTCH: 76; TSsign: 4
cell
These values can be found in tables 11 and 12
respectively (10 TRXs (2 * 5 TRXs), 100% Full
Rate).
capTCH = 28.25 Erl
per
Total band (from Erlang table for 37 channels and 2%
carried blocking probability)
traffic on capTCH = 64.86 Erl
TCHs per
cell (from Erlang table for 76 channels and 2%
blocking)

per subTCH = 1130


Number of band (28.25 Erl / 25 mErl)
subscribers
(TCH) per subTCH = 2594
cell (64.86 Erl / 25 mErl)
capSDCCH = 8.1 Erl
(from Erlang table for 16 SDCCH sub-channels
per
(2 TS) and 0.5% blocking probability)
Total band
carried One of three signaling TSs is reserved for
signaling BCCH.
load on capSDCCH = 14.2 Erl
SDCCHs
per (from Erlang table for 24 SDCCH sub-channels (3
cell TSs) and 0.5% blocking probability)
One of four signaling TSs is reserved for BCCH.
subSDCCH = 2025
per (8.1 Erl / 4 mErl)
band
Number of Signaling capacity sufficient (2025 > 1130) (9)
signaling
subscribers subSDCCH = 3550
per
(14.2 Erl / 4 mErl)
cell
Signaling capacity sufficient (3550 > 2594)

9 Signaling capacity (number of users) should not be smaller than traffic capacity. For details regarding signaling capacity
please refer to chapter 7.
60
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
Dual Band Cell Dual Band Standard Cell

Total number of 2260


2594
served subscribers (1130 users per band)

Total number of TSsign = 6


TSsign =4
signaling timeslots (3 per band; 1 BCCH per band)

Total number of SDCCHTS = 4 SDCCHTS = 3


SDCCH TSs (2 SDCCH TSs per band) (1 Common BCCH per cell)

Table 20: Calculation example of SDCCH in Dual Band Standard Cell

The total number of subscribers supported in a Dual Band Standard Cell is higher in
terms of hard blocking (10).
The number of required timeslots for SDCCH channels to support signaling is lower
in the Dual Band Standard Cell (3 vs. 4) but this reduction is configuration dependent
(because of the granularity during calculations) and it may happen that this
comparison in case of other configurations will give the same result of required
SDCCHs.

10 Hard blocking - The blocking due to no resources available.


61
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
9 Appendix A: Siemens Traffic Model
Detailed values from the Siemens Traffic Model are included in table below.

Default values, to be
Parameter Description Dimension adapted according to the
customer's requirement
Subscriber related parameters

# Mobile Originating Call attempts per subscriber and BH 11


NMOC ( ) 1/h 0.6

# Mobile Terminating Call attempts per subscriber and BH 12


( )
NMTC 1/h 0.4

NSMS # SMS messages per subscriber and BH 1/h 0.2

0 13
NLR # Location Requests per subscriber and BH 1/h ( )

Mobility related parameters


# Location Updates per subscriber and BH (including IMSI
NLUP 1/h 2.0
Attach/Detach events)
NHO #Intra-BSC HOs per subscriber and BH 1/h 0.5

0 14
IMSIAttach # IMSI Attach per subscriber and BH 1/h ( )

0 15
( )
IMSIDetach # IMSI Detach per subscriber and BH 1/h

Link related parameters

Mean holding Time 16


( )
Tmh Sec./CA 90

BTCH Blocking probability for TCH channel % 2


Bsignaling Blocking probability for signaling % 0.5
loadsub, signaling Signaling per subscriber mErl 4
loadsub, TCH Traffic per subscriber mErl 25

Table 21: Siemens Trafic Model values

11 Including unsuccessful CAs.

12 Including unsuccessful CAs.

13 Typically a value of around N = 0.092 shall be taken into account.


LR

14 Please refer to number of Location Updates (N ).


LUP

15 Please refer to number of Location Updates (N ).


LUP

16 The holding time of a CA (either successful or unsuccessful) is the time between the first and the last exchange of signaling
information.
62
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
10 Appendix B: Description of messages used in message flows
This table contains short description of messages used in message flows presented
in this document in chapter 3. For more detailed information about message flows
please refer to [PMMF].

Message
Full Message Name Type Interface Notes
Acronym
BTS uses this message to
acknowledge CHANNEL
ACTIVATION message and
CHANNEL activation of requested channel
Abis RSL type.
ACTIVATION CHNAK BTS BSC
Message
ACKNOWLEDGE When BSC receives this
message it does not necessarily
mean that requested channel
was activated without error.
This message reserves and
activates channel on Um
interface. This message contains
CHANNEL
CHNAV Abis RSL (17) BSC BTS
information of required channel
ACTIVATION Message type (HR/FR), DTX (on/off), etc.
BTS needs this information in
order to activate transcoders
(TRAU).
This message is sent by BTS as
Abis RSL a response on CHANNEL
CHANNEL REQUIRED CHNRD BTS BSC
Message REQUEST message received
from MS.
This message is used by MS in
CHANNEL REQUEST CHNREQ Um Message MS BTS order to request channel when it
is in idle state.
Message sent from BTS to BSC
which indicates that the SET
ASYNCHRONOUS BALANCED
ESTABLISH Abis RSL MODE frame (Um layer 2
ESTIN BTS BSC
INDICATION Message connection setup message sent
by MS) was received by the BTS
for the activated channel (TCH or
SDCCH).
Contains all information required
IMMEDIATE for SDCCH channel assignment
Abis RSL
ASSIGNMENT IACMD BSC BTS on Um interface. This message is
Message
COMMAND used by BSC as a response on
CHANNEL REQUIRED.
Message sent from BTS to MS as
IMMEDIATE
IMASS DTAP (18) BTS MS
a response on receive
ASSIGNMENT Message IMMEDIATE ASSIGNMENT
COMMAND from BSC.
IMMEDIATE IMASSRJ DTAP BTS MS BSC may send IMMEDIATE

17 RSL – Radio Signaling Link (A protocol).


bis

18 DTAP – Direct Transfer Application Part (Protocol (MS  BSC, MS  MSC)).


63
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
ASSIGNMENT Message ASSIGNMENT REJECT as an
REJECT answer for CHANNEL
REQUIRED if no SDCCHs are
available.
PAGING REQUEST is used to
page the MS in case of MTC and
PAGING REQUEST PAGREQ Um Message BTS MS
SMS-MT while the MS is in 'idle'
mode.
Message sent from BSC as a
Abis RSL
PAGING COMMAND PGCMD BSC BTS response on paging message
Message
from the MSC.
SET MS sends this message after
Um layer2
ASYNCHRONOUS SABM MS BTS receive of IMMEDIATE
Message
BALANCED MODE ASSIGNMENT from BTS.
This frame is used to answer
SET ASYNCHRONOUS
BALANCED MODE frame.
UNNUMBERED Um layer2 UNNUMBERED
UA BTS MS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Message ACKNOWLEDGEMENT frame is
used in order to acknowledge
Layer2 connection (during
establishing and terminating).

Table 22: Description of messages used in message flows

64
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
11 APPENDIX C: Use case: SDCCH creation for a cell
For steps required for a creation of SDCCH channel for a cell please refer to [DB]
where a detailed description of such a case can be found.

65
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
12 APPENDIX D: Parameters and settings
Below a list of parameters relevant for this document was included. For a detailed
description of presented parameters please refer to [DB].

12.1 Siemens BSS parameters relevant for SDCCH channel

Parameter meaning Parameter Description

Direct TCH Assignment allows assignment of a TCH channel


Direct TCH assignment DIRTCHASS
without previous assignment of an SDCCH.

This parameter determines whether Inter BSC SDCCH


Inter SDCCH handover EISDCCHHO
handover is enabled.

This parameter determines whether the BSC may send a


Forced handover ENFORCHO FORCED HANDOVER REQUEST message for running
SDCCH connections to the BTS.

UMTS SDCCH This parameter determines whether intra-cell handover due to


EUSDCHO
handover quality is enabled for SDCCH-SDCCH handovers.

Inter-cell handover for This parameter determines whether Inter-cell SDCCH-SDCCH


IERCHOSDCCH
SDCCH handover is enabled.

Intra-cell handover for This parameter determines whether intra-cell handover due to
IRACHOSDCCH
SDCCH quality is enabled for SDCCH-SDCCH handovers.

This parameter defines the maximum number of retransmission


Maximum number of attempts the MS can perform on the RACH if the previous
MAXRETR attempts have been unsuccessful.
retransmissions
The attempt procedure is presented on figure 3.

This parameter indicates when its value is different from


SDCCH Drop Rate SDCCHDROR <NULL>, that the KPI ‘SDCCH Drop Rate’ is observed for the
feature ‘Quality of service alarms’.

This parameter indicates when its value is different from


SDCCH Loss Rate SDCCHLOSR <NULL>, that the KPI ‘SDCCH Loss Rate’ is observed for the
feature ‘Quality of service alarms’.

This parameter is relevant for BR8.0 Performance


Measurement Counter called ‘Mean number of busy SDCCHs
per signaling procedure’ (MBUSYSSP; For more details about
Transparent messages TRANSPM this measurement please refer to chapter 13.1 and [PMMF]).
The purpose of this counter is to allow a more detailed
observation of the SDCCH load with respect to the traffic type
that was processed via the allocated SDCCH.

Table 23: Siemens BSS parameters relevant for SCCH channel

66
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
12.2 Parameters for Smooth Channel Modification

Parameter meaning Parameter Description

Channel Pool Type CHPOOLTYP Identifies the pool type for TCHSD TSs.

New tag has been inserted to identify the new TCHSD channel
Channel Combination CHTYPE
shared between TCH and SDCCH.
Defines the SDCCH load threshold which causes the move of a
Sdcch Congestion
SDCCHCONGTH TCHSD from the TCHSD_POOL to the
Threshold
SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL and vice versa.
Interval of time after that the TCHSD can be released by the
Timer Guard Tchsd TGUARDTCHSD
SDCCH_BACKUP_POOL to the TCHSD_POOL.

Table 24: Parameters for SCM

67
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
13 Appendix E: Performance measurements and counters
Below a list of counters relevant for this document was included. For a detailed
description of presented counters please refer to [PMMF].

13.1 SDCCH related measurements

Counter meaning Counter Counter Related to


Number of Defined SDCCHs NDESDCCH SDCCH Availability
Number of Available SDCCHs NAVSDCCH SDCCH Availability
Mean Number of Busy SDCCHs MBUSYSDC Busy SDCCHs
Maximum Number of Busy SDCCHs MAXBUSDC Busy SDCCHs
Number of Attempted SDCCH Seizures in a Period NATTSDPE SDCCH Seizure
Number of Successful SDCCH Seizures in a Period NASUSDPE SDCCH Seizure
Attempted SDCCH Seizures Meeting an SDCCH
ATSDCMBS SDCCH Seizure
Blocked State
Mean Number of Busy SDCCHs per Signaling
MBUSYSSP SDCCH Seizure
Procedure
Number of Successful Seizures for USSD Signaling NSUSDSUS SDCCH Seizure
All Available SDCCHs Allocated Time ASDCALTI SDCCH Blocking Time
Invalid RACH (PRACH)
Number of Invalid RACH Messages NINVRACH
Access

Table 25: SDCCH related measurements

13.2 TCH and SDCCH Assignment Related Measurements

Counter meaning Counter Counter Related to


Immediate Assignment
Attempted Immediate Assignment Procedure ATIMASCA
Procedure
Successful Immediate Assignments of Signaling Immediate Assignment
NSUCCHPC
Channels Procedure
Immediate Assignment
Successful Immediate Assignment Procedure SUIMASCA
Procedure
Total Number of Assignment Attempts TASSATT Assignment Procedure
Total Number of Assignment Failures TASSFAIL Assignment Procedure
Total Number of Successful Assignments TASSSUCC Assignment Procedure

Table 26: TCH and SDCCH Assignment Related Measurements

68
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
13.3 Release and Loss of Dedicated Connections Related Measurements

Counter meaning Counter Counter Related to


Normal and Abnormal
Number of CLEAR COMMAND Messages NRCLRCMD BSSMAP Release of
Connected Resources
Normal and Abnormal
BSSMAP 19 Release of
( )
Number of CLEAR REQUEST Messages NRCLRREQ
Connected Resources
Normal and Abnormal
Number of Lost Radio Links while using an SDCCH NRFLSDCC BSSMAP Release of
Connected Resources

Table 27: Release and Loss of Dedicated Connections Related Measurements

13.4 Handover Related Measurements

Counter meaning Counter Counter Related to


Attempted Internal SDCCH Handovers Intercell AISHINTE Handover
Attempted Internal SDCCH Handovers Intracell AISHINTR Handover
Attempted MSC-Controlled SDCCH Handovers AOINTESH Handover
Successful Internal SDCCH Handovers Intercell SISHINTE Handover
Successful Internal SDCCH Handovers Intracell SISHINTR Handover
Successful MSC-Controlled SDCCH Handovers SOINTESH Handover
Unsuccessful Internal SDCCH Handovers Intracell with
UISHIALC Handover
Loss of Connection
Unsuccessful Internal SDCCH Handovers Intercell UISHINTE Handover
Unsuccessful Internal SDCCH Handovers Intracell UISHINTR Handover
Unsuccessful Internal SDCCH Handovers Intercell with
UISHIRLC Handover
Loss of Connection
Unsuccessful MSC-Controlled SDCCH Handovers with
UMCSHLC Handover
Loss of Connection
Unsuccessful MSC-Controlled SDCCH Handovers UOINTESH Handover

Table 28: Handover Related Measurements

19 BSSMAP - Base Station Subsystem Mobile Application Part. BSSMAP is used on the SCCP (Signaling Connection Control
Part) protocol on SS7 (Signaling System number 7) on the A interface. BSSMAP is taking care of messages which have to be
processed by the BSC. In general this applies to all messages to and from MSC.
69
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s
s
13.5 Miscellaneous Measurements

Counter meaning Counter Counter Related to


Number of Channel Allocation Requests Not Served in Service Dependent Channel
CHALNHLY
the Highest Layer or at all Allocation

Table 29: Miscellaneous Measurements

13.6 SCM Related Measurements

Counter meaning Counter Counter Related to


Mean Duration a TCHSD with TCHSD_POOL can be TCHSD
MDURTCSD
Used as SDCCH SCM
Number of Available TCHSD NAVTCHSD TCHSD Availability
Number of Defined TCHSD NDFTCHSD TCHSD Availability
TCHSD
Number of TCH-SDCCH Channel Modifications NTCHSDCM
SCM

Table 30: SCM Related Measurements

70
Planning Guideline: SDCCH dimensioning s