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Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free

Operation

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Background Information
AMR-WB Signal Compression

3GPP introduced AMR-WB codec modes achieving a significant improvement in


speech quality by:
Extension of speech bandwidth carried on a radio channel => doubled sampling rate from
8 kHz (NB signals) to 16 kHz (AMR-WB)
Efficient source encoding algorithms

In conclusion, AMR-WB offers increased intelligibility and naturalness yielding a

feeling of transparent communication => a more face-to-face like sound sensation


is perceived in a mobile communication
Frequency spectrum of NB signals carried on a radio channel
16 kHz sampling rate

Frequency spectrum of AMR-WB signals carried on a radio channel


8 kHz sampling rate
Extension of speech bandwidth requires
doubling the sampling frequency
(Nyquist-Shannon theorem)
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Background Information

AMR-WB Codec Modes and Source Bit Rates


AMR-WB offers codec modes with five source bit rates

Codec mode

The same source bit rate modulated


with the GMSK signal in FR or with
the 8PSK signal in HR

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Codec
type

Modulation
type

Bit rate

No of bits
per symbol

Symbol
rate

TCH/WFS 6.60

Full-rate

GMSK

22.8 kbps

22.8 kbps

TCH/WFS 8.85

Full-rate

GMSK

22.8 kbps

22.8 kbps

TCH/WFS 12.65

Full-rate

GMSK

22.8 kbps

22.8 kbps

O-TCH/WFS 15.85

Full-rate

8-PSK

68.4 kbps

22.8 kbps

O-TCH/WFS 23.85

Full-rate

8-PSK

68.4 kbps

22.8 kbps

O-TCH/WHS 6.60

Half-rate

8-PSK

34.2 kbps

11.4 kbps

O-TCH/WHS 8.85

Half-rate

8-PSK

34.2 kbps

11.4 kbps

O-TCH/WHS
12.65

Half-rate

8-PSK

34.2 kbps

11.4 kbps

Background Information

AMR-WB vs. AMR-NB Source Bit Rates


AMR-WB offers codec modes with five source bit rates:
3 GMSK full rate codec modes (BSS14)
5 8-PSK full rate codec modes (additionally specified by 3GPP, not in BSS14)
3 8-PSK half rate codec modes (additionally specified by 3GPP, not in BSS14)
AMR-NB offers codec modes with eight source bit rates:
8 GMSK full rate codec modes
5 GMSK half rate codec modes (7.95 kbps is not supported in BSS)
22.8 kbps

22.8 kbps

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Background Information

AMR-WB vs. AMR-NB Link Level Performance


Performance of codec modes of comparable source bit rates is similar:
Robustness of AMR-WB codec modes against channel errors is as good as of AMR-NB
for comparable source bit rates and channel type, which provides similar FER at given
radio conditions

C/I [dB]
TCH/AFS 6.7 @ 5 dB

AMR-WB

FER [%]

FER [%]

AMR-NB

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C/I [dB]
TCH/WFS 6.6 @ 5 dB

Background Information

AMR-WB vs. AMR-NB Link Level Performance


Support of robust codec modes with source bit rates down to 4.75 kbps provides a
C/I gain of 2 dB at FER = 1% for TCH/AFS compared to TCH/WFS
TCH/AFS

FER [%]

FER [%]

C/I [dB]
TCH/AFS 4.75 @ 3 dB

TCH/WFS

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C/I [dB]
TCH/WFS 6.6 @ 5 dB

Background Information

AMR-WB vs. AMR-NB Link Level Performance


Audio bandwidth extension in AMR-WB to twice of that used in AMR-NB provides essential
subjective speech quality improvements in terms of SQI* in good radio conditions
In bad radio conditions AMR-WB suffers from high FER => intelligibility becomes
unacceptable above a certain FER threshold
AMR-NB offers more robust codec modes down to 4.75 kbps still keeping sufficiently low
FER => fair speech quality and intelligibility is still maintained
Increased number of sequential frame errors spoils speech
intelligibility which cannot be compensated by audio bandwidth
extension (even if the most robust WFS codec mode is on air)

Envelope of best performing


WFS codec modes

Envelope of best performing


AFS codec modes

AMR-NB is still able to apply


even more robust codec mode
and maintain fair quality

Excellent speech quality


compared to AMR-NB due to
intrinsic nature of AMR-WB
speech encoding - no
sequential frame errors

* SQI speech quality indicator <0,1>, ex-Siemens proprietary


measure of subjective speech quality

back to slide 18
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Background Information

AMR-WB vs. AMR-NB Mean Opinion Score (MOS)


max MOS e.g. ~ 4.1

narrowband scale

If NB MOS = 4.0 and, e.g. WB MOS = 3.9 it doesnt


mean that NB Quality > WB Quality,
because score 4.0 is measured with respect to
narrowband reference and 3.9 is measured with
respect to wideband reference

Measurement results can


not be compared directly

max MOS e.g. ~ 4.13

wideband scale

MOS

MOS

Single scale for


comparison is needed
max MOS e.g. ~ 3.1

narrowband & wideband scale

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max MOS e.g. ~ 4.13

MOS

Background Information

AMR-WB Impact on Dimensioning


Penetration of AMR-WB capable terminals (Rel-5) is expected to be low at
the early stage of the feature deployment:
Most of the calls will be established in a narrow band mode, because the

probability to set up a call between two AMR-WB capable terminals will be low
The expected impact on traffic models and thus on capacity is negligible

With the increased penetration of the AMR-WB capable terminals more

wide band calls will be established:


The calls might become more frequent and longer what will have an impact on
observed traffic models and therefore on network dimensioning process:
Hard-blocking limit for the assumed GoS reached earlier due to an increased call
length and a frequency of AMR-WB call attempts (also increased signalling),
Soft-blocking limit for the assumed QoS reached earlier as a consequence of an
increased cell load and thus interference

Future revision of the traffic models required based on counters/KPIs:


Based on measurements in a real network introduction of EFR caused an increase of a
call hold time by 5-8% compared to GSM FR => a similar effect expected for the
introduction of AMR-WB

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Background Information

AMR-WB Impact on Dimensioning


Penetration of AMR-WB capable terminals (Rel-5) is expected to be low at
the early stage of the feature deployment:
Most of the calls will be established in a narrow band mode, because the

probability to set up a call between two AMR-WB capable terminals will be low
The expected impact on traffic models and thus on capacity is negligible

With the increased penetration of the AMR-WB capable terminals more

wide band calls will be established:


The calls might become more frequent and longer what will have an impact on
observed traffic models and therefore on network dimensioning process:
Hard-blocking limit for the assumed GoS reached earlier due to an increased call
length and a frequency of AMR-WB call attempts (also increased signalling),
Soft-blocking limit for the assumed QoS reached earlier as a consequence of an
increased cell load and thus interference

Future revision of the traffic models required based on counters/KPIs:


Based on measurements in a real network introduction of EFR caused an increase of a
call hold time by 5-8% compared to GSM FR => a similar effect expected for the
introduction of AMR-WB

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Background Information
Tandem Operation

Traditionally the MS-to-MS voice connections are set in the tandem

operation (TO) what forces double speech encoding/decoding when


passing between the MSs
The speech quality is degraded by the double encoding/decoding,
especially when HR codec modes are on air
Loss of quality due to
trans-coding in TRAU

Loss of quality due to


compression in MS

Um

Abis

BTS

encoding

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Ater

BSC
16 kbps speech
(compressed)

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TDM

TRAU

decoding

MSC

MSC

64 kbps (ITU-T G.711 A/-law PCM)

Loss of quality due to


trans-coding in TRAU

Loss of quality due to


decompression in MS

Abis

Ater

TRAU

encoding

BSC

Um

BTS

16 kbps speech
(compressed)

decoding

Background Information
Tandem Free Operation

Tandem Free Operation (TFO) aims at avoiding the double speech trans-

coding in the MS-to-MS calls


If both MSs use the same codec type it is convenient to send compressed
speech frames transparently through the network
The speech quality degradation is avoided
Loss of quality due to
decompression in MS

Loss of quality due to


compression in MS

Um

Abis

BTS

Ater

BSC

encoding

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TRAU

TDM

MSC

MSC

16 kbps (compressed speech)

Ater

TRAU

Abis

BSC

Um

BTS

decoding

Background Information
TFO Impact on Quality

TFO is indispensable when a connection is established with the AMR-WB

codec modes:
Wide-band speech samples are conveyed through the transmission path => the

full benefit is got out of the AMR-WB application


Otherwise, the tandem operation causes the wide-band signal is compressed to
the narrow-band signal => the quality improvements of the WB-AMR application
are lost

Lack of TFO is not critical for connections with the AMR-NB codec modes:
Significant deterioration of speech quality is observed for half-rate codec modes
with the lowest source rates only

TFO can be established between FR, HR or EFR unless the AMR codec

modes are available:


Speech quality of the AMR codec modes even with trans-coding is better than
of the FR, HR or EFR codec modes in TFO

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Background Information
TFO Impact on Quality

WB-AMR with the TO

MS1

BTS1

BSC1

WB signal (WB quality)

TRAU1

MSC1
MSC2
NB signal (NB quality)!!

TRAU2

8 bits * 16 kHz sampling rate = 128 kbps


128 kbps does not fit to 64 kbps!! => downsampling to 8 kHz

BTS2
BSC2
WB signal (NB quality)

MS2

upsampling to 16 kHz to get back WB


signal => the NB quality is kept

WB-AMR with the TFO

MS1

BTS1

BSC1

TRAU1

MSC1

MSC2

WB signal (WB quality)

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TRAU2

BSC2

BTS2

MS2

Background Information
Link Adaptation with TFO

In case the TFO is running with the AMR:


The AMR link adaptation is disabled in the local and distant BTS
Selection of the codec mode is done considering both radio links at a time:
If radio conditions at both ends allow using different codec modes then the more robust
codec mode is selected as a common one
Codec mode upgrading is possible if both radio links are good enough
Codec mode downgrading is necessary if at least one radio link is not good enough

Different codec modes can be activated in both directions of the connection, i.e.
from MS1 to MS2 and from MS2 to MS1
The same codec mode must be activated in one direction, i.e. in uplink from
MS1 to BTS1 and in downlink from BTS2 to MS2 as well as in uplink from MS2 to
BTS2 and in downlink from BTS1 to MS1

Selection of the common codec mode have impact on quality:


At strongly varying radio conditions at BTS1MS1 and BTS2MS2 (low and high
C/I) the common codec mode is not optimum for high C/I when comparing with
the case without TFO and independent selection of the codec modes
But there is a quality gain due to avoidance of trans-coding

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Background Information
Link Adaptation with TFO

AMR_codec_1

AMR_codec_1

MS1

BTS1

BSC1

TRAU1

MSC1

Worse radio interface forces


more robust codec mode to
use although C/I is high

TRAU2

BSC1

TRAU1

MS2

MSC1

AMR_codec_2

MSC2

TRAU2

but quality gain due to no trans-coding


AMR_codec_opt = min { AMR_codec_1, AMR_codec_2 }

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BTS2

AMR_codec_2

AMR_codec_opt

High C/I => use 12.65 kbps, but switch


to 6.60 kbps with TFO

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BSC2

AMR_codec_1 may be different from AMR_codec_2!

AMR_codec_1

BTS1

MSC2
AMR_codec_2

AMR_codec_2

MS1

AMR_codec_1

BSC2

BTS2

MS2

Low C/I => use 6.60 kbps

Background Information
Link Adaptation with TFO

Selection of the common codec mode for the local and distant end may introduce

a round trip delay => temporary quality degradation (when downgrading) may
occur because codec change is not executed immediately:
Downgrading: uplink no effect
Downgrading: downlink has effect

Upgrading: uplink no effect

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Upgrading: downlink has effect

Background Information

TFO Impact on Planning and Dimensioning


TFO in-band signalling slightly increases signalling and processing load in
Abis/Ater/A interfaces due to exchange of information between local and
distant connection ends:
TFO in-band signalling is based on technique of bit stealing => no additional
capacity is required to convey the signalling information

G.711 PCM bits are anyway transmitted in the A interface:


There are not capacity savings in the A interface => still one PCM frame
transfers a single call

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Wideband AMR BSS20960

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Wideband AMR

Supported functionalities
Only the AMR-WB TCH/WFS (GMSK) codec modes are supported:
Activated by the parameter amrWbFrCodecModeSet (BTS object)
Link adaptation as for the AMR-NB codec modes:
Thresholds to activate the codec mode adaptation:
amrWbFrThreshold1 (BTS object), (5 dB)
amrWbFrThreshold2 (BTS object), (10 dB)
Hysteresis to eliminate oscillations in the codec mode adaptation:
amrWbFrHysteresis1 (BTS object), (2 dB)
amrWbFrHysteresis2 (BTS object), (2 dB)

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Wideband AMR

Hardware Requirements
AMR-WB is supported by the following network entities:
BTS: Flexi Edge (SW EP3.0), MetroSite Edge (SW CXM7.0), UltraSite Edge

(EDGE base band unit BB2E or BB2F, SW CX7.0) and Ultra Site Hybrid (same
as EDGE, but with GMSK-only RF units, SW CX7.0)
TRAU: TCSM3i and MGW (U4.1)
BSC: all BSC types with SW level 14
MSS: SW level M14

The above listed network entities support TFO otherwise application of


the AMR-WB feature would not bring any benefits
In-path equipment must be transparent for TFO
Restriction:
North Rel99 MSC does not support AMR-WB => AMR-WB fully supported by
the North MGW/TRAU Rel-4 solution

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Wideband AMR

Pooling Concept in TCSM3i


There are new pools defined for the A interface to support AMR-WB calls
The new pools are managed as the existing ones by using the MML commands =>
a TC_PCM association is created between a trans-coder unit and a PCM line
When a wide-band call arrives:
A call is allocated to a primary pool (if defined: 37 or 38) according to the AMR-WB
hunting order => default hunting order can be modified
If there are not free resources in the primary pools the call is allocated to a
secondary pool (if defined: 40)
If there are not free resources in the primary and secondary pools the call is
downgraded to a AMR-NB call (switch to the pool if defined: 23, 28, ...) and so on
Speech codec

Primary pool

Secondary pool

FR

1, 5, 3, 7, 20, 28, 38

10, 21, 13, 22, 32, 40

EFR

5, 7, 20, 28, 38

10, 21, 13, 22, 32, 40

NB-AMR FR

23, 28, 37, 38

32, 40

HR

2, 3, 7, 20, 28

10, 21, 13, 22, 32, 40

NB-AMR HR

23, 28, 37, 38

32, 40

WB-AMR

37, 38

40

Default AMR-WB hunting order


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The same pool handles few codec


types there is no need to switch
between pools when a call changes its
mode from NB to WB and vice-versa

Wideband AMR

Pooling Concept in MGW/TRAU


There is a new pool defined for the A interface to support AMR-WB calls
The new pools are managed as the existing ones by using the MML

commands => a TC_PCM association is created between a trans-coder


unit and a PCM line
When a wide-band call arrives:
A call is allocated to a circuit pool 37 the only one supporting AMR-WB
If there are not free resources in the circuit pool 37 the call is downgraded to a
AMR-NB and switched to the circuit pool 23 or 28 (if defined)
Speech codec

Primary pool

Secondary pool

FR

1, 5, 3, 7, 20, 28

10, 21, 13, 22, 32

EFR

5, 7, 20, 28

10, 21, 13, 22, 32

NB-AMR FR

23, 28, 37

32

HR

2, 3, 7, 20, 28

10, 21, 13, 22, 32

NB-AMR HR

23, 28, 37

32

WB-AMR

37

If no free resources in pool 37, the AMR-WB


call is downgraded to AMR-NB FR
Default AMR-WB hunting order

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The same pool handles few codec types


there is no need to switch between pools
when a call changes its mode from AMRNB to WB and vice-versa

AMR Tandem Free Operation (BSS21118)

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AMR Tandem Free Operation


Supported Functionalities

TFO can be established when both connection ends have their lists with
ACS fixed in the way:
AMR-WB Config-WB-Code-0 configuration: 6.60 kbps, 8.85 kbps and 12.65

kbps
AMR-NB Config-NB-Code-1 configuration: 4.75 kbps, 5.9 kbps, 7.4 kbps and
12.2 kbps (3GPP recommended)

TFO is not possible with other combinations of codec modes


TFO protocol supports the following decision algorithms at call setup/HO
(specified by 3GPP):
Immediate TFO establishment => TFO can be established if both connection

ends use the same codec type, i.e. AMR-WB, AMR-NB FR or AMR-NB HR
FR-HR matching => TFO can be established even if connection ends operate
with different codec types, i.e. HR AMR-NB and FR AMR-NB, but with the codec
modes of the same source bit rates
Immediate codec type optimisation => TFO can be established if both connection
ends use different codec types, i.e. AMR-WB and AMR-NB, but support a
common codec type

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AMR Tandem Free Operation


Immediate TFO Establishment

Immediate TFO establishment with the AMR-WB codec modes


Radio conditions/configuration
allow using AMR-WB codec
modes at both connection ends

Immediate TFO establishment with the AMR-NB codec modes

Radio conditions/configuration
allow using FR AMR-NB codec
modes at both connection ends

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Radio conditions/configuration
allow using HR AMR-NB codec
modes at both connection ends

AMR Tandem Free Operation


FR-HR Matching

FR-HR matching the objective is to establish TFO between HR and FR


codec types:
Lower rate codec modes (4.75 kbps, 5.9 kbps and 7.4 kbps) use the same

source encoding in HR and FR => TFO can be established on a common ACS


If any connection end uses 12.2 kbps FR codec mode TFO is not possible (HR
does not support 12.2 kbps codec mode)

MS1 BTS1 (FR)

BTS2 MS2 (HR)

ACS1: 4.75, 5.9, 7.4, 12.2

ACS2: 4.75, 5.9, 7.4

MS1 MS2 (HR)


common ACS: 4.75, 5.9, 7.4

Radio conditions/configuration
allow using FR AMR-NB codec
modes at a local connection
end

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TFO can be immediately


started on any of the
common codec modes

Radio conditions/configuration
allow using HR AMR-NB codec
modes at a distant connection
end

AMR Tandem Free Operation


Immediate Codec Type Optimisation

Immediate codec type optimisation - the objective is to find an optimum

codec type to successfully establish TFO:


Local or distant cell changes the codec type depending on capabilities of the
cell and an MS

No

Capabilities of cells
Local cell
WB-AMR

Distant cell

NB-AMR

1.

WB-AMR
yes

2.
yes

3.

no
4.

yes

5.
6.
7.

yes
no
no

8.

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Actions (an MS preferred codec type is AMR-WB)

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NB-AMR
yes
no

Optimal codec type is WB-AMR, immediate TFO establishment on WB-AMR

yes

Immediate codec type optimisation (local cell is switched to NB-AMR, optimal codec
type is NB-AMR)

no

None - TFO not possible

yes
no
yes
no

Optimal codec type is WB-AMR, immediate TFO establishment on WB-AMR

None - TFO not possible

AMR Tandem Free Operation


Immediate Codec Type Optimisation

If both connection ends do not support AMR-WB and AMR-NB the TFO

can be established between standard GSM codec modes (FR/EFR/HR)


=> independent feature

No

Capabilities of cells
Local cell
WB-AMR

Actions (an MS preferred codec type is AMR-WB)

Distant cell

NB-AMR

WB-AMR

9.

NB-AMR
yes

Immediate codec type optimisation (distant cell is switched to NB-AMR, optimal codec
type is NB-AMR)

no

None - TFO not possible

yes

Optimal codec type is NB-AMR, immediate TFO establishment on WB-AMR

yes
10.

yes

11.
12.

no
no

13.
14.
15.

yes
no
no

16.

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no
yes
no
yes
no

None - TFO not possible

Wideband AMR and TFO Operation

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Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Call Setup General

Call setup procedure starts with two activities:


Setting up a call in a standard way with the initial codec type and mode
In parallel exchange of information BTSTRAU on active and supported codec types

using the TFO protocol to estabish the TFO => extra delays in the call setup procedure
are not significant

The call setup procedure is completed:


The call starts in the tandem operation
The used codec types at the connection ends are the active codec types depending on
parameter settings:
initialAmrCodecType (BSC object) defines the preferred codec type
Bts(Sp)LoadDepTchRateLower (BSC/BTS) object) defines a load threshold above
which half-rate channels are allocated
initialAmrChannelRate (BSC object) defines extra requirements for the channel
allocation

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Wideband AMR and Tandem Free Operation


Call Setup Active Codec Type Selection

Applies to mobile originated calls


only; for mobile terminated calls
the MSS preference is obeyed

Call setup procedure starts

yes

Is AMR-WB
enabled?

AMR-WB

What is
initAmrCodecType?

no
AMR-NB
Is load over
bts(Sp)LoadDepTc
hRateLower
threshold?

yes
Selection of the channel codec type and mode as in the
previous implementation
What is
initAmrChannelRat
e?

FR AMR
no

Any Rate

yes
EFR/FR/HR

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FR AMR-NB

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HR AMR-NB

Is HR AMR-NB
enabled?

no

AMR-WB

Wideband AMR and Tandem Free Operation


TFO Setup General

TFO negotiation starts (if previous steps are successfully completed):


Exchange of the information local TRAU distant TRAU to agree on the

optimum (common) codec type based on configuration of the connection ends


In case the common codec type is not found:
Periodic retry procedure (defined by 3GPP) starts to periodically request configuration

of the distant connection end to try to set up the TFO as soon as possible
TFO is not established => the call continues with the AMR-NB codec type (AMR-WB
call is always downgraded to AMR-NB with the channel mode modify command => no
(intra-cell) handover is executed

In case the common codec type is found, but is different than the active codec

types at the connection ends:


Immediate codec type optimisation => the active codec type is changed to the common
codec type using the channel mode modify command => no (intra-cell) handover is
executed

In case the common codec type at the connection ends is the active one =>
immediate TFO establishment or FR-HR matching

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Wideband AMR and Tandem Free Operation


Call Setup TFO Establishment

Call started in the tandem operation

Is common
codec type
available?

no

Is active codec
type the same at a
local and distant
cell?

yes

Is the optimal
codec type the
same as active
one?

yes
no
Is change of the
codec type at a
local cell
needed?
no

Periodic retry

TFO is not established

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Wait until immediate


codec type optimisation
is done at a distant cell

yes
no
Immediate codec type
optimisation at a local cell

TFO is established

yes
Immediate TFO establishment
on active codec type

Wideband AMR and Tandem Free Operation


Call Setup Optimum Codec Type Selection for TFO
Selection of the optimum codec type
(AMR-WB is an MS preferred codec type)

Is AMR-NB used
or supported in a
local and distant
cell?

no

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Is AMR-WB used
or supported in a
local and distant
cell?

yes

The optimum codec type not found

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no

yes

The optimum codec type is AMR-NB

The optimum codec type is AMR-WB

Wideband AMR and Tandem Free Operation


Handover General

Handover procedure consists of the following steps:


HO performed in a standard way with the selection of the active codec type (AMR-WB or
AMR-NB) and rate (FR or HR) depending on the cell load and availability of requested
channel type
Once an MS is handed over to a target cell/channel the TFO is resumed with the
minimum delay if codec type does not change
Otherwise, TFO is interrupted and then restored if possible => the same steps are
performed as in case of the call setup
Time needed to complete the handover with or without TFO interruption is not extended

Selection of the active codec type and rate depends on parameter settings:
bts(Sp)LoadDepTchRateLower (BSC/BTS) object) defines a load threshold above which

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half-rate channels are allocated


initialAmrChannelRate (BSC object) defines extra requirements for the channel allocation
initialAmrCodecType (BSC object) defines the preferred codec type
tchRateIntraCellHO (BTS object) defines codec rate on the target cell for the intra-cell HO
tchRateInternalHO (BSC object) defines codec rate on the target cell for the inter-cell and
external (inter-BSC) HO

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Wideband AMR and Tandem Free Operation

Intra-BSC or Intra-Cell HO Active Codec Type Selection


Intra-BSC Handover
Sour
ce in
TFO

yes

AMR-WB

Source
codec
type

no

Is
target
AMRWB
capable
?

Is load over
bts(Sp)LoadDepTc
hRateLower
threshold?

yes

yes
Was TFO lost in
the on-going
call?

no

yes

no

no

AMR-NB

Do not select AMR-WB back


if it was once lost (until
external HO is triggered)

What is
tchRateInternalHo
?

no

yes
EFR/FR/HR

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FR

HR
Is HR AMR-NB
enabled in
target?

Inter-BSC Handover

FR AMR

Any Rate

For intra-cell HO check


tchRateIntraCellHo

Selection of the channel codec type and mode as in the


previous implementation

External HO

What is
initAmrChannelRate
?

FR AMR-NB

HR AMR-NB

AMR-WB

Active: FR AMR-NB

Active: HR AMR-NB

Active: AMR-WB

Optional: AMR-WB if supported

Optional: n/a

Optional: FR AMR-NB

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Wideband AMR and Tandem Free Operation


External (Inter-BSC) HO Active Codec Type Selection
External handover

Is
target
AMRWB
capable
?

What is MSS
preference codec
type?

yes

Is load over
bts(Sp)LoadDepTc
hRateLower
threshold?

AMR-WB

yes
AMR-NB

no

no
What is
initAmrChannelRate
?

Applies also
to the intraBSC HO
when AMRWB or TFO
has not been
used in the
source cell

FR AMR

Any Rate
What is
tchRateInternalHo
?

FR

HR

Selection of the channel codec type and mode as in the


previous implementation

Is HR AMR-NB
enabled in
target?

no

yes
EFR/FR/HR

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FR AMR-NB

HR AMR-NB

AMR-WB

Active: FR AMR-NB

Active: HR AMR-NB

Active: AMR-WB

Optional: AMR-WB

Optional: n/a

Optional: FR AMR-NB

Wideband AMR and Tandem Free Operation


Handover Summary

When codec type is once changed from AMR-WB to AMR-NB due to loss of the

TFO connection reverting back to AMR-WB is not possible until:


External HO is triggered
An MS passed through a cell not supporting AMR-WB and TFO
The call continues with the AMR-WB without TFO if:
TFO is released for some reason during an on-going call, e.g. no IPE transparency is lost,
and AMR-NB codec modes are not supported in a target cell

TFO between AMR-NB codec modes is released when the target cell has another
codec set than Config-NB-Code-1 and the parameter ACH
(amrConfInHandovers) denotes the codec set of the target cell
AMR-WB and TFO slightly increases signalling and processing load on the
Abis/Ater interfaces
2GWCDMA HOs are supported in the samy way as external (inter-BSC) HO:
Calls with AMR-WB (Config-WB-Code-0) codec modes and TFO
TFO cannot be established with AMR-NB codec modes, because the Config-NB-Code-1
(4.75 kbps, 5.9 kbps, 7.4 kbps and 12.2 kbps) codec modes are not compatible with the
WCDMA AMR-NB codec modes (4.75 kbps, 5.9 kbps, 7.95 kbps and 12.2 kbps)

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Wideband AMR and Tandem Free Operation


AMR-WB vs. HO and PC
Thresholds

HO & PC RX Quality thresholds for EFR/FR/HR calls are also used for

AMR-WB calls (see database parameters)


For the IFH and IUO features the HO C/I thresholds for AMR-WB calls are
the same as for EFR/FR/HR calls

AMR-WB and TFO vs. DTM


When BSC receives a request to establish a DTM call:
Intra-cell HO is performed to a packet territory (both CS and PS parts)
AMR-WB is downgraded to an AMR-NB codec mode if possible; otherwise
AMR-WB is still in use
TFO is always interrupted

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New and Modified BSS Parameters

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Nokia Siemens Networks

Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


New Parameters

Parameter name
(abbreviation)

Range and step, default value

Description

amrWbFrCodecModeSet
(ACMS)

0 ... 1, step 1, default: 0


0 AMR-WB is disabled
1 AMR-WB is enabled

The parameter defines if the AMR-WB codec mode set is enabled or


disabled (feature activated or deactivated)

BTS

amrWbFrThreshold1
(AFRT1)

0 ... 63 (0 ... 31.5 dB), step 1 (0.5 dB),


default: 8 (4 dB)

The parameter defines the threshold for switching from the codec
mode 2 (the second lowest bit rate) to the codec mode 1 (the lowest
bit rate).
Note: amrWbFrThreshold1 must be equal to or smaller than
amrWbFrThreshold2.

BTS

amrWbFrThreshold2
(AFRT1)

0 ... 63 (0 ... 31.5 dB), step 1 (0.5 dB),


default: 8 (4 dB)

The parameter defines the threshold for switching from the codec
mode 3 (the highest bit rate) to the codec mode 2 (the second lowest
bit rate).
Note: amrWbFrThreshold2 must be greater than amrWbFrThreshold1.

BTS

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Object
name

Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


New Parameters

Parameter name
(abbreviation)

Range and step, default value

Description

amrWbFrHysteresis1
(AFRH1)

0 to 15 (0 to 7.5 dB), step 1 (0.5 dB),


default: 4 (2 dB)

The parameter, together with amrWbFrThreshold1, defines the


threshold for switching from the codec mode 1 (the lowest bit rate) to
the codec mode 2 (the second lowest bit rate).
Note: amrWbFrThreshold1 + amrWbFrHysteresis1 must be equal to or
smaller than amrWbFrThreshold1 + amrWbFrHysteresis1.

BTS

amrWbFrHysteresis2
(AFRH2)

0 to 15 (0 to 7.5 dB), step 1 (0.5 dB),


default: 4 (2 dB)

The parameter, together with amrWbFrThreshold2, defines the


threshold for switching from the codec mode 2 (the second lowest bit
rate) to the codec mode 3 (the highest bit rate).
Note: amrWbFrThreshold2 + amrWbFrHysteresis2 must be greater
than amrWbFrThreshold1 + amrWbFrHysteresis1.

BTS

initialAmrCodecType
(IACT)

0 2, step 1, default: 0
0 AMR-NB has greater priority
1 AMR-WB has greater priority
2 obey codec list given by MSS

The parameter defines the order of preference between the AMR-WB


and AMR-NB codec modes. The third value is the MSS codec list.
Default value means that AMR-NB is selected when a call is
established.

BTS

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Object
name

Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Modified Parameters*

Parameter name
(abbreviation)

Range and step, default value

Description

btsLoadDepTchRateLower
(HRL)

0 ... 100 %, step 1, no default value

The parameter defines the lower limit for the percentage of free full
rate resources. Full rate TCH channels are allocated until the number
of free full rate resources is reduced below the value of the parameter.
The half rate resources are then allocated.

BSC

btsLoadDepTchRateUpper
(HRU)

0 ... 100 %, step 1, no default value

The parameter defines the upper limit for the percentage of free full
rate resources. Full rate TCH channels are allocated when the number
of free full rate resources exceeds the value of the parameter.

BSC

btsSpLoadDepTchRateLo
wer
(FRL)

0 ... 100 %, step 1, no default value

The parameter defines the lower limit for the percentage of free full rate
resources. Full rate TCH channels are allocated until the number of free
full rate resources is reduced below the value of the parameter. The half
rate resources are then allocated.

BTS

btsSpLoadDepTchRateUpper
(FRU)

0 ... 100 %, step 1, no default value

The parameter defines the upper limit for the percentage of free full
rate resources. Full rate TCH channels are allocated when the number
of free full rate resources exceeds the value of the parameter.

BTS

* - in BSS14 the modified parameters refer to AMR-WB calls, too

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Object
name

Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Modified Parameters*

Parameter name
(abbreviation)

Range and step, default value

Description

dfcaAmrFrConnection_ciT
arget
(CIAF)

0 .. 63 dB, step 1dB, default: 12 dB

The parameter defines the target C/I value for full rate AMR-NB and full
rate AMR-WB speech connections.
Note: The parameter value must be equal to or greater than the
minimum acceptable C/I (dfcaAmrFrConnection_softBlockingCi)

BSC

dfcaAmrFrConnection_soft
BlockingCi
(SBAF)

-20 .. 43 dB, step 1dB, default: -20


dB

The parameter defines the minimum acceptable C/I value for full rate
AMR-NB and full rate AMR-WB speech connections.
Note: The parameter value must be equal to or smaller than the target
C/I (dfcaAmrFrConnection_ciTarget). Value -20 dB means soft blocking
is disabled.

BSC

dfcaAmrFrConnection_soft
BlockingCn
(SBCNAF)

0 63 dB, step 1, default: 7 dB

The parameter defines the minimum acceptable carrier-to-noise ratio


for full rate AMR-NB and full rate AMR-WB speech connections.

BSC

radioLinkTimeoutAmr
(ARLT)

4 ... 64 SACCH, step 4 SACCH,


default: 20 SACCH

Defines the maximum value of the radio link counter expressed in SACCH frames
(480ms) for the full rate AMR-NB and full rate AMR-WB speech connections.

BTS

* - in BSS14 the modified parameters refer to AMR-WB calls, too

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Object
name

Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Modified Parameters*

Parameter name
(abbreviation)

Range and step, default value

Description

tchRateInternalHo
(HRI)

1 5, step 1, default: 1
1 the best candidate cell in which the same channel type (FR or HR) and the
same speech version can be used is selected as a target cell; if such the cell does
not exist another target cell is searched at first, with other speech versions, then
with other channel types
2 the same as 1, but at a time of a data connection the channel type used in the
source cell is not taken into account in the selection of the best candidate cell
3 changes of the channel type (FR or HR) are denied
4 the best candidate cell in which the same channel type (FR or HR) and the
same speech version as requested by MSC in the initial radio resource request is
selected
5 the best candidate cell is selected the channel type and speech version used
in the source cell is not taken into account

Defines channel rate after the inter-cell or


external HO takes place. The parameter
can return full-rate (FR) or half-rate (HR).

BSC

tchRateIntraCellHo
(TRIH)

0 4, step 1, default: 0
0 obey the BSC level parameter tchRateInternalHO,
1 ... 4 see the parameter tchRateInternalHo.

Defines the channel rate after the intra-cell


HO takes place. The parameter can return
full-rate (FR) or half-rate (HR).

BTS

initAmrChannelRate
(IAC)

1 2, step 1, default: 1
1 any rate, there are not extra requirements and the selected
channel rate is defined by taking into account the currently used
information on channel allocation,
2 AMR FR is allocated regardless the values of the currently used
information on channel allocation

The parameter defines the initial channel


rate at call setup and during a handover for
AMR-NB and AMR-WB calls.

BSC

* - in BSS14 the modified parameters refer to AMR-WB calls, too

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Object
name

Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Modified Parameters*

Parameter name
(abbreviation)

Range and step, default value

Description

sacchRepeatWindow
(SRW)

1 ...15 frames, step 1 frame,


default: 4

The parameter defines when a BTS commands an MS to repeat the SACCH


block.
If the parameter is set to 1, decoding failure of the latest SACCH block
triggers transmission of the next SACCH block.
If the parameter has value N = {2, 3, 4 .. 15}, decoding failure of 2 SACCH
blocks out of N preceding SACCH blocks triggers the next transmission. The
renewed transmissions are done as long as the decoding of 2 SACCH blocks
out of N preceding blocks fails.
The parameter is related to the robust AMR signalling.

BSC

slowAmrLaEnabled
(SAL)

0 ... 1, step 1, default: 0


0 fast LA is enabled
1 slow LA is enabled

The parameter defines the AMR link adaptation (LA) mode within the BSS.
In BSS14 the parameter also refers to AMR-WB. TFO cannot operate
with the slow LA => the parameter must be set to FALSE

BSC

The parameters compare the averaged values of signal quality from


downlink measurements for triggering the HO process

HOC

The parameters compare the averaged values of signal quality from uplink
measurements for triggering the HO process

HOC

thresholdQualDownlink
RXQual
(hoTQDlRxQual)
thresholdQualUplinkRX
Qual
(hoTQUlRxQual)

< 0.2% (0), 0.2% - 0.4% (1), 0.4%


- 0.8% (2), 0.8% - 1.6% (3), 1.6% 3.2% (4), 3.2% - 6.4% (5), 6.4% 12.8% (6), > 12.8% (7), default: 4

* - in BSS14 the modified parameters refer to AMR-WB calls, too

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Nokia Siemens Networks

Object
name

Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Modified Parameters*

Parameter name
(abbreviation)

Object
name

Range and step, default value

Description

BSC

063 dB; step: 1dB, default: 2 dB

The parameter defines how much lower downlink C/I values can be used for
the SAIC calls compared to the non-SAIC calls in the DFCA TCH allocation.
The availability of the parameter requires the Single Antenna Interference
Cancellation software. The offset is added to the C/I targets and soft blocking
C/I limits.

pcLowerThresholdsQua
lDownlinkRXQual
(pcLTQualDlRxQual)

The parameters compare the averaged values of signal quality from


downlink measurements for triggering the power control process. RXQUAL:
threshold level for the downlink power increase.

POC

pcLowerThresholdsQua
lUplinkRXQual
(pcLTQualUlRxQual)

The parameters compare the averaged values of signal quality from uplink
measurements for triggering the power control process. RXQUAL:
threshold level for the uplink power increase.

POC

The parameters compare the averaged values of signal quality uplink


measurements for triggering the power control process. RXQUAL:
threshold level for the downlink power reduction.

POC

The parameters compare the averaged values of signal quality uplink


measurements for triggering the power control process. RXQUAL:
threshold level for the uplink power reduction.

POC

saicDlCIOffset
(SCIO)

pcUpperThresholdsQua
lDownlinkRXQual
(pcUTQualUlRxQual)

< 0.2% (0), 0.2% - 0.4% (1), 0.4%


- 0.8% (2), 0.8% - 1.6% (3), 1.6% 3.2% (4), 3.2% - 6.4% (5), 6.4% 12.8% (6), > 12.8% (7), default: 3

pcUpperThresholdsQua
lUplinkRXQual
(pcUTQualUlRxQual)

* - in BSS14 the modified parameters refer to AMR-WB calls, too

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Performance Measurements

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Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


New Counters (1)

Counter name

Description

001251: TIME_OF_AMR-WB_CALLS
(1 Traffic Measurement)

The counter counts the time of AMR-WB calls in cells in seconds. A BSC keeps record about the time the
speech codec version 5 (AMR-WB) is used.
Trigger event:
The time is updated in the counter when BSC receives the CHANNEL MODE MODIFY ACK message
when AMR-WB changes to another codec mode or the channel is released.

001252: TCH_REQUESTS_FOR_AMRWB
(1 Traffic Measurement)

The counter counts the number of TCH requests for AMR-WB-calls.


Trigger event:
Updated when a BSC receives a TCH request in a call setup or HO attempt and the speech codec version
5 (AMR-WB) is the most preferred one. The counter 001026 TCH_CALL_REQ is not updated along with
this counter in case of a call setup.

001253: TCH_SEIZURES_FOR_AMR-WB
(1 Traffic Measurement)

The counter counts the number of successful AMR-WB TCH seizures.


Trigger event:
When a TCH allocated for a speech is released and the speech codec version 5 (AMR-WB) is or was
(later switched to AMR-NB) in use during a call.

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Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Performance Measurements

Counter name

Description

001254: TCH_ENDED_DUE
TRANSCODER_FAILURE_CODEC_5
(1 Traffic Measurement)

The counter is updated when a TCH transaction ends because of a trans-coder failure during a call
attempt or handover and the speech codec version 5 (AMR-WB) is in use.
Trigger event:
The counter is updated when a TCH transaction ends because of a trans-coder failure during a call
attempt or HO and the speech codec version 5 (AMR-WB) is in use.
Note:
The counter is updated together with one of the trans-coder failure counters: 001029 (TCH_TR_FAIL),
001030 (TCH_TR_FAIL_SOURCE) or 001031 (TCH_TR_FAIL_TARGET).

001255: CODEC_TYPE_CHANGE_FROM
AMR_TO_AMR-WB_SUCCESSFUL
(1 Traffic Measurement)

The counter counts the number of successful codec type changes from AMR-NB to AMR-WB.
Trigger event:
Updated when the CHANNEL MODE MODIFY ACK message is received by a BSC and the codec type
change is successful.

001256: CODEC_TYPE_CHANGE_FROM
AMR-WB_TO_AMR_SUCCESSFUL
(1 Traffic Measurement)

The counter counts the number of successful codec type changes from AMR-WB to AMR-NB.
Trigger event:
Updated when the CHANNEL MODE MODIFY ACK message is received by a BSC and the codec type
change is successful.

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Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Modified Counters

Counter name

Description

029014: DL_LAST_USED_BITRATE
(29 Drop Call Breakdown Observation)

The last used codec mode in downlink direction when the TCH drop occurred.
Trigger event:
When a TCH drop occurred between the messages ASSIGNMENT COMPLETE from a BTS and
DISCONNECT from MS/MSC or between the messages ASSIGNMENT COMPLETE from a BTS and
CLEAR COMMAND from an MSC.
Note:
In fact this is not a counter, but an identification of the used codec mode when a drop occured.

029015: UL_LAST_USED_BITRATE
(29 Drop Call Breakdown Observation)

The last used codec mode in uplink direction when the TCH drop occurred.
Trigger event:
When a TCH drop occurred between the messages ASSIGNMENT COMPLETE from a BTS and
DISCONNECT from MS/MSC or between the messages ASSIGNMENT COMPLETE from a BTS and
CLEAR COMMAND from an MSC.
Note:
In fact this is not a counter, but an identification of the used codec mode when a drop occurred.

077002: CODEC_TYPE
(77 FER Measurement)

Identification of the used codec type.


Trigger event:
During a handover and when a call is cleared.

The above listed counters have their ranges extended to also include AMR-WB codec modes: 6.60 kbps, 8.85 kbps and 12.65 kbps.

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Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Modified counters

Counter name
All AMR-NB FR Counters
(100 DFCA Measurement)
All AMR-NB FR Counters
(108 DFCA SAIC Measurement)
AMR_UL_1 AMR_UL_32
(21 Radio Measurement Report)
AMR_DL_1 AMR_DL_32
(21 Radio Measurement Report)

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Description

The measurement counters are updated for AMR-NB FR codec modes when an AMRWB FR codec mode is in use. New counters for AMR-WB FR codec modes are not
needed in these measurements because air interface channel encoding and hereby
the C/I conditions remain the same between AMR-NB FR and AMR-WB FR.
The counters provide detailed information on the AMR codec mode used at handover
(values: 4 17). 32 calls can be observed at a time and reported to a BTS. Separate
counters are applied to uplink and downlink. From BSS14 the counters are extended
to include AMR-WB codec modes: 6.60 kbps (20), 8.85 (19) kbps and 13.65 kbps
(18)

Feature Impact Analysis & Verification

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Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Feature Impact Analysis & Verification
Feature impact

How to measure?

The feature is activated:


At the early stage of the feature
implementation the penetration of AMR-WB
capable terminals is expected to be low =>
small share of wide-band calls vs. narrow-band
calls
Growing penetration of AMR-WB capable
terminals is expected with the better availability
of AMR-WB capable terminals => higher share
of wide-band calls vs. narrow-band calls

Counters:
001251 (TIME_OF_AMR_WB_CALLS): the total time in seconds when
AMR-WB calls are active in a cell
001252 (TCH_REQUESTS_FOR_AMR_WB): the number of TCH
requests for an AMR-WB call
001253 (TCH_SEIZURES_FOR_AMR_WB): the number of successful
AMR-WB TCH seizures when the AMR-WB speech codec mode is in use
KPIs:
Share of AMR-WB calls vs. all calls and AMR-NB calls (AMR-WB usage):

AMR-WB call setup success ratio (accessibility):

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Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Feature Impact Analysis & Verification
Feature impact

How to measure?

Switching between AMR-NB and AMR-WB


codec types to successfully
establish/maintain TFO at call setup/after
HO
Downgrade of wide-band calls to narrowband mode if one of connection ends does
not support AMR-WB codec modes
Too frequent switching between AMR-WB
and AMR-NB codec modes is annoying for a
subscriber => it is desired that a single wideband or narrow-band phase of a call is as
long as possible (ideally: the call from the
beginning to the end is maintained without
changing a codec type)

Counters:
001255 (SUCC_CHANGE_AMR_TO_AMR_WB): the number of successful
codec type changes from AMR to AMR-WB
001256 (SUCC_CHANGE_AMR_WB_TO_AMR): the number of successful
codec type changes from AMR-WB to AMR
KPIs:
Average length of the phase without codec type change:

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Avg _ phase _ no _ codec _ type _ change [ s ]

TIME _ OF _ AMR _ WB _ CALLS TIME _ OF _ AMR _ CALLS


SUCC _ CHANGE _ AMR _ WB _ TO _ AMR SUCC _ CHANGE _ AMR _ TO _ AMR _ WB

Average length of the wide-band phase vs. average length of the narrowband phase:

Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Feature Impact Analysis & Verification
Feature impact

How to measure?

Potential call drops when AMR-WB is in use

Counters:
029014 (DL_LAST_USED_BITRATE): The last used bit-rate in downlink
direction when a TCH drop occurred sub-counters: 0x12 (12.65 kbps),
0x13 (8.85 kbps) and 0x14 (6.60 kbps)
029015 (UL_LAST_USED_BITRATE): The last used bit-rate in uplink
direction when a TCH drop occurred sub-counters: 0x12 (12.65 kbps),
0x13 (8.85 kbps) and 0x14 (6.60 kbps)

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Wideband AMR and AMR Tandem Free Operation


Feature Impact Analysis & Verification
Feature impact

How to measure?

The FER (Frame Erasure Rate) might be


degraded in bad C/I conditions, because
the speech call once established with
AMR-WB may never be downgraded to
AMR-NB and AMR-WB does not offer
sufficiently robust codec modes, e.g.
comparable to AMR-NB 4.75 kbps, to cope
with severe radio conditions

KPIs:
CLASS_1_BOUNDARY of 77 FER Measurement set to, e.g. 25 (FER
threshold set to 2.5% - all samples falling below the threshold denotes good
speech quality)
Real FER based quality in downlink (EMR capable terminals only):

Estimated FER based quality in downlink:

FER based quality in uplink, e.g.:

The above KPIs are calculated for the USED_CODEC_TYPE equal to AMR-WB codec mode: 6.60 kbps, 8.85 kbps or 12.65 kbps

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IMS Links
Wideband AMR Planning guideline

https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Open/414540389
BSS S14 P3 enabling SVU session:
https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Open/409173809
RG10 (BSS) for Network Planners:
https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Download/408553313

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