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Hutchison 3G
Engineering Documentation
Scrambling code allocation
Radio Design
stratGroup
egy

Author:

Mattia Quinzio (Nokia)

Owner:

Paul Sheehan

Confidence
:
Date:

12/07/02

Status:

Issue

Title:

Scrambling code allocation strate g y

Version:

I1.0

Summa r y:

A strate g y and methodology for DL prima r y scrambling code allocation


in H3G netw ork , for launch plus 6 months.

Docume n t
no.

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1.1 Document Version History


Ve rsion

Date

Au t h or

Re ason fo r Cha ng e

D1.0

1 2 / 0 7 / 0 2 M a t ti a Q ui nzio

1 st ve rsion

D1.1

2 3 / 0 7 / 0 2 M a t ti a Q ui nzio

Code
n a mi ng
added,
code
g ro up
s tr a t e g y r e vise d fo r car rie rs a n d laye rs

I1.0

2 4 / 0 9 / 0 2 Pa ul She e h a n

Re vise d fo r m a t ti ng

1.2 Distribution List


Name

O r ga nisa tion/ De p a r t m e n t

Kassir H ussain

RF S tr a t e g y & O p ti misa tion

D a vi d H e n n essy

N a tion al Rollou t

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1.3 Contents Page

1.1 Document Version History ........................................................................................................... 2


1.2 Distribution List .............................................................................................................................. 2
1.3 Contents Page ................................................................................................................................. 3

2 Document Scope ................................................................................................................ 4


2.1 Purpose ............................................................................................................................................ 4
2.2 Intended Audience ......................................................................................................................... 4
2.3 Synopsis ........................................................................................................................................... 4

3 References ........................................................................................................................... 4
4 Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 5
5 Scrambling codes ............................................................................................................... 5
5.1 Uplink ............................................................................................................................................... 5
5.2 Downlink .......................................................................................................................................... 5
5.2.1 Code naming ............................................................................................................................... 6

6 UE synchronization process .............................................................................................7


6.1 Cell selection ................................................................................................................................... 7
6.2 Neighbours measurements .......................................................................................................... 7

7 Requirements for code allocation ...................................................................................8


8 Tools..................................................................................................................................... 9
8.1 Enterprise v 3.4 .............................................................................................................................. 9
8.2 Enterprise v 4.0 .............................................................................................................................. 9
8.3 Enterprise v 4.1 .............................................................................................................................. 9

9 Code allocation ................................................................................................................ 10


9.1 Process overview ......................................................................................................................... 10
9.2 Cell octets ...................................................................................................................................... 11
9.3 Group reuse distance .................................................................................................................. 12

10 Code groups strategy ....................................................................................................13


10.1 Carriers ....................................................................................................................................... 13
10.2 Layers .......................................................................................................................................... 13
10.2.1 Pico Layer ................................................................................................................................ 14
10.2.2 Micro layer ............................................................................................................................... 14
10.2.3 Macro layer .............................................................................................................................. 15
10.3 Reserved code groups .............................................................................................................. 15
10.3.1 Test ........................................................................................................................................... 15
10.3.2 Exceptional cases .................................................................................................................. 15
10.4 Restraints on code use, national borders .............................................................................15

11 Appendix ......................................................................................................................... 17
11.1 GIS tool ........................................................................................................................................ 17

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Document Scope

2.1 Purpose
This document proposes a strategy to accomplish the task of scrambling code allocation for
H3G UMTS network.

2.2 Intended Audience


The RF Design & Terminals and the National Network Rollout & Integration teams.

2.3 Synopsis

References

[1]

3GPP TS 25.214 v3.10.0 (2001- 03); Technical Specification Group Radio Access
Network; Physical Layer Procedures (FDD) Release 1999.

[2]

Kourtis S, "Code Planning Strategy for UMTS-FDD networks"

[3]

Memorandum of Understanding concluded between France and the United


Kingdom on coordination in the 1900- 1980 MHz, 2010- 2025 MHz and 2110- 2170
MHz frequency bands; Version Dec 2001; Doc (01) 05 E rev 1

[4]

Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the administration of the


United Kingdom and Ireland on coordination in the 1900- 1980 MHz, 2010- 2025
MHz and 2110- 2170 MHz frequency bands; Version 06/1- /01

[5]

Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the Isle of Man and the


United Kingdom on coordination in the 1914.9- 1919.9 MHz, 1920.3- 1930.3 MHz
and 2110.3- 2120.3 MHz frequency bands; Version 27/03/01

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Introduction

There is the need to define a scrambling code allocation strategy before H3G
network launch.
This documents first describes the basic concept of scrambling codes (chapter
5) and their impact on UE performances (chapter 6). Downlink scrambling
code allocation is not crucial on the overall system performances. It has been
proven though how the UE performances can be improved when scrambling
codes are defined with certain constraints deriving from the neighbour lists
(chapter 7). Unfortunately the Aircom planning tool currently available cannot
support this process (chapter 8).
In this scenario, the proposed strategy comes as an interim solution for H3G
network launch plus 6 months, described in chapter 9. In the long- term
scenario more appropriate tools will be available, providing the flexibility to
rewrite the strategy and methodology for scrambling code planning.
The last chapter deals with planning codes on different carriers, different
layers and at national borders.

Scrambling codes

In the UMTS radio access network all cells can reuse the same frequency
carrier for downlink transmission; the same happens for all the mobiles in the
uplink. In both links the transmission is separated in reception through the use
of scrambling codes.

5.1 Uplink
The allocation of scrambling codes on the uplink is performed by the RNC at
any new connection and, depending on the vendor, little or no planning action
is required.

5.2 Downlink
On the downlink, instead, scrambling codes are cell specific and must be
planned on a per cell basis before network integration. There are 512
scrambling codes sets; each set includes one primary scrambling code and 15
secondary scrambling codes. The secondary scrambling codes will be used
when intelligent antennas are deployed. As this is not going to happen in the
first year of H3G network, a strategy for secondary scrambling codes is out of
the scope of this document. The 512 primary scrambling codes are organised
into 64 groups of 8 codes each. The definition of code groups is meant to
increase the flexibility of the synchronisation process in terms of speed,
reliability and processing requirement, as chapter 6 describes.

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Each scrambling code should identify uniquely one cell in the area; this means
that in any location all the cells that a UE can measure need to have different
scrambling codes in order to be unambiguously detected.

5.2.1 Code naming


The RAN scrambling code parameter is simply numbered from 0 to 511, as in
Table 1.
k\j

63

16

504

17

505

10

18

506

11

19

507

12

20

508

13

21

509

14

22

510

15

23

511

Table 1 : Scrambling codes numbe ring

A further code- naming scheme can be defined for the allocation strategy
described in this document. The proposed scheme is a three- character string:
the first two digits indicate the code group (j, from 00 to 63) and the third
letter is for the code inside the group (k, from A to H).
k\j

63

00A

01A

02A

63A

00B

01B

02B

63B

00C

01C

02C

63C

00D

01D

02D

63D

00E

01E

02E

63E

00F

01F

02F

63F

00G

01G

02G

63G

00H

01H

02H

63H

Table 2 : Scrambling code- naming for code allocation

In this document codes will be referred to following Table 2 scheme. A simple


look- up table can be used at any time to convert codes from one naming
scheme to another.
1

00A

00B

00C

509

510

511

63F

63G

63H

Table 3 : Scrambling codes look- up table

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UE synchronization process

6.1 Cell selection


The UE follows a three- step synchronization process every time it has to
synchronize to a new cell for cell selection (see Table 4). In this process the UE
is blind, i.e. it has no knowledge of the scrambling code used by the detected
cell.
Ste
p

Cell selection

slot synchronization

Frame synch. & code group identification

scrambling code identification and CPICH measurement


Table 4 - Synchroniza tion process

In the first step, slot synchronisation is achieved using the Primary


Synchronisation Code on the P-SCH, common to all the cells in the network.
In the second step the frame synchronization is obtained and the scrambling
code group is determined from the Secondary Synchronisation Code
sequence; there is a one- to- one relationship between 64 different code
sequences on the S-SCH and 64 scrambling code groups.
Once frame synchronization is achieved the primary scrambling code can be
identified and the pilot channel measured [1] . The Ec/Io measurements on the
CPICH are at the base of cell selection criteria.

6.2 Neighbours measurements


Even though the algorithm used by the UE to synchronize to a neighbour cell
is vendor specific, it is reasonable to assume that the same synchronization
process specified for cell selection will be used, as it has been designed to
minimize time and complexity required to the UE.
While following the steps of the synchronization process for neighbour cell
measurements, the UE knows in advance the scrambling code of the cell it has
to synchronize to and measure. This knowledge might be used, while defining
the code allocation strategy, to reduce complexity and to gain on performance
[2] .
Ste
p

Speed

Reliability

Processing

Slot sync

Frame sync

Slow

Low

Low

CPICH
meas.

Fast

High

High

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Table 5 - Characte ristics of sync steps for neighbour cells measure m e n ts

Any strategy on scrambling code allocation should aim to find the best tradeoff between the speed for a fast handover and the processing power
requirement (and hence battery consumption) on the second and third stages
of the synchronization process done for neighbour cell measurement.
In the neighbours measurement process the main roles are played by the
number of neighbours (N), the number of code groups (M) and the number of
code per groups (L) used in the neighbour list.
It has been studied [2] that minimizing M and maximizing L leads to faster
handovers at the expenses of higher processing power requirements for the
UE. As well it is currently believed that this increase in UE power consumption
can be ignored if compared to the total UE power consumption (there might be
scope for investigating more on this subject).
In conclusion it is recommended to minimize the number of code groups and
consequently to maximize the number of codes per group in all neighbour lists
in the network.

Requirements for code allocation

From what is described in the previous chapters and from other considerations
related to neighbour cell planning, a set of requirements could be deducted to
clearly derive the process of scrambling code allocation.
a) All cells that a mobile station is able to measure in any location of the
network service area should have different scrambling codes.
b) No cell should have the same code as any of its neighbour cells
c) No two cells in one neighbour list should have the same code
d) When cell A and cell B both have cell C in their respective neighbour
lists, cell A and cell B should have different scrambling codes
e) In a neighbour list the number of code groups used by the neighbour
cells should be kept at minimum and consequently the number of codes
per group should be maximised
Comments:
-

The effect of all the requirements involving the neighbour lists


clearly depend on the neighbour definition strategy, that is treated
separately in another document. For the scope of this document
we can reasonably assume that for network launch, neighbours
would be defined based on propagation prediction, in a way that
two cells are defined as neighbours if their service areas overlap.
Under this assumption requirements b) would be equivalent to
requirement a).

Requirements c) and d) introduce more restrictive conditions. A


further speculation can be done whereas neighbours relationship
are always symmetrical for network launch; in this case

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requirement d) would be the most restrictive one, and somehow


guarantee that a), b) and c) are satisfied.
-

Requirement e) is to be treated separately from all the others; an


optimisation algorithm would be needed to find the optimal
solution to such complex problem.

Tools

At the time of writing this document no tool is available to perform a


scrambling code planning that fulfil all the requirements from chapter 7.

8.1 Enterprise v 3.4


The Enterprise planning tool version 3.4 has no facility for scrambling code
planning.
The frequency- planning module could possibly be used for that purpose,
allocating codes as if they were frequency channels. This type of allocation
wouldnt allow setting any constraint on groups and codes per group, as well
as any constraint on the neighbour lists. Furthermore the frequency- planning
tool is not part of the license currently held by H3G, which means it would
have to be bought separately.
For all these reasons we obviously conclude that Enterprise v3.4 cannot be
used for any scrambling code planning.

8.2 Enterprise v 4.0


Enterprise 4.0 release provides a cell specific scrambling codes planning and
assignment functionality. The tool assigns scrambling code to all the cells
having the same carrier.
The scrambling code planner functionality, though, is quite basic, and is purely
driven by the only constraint of interference; scrambling code are assigned to
each cell making sure that the interfering cells dont have the same
scrambling code (as from the first requirement, chapter 7).
At the time of writing this document, this tool release has not been tested yet
on H3G side, therefore no further comment on it can be made available.

8.3 Enterprise v 4.1


The scrambling code planner tool for Enterprise version 4.1 will be significantly
enhanced compared to release 4.0.
The tool will be based on an optimisation algorithm. Its current design includes
allocation of codes per groups with reference both to neighbour lists and
interfering cells. As well distance constraints and barred codes can be taken
into account.

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From the design, this tool seems to give enough flexibility for the planner to
control the allocation under all the mentioned requirements.
Unfortunately its not still clear yet when this software release will be
available. For the purposes of this document, it is assumed that this would be
too late for H3G network launch. Therefore alternative solutions must be
found.

Code allocation

The strategy hereafter is meant to be valid for the first year of H3G network
life. Along or at the end of the year, as soon as a code- planning tool is
available, a revision of the strategy is strongly recommended.
The process described includes a proposal for an internal developed tool to
perform the code allocation in an automated, assisted way for the Macro layer.
The code allocation for Micro and Pico cells can be done manually, even
though following the same guidelines as for the Macro layer.

9.1 Process overview


1. The following
allocation

figure

resumes

the

basic steps of scrambling

code

Scrambling codes
allocation

NO

Are requirements
all met

Neighbour lists
definition

YES

Implement codes
and neighbours
Figure 1 : Process overvie w

Ideally the code allocation should be performed on the input of the neighbour
lists but:

No tool is available for that purpose

Any optimal code allocation done for a certain neighbour list input
might not be optimal when the input changes; the neighbour lists of
a non- mature network are subject to continuous changes, which
would imply frequent re-run of the code allocation.

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The proposed process hence can be a preferable one if its possible to find a
set of conditions for the scrambling code allocation strategy to guarantee that
all or most of the requirements are satisfied with virtually any possible
neighbour lists set. No new code allocation would be needed when neighbour
lists changes.
The two next subchapters describe how scrambling code assignment can be
performed. To effectively allocate codes on the entire network, it is suggested
to develop a tool based on GIS application (i.e. MapInfo) to support the process
(see 11 Appendix ).

9.2 Cell octets


Figure 2 suggests how cells can be grouped together to form cell octets.

cell octet

radius

Figure 2 : Cell octets

The way the groups are formed is purely based on cell location and azimuth,
with no involvement of propagation predictions; therefore no planning tool is
required. A cell octet is formed by 8 contiguous cells and is limited by a
maximu m distance, i.e. the radius.
When a mobile runs through a network like in Figure 2 it is expected to be
either:

Inside a cell octet area; in this case it is likely that all cells belonging to
the octet are neighbours of the cell the mobile is connected to (adjacent
cells neighbours cells)

At the border of a cell octet area; in this case the neighbour list currently
held by the mobile could include cells from 3-4 different cell octets

The idea is to create cell octets and assign eight codes from one code group to
the eight cells inside the octet. Doing this way the number of different code
groups used by the adjacent cells is kept at minimum and, intuitively, so it
could be for the neighbour cells. The octet approach is a simple, geometrical
solution to the problem expressed with requirements e).

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9.3 Group reuse distance


Once cell octets are defined, different code groups will be assigned to adjacent
octets. The code group assignment must be done maximizing the distance
between octets using the same code group.
With 50 code groups available, each one of 8 codes, there is a potential reuse
pattern of 50 x 8 = 400 cells. The distance between cells using the same
scrambling code can be maximised so to guarantee that all the requirements
from a) to d) can be satisfied, even in the densest part of the network.

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10 Code groups strategy


Figure 3 resumes the code group allocation strategy described in the next
subchapters.
Code groups
00
Test

01

09

10

19

20

Reserved (9)

31

32

41

42

51

52

Macro Layer (50)

59

60

63

Pico layer (4)

Isle of Man border (32)


France border (32)

Upon conditions,
see chapter

Ireland border (32)

Figure 3 : Scrambling code groups allocation

10.1

Carriers

H3G will operate on three carriers: F1, F2 and F3. Only F1 will be used initially,
while at the time of writing theres still no certainty about when F2 and F3 will
be utilized.
F1 will be used by both Macro and Pico layer. For code allocation on F1 we
refer to the layer section in this chapter
F2 will most certainly be used by the Micro layer, but not in the first year. A
strategy and methodology for code allocation on F2 is therefore out of the
scope of this document.
F3 might be used both for special sites (H3G shops locations) or to deploy
more capacity to Macro layer urban sites. In the first case a manual code
allocation is suggested, using codes from the 9 reserved code groups. In the
second case, the same code allocation pattern done for F1 can be reused for
F3 (50 code groups available). To reduce at minimum the effect of
interference between two collocated transmitters using the same codes on
different carriers a simple shift in code groups can be introduced, as from next
table.
F1
F3

00 01 31 32 63
31 32 63 00 31

Table 6 : Code groups shift betw e e n carriers

As an example, a sector who has been assigned scrambling code 01D on F1


could use code 32D on F3.

10.2

Layers

Code coordination is needed when different layers share the same carrier; this
is the case of the Macro- cell layer and Pico-cell layer sharing F1 carrier. As
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they are likely to grow independently, a suggested strategy is to reserve a


certain number of code groups to each layer.

10.2.1

Pico Layer

Figure 4 : UK and London tow n - Pico cells location

Figure 4 shows the distribution of indoor sites for the first year of H3G network
in all the country and, with higher zoom, in London town, the densest area.
Each Pico site configuration might vary depending on the building layout and
on the capacity need. We assume that one site can have 4 cells maximu m, i.e.
it would need 4 scrambling codes.
The Pico cell design, in general, is such that the overlap between the Pico layer
and the macro layer is kept at its minimum; furthermore two Pico sites would
be hardly close enough to produce any mutual interference at all. This means
that in principle reserving 4 scrambling codes for the whole Pico layer could
possibly be enough.
Nevertheless, given the high number of code groups available in total (64), the
possibility of expanding the Pico layer network and the chance of having
unexpected interference between Pico sites, 4 code groups (16 codes) should
be reserved for indoor cells transmitting on F1, from group 60 to 63 (codes
60A to 63H).

10.2.2

Micro layer

The Micro cell layer is not going to be deployed in the first year. Furthermore it
is expected to be deployed using F2 carrier; in this case all the 512 scrambling
codes could be made available and planning should be done with the same
requirements as for the Macro layer (see chapters 7).
Constraints on code groups usage might come for Micro cells located close to
the borders with Ireland, France or the Isle of Man, for which we refer to
chapter 10.4 .

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10.2.3

Radio Design

Macro layer

50 code groups are made available for code allocation on Macro layer, for a
total of 50x8 =4 00 scrambling codes, from group 10 (code 10A) to 59 (code
59H).
Figure 3 shows how 50 groups could be reduced to 32 close to national border
areas, as specified in the chapter 10.4 .

10.3

Reserved code groups

10.3.1

Test

Code group 00 (codes 00A to 00H) are reserved for test purposes.

10.3.2

Exceptional cases

It is recommendable reserving a few code groups for cell splitting / new sites
integration. In fact, even if the code planning is meant for network launch + 1
year so that all sites integrated during the first year should have their codes
already planned, these reserved groups would cope with the possibility that
after network launch some area might be redesigned and new sites could be
urgently added to the plan.
Code groups from 01 to 09 are reserved for that purpose.

10.4

Restraints on code use, national borders

According to the current Memorandum of Understanding with France [3] ,


Ireland [4] , and The Isle of Man [5] there may be some coordination required
between operators of these countries on the usage of scrambling codes on the
same carriers within UMTS FDD DL bandwidth.
The conditions that determine whether coordination is required are based on
the mean field strength of each carrier as predicted at a height of 3 m above
ground at all points on the border or the territory of the neighbouring
countries.
Signal threshold

Pow er
GHz)

(@2

Codes
allow ed

Coordina tion
require d

<=
dBV/m/5MHz

21

< = 122 dBm

All

No

<=
dBV/m/5MHz

45

< = 98 dBm

Preferential

No

> 98 dBm

Preferential

Yes

> 45 dBV/m/5MHz

Table 7 : Condition for coordina tion on scrambling codes

Enterprise planning tool is to be used to generate coverage predictions for all


sites potentially interfering the neighbour countries. Prediction should be
calculated with PA transmitting at full power and with the correct antenna
gains and cable losses. The coverage array can be displayed with the power
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thresholds defined in Table 7 to evaluate the interference on the neighbour


land.
The preferential code groups are set differently for the neighbouring countries
and are reported in the next table.
Neighbour country

Prefere n ti al
H3G

code

France

10 41

Ireland

20 51

Isle of Man

00 31

groups

for

Table 8 : Prefere n ti al code groups per country border

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11 Appendix
11.1

GIS tool

The problem described in chapters 9.2 and 9.3 can be solved with the use of a
GIS application like MapInfo.
Using Map Basic program ming language a tool can be developed to perform
the following operations:
1. Import a network text file from Enterprise
2. Draw sites and sectors on a map according to the imported locations and
azimuth
3. Generate cell octets all over the imported network, grouping contiguous
cells
4. Assign one code group to each octet, maximising the reuse distance
5. Assign one code to each cell inside the octets, maximizing the distance
between cells using the same code
6. Import neighbours lists from text files generated from Enterprise
7. Provide check functionalities based on allocated codes and imported
neighbour lists as from requirements b) to d)
8. Produce statistical results on number of code groups and number of
codes per group from the neighbour list (requirement e)
9. Export the results of scrambling code allocation in a format suitable for
import in Enterprise planning tool and/or NPPS

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