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Adaptive Multi Rate Codec

Cost effective route to network capacity expansion

Network challenge
As mobile operators seek to grow their subscriber base cost-effectively, improved GSM network capacity and high speech quality are in greater demand than ever before. One clear route to subscriber base growth comes from the provision of better services to remote areas, away from main cities, where network coverage is unreliable or virtually non-existent. A key challenge facing network operators is how to provide better coverage to these more remote areas, while remaining operationally cost-effective.

Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) speech codec provides the answer. AMR enables better speech quality and increases the capacity of the network, but does not require any additional hardware investment. The flexible solution The solution relies on the capability of the AMR codec to adapt how effectively it performs according to the prevailing channel conditions. Unlike previous GSM speech codecs (FR, EFR, and HR), which operate at a fixed rate and constant error protection level, the AMR speech codec adapts its error

protection level to the local radio channel and traffic conditions. AMR actually comprises a family of codecs, which greatly increases its flexibility. In poor network conditions that produce a high amount of errors, more bits are used for error correction to obtain robust coding. However, when transmission conditions are good, fewer bits are needed for sufficient error protection and more can therefore be allocated for speech coding.

25 000 20 000 15 000 10 000 5 000 0 12,2 10,2 7,95 7,4 6,7 5,9 5,15 4,75 7,95 7,4 6,7 5,9 5,15 4,75

Overview of AMR
Speech coding Channel coding

Bit rate

Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) is the fourth speech codec defined for the GSM system. The goal when specifying the AMR codec was to combine the benefits of the EFR and HR codecs in order to achieve an improved standard of voice quality and greater capacity. AMR achieves this goal by dynamically adapting its bit-rate allocation between speech and channel coding, thereby optimising speech quality in various radio channel conditions. Depending on the conditions, AMR dynamically uses either the GSM full rate traffic channel with a gross bit rate of 22.8 kbps or the GSM half rate traffic channel with a gross bit rate of 11.4 kbps. A part of this bit rate is used for speech coded bits and a part for error control.
11.4 or 22.8 Kbps
(3.65 - 10.6 Kbps) (4.75 - 12.2 Kbps)

Robustness Speech quality

Codec mode

Robustness Speech quality

Benefits of AMR
The increased level of flexibility provided by AMR results in a number of important benefits. Improved voice quality AMR generates improved speech quality in both half-rate and full-rate modes by varying the balance between speech and channel coding for the same gross bit-rate. This process, known as codec mode adaptation, results in improved voice quality throughout the cell and increases overall coverage, but it is especially noticeable at cell edges and deep inside buildings. Increased capacity AMR technology enables operators to add to voice capacity within their networks smoothly and cost-efficiently.

When employed under marginal radio signal conditions in full-rate mode, AMR substantially reduces the impact of channel errors. This increased resilience to errors, and hence to interference, can be used to increase capacity by operating a tighter frequency reuse pattern. The AMR codec gives a greater spectral efficiency, resulting in higher capacity from a tighter frequency reuse with frequency hopping. The more AMR capable the network is, the higher the frequency reuse becomes in other words a higher Effective Frequency Load will be possible. The wireless spectrum, which at one stage was viewed as an important commodity, has now become a shared valuable asset as carriers find themselves in a continual battle for new airwaves. The AMR solution is capable of providing relief to operators in the busiest metropolitan markets.

Error Control Bits

Voice Bits

Importance of increasing AMR terminals base To maximise potential cost savings through AMR, the operator needs to upgrade BSS with AMR software and offer AMR-supporting terminals to users. The capacity gains in a network are dependent upon the number of AMR-enabled terminals base. Operators should ensure that the terminals that are offered alongwith their subscription in the remote areas and even in high subscriber density areas in main cities are the latest AMR-enabled terminals. This would directly impact the CAPEX savings that an operator can make and hence the profitability of offering reduced service tariffs for attracting low ARPU users.

Contra / F.G.Lnnberg / 11/2003 Copyright 2003 Nokia. All rights reserved. Nokia and Nokia Connecting People are registered trademarks of Nokia Corporation.

180% 160% 140%

Spectral Efficiency Gain for different AMR penetrations EFR All users (EFR+AMR)

Capacity gain

120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 7% 0% 25% 65% 100% 16% 22% 59%

Different AMR penetration ratios

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