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Radio Engineering Rules with AMR introduction in GSM networks

Document number: Document issue: Document status: Date: 01.01 / EN This document is for internal use only - DRAFT

Copyright 2000 Nortel Networks, All Rights Reserved Printed in France NORTEL NETWORKS CONFIDENTIAL: The information contained in this document is the property of Nortel Networks. Except as specifically authorized in writing by Nortel Networks, the holder of this document shall keep the information contained herein confidential and shall protect same in whole or in part from disclosure and dissemination to third parties and use same for evaluation, operation and maintenance purposes only. The content of this document is provided for information purposes only and is subject to modification. It does not constitute any representation or warranty from Nortel Networks as to the content or accuracy of the information contained herein, including but not limited to the suitability and performances of the product or its intended application. The following are trademarks of Nortel Networks: *NORTEL NETWORKS, the NORTEL NETWORKS corporate logo, the NORTEL Globemark, UNIFIED NETWORKS. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. Nortel Networks assumes no responsibility for errors that might appear in this document. All other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Radio Engineering Rules with AMR introduction in GSM networks

PUBLICATION HISTORY
DD/MMM/YYYY
Version 01.01 / EN, Provisional Creation L.Moussay

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CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................6 1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 2. OBJECT ....................................................................................................................................6 SCOPE OF THIS DOCUMENT .......................................................................................................6 AUDIENCE FOR THIS DOCUMENT ................................................................................................6

RELATED DOCUMENTS ..............................................................................................................7 2.1. 2.2. APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS ..........................................................................................................7 REFERENCE DOCUMENTS ..........................................................................................................7

3.

GENERALITIES .............................................................................................................................9 3.1. AMR PRINCIPLES....................................................................................................................10

3.1.1. Definition .......................................................................................................................10 3.1.2. AMR codecs ..................................................................................................................11 3.1.3. Codec adaptation principle ............................................................................................11 3.1.4. AMR benefits .................................................................................................................13 3.1.4.1. AMR Full Rate benefits ........................................................................................................ 13 3.1.4.2. AMR Half Rate benefits ........................................................................................................ 15 3.1.4.3. AMR Full Rate / AMR Half Rate performances ................................................................... 17 3.2. NORTEL NETWORKS CHOICES .................................................................................................19 3.2.1. AMR codecs sets chosen by Nortel Networks ..............................................................19 3.2.2. AMR mechanisms .........................................................................................................21 3.2.2.1. Initial codec mode choice ...................................................................................................... 21 3.2.2.2. Codec mode adaptation parameters choice ........................................................................... 21 4. AMR COVERAGE ASPECTS .....................................................................................................25 4.1. 4.2. PRINCIPLE ..............................................................................................................................25 AMR COVERAGE GAIN.............................................................................................................26

4.2.1. AMR Full Rate only .......................................................................................................26 4.2.2. AMR Half Rate only .......................................................................................................28 4.2.3. AMR Full Rate and Half Rate together .........................................................................29 4.2.3.1. New GSM design .................................................................................................................. 30 4.2.3.2. Existing GSM design ............................................................................................................ 30 4.3. LIMITATIONS ...........................................................................................................................31 4.3.1. 4.3.2. 4.3.3. 5. Simulations limitations ...................................................................................................32 Signalling channels .......................................................................................................32 AMR penetration ...........................................................................................................32

AMR CAPACITY ASPECTS ........................................................................................................33 5.1. 5.2. PRINCIPLE ..............................................................................................................................33 AMR FREQUENCY PLANNING ...................................................................................................34

5.2.1. Non hopping frequency plan .........................................................................................34 5.2.1.1. AMR Full Rate only .............................................................................................................. 36 5.2.1.2. AMR Half Rate only ............................................................................................................. 38 5.2.1.3. AMR Full Rate and Half rate together .................................................................................. 39 5.2.2. Hopping frequency plan ................................................................................................42 5.2.2.1. AMR Full Rate only .............................................................................................................. 45
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5.2.2.2. AMR Half Rate only ............................................................................................................. 49 5.2.2.3. AMR Full Rate and Half Rate together ................................................................................. 53 5.2.3. Frequency plan conclusion ...........................................................................................54 5.3. LIMITATIONS AND DIFFICULTIES ................................................................................................56 5.3.1. 5.3.2. 5.3.3. 6. Simulations limitations ...................................................................................................56 Signalling channels .......................................................................................................56 AMR penetration ...........................................................................................................58

CONCLUSION .............................................................................................................................60 6.1. 6.2. 6.3. AMR BENEFITS .......................................................................................................................60 LIMITATIONS TO AMR BENEFITS ..............................................................................................60 FURTHER WORK......................................................................................................................61

7.

ABBREVIATIONS AND DEFINITIONS .......................................................................................62 7.1. 7.2. ABBREVIATIONS ......................................................................................................................62 DEFINITIONS AND APPENDIX ....................................................................................................62

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1. INTRODUCTION
1.1. Object This document aims at giving complete and general radio engineering information related to AMR (Adaptive Multi Rate) feature that will be implemented in V14 release. First of all, some generalities are presented: What is AMR? How does it work? The AMR benefits Then, more details are given concerning AMR introduction and implementation in GSM networks, from: A coverage point of view A capacity point of view 1.2. Scope of this document This document is an internal document. 1.3. Audience for this document RF Engineering, Network Design Engineering PLM, Account teams

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2. Related documents
2.1. Applicable documents

2.2. Reference documents [R1] 3G TS 26.103 Version 3.0.0, 1999/12 [R2] 3GPP TR 46.076 (GSM 06.76) Version 4.0.0, 2001/03 [R3] ETSI TR 101 714 (GSM 06.75) Version 7.2.0, 2000/04 [R4] 3GPP TS 45.005 (GSM 05.05) Version 4.3.0, 2001/04 [R5] PE/BSS/NF/0061 Version 01.01, 20/12/98 [R6] PE/SYS/DD/0343 Version 01.08, 30/05/01 [R7] Le standard AMR C. Gruet / F. Gabin / P. Thierion SV713: AMR Full Rate; SV885: AMR Half Rate A. De Lannoy / L. Lefevere / G. Leclercq AMR Sensitivity A. Gervais [R8] GSM AMR thresholds study v1.2 P. Thierion 24/01/02 Radio Transmission and Reception Performance characterization of the GSM Adaptative Multi-Rate (AMR) speech codec Adaptative Multi-Rate (AMR) speech codec Study Phase Report Speech codec list for GSM and UMTS

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[R9]

FER versus C/I for the downlink case in TU profile A. Gervais 05/04/2002

[R10]

PE/IRC/INF/0014 Version 01.02, 26/03/97

1/3 reuse pattern engineering information R. Jacquand Frequency Hopping and Fractional Re-use Patterns Techniques and Engineering rules M. Laune / M. Ladki NMC GSM/DCS/PCS Performances Th. Billon Optimisation fractionnaires Th. Billon Data and Fractional re-use patterns M. Laune des motifs charges Cellular Systems

[R11]

PE/IRC/APP/0094 Version 01.02, 27/12/98

[R12]

PE/SYS/DJD/288 Version 01.03, 12/01/97

[R13]

PE/SYS/DJD/450 Version 01.03/FR, 03/07/98

[R14]

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3. Generalities
Any GSM operator is interested in: Achieving a high voice quality. A better voice quality is a strong contributor to the end user perception and a competitive differentiator for operators. This importance of voice quality is verified as long as voice represents and will represent the most important part of the traffic for some years. Achieving maximum coverage, capacity, spectrum efficiency and flexibility in the most cost-efficient manner. With the introduction of the data, the increasing number of customers and the constant growth of the networks, capacity remains as one of the major concern of operators. To respond to these demands, Nortel Networks has evolved its equipment continuously and created new features. Existing features such as -115 dBm BTS sensitivity, enhancement full rate (EFR) are perfect examples of Nortel Networks efforts in term of network quality improvement. Frequency hopping and cell tiering are also very good examples: it allows to maximize network performances in term of capacity. AMR is a new feature that will also answer to these customer objectives: AMR improves speech services in term of capacity and quality. Indeed, it allows to: Increase voice quality in degraded radio conditions, due to the adaptation of the pair {source, channel} to the radio channel quality Increase radio capacity due to robustness of Full Rate AMR and introduction of Half Rate channels.

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3.1. AMR principles 3.1.1. Definition In GSM, speech is transmitted on a radio channel, which has a fixed raw bit rate. On this channel, speech is transmitted using a speech coder, also called source coder. The coder delivers speech frames every 20 ms. On the radio segment, the speech frames as elaborated by the coder should be protected by some redundancy, which is called channel coding. The choice is then to use a high coder rate with little redundancy, or a low coder rate with more redundancy. In the first case, the speech quality will be very good in excellent radio conditions, as long as speech frames can be decoded properly. But in bad radio conditions, a high proportion of speech frames will not be decoded, in which case some interpolation will be done by the decoder, and speech quality actually drops. In the second case, the speech quality will be medium or low, but will resist very well to radio channel impairments, due to high level of redundancy. Consequently, present techniques like FR or EFR are the result of compromises between the source coder rate, and the channel coding. AMR technique is Adaptive, and Multirate. It means that it allows to adapt the compromise between source coder rate and channel coding / redundancy to actual radio conditions. AMR may operate in Full Rate channels, or Half Rate channels. This is called the channel mode or channel type: the channel type to use (TCH/FR or TCH/HR) is controlled by the network. Then, basis of AMR is that within the channel (FR or HR), there is a set of voice coders, called codec mode. Each codec mode provides a different level of error protection through a dedicated distribution between source coding and channel coding of the available gross bit rate, which is 22.8 kbps in Full Rate and 11.4 kbps in Half Rate. The best combination, i.e. the best codec mode can be selected to maximize speech quality according to conditions met on the radio link. This is codec mode adaptation.

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3.1.2. AMR codecs As said previously, AMR is introduced to choose in real time the repartition between rate of the source vocoder and channel protection: When the transmission is good (in other words, good C/I), a high rate vocoder is chosen and the number of bits dedicated to the channel protection is low, In case of degraded radio conditions (in other words, bad C/I), the vocoder rate is decreased, in order to provide a better channel protection and allow a better voice quality.
Bad C/I

AMR HR

AMR FR

Global Rate : 11.4 kb/s

Good C/I

Global Rate : 22.8 kb/s


Source coding Channel coding

Figure 1: Source and channel coding repartition

In the recommendation ([R1]), the following coding modes are defined (in kbps): AMR FR 12.2 10.2 7.95 7.4 6.7 5.9 5.15 4.75 AMR HR

7.95 7.4 6.7 5.9 5.15 4.75

Table 1: AMR Codec Modes defined by recommendations

Each one of these codecs works optimally (it means with a good quality) in a given C/I region. 3.1.3. Codec adaptation principle The purpose of AMR codec mode adaptation is to provide the "best" compromise between data rate of codec mode and channel protection, according to the link quality. This adaptation is done for uplink and downlink and there is no interdependence between the 2 links, but both sets of codec have to be identical (Half Rate or Full Rate).

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The following diagram (figure 2) shows the main information flows over the key system interfaces:
MS
SPE CHE

BTS
CHD

TRAU
SPD

Uplink Speech Data Codec Mode Indication (for uplink) Suggested Codec Mode (for downlink)

Codec Adaptation

Codec Adaptation

Codec Mode Command (for uplink) Codec Mode Indication (for downlink) Downlink Speech Data
SPD CHD CHE SPE

CHE: Channel Encoder CHD: Channel Decoder SPE: Speech Encoder SPD: Speech Decoder

Figure 2: Codec adaptation principles

In both directions, the speech data frames are associated with a Codec Mode Indication indicating the codec mode used in the considered link For the adaptation of the uplink codec mode, the BS must estimate the channel quality, identify the best codec for the existing propagation conditions and send this information to the MS over the Air Interface (Codec Mode Command Data field). For the downlink codec adaptation, the MS must estimate the downlink channel quality and send to the network a quality information, which can be mapped in the network to a suggested codec mode (Codec Mode Request). But, the final decision is within BTS's province: the MS just gives some indications to BTS in term of requested codec mode.

Each 40ms, according to the requested codec mode and the applied codec mode, the BTS: Increases by one step the rate of the codec mode, if the requested codec mode is greater than the applied codec mode, Decreases by one step the rate of the codec mode, if the requested codec mode is lower than the applied codec mode, Keeps the same codec mode, if the requested codec mode is equal to the applied codec mode. A switch from one codec mode to another one, does not introduce any voice perturbation. The codec choices are based on C/I estimations in uplink and downlink, which are then compared to a set of parameters. Indeed, at each codec mode is associated a set of parameters in each link (uplink and downlink): one threshold, one hysteresis (the same value is used for each codec mode, but one for FR and another one for HR channel). NB: for more information about codec mode adaptation, see [R6].
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3.1.4. AMR benefits As said previously, AMR works in many codec modes, and each of them works optimally in a given C/I range. This allows to have high quality gain. During AMR characterization phase (ETSI standardization), many tests have been done, in order to evaluate AMR performances. These tests have been performed under different representative environmental conditions, in particular: Clean Speech and Error Conditions Background Noise and Error Conditions, which includes Street Noise, Car Noise and Office Noise The tests consist in evaluating the quality of AMR FR and HR codecs modes in static C/I conditions. These static error conditions have been provided by a simulator (developed by Ericsson and Nortel) in the following radio channel conditions: TU3kmph Ideal Frequency Hopping 900 MHz The quality is evaluated in term of: MOS (mean opinion scores) for the clean speech condition (Absolute Category Rating test (ACR)), DMOS (degraded mean opinion scores) for the background noise condition (Degraded Category Rating test (DCR)). MOS or DMOS are subjective notes given by people who compare the quality of the original (ACR tests) or a reference signal (DCR tests) and the signal at the output of the coder. MOS and DMOS are always a value between 1 and 5: a value equal to 1 means that the listening is unintelligible and a value equal to 5 means that the two signals are the same (which is never the case). One estimate that a value equal to 4 corresponds to a good voice quality. Some of the tests results are presented in the two following paragraphs. For more information and more results on these tests, see [R3]. 3.1.4.1. AMR Full Rate benefits The two following schemes (figure 3) provide a graphical representation in MOS / DMOS of the AMR FR mode according to radio conditions in C/I, in clean and car noise conditions. The figures allow to compare the performances recorded for the best AMR Full Rate codec mode for each C/I, with the corresponding performance of EFR (and also FR in car noise conditions) and the related AMR performance requirement (curve Sel. Requir.).

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M OS 5.0

AMR FR Clean Speech Performances

4.0

3.0

2.0

Sel. Requir. AMR-FR EFR Conditions

1.0 No Errors
DMOS 5.0

C/I=16 dB

C/I=13 dB

C/I=10 dB

C/I= 7 dB

C/I= 4 dB

C/I= 1 dB

AMR FR Performances in Car Noise

4.0

3.0 Sel. Requir. 2.0 AMR-FR EFR FR Conditions 1.0 No Errors C/I=16 dB C/I=13 dB C/I=10 dB C/I= 7 dB C/I= 4 dB C/I= 1 dB

Figure 3: AMR FR performances in Clean and Car Noise Speech conditions

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These figures show that the combination of all 8 AMR FR codec modes allows to: provide a robust quality down to 4 dB C/I in Clean Speech, which means up to 6 dB improvement compared to EFR, provide a robust quality down to 4 dB C/I in Background Noise, which means also significant improvement compared to EFR and GSM FR. So, speech quality is improved thanks to better robustness in AMR FR in comparison to EFR. AMR FR is more robust than EFR because of the channel coding that allows to adapt and to obtain a better protection in bad propagation conditions and then to go down to inferior C/I at equivalent auditive quality. And, the capacity is increased by operating a tighter frequency reuse pattern or by operating a higher fractional load, which is equivalent in the two cases to a higher number of Erl/km2/frequency. 3.1.4.2. AMR Half Rate benefits The two following schemes (figure 4) provide a graphical representation in MOS/DMOS of the AMR HR mode according to radio conditions in C/I, in clean and car noise conditions. The figures allow to compare the performances recorded for the best AMR Half Rate codec mode for each C/I, with the corresponding performance of EFR, GSM FR and HR speech codecs and the related AMR performance requirement (curve Sel.Requir.).

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M OS 5.0

AMR HR Clean Speech Performances

4.0

3.0

2.0

Sel. Requir. AMR-HR EFR FR HR C/I=19 dB C/I=16 dB C/I=13 dB C/I=10 dB

Conditions C/I= 7 dB C/I= 4 dB

1.0 No Errors

DM OS 5.0

AMR HR Performances in Car Noise

4.0

3.0 Sel. Requir. AMR-HR EFR FR HR Conditions 1.0 No Errors C/I=19 dB C/I=16 dB C/I=13 dB C/I=10 dB C/I= 7 dB C/I= 4 dB

2.0

Figure 4: AMR HR performances in Clean and Car Noise Speech conditions

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These figures show that the combination of all 6 AMR HR codec modes allows to: provide a good quality down to 16 dB C/I in Clean Speech, always significantly better than the GSM FR and GSM HR, provide good performances in Background Noise down to 16-13 dB C/I, equivalent to GSM FR otherwise. It means that AMR HR offers the possibility to have in good radio conditions a capacity increase in term of Erlang (two users can be mapped on the same TS instead of one) keeping the quality of a FR speech. 3.1.4.3. AMR Full Rate / AMR Half Rate performances The two previous paragraphs can be summarized in this way: AMR is designed to provide enough flexibility to adjust speech quality and system capacity to all circumstances AMR FR allows to improve quality compared to EFR, which can be translated in a capacity gain AMR HR allows to have more capacity with a quality equivalent to FR. Now, AMR HR capacity gain is linked to radio conditions and HR penetration. o AMR HR codec mode use requires good radio conditions. The following figure (figure 5) shows that the choice of C/I threshold between AMR FR and AMR HR could favor the AMR HR mode: so, when having an important traffic, the X threshold could be defined for a smaller C/I value.
HR FR AMR-FR AMR-HR

MOS

decreasing C/I

C/I

Figure 5: AMR-FR and AMR-HR voice quality according C/I

o The capacity gain is linked to HR mobile penetration. According to simulation results, following figures (figure 6) give the number of carried Erlang versus the percent of half rate TCH allocation, according to the number of TRX in the cell (on one cell equipped with n TRX):
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Figure 6: Traffic function of HR penetration

One can see that the offered traffic is not linear at all except for a HR penetration of 0% and 100%. It means that for a number N of TCH corresponding to a given configuration and for a % of HR called X, the offered traffic is not the traffic offered by (N + N *X) TCH. Example: at 50% of HR penetration and for the configuration O6 (44 TCH), the offered traffic is not equal to the offered traffic of 66 TCH (44+44*0.5). Indeed, the traffic offered by 66 TCH is equal to 55.3 Erlang whereas the previous figure shows that the offered traffic with an O6 at 50% of HR penetration is about 44 Erlang. This is due to the allocator efficiency in term of HR FR interworking and the impact of holes created by HR TS on blocking rate (there is a hole as soon as 2 HR TS are free, on 2 different radio TS in cell).

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3.2. Nortel Networks choices 3.2.1. AMR codecs sets chosen by Nortel Networks Only the following coding modes are loaded in the Nortel Networks BSS: AMR FR 10.2 6.7 5.9 4.75 AMR HR 6.7 5.9 4.75

Table 2: AMR Codec Modes chosen by Nortel Networks

Due to: Hardware capacity: all TRX types have to have the same AMR capacities (from DCU4 up to S12000) Recommendations (see [R1] and [R3]) limitation to 4 active codec modes at the same time Intrinsic quality of each codec mode in term of voice quality and functioning range. This has been taken into account from the tests (see paragraph 3.1.4 and [R3]) performed during AMR characterization phase, giving the AMR codec modes quality according to radio conditions (C/I) (Figures 7a, 7b, 8a and 8b). o AMR FR codec modes choice :

Figure 7a: AMR FR codecs voice quality according C/I in clean speech conditions

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Figure 7b: AMR FR codecs voice quality according C/I in noisy background conditions

These figures show that the codecs 5.15 kbps and 7.4 kbps are unuseful. They show also that the codec 10.2 kbps is more interesting than 12.2 kbps, as it works in a larger C/I range. So the choice for AMR FR codecs {10.2, 6.7, 5.9 and 4.75} is the optimal combination. o AMR HR codec modes choice :

Figure 8a: AMR HR codecs voice quality according C/I in clean speech conditions

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Figure 8b: AMR HR codecs voice quality according C/I in noisy background solutions

These figures show that the codec 5.15 kbps is unuseful. The codecs 7.95 kbps and 7.4 kbps bring a minimal quality gain over 6.7 kbps. Moreover, the codec 7.95 kbps can not be multiplexed over a 8 kbps Abis timeslot (Nortel Networks decides to not oversize the Abis TS to 16 kbps in AMR HR mode, providing in this way significant savings in backhaul). So, the choice for AMR HR codecs {6.7, 5.9 and 4.75} is the optimal combination.

It can be noticed that these choice ensure: a good overlapping between each codec mode, an optimal voice quality, a good trade-off between stability and codec mode adaptation. These choices concern of course the BTS. Note that the MS have to support all the codec modes, FR and HR, defined by the standard. 3.2.2. AMR mechanisms 3.2.2.1. Initial codec mode choice At the TCH allocation, the initial codec mode (ICM) used by the MS and the BTS is the 5.9 kbps in FR AMR mode and HR AMR mode. This codec has been chosen since it is a common codec to FR and HR and is sufficiently protected. 3.2.2.2. Codec mode adaptation parameters choice As said previously, the codec mode adaptation is based on C/I estimations. These C/I estimations are performed on the training sequence bit.

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Actually, the instantaneous C/I per burst are averaged and filtered to help the decision algorithm:

C/I brut

Log ( ) Filtering

C/I filtered

Measurement treatment

Decision Algorithm

Estimation de la Vitesse du Canal

Decision / Adaptation Mode or Quality

Figure 9: Codec adaptation principle

Then, the C/I estimation (i.e. C/I filtered (CIF)) is compared to the sets of parameters {threshold; hysteresis} associated to each codec mode. As there are 4 AMR FR codecs and 3 codecs AMR HR codecs and as the two links (UL and DL) need to be considered, there are 8 sets of parameters in FR and 6 sets of parameters in HR. Now, these parameters are linked to a set of factors, some of them being determined by the BTS (frequency hopping, MS speed), others being network dependent (environment profile). For uplink adaptation, Nortel Networks has decided to differentiate these factors by defining the following categories: - Slow MS and no Frequency Hopping - Fast MS and no Frequency Hopping - Frequency Hopping with less than 8 hopping frequencies - Frequency Hopping with 8 or more hopping frequencies For the downlink adaptation, recommendation imposes that all the parameters provided to the MS are in the following propagation profile, TU3-iFH_900MHz.

So, 45 parameters (((4 AMR FR codecs modes thresholds + 1 hysteresis FR) + (3 AMR HR codecs modes thresholds + 1 hysteresis HR)) * 5) need to be defined for uplink and downlink adaptation at OMC level. Nortel Networks thinks that this number is to high and decides to implement the following table (table 3) in the Nortel BSS:

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Uplink BSS choice Slow MS no FH set 11 set 21 set 31 set 41 Fast MS no FH set 12 set 22 set 32 set 42 FH with < 8 frequencies set 13 set 23 set 33 set 43 FH with 8 frequencies set 14 set 24 set 34 set 44

O&M parameters

Downlink parameters SFH 900 TU3 set 15 set 25 set 35 set 45

Table 3: BSS table for codec adaptation

In this way, the operator selects the appropriate line according to network configuration (only 4 choices, instead of 45!). These 4 choices have been implemented in order to optimize the adaptation. Then, the BSS using the TS configuration and the MS speed applies the appropriate column for the uplink and the appropriate cell for the downlink. In each set, there are 7 thresholds (4 FR thresholds and 3 HR thresholds) and 2 hysteresis (1 for HR and 1 for HR). These thresholds have been set with R&D simulations, giving FER as a function of filtered C/I (CIF). Hereafters (table 4) are the DL thresholds deduced from the simulation of FER versus CIF in the TU3iFH_900MHz propagation profile (in order to optimize the adaptation, three sets have been implemented, an optimistic, a typical and a pessimistic: then, the set choice is done by the OMC): Optimistic set Down Up AMR FR 12.2 kbps 10.2 kbps 6.7 kbps 5.9 kbps 4.75 kbps AMR HR 7.4 kbps 6.7 kbps 5.9 kbps 4.75 kbps 12 dB 7 dB 4.5 dB 4 dB Typical set Down Up 13.5 dB 7.5 dB 5.5 dB 4 dB Pessimistic set Down Up 13.5 dB 8.5 dB 6 dB 5 dB

14 dB 9 dB 6.5 dB 6 dB

15.5 dB 9.5 dB 7.5 dB 6 dB

16.5 dB 11.5 dB 9 dB 8 dB

17 dB 12 dB 10.5 dB

19 dB 14 dB 12.5 dB

16.5 dB 12.5 dB 11 dB

19.5 dB 15.5 dB 14 dB

18 dB 13 dB 12.5 dB

21 dB 16 dB 15.5 dB

Table 4: DL thresholds in term of CIF (C/I filtered)

Notes: Note that these thresholds are C/I filtered (CIF), which are different from C/I. The CIF can be considered as a stochastic variable with a mean and a variance, which depends on C/I and on the propagation profile. The following table (table 5) gives the example of TU3iFH, in downlink: C/I 11 10 8
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Mean CIF 10.59 9.65 7.79


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6 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6

5.99 4.27 2.68 1.22 -0.07 -1.16 -20.5

Table 5: C/I and CIF correspondence (TU3iFH, DL)

One can see that the higher the C/I, the lower the difference between C/I and CIF. All the thresholds implemented in the BSS are detailed in the document [R8]. Thresholds have been set for the FR codec 12.2 kbps and the HR codec 7.4 kbps even if they are not considered in the BSS: this is actually needed for power control and FR->HR handover mechanisms (see [R6]).

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4. AMR coverage aspects


The paragraph 3.1.4 shows the AMR benefits in term of quality according C/I. This quality gain can be translated in a capacity gain. This is the mean interest of AMR introduction in GSM networks. However, AMR has other benefit, in particular in term of coverage. 4.1. Principle The GSM system coverage is a direct function of the minimum acceptable signal level C/N or in other words of the sensitivities of the BTS and the MS. The previous section shows that AMR in Full Rate mode allows to reduce this C/N threshold keeping a speech quality level equivalent to the one obtained with current speech coders (FR, HR and EFR): this translates to an improvement in MS or BTS sensitivity. This sensitivity improvement may be exploited for improved coverage in marginal conditions such as in buildings or potentially for range extension. On the other hand, AMR in Half Rate mode requires high C/N compared to EFR, FR or HR. It means that the coverage is reduced compared to the one obtained with EFR, assuming an equal quality. Thats why the coverage improvement is applicable only with applications where AMR is used in Full Rate mode only or in both Half and Full rate modes. The following paragraph aims at quantify more precisely this sensitivity improvement.

Quality

?dB improvment

AMR -FR EFR

decreasing C/N

Cell Edge

C/N

Figure 10: AMR-FR and AMR-HR voice quality according C/N

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4.2. AMR coverage gain Many simulations have been done by Nortel Networks signal processing team (see [R7]). These simulations consist in determining the expected sensitivity achieved by Nortel Networks BTS for the different AMR modes. The sensitivity for GSM EFR has been evaluated together with those of the different modes of the GSM AMR, in order to make a comparison. This provides a reference on a service that is widely used with Nortel Networks BSS solution. The performances are reported in term of delta with respect to the EFR at different FER values. This delta is defined in the following way: Sensitivity = EFR_Sensitivity AMR_Sensitivity (1) The EFR sensitivity is defined at FER specified by the standard (GSM 45.005): it depends on the propagation profile, the frequency (most of time, it is 4%) As AMR performances in term of FER value have been evaluated at EFR sensitivity point but also at other FER values, there are two ways of reading the simulations: At Sensitivity = 0, compare the quality (in term of FER) achieved with AMR to the quality achieved in EFR. At quality of EFR (given by the standard), compare the sensitivity achieved with AMR to the one achieved in EFR. So, a positive Sensitivity means AMR is better than EFR in term of sensitivity. Inversely, a negative Sensitivity means AMR is worse than EFR in term of sensitivity. Results are summarised in the two following sections. 4.2.1. AMR Full Rate only The two following tables (table 6) give a summary of all the simulations (available at this date) concerning AMR FR. The first table (table 6a) gives the FER achieved in EFR (first value) and the one achieved in AMR FR (second value) for the same sensitivity (Sensitivity = 0): AMR FR 10.2 4<MOS<3.8 1800 / 1900 MHz Without Diversity (DL) Static case 0.1% - > 0.01% TU 50, iFH 4% -> 1.3% TU 50, no FH 4% -> 1.3% RA 130, no FH 3% -> 1.1% HT 100, no FH 7% -> 2.6% With Diversity (UL) TU 50, no FH 850 / 900 MHz Without Diversity (DL) Static case 0.1% - > 0.01% TU 50, iFH 3% -> 1% TU 50, no FH 8% -> 3.6%
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AMR FR 6.7 3.8<MOS<3.6

AMR FR 5.9 3.6<MOS<3.3

AMR FR 4.75 MOS<3.3

0.1% - > 0.01% 4% -> 0.01% 4% -> 0.01% 3% -> 0.01% 7% -> 0.01%

0.1% - > 0.01% 4% -> 0.01% 4% -> 0.01% 3% -> 0.01% 7% -> 0.01%

0.1% - > 0.01% 4% -> 0.01% 4% -> 0.01% 3% -> 0.01% 7% -> 0.01% 4% -> 0.1%

0.1% - > 0.01% 3% -> 0.01% 8% -> 0.3%

0.1% - > 0.01% 3% -> 0.01% 8% -> 0.2%


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Radio Engineering Rules with AMR introduction in GSM networks

RA 250, no FH HT 100, no FH

3% -> 1.1% 7% -> 2.6%

3% -> 0.01% 7% -> 0.01%

3% -> 0.01% 7% -> 0.01%

3% -> 0.01% 7% -> 0.01%

Table 6a:Quality (FER) for EFR and AMR FR codecs at Sensitivity = 0

One can see that the FER achieved in AMR is always better than the FER achieved in EFR. So, compared to EFR, a significant gain exists for all codecs of AMR FR mode in term of quality. The second table (table 6b) gives for all AMR FR codecs the Sensitivity (in dB) defined as EFR_Sensitivity AMR_Sensitivity, at FER of EFR sensitivity: AMR FR 10.2 4<MOS<3.8 1800 / 1900 MHz Without Diversity (DL) Static case TU 50, iFH TU 50, no FH RA 130, no FH HT 100, no FH With Diversity (UL) TU 50, no FH 850 / 900 MHz Without Diversity (DL) Static case TU 50, iFH TU 50, no FH RA 250, no FH HT 100, no FH AMR FR 6.7 3.8<MOS<3.6 AMR FR 5.9 3.6<MOS<3.3 AMR FR 4.75 MOS<3.3

0.5 1.1 1 1.2 1.1

1.4 3.7 3.6 4.2 4

3 4.2 4.1 4.6 4.5

3.5 5.1 5 5.6 5.5 5

0.5 1 1 1.2 1.1

1.5 3.6 3.4 4.2 3.9

3 4.2 3.9 4.6 4.3

3.5 5.1 4.7 5.6 5.4

Table 6b: Sensitivity (dB) for AMR FR codecs at FER of EFR sensitivity

So, compared to EFR, a significant gain exists for all codecs of AMR FR mode. This is due to the additional robustness provided by AMR Full Rate mode and the more robustness the codec provides, the higher the gain. In this way, the codec 4.75 kbps can provide up to 5 dB sensitivity improvement. Meanwhile, this codec use induces a quality degradation (in term of MOS). So, for a radio design, its better to consider the codecs 6.7 and 5.9 kbps: these ones allow to provide a sensitivity improvement of about 4 dB. The previous tables show also the impact of frequency, diversity, hopping and environments on the results: The diversity and the frequency do not change the results The higher the speed, the higher the gain since it introduces space diversity. Indeed, the probability of staying in a fading hole is higher for a slow moving mobile. Hopping brings a little gain: indeed, SFH allows to maintain a call longer, since when a critical Rayleigh fading occurs, it does not drop the call on radio link time out. This gain should be higher for slow moving mobiles (TU3). Now, differences noticed in the different cases are not enough significant to be taken into account.
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So, simulations results can be summarized on this way (not taking into account static case, as it is non realistic): AMR Full Rate allows to provide a quality improvement or a sensitivity improvement* of about 4 dB (up to 5 dB with the 4.75 kbps codec) compared to EFR. Note*: this improvement may be reviewed due to signalling limitation (see section 4.3). 4.2.2. AMR Half Rate only The two following tables (table 7) give a summary of all the simulations (available at this date) concerning AMR HR. The first table (table 7a) gives the FER achieved in EFR (first value) and the one achieved in AMR HR (second value) for the same sensitivity (Sensitivity = 0): AMR HR 6.7 3.9<MOS<3.7 1800 / 1900 MHz Without Diversity Static case TU 50, iFH TU 50, no FH RA 130, no FH HT 100, no FH 850 / 900 MHz Without Diversity Static case TU 50, iFH TU 50, no FH RA 250, no FH HT 100, no FH AMR HR 5.9 3.7<MOS<3.3 AMR HR 4.75 MOS<3.3

0.1% -> 0.2% 4% -> 12% 4% -> 13.3% 3% -> 10.3% 7% -> 18%

0.1% -> 0.1% 4% -> 8% 4% -> 9% 3% -> 6.8% 7% -> 12%

0.1% -> 0.1% 4% -> 2% 4% -> 2.2% 3% -> 2% 7% -> 3%

0.1% -> 0.2% 3% -> 10.5% 8% -> 12.5% 3% -> 10.4% 7% -> 17.2%

0.1% -> 0.1% 3% -> 7% 8% -> 8.2% 3% -> 6.8% 7% -> 11.5%

0.1% -> 0.1% 3% -> 1.5% 8% -> 2% 3% -> 2% 7% -> 2.7%

Table 7a: Quality (FER) for EFR and AMR HR codecs at Sensitivity = 0

One can see that the FER achieved in AMR is only better than the FER achieved in EFR for the 4.75 kbps codec. The other codecs are not enough protected. The second table (table 7b) gives for all AMR HR codecs the Sensitivity (in dB) defined as EFR_Sensitivity AMR_Sensitivity, at FER of EFR sensitivity: AMR HR 6.7 3.9<MOS<3.7 1800 / 1900 MHz Without Diversity Static case TU 50, iFH TU 50, no FH AMR HR 5.9 3.7<MOS<3.3 AMR HR 4.75 MOS<3.3

-0.2 -1.9 -2.1


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0 -1.1 -1.2
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0.5 0.9 0.8

Radio Engineering Rules with AMR introduction in GSM networks

RA 130, no FH HT 100, no FH 850 / 900 MHz Without Diversity Static case TU 50, iFH TU 50, no FH RA 250, no FH HT 100, no FH

-3.1 -1.8

-1.7 -1

0.7 1.3

-0.2 -2.1 -0.8 -3.1 -1.7

0 -1.3 0 -1.7 -0.9

0.5 0.8 1.9 0.7 1.3

Table 7b: Sensitivity (dB) for AMR HR codecs at FER of EFR sensitivity

So, only 4.75 kbps HR codec provides a sensitivity gain compared to EFR, but this gain is not very significant (about 1 dB) compared to the gain provided by AMR FR mode. Moreover, like in the FR case, this codec use induces a quality degradation (in term of MOS). So, for a radio design, its better to consider the two other codecs: but, they dont improve the sensitivity. Actually, since the gross bit rate is divided by two in half rate mode, the level of protection is very low: the consequence is that half rate modes can not work in bad radio conditions. On the other hand, these two codecs need high C/N compared to EFR, to ensure the same quality. The previous tables show also the impact of frequency hopping and environments on the results. Now, differences are not enough significant to give any conclusions. So, simulations results can be summarized on this way (not taking into account static case, as it is non realistic): AMR Half Rate does not provide a quality improvement or a sensitivity improvement. Actually, only the codec 4.75 kbps provides improvements, but this should not be considered for a radio design.

4.2.3. AMR Full Rate and Half Rate together The two previous sections shows that AMR in Full Rate mode allows to improve BTS sensitivity of 4 dB keeping a speech quality level equivalent to the one obtained with current speech coder, i.e. EFR. Assuming the same improvement for MS*, this sensitivity improvement can be translated in a coverage improvement. Note: *indeed, the previous simulations are based on Nortel Networks BSS and not on MS, so it is maybe optimistic to use these simulations to deduce AMR performances of MS. On the other hand, AMR in Half Rate mode needs high C/N compared to EFR. It means that the coverage is reduced compared to the one obtained with EFR. Thats why one can speak of coverage improvement with AMR, only if Half Rate mode is used with Full Rate mode. Then, Half Rate mode will be used in good radio (C/N) conditions.

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Then, the benefits of coverage improvement provided by AMR wont be the same according to the operator position. Two cases can be considered: Case of a new GSM design Case of an existing GSM design (speech coder used is EFR) 4.2.3.1. New GSM design As AMR sensitivities (MS and BS) are increased by 4 dB, the available pathloss with AMR will be increased by 4 dB (compared to the one in EFR), which allows a higher coverage. The following table (table 8) gives some examples of cell range and coverage achieved in EFR and AMR at 1800 MHz: EFR cell range (km) DenseUrban (H4D) Urban (H2D) Rural (Dp) 0.294 km 0.534 km 7.395 km EFR coverage (km2) 0.169 km2 0.555 km2 106.557 km2 AMR cell range (km) 0.382 km 0.693 km 9.664 km AMR coverage (km2) 0.285 km2 0.937 km2 182 km2 40% % of site savings

Table 8: Cell range and coverage achieved with EFR and AMR in dense urban, urban and rural environments

This table shows that 4 dB of improvement in pathloss induces a cell range increase of 30% and a coverage increase of 70%, which means a site saving of about 40% compared to EFR. So, design a GSM network with AMR means for a greenfield operator an important cost saving.

4.2.3.2. Existing GSM design All the existing GSM designs have been made assuming the use of current speech coders, EFR or FR. So, introduce AMR in these existing networks will allow to improve coverage quality in marginal conditions such as in buildings. Lets take an example of a design made with EFR in Geneva. Hereafter (figure 11) is the corresponding coverage map with the different achieved field strength values:

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Figure 11: Geneva coverage map EFR design

As with AMR, the pathloss is improved of about 4 dB, the field strength levels will be increased by 4 dB: Achieved level in EFR -65 dBm -70 dBm -75 dBm -81 dBm -90 dBm Achieved level in AMR - 61 dBm -66 dBm -71 dBm -77 dBm -86 dBm

Table 9: Achieved levels in EFR and AMR

This table means that: Where indoor window coverage is achieved with EFR, indoor coverage will be achieved in AMR Where indoor coverage is achieved with EFR, deep indoor coverage will be achieved in AMR Where deep indoor coverage is achieved with EFR, coverage will be even better So, coverage quality will be improved all over the networks, in particular in critical areas like in buildings or where there are coverage holes (see purple circles on figure 11). 4.3. Limitations As said previously, AMR allows to improve coverage compared to EFR. Benefits are different according to the operator position: A greenfield operator who wants to open a new GSM network will save a lot of sites compared to EFR. An existing operator who has already deployed its GSM network will offer a best quality to its subscribers. Now, there can be some limitations to these benefits.

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4.3.1. Simulations limitations Most of simulations presented in section 4 are performed in DL, using the LS algorithm. Only one simulation has been made in UL, so only this one is really representative on the BS sensitivity performances. It would be good to perform other simulations in UL just to check that there is no big difference with the DL and reinforce our conclusion. All the simulations are based on Nortel Networks BSS. Of course, MS performances are not simulated. But, our conclusion is based on the fact that AMR MS sensitivity is improved as much as BS sensitivity. 4.3.2. Signalling channels The coverage improvement brought by AMR is subject to the limit of robustness of the signalling channels. Indeed, it is important to note that the limiting factor may be for the lowest rate of the AMR no more the performances of the traffic channel but those of the signalling channels. Thats why before speaking about a real coverage gain with AMR, we need to verify that signalling channels are not limiting. In order to solve this point, first simulations have been performed by Signal Processing Team and: they are presented in section 5.3. 4.3.3. AMR penetration The AMR penetration will also have a big influence on the AMR coverage benefits, in particular in case of a new design. Indeed, designing a new network with AMR assumes a great majority of AMR terminals, otherwise there will be performance problems with terminals without AMR such as roamers and EFR or FR or data terminals. Indeed, voice (EFR, FR) and data quality will be degraded and offered throughput will be reduced, in particular at cell edge. So, one should take care of networks with a mix of services, where the penetration of AMR is not 100%. In case of an existing design (designed with EFR at the beginning), there is no real problem: only subscribers with AMR terminals will see a quality improvement.

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5. AMR capacity aspects


As said previously (paragraph 3.1.4), AMR allows to increase capacity. This capacity benefit has two origins: Improved robustness in Full Rate allows reduction in frequency reuse pattern Half Rate channels will free available capacity for more traffic 5.1. Principle The GSM system capacity is a direct function of the minimum acceptable C/I ratio for an expected Grade of Service (for example 90 % of the cell area). As seen before, with AMR in Full Rate mode, the C/I threshold for an acceptable speech quality level may be reduced compared to the system operation with the current speech coders (FR, HR or EFR). In other words, robust AMR codecs tolerates higher interference (low C/I): it allows for tighter frequency reuse patterns or higher loading levels using fractional frequency reuse. On the other hand, AMR in Half Rate mode needs high C/I compared to EFR, FR or HR. It means that if AMR is used in Half Rate mode only, the above improvement is not true: on the other hand, a higher frequency reuse pattern or a lower fractional load are required to ensure the same quality than in EFR or FR. However, as a half rate TCH carries information at half of the full rate channel, AMR half rate allows to increase capacity per radio without adding new equipment or sites (roughly, 2 mobiles can be multiplexed on a given TS instead of 1). So, it means that the capacity gain provided by AMR will be maximized when both Full Rate and Half Rate will be used: Full Rate will allow to increase capacity by reducing the frequency reuse pattern or by using higher fractional load on hopping layer, Half Rate will allow to increase capacity where quality will be acceptable (good C/I). The following paragraphs aim at detailing these capacity gains and the engineering rules in term of frequency plan when AMR is implemented on the networks.

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5.2. AMR frequency planning Some simulations have been done by Nortel Networks signal processing team (see [R9]). These simulations consist in determining the performances in term of FER versus C/I for the different AMR modes in different kinds of propagation profiles. The idea is then to compare these performances to those achieved in EFR, in order to quantify the gain or the loss brought by AMR and deduce engineering rules in term of frequency planning, non hopping and hopping, when AMR is implemented on the networks. 5.2.1. Non hopping frequency plan Cellular networks are generally planned with a fixed frequency group pattern. The idea is to split the available spectrum into different sets of N frequencies and allocate these sets to different cells. According to the number of sets, different patterns are possible: 9 sets, which gives a 3*9 pattern. It means that 3 tri-sectorised sites share 9 sets of N frequencies. 12 sets, which gives a 4*12 pattern. It means that 4 tri-sectorised sites share 12 sets of N frequencies. 21 sets, which gives a 7*21 pattern. It means that 7 tri-sectorised sites share 21 sets of N frequencies. The set of adjacent cells using the whole available spectrum is called a cell cluster. The figure 12 represents the case of a 4*12 pattern (N = 12):

Spectrum split into 12 sets of N frequencies

Figure 12: Reuse pattern 4*12 (N = 12)

The greater the pattern, the less the interference and the better the quality. This is demonstrated by the following formula, which gives the C/I value according to the pattern N: C 10*log( 1 ) (2) I 6*( 3N 1) Note: is the propagation coefficient (it is assumed equal to 3.522 in the following).

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Radio Engineering Rules with AMR introduction in GSM networks

Note that this C/I value is independent of the technology used, EFR, FR, HR or AMR: it only depends on the reuse distance D, i.e. the frequency pattern N (see figure 13):

A3

A1

D3

D1

A2 C1

D2 A3

C3 A1 C2

D
B1

A2

B3 B2

D 3N R
Figure 13: Reuse distance definition in a reuse pattern N (N=12 in this example)

Now, the greater the pattern, the lower the capacity for a given spectrum. It means that there is a trade-off quality-capacity that we need to optimise. Nortel Networks experiments and simulations had proven that a 4*12 pattern is the most suitable solution from capacity and quality points of view: From a capacity point of view, the number of TRX per cell is the entire part of the ratio B/12, where B is the available spectrum and 12 the reuse pattern. From a quality point of view, the above formula (2) shows that a 4*12 allows to ensure a C/I of 17 dB. Simulations had also proven that it corresponds to a very acceptable FER, lower than 1% (see [R10]). Note that the relation between C/I and FER depends on the considered technology, i.e. EFR or AMR. It depends also on the propagation profile, the frequency and the activated features. Hereafter (figure 14) is the FER versus C/I for EFR in the following conditions: Frequency 1800 / 1900 MHz No diversity TU3 propagation profile No frequency hopping This simulation has been performed with the LS training algorithm, i.e. in DL.

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Figure 14: FER versus C/I achieved with EFR in DL, TU3, noFH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

One can see that to achieve a FER of 1%, the required C/I is 17 dB, so a 4*12 (N = 12) is needed (it coincides with the previous notes). Assuming that a FER of 1% is the quality target, the idea of the two following sections is to compare (in the same conditions) the C/I achieved with the different AMR codecs* to the one achieved with EFR, and deduce the required pattern to ensure a such C/I and so the capacity gain or loss brought by AMR. Note: *like in the coverage case, its the codec 4.75 kbps which will allow the highest improvement in term of capacity, since it is able to work at the lowest C/I. Meanwhile, since this codec use induces a quality degradation (in term of MOS), its better to consider the next codec, i.e. 5.9 kbps. So, only the codec 5.9 kbps is considered in the two next sections. 5.2.1.1. AMR Full Rate only Hereafter (figure 15) is presented the simulation for the codec AMR FR 5.9 kbps in the following conditions: Frequency 1800 / 1900 MHz No diversity TU3 propagation profile No frequency hopping Like for the EFR case, this simulation has been performed with the LS training algorithm, i.e. in DL.

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Figure 15: FER versus C/I achieved with AMR FR 5.9 kbps codec in DL, TU3, noFH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

The conclusion resulting from the comparison between figures 14 and 15 is that the codec AMR FR 5.9 kbps allows to work at lower C/I compared to EFR keeping an equivalent quality, in term of FER. Indeed, for a same FER of 1 %, the required C/I with AMR FR 5.9 kbps is 13 dB whereas the required C/I with EFR is 17 dB, let a C/I gain of 4 dB. Using the formula (2), we can deduce the required reuse pattern to ensure these C/I at 90% of probability: EFR 17 dB 12 AMR FR 13 dB 8

Required C/I for a FER of 1% Required reuse pattern N

Table 10: Required C/I and reuse pattern in EFR and AMR FR

So, a pattern at 8 cells should be applied to achieve the same EFR quality, which means at least 4 frequencies saving compared to EFR or in other words a capacity gain. Lets consider the following example in order to quantify and compare the capacity achieved with EFR and AMR FR on frequency reuse TCH plan. Example: let be a spectrum of 4.8 MHz, i.e. 24 TCH frequencies (SDCCH TS are removed for the capacity calculation). With pattern at N = 12 (pattern in EFR), it allows to have S222 BTS configuration, which gives a capacity of 27 Erlangs at 2% of blocking. With a pattern at N = 8 (pattern in AMR FR), this gives a S333 BTS configuration, which allows a capacity of 44.7 Erlangs at 2% of blocking. So, in this example, an upgrade from 12-cell reuse cluster to a 8-cell reuse cluster allows to provide a direct 65% capacity increase in term of Erlangs.

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So, the conclusion is the following: In case of non-hopping frequency plan, AMR Full Rate allows to increase capacity compared to EFR, by reducing reuse pattern.

5.2.1.2. AMR Half Rate only Hereafter (figure 16) is presented the simulation for the codec AMR HR 5.9 kbps in the following conditions: Frequency 1800 / 1900 MHz No diversity TU3 propagation profile No frequency hopping Like for the EFR case, this simulation has been performed with the LS training algorithm, i.e. in DL.

Figure 16: FER versus C/I achieved with AMR HR 5.9 kbps codec in DL, TU3, noFH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

The conclusion resulting from the comparison between figures 14 and 16 is that the codec AMR HR 5.9 kbps does not allow to work at lower C/I compared to EFR keeping an equivalent quality, in term of FER. Indeed, the required C/I with AMR HR 5.9 kbps is exactly the same (i.e. 17 dB) than in the EFR case, for a same FER of 1 %. The consequence is that the required reuse pattern with AMR HR is also the same than in EFR, i.e. a 4*12.

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Meanwhile, the capacity with AMR HR will be higher than in the EFR, thanks to the Half Rate usage (2 users on the same TS instead of 1). Lets consider the following example in order to quantify and compare the capacity achieved with EFR and AMR HR on frequency reuse TCH plan. Example: let be the spectrum of 4.8 MHz, i.e. 24 TCH frequencies (SDCCH TS are removed for the capacity calculation). With a pattern at N = 12 (pattern in EFR), it allows to have S222 BTS configuration, which gives a capacity of 27 Erlangs at 2% of blocking. With a pattern at N = 12 (pattern in AMR HR), this gives also S222 BTS configuration, but the capacity is 58.5 Erlangs at 2% of blocking ((19.5*3) Erlangs, from figure 6 and [R6], considering 100% of HR). So, in this example, even if the cell reuse cluster is the same, AMR HR allows to increase the capacity in term of Erlangs of 116%. So, the conclusion is the following: In case of non-hopping frequency plan, AMR Half Rate does not allow to reduce the reuse pattern compared to EFR. However, the capacity is increased thanks to the Half Rate transmission.

5.2.1.3. AMR Full Rate and Half rate together The two previous sections show that only AMR in Full Rate mode allows to reduce the reuse pattern, keeping a speech quality level equivalent to the one obtained with current speech coder, i.e. EFR. Indeed, AMR Half Rate use requires the same reuse pattern than EFR. It means that frequencies are saved thanks to AMR Full Rate only. So, one can speak of capacity improvement due to reuse pattern reduction in AMR, only if Half Rate mode is used with Full Rate mode (or if Full Rate is used without Half Rate). Then, Half Rate mode will be used in good radio conditions (good C/I), allowing also a capacity improvement in this zone as Half Rate allows to have 2 subscribers instead of 1 on a single TS. But, if the pattern is reduced, the C/I distribution will be degraded and the percentage of Half Rate used in the network will be reduced (figure 17)

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Radio Engineering Rules with AMR introduction in GSM networks

Reuse pattern N = 12 :

Reuse pattern N = 8 :

Figure 17: HR usage in a 12 and 7 reuse patterns

Lets try to quantify the percentage of Half Rate usage in DL, when reuse pattern is reduced from 12 to 8 (thanks to AMR Full Rate). The table 4 shows that AMR Half Rate (when both Full Rate and Half Rate are implemented) will be used in DL since CIF is equal to 15.5 dB (typical case), which is almost the same thing in term of C/I. Then, using the following formula giving C/I as a function of r (in order to have the C/I distribution on the cell (Cste is so that at cell edge, the C/I is the one given by the formula (2)):
C 10*log( I

r )Cste (3) 6*( 3N 1)

one can see that: A pattern N = 12 allows to have a C/I higher than 15-16 dB on 100% of cell surface A pattern N = 8 allows to have a C/I higher than 15-16 dB on 70% of cell surface As assumed before, half rate usage is reduced, in particular of 30%. Now, lets see the impact in term of capacity, taking the same example, i.e. 4.8 MHz of spectrum, equivalent to 24 TCH frequencies (SDCCH TS are removed for the capacity calculation): With pattern at N = 12, it allows to have S222 BTS configurations. With such configuration and 100% of HR penetration, the achieved capacity on one site is 58.5 Erlangs at 2% of blocking rate (19.5 Erlangs*3, from figure 6 and [R6]). With a pattern at N = 8, this gives a S333 BTS configuration. With such configuration and 70% of HR penetration, the achieved capacity on one site is 66 Erlangs at 2% of blocking rate (3*22 Erlangs, from figure 6 and [R6]). So, this example shows that even if the percentage of Half Rate usage is lower when the reuse pattern is reduced (which is possible with AMR Full Rate), the capacity is greater than in the case of keeping the initial reuse pattern: the improvement is about 13% (in term of Erlangs).

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So, the conclusion is the following: In case of non-frequency hopping plan, AMR allows to increase capacity compared to EFR, by reducing reuse pattern. The capacity is then maximised with the Half Rate use in the good C/I conditions.

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5.2.2. Hopping frequency plan The frequency plan presented in the previous section (7*21, 4*12, 3*9) are non-hopping, it means that only one frequency is allocated to each TRX. It is possible to tighten even more the reuse pattern of the traffic channels to increase the capacity in the system. But, to counteract the possible increase in interference, features like power control, DTX and frequency hopping need to be utilized (note that these features cannot be applied to control channels (see [R11])). Frequency hopping means that TRXs are hopping on a frequency group. In this case, the quality is ensured with the frequency load control. The frequency load represents the time fraction for a given frequency being used in the network. It is also the ratio between the number of hopping TRX in a cell and the number of hopping frequencies. 2 reuse patterns are commonly used with frequency hopping (one speaks about fractional reuse pattern): 1*3 fractional reuse pattern: The TCH frequencies are divided in three groups T1, T2 and T3 and allocated as following:

no co-channel adjacent cells T2 T1 T3 T2 T1 T2 T1 T3 T2 T1

reuse distance
Figure 18: 1*3 fractional reuse pattern

1*1 fractional reuse pattern: All the TCH frequencies are gathered in one unique group T that is allocated to every cell as following:

all adjacent cells are co-channel T T T T T T T T T T re use distance

Figure 19: 1*1 fractional reuse pattern

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Based on Nortel Network simulations and experiments (see [R10] and [R11]), the following figures for maximum frequency load are recommended: Reuse pattern 1*1 1*3 Maximum frequency load 16% 50%

Table 11: Maximum fractional loads values according to the fractional reuse pattern

The achieved fractional load in frequency hopping depends on the signal processing (deinterleaving, decoding, errors correcting): so, it depends on speech coder used (EFR, FR, HR, AMR). Note: the above fractional loads concern EFR speech coder. The gain of frequency hopping can be measured, comparing the curves of FER = f(C/I), with and without frequency hopping, in function of the environment, the frequency band and the activated features. As frequency hopping brings greater gains as soon as the user is slow, its better to take a TU3 propagation profile. The frequency hopping gain depends also on the frequency band and the activated features. Hereafter (figures 20 and 21) are the FER versus C/I for EFR in the following conditions: TU3 propagation profile Frequency 1800 / 1900 MHz No diversity With and without frequency hopping These simulations have been performed with the LS training algorithm, i.e. in DL.

Figure 20: FER versus C/I with EFR in DL, TU3, no FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

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Figure 21: FER versus C/I with EFR in DL, TU3, with FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

These simulations show that frequency hopping brings a gain of 6.5 dB in EFR, at 1% of FER. Like in the previous section (non hopping plan), 1% of FER is assumed to be the quality target. Besides, simulations have shown that quality achieved with 4*12 and 1*3 with a fractional load of 50% is almost the same (see [R10] and [R11]). The idea of the two following paragraphs is to evaluate the frequency hopping gain achievable with the different AMR codecs at 1% of FER and compare it to the one of EFR. The results of this comparison would be according to the AMR codecs: Either, the frequency hopping gain is higher in AMR than in EFR Or, the frequency hopping gain is lower in AMR than in EFR which means a quality gain or a quality loss, which can be translated into a capacity gain or a capacity loss. Indeed, in [R12], it is demonstrated that capacity is directly proportional to the available bandwidth and the C/I ratio. So, if SFH is the frequency hopping gain increase or reduction achieved in AMR compared to EFR, the new fractional load achievable in AMR would be:

FLAMRFLEFR*SFH (4)

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5.2.2.1. AMR Full Rate only Hereafter (figures 22 to 27) are presented the simulations giving FER = f(C/I) for the codecs AMR FR 10.2, 5.9 and 4.75 kbps* in the following conditions: Frequency 1800 / 1900 MHz No diversity TU3 propagation profile With and without frequency hopping Like for the EFR case, these simulations have been performed with the LS training algorithm, i.e. in DL. Note: *simulations for 6.7 kbps codec are not available at this time.

Figure 22: FER versus C/I with AMR FR 10.2 kbps, in DL, TU3, no FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

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Figure 23: FER versus C/I with AMR FR 10.2 kbps, in DL, TU3, with FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

Figure 24: FER versus C/I with AMR FR 5.9 kbps, in DL, TU3, no FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

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Figure 25: FER versus C/I with AMR FR 5.9 kbps, in DL, TU3, with FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

Figure 26: FER versus C/I with AMR FR 4.75 kbps, in DL, TU3, no FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

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Figure 27: FER versus C/I with AMR FR 4.75 kbps, in DL, TU3, with FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

The following frequency hopping gains result from the analysis of these curves: Frequency hopping gain 6.5 7.5 7 6.5 Difference / EFR SFH 100% 126% 112% NA

AMR FR 10.2 kbps AMR FR 5.9 kbps AMR FR 4.75 kbps EFR

Table 12: Frequency hopping gains and SFH in AMR FR and EFR

Applying the equation (4) (and taking into account the maximum frequency loads for EFR given in table 11), the maximal fractional load achieved with AMR FR (with 10.2, 5.9 and 4.75 kbps codecs) will be: Reuse pattern 1*1 1*3 AMR FR 10.2 16% 45% Maximal frequency load AMR FR 5.9 20% 63% AMR FR 4.75 18% 56%

Table 13: Maximal fractional loads values in AMR FR according to the fractional reuse pattern

So, the fractional load can be increased up to 20% in a 1*1 and up to 63% in a 1*3 when AMR Full Rate is implemented on the network. Note: fractional load for AMR FR 6.7 kbps has not been calculated. It should be interesting to calculate this fractional load (when simulations are available), in order to see if frequency load could be even more increased.

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Higher fractional load means higher capacity. Lets consider the following example in order to quantify and compare the capacity achieved with EFR and AMR FR on fractional reuse TCH plan (1*1 is considered). Example: let be the spectrum of 4.8 MHz, i.e. 24 TCH frequencies. That gives the following BS configuration (SDCCH TS are removed for the capacity calculation): S344 in EFR (1*1 with a FL of 16%), which gives a capacity of 58.7 Erlangs at 2% of blocking. S455 in AMR FR (1*1 with a FL of 20%), which gives a capacity of 78.4 Erlangs at 2% of blocking. So, AMR Full Rate allows to have 33% of capacity increase in term of Erlangs, compared to EFR. So, the conclusion is the following: In case of frequency hopping plan, AMR Full Rate allows to increase capacity compared to EFR, by increasing fractional load.

5.2.2.2. AMR Half Rate only Hereafter (figures 28 to 31) are presented the simulations giving FER = f(C/I) for the codecs AMR HR 5.9 and 4.75 kbps* in the following conditions: Frequency 1800 / 1900 MHz No diversity TU3 propagation profile With and without frequency hopping Like for the EFR case, these simulations have been performed with the LS training algorithm, i.e. in DL. Note: *simulations for 6.7 kbps codec are not available at this time.

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Figure 28: FER versus C/I with AMR HR 5.9 kbps, in DL, TU3, no FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

Figure 29: FER versus C/I with AMR HR 5.9 kbps, in DL, TU3, with FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

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Figure 30: FER versus C/I with AMR HR 4.75 kbps, in DL, TU3, no FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

Figure 31: FER versus C/I with AMR HR 4.75 kbps, in DL, TU3, with FH, without Diversity, 1800 / 1900 MHz conditions

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The following frequency hopping gains result from the analysis of these curves: Frequency hopping gain 4 dB 4 dB 6.5 dB Difference / EFR SFH 56.2% 56.2% NA

AMR HR 5.9 kbps AMR HR 4.75 kbps EFR

Table 14: Frequency hopping gains and SFH in AMR HR and EFR

AMR Half Rate codecs provide lower frequency hopping gain compared to EFR, which results in a lower maximal fractional load. Applying the equation (4) (and taking into account the maximum frequency loads for EFR given in table 11), the maximal fractional load achieved with AMR HR (with 5.9 and 4.75 kbps codecs) will be: Reuse pattern 1*1 1*3 Maximal frequency load AMR HR 5.9 9% 28% AMR HR 4.75 9% 28%

Table 15: Maximal fractional loads values in AMR HR according to the fractional reuse pattern

So, the fractional load is decreased down to 9% in a 1*1 and down to 28% in a 1*3 when AMR Half Rate is implemented on the network. Note: fractional load for AMR HR 6.7 kbps has not been calculated. It should be interesting to calculate this fractional load (when simulations are available), in order to see if frequency load could be higher. The fractional load reduction implies more frequencies. The following table (table 16) gives the minimum number of needed frequencies for having at least one hopping TRX per cell: Reuse pattern 1*1 1*3 Minimum number of frequencies 11 11

Table 16: Minimum number of needed frequencies for AMR HR

AMR Half Rate use in fractional reuse pattern requires roughly the same number frequencies than in non-hopping case (4*12 pattern). So, AMR Half Rate use in hopping plan can be contested from a spectral efficiency point of view. Moreover, lower fractional load means capacity loss. However, this capacity loss is compensated by the use of Half Rate, i.e. 2 users on the same TS instead of 1. Lets consider the following example in order to quantify and compare the capacity achieved with EFR and AMR HR on fractional reuse TCH plan (1*1 is considered).

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Example: let be the spectrum of 4.8 MHz, i.e. 24 TCH frequencies. That gives the following BS configuration (SDCCH TS are removed for the capacity calculation): S344 in EFR (1*1 with a FL of 16%), which gives a capacity of 58.7 Erlangs at 2% of blocking. S222 in AMR HR (1*1 with a FL of 9%), which gives a capacity of 58.5 Erlangs at 2% of blocking (19.5*3 Erlangs, from figure 6 and [R6], considering 100% of HR). So, AMR Half Rate induces a high capacity decrease in term of TCH (about 45%). Now, this capacity in term of Erlangs is not so impacted thanks to Half Rate usage: globally, it is the same than in EFR. So, the conclusion is the following: In case of frequency hopping plan, AMR Half Rate requires lower fractional loads, compared to EFR. However, the capacity is globally the same than in EFR, thanks to the Half Rate usage.

5.2.2.3. AMR Full Rate and Half Rate together The two previous sections show that AMR in Full Rate mode allows to increase the maximum fractional load whereas AMR Half Rate requires lower fractional load, keeping a speech quality level equivalent to the one obtained with the current speech coder, i.e. EFR. So, one can speak of capacity improvement due to higher fractional load in AMR, only if Half Rate mode is used with Full Rate mode (or if Full Rate is used without Half Rate). Then, Half Rate mode will be used in good radio conditions (good C/I), allowing also a capacity improvement in this zone as Half Rate allows to have 2 subscribers instead of 1 on a single TS. It would be interesting to quantify the percentage of Half Rate usage, in case of frequency hopping with high fractional load, up to 20% (thanks to AMR Full Rate). This will depend on the C/I distribution over the network, as Half Rate is used since C/I is higher than a given value (for instance, 15 dB in DL in the typical case (see table 4)). But, in case of frequency hopping, the C/I distribution is not deterministic at all (like in non hopping pattern): on the other hand, it is statistical. Moreover, it depends a lot on: The traffic load on the network, The traffic distribution over the network (some cells are much load than others) So, simulations are required in order to have C/I distribution over the frequency-hopping network. It would be interesting to perform these simulations, considering different fractional load and traffic load, in order to evaluate exactly the percentage of Half Rate use. As these simulations are not available at this time, lets take the following assumption, 60% of half rate penetration, in order to calculate and compare the carried capacity in EFR and in AMR in our example (1*1 is considered). Example: let be the spectrum of 4.8 MHz, i.e. 24 TCH frequencies. That gives the following BS configuration (SDCCH TS are removed for the capacity calculation):

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S344 in EFR (1*1 with a FL of 16%), which gives a capacity of 58.7 Erlangs at 2% of blocking. S455 in AMR (1*1 with a FL of 20%). With such configuration and 60% of HR usage, the achieved capacity is 105 Erlangs at 2% of blocking (29 + 2*38 Erlangs, from figure 6 and [R6], considering 60% of HR).

Note: 60% of HR penetration is maybe a too high value. Meanwhile, some systems simulations have already been done to test different features, like cell tiering for instance and they show that: in DL, C/I higher than 15 dB is achieved with a probability of 60% (see [R13]) in UL, C/I higher than 15 dB is achieved with a probability of 70% (see [R13]) of course, these simulations have been performed to test the cell tiering efficiency, and not the AMR efficiency. Now, one can assume that AMR used in its optimal performances gives the same results than cell tiering used in optimal way. But, its just an assumption and it needs to be checked by appropriate and accurate simulations. So, the conclusion is the following: In case of hopping frequency plan, AMR allows to increase capacity compared to EFR, by increasing fractional loads (it is possible with Full Rate usage). The capacity is then maximised with the Half Rate use in the good C/I conditions.

5.2.3. Frequency plan conclusion The following table (table 17) summarizes the capacity results obtained in the two previous sections with the example of 4.8 MHz of available spectrum, i.e. 24 frequencies available for TCH plan: Non Hopping TCH plan S222 27 Erlangs (Reuse pattern N = 12) S333 44.7 Erlangs (Reuse pattern N = 8) S222 58.5 Erlangs (Reuse pattern N = 12) S333 66 Erlangs (Reuse pattern N = 8 and 70% of HR) Hopping TCH plan 1*1 S344 58.7 Erlangs (FL = 16%) S455 78.4 Erlangs (FL = 20%) S222 58.5 Erlangs (FL = 9%) S455 105 Erlangs (FL = 20%, 60% of HR*)

EFR

AMR Full Rate only

AMR Half Rate only

AMR Full and Half Rate

Table 17: Capacity comparison EFR AMR

Note*: this assumption needs to be checked by simulations.

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It emerges from this analysis the following conclusions: AMR implies a capacity gain compared to EFR, in non-hopping as well as hopping frequency plan. Meanwhile, the capacity gain is the highest in the hopping case. The capacity gain is the highest when AMR is used in both modes, Full Rate and Half Rate On the other hand, when only one mode is used: o The highest gain is achieved with Full Rate mode in the hopping case. o Whereas, the highest gain is achieved with Half Rate mode in the non hopping case. Indeed, although the pattern needs to be higher in Half Rate mode than in Full Rate mode, the global capacity is higher thanks to the Half Rate usage. In case of AMR use in both modes (FR and HR), it is very difficult to estimate the half rate penetration, since it is linked to the C/I distribution on the network and since this one depends a lot on the network configuration. Indeed, the C/I distribution is a function of the frequency re-use pattern, and directly related to the activation and performances of the radio features of the system, such as Frequency Hopping, Power Control, DTX, etc. It depends also on the propagation conditions in the area of concern, such as shadowing characteristics, applicable propagation losses, antenna heights and apertures. Finally, it depends on the traffic load on the network. For all these reasons, it is very difficult to make accurate estimates of capacity achieved when both Half Rate and Full Rate are activated. So, the capacity result given in table 17 when AMR Full Rate and Half Rate are used both in hopping case should be considered with care, as the percentage of Half Rate is only an assumption. Simulations at system level are necessary to refine this value. This type of simulations could be very useful to define the best strategy in term of frequency plan, when AMR FR and HR are implemented. For instance, simulations could show that the percentage of Half Rate is not so high, when hopping pattern is loaded at 20%. In this case, it would be more interesting: to put Half Rate in a separated non hopping frequency plan and have globally a higher capacity or to reduce the frequency load, in order to increase the percentage of Half Rate and have globally a higher capacity.

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5.3. Limitations and difficulties AMR seems to be a revolutionary solution in term of GSM capacity. Unfortunately, there are some limitations to these benefits, described hereafter. 5.3.1. Simulations limitations All the conclusions of section 5 are based on simulations performed in DL, since they are the only available at this time, in particular for the EFR. No simulations are presented in UL. It would be good to perform these simulations just to check that there is no big difference with the DL and reinforce our conclusions. In the same way, these conclusions are based on AMR simulations performed with 10.2, 5.9 and 4.75 kbps codecs: simulations for 6.7 kbps codec are not available at this time. As soon as these simulations are available, it would be good to analyse the achieved performances in order to see if our conclusion are the same or need to be changed. Finally, all the simulations are based on Nortel Networks BSS. Of course, MS performances are not simulated. It means that our conclusions are based on the fact that AMR MS performances are the same than AMR BS performances. 5.3.2. Signalling channels The capacity improvement brought by AMR is subject to the limit of robustness of the signalling channels. Indeed, it is important to note that the limiting factor may be no more the performances of the traffic channel but those of the signalling channels, i.e. SACCH, FACCH and also SDCCH. SACCH and FACCH performances: There are some constraints concerning SACCH and FACCH performances in term of BLER: SACCH BLER needs to be lower than 20%*, so that there are no problems at L1M level FACCH BLER needs to be lower than 30%, so that a Lapdm message is received in less than 5 repetitions (which corresponds to a good working of the system). Note: *this value is a first approximation that needs to be checked on field. First simulations have been performed by Signal Processing Team in order to know the relationship between these BLER and the C/I The two following figures (figures 32 and 33) gives: The SACCH performances in term of BLER versus C/I The FACCH performances in term of failure versus C/I with a maximum of 5 repetitions. FACCH failure is actually representative of the BLER. in the following conditions: TU3 iFH No diversity UL Full Rate channel has been considered.
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100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 1 2 3

BLER SACCH

C/I 10

Figure 32: BLER SACCH versus C/I in DL, TU3, with FH, with diversity

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 2 4 6 8 10
FACCH Failure (5 Times)

Figure 33: BLER FACCH versus C/I in DL, TU3, with FH, with diversity

One can see that: C/I needs to be higher than 7 dB to have a SACCH BLER lower than 20% C/I needs to be higher than 3 dB to have a FACCH failure/BLER lower than 30% The consequence is that FACCH signalling is not a limiting factor to the capacity improvement brought by AMR. Indeed, the lowest acceptable C/I with AM FR is 4 dB (according to the previous sections), and at such C/I, FACCH BLER is acceptable. On the other hand, SACCH signalling could be a limiting factor to the capacity improvement, since C/I must be higher than 7 dB. This could compromise the use and the benefits of the codecs FR 4.75 and 5.9 kbps. Moreover, it means that one should take care not to reach such C/I when designing the network. Now, this conclusion is based on only two simulations: it could be interesting to do other simulations, in particular in DL and in non hopping case. Moreover, these simulations had been done considering Full Rate channel and not Half Rate channel. But, it is unlikely that signalling is problematic in Half Rate mode since it is used for high C/I (at least 10 dB).

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SDCCH performances: SDCCH signalling could also be a limiting factor to the capacity improvement brought by AMR, since SDCCH are also on TCH TRX. So, simulations given SDCCH performances according C/I are also required (not available at this time). 5.3.3. AMR penetration In the same way, the capacity improvement described in section 5.2. should be considered with care as it does not apply to: the speech service, using speech coders other than AMR, in particular EFR, FR or HR the data services Indeed, current networks offering speech service use today EFR speech coder. This one requires at least a 4*12 reuse pattern in case of non-hopping frequency plan. And, the maximal fractional loads supported by 1*1 and 1*3 hopping plans are respectively 16% and 50% (see [R11]). In the same way, engineering rules are different for data transmission: document [R13] shows for instance that the maximal fractional load in a 1*1 hopping plan must be reduced to 13% when GPRS (CS1) is introduced to ensure a good data quality. So, reduce a reuse pattern or use a higher fractional load in networks with a mix of services, (in other words in networks where the penetration of AMR mobiles is not 100%) is very risked for the other services than AMR (data, speech services with EFR, FR): Voice quality will be degraded Data quality will be degraded and offered throughput will be reduced It will be all the more risked since the AMR penetration is low. The best way to ensure quality of each service is to have separated frequency plan, like in this example: A 4*12 reuse pattern for BCCH and GPRS A 1*1 fractional reuse pattern loaded at 16% for EFR A 1*1 fractional reuse pattern loaded at 20% for AMR But, this solution seems impossible with a little spectrum. Moreover, this type of solution implies an AMR penetration as important as the EFR penetration. If the penetration of AMR mobiles is very high, it is more interesting to have a high FL (20%) on the hopping layer for AMR and push EFR to a non-hopping layer (4*12). Finally, when the available spectrum is low, it would be interesting to think to other solution like use an intermediate FL (between 16% and 20% in a 1*1). The feasibility of such solution will depend on the AMR MS penetration. It could be interesting to perform some system simulations in order to see the impact of such solution in term of quality and capacity.

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So, the conclusion is that: The frequency plan strategy, which will maximize the global capacity of the network, will depend on the available spectrum and the penetration of AMR mobiles. So, capacity gain from AMR will depend on the penetration of AMR mobiles in the network and also the percentage where AMR Half Rate quality will be acceptable.

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6. Conclusion
6.1. AMR benefits This document shows clearly the two radio benefits of the AMR feature: A coverage benefit. The robustness of the Full Rate channels to bad radio C/N conditions implies a BS and MS sensitivities improvement, up to 4 dB. This one can be exploited for improved coverage quality or for sites saving. A capacity benefit. The robustness of the Full Rate channels to bad radio C/I conditions allows for tighter frequency reuse pattern or higher fractional load with fractional reuse. It implies a capacity increase, which is maximized with the Half Rate channel use. 6.2. Limitations to AMR benefits So, it seems that AMR is THE SOLUTION to answer to the main concerns of the operators: Improve voice / coverage quality in particular in marginal areas or have the less sites as possible. Achieving the maximum capacity with its available spectrum. It is all the more true with the data services introduction in the networks. Now, AMR benefits are maximized when engineering rules detailed in this document are implemented in the networks, i.e. essentially: Higher cell range for one site Lower frequency reuse pattern (pattern N = 8) or higher fractional loads (20% in a 1*1). But, unfortunately, these engineering rules cannot be applied to the other services, data services and current speech services (EFR, FR and HR). It means that the operator should take care of the engineering rules that he implements on its network, when there is a mix of services, AMR, EFR, GPRS, EDGE According to the AMR penetration and its available spectrum, he should think to the best strategy in term of cell planning and frequency plan in order to maximize the capacity of its network. Maybe, at the beginning, when the AMR penetration is low, the best thing is to design the network with engineering rules of EFR: it means that no site will be saved (on the other hand, AMR mobiles will have a better coverage quality) and that only AMR HR will allow to increase the voice capacity or clear spectrum for data services. Then, when AMR penetration increases, the operator can think to upgrade its frequency plan (higher load, tighter reuse pattern, separated frequency plan) to take more benefits of AMR (AMR FR and HR). Another limitation to the AMR coverage and capacity benefits is the signaling channels robustness. First simulations show that there are some limitations due to SACCH in UL and in TU3iFH environment. Other simulations should be performed in particular in DL and in other environments.

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6.3. Further work All the conclusions given in this document are based on the first R&D simulations. Other simulations will be performed by Signal Processing Team in next months (in particular, simulations of FER versus C/I for all the codecs in all environments, simulations of FER versus C/I for EFR in UL, simulations of sensitivity in UL.). The results of these simulations should be analysed in order to complete this document and see if our conclusions are not modified. Moreover, all these simulations are performed assuming one MS and one BS. They dont take into account the global network and all its constraints (activated features, MS position). It could be interesting to perform system simulations in order to refine our analysis, in particular: Better define the percentage of Half Rate usage, when AMR is used in both modes (FR and HR) in case of frequency hopping plan with a given load. See the impact in term of quality at network level of having different types of mobiles (AMR and EFR): o on the same frequency plan, hopping or non hopping, o on different frequency plans, hopping or non hopping. This could help to define some strategies in term of frequency plan.

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7. Abbreviations and definitions


7.1. Abbreviations AMR: AMR FR: AMR HR: BTS: EFR: ETSI: FER: FR: HR: MS: Adaptative Multi Rate Adaptative Multi Rate Full Rate Adaptative Multi Rate Half Rate Base Transceiver Station Enhanced Full Rate vocoder European Telecommunication Standard Institute Frame Erasure Rate Full Rate Half Rate Mobile Station

7.2. Definitions and Appendix

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End of DOCUMENT

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