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Coverage Planning

Coverage Planning


This is a technical document detailing a typical approach to Coverage Planning Process.

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Coverage Planning


Coverage Planning
(1.0) Introduction Page 3

(2.0) Inputs for Cell Planning Page 3

(3.0) Phase Planning Page 5

(4.0) Data Gathering Page 6

(5.0) Cell Planning Page 6

(5.1) Preliminary Cell Plan Page 7

(5.2) Final Cell Plan Page 11

(6.0) Drive Testing and Initial Optimisation Page 14

(6.1) Initial Drive Test Report Page 14

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Coverage Planning

(1.0) Introduction:

Radio coverage is frequently perceived to be the most important measurement for network
quality. Radio coverage planning plays a major role in GSM network planning, because it
decides extent of coverage area, speech quality, mobility and customer satisfaction. Various
forms of inputs and limitations from the customer in terms of spectrum availability, network
dimensions, frequency planning, network growth, local wireless regulations and finally the RF
environment itself plays an important role in coverage planning. The approach for the
coverage plan needs to be well defined since, it requires to accommodate various phases of
network growth across time without any compromise on service quality goal.

(2.0) Inputs for Cell Planning:

The inputs required for coverage planning are summarised as below,

(2.1) Coverage Definition:

It plays an important role in coverage planning since these are used for link budget
calculations whose output defines the coverage and site parameters. Coverage parameter
involves defining RF thresholds in terms of received levels at MS end and coverage
probabilities for various strategic locations of the coverage areas that are supplied by
customer. These are listed below;

RF Threshold (dBm) Locality Coverage Probability

≥ - 62 High priority business and commercial areas, Indoor high probability
VIP residential areas, Prestigious hotels/Tourist (> 50 %)
places and some Prestigious residential areas.
≥ - 72 Other commercial areas, Prestigious residential Indoor medium
areas, High priority industrial areas, Shopping probability (= 50 %)
Malls, Airport, Railway stations, Sports
stadium, Exhibition centres, Special Tunnel
areas for Railway and Roads.
≥ - 82 All remaining suburban residential area, Indoor low probability (<
Pedestrian area, Parks, etc. 50 %)
≥ - 92 Town/Village areas within the city limits, Rural Indoor low probability (<
areas within city limits and Highways outside 50 %)
city limits.
≥ -102 Outdoor with vehicle mount antennas. Highways outside city
limits (Car kit assembly)

The design criteria used for radio coverage of a cell is to meet coverage probability of > 90%.
The signal level received at both the mobile station and the base station has to meet the
threshold specified in GSM technical specification 05.05. These thresholds referred as
reference sensitivity for base station is -104 dBm while for the MS it is -102 dBm. In order to
ensure reliable communication the planning figures used for radio planning has to include an
extra margin to account for the shadow fading. The margin is dependent on the standard
deviation of the received signal level and path loss characteristic. Details for calculating fade
margin is discussed in document on Link Budget Design.

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(2.2) Quality of Service:

As for coverage requirement the customer needs to define his benchmark for quality
requirements across the different clutter types. Typically he defines for 95% of time, 95% of
area should have RxQual better than 4. The division of these bench marks for different area is
as below,

RxQual Threshold (0 to 7) Locality Quality Probability

≥ 4 (BER > 3.2%) Outdoor (Streets, roads, etc.) 95% of the area.
≥ 4 Indoor priority buildings 95% of the area.
≥ 4 Indoor other buildings 90% of the area.

Quality of service is an important benchmark for assuring optimum network performance

since the subscriber opinion on the network is based on speech quality he perceives. Hence

the quality requirements specified by the customer plays a key role in planning specially in
frequency planning as interference is the major threat to speech quality, RxLevel, the radio
environment follows next.

(2.3) Subscriber, Traffic and Sites Distribution:

From the Radio Network Design document information related to subscriber distribution
across the different areas, their traffic anticipation in phases and finally the number of sites
with their individual configuration are gathered. The process is discussed in the Radio
Network Design document. It is to be noted that in the first phase of the network microcells
are not planned. Once the sites in first phase are set up then from the traffic reports one gets
detail on traffic demand in various areas. This rise in traffic will be catered either by
macrocells of later phases or a plan for microcells is to be made. As microcells are planned
for capacity than for coverage hence the implementation of microcells entirely depends on the
traffic demand, capacity limitations by existing macrocells and customers approval.

(2.4) Spectrum Availability:

The customer needs to provide information related to spectrum (number of ARFCNs) that has
been allocated to him in each band in case of dual band operations and whether he expects
more spectrum allocation in future. This is very essential from frequency planning point of
view which, reflects on network quality goals.

(2.5) Area Definition:

A planner needs to know the area type he is expected to cover under his plan. It starts with
defining whether the area is Rural or Urban, because the approach of the plan varies in both
the cases. If an area has been classified to fall under Urban then it needs to be sub-classified
as which part of the area falls under Low-Urban, Sub (Medium)-Urban and Dense-Urban.
These details are normally marked on the maps that are supplied by the customer.

(2.6) Mobile Types expected:

The customer has to define which all classes of mobile he expects to be used in his network,
this plays a crucial role in Link budgeting since Up-link calculations are based on MS (Mobile
station) maximum transmit power allowed. Typically the network is planned assuming Class 4
MS in GSM900 network with maximum output power of 2 Watts and Class 1 MS in DCS1800
network with maximum output power of 1 Watt.

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(2.7) Specific Coverage requirement:

There are many cases wherein the customer wants to focus on coverage and quality
requirements for special areas, buildings, highways, etc. He lists out the special coverage
requirements and the benchmark to be met for these areas. Some special coverage and
quality requirements in areas such as important commercial areas, airports, hotels,
commercial establishments, etc. has been covered in the Coverage Definition and Quality of
Service inputs from the customer above.

(2.8) Other Relevant Inputs:

Besides the above mentioned inputs there are few other inputs which could be of help are;

(2.8.1) Preferred Site Locations:

Many times customer has a list of candidates referred as ‘ Friendly Candidates’ who are
ready to lend their premises for installation of Base station. These could be of importance
during the time of location of sites for coverage prediction or during candidate survey.

(2.8.2) Specific restrictions:

In certain cases there are few restrictions posed by the government authorities on the usage
of a spectrum band in a particular area. Further there could also be list of structures on which
a site cannot be planned like, heritage buildings, hospitals, schools and colleges, etc. A list
and address of the same is essential to ensure that a site is not located on a restricted
structure. In many case antennas needs to be camouflaged with the surrounding such that
coverage requirements are met without visibility of antenna such as from the entrance or they
are to be placed in such a way that it adds to the beauty of surrounding. Plans in such cases
are special and do not follow the normal procedure, hence play a vital role in the network plan
since frequency assignment and site parameters needs to be well planned.
Having gathered the relevant information the planner incorporates these data into the
Planning Tool and starts his work on generating coverage predictions. The process of
planning the network is discussed below,

(3.0) Phased Planning:

Radio Network Design report provides with the coverage areas with number of macrocellular
sites planned with their respective configuration. Using this report a coverage plan is made
with respect to final phase (final roll out plan) of the project. This allows the planner to have a
good idea of the total number of sites expected in different areas in different phases of
implementation. He goes about by locating dummy sites in the areas of interest as per the
radio network design report and later migrates down to earlier phases by grouping the sites in
phases in coordination with the customer. This makes the link budget calculation, frequency
planning and coverage planning to change with phases of the network.

Consider a case where the customer plans to have 100 sites in its final phase and wants to
implement them across 3 phases. He recommends that in the first phase he want to
implement 50 sites, in second phase 30 sites and in final or third phase 20 sites. Here the
planner makes a plan as per 100 sites and does all the necessary calculations to achieve the
desired objective in terms of coverage and quality of service. Having done this he goes about
planning for second phase where he plans for 80 sites. In this case he does re-calculation of
the site parameters, re-defines the link budget, frequency plan, etc. He does similar calculation
for phase one with 50 sites and re-predicts the results. It is to be noted at this point that the
customer sets his bench marks for individual phases and the planner needs to plan the
network to meet this benchmark.

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(4.0) Data Gathering:

Planning tool plays an important role in all the task of the network planning activities. It is a
centre point where all the relevant information of the network in terms of site location,
frequency assignment, traffic data, field measured drive data, etc. are stored in phased
manner. For using the tool one requires to gather inputs that need to be fed in to calculate
and give results. For further details on Planning tools and its features, use and involvement at
various stages of network planning refer to report on Planning Tool for Radio Network Design.
The inputs required for planning tool is listed below,

(4.1) Digital Terrain Elevation Data:

The grid files on which the sites are located and coverage results are predicted.

(4.2) Digital Clutter Data:

Also referred to as land usage data, plays a major role in site location, model selection, clutter
editing, etc. hence in absence of accurate clutter data prediction results will not be accurate.
Clutter data could be 2D or 3D format where 2D formats could be made easily available and
are economical, whereas 3D format which are imported from satellite images are quite
expensive. Using 3D clutter data predictions can made with high degree of accuracy, however
2D data can be corrected on basis on clutter knowledge and drive test results to produce
reasonable level of accuracy.

(4.3) Vector Data:

These are data having details of main roads, streets, by-lanes, highways, rail-routes,
landmarks, lakes, rivers, etc. There are separate files for each of these above mentioned
class that is main roads, highways, etc., which can be imported in the planning tool and
displayed as layers over the elevation grid data. This helps in locating dummy sites accurately
and with reliability such that the planner does not end with locating dummy sites on road or

(4.4) Antenna Data:

Since antenna selection play a major role in generating coverage results, hence the desired
antenna patterns from the specific manufactures or the manufactures with whom the vendor
has tied up needs to imported in the tool.

(4.5) Site parameters:

For locating sites on basis of radio network design report one needs to know the site
configuration in terms of number sectors, frequencies per sector, transmit power per sector,
latitude and Longitude, antenna height, etc.

(4.6) Traffic data and site distribution:

As the site location and its parameters depends on the traffic distribution hence a knowledge
of traffic expectation area wise is necessary, number of sites required in an particular area is
essential for site distribution and tentative location of dummy sites. These informations are
available from Network Design Report.

(5.0) Cell Planning:

Once the inputs for have been gathered followed by compilation of data for the planning tool,
the planner divides further activities in two stages Preliminary Cell Plan and Final Cell Plan.
They are discussed below,

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(i) Preliminary Cell Plan:

The activities involved in this stage includes locating dummy sites in the planning tool,
defining their parameters to the best knowledge of cell planner, choosing appropriate model
and predicting the coverage. The planner fine tunes his predictions and generates a
preliminary prediction report as per the final roll out plan and results predicted for each phase
of the network. This report is taken for internal review upon corrections of which is handed
over to the customer for his approval. The customer reviews the report and gives his
feedbacks that are to be studied and implemented. The changes that are suggested involve
reviewing the site locations, re-predicting coverage results and re-defining site configuration.
On final approval from the customer the details are handed over to field survey team who go
about identifying candidates, carrying out propagation test, the details of which are discussed
Final Cell Planning.

(ii) Final Cell Plan: This involves carrying out field survey of candidate for sites, propagation
(CW) test for candidates as listed by the planner, model tunning, re-calculating link budget
and re-predicting coverage with actual coordinates, height, tunned model and more realistic
link calculations. A final report is prepared which after internal review is handed over to the
customer with final site list. Customer arranges for site acquisition upon which is handed over
to operation for base station implementation and commissioning after which the initial network
optimisation follows.

(5.1) Preliminary Cell Plan:

The activities involved in the Preliminary cell plan stage are explained below. Flow chart (1.1)
shows Preliminary Cell Planning Process.

(5.1.1) Site Location and Parameters Definition:

On basis of the inputs gathered the planner locates dummy sites on the digital terrain map
ensuring proper site location and distribution on the basis of clutter map and vector data
incorporated over the digital terrain map. After completion of site location he defines the
parameters for each site. The most important parameters are listed below,

a. Number of sectors
b. Azimuth per sector.
c. Antenna type per sector.
d. Transmit power per sector.
e. Antenna height per sector.
f. Model selection.

The number of sites and sectors per site depends on the information extracted from Radio
Network Design Report. Antenna selection and its height definition depend on how the
planner wants the area to be covered and traffic to be distributed. Document on Antennas for
Mobile Communications talks about the parameters to be understood before final antenna
selection and what are the pros and cons of different antenna types. From the Link Budget
Design document one calculates the transmit power in terms of EIRP depending on the
mobile class he is expecting. The type of propagation model to be selected is a task in itself
which, is discussed as below,

(5.1.2) Model Selection:

The selection of appropriate propagation model entirely depends on which clutter class the
sites are located. RF environment differs for different clutters hence proper model selection is
a must for getting accurate and reliable results. Documentation on Radiowave Propagation
and Models discusses on the radio environment, standard

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Data Required Available Spectrum

Initial Radio Network Digital Terrain Maps Restrictions in using the

Design Clutter data spectrum
Vector data

Initial Radio Network Planning Procedure

Search Areas for Site

Location Coverage Prediction

Flow Chart –(1.1) Preliminary Cell Planning Process

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propagation models for different clutter types and model selection. This document gives
planner a fair idea on the model he should select which, could be same for sectors in the site
or may differ for each sector as it depends on the clutter area covered by each sector.

As an illustration following clutter types are considered which talks about site objective, their
parameters and models in these area types as discussed below,

(i) Large cell in Quasi Open or Low -Urban:

Under this environment the slope of received signal is low typically between 25 to 30
dB/decade, visibility of surrounding area is high and hence RF signals can propagate to long
distances hence, large cells can be planned in this area. The general site objective is to cover
wider areas where capacity is not a constraint and the sites are located at far away distances.
Antennas are planned above the maximum height of the surrounding clutter and the cell
radius normally exceeds 3 Kms. Wide beamwidth antennas are chosen for coverage in this
area typically 90° to 120°. Orientations of the sectors are generally kept as standard to
0/120/240 or 30/150/270 or 60/180/300 degrees. Hata model with extension up to 2 GHz
(COST 231 – Hata Model) can be used to calculate path loss in such cells.

(ii) Small cell in Sub -Urban or Urban:

Under this environment the slope of received signal is high as compared to open area
typically between 30 to 35 dB/decade. Expected area to be covered is limited to couple of
kilometres since in these areas capacity requirements are high besides allowing wider
coverage area. Small cell can be planned in this area, where the antenna is sited above the
median but below the maximum height of the surrounding clutter and path loss can be
determined as for large cells. When the size of the cell is less than 1 Km the Hata model
cannot be used whereas since the cell is in urban area and with cell size less than 5 Kms
COST 231 Walfisch - Ikegami model is used. Link budget calculations restraints from using
high power (typically allowed is 8 Watts) and using antennas with beamwidth typically
between 60° to 65°. Again here standard orientation is preferred since the antennas are above
the average clutter hence interference could pose a problem, standard orientation allows easy
re-use of frequencies.

(iii) Micro cell in Dense -Urban:

Under this environment the slope of received signal is substantially high typically between 35
to 40 dB/decade and expected area to be covered is small. As high traffic density is required
along with low level of interference, antennas are located below the average terrain height,
ensuring target areas are visible from the lower heights. Here the focus is more on in building
coverage plus few roads and by-lanes. Normally areas of these types include small
Macrocellular and Microcellular sites, where Microcells sites target specific pockets and
potential buildings and Macrocells besides providing umbrella coverage over the Microcells it
targets traffic on road and in buildings. Narrow beam antennas are selected to reduce
interference and compensate for penetration loss of 15 to 20 dB. Here interference plays a
crucial role since a compromise is required between high traffic demand per square kilometre
and interference due to extensive frequency re-use. Normally wall mount antennas with non-
standard orientations are planned in such area since the clutter does not follow a defined
pattern that will allow standard orientation. Microcell model can be used for calculating path
loss but for the cells other than microcells Walfisch – Ikegami model can be used for radius
less than 5 Kms.

(5.1.3) Special Coverage:

Customer many times has special coverage requirements and wants to focus on them
individually. These special coverage requirement includes important roads, highways,
buildings, underground roadway tunnels, etc. The solutions could be either using repeater or

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using an independent base station. In these cases the coverage area is very confined hence
their coverage prediction can differ. As an instance let us consider the following special

(i) Highways:

A highway could be located within a dense vegetation area or in an open area. The
subscriber could be either using car kit mobile with high power transmission antenna mounted
on the vehicle or normal handheld unit. The objective of these sites is to provide coverage to
wider length of the highway but confined width wise. Normally two sectored sites

with narrow beamwidth antenna typically 36° placed above all the obstructions (around 60 mts
plus) are planned. This allows coverage with high gain antennas along the highway stretch,
with less room for horizontal spreading. It is to be noted that in such cases capacity is not the
criteria for site location but coverage and connectivity is the issue, in the sense that it should
have sufficient overlapping with neighbouring cells so that proper hand-over is justified. The
highways can be in open areas or in dense vegetation, in former case antenna height limited
to the visibility of the section of the road where hand-over is to be initiated. Whereas in the
latter case antenna height needs clear the vegetation and also ensure visibility to the section
of the road where hand-over is to be initiated.

(ii) Roadway Tunnel Areas:

Coverage planning for tunnel roadways depends on the traffic density and length of the
tunnel. We have various ways to cover the section of the tunnel such as using independent
base station or repeaters. Using a independent base station is applicable in the case where
both coverage and capacity needs to be provided whereas in case of repeaters which, is
extension of coverage of an existing site caters to coverage requirements. Coverage can be
provided in one of the following ways,

a. Using Leaky cable or radiating cable.

b. Coaxial cable with distributed antennas.
c. Using narrow beamwidth antennas.

The use of above options entirely depends on the tunnel structure. For instance leaky cable
that are provide uniform coverage at all the points are best for non-dividing tunnels. However
if the tunnel gets divided into two paths then coaxial cable with distributed antennas could be
a better solution. In case the major part of the tunnel is straight then using a single narrow
beamwidth antenna could be effective.

Whatever coverage solution the planner chooses he has to ensure proper hand-over within
the tunnel (in case it is planned to cover it with two cells) and with external base station at the
exit ends of the tunnel.

(5.1.4) Indoor Coverage:

Providing indoor coverage to important commercial buildings is a common requirement

demanded by the customer. The solution in such cases either lie in covering the building with
high gain directional antennas externally or using indoor panel antennas. The penetration loss
suffered by signals from external antennas is between 15 to 20 dB. Further as signal travels
down to lower floors it suffers an additional loss of 2 to 3 dB. That means at higher floor levels
the signal is strong compared to lower floors but at higher floors signal from multiple servers
can reach (better LOS condition) hence higher interference.

Due to such limitations the planner goes for better options wherein he plans to cover the
indoor of the building using specially designed indoor antennas. These indoor antennas have
wide V beamwidth and narrow H beamwidth and can be easily mounted on the ceiling.
Typically indoor plans are made for buildings where coverage needs to be provided across 2

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to 3 walls. Either repeater or Microcells can be used in such cases, wherein the choice
between the two depends on whether the requirement is only coverage or capacity cum
coverage. Appropriate antenna location is to be chosen such that the coverage objective is
met and hand-over between incoming and outgoing traffic is well maintained.

The next task of the cell planner is to run prediction for each site and analyse its results. This
activity is described under Preliminary Coverage Analysis below,

(5.1.5) Preliminary Coverage Analysis:

Here the planner runs the prediction and analyses the coverage results. Analysis of the
results is to ensure that all the sites are contributing to cover their respective objective areas
thereby ensuring proper capacity distribution between sites. He measures his result on basis
of best server display and overlapping coverage display. In case he finds the coverage
objective of the site not accomplished or that the site is overlapping with its neighbour cell
more than planned for then he re-tunes the site parameters in terms of location, height,
antenna changes, etc. With this re-tuning and running coverage

predictions in parallel he approaches to best coverage results. Being satisfied with the result
he carries out similar prediction for all individual phases and comes out with Preliminary Cell
Plan Report which is taken for an internal review.

Based on the suggestions made by the internal review he makes the necessary changes and
hands over the report to customer for his approval. If the customer wants some modifications
or changes in the report he reverts back to the planner, who then make the changes to satisfy
customers demand.

(5.2) Final Cell Plan:

Having finally accepted the report the planner goes about making Final Cell Plan Report
which includes task that are described in detail as below. Flow Chart- (1.4) shows Final Cell
Planning Process.

(5.2.1) Candidate Survey and CW Measurements:

The planner hands over the list of site locations with coordinates to the field survey team
responsible for site surveys. He clearly defines the search area with maximum 100 mts spatial
deviation from the reference location. He prepares report for each site indicating their location
over the GUI map like Mapinfo, it’s coordinates and the objective of the site. Site Selection
document talks in detail about points to be considered while doing site survey such that it
meets the RF objective without much of spatial diversion from the given coordinates. The
survey team comes up with at least 3 best candidates for each site and hands over the details
such as coordinates, height, visibility and obstruction details to the planner. From this site
survey report the planner choose to carry out CW measurement for few sites most probably
the best candidates located in different clutter types. This is the most effective way of getting
accurate results from field and tunning the predictions so as to get more realistic coverage.

The final outcome is that the planner has a list of actual coordinates for the sites, their
physical parameters and CW results for few candidates. He uses this data to tune his
prediction model, re-calculate the link budget and re-predict the results so as to make field
results near to predicted results. Model tunning and final analysis is discussed as below.

(5.2.2) Model Tunning:

The CW measurement data is imported in the planning tool and the propagation model of the
site for which the measurement was made is tuned to get the least standard deviation

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Data Required Available ARFCHs RF Data

CW Field
Initial Radio Network Digital Terrain Maps Specific instructions in Measurements
Design Clutter data using the spectrum. RF Survey
Vector Data Link Budget Calculation
Model Tuning

Final Radio Network Planning Procedure

Interference Probability
Final Site Locations Computation

Outage Probability
Antenna Selection Computation

Coverage Prediction Neighbour list Definition

Frequency Plan
Initial System Parameters

Flow Chart –(1.2) Final Cell Planning Process

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typically between 6 to 9 dB and the mean error of zero dB. Details on tunning the model is
described in Model Tunning documentation, from which the planner arrives at optimum values
of ‘K’ constants. These ‘K’ constant values for the sites that fall under different clutter types
are used for tunning the models of the site falling in similar clutter areas.

Having completed the process of tunning the model the planner makes a final analysis of the
coverage results, prepares a frequency plan, analysis the C/I results thereby arrives to
optimum frequency plan. The details are discussed below,

(5.2.3) Final Analysis and Frequency Plan:

Having tuned the model the planner analyses his new coverage results by comparing it with
initial preliminary coverage results. He prepares a frequency plan for the network and test’s
his plan by carrying out C/I analysis for Co and Adjacent channel interference. The
methodology for planning frequency is discussed in Frequency Planning document which,
also describes in brief on the Automatic Frequency Planning module in the planing tool. This
is an iterative process wherein he has to set a balance between desired coverage, allowed
interference, capacity requirements and spectrum limitations thus arriving to the most
optimum coverage result and the frequency plan.

Having completed the task of assigning the frequencies the planner next needs to define the
database parameters for appropriate functioning of the network in terms of hand-over, cell
selection and re-selection, traffic and control channel configuration, etc. Parameter planning
document describes in detail all the relevant radio parameters of importance to the planner. It
includes the GSM standard parameters with allowed range of values. For proper mobility and
radio management definition of these parameters are most important.

Finally on reaching to the best optimum coverage plan and defining the site database
parameters, the planner prepares a Final Cell Plan Report to the effect for internal review. On
basis of the feedback he makes the required changes and the report is handed over to the
customer for his approval. The report includes,

a. Best server coverage plot for the network.

b. Cell boundaries coverage plot.
c. Worst C/I (for co-channel and adjacent channel) analysis result.
d. Frequency plan and assignment details.
e. Site configuration (site ID, coordinates, number of sectors, height, antenna
types, azimuth, etc.)
f. BCCH, BSIC and LAC plan details.
g. CW measurement data.
h. Candidate survey report.
i. Site database settings.
j. Neighbour cell definition.
k. Special features to be enabled.

On acceptance of this report the planner prepares individual site report for implementation
team defining the physical parameters of the site that includes,

a. Number of sectors: Final Cell Plan report includes details on it.

b. Antenna location, on the roof top or wall mount, candidate survey report has
details on it.
c. Antenna structure, whether split or delta structure candidate survey report
includes the details on the same.
d. Antenna height and Azimuth of each sector, candidate survey report includes
the same.
e. Antenna diversity, whether space or polarisation diversity to be used, Final
Cell Plan report includes details on it.

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f. Antenna type, Final Cell Plan report has details on it.

g. Base Station Power ERP (W), Final Cell Plan report has the same.
h. Number of Carriers per sector, Final Cell Plan report has the same.

In parallel to this he hands over the database parameters defined per site to the operations
team to configure the site in the BSS system through the OMC-R. The includes,

a. Cell Ids (Cell Identification code)

b. Frequency Plan.
c. Neighbour List.
d. BSIC Plan.
e. LAC Plan.
f. Channel configuration (SDCCH requirements).
g. Handover settings (Handover margin, handover thresholds, etc.).
h. Power settings (at radio transmitter level).
i. Features to be enabled (such as DTX, Power Control, SFH.

With the implementation of base stations and making it operational, a thorough drive test for
the network is made to cross verify the field results and locate problems. This activity falls
under initial optimisation procedure which, is discussed in length below,

(6.0) Drive Testing and Initial Optimisation:

This test helps for cross-verification of the planned data v/s actual data implemented, in terms
of frequencies assigned, traffic and control channel configuration, coverage area, neighbour
list, hand-over points, etc. Network Optimisation document covers details on the drive test
measurement and its output data for evaluation and optimisation of the BSS network across
Um interface. In case it is reported that the planned settings and the one implemented are
different then the necessary changes are made. If the drive data reflects certain problems
such as improper hand-over or poor quality in some areas then in such cases re-tuning
parameters of the site can help to improve the performance.

In the initial phase of the network where number of sites are less coverage, quality and hand-
over could be major problem. Sometimes the solution to such problems lies in the
implementation of next phase sites. Hence the planner has to distinguish between the
problem he needs to solve now by re-tunning the network or wait until site of next phase are
implemented. Drive testing is very important for validation of the frequency plan, physical site
parameters and database settings. Network Optimisation is an iterative process which, is an
on going activity at all the stages of the network.

(6.1) Initial Drive Test Report:

Having convinced with performance of the network in terms of drive test results, an initial
drive test report with suggestions on improving the performance is prepared and handed over
to the customer for approval.

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