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A Project Work Submitted In Partial Fulfillments of the Requirements For BSc. In Telecommunication Engineering

BY: Kwaku Adu Nyamekye Immanuel Gyanor Yarnie SUPERVISOR: Mr. Kwaku Arthur B040910024 B040910001

CHAPTER ONE 1.0 Background

The past few years have witnessed a phenomenal growth in the wireless industry both in terms of mobile technology and subscribers. With the growth of these services, operators do their utmost best to satisfy subscribers needs in terms of speed and capacity. Mobile network operators and vendors have recognized the importance of efficient networks with equally efficient design processes. This has resulted in services related to network planning and optimization coming into sharp focus, the aim to provide good quality of service. [1]

With the maturing of the mobile networks in both developed and developing countries, the differentiator for operators is tending more towards network quality. Quality can mean a lot of different things to different network operators. The key common point among most operators is the user-experience, which means end-to-end performance of the network. This is of increasing importance to operators since typical mobile networks now consist of a multitude of different components sourced from a vast number of suppliers. [1]

Network planners are thus the ones often found measuring as well as optimizing mobile networks. Network Planners design network with given inputs of coverage, number of subscribers and call quality. Since mobile markets are maturing, the emphasis is now on the network quality and network quality testing. The end-user experience is sought to be captured in engineering terms as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Quality of Service (QoS). [1]

Network Optimization is an ongoing activity for all wireless networks thus by gathering and analyzing network data and revising the network parameters ,better cellular communication can be achieved.

1.1 Problem Statement

There has been an increase in the number of call setup failures and call drops around Accra West Municipality within Tigo Ghana GSM Network. This has imparted the user experience relating to voice and data services. The situation is very severe around Ashongman Estate, Kwabenya and Berekuso, a suburb in Accra located within this municipality. It is very difficult to originate calls from these areas and one has to try several times before the call goes through, which has been the major complains of people in those areas. [2] Most subscribers has ported their numbers from Tigo to other mobile networks with good Quality of service in the area such as Airtel GH and Vodafone GH, which can be attributed to the QoS and other factors that affects user experience.[2] According to NCA Mobile Number Portability first year report July 18,2012 as shown in Table 1.0 below, it could be seen that Tigo Ghana although it gained highest ported subscribers around 147,709, it lost the second highest number of subscribers after MTN which lost the greatest subscribers. [3] The reason for the porting out of a network according to the report was mostly due to poor quality of service being offered by the network as well as billing issues.[3] Since Ashongman Estate and its environs has also showed rapid degradations in the QoS KPI, it

should be looked at to prevent subscribers from porting to other networks with better quality of service than Tigo Ghana.

Table 1.0 Total Completed Port By Networks [3]

1.1.1 Quality of Service (QoS) Monitoring at ATMHIL900/1800. After a Drive Test conducted within Ashongman Estate and its environs based on the complains received, the QoS monitoring for the various Key performance Indicators (KPI) were as follows; QoS Key Performance Indicators Signaling Congestion Rate Call Setup Time Call Congestion Rate Call Drop Rate Table 1.0 QoS KPI Drive Test Statistics for ATMHIL900/1800 ATMHIL900/1800 0.5% 11.07s 1.8% 4.0 % [author's own construct]

1.2 Objectives

The main objective of this project is to optimize Tigo Ghana's GSM network in Ashongman

Estate and its environs to provide Quality of Service (QoS) through capacity dimensioning and coverage analysis.

1.2.1 The specific objectives are: To optimize Ashongman Estate Radio Base Station (RBS) which has high call failures and degrading QoS KPI successfully without reducing performance of the rest of the network.

To be able to apply optimization Tools such as TEMS investigation 14.5, Asset Planning Tools, Optima (performance statistics monitor) in analyzing data obtained.

To propose and implement solutions to solve the issue and the overall impact on the network.

1.3 Significance

This study is justified and relevant since it identifies an existing problem whose implications are significant and widespread and affects subscribers perception and behavior towards the Tigo network, thus developing a feasible methodology to help develop a better understanding of the problems and providing other possible mechanisms and methods to mitigate the problem.

1.4 Methodology

This study is based on a literature review of data from the field of technological improvements. The study will also be based on data collection both from field and network performance statistics and analyze made to arrive at a desired solution.

A Drive Test will be conducted in the areas with high complains of call drops and call failures and then we collect Network performance statistics from the performance statistics tool called Optima and analyze. Asset planning Tool 7.0 will be used to planning and simulation the proposed solution.


The purpose of this chapter is to review projects that have been undertaken on network

optimization using other techniques. The review will help us to understand the scope and necessity for our project. Information acquired from the review will be used to develop new ideas for our project.


Mobile networks are differentiated from each other by 'generation', such as 'first-generation, 'second-generation' etc. This is quite appropriate because there is a big generation gap between the technologies. [4]

The first-generation mobile systems were the analogue (or semi-analogue) systems, which came in the early 1980s - they were also called NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephone). They offered mainly speech and related services and were highly incompatible with each other. Thus, their main limitations were the limited services offered and incompatibility. [4]

The increasing necessity for a system catering for mobile communication needs, and Offering more compatibility, resulted in the birth of the second-generation mobile systems. [4]

International bodies played a key role in evolving a system that would provide better services and be more transparent and compatible to networks globally. Unfortunately these secondgeneration network standards could not fulfill the dream of having just one set of standards for global networks. [4]

The standards in Europe differed from those in Japan and those in America, and so on. Of all the standards, the GSM went the furthest in fulfilling technical and commercial expectations. [4]

But, again, none of the standards in the second generation was able to fulfill the globalization dream of the standardization bodies. This would be fulfilled by the third-generation mobile systems. It is expected that these third-generation systems will be predominantly oriented towards data traffic, compared with the second-generation networks that were carrying predominantly voice traffic. [4]

The major standardization bodies that play an important role in defining the specifications for the mobile technology are:

ITU (International Telecommunication Union): The ITU, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, is an international organization within the United Nations, where governments and the private sector coordinate global telecom networks and services. The ITU-T is one of the three sectors of ITU and produces the quality standards covering all the fields of telecommunications. [5]

ETSI (European Telecommunication Standard Institute) : This body was primarily responsible for the development of the specifications for the GSM. Owing to the technical and commercial success of the GSM, this body will also play an important role in the development of thirdgeneration mobile systems. ETSI mainly develops the telecommunication standards throughout Europe and beyond. [5]

ARIB (Alliance of Radio Industries and Business): This body is predominant in the Australasian region and is playing an important role in the development of third-generation mobile systems. ARIB basically serves as a standards developing organization for radio technology. [5]

ANSI (American National Standards Institute): ANSI currently provides a forum for over 270 ANSI-accredited standards developers representing approximately 200 distinct organizations in the private and public sectors. This body has been responsible for the standards development for the American networks. [5]

3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project): This body was created to maintain overall control of the specification design and process for third-generation networks. The result of the 3GPP work is a complete set of specifications that will maintain the global nature of the 3G networks. [5]

2.1.2 The Second-generation System (Digital) In the mid-1980s the European commission started a series of activities to liberalize the communications sector, including mobile communications. This resulted in the creation of ETSI, which inherited all the standardization activities in Europe. This saw the birth of the first specifications, and the network based on digital technology; it was called the Global System for

Mobile Communication or GSM. [4]

Since the first networks appeared at the beginning of 1991, GSM has gradually evolved to meet the requirements of data traffic and many more services than the original networks.

The main elements of this system are the BSS (Base Station Subsystem), in which there are the BTS (Base Transceiver Station) and BSC (Base Station Controllers); and the NSS (Network Switching Subsystem), in which there is the MSC (Mobile Switching Centre); VLR (Visitor Location Register); HLR (Home Location Register); AC (Authentication Centre), and EIR (Equipment Identity Register) .[4]

This network is capable of providing all the basic services such as speech and data services up to 9.6 kbps, fax, etc. This GSM network also has an extension to the fixed telephony networks. [4]

2.1.3 GSM and VAS (Value Added Services) The next advancement in the GSM system was the addition of two platforms, called Voice Mail System (VMS) and the Short Message Service Centre (SMSC). The SMSC proved to be incredibly commercially successful, so much so that in some networks the SMS traffic constitutes a major part of the total traffic. Along with the VAS, IN (Intelligent services) also made its mark in the GSM system, with its advantage of giving the operators the chance to create a whole range of new services. Fraud management and 'pre-paid' services are the result of the IN service. [4]

2.1.4 GSM and GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) As the requirement for sending data on the air-interface increased, new elements such as SGSN (Serving GPRS) and GGSN (Gateway GPRS) were added to the existing GSM system. These elements made it possible to send packet data on the air-interface. This part of the network handling the packet data is also called the 'packet core network'. In addition to the SGSN and GGSN, it also contains the IP routers, firewall servers and DNS (domain name servers). This enables wireless access to the Internet and the bit rate reaching to 150 kbps in optimum conditions. [4]

2.1.5 GSM and EDGE (Enhanced Data rates in GSM Environment) With both voice and data traffic moving on the system, the need was felt to increase the data rate. This was done by using more sophisticated coding methods over the Internet and thus increasing the data rate up to 384 kbps. [4]

2.2. Third-generation Networks (WCDMA in UMTS) In EDGE, high-volume movement of data was possible, but still the packet transfer on the airinterface behaves like a circuit switches call. Thus part of this packet connection efficiency is lost in the circuit switch environment. Moreover, the standards for developing the networks were different for different parts of the world. Hence, it was decided to have a network that provides services independent of the technology platform and whose network design standards are same globally. [4]

Thus, 3G was born. In Europe it was called UMTS (Universal Terrestrial Mobile System), which is ETSI-driven. IMT-2000 is the ITU-T name for the third-generation system, while cdma2000 is the name of the American 3G variant. WCDMA is the air-interface technology for the UMTS. The main components include BS (base station) or node B, RNC (radio network controller) apart from WMSC (wideband CDMA mobile switching centre) and SGSN/GGSN. This platform offers many Internet based services, along with video phoning, imaging, etc. [4]

2.3 Fourth-generation Networks (All-IP) The fundamental reason for the transition to the All-IP is to have a common platform for all the technologies that have been developed so far, and to harmonize with user expectations of the many services to be provided. The fundamental difference between the GSM/3G and All-IP is that the functionality of the RNC and BSC is now distributed to the BTS and a set of servers and gateways. This means that this network will be less expensive and data transfer will be much faster. [4]


Global system of mobile (GSM) is a second generation cellular standard that was developed to solve the fragmentation problems of first cellular systems and it specifies digital modulation techniques and network level architecture and services . [5]

Figure 2.0 GSM architecture

The above figure shows several functional entities and interface of a GSM network. The GSM network can be divided into three broad parts. [5]

The mobile station is carried by the subscriber; the base station substation controls the radio link with the mobile station. The network subsystem, the main part of which is the mobile services switching center, performs the switching of calls between the mobile and other fixed

or mobile network users, as well as management of mobile services, such as authentication operation and management center, which oversees the proper operation and setup of the network. The mobile station and the base station subsystem communicate across the Urn interface, also known as the air interface or radio link. The base station subsystem communicates with the mobile service switching center across the A interface (between MSC &TCU). [5]

2.4.1 RADIO BASE STATION (RBS) An RBS includes all radio and transmission interface equipment needed on site to provide radio transmission for one or several cells. The RBS 2000 family is Ericssons second generation of RBS offering products with a low total lifetime cost. [6]

This is achieved by functions including long Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) performance and short Mean Time To Repair (MTTR). In addition, this product line is quick and easy to install thus giving the possibility to achieve a rapid network roll out. RBS 2000 provides products for both indoor and outdoor installations and is available for GSM 900, GSM 1800 and GSM 1900.[6]

2.4.2 RBS FUNCTIONS RBS functionality can be divided into the following areas:[6] Radio resources

Signal processing Signaling link management Synchronization Local maintenance handling Functional supervision and testing

2.4.3 Radio Resources An RBSs main function is to provide connection with the MS's over the air interface. This includes the following tasks:[6] Configuration and system start: site configuration involves loading of software from the BSC and setting parameters prior to system startup, including: Transmitter and receiver frequencies Maximum output power Base Station Identity Code (BSIC)

Radio transmission: to transmit several frequencies using the same antenna, a combiner or a set of combiners are needed. Transmission power is controlled from the BSC.

Radio reception: in addition to reception of traffic on the physical channels, a primary RBS function the detection of channel requests from MSs (e.g. when a call is being made).

Fig 2.1 Radio Reception [6]

2.5 Capacity and Frequency Re-use It is the number of frequencies in a cell that determines the cells capacity. Each company with a license to operate a mobile network is allocated a limited number of frequencies. These are distributed throughout the cells in their network. Depending on the traffic load and the availability of frequencies, a cell may have one or more frequencies allocated to it. It is important when allocating frequencies that interference is avoided. Interference can be caused by a variety of factors. A common factor is the use of similar frequencies close to each other. The higher interference, the lower call quality. [7] To cover an entire country, for example, frequencies must be reused many times at different geographical locations in order to provide a network with sufficient capacity. The same frequencies cannot be re-used in neighboring cells as they would interfere with each other so special patterns of frequency usage are determined during the planning of the network.[7]

These frequency re-use patterns ensure that any frequencies being re-used are located at a sufficient distance apart to ensure that there is little interference between them. The term

frequencies re-use distance is used to describe the distance between two identical frequencies in a re-use pattern. The lower frequencies re-use distance, the more capacity will be available in the network.[7]

2.6 Quality of Service (QoS) Monitoring Of Cellular Mobile Voice Services In pursuance of Annexure D1 and D2 of the Cellular Mobile License of Telecommunication Operators, the user perspective of the quality of voice services are tested to ensure the compliance of Operators to the obligations on service quality to the user. [8] As per the Cellular Mobile license obligations, the QoS indicators and their respective threshold for compliance under assessment considering the users perspective are; [8] a) Stand-alone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH) Congestion Rate SDCCH Congestion Rate should be equal or less than one per cent (1%). SDCCH Congestion is defined as the probability of failure of accessing a stand-alone dedicated control channel during call set up. For analysis and calculations,

Eqn 1.0

b) Call Setup Time (CST) CST should be less than ten seconds (<10secs) in 95% of cases. Call Setup Time is the period of time elapsing from the sending of a complete destination address (target telephone number) to the setting up of a call to the receiving terminal;

Eqn 1.1

c) Call Congestion Rate Traffic Channel Congestion should be equal or less than one per cent (1%). Call Congestion Rate is the probability of failure of accessing a traffic channel during call Setup;

Eqn 1.2

d) Call Drop Rate (CDR) Call drop rate should be equal or less than three per cent (3%). Voice Call Drop Rate is the probability of a call terminating without any of the users will;

Eqn 1.3



Cellular system capacity depends on a number of different factors. These include the number of channels available for voice and/or data as well as the grade of service the subscribers are encountering in the system. Traffic theory attempts to obtain useful estimates, for example, the number of channels needed in a cell. These estimates depend on the selected system and the assumed or real behavior of the subscribers. Traffic refers to the usage of channels and is usually thought of as the holding time per time unit (or the number of call hours per hour) for one or several circuits (trunks or channels). Traffic is measured in Erlangs (E), for example, if one subscriber is continuously on the telephone, this would generate one call hour per hour or 1 E of traffic. [9]

How much traffic can one cell carry depends on the number of traffic channels available and the amount of congestion which is acceptable by both the customer and the network provider, which is Grade of Service (GoS). Different assumptions on subscriber behavior lead to different answers to this question. [9]

Erlangs (a Danish traffic theorist) B-table is based on the most common assumptions used. These assumptions are: No queues Number of subscribers much higher than number of traffic channels available No dedicated (reserved) traffic channels Poisson distributed (random) traffic Blocked calls abandon the call attempt immediately

This is referred to as a loss system. Erlangs B-table relates to the number of traffic channels, the GoS, and the traffic offered. This relationship is tabulated in Table 3.0. [9]

Fig 3.0 Part of Erlangs Bs Table, yielding the traffic (in Erlangs) as a function of the GoS (column) and number of traffic channels (rows).

Assuming that one cell has two carriers. There are 8 timeslots in each carrier, corresponding typically to 2x8-2=14 traffic channels and a GoS of 2% is acceptable, the traffic that can be offered is A=8.2003 E. The 2 timeslots are used for signaling. [9]

If an estimate of the average traffic per subscriber can be obtained. Studies show that the average traffic per subscriber during the busy hour is typically 15-20 mE. This estimation can correspond to one calls lasting 54-72 seconds per hour. Assuming that the average traffic per subscriber is 0.025E, Dividing the traffic that one cell can offer, Acell=8.20 E, by the traffic per subscriber, Asub=0.025 E,

Then the number of subscribers one cell can support is derived as;

(Total Traffic per cell / Average Traffic per Subscriber)

Eqn 3.1

Hence, No of subscribers one cell can support is derived as; 8.20/0.025 = 328 subscribers. Eqn 3.2

Dimensioning the network now implies using demographic data to determine the sizes of the cells. The problem may be that given a number of subscribers in one particular area (for example, an airport), how many carriers do we need to support the traffic, if only one cell is to be used? [10] Dimensioning a whole network while maintaining a fixed cell size means estimating the number of carriers needed in each cell. In addition, traffic is not constant. It varies between day and night, different days, and with a number of other factors. Mobile telephony implies mobility and hence subscribers may move from one area to another during the course of a day. [10] It is important that the number of signaling channels (SDCCHs) is dimensioned as well, taking into account the estimated system behavior in various parts of the network. For example, cells bordering a different location area may have lots of location updating, and cells on a highway probably have many handovers. In order to calculate the need for SDCCHs, the number of attempts for every procedure that uses the SDCCH, as well as the time that each procedure holds, the SDCCH must be taken into account.

The most accurate SDCCH dimensioning is achieved by looking at the congestion level in the TCHs and the SDCCHs for the specific cell. The optimum configuration is achieved by selecting a configuration with as many TCHs as possible, without letting the GoS of the SDCCH exceed 1/4 of the GoS of the TCH, with only four SDCCHs, GoS SDCCH GoS TCH/2. [10]


Assume the task is to find the necessary number of traffic channels for one cell to serve subscribers with traffic of 33 E. The GoS during the busy hour is not to exceed 2%. By considering the above

requirements and consulting Erlangs B-table, 43 channels are found to be needed as depicted by Table 3.2.

Fig 3.2 A Table showing part of Erlangs B table for 43 channels giving the offered traffic (E) as a function of GoS (%).

Assume five cells are designed to cover the same area as the single cell. These five cells must handle the same amount of traffic as the cell above, 33 E. Acceptable GoS is still 2%.

First, the total traffic is divided among the cells. Traffic distribution over several cells results in a need for more channels than if all traffic had been concentrated in one cell. This illustrates the fact that it is more efficient to use many channels in a larger cell than vice versa. [10]

To calculate the channel utilization, the traffic offered is reduced by the GoS of 2% yielding the traffic served and dividing that value by the number of channels yielding the channel utilization.

Channel Utilization = Traffic Served / Number of Channels

Eqn 3.3

With 43 channels as in the previous single cell, the channel utilization is 33.083/ 43 = 77%, that is, each

channel is used approximately 77% of the time. However, by splitting this cell into smaller cells, more traffic channels are required, hence, the channel utilization decreases. [10]

For Cell A, assuming the traffic is 13.20E with 21 channels with the number of channels derived from the Erlangs B Table, Traffic offered is 13.20 -0.02= 13.18, Hence, the channel utilization is calculated as; Channel utilization = 13.18/ 21 = 0.62762 (62%). Eqn 3.5 Eqn 3.4

Likewise, Cell B has a utilization of 54% with 15 channels and calculating the channel utilization for the remaining cells is shown in the Table below;

Table 3.3 A Table showing the Traffic distribution over several cells


On the Standalone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH), different signaling and transmission activities take place. The need of SDCCHs can vary substantially between networks, due to, for example, subscriber behavior, half rate mobiles, and parameter settings. The best way to use these estimations is to understand the calculations involved in the dimensioning of the SDCCH and re-make them for the

particular network with its unique input parameters. An optimum manual SDCCH configuration, for every cell, can only be achieved by looking at cell statistics, that is, Statistics and Traffic measurement Subsystem (STS) counters. [11] The generated SDCCH and TCH traffic in a cell are the inputs of the SDCCH dimensioning. For a given number of TRXs and an estimated SDCCH / TCH ratio, a suitable SDCCH configuration for that cell can be chosen. [11]

The Grade of Service (GOS) is defined as the probability that a newly arriving call finds all channels busy and is denied service. The GOS is also sometimes called blocking rate. The SDCCH dimensioning is a compromise between SDCCH blocking rate and TCH capacity. A connection for speech or data requires an SDCCH for the call set-up signaling, and a TCH for the remainder of the call. In order to have a successful call setup, there has to be an available SDCCH as well as an available TCH. The SDCCH and the TCH are equally important for the completion of a call, but since the SDCCHs use the physical channels more effectively the SDCCHs should be dimensioned for a better grade of service compared to the TCHs.[11]

A rule of thumb is that the SDCCH GoS should be dimensioned for no more than 1/4 of the TCH GOS, i.e. if the SDCCH exceeds 1/4 of the TCH GOS, a configuration with more SDCCHs should be used. [11] The signaling traffic has a Grade of Service (GoS) which is less than half of the GoS of the TCH traffic channels which is 0.2%. The reason behind the assumption is because the signaling channels are used for access onto the network hence their acceptable limits has to be less than that of the traffic channels.


The following procedures affect the SDCCH load: [8]

Mobility Management procedures, that is, Normal Location Updating, Periodic Registration, and IMSI attach/detach.

Connection Management, that is, Call set-up, Short Message Service point to point (SMS p-p), Fax set-up, and Supplementary Services.

Paging is done on timeslot 0 on the Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH) frequency. Timeslot 0 consists of several channels; the Broadcast Channel (BCH), CCCH, and, if the combined (BCCH/SDCCH) is used, the Dedicated Control Channel (DCCH) as shown in Fig 3.0 below. [8] The BCH consists of the Frequency Correction Channel (FCCH), Synchronization Channel (SCH), and Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH). The CCCH consists of two sub channels; the PCH and the Access Grant Channel (AGCH). The Paging Channel (PCH) is used to page the MSs with Paging Request messages. The DCCH consists of the Standalone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH), Slow Associated Control Channel (SACCH), and (if cell broadcast is used), the Cell Broadcast Channel (CBCH).

Fig 3.0 A Diagram showing the Channel configuration of timeslot 0.


When planning for a network with over several cells, it becomes very difficult calculating for the cell utilization of the individual cells using the Erlangs B table and the other assumptions and deductions. Network statistics and data are collected from the cells which are then used to calculate for the number of signaling and traffic channels which define capacity of a city. Some of the performance tools used to collect these network statistics that are used in this project are Optima, X-manager and Erlang Calculator (CalcuCell).


This network diagram shows the geographical location of the cell sites that are located within Ashongman estate and its environs where the complaints were made.

Fig 3.1 A Map showing the geographic location of the Sites.


Most of the complaints were from around Ashongman Estate. The Tigo cell site that serves that area is Atomic Hill 900&1800 as indicated in Fig 3.1 above.

From the performance statistics, these are the actual traffic that each sector is doing in terms of signaling (Sdcch) and traffic (Tch) channels for ATMHIL900&1800 as shown below;

Fig 3.2 Graphs showing SDCCH traffic for ATMHIL900

Fig 3.3 Graphs showing SDCCH traffic for ATMHIL1800

Fig 3.4 Graphs showing TCH traffic for ATMHIL900&1800.


The calculation of Sdcch traffic depends on number of channels available which depends on the number of transceivers (TRX) and the GoS.[10]

Based on the traffic estimation during the cell planning phase which took into consideration the estimated numbers of users are the available resources like the cabinet type and other transmission resources, 4 TRX were planned for each sector. Hence, For ATMHIL1, the number of channels available is;

4* 8 = 32 sub channels

Eqn 3.6

The 8 represent the number of timeslots available for each channel. With a GoS of of 2% (0.005) and the traffic derived from Fig 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 which is approximately 3E, then using the CalcuCell, the

number of channels required for Sdcch is 9 as shown on Fig 3.7

Fig 3.7 CalcuCell showing the number of Sdcch channels required. Hence using the average Sdcch traffic and the GoS of 0.005, the sub channels required for Sdcch is computed as shown in Table 3.0.


Average SDCCH 3 14 13 4 14 14

Traffic Average TCH 7 35 3 8 38 4

Traffic Sub

Channels Sub Channels Required TCH 13 45 8 14 48 9

Required SDCCH 9 24 23 11 24 24

Table 3.4 A Table showing the Required Sub channels at ATMHIL900&1800.

3.5 CONFIGURED SDCCH CHANNELS AT ATMHIL900&1800. The actual Sdcch sub channels that have been configured can be determined on the BSC using the operation and system support tool (OSS) called X-manager. It allows the network optimizer to know the configuration of a particular site on the BSC.

The x-manager displays information about the managed object configuration data on the BSC.

Fig 3.8 Configuration of ATMHIL900&1800. From Fig 3.8, the Receivers are configured to Hop for all the ARFCN that has been configured because they have to receive information from all frequencies configured for that site. The transmitters are configured such that one TRX from each sector does not HOP but its used to transmit the BCCH frequency on which all MS that want to connect to that sector listens. The timeslot displays shows the actual position of the BCCH, CBCH and the SDCCH.

On the BSC, the cell resources which show the BCCH and CBCH as well as SDCCH configured for each sector is shown by Fig 3.9.

Fig 3.9 A Figure showing the Cell Resources Configuration at ATMHIL900&1800.

Comparing the configured Sdcch resources in Fig 3.4 and Table 3.0 above,


Required Sdcch

Configured sub Sdcch


Channels Configured Sdcch sub


sub Required TCH

channels channels channels ATMHIL1 9 23 13 28-56 14 ATMHIL2 24 31 45 27-54 7 ATMHIL3 23 15 8 29-58 8 ATMHIL5 11 15 14 13-26 4 ATMHIL6 24 23 48 28-56 1 ATMHIL7 24 15 9 29-58 9 Fig 3.5 A Table showing the difference between the required and configured Sdcch Sub channels.

From Table 3.5, Atmhil3 and Atmhil5 has been under dimensioned and will congest which can lead to failures with an increase in Sdcch traffic above the average traffic in Table 3.4. Atmhil6 is more likely to congest with an increase in average traffic which can also lead to failures, thus affecting user experience during call setups etc.

3.6 SDCCH FAILURES The Sdcch failures which can be attributed to the under dimensioning of the Sdcch sub channels are shown in the figures below;

Fig 3.10

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND IMPLEMENTATION Sdcch Failures has been the major cause of call failures around the Ashongman Estate and its environs. Most people complain that was received, most people says it takes long time to setup calls and sometimes the call setup does not even go through at all, which are all signs of Sdcch failures. These failures as has been shown in Fig 3.10 have been attributed to Sdcch channels that have been under dimensioned as shown by Table 3.5. Different capacity strategies have to be

implemented for each sector since the capacity requirement for each sector is different.

4.0 SOLUTION AND IMPLEMENTATION FOR CAPACITY EXPANSION AND OPTIMISATION The different solution for each of the cells at ATMHIL will turn to address the capacity expansion in terms of Sdcch traffic for signaling and TCH traffic for speech and data. Some of the solution will include reconfiguration of Sdcch sub channels, dynamic half rate adjustment, antenna re-orientation and antenna height adjustment.

4.1 Capacity Analysis and Optimization Solution for ATMHIL900

From Table 3.5, it could be seen that the Sdcch sub channels required for ATMHIL1 and ATMHIL2 which is 9 and 24 sub channels respectively matches the configured value which is 23 and 31 sub channels respectively and that the configured value even exceeds the required value. However, ATMHIL3 has less number of sub channels configured which is 15 sub channels as compared to the 23 sub channels required. The 23 sub channels actually represents 3 SDCCH configured with 1 Channel used for cell broadcast Channel (CBCH), however only 2 SDCCH channels has been configured as shown by Fig 4.0 below.

Fig 4.0 A Diagram Showing the Cell Configuration Channel Data for ATMHIL1800.

Also, looking at the Sdcch average traffic as depicted by Table 3.4 which is 3E and 14E respectively for ATMHIL1 and ATMHIL2which corresponds to 9 sub channels which in corresponds to 2 SDCCH channel for ATMHIL1 and 14 sub channels which corresponds to 2 SDCCH channels for ATMHIL2 and comparing it to the currently configured Sdcch sub channels for ATMHIL1 and ATMHIL2 which is 23 and 31 respectively which corresponds to3 and 4 SDCCH channels respectively. The solution to be implemented is that the configured Sdcch sub channels for ATMHIL1 and ATMHIL2 has to be reduced to 9 and 14 sub channels which corresponds to 2 SDCCH channels configured for each sector instead of the 3and 4 SDCCH configured respectively. Again, the Sdcch sub channels configured for ATMHIL3 has to be increased from 15 sub

channels which is 2 SDCCH channels to 23 sub channels which is 3 SDCCH channels. To further ensure that the Sdcch sub channels are always available and are less likely to be affected by interference and faults, we define them among the channel groups 0 and 1. Hence an issue affecting chgr1 will not cause all Sdcch sub channels to fail.

From Fig 3.4, it could be seen that the average TCH traffic within the study period has been around 3E which is corresponding to 8 sub channels. From the planning tool, the antenna height for ATMHIL7 is 15m as shown by Fig 4.0.

Fig 4.0 A Diagram Showing the Height Profile for ATMHIL3/7. From Fig 4.0, it could be seen that there is an obstruction blocking the spread of the RF signals from ATMHIL3/7 antenna because of their height leading to the low TCH traffic in ATMHIL3/7. Hence the solution to be implemented is to raise the antenna height from 15m to 40m for ATMHIL3 and to reorient the antenna direction for ATMHIL7 to 160 Degrees to support ATMHIL6.

Since ATMHIL2 has high TCH traffic as shown by Fig 3.4, one solution to prevent TCH congestion and drops is to increase the setting for the Dynamic Half Rate from the default 30% to 70%. A default setting of 30% means that about 30% of the available Tch sub channels uses half the rate, hence two subscribers are admitted unto one TCH sub channels, Hence increasing that percentage to 70% means almost of the users are admitted on a half rate channel thereby increasing the capacity of that sector without increasing the TRX configured to the sector. Half

rate implementation does not reduce the speech quality of the voice channel.

4.2 Capacity Analysis and Optimization Solution for ATMHIL1800 From Table 3.5, it could be seen that the Sdcch sub channels required for ATMHIL5 which is 11 sub channels matches the configured 15 sub channels exceeds the required value which is 2 SDCCH channels with 1 sub channel used for Cell Broadcast. However, ATMHIL6 has almost the same number of sub channels configured which is 23 sub channels as compared to the 24 sub channels required. The 23 sub channels actually represents 3 SDCCH configured with 1 Channel used for cell broadcast Channel (CBCH), and 3 SDCCH channels has been configured as shown by Fig 4.2 below with 2 SDCCH channels defined on channel group 0 and 1 SDCCH channel on channel group 1.

Fig 4.2 A Diagram Showing the Cell Configuration Channel Data for ATMHIL1800. Based on the average traffic usage from Fig 3.4, the required Sdcch sub channels required at ATMHIL7 is 24 sub channels, however, only 15 sub channels has been configured with 1 sub channel used as Cell broadcast corresponding to 2 SDCCH channels as shown in Fig 4.2 above. The configured TCH sub channels for ATMHIL5 is 14 sub channels. With the current half rate setting at 60%, the configured TCH traffic is between 13-26 sub channels, approximately 20 sub channels. The configured TCH sub channels for ATMHIL6 is 48 sub channels. With the current half rate setting at 50%, the configured TCH traffic is between 28-56 sub channels,

approximately 40 sub channels. The configured TCH sub channels for ATMHIL7 is 9 sub channels. With the current half rate setting at 30%, the configured TCH traffic is between 29-58 sub channels, approximately 35 sub channels. The TCH configuration on ATMHIL6 will cause congestion on TCH traffic if the subscribers increase slightly since there are not enough channels. Hence a solution to the issue is to reorient the antenna azimuth for ATMHIL7 into the direction of ATMHIL6 so that the available sub channels on ATMHIL7 can be used for connection in direction of ATMHIL6 to solve the congestion issues. Also, dynamic half rate setting for ATMHIL6 should be increased from 60% to 100%, and that of ATMHIL7 from 30% to 70%.