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UMTS UL Interference

E. Eter

Possible Causes for UL interference

Too high UL RSSI (>-100 dbm) can be caused by: External sources of uplink interference Inter-mod product Incorrect plumbing Parameter TMA ulGain setting does not match the real TMA gain Faulty devices along the Rx path
Loose Connectors Tight Cable Bends

High UL RSSI caused by external interference has significant impact on UL capacity and coverage of a cell.

UL RSSI pmAverageRSSI is measured in the RU power sensor. The result is translated to dBm at the Rx reference point by the factor K_dBM. K_dBm = (RUG FUG) + FAtt TMAG Rx Reference Point Antenna

Where, FAtt is the Attenuation antenna feeder cable and TMAG is the TMA Total Gain RUG and FUG are internal to the NodeB




Feeder attenuation and TMA Gain are provided by site configuration. So its important the loss FAtt and gain TMAG are accurate.



Power Sensor


Next 3 slides show how to input the TMA gain and feeder attenuation In the OSS element manager 3

TMA Gain

Feeder Attenuation and delays

Feeder Attenuation and delays


Ericsson Uplink RSSI Measurement pmAverageRssi

UL RSSI counter can be checked through either RBS Performance Statistics counter pmAverageRssi. It can be read by Business Object or Prospect.

UL Interference Monitoring
A macro was developed to graph ( see figure below) and flag any cell that has a RTWP at least 2dB greater or less than the mean RTWP for all cells in a given RNC. A daily summary for the worst performing sectors will be available on NetTrack (Ericsson and Lucent ).
Ericsson Measured Interference 40000 35000

Number of Samples

30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 CNU3007A

-1 < 08 11 0 . -1 5..- dB 06 10 m . -1 5..- 8 dB 04 10 m . -1 5..- 6 dB 02 10 m . -1 5..- 4 dB 00 10 m .5 2 . d -9 .- 10 Bm 8. 0 5 d -9 ..-9 Bm 6. 8 5 d -9 ..-9 Bm 4. 6 5 d -9 ..-9 Bm 2. 4 5 d -9 ..-9 Bm 0. 2 5 d -8 ..-9 Bm 8. 0 5 d -8 ..-8 Bm 6. 8 5 d -8 ..-8 Bm 4. 6 5 d -8 ..-8 Bm 2. 4 5 d -8 ..-8 Bm 0. 2 5. d .-8 Bm 0 dB m
Signal Level

How to identify the cause of high UL RSSI

In case one or two sectors of a site has high UL RSSI
Rx Reference Point Antenna

Swap antenna feeders between good and bad sectors on RBS cabinet top. Wait for the next ROP and check the UL RSSI.



If the high interference stays with the antenna: - then it may be external interference or TMA (A) - otherwise check the FU/RU. (B)


Power Sensor

Use spectrum analyzer to detect external interference sources

Too low UL RSSI (<-110 dbm) will cause PRACH preamble detection problem because UE uses too low power to access the site. It may also cause UL synch loss drop call if the initial power of the Radio Link is too low during handover.



LUCENT Uplink RSSI Measurement RTWP

VS.RF.Rtwp.LE110 to VS.RF.Rtwp.GT90 Description The measurement provides a distribution of the Received Total Wideband Power(RTWP) within the granularity period. The RTWP provides separate counters on a 1dB step size in the typical range used for detailed evaluation. This range is -110 dBm to 90 dBm. Trigger condition For every 100 ms sampling period the mean RTWP value for the sampling period will be calculated and the appropriate counter incremented. The ranges are defined as listed:

1. TMA equipped and controlled by the Node B 2. No TMA equipped


TMA equipped Node B

The reference point for RTWP is at the TMA input port (antenna side of the TMA). For this configuration RTWP is computed by adding the Rx Path Gain (consisting of the Node B's internal path gain plus the external path gain) to the RSSI measured at the radio's receiver. The external path gain (between the reference point and the Node B's External Antenna Connector (EAC)) is the combination of the Rx Gain data contained in the associated TTLNA Descriptor plus that contained in the Antenna Path Descriptor.
RTWP reference point
Cable to Radio


Feeder Cable

Filter panel

Filter panel attenuator

824 MHz

Total Gain (dB) 12.00 -3.00 -0.15






No TMA equipped NodeB

The reference point for RTWP is the Node B's External Antenna Connector (EAC). In this case RTWP is computed by adding the RSSI measured at the radio to the Node B's internal path gain. The Antenna Path Descriptor's Rx Gain parameters are set to zero.

RTWP reference point


Variable Attenuator

1:3 Splitter

Cable to radio

NodeB Filter

Gain (dB)






Other Cases
There are variants of the "TMA equipped but NOT controlled by the Node B" scenario described in Configuration 2, above. For example, there are certain RxAIT configurations in Cingular's network where RxAIT is equipped without the presence of TMA. In some cases the RxAIT components appear to the Node B as the equivalent of a TMA in the external path. Similarly, there are configurations where the Nokia GSM base station hosts the Rx path. For this case the path through the host GSM base station and antenna system appears as a TMA equivalent.