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UK

Radio Datasheet 0034 GSM Coverage Thresholds


This datasheet is compiled and owned by Radio Engineering. Date of last update : 6 May 2003.

SUMMARY: This document defines the coverage requirement and thresholds that should be
used for GSM coverage planning. Thresholds for planning tool predictions
and survey measurements are included for Gold, Silver and Bronze Quality of
Service targets and each clutter type. Thresholds for Ports of Entry are also
specified on this datasheet.
Target Audience 2G Radio Planners

Introduction Coverage target areas are classified as Gold, Silver or Bronze depending on their
importance and the Quality of Service (QoS) that we intend to provide. These areas
may then be further classified into Industrial, Dense Urban, Suburban etc as
indicated by the land usage database (clutter type). Parts of the road and rail
network and certain point locations such as Ports of Entry (PoE) may also be
classified separately based on QoS target.

The GSM coverage thresholds to be used for coverage planning should be based on
the QoS requirement and the type of area to be covered. This datasheet describes
the different thresholds that should be applied for each of these cases.
Planners should note that new cells will only be built where the incremental
revenue is forecast to give a pay back period of less than 2 years. New cells have to
be PCRd to the current new cell build list before any resources are committed.
Planners should always consider upgrade cost options to improve coverage before
requesting a new site. E.g. up tilt, tower height upgrade, mast-head amplifiers or
possible use of a Repeater. Planners should be aware of the OPEX cost of the site as
well as CAPEX cost.

GSM Coverage Requirements

Area Coverage Requirements The threshold applicable to a given area depends on its Gold, Silver or Bronze
classification and on the clutter type. The mapping of clutter type to area coverage
requirement is shown in Table 1.
Clutter Type Area Coverage Requirement (see above)
Industrial In building (Suburban)
Dense Urban In building (Urban)
Urban In building (Urban)
Dense Suburban In building (Suburban)
Suburban In building (Suburban)
Rural Urban / Village Centre On street
Agricultural Land N/A
Non Agricultural Land N/A
Semi Natural Vegetation N/A
Water N/A
Wetlands N/A
Deciduous Woodlands / Forest N/A
Coniferous Woodlands / Forest N/A
Mixed Woodlands / Forest N/A
High Rise Buildings In building (Suburban)
Road / Mway Junction On street
Table 1 Area coverage by Clutter Type

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O2 UK Radio Datasheet 0034 GSM Coverage Thresholds

Coverage requirements apply to all built-up areas (towns or urbanised areas) that
had a population in excess of 3000 in 2001. There is currently no requirement for
coverage in built-up areas with a population of 3000 or less. Where areas consist of
multiple clutter types, the appropriate coverage requirement will generally be that
of the most stringent clutter type. However, where there are small isolated islands
of a more stringent type, radio planners should use their discretion and local
knowledge in deciding which is the appropriate type.

Road / Rail Coverage Requirements


Roads In car coverage will be provided to motorways and major routes where the
cost of new sites or site upgrades give acceptable pay back. Tunnels and cuttings
should not be targeted unless it gives acceptable pay back.
Rail Coverage will be restricted to Gold Intercity routes and suburban rail.
Tunnels and cuttings should not be targeted unless pay back can be achieved.

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O2 UK Radio Datasheet 0034 GSM Coverage Thresholds

GSM Coverage Thresholds for use with planning tool predictions and combination of radio survey data &
predictions
There are two sets of coverage thresholds specified below; thresholds for use when only planning tool predictions are
available and thresholds for use when a combination of planning tool predictions and survey data are available.
Prediction based cell planning using planning tool thresholds (see Table 2) should only be used to identify possible
or likely coverage problems. If there is any doubt about the accuracy of the prediction then a radio survey should be
carried out to verify coverage. It is essential that all requirements for new sites are supported by radio surveys to
confirm coverage and optimum site location before they are selected. Thresholds for use when a combination of survey
data and planning tool predictions are given in Table 3.

GSM Coverage Thresholds Where Only Planning Tool Predictions Are Available
Thresholds presented in this section should only be used for purely prediction based
planning to identify likely coverage problems in the GSM network.

Table 2 GSM Coverage Thresholds for Use with Planning Tool Predictions

GSM Coverage Thresholds Where Both Survey Data And Planning Tool Predictions Are Available
Thresholds presented in this section should only be used where a combination
of radio survey measurement data and planning tool predictions are available.
Thresholds in Table 3 should not be used for Port of Entry (PoE) In_Building
cases.
Gold Silver Bronze
On-Street -88 dBm -92 dBm -94 dBm
In-Car1 -81 dBm -86 dBm -89 dBm
1
In-Building (Suburban) -77 dBm -83 dBm -85 dBm
In-Building (Urban) 1 -70 dBm -74 dBm -76 dBm
2
In-Train (Open Line) -88 dBm -92 dBm -94 dBm
In-Train (Cutting) 2 -88 dBm -92 dBm -94 dBm
Table 3 GSM Coverage Thresholds for Survey Data
1
If field measurement data is taken with the antenna inside the car or the building On-Street
thresholds should be applied.
2
Railway measurements assume that the antenna is mounted inside the train and therefore
On-Street thresholds should be applied.

GSM Coverage Thresholds For Ports Of Entry In_Building Radio Survey Data
GSM 900 and 1800 frequencies are used to provide In_Building coverage solutions
for PoE [2]. The coverage thresholds presented in Table 4 should be used to
evaluate PoE In_Building radio surveys. PoE In-Building survey data binned
threshold values should meet the coverage thresholds specified in Table 4 over 95%
of the specified survey route which should consist of all publicly accessible areas.
GSM 900 GSM 1800

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O2 UK Radio Datasheet 0034 GSM Coverage Thresholds

Ports Of Entry (PoE) -72 dBm -74 dBm

Table 4 GSM 900 & 1800 Coverage Threshold for Port of Entry In_Building Survey Data

Reference Documents: [1] Phase 9 Coverage Specification, Issue 1, Caroline Miller


[2] rdr01_12 In_Building Acceptance Test Specifications, Issue 3, Paul Morris

END OF DOCUMENT

The author of this document is Selladurai Umashangar, Radio Engineering. For any questions or issues, please
contact the Radio Engineering helpdesk on 01753 565882 or e-mail radio.engineering.uk@O2.com.

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