You are on page 1of 85

AMR Planning and Optimization

Guideline
S14

Version 1.0
2/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

document description

Title and version AMR Planning and Optimization Guideline


Reference
Target Group GERAN Radio, Access Transmission
Technology and 2G, 2.5G, BSS S14
SW release
Related Service
Items
Service Item
number
Author
Date May 2009
Approver Ville Salomaa

CHANGE RECORD

This section provides a history of changes made to this document

VERSION DATE EDITED BY SECTION/S COMMENTS

0.1 04 May 2009 Sumit Sharma ALL First draft


1.0 7 May 2009 Sumit Sharma All First version

Copyright © Nokia Siemens Siemens Networks. This material, including documentation and any
related computer programs, is protected by copyright controlled by Nokia Siemens Siemens
Networks. All rights are reserved. Copying, including reproducing, storing, adapting or translating,
any or all of this material requires the prior written consent of Nokia Siemens Networks. This material
also contains confidential information which may not be disclosed to others without the prior written
consent of Nokia Siemens Networks.
3/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Table of contents

1. Purpose and Scope............................................................................9

2. Description of AMR...........................................................................10

2.1 Introduction.......................................................................................10

2.2 Channels and Codecs......................................................................10

2.3 Link Adaptation.................................................................................12


2.3.1 Channel Mode Adaptation.............................................................................................12
2.3.2 Codec Mode Adaptation (LA).........................................................................................13

2.4 Channel Allocation............................................................................17

2.5 AMR Pools........................................................................................18


2.5.1 Circuit Pool Mismatch....................................................................................................18

2.6 AMR Progressive Power Control (PPC)...........................................20


2.6.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................... 20
2.6.2 Description.................................................................................................................... 20
2.6.3 Benefits of AMR PPC....................................................................................................22
2.6.4 Activation....................................................................................................................... 24

2.7 FER and MOS..................................................................................24

2.8 Robust AMR Signalling (FACCH/SACCH)........................................27


2.8.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................... 27
2.8.2 Repeated AMR SACCH and FACCH in 3GPP Release 6..............................................29
2.8.3 Repeated AMR FACCH for Existing Mobiles (FR & HR)................................................29
2.8.4 FACCH Power Increment for Existing Mobiles...............................................................29
2.8.5 Triggering Conditions for FACCH/SACCH repetitions and power increment.................29

2.9 TRAU Bicasting................................................................................30


2.9.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................... 30
2.9.2 Description of the feature..............................................................................................31
2.9.3 Activation and Monitoring..............................................................................................31

2.10 Results from S13 Pilot Experience...................................................32

2.11 Interworking with other features........................................................32


2.11.1 Direct access to desired layer/band (DADL/B)...............................................................32
2.11.2 Enhanced TRX Prioritization..........................................................................................33
2.11.3 Common BCCH and Multi BCF.....................................................................................33
2.11.4 IFH and IUO.................................................................................................................. 33
2.11.5 Satellite Abis.................................................................................................................. 34
4/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

2.11.6 Single Antenna Interference Cancellation (SAIC)..........................................................34


2.11.7 DFCA (Dynamic Frequency and Channel Allocation)....................................................34

3. Benefits of AMR................................................................................35

3.1 C/I v/s FER Performance for AMR FR..............................................35

3.2 C/I v/s FER Performance for AMR FR..............................................35

3.3 Speech Quality Enhancement..........................................................36

3.4 Capacity and Coverage Gains..........................................................37

3.5 Summary of Benefits........................................................................39

4. Requirements for AMR Activation.....................................................40

4.1 AMR capable MS..............................................................................40

4.2 TRX Signalling requirements............................................................40

4.3 Equipment requirements...................................................................40

4.4 BSC Capacity requirements.............................................................41

4.5 Circuit Pool Configuration.................................................................41


4.5.1 TCSM2 support............................................................................................................. 41
4.5.2 TCSM3 support............................................................................................................. 41

5. AMR dimensioning............................................................................43

5.1 Background......................................................................................43

5.2 Capacity increase.............................................................................43

5.3 Traffic table.......................................................................................44

6. Implementation of AMR feature to the network.................................46

6.1 Steps for AMR Implementation.........................................................46

7. AMR parameters description and Setting.........................................47

7.1 Initial codec mode selection..............................................................47


7.1.1 Codec sets.................................................................................................................... 47
7.1.2 Initial Codec mode.........................................................................................................47

7.2 Codec mode adaptation....................................................................49


5/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

7.2.1 Full Rate (FR) Channel..................................................................................................49


7.2.2 Half Rate (HR) Channel.................................................................................................50
7.2.3 Parameter Summary.....................................................................................................50

7.3 Handovers Configuration..................................................................53

7.4 HO&PC thresholds parameters for AMR..........................................57

7.5 AMR Progressive Power Control parameters...................................58

7.6 Channel mode adaptation (Packing/Unpacking)..............................60


7.6.1 Unpacking HO types......................................................................................................63

7.7 Radio link timeout.............................................................................64

7.8 Parameter grouping..........................................................................65

8. Optimizing AMR Network..................................................................67

8.1 Counters related to AMR..................................................................67


8.1.1 Counters in Traffic Measurement (p_nbsc_traffic).........................................................67
8.1.2 Counters in Handover Measurement (p_nbsc_ho)........................................................67
8.1.3 Counters in RxQual Measurement (p_nbsc_rx_qual)....................................................67
8.1.4 Counters in AMR RxQual Measurement (p_nbsc_amr_rx_qual)...................................68
8.1.5 Counters in BSC Level Clear Code (PM) Measurement (p_nbsc_cc_pm).....................68
8.1.6 Counters in AMR PPC Measurement (p_nbsc_amr_ppc)..............................................68
8.1.7 AMR Signalling Measurement.......................................................................................69

8.2 Planning and Benchmark KPIs for AMR...........................................69

8.3 BSS Reporting Suite.........................................................................70

8.4 KPIs affected by implementation of AMR.........................................71


8.4.1 TCH Retainability........................................................................................................... 71
8.4.2 TCH Congestion/Blocking.............................................................................................72
8.4.3 Handover Reasons and Failures...................................................................................72

8.5 AMR Penetration in the network.......................................................72

8.6 AMR Codec usage and RxQual........................................................74

8.7 AMR Codec usage and FER............................................................74

8.8 Enhanced TRX Priority in TCH Allocation.........................................74

8.9 Aggressive use of AMR HR..............................................................75

9. AMR S14 features............................................................................77


6/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

9.1 AMR Unpacking Optimization...........................................................77


9.1.1 Unpacking and Intra-Cell Handovers.............................................................................77
9.1.2 Prevent unpacking in poor quality: intra HO lower rx quality limit AMR..........................77
9.1.3 Prevent unpacking in poor RxLevel: intra HO lower rx level limit AMR HR....................79
9.1.4 Prevent unpacking in good RxLevel: intra HO upper rx level limit AMR HR...................79
9.1.5 Parameter planning strategy for unpacking...................................................................79

9.2 AMR HO Signalling Optimization......................................................80


9.2.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................... 80
9.2.2 Background................................................................................................................... 81
9.2.3 Feature description........................................................................................................81
9.2.4 Constraints for Intra-cell HO..........................................................................................82
9.2.5 Constraints for Call Setup..............................................................................................82
9.2.6 HW and SW Requirements............................................................................................83
9.2.7 Planning and Monitoring................................................................................................83

10. Abbreviations....................................................................................85

11. References.......................................................................................86
7/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

List of Tables

Table 1: Channel and Speech codec modes for AMR.......................................................................12

Table 2: Avg. MOS Vs TCH FER table..............................................................................................25

Table 3: MOS vs TCH FER Mapping - percentage of samples above MOS 3.2................................25

Table 4: MOS vs RxQual mapping - percentage of samples above MOS 3.2...................................26

Table 5: Separate MOS-FER mapping Table for DL and UL.............................................................27

Table 6: AMR parameters for IFH/IUO..............................................................................................33

Table 7: AMR codec support in base stations...................................................................................40

Table 8: Reduction of TSL required with AMR HR.............................................................................44

Table 9: Traffic table for AMR HR......................................................................................................45

Table 10: Parameters for Initial Codec Mode selection.....................................................................48

Table 11: Thresholds for Codec Mode Adaptation.............................................................................51

Table 12: Parameters for HO Configuration......................................................................................53

Table 13: Example handover with AMR set upgrade.........................................................................54

Table 14: Example handover with AMR set downgrade....................................................................54

Table 15: Handover Control Thresholds............................................................................................57

Table 16: Power Control Thresholds.................................................................................................58

Table 17: Parameters controlling Packing/Unpacking.......................................................................61

Table 18: Radio Link Timeout parameters.........................................................................................64


8/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

List of Figures

Figure 1: AMR Codecs...................................................................................................................... 11

Figure 2: Link Adaptation.................................................................................................................. 14

Figure 3: Codec changes during an AMR call...................................................................................15

Figure 4: In-band signalling............................................................................................................... 17

Figure 5: AMR Power Control without PPC.......................................................................................21

Figure 6: AMR Power Control with PPC............................................................................................21

Figure 7: Gains in Progressive Power Control..................................................................................23

Figure 8: AMR codes and signalling (FACCH/SACCH) performance................................................28

Figure 9: TRAU Bicasting in AMR FR/HR handover.........................................................................31

Figure 11: AMR FR and EFR in clean speech...................................................................................37

Figure 12: AMR HR and AMR FR in clean speech............................................................................38

Figure 14: TCH DR timeslot implementation.....................................................................................44

Figure 17: Parameter grouping of Link Adaptation thresholds...........................................................53

Figure 18: Packing of FR calls to HR AMR calls due to cell load......................................................61

Figure 19: AMR Parameter summary................................................................................................65

Figure 20: Standard Unpacking Procedure.......................................................................................77

Figure 21: Enhanced Unpacking Procedure.....................................................................................77


9/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

1. Purpose and Scope


Purpose:

This document serves as a planning and optimization guideline for the Nokia Siemens
Feature, Adaptive Multi Rate Codec (AMR). This document applies to BSS software
releases S14.

This document is meant for INTERNAL USE

Scope:

The scope of the document is the following:

 Explain the feature, Adaptive Multi Rate Codec (AMR) and its benefits

 Implementation of AMR feature into network elements

 General rules for dimensioning and planning for AMR

 Optimization aspects of network with AMR

 New BSS S14 feature enhancements related to AMR

If you are planning to deploy AMR in a network, read through the whole document. In
case you already have AMR but are looking for information on the new enhancements,
read the section on S14 features.

The document does not cover step-by-step instructions to implement and test AMR in
the network. Refer the BSS NED documentation for detailed work instructions including
MML commands. The document can also be accessed from NOLS at
https://www.online.nokia.com.
10/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

2. Description of AMR
2.1 Introduction
During 1998-1999, the Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) codec for GSM was standardized.
The codec adapts its bit-rate allocation between speech and channel coding, thereby
optimizing speech quality in various radio channel conditions. This provides the next
step of speech quality improvement in GSM after the introduction of the Enhanced Full
Rate (EFR) codec in 1996.

In recent years, the industry has achieved quite remarkable improvements in GSM
speech coding. The Enhanced Full Rate (EFR) codec, introduced in 1996, was the first
codec to provide wireline speech quality. The new AMR codec brings further quality
enhancements, especially in terms of high error robustness in the full rate channel. It
also provides the first codec with quality comparable to wireline for the half rate
channel in good channel conditions.

All previous GSM codecs operate with fixed partitioning between speech and channel
coding (error protection) bit-rates. These bit-rates have been chosen as compromises
between performance in error-free and high-error channels. The AMR codec operates
in either the GSM full-rate or half-rate channel and selects the optimum bit-rate trade-
off between speech and channel coding, according to the channel quality, to deliver the
best possible overall speech quality for the prevailing C/I conditions. To achieve overall
good speech quality, the quality degradation caused by speech coding and the errors
engendered by the transmission channel have to be carefully balanced.

As expected, the codecs must be supported both by the MS and the Network.

2.2 Channels and Codecs


Before the introduction of AMR, the following channel types and codecs were available
on the air interface:

 2 different Channel Types (Full Rate & Half Rate)

 2 different codecs (coding types) – 1 at Full Rate and 1 at Half Rate

The introduction of AMR provided improvements on the speech coding schemes on the
air interface. So with AMR, there are:

 2 different Channel Types (Full Rate & Half Rate)

 14 different codecs – 8 at Full Rate and 6 at Half Rate

The two different Channel types provide capacity by allowing 2 calls (half rate) to be
severed on 1 timeslot on the TRX. The different channel codings provide different
levels of tradeoffs between speech coding (voice quality) and channel coding
(robustness). The idea behind having several codecs is that the optimal codec is used
based on prevailing channel conditions.
11/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Note that, with AMR, the gross bit rate of the channel types is the same (22.8 kbps for
FR and 11.4 kbps for HR); what changes is the share of channel and speech coding
between different codecs. This relationship is show in the figure below.

Figure 1: AMR Codecs

AMR consists of 8 different speech codec modes ( bit-rates of 12.2, 10.2, 7.95, 7.4,
6.7, 5.9, 5.15 and 4.75 kbit/s) with total of 14 channel codec modes (see table below).
All the speech codecs are defined for the full rate channel, while the six lowest ones
are defined for the half rate channel.
12/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Table 1: Channel and Speech codec modes for AMR

Channel Channel Source coding Net bit-rate, Channel Channel


mode codec bit-rate, speech in-band coding coding
Mode channel bit-rate, bit-rate, in-
speech band
CH0-FS 12.20kbit/s (GSMEFR) 0.10 kbit/s 10.20 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s
CH1-FS 10.20 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 12.20 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s
CH2-FS 7.95 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 14.45 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s
CH3-FS 7.40 kbit/s (IS-641) 0.10 kbit/s 15.00 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s
TCH/FR
CH4-FS 6.70 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 15.70 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s
CH5-FS 5.90 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 16.50 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s
CH6-FS 5.15 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 17.25 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s
CH7-FS 4.75 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 17.65 kbit/s 0.30 kbit/s
CH8-HS 7.95 kbit/s (*) 0.10 kbit/s 3.25 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s
CH9-HS 7.40 kbit/s (IS-641) 0.10 kbit/s 3.80 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s
CH10-HS 6.70 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 4.50 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s
TCH/HR
CH11-HS 5.90 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 5.30 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s
CH12-HS 5.15 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 6.05 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s
CH13-HS 4.75 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s 6.45 kbit/s 0.10 kbit/s

(*) Requires 16 kbit/s TRAU. Therefore it is not seen as a feasible codec mode and is
not being supported in BSS S14.

A mobile station must implement all the codec modes. However, the network can
support any combination of them.

2.3 Link Adaptation


Link Adaptation is the capability of AMR feature to vary the codec used according to the
prevailing link conditions. In this way both network (for uplink) and MS (for downlink)
measure the radio conditions in each link and take decisions on which codec should be
applied to each way.

Two different types of link adaptation algorithms are defined: Channel Mode Adaptation
and Codec Mode Adaptation.

2.3.1 Channel Mode Adaptation


Channel Mode Adaptation algorithm decides on whether the speech can be handled by
a Full Rate Channel or by a Half Rate Channel according to the link conditions.

The channel mode (FR or HR) is switched to achieve the optimum balance between
speech quality and capacity enhancements. The channel mode is selected by the
network based on measurements of the quality of the up- and down-links. The up- and
down-links use the same channel mode.
13/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

This is also known by Packing (FR calls to HR calls) and Unpacking (HR calls to FR
calls).

2.3.2 Codec Mode Adaptation (LA)


For the channel selected (FR or HR), the Codec Mode Adaptation algorithm decides
which codec is the one that provides the best speech quality for the current radio
conditions. That is, as each codec has different channel protection and speech
encoding performance, the idea of the codec mode adaptation is to select the codec
that provides the best speech quality for the radio conditions that the receivers are
submitted to.

Codec mode information is transmitted in-band in the speech TCH, using parts of the
transmission capacity dedicated to speech data transmission

Codec mode adaptation operate independently on the up- and down- links i.e. in AMR
the codec used in the UL does not need to be the same as the DL, these work
dynamically depending on C/I. Control depends mainly on measurements of the quality
of the respective links.

For codec mode adaptation, the receiving side performs link quality measurements of
the incoming link. The measurements are processed yielding a Quality Indicator. For
reference purposes, the Quality Indicator is defined as an equivalent carrier to
interference ratio, C/Inorm. The MS and the BSS continuously update the Quality
Indicator estimates. The Quality Indicator is derived from an estimate of the current
burst bit error probability (BBEP)

The BTS commands the MS to apply a particular speech codec mode in the uplink, but
MS can only request BTS to apply a particular speech codec mode in the downlink
because BTS has an option to override the MS's request. This is illustrated in the figure
below.
14/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Figure 2: Link Adaptation

The codec mode bit-rate, i.e. the bit-rate partitioning between the speech and channel
coding for a given channel mode, may vary rapidly (see figure below). The codec mode
can be switched one up or one down at the time so that it is not possible to switch from
the mode 12.2 kbit/s to 4.75 kbit/s when for example the modes 5.9 kbit/s and 7.4 kbit/s
are included to the mode set (codecs allowed to be used). Also, it should be noted that
codec changes do not take place immediately after the Codec Mode
Command/Request is sent: there is a delay until a frame is received with the new
codec.

Codec mode adaptation for AMR is based on received channel quality estimation in
both MS and BTS, followed by a decision on the most appropriate speech and channel
codec mode to apply at a given time. In high-error conditions more bits are used for
error correction to obtain error robust coding (at the cost of lower bits for speech
coding), while in good transmission conditions a lower amount of bits is needed for
sufficient error protection and more bits can therefore be allocated for source coding.
The switching of codecs to protect the speech encoding eventually provides a better
overall frame erasure (FER) rate and higher perceived voice quality (MOS) to the user
at a certain C/I as compared to a EFR call in the same situation.

MS must support all speech codec modes, although only a set of up to 4 speech codec
modes is used during a call. BSC supports all of speech codec modes, except 7.95
kbit/s on HR channel, and it has one default set for each channel mode.
15/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Figure 3: Codec changes during an AMR call

2.3.2.1 Link Adaptation modes

There are two link adaptation (LA) modes;

 Fast LA (as per ETSI standards)

Fast LA allows in-band codec mode changes on every other TCH frame (every
40ms)

 Slow LA (the Nokia Siemens proprietary)

Allows in-band codec mode changes only on SACCH frame interval (every 480ms)

The choice of the LA mode is done on BSC basis with the parameter Slow AMR LA
Enabled (SAL): if it is set to "N" (default) it is uses fast LA; if it is set to "Y" it uses slow
LA. With slow LA, BTS allows in-band codec mode changes only on the SACCH frame
16/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

interval of 480 ms and this option gives better flexibility with HO & PC algorithms
(based on SACCH measurements every 480ms as well).

Parameter Level MML Name Suggested Description


Value
Slow AMR Link BSC SAL No Enable slow link adaptation. This is a
Adaptation enabled proprietary algorithm where codec mode
changes happen every SACCH period
(480ms) instead of as fast as 40ms.

During both LA modes BTS indicates the first and the last used codec during the last
measurement interval and the average quality.

2.3.2.2 In-Band Signalling

The mobile station (MS) and the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) both perform channel
quality estimation for their own receive paths. Based on the channel quality
measurements, the MS sends to BTS a Codec Mode Request (Mode requested to be
used in the downlink). This signalling is sent in-band, along with the speech data. The
codec mode in the uplink may be different from the one used in downlink, but the
channel mode (full rate or half rate) must be the same. The in-band signalling has
been designed to allow fast adaptation to rapid channel variations.

An in-band signalling channel is defined for AMR that enables the MS and the BTS to
exchange messages on applied or requested speech and channel codec modes. The
above mentioned selected speech codec mode is then sent, by using the in-band
signalling channel, to the transmitting side, where it is applied for the other link. BTS
commands the MS to apply a particular speech codec mode in the uplink by Codec
Mode Command. MS sends to BTS a Codec Mode Request (Mode requested to be
used in the downlink), BTS has an option to override the MS's request.
17/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Figure 4: In-band signalling

2.4 Channel Allocation


HR and EFR principles are applied. Please see HR and EFR channel allocation for
details.

The exception is that AMR call may be started in full rate channel in a new cell. How
the AMR call starts in a cell depends on the parameter initAMRChannelRate (IAC).
This parameter can be set to ‘Any rate’ or ‘FR’.

Parameter Level MML Suggested Description


Name Value
Initial AMR channel rate for BSC IAC 1 ”1” = Any rate. Channel type
call setup and hand off allocation depends on further network
parameters/settings.
”2” = AMR FR. AMR FR is preferred
over AMR HR and allocated despite
of the values of the currently used
information for channel allocation. IAC=2
overrides TCHRateIntHO (HRI)

The reason behind this new parameter is that quality may not be sufficient for HR AMR
call setup (radio measurement is done on SDCCH).

If AMR FR codec is not present in the Channel Type element or it cannot be allocated
(e.g. AMR FR set is disabled in the target cell), then the allocation is continued with the
currently used information. Parameter is valid in call setup (except FACCH call setup),
internal inter cell HO and external HO. This parameter (IAC) overrides the value of
18/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

parameter TCHRateInternalHO (HRI) parameter. See section 7.3 for details of this
parameter.

2.5 AMR Pools


A circuit pool concept has been introduced in GSM recommendations for handling
transcoders of different types. The A-interface speech circuits (CIC) are divided into
pools (CIP) according to the TCSM capabilities. Circuits in the same pool have the
same transcoding capabilities. The main factors when dividing the circuits into pools is
the channel rate and the speech codecs supported

During call setup the MS informs MSC of its transcoding capabilities. From this, the
MSC will know what channel types and speech codecs are supported by the MS and
the MSC will then be able to allocate a circuit. The properties of the circuit, such as
codecs and channel rates supported, are described by the pool the circuit belongs to.
In the Assignment Request/Handover Request message to the BSC, the MSC will
request a preferred channel type which depends on the MS’s capabilities, and informs
the BSC of the circuit allocated.

On receiving the Assignment Request/Handover Request message, the BSC will


identify the pool each physical circuit belongs to. It then maps the allocated circuit to its
pool and checks if the capabilities of that pool are compatible with the requested
channel type. If it is not compatible, then the request is rejected with cause “circuit pool
mismatch”. If there are no contradictions, then the BSC will check whether the
requested channel type can be allocated. If not, for example because the BTS does not
support AMR, then the BSC will reject the request with cause “switch circuit pool”. If
possible, the MSC will then re-allocate a circuit belonging to a different pool.

Internal handovers are normally handled by the BSC. If the BSC decides to switch the
circuit pool type, it must send a Handover Required to the MSC as it is the MSC that
assigns the circuit. The MSC may or may not be able to change the circuit and will
send the circuit to be used in a Handover Request message. Although the handover is
internal to the BSC, the act of involving the MSC changes the handover type from BSC
controlled to MSC controlled.

Also refer to Section 4.5 for details of the TCSM2 and TCSM3 capabilities.

2.5.1 Circuit Pool Mismatch


The selection of the TCH to be allocated during Assignment Procedure is based on the
information received by the BSC from the MSC. The MSC sends an Assignment Request
message to the BSC for the BSC to assign channels on the Air interface and to assign
circuit on the A interface. The BSC usually responds with an Assignment Complete or an
Assignment Failure message.

The Assignment request message from the MSC to BSC contains the following:

 channel type: radio channel required for the call type

 L3 header info

 priority (optional)
19/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

 circuit identification code (CIC) indicating the channel to be used on the A


interface

 downlink DTX flag (optional)

 radio channel identity (optional)

 interference band to be used (optional)

Let’s take an example of the circuit pool mismatch.

Case1: There is no AMR support.

MSC has a circuit pool X that supports FR (but not EFR)

BSC has a circuit pool Y that supports EFR and FR

The MS requests EFR (but supports FR). Since the MSC has only pool X, it allocates a
circuit from Pool X (FR only). At the BSC, this is accepted since the Pool X is attached
to an EFR capable transcoder, the BSC sets up an EFR call on the BSS.

Case2: With AMR

With AMR, a new circuit pool 23 is added at the MSC and BSC end. This pool only
supports AMR (not EFR). So now MSC has pool X and pool 23 and BSC has pool Y
and pool 23. This works fine except in one case.

Problem occurs when an AMR capable MS access a Non-AMR cell connected to the
above MSC.

1. AMR capable MS access the non-AMR site

2. MSC sees that the MS supports AMR, so allocates a circuit from Pool 23
without having the knowledge of whether the BTS supports AMR or not

3. BSC however rejects the allocation since the cell does not support AMR. BSC
therefore requests pool switching

4. MSC has only Pool X and Pool 23, so it re-assigns a circuit from X

This leads to the call attempt being blocked. If the BSC had pool X, then the call would
be completed as a FR call.

Refer to the document KPI Impact from AMR activation 1.3 for more details on this
including several examples of internal and external handover.

https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Download/377622515
20/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

2.6 AMR Progressive Power Control (PPC)


2.6.1 Introduction
AMR Progressive Power control (AMR PPC) is enhancement to the existing Power
Control (PC) algorithm running in the BSC and controlling the transmitting power of the
MS and BTS.

AMR PPC provides mechanism to change quality thresholds depending on used power
level so that AMR PPC favours increase of power with low power levels and avoid
increase of power with higher power levels. Following results are striven by this:

 Better power distribution - introducing less interference to the network

 Better quality distribution - yielding to better speech codec distribution

The aim of this feature is get additional capacity gain and decrease Dropped Call Rate
(DCR).

AMR PPC is applied to both UL and DL and allows control of the transmitted power of
MS and BTS separately. AMR PPC is used only for AMR calls. When the AMR PPC
algorithm is disabled, the normal PC algorithm is used also for AMR calls.

2.6.2 Description
In the current power control algorithm, the quality thresholds set for power control do not
change with a change in the transmitted power of the MS or BTS. The decision to
increase or decrease power is based on comparison of the measured RXQUAL with the
set quality thresholds.

With the current power control, voice quality (based on TCH FER) and drop call rate
(based on SACCH RLT) cannot be optimised at the same time. For example RXQUAL
low thresholds 5 and high thresholds 6 provides low drop call rate, but poor voice quality.
This means that used power control algorithm AMR RXQUAL thresholds have to be
selected so that trade-off between voice quality and system capacity is made.

The figure below shows the power control without the PPC feature. The Increase or
decrease in MS/BTS power is based on RxQual thresholds alone, irrespective of the
transmitted power level.
21/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Figure 5: AMR Power Control without PPC

To further improve AMR quality and capacity with AMR and also with new SAIC phones
“Progressive AMR Power Control” is introduced. Instead of using constant RX_QUAL
threshold values, progressive power control uses higher RX_QUAL threshold values for
higher TX power levels. This is achieved by applying offsets to the existing RxQual
threshold values. These offsets are fixed to be -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 and are applied at a
certain transmit power level as defined by the parameters.

Figure 6: AMR Power Control with PPC


22/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

In the above figure, the thresholds for transmitted power level are identified as X1, X2,
X3 and X4. Offsets are applied as per the table below.

Threshold for power level Offset to RxQual threshold


Between Min power and X1 Offset of -2
Between X1 and X2 Offset of -1
Between X2 and X3 No offset applied
Between X3 and X4 Offset of +1
Between X4 and Max power Offset of +2

Taking an example, if the MS power level is at 15 (lowest power level), the algorithm will
trigger an increase in MS power if the RxQual (UL) degrades beyond RxQual = 3.
Compared to the algorithm without PPC, the MS power would have been increased if the
RxQual degraded beyond RxQual = 5. Since the MS is at its lowest power level, the PPC
algorithm is playing safe by increasing the power much before the RxQual degrades to a
level where spikes in interference could degrade the quality significantly.

On the other hand, if the MS is at power level 2, the algorithm will further increase the
power only if the RxQual degrades beyond RxQual = 6 (as compared to RxQual = 5
without PPC).

The AMR link adaptation algorithm is also capable of changing codecs to counter
degrading C/I conditions. In conjunction with the AMR codec adaptation, the PPC
algorithm

 favours increase of power over AMR codec adaptation with low power levels and
avoids increase of power, and

 favours AMR codec adaptation with higher power levels and thus reduces overall
interference.

Progressive power control therefore, provokes AMR adaptation to use codec rates
progressively along power control range.

2.6.3 Benefits of AMR PPC


Progressive power control reduces the usage of highest transmitted power levels and
thus reduces overall interference. The figure below shows simulated power distribution
changes with current power control and progressive power control.
23/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

A positive offset (of +1 or +2) at higher transmit power levels mean that compared to the
current PC, the PPC algorithm starts to reduce the transmit power at higher levels at
earlier RxQual values (e.g., at RxQual 5 instead of RxQual 3). This reduces the share of
the highest power levels, as seen in the figure above.

Benefits derived from this feature are:

 Reduced interference in the network because of better power distribution

 Better speech codec distribution because of better quality distribution

 Reduced dropped call rate

Simulations show 50% reduction in dropped call rate (DCR) or, with the same DCR,
traffic increase of 15%. Gives better balance between AMR codec modes and power
control.

Figure 7: Gains in Progressive Power Control


24/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Network level gains are expected to be at a similar level for both AMR/FR and AMR/HR.

2.6.4 Activation
AMR PPC is application software and it contains two separate functionalities which can
be separately controlled with Licence and Feature Handling MML (LFHMML).

 AMR PPC for MS power controlling

 AMR PPC for BTS power controlling

2.7 FER and MOS


Performance of radio networks has traditionally been measured using BER to quantify
speech quality and dropped call rate (DCR) to quantify the rate of lost connections. As
the networks and features have developed, additional quality measures such as frame
erasure rate (FER) and mean opinion scoring (MOS) have become more important

Speech quality can be quantified using mean opinion score (MOS). MOS values range
from 1 (bad) to 5 (perfect). These values were derived from a group of individuals
listening to different speech samples, and scoring them. MOS scores are therefore
opinion-based and subjective. However, there are several tools that try to measure and
quantify the subjective speech quality of the link from data collected through drive tests
using different algorithms.

Frame erasure rate is a very powerful performance indicator since it is highly correlated
with the final voice quality the end user perceives. Different speech codecs will have
however, a slightly different FER to MOS correlation since the smaller the speech
codec bit rate, the more sensitive it becomes to frame erasures. The FER values in
which different speech codecs will start to experience MOS degradation and the rate of
such degradation is quite uniform. Therefore, FER can be efficiently used as a speech
quality performance indicator.

Following tables, which were created with extensive lab testing, can be used to
estimate MOS from FER samples, without costly MOS drive testing. Though MOS is a
subjective measure and real user perception can vary a lot from person to person, in
general, a MOS value of 3.2 and above is considered good and gives very clean
speech quality. Of course MOS score varies with speech codec types, but with no error
(0% FER), similar codec types for both FR and HR should perform same.
25/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Table 2: Avg. MOS Vs TCH FER table

Table 3: MOS vs TCH FER Mapping - percentage of samples above MOS 3.2
26/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Table 4: MOS vs RxQual mapping - percentage of samples above MOS 3.2

MOS – FER mapping for DL and UL separately


27/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Table 5: Separate MOS-FER mapping Table for DL and UL

2.8 Robust AMR Signalling (FACCH/SACCH)


2.8.1 Introduction
Low-rate AMR FR codecs (e.g. AMR 4.75) provide satisfactory speech quality in radio
channels whose carrier-to-interference ratio (C/I) is up to 4 dB worse than that needed to
give reliable operation of the FACCH and SACCH control channels. This results in calls
being dropped even though their speech quality is still acceptable. Main problem is
downlink FACCH/SACCH performance which can cause dropped calls and HO failures.

The effective C/I for downlink FACCH and uplink/downlink SACCH can be improved by
increasing the base station (BTS) Tx power for FACCH, or by repeating the
FACCH/SACCH block (introduced in 3GPP Rel6).
28/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Figure 8: AMR codes and signalling (FACCH/SACCH) performance

Robust AMR Signalling feature consists of four separate features:

1. FACCH and SACCH repetition for “repeated ACCH” capable mobiles on AMR
TCH

2. FACCH repetition for legacy mobiles on AMR FR

3. FACCH repetition for legacy mobiles on AMR HR

4. FACCH Power Increment (for existing mobiles)

FACCH/SACCH repetition and FACCH Power Increment proposals are specified


together as single repeat/power increment functionality so that BTS can optimise use of
the power increment and repetition according to BTS Tx power level, mobile capability
and channel (AMR FR, AMR HR) used.

Role of BSC is to provide parameters related to this feature to BTS. BSC checks mobile’s
capability and sends parameters related to this feature to the BTS at the beginning of a
call (Channel Activation message) and it is up to BTS how it uses these features.

BTS indicates usage of FACCH/SACCH repetition and soft combining of repeated blocks
in Measurement Result message to the BSC. This information is used for monitoring of
Robust AMR signalling.

With FACCH repetition the time taken to get a command to mobile increases, so
repetition should only be applied when needed. Uplink SACCH repetition reduces
frequency of measurements from the mobile, so it should also be used only when
needed. Repetition of the same measurement reports affects also averaging of
measurements and reaction speed of handover and power control algorithm.
29/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

2.8.2 Repeated AMR SACCH and FACCH in 3GPP Release 6


From 3GPP Release 6 onwards, the mobile stations (MSs) and BTSs can ask for
SACCH frames to be repeated exactly on transmit, so that the original frame and its
repeat can be decoded together using incremental redundancy (soft combining) type
decode, similar to the incremental redundancy defined for EGPRS data. The transmit
repeat and incremental redundancy on decode can also be used with downlink FACCH
frames.

This gives about a 4 dB improvement in the C/I needed to decode the SACCH and
FACCH, so that these channels are as robust as the lowest rate AMR codecs.

The BSS supports the 3GPP protocol for repeated SACCH and FACCH, and will use the
Incremental Redundancy on the uplink SACCH when needed for good normal operation
of the control channels.

2.8.3 Repeated AMR FACCH for Existing Mobiles (FR & HR)
For mobiles designed according to ‘old’ 3GPP releases (i.e. releases up to and including
release 5), 3GPP have enhanced the radio interface protocol so that the downlink
FACCH can be repeated, to give the mobile two chance to decode the FACCH before
each link timeout and retry of the protocol.

This gives about a 2 dB improvement in the C/I needed to decode the FACCH, so that
this channel is more robust and the dropped call rate in handovers is reduced.

The BSS will use the repeated downlink FACCH, when the Mobile is indicating poor
downlink quality by requesting a low-rate AMR codec.

The 2 dB improvement in C/I is not enough for reliable operation with the very lowest rate
AMR/FR codecs, so there is also FACCH Power Increment feature for existing mobiles.

2.8.4 FACCH Power Increment for Existing Mobiles


For legacy MSs (Release 5 or older), the BTS Tx power for downlink AMR FACCH bursts
can be increased by 2 dB up to the maximum transmission power of the BTS (Pmax).
FACCH repetition and power increment together provide an improvement of up to 4 dB in
C/I for FACCH decode.

2.8.5 Triggering Conditions for FACCH/SACCH repetitions and power


increment
FACCH repetition and FACCH power increment for legacy MS:

 FACCH repetition and/or power increment is triggered if the MS requests the


lowest downlink codec (indication of poor DL quality)
 The retransmission of the PHYSICAL INFORMATION message, following the
expiry of the timer T3105, is also a trigger.

FACCH repetition for Rel. 6 compliant MS:


30/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

 If the MS requests the lowest downlink codec. For AMR HR calls, the expiry of the
timer T200 for the frame is also required.
 The retransmission of the PHYSICAL INFORMATION message, following the
expiry of the timer T3105, is also a trigger.

SACCH repetition for Rel. 6 compliant MS:

 DL Direction: If a Rel.6 compliant MS requests for SACCH frames to be


repeated.
 UL Direction: Depends on the number of uplink SACCH single decode block
errors and the value of the SACCH Repeat Window (SRW) parameter.
Abbreviated Range And Description Default value
Name Step
sacchRepeat 1...15 Frames, • When value = 1, decoding 4 Frames
Window step 1 Frames failure of the latest SACCH
block triggers the repeat for the
next SACCH block.

• When value N = {2, 3, 4 ...


15}, decoding failure of 2
SACCH blocks out of N
preceding SACCH blocks
triggers the repeat. Repeat is
used as long as the decoding of
2 SACCH blocks out of N
preceding blocks has failed.

For example if the value of SRW is 3 and the BTS fails to decode two of the
preceding three blocks, it commands the MS to repeat a SACCH block

2.9 TRAU Bicasting


2.9.1 Introduction
AMR packing/unpacking uses intra-BSC handovers in order to change speech coding
between AMR HR and AMR FR. In these handovers, there is a break in the downlink
speech path, and this break can be reduced if the BSC uses unidirectional connection.

 Unidirectional connection means that the BSC transmits TRAU speech frames
received from the TC simultaneously to both source and target BTS

 Unidirectional connection can be used only when the same TRAU speech frame
format is used on both sides of the intra-BSC HO. Currently AMR FR<=>AMR HR
Handover is a scenario where it is not possible to establish unidirectional DL
connection.
31/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

TRAU Bicasting in AMR FR/HR handover feature makes it possible to prepare


connection to target resource also in AMR FR/HR intra-BSC handovers meaning better
speech quality for the end-user by reduced break in DL speech path.

2.9.2 Description of the feature


The feature makes it possible to establish unidirectional connection also in AMR FR/HR
intra-BSC handovers. This method, show in the figure below, tries to ensure that valid
speech frames are being transmitted in DL over the air interface before the MS retunes
from the source to the target channel.

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3

Figure 9: TRAU Bicasting in AMR FR/HR handover

In order to reduce Audio breaks during HO, BSC tries to establish unidirectional
connection in downlink towards the target channel.

When this feature is used source and target BTSs and TC are all using 8 kbit/s TRAU
frame format for the Abis and Ater transmissions during the AMR packing/unpacking
handover. In practice this means that 8 kbit/s TRAU frames are submultiplexed onto 16
kbit/s Abis channel of BTS that is sending/receiving TCH/AFS radio frames.

As explained above, unidirectional connection is currently not possible during AMR


packing or unpacking handovers (different TRAU frame format on source and target
BTS), two-way hard switching needs to be performed instead leading to an audible break
(100-400 ms) in downlink speech (Step 2 in the above figure is skipped).

2.9.3 Activation and Monitoring


The feature is non-optional. It is an enhancement to AMR and it is activated when both
AMR FR and AMR HR are activated. If required, the feature can be disabled by patching
of UTPFIL parameters in the BSC.
32/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

There are 7 added to the Traffic Measurement due to this feature. Refer to BSS NED
Documentation for the details on these counters.

2.10 Results from S13 Pilot Experience


A pilot for S13 was carried out in Jan-Feb 2009 in Cosmote, Greece network. Only the
following features were tested in the pilot:

 Separate UL/DL AMR Link Adaptation Thresholds

 AMR Progressive Power Control (AMR PPC)

Details of the S13 pilot along with the complete recording of the info sharing session can
be found at https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Open/400079266

Note that in case of PPC, there was insufficient data to make a good analysis.

2.11 Interworking with other features


2.11.1 Direct access to desired layer/band (DADL/B)
The feature DADL/B can be used to handover AMR calls during call setup to co-located
BTSs that support AMR (this had more significance in previous BSS releases where a
network with AMR has 2nd generation BTSs, which do not support AMR). Both intra and
inter BSC DADL/B handovers are possible and preferably inside one frequency band
as the failure probability is higher with DADL/B handovers between bands.

In order to support AMR call continuation even after internal or external HO, the
handover target cell list is manipulated so, that AMR capable cells where load is low,
are on the top. The candidate cells on the target list are already pruned by the adjacent
cell parameter hoMarginPbgt (PBGT). AMR capable cells are verified by the adjacent
cell parameter amrDadlbTargetCell (DADLA) and those AMR capable adjacent cells
are prioritised that are below the threshold of BTS parameter btsLoadThreshold
(BLT) (see figure below).

Figure 10: DADL/B with AMR


33/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Whether DADL/B handover is applied during TCH assignment is based on the


following:

 If there are no TCHs available in the accessed cell when an AMR call is attempted,
Directed Retry due to congestion, with or without queuing, is made

 If there are TCHs available in the accessed cell, and there are adjacent cells
defined as DADL/B handover target cells, (with the parameter amrDadlbTargetCell
(DALDA)) then the DADL/B handover is applied.

Adjacent cells are not verified according to the MS capabilities (single band, dual
band or tri-band), but they have to fulfil the current signal level requirements in
order to be considered as a target cell for DADL/B handover. Current method for
sorting the target adjacent cells is used

 If there are no DADL/B handover target cells defined, the TCH is allocated from the
accessed cell and another speech codec than AMR is chosen.

2.11.2 Enhanced TRX Prioritization


With the trxPriorityInTCHAlloc (TRP) parameter, you can direct AMR calls primarily to
non-BCCH TRX and non-AMR calls primarily to BCCH TRX. This is set by the
parameter TRP = 3.

2.11.3 Common BCCH and Multi BCF


In segment environment, if the AMR codec set of the BCCH BTS of the cell is disabled,
it must also be disabled in the other BTSs of that segment. Similarly, if it is enabled, it
must also be enabled in the other BTSs of that segment.

AMR FR and AMR HR codec sets can be disabled or enabled separately.

2.11.4 IFH and IUO


AMR specific good and bad C/I thresholds are specified for HR and FR AMR:

 super reuse good C/I threshold for AMR HR – amrHoHrSupReuGoodCiThr


(GCIH)
 super reuse bad C/I threshold for AMR HR – amrHoHrSupReuBadCiThr (BCIH)
 super reuse good C/I threshold for AMR FR – amrHoFrSupReuGoodCiThr (GCIF)
 super reuse bad C/I threshold for AMR FR – amrHoFrSupReuBadCiThr (BCIF)

Table 6: AMR parameters for IFH/IUO

Parameter Level MML Suggested Description


Name Value
AMR Handover FR Bad BTS BCIG 10 With this parameter you define the downlink C/I ratio
CI Ratio on a super-reuse TRX for triggering the HO from the
super-reuse TRX. Defined for AMR FR calls.
34/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

AMR Handover FR BTS BGIF 17 With this parameter you define the downlink C/I ratio
Good CI Ratio on a super-reuse TRX for triggering the HO to the
super-reuse TRX. Defined for AMR FR calls.

AMR Handover HR Bad BTS BCIH 10 With this parameter you define the downlink C/I ratio
CI Ratio on a super-reuse TRX for triggering the HO from the
super-reuse TRX. Defined for AMR HR calls.

AMR Handover HR BTS GCIH 17 With this parameter you define the downlink C/I ratio
Good CI Ratio on a super-reuse TRX for triggering the HO to the
super-reuse TRX. Defined for AMR HR calls

Current Nx and Px values of C/I thresholds are used.

The new threshold values for HR AMR serve also the basic HR. The current good and
bad threshold pair (super reuse good C/I threshold and super reuse bad C/I threshold)
is going to serve the basic FR.

With these thresholds operator can control, which type of speech calls are preferred to
enter the super layers cells, e.g. HR AMR calls could be packed to the super layer in
order to increase the capacity of regular layer cells (good value for HR AMR e.g. - 5 dB
(compared to the current value) and good value for FR AMR e.g. + 5 dB).

2.11.5 Satellite Abis


Only AMR FR is supported with Satellite Abis.

2.11.6 Single Antenna Interference Cancellation (SAIC)


When Single Antenna Interference Cancellation (SAIC) is used in the network together
with AMR, the SAIC-specific counters are updated in AMR RX Quality Measurement

2.11.7 DFCA (Dynamic Frequency and Channel Allocation)


AMR codecs are supported when DFCA is in use. The initial AMR channel rate (IAC)
parameter allows you to specify the initial channel rate for adaptive multi-rate (AMR).
When forced HR mode is triggered for DFCA, it overrides the IAC parameter. This
means that forced HR is used for AMR MSs despite of the value of the IAC parameter.

Channel allocation decisions in DFCA algorithm are based on C/I criteria. In the
channel selection process, different degrees of interference tolerance of different
connection types (EFR, AMR FR, AMR HR) are taken into account. Networks with
higher penetration of AMR capable MS will see greater benefits on spectral efficiency
from the introduction of DFCA.
35/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

3. Benefits of AMR
Let’s first look at the link level performance of AMR FR and HR codecs. The effect of the
codecs on FER performance is where the benefits lie.

3.1 C/I v/s FER Performance for AMR FR


The figure below shows the comparison of AMR FR codecs with GSM FR, HR and
EFR in different C/I conditions.

Note that with poor C/I conditions, the use of a lower speech codec for FR maintains
the FER performance, providing a gain of upto 5.5dB in C/I at 1% FER.

Frame Error Rates (FER) for ARM, EFR and FR Codecs


on Different C/I conditions (FR -Channel)
C/I [dB]
16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
0.00%

2.00%

GSM EFR
4.00%
GSM FR
5-6 dB AMR 12.2 k
6.00% AMR 10.2 k

FER [%]
AMR 7.95 k
8.00% AMR 7.4 kb
AMR 6.7 kb
AMR 5.9 kb
10.00% AMR 5.15 k
AMR 4.75 k
TU3-iFH 12.00% GSM HR

14.00%

3.2 C/I v/s FER Performance for AMR FR


The figure below shows the comparison of AMR HR codecs with GSM HR in different
C/I conditions.

Compare this figure with the previous one, with the reference as the performance of
GSM HR (seen on both figures).
36/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Frame Error Rates (FER) for ARM HR Codecs


on Different C/I conditions (HR -Channel)

C/I [dB]
16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
0.00%

2.00%

4.00%
GSM HR
6.00% AMR 7.95 k
AMR 7.4 kb

FER [%]
8.00% AMR 6.7 kb
AMR 5.9 kb
10.00% AMR 5.15 k
AMR 4.75 k
TU3-iFH 12.00%

14.00%

Note that in case of better C/I conditions, HR codecs can be used without degrading
the FER. This provides capacity by being able to serve 2 HR calls on one timeslot
without compromising on FER.

Note the difference from FR case – HR codes are not providing better speech quality in
poor radio conditions. They allow maintaining the FER in better C/I conditions even if
call shifts from FR to HR.

3.3 Speech Quality Enhancement


With AMR, it is possible to achieve very good speech quality in FR mode even in low
C/I conditions, or increase the speech capacity by using the HR mode and still maintain
the quality level of current FR calls.

The AMR system exploits the implied performance compromises by adapting the
speech and channel coding rates according to the quality of the radio channel. This
gives better clear channel quality and better robustness to errors (FER), thus
increasing the probability for maintaining the call. These benefits are realised whether
operating in full rate or half rate channels. An example to explain this concept in a more
intuitive way can be this: consider the situation where the mobile is in a zone of the cell
border where you have a bad C/I (for example 7dB). With EFR you have a degradation
of the quality of the speech due to interference. But with AMR similar quality can be
achieved with a reduced number of speech coded bits, which allows more bits to be
37/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

used for error protection and correction. See below figure for ETSI Mean Opinion Score
test results for current EFR and AMR FR.

AMR Full Rate performance compared to Full Rate EFR in Clean Speech

MOS (Mean Opinion Score)


5.0

4.0

3.0

2.0 EFR
AMR FR

1.0
No Errors 16 dB C/I 13 dB C/I 10 dB C/I 7 dB C/I 4 dB C/I

Figure 11: AMR FR and EFR in clean speech

3.4 Capacity and Coverage Gains


Together with quality improvements, the need to enhance capacity by allocating half
rate channels to some or all mobiles in the network is also recognised. The radio
resource algorithm, enhanced to support AMR operation, allocates a half rate or full
rate channel according to channel quality and the traffic load on the cell in order to
obtain the best balance between quality and capacity.

An example of the increase in capacity can be this: in normal C/I condition two voice
channels can use a single timeslot in the case of half rate coding (HR) with little or no
compromise in voice quality compared to EFR. The channel selection is done on the
basis of BTS load conditions. In case of an AMR HR capable cell, the calls that meet
the quality criteria to switch to HR increase with the use of more robust codecs,
increasing the number of total calls that the cell can take. Hence it provides the
capacity gain in that cell. Moreover, AMR HR provides more control with packing and
unpacking procedures, with Quality control parameters. See figure below for ETSI
Mean Opinion Score test results for current FR and AMR HR.
38/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Figure 12: AMR HR and AMR FR in clean speech

In addition, increased robustness to channel errors can be utilized in the cell coverage,
i.e. lower C/I can be allowed at the cell edge. However, in the mixed traffic case the cell
coverage has to be planned according to EFR mobiles.

The figure below shows the comparison of FR, AMR HR and AMR FR in a drive test
(European operator, 2004) to clearly show the gain in coverage distance from a base
station.

Figure 13: AMR Coverage Gain Comparison


39/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

3.5 Summary of Benefits


Therefore the key benefits of the AMR feature are:

1. Speech quality enhancement: AMR maintains good speech quality in the situation
where the connection faces low C/I or low signal level

2. Coverage gain: Link level simulation results illustrated improvement in terms of TCH
FER (up to 5.5dB at 1% FER in C/I)

3. Capacity gain: Compared to GSM HR codec, AMR HR codec obtains remarkable


better speech quality through link adaptation. The increased half rate utilization
increases the amount of calls served by a cell, especially during busy hours

4. Interference reduction: In case of high penetration of AMR mobiles, the reduced


interference (due to aggressive power control for AMR mobiles) benefits the EFR
mobiles and may allow tightening of the frequency reuse
40/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

4. Requirements for AMR Activation


AMR is a technology that enables operators smoothly and cost-efficiently to add voice
capacity in their networks with a software upgrade. However, depending on the current
Core and Radio configuration additional capacity may be required including
transcoders, Ater interface (16kbit/s) and TRXSIG addition (32k). Furthermore, if there
is non-NSN (North) MSC core network, the interworking of circuit pool switching needs
to be checked.

4.1 AMR capable MS


AMR codec support is required by the mobile stations. It is not possible to assess
potential AMR traffic levels on a network before AMR is activated. The AMR statistics
for AMR call requests are only updated if AMR is activated.

It is difficult to correctly estimate the penetration of AMR capable MS in the network if


AMR is not active. The only estimate can be drawn from the IMEI snapshot (difficult
and lot of missing information) or thru the operator’s handset sales information (if
available). In either case, one has to know which MS from different vendors have the
AMR capability.

4.2 TRX Signalling requirements


Introduction of AMR HR causes increased load in measurement reporting due to an
increase in the number of voice channels on the TRX; therefore it can happen that a
capacity of 16 kbit/s LAP-D signalling link is not sufficient in all cases. This is certainly
the case if the TRX is filled with HR and also has an SDCCH/8 TSL. The TRX could
have 22 telecom channels. 16 kbps can only support 18. When the TRX contains
merely HR or DR TCH resources, the situation becomes even worse if the SDCCHs
have also been configured on the TRX. Therefore a 32 kbit/s LAP-D link should be
introduced to support the telecom signalling.

4.3 Equipment requirements


AMR codecs are supported by different Network Elements as follows:

 AMR codec support in Base Stations:

Table 7: AMR codec support in base stations

BTS AMR FR AMR HR SW Ver


Ultrasite Base Station All All except 7.90 kbps CX 7.0
Metrosite Base Station All All except 7.90 kbps CXM 7.0
Flexi EDGE Base All All except 7.90 kbps EP3.0
Station

Note: Talk Family does support AMR (DF7) but is not listed here since it is not
supported in S14 (only secondary compatibility). Prime site supports AMR but not
supported in S14.
41/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

 AMR codecs support in BSC and TCSM:


All the BSCs and TCSM2 with software version S10 onwards have full AMR support
except 7.95 kbit/s on HR channel.

 AMR Code Support in MSC:


MSC has AMR support from M10 onwards.

4.4 BSC Capacity requirements


BSC capacity is dependant upon the BSC type. E.g. BSC3i2000 can support upto 2000
TRXs full rate or 1000 TRXs dual rate. This is because dual rate use twice the group
switch capacity. In reality the capacity will fall somewhere between the two extremes
since not all TRXs will be dual rate enabled. This actual capacity limit therefore needs
to be calculated by checking the amount of full rate and dual rate TRXs configured in
the BSC.

4.5 Circuit Pool Configuration


The A interface speech circuits (CIC) are divided into pools (CIP) according to the
TCSM capabilities. Circuits in the same pool have the same transcoding capabilities.
The main factors when dividing the circuits into pools is the channel rate and the
speech codecs supported

4.5.1 TCSM2 support


Circuit pool 23 is the only AMR pool that is supported upto S11/S11.5 and TCSM2. This
particular pool does not support any other speech coding than AMR and therefore pool
switching is needed during call setups and handovers when MSC has allocated AMR
circuit but BSC selects non-AMR speech coding, and vice versa, when MSC has
allocated non-AMR circuit but BSC selects AMR coding. Circuit pool switching affects
TCH request, reject and success statistics. Changes in statistics (can) have an impact
on KPIs including counters that are affected by pool switching.

The counter c1208 (A_IF_CRC_MISMATCH_CALL_SETUP) counts the number of the


TCH requests rejected because of the mismatch between the types of the requested
channel and the A interface circuit (updated in call setup phase only).

This means that when AMR is introduced to the network, either a current pool is
modified to support AMR or a new one is introduced for AMR use only. The new circuit
pool (pool 23) is needed in A-interface configuration. AMR feature need to be activated
first and Abis parameters need to be set on Abis interface.

There are two alternative ways to modify existing circuit pool (refer to BSS S13 NED
Documentation: Modifying Speech Circuits):

 speech circuits are removed and added during modification

 speech circuits are transferred automatically during modification

4.5.2 TCSM3 support


42/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

TCSM3i supports all speech codecs simultaneously on pools 28 and 32. TCSM3
requires BSS S12 or higher release.

Pool 28 supports both FR and HR speech, EFR speech, AMR full and half rate speech,
and a maximum of 14.5 kbit/s radio interface data rate in one full rate channel.

Pool 32 supports, in addition to the codecs supported by pool 28, also High Speed
Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD) with a maximum of 4 full rate channels on a multislot
configuration.

The benefit of having all speech codecs in the same circuit pool is that after the TCSM
is taken into use, there is no need to change the configuration even if the traffic pattern
in the network changes. This may happen, for example, when AMR capable mobile
terminal penetration will gradually increase over time and the higher speech quality and
end-to-end network efficiency of AMR is needed.

In addition, the pool switching will not be required when handing over of calls from AMR
capable cell to a non-AMR capable cell and vice-versa. This reduces the potential of
drops calls during such handovers.
43/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

5. AMR dimensioning
5.1 Background
The dimensioning of the network will be different when AMR half rate (HR) is used
because the Erlang-B table is not applicable any more. This means that when
assuming all the timeslots configured as dual rate (DR) the maximum traffic that can be
served with less than 2% GoS does not equal with the result received when doubling
the number of channels in Erlang-B table. This is because the AMR HR is used only in
good radio conditions.

For AMR HR dimensioning new tables has been developed using mathematical model
based on Markov process. These tables consider the HR traffic share. In case there is
no suitable Markov table available for a given blocking probability, the Erlang table will
be applied.

A case of 2 TRX per cell, where AMR HR is introduced is presented below. The voice
capacity theoretically increases more than double. In practice all the AMR HR time
slots could not be necessarily used due to bad radio conditions.

5.2 Capacity increase


The capacity increase brought by AMR HR compared to AMR FR is described below.
The DR time slot implementation of 2 TRX cell is shown in three phases.

Introducing AMR HR in 2 TRX Cell

Phase 0: Existing EFR FR: 16 ch/cell, 13 voice ch, max. 7 Erl/cell *)

Time slot 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
TRX1 S S F F F F F G
TRX2 F F F F F F F F

Phase 1: Adding 1 DR TSL/TRX: 18 ch/cell, 15 voice ch, max. 9 Erl/cell *)

Time slot 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
TRX1 S S D F F F F G
TRX2 D F F F F F F F
44/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Phase 2: All voice TSL are DR: 29 ch/cell, 26 voice ch, max. 18 Erl/cell *)

Time slot 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
TRX1 S S D D D D D G
TRX2 D D D D D D D D

S= Signalling channel, F = Full Rate channel, G= GPRS channel, D= Dual Rate


channel

*) At 2% Blocking rate, using Erlang B considering HR is used without Radio Link


Constraints

Figure 14: TCH DR timeslot implementation

It is seen that the Phase 2 doubles the voice capacity compared to phase 0. Signalling
load between BSC and MSC has to be considered as well. The next table shows the
percentage of saved capacity after the AMR HR implementation. The share of AMR HR
users based on good C/I is considered in the table. The figure below shows the
Reduction of TSL required with AMR HR

Table 8: Reduction of TSL required with AMR HR

Saving Factor = % of resources (TS) saved by using AMR-HR

2% GoS % of users with good conditions to use AMR-HR (for example C/I > 12dB)
# Time Slots 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
1 0.0% 0.2% 0.5% 1.2% 2.3% 3.7% 6.5% 7.5% 17.2% 34.0% 50.0%
2 0.0% 0.8% 2.5% 5.2% 9.2% 13.9% 19.7% 25.7% 32.5% 41.4% 50.0%
3 0.0% 1.0% 3.2% 6.6% 11.1% 16.2% 22.1% 28.3% 35.3% 42.6% 50.0%
4 0.0% 1.3% 4.1% 8.1% 12.9% 18.3% 24.1% 30.0% By36.5%
using AMR 43.2%
HR, 50.0%
5 0.0% 1.6% 4.8% 9.2% 14.3% 19.6% 25.3% 31.0% when 70% of
37.2% 43.6% 50.0%
Saving in resources

6 0.0% 2.0% 5.4% 10.0% 15.2% 20.5% 26.1% 31.7% network has43.8%
37.6% 50.0%
conditions for
7 0.0% 2.2% 5.9% 10.6% 15.9% 21.1% 26.6% 32.1% 38.0%
AMR HR, we can 44.0% 50.0%
8 0.0% 2.5% 6.4% 11.1% 16.4% 21.6% 27.0% 32.5% 38.2%
save 44.1%
34% if 24 50.0%
9 0.0% 2.8% 6.7% 11.5% 16.7% 21.9% 27.3% 32.7% AMR
38.4%HR capable
44.2% 50.0%
TSLs are available
10 0.0% 3.0% 7.0% 11.8% 17.1% 22.2% 27.6% 33.0% 38.5%
(we would need 36
44.3% 50.0%
11 0.0% 3.1% 7.3% 12.1% 17.3% 22.5% 27.8% 33.1% 38.7%
TSLs with only44.3%
FR 50.0%
12 0.0% 3.2% 7.4% 12.3% 17.5% 22.7% 28.0% 33.3% to38.8% 44.4%
serve the same 50.0%
13 0.0% 3.3% 7.6% 12.5% 17.7% 22.9% 28.1% 33.4% 38.9%traffic) 44.4% 50.0%
14 0.0% 3.4% 7.7% 12.6% 17.9% 23.0% 28.2% 33.5% 38.9% 44.5% 50.0%
15 0.0% 3.5% 7.9% 12.8% 18.0% 23.1% 28.4% 33.6% 39.0% 44.5% 50.0%
16 0.0% 3.6% 8.0% 12.9% 18.1% 23.2% 28.4% 33.7% 39.1% 44.5% 50.0%
24 0.0% 4.0% 8.6% 13.6% 18.7% 23.8% 28.9% 34.1% 39.4% 44.7% 50.0%
32 0.0% 4.2% 8.8% 13.8% 18.9% 24.0% 29.1% 34.3% 39.5% 44.8% 50.0%
40 0.0% 4.2% 8.9% 13.9% 19.1% 24.2% 29.3% 34.4% 39.6% 44.9% 50.0%
48 0.0% 4.2% 9.0% 14.0% 19.2% 24.3% 29.4% 34.5% 39.7% 44.9% 50.0%
56 0.0% 4.2% 8.9% 14.0% 19.3% 24.3% 29.5% 34.6% 39.8% 44.9% 50.0%

5.3 Traffic table


The table below displays the traffic that can be served with different number of Time
Slots (TS) available and different penetration of AMR HR. For example, 70% HR
45/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

penetration the number of TS required to serve 16.7 Erlangs is 16, while for pure AMR-
FR it would require around 24 time slots to serve the same traffic (around 33% saving
in resources). Figure below shows the Traffic table for AMR HR

Table 9: Traffic table for AMR HR

2% GoS % of users with good conditions to use AMR-HR


# Time Slots 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
1 0.0204 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.06 0.11 0.22
2 0.2236 0.23 0.24 0.25 0.28 0.32 0.37 0.45 0.58 0.79 1.09
3 0.6024 0.62 0.65 0.70 0.77 0.87 1.01 1.19 1.44 1.80 2.28
4 1.0927 1.12 1.18 1.28 1.42 1.59 1.82 2.10 2.47 2.97 3.63
5 1.6578 1.71 1.81 1.96 2.17 2.42 2.73 3.11 3.60 4.25 5.08
6 2.2769 2.35 2.50 2.71 2.99 3.31 3.71 4.19 4.80 5.60 6.61
7 2.9367 3.04 3.24 3.51 3.85 4.25 4.74 5.32 6.06 7.00 8.20
8 3.6287 3.77 4.01 4.35 4.76 5.24 5.81 6.50 7.36 8.45 9.83
9 4.3468 4.53 4.82 5.21 5.70 6.25 6.92 7.71 8.69 9.93 11.49
10 5.0864 5.31 5.65 6.11 6.66 7.29 8.05 8.94 10.05 11.45 13.18
11 5.8443 6.11 6.51 7.02 7.64 8.35 9.20 10.20 11.44 12.98 14.90
12 6.6178 6.92 7.37 7.94 8.65 9.43 10.37 11.48 12.84 14.53 16.63
13 7.405 7.75 8.25 8.89 9.66 10.53 11.56 12.77 14.26 16.11 18.38
14 8.204 8.60 9.15 9.85 10.69 11.64 12.76 14.08 15.70 17.69 20.15
15 9.0137 9.45 10.06 10.82 11.74 12.77 13.98 15.41 17.15 19.29 21.93
16 9.8328 10.32 10.98 11.81 12.79 13.90 15.21 16.74 18.61 20.91 23.73
24 16.636 17.50 18.60 19.94 21.52 23.27 25.33 27.72 30.62 34.13 38.39
32 23.729 24.98 26.52 28.37 30.52 32.93 35.75 39.04 42.99 47.73 53.43
40 30.998 32.62 34.61 36.98 39.74 42.82 46.41 50.59 55.58 61.55 68.69
48 38.387 40.36 42.80 45.71 49.08 52.84 57.20 62.28 68.32 75.52 84.10
56 45.863 48.16 51.05 54.51 58.52 62.96 68.09 74.07 81.16 89.60 99.62

The use of the above table is demonstrated with an example below.

Example: Traffic per user is assumed to be 25mErl. There are 800 people under the
cell with a penetration of 50%.

Traffic offered: 800 x 0.5 x 25mErl = 10 Erl

Case1: Based on Erlang B table, with 2% GoS ==> 17 Ch needed. With the
signalling channels included, 3 TRXs would be required

Case2: Based on Traffic table for AMR HR, if the % of users with good conditions
for AMR HR is 70% ==> 11 Ch needed. With the signalling channels included, only
2 TRXs are required.
46/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

6. Implementation of AMR feature to the network


AMR Full Rate (FR) and AMR Half Rate (HR) are both licence-based software
products. The usage of AMR FR is controlled by an ON/OFF licence and the usage of
AMR HR by a capacity licence based on TRX count.

You can activate AMR FR, AMR HR, or both.

For details and MML commands, see the BSC/TCSM NED documentation:

 Activating and Testing BSS6115: Half Rate

 Activating and Testing BSS10004: AMR

6.1 Steps for AMR Implementation


Basic steps for implementation of AMR are listed below. Detailed steps of
implementation are not in the scope of this document and should be referred to in the
BSS NED Documentation.

1. Implement PRFILE parameter 619 in BSC for AMR FR and ensure licences for
AMR HR are installed and activated (check with ZW7I:FEA,FULL:FEA=1;)

2. Create AMR pool (23) on Transcoder for AMR calls and pool (20) for non-AMR
calls (EFR)

3. Create Speech circuit on MSC and BSC

4. Download AMR related parameters for BTS/BSC level

5. In case of AMR HR, ensure that the timeslots are configured as TCHD (dual
rate) or TCHH (half rate). TCHD is preferred over TCHH since those timeslots
can be used for HR, FR as well as EGPRS use. TCHH timeslots can’t be used
for EGPRS or FR.

6. Unlock speech circuits on MSC - For Live AMR calls. If not carried out then
AMR will not work and normal calls will proceed. AMR must be activated before
MSC Speech circuits are unlocked as drops may occur. The MSC/NSS has no
knowledge if the BSC has AMR activated or not.

Basic call and handover tests must be done immediately after the feature activation.
Testing should cover at least the following aspects

 Call origination/termination – MOC/MTC

 Non-AMR MS in AMR capable cell

 Handover tests – across BSC, MSC boundary for AMR and non-AMR MS

 Handover from AMR to non-AMR cells and back

 Packing/Unpacking intra-cell HO
47/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

7. AMR parameters description and Setting


This chapter describes the AMR related parameters, proper settings and best
practices. Some aspects of the AMR functionality will be explained with the related
parameters. All the parameters are on cell basis.

7.1 Initial codec mode selection


7.1.1 Codec sets
It has to be remembered that MS supports all speech codec modes, although only a
set of up to 4 speech codec modes is used during a call (codec set for FR or HR can
be updated during the call in case of a handover to another BTS) and BSC supports all
of speech codec modes, except 7.95 kbit/s on HR channel.

The two parameters amrConfFrCodecModeSet (FRC) and


amrConfHrCodecModeSet (HRC) specify which of the possible speech coding bit-rate
are implemented in the serving cell.

The value for these parameters is specified as a bit mask. In the figure below, the
default codec sets for FR are 12.2, 7.9, 5.9 and 4.75kbps. This can be specified as
value 149 in decimal (from 10010101 in binary).

Bit 7 Bit 6 Bit 5 Bit 4 Bit 3 Bit 2 Bit 1 Bit 0


FR 12.2 10.2 7.95 7.4 6.7 5.9 5.15 4.75
HR 7.4 6.7 5.9 5.15 4.75

FR 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 = 149 (decimal)
HR 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 = 21 (decimal)

Similarly, the default set for HR is 7.4, 5.9 and 4.75kbps (value 21 in decimal)

The default sets are good to start with and usually do not need to be modified. Both
have the least and most robust codecs in the set and additional codec(s) in between
those two.

7.1.2 Initial Codec mode


The Initial Codec mode to start the speech coding operation at call set-up and after
handover may be signalled by layer 3 signalling, in which case it shall be used by BTS
and MS.

You can either allow the initial codec to be decided by a rule (based on amount of
codecs in the codec set) or you can specify the exact codec to start with.

amrConfFrInitCodecMode (ICMI and FRI)

Value 0: Initial codec mode is defined by the implicit rule provided in GSM
(3GPP) 45.009.

Value 1: Initial codec mode is defined by the Start Mode field (parameter
amrConfFrStartMode (FRS))
48/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Implicit rule provided in 3GPP 45.009:

 If the codec mode set contains 1 mode, it is the Initial Codec mode

 If the codec mode set contains 2 or 3 modes, the Initial Codec mode is the most
robust mode of the set (lowest bit rate).

 If the codec mode set contains 4 modes, the Initial Codec mode is the second
most robust mode of the set (the second lowest bit rate).

amrConfFrStartMode (FRS) range is 00, 01, 10, and 11 ==> codec mode 1, 2, 3, 4.

Of course the choice of the most robust codec available (less bit rate for speech) is
recommended for higher success rate during call setup and after handover.

Similar to the above parameters for FR, there are parameters for HR. See table below
for a summary of the parameters.

Table 10: Parameters for Initial Codec Mode selection

Parameter Level MML Name Suggested Description


Value
AMR Configuration FR Codec BTS FRC 149 With this parameter you define the codec
Mode Set mode set for a full rate channel. If the
parameter is defined as disabled, then the
whole codec mode set is disabled. Codec
set used is 12.2, 7.40, 5.9, 4.75 kbit/s
AMR Configuration FR Init BTS FRI 0 With this parameter you define whether the
Codec Mode initial codec mode used by the mobile
station is defined explicitly in the AMR codec
mode set or is it implicitly derived by the
mobile station from the amount of codec
modes in the AMR codec mode set.
AMR Configuration FR Start BTS FRS 0 With this parameter you define explicitly the
Mode initial codec mode used by the mobile
station.
AMR Configuration HR Codec BTS HRC 21 With this parameter you define the codec
Mode Set mode set for a full rate channel. If the
parameter is defined as disabled, then the
whole codec mode set is disabled. Codec
set used is 7.40, 5.9, 4.75 kbit/s
AMR Configuration HR Init BTS HRI 1 With this parameter you define whether the
Codec Mode initial codec mode used by the mobile
station is defined explicitly in the AMR codec
mode set or is it implicitly derived by the
mobile station from the amount of codec
modes in the AMR codec mode set.
AMR Configuration HR Start BTS HRS 1 With this parameter you explicitly define the
Mode initial codec mode used by the mobile
station.

With HR, it is recommended to start with the codec 5.9kbps, which is the second most
robust. This is to have better voice quality than starting with codec 4.75 (default). LA
can change the codec to 4.75 during the call if necessary.
49/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

With initAmrChannelRate (IAC) parameter you define the initial channel in call set-up
(except FACCH call set-up), internal inter cell handover (HO) and external HO for an
AMR call. This parameter was discussed in Section 2.4.

The parameter IAC defines the preference for channel mode (FR/HR) whereas the
parameters FRI/HRI define the initial codec to be used.

7.2 Codec mode adaptation


7.2.1 Full Rate (FR) Channel
As upto 4 codecs can be used in a call in a cell, a codec set has 4 codecs defined. The
switching of codecs within this set is controlled by three thresholds. There are separate
set of thresholds for UL and DL. Having a separate set of UL and DL LA thresholds
allows effective optimization of AMR LA, and to effectively and independently respond to
RF conditions on either link.

For FR, these thresholds are

 amrConfigurationFr: threshold1 – for changing form codec 2 (second lowest bit


rate) to codec 1 (lowest bit rate, most robust)

 amrConfigurationFr: threshold2 – for changing form codec3 to codec2

 amrConfigurationFr: threshold3 – for changing from codec 4 to codec3

Corresponding to each threshold, there is a hysteresis value defined for switching


codecs from more robust to less robust ones. The same hysteresis value applies in UL
and DL. See figure below for explanation.

Figure 15: Example of thresholds and hysteresis for AMR FR on DL

Figure 16
50/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

In the figure above, FRTD1 = 4dB, FRTD2 = 7dB and FRTD3 = 11dB.

To understand the figure, start from the top right with the orange line where the call is at
FR12.2 codec. As the C/I ratio degrades, the LA allocates more robust codecs FR 7.4,
FR 5.9 and eventually FR 4.75 to try to keep the FER from degrading. The codec is
switched at the threshold value (without hysteresis).

Now as the C/I starts to improve, the LA allocates codecs that are less robust but
provide higher speech quality (follow the pink line). To avoid ping-pong codec changes,
the Hysteresis value must be fulfilled before the change of codec as C/I improves.

The default values are 4dB, 7dB, and 11dB (in ideal conditions simulations show that
also the values 6dB, 9dB and 13dB give good results in terms of FER (Frame Error
Rate) and mean opinion score (MOS). Setting the thresholds higher is a more
conservative setting (playing it safe) that allows higher use of more robust codecs. As
an example, if FRTD1 is set to 13dB, the change from FR12.2 to FR7.4 would happen
when the C/I reaches 13 dB (as compared to waiting till 11dB, the default value).

From the BSS counters, it is possible to get the distribution of call samples by codecs
and RxQual classes UL and DL. This information can be used to check the
performance of the codecs when optimizing the thresholds.

Aggressive (low C/I) thresholds increases the number of TCH frame errors since the
high modes are used even with low C/I values. Conversely, thresholds that are set too
high decrease the usage of higher modes thus some speech quality is lost due to lower
number of speech bits.

7.2.2 Half Rate (HR) Channel


Similarly, for HR, these thresholds are

 amrConfigurationHr: threshold1

 amrConfigurationHr: threshold2

 amrConfigurationHr: threshold3

There are separate set of thresholds for UL and DL.

Corresponding to each threshold, there is a hysteresis value defined for switching


codecs from more robust to less robust ones. The same hysteresis value applies in UL
and DL.

In case of only three codec modes (default HR codecModeSet) threshold 3 and


hysteresis 3 are set to "0" in order not to use them

7.2.3 Parameter Summary


51/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Table 11: Thresholds for Codec Mode Adaptation

MML Suggested
Parameter Level Name value Description
amrConfFrDlThreshold1 BTS FRTD1 6 dB Defines the downlink threshold for
switching from codec mode 2 (second
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 1
(lowest bit rate).
amrConfFrDlThreshold2 BTS FRTD2 9 dB Defines the downlink threshold for
switching from codec mode 3 (third
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 2
(second lowest bit rate).
amrConfFrDlThreshold3 BTS FRTD3 13 dB Defines the downlink threshold for
switching from codec mode 4 (fourth
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 3 (third
lowest bit rate).
amrConfFrHysteresis1 BTS FRH1 1 dB With this parameter, together with AMR
FR uplink threshold 1 or AMR FR
downlink threshold 1, you define the
threshold for switching from codec
mode 1 (lowest bit rate) to codec mode
2 (second lowest bit rate). Unused
hysteresis is set as 0.
amrConfFrHysteresis2 BTS FRH2 1 dB With this parameter, together with AMR
FR uplink threshold 2 or AMR FR
downlink threshold 2, you define the
threshold for switching from codec
mode 2 (second lowest bit rate) to
codec mode 3 (third lowest bit rate).
Unused threshold is set as 0
amrConfFrHysteresis3 BTS FRH3 1 dB With this parameter, together with the
AMR FR uplink threshold 3 or the AMR
FR downlink threshold 3, you define
the threshold for switching from codec
mode 3 (lowest bit rate) to codec mode
4 (second lowest bit rate). Unused
hysteresis is set as 0.
amrConfFrUlThreshold1 BTS FRTU1 6 dB Defines the uplink threshold for
switching from codec mode 2 (second
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 1
(lowest bit rate).
amrConfFrUlThreshold2 BTS FRTU2 9 dB Defines the uplink threshold for
switching from codec mode 3 (third
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 2
(second lowest bit rate).
amrConfFrUlThreshold3 BTS FRTU3 13 dB Defines the uplink threshold for
switching from codec mode 4 (fourth
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 3 (third
lowest bit rate).
amrConfHrDlThreshold1 BTS HRTD1 14 dB Defines the downlink threshold for
switching from codec mode 2 (second
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 1
(lowest bit rate).
amrConfHrDlThreshold2 BTS HRTD2 17 dB Defines the downlink threshold for
switching from codec mode 3 (third
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 2
(second lowest bit rate).
52/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

amrConfHrDlThreshold3 BTS HRTD3 0 dB Defines the downlink threshold for


switching from codec mode 4 (fourth
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 3 (third
lowest bit rate).
amrConfHrHysteresis1 BTS HRH1 1 dB With this parameter, together with the
AMR HR uplink threshold 1 or the AMR
HR downlink threshold 1, you define
the threshold for switching from codec
mode 1 (lowest bit rate) to codec mode
2 (second lowest bit rate). Unused
hysteresis is set as 0
amrConfHrHysteresis2 BTS HRH2 1 dB With this parameter, together with the
AMR HR uplink threshold 2 or AMR
HR downlink threshold 2, you define
the threshold for switching from codec
mode 2 (lowest bit rate) to codec mode
3 (second lowest bit rate). Unused
hysteresis is set as 0.
amrConfHrHysteresis3 BTS HRH3 0 dB With this parameter, together with the
AMR HR uplink threshold 3 or AMR
HR downlink threshold 3, you define
the threshold for switching from codec
mode 3 (lowest bit rate) to codec mode
4 (second lowest bit rate). Unused
hysteresis is set as 0. ld 2 + AMR HR
hysteresis 2. NOTE: MML Range: 0 to
15 (0 to 7.5 dB) MML default: 0 (0 dB)
amrConfHrUlThreshold1 BTS HRTU1 14 dB Defines the uplink threshold for
switching from codec mode 2 (second
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 1
(lowest bit rate).
amrConfHrUlThreshold2 BTS HRTU2 17 dB Defines the uplink threshold for
switching from codec mode 3 (third
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 2
(second lowest bit rate).
amrConfHrUlThreshold3 BTS HRTU3 0 dB Defines the uplink threshold for
switching from codec mode 4 (fourth
lowest bit rate) to codec mode 3 (third
lowest bit rate).

Note that the thresholds have a range of 0…31.5dB with a step of 0.5dB. So a value of
18 in the OSS database would mean 9dB on MML. The thresholds suggested above
are on the safer side, i.e., more robust codecs are used as compared to setting the
thresholds lower.

The default values for both UL/DL thresholds is 4dB, 7dB and 11dB. With S12, it was
seen that a good starting value is a more conservative set of 6dB, 9dB and 13 dB.
Similarly in case of HR, the conservative values are 14dB and 17 dB (instead of default
11dB and 14dB)

The hysteresis have a range of 0…7.5dB with a step of 0.5dB.

A summary of the above parameters is shown in the parameter grouping below.


53/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Figure 17: Parameter grouping of Link Adaptation thresholds

7.3 Handovers Configuration


Two BSC related parameter refers to the behaviour during internal and external
handovers: amrConfInHandovers (ACH) and amrSetGradesEnabl (ASG).

 With amrConfInHandovers (ACH) it is possible to define the preference


between the currently used multirate configuration (if it is suitable for target
channel rate) and the one defined for the target BTS during internal and
external handovers.

 With amrSetGradesEnabl (ASG) it is possible to define whether codec mode


set downgrades during internal HOs and upgrades after internal HOs are
applied or not.

Table 12: Parameters for HO Configuration

Parameter Level MML Name Suggest Comments


ed
Value
AMR configuration in BSC ACH 1 ”1” = the currently used multirate
handover configuration is preferred.
”2” = the multirate configuration of target
BTS is preferred
If multirate configuration of source and
target BTS are the same then ACH and
ASG have no impact
AMR set grades enabled BSC ASG No Y = downgrades and upgrades are applied
N = downgrades and upgrades are not applied.
54/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

If multirate configuration of source and target BTS


are the same then ACH and ASG have no impact

In order to make it possible to connect unidirectional speech path on target side, the
multirate configuration on both sides should be the same (reduce muting period during
HO).

If multirate configuration of source and target BTS are different (usually, they would be
set same across the area), the multirate configuration can be aligned before or after
HO.

1. The codec set defined on the target side differs from the current codec set, but
it can be aligned with the source side by selecting the current codec set. The
target side alignment depends on the codec mode support of the target BTS. If
the AMR configuration in handovers parameter prefers the codec set of the
target BTS, the target side is upgraded back to its original AMR codec set after
the handover if the parameter AMR set grades enabled allows it.

Table 13: Example handover with AMR set upgrade

Source: Target: Set selected Set upgraded


for target after handover
12.2 12.2 12.2 12.2
7.4 10.2 7.4 10.2
5.9 6.7 5.9 6.7
4.75 5.15 4.75 5.15

The table shows the codec set selected for the target side during a handover
and also the result of a possible upgrade after the handover. Mode modify is
triggered for BTS and MS on target side after HO if target BTS support more
codec.

2. The codec set defined on the target side differs from the current codec set, but
it cannot be aligned with the source side because of the target side codec mode
support. That is why the source side is aligned with the target side by triggering
a downgrade procedure on the source side, if the parameter AMR set grades
enabled allows it. If the downgrade is not allowed, use of the unidirectional
downlink speech path connection on the target BTS side is not possible.
Downgrades take place if the parameter AMR configuration in handovers
prefers the currently used codec set.

Table 14: Example handover with AMR set downgrade

Source: Source: Target:


(before downgrade) (after downgrade)
12.2 12.2 12.2
10.2 7.4 7.4
6.7 5.9 5.9
55/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

5.15 4.75 4.75

The table shows the codec set situation on the source side both before and
after the downgrade and it also shows that the target side is kept as it is during
the handover. Mode modify is triggered for BTS and MS on source side before
HO if target BTS supports less codecs.

There are two types of destination properties that need to be taken care of in handover:
Traffic channel type (AMR FR, AMR HR, EFR) and the codec used in the destination
cell. To handle the traffic channel type, two parameters are used: Initial AMR
configuration and HRI. With Initial AMR conf set to AMR FR, HRI is not used; however
we can have five different parameter setting for TCH in handover (HRI), when initial
AMR conf is set to ‘Any’ rate. The codec selection within a channel type (FR or HR) is
done with AMR conf in handover and AMR set grades Enabled, as described above.

Also amrConfigurationHr is used when initial AMR channel rate is set to 0 (= any rate).

In channel allocation for Intra and Internal handovers, the channel type selection is
governed by two BTS level parameters: tchRateInternalHo (HRI) and
tchRateIntraCellHo (TRIH)

Parameter tchRateInternalHo (HRI):

 tchRateInternalHo (HRI) is used to control the speech and channel


type changes in handover when IAC=1

 If set HRI=1, channel type and speech codec used in source BTS are
primarily allocated in the target BTS

Parameter Level MML Suggested Description


Name Value
56/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

TCH in BSC HRI 1 With this parameter you define the traffic channel allocation
handover during BSS internal or external handovers. The parameter
controls the target cell selection and the TCH channel rate
and speech codec determination in traffic channel
allocation. The parameter can have the following values:

1 ... The call serving type of TCH has to be primarily


allocated. The call serving type of speech codec inside the
call serving type of TCH can change.
2 ... The call serving type of TCH and the call serving type
of speech codec are preferred to be primarily allocated
during the speech connection. The channel rate change is
possible during data connection, if necessary, and if the
radio interface data rate allows it.
3 ... The channel rate and speech codec changes are
totally denied.
4 ... The preferred channel rate of TCH and preferred
speech codec have to be primarily allocated.
5 ... TCH has to be primarily allocated from the best BTS of
the handover candidate list.

Parameter tchRateIntraCellHo (TRIH):

 With this parameter you control the TCH channel rate determination in TCH
allocation and the TCH speech codec to be allocated during internal intra-cell
handover

Parameter Level MML Suggested Description


Name Value
TCH Rate Intra- BTS TRIH 0 With this parameter you control the TCH channel rate
Cell Handover determination in TCH allocation and the TCH speech
codec to be allocated during internal intra-cell handover.

0 (No constraints - follow HRI settings)


1 (the call serving type of TCH and the call serving type of
speech codec are preferred to be primarily allocated)
2 (the call serving type of TCH and the call serving type of
speech codec are preferred to be primarily allocated
during the speech connection. The channel rate change is
possible during data connection when needed if the radio
interface data rate allows it)
3 (the channel rate and speech codec changes are totally
denied. The call serving type of channel is the only
alternative in TCH allocation)
4 (the preferred channel rate of TCH and preferred speech
codec have to be primarily allocated)
57/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

For the best possible setting, the value for TRIH should be set to 0 and HRI set to 1, so
that there will be no constraints for the any of the handover cases.

7.4 HO&PC thresholds parameters for AMR

Handover and Power control for AMR calls is done based on Rx Quality. Separate
RxQual thresholds (for PC and HO) are specified for FR and HR AMR sets. RXLEV
and Power Budget HO parameters are identical for AMR and EFR.

The following 4 parameters are for defining thresholds for HO due to Quality.

Table 15: Handover Control Thresholds

Parameter Level MML Name Suggested Description


Value
AMR Handover FR BTS QDRF 5 With this parameter you define the threshold
Threshold Dl Rx Qual level of the downlink signal quality
measurements for the BTS power decrease.
Defined for the default FR AMR set.
AMR Handover FR BTS QURF 5 With this parameter you define the threshold
Threshold Ul Rx Qual level of the uplink signal quality measurements
for the BTS power decrease. Defined for the
default FR AMR set.
AMR Handover HR BTS QDRH 5 With this parameter you define the threshold
Threshold Dl Rx Qual level of the signal quality downlink
measurements for triggering the handover.
Defined for the default AMR HR set.
AMR Handover HR BTS QURH 5 With this parameter you define the threshold
Threshold Ul Rx Qual level of the signal quality uplink measurements
for triggering the handover. Defined for the
default AMR HR set.

With these parameters it is possible to define the threshold level of the signal quality
downlink/uplink measurements for triggering the handover. Values for these thresholds
should be set according to the default AMR codec sets. Current Nx and Px values of
RxQual thresholds are used.

If operator wants to replace or remove the most robust mode on AMR set, the
corresponding PC and HO RxQual thresholds has to be edited manually. This also
applies to the least robust mode. Replacement or removal of a middle mode on AMR
set does not effect on the new PC and HO thresholds.

One solution to benefit from AMR penetration is to use more aggressive (higher values)
power control for AMR mobiles and thus decrease the average interference. This can
be done by having different power control thresholds for AMR mobiles. By using higher
thresholds for AMR mobiles (1-2 classes more), lower transmission powers are used
and therefore less interference is caused.

The following 8 parameters are for defining thresholds for PC due to Quality. In
general, PC can be more aggressive in AMR as compared to EFR due to better FER
performance of AMR.
58/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Table 16: Power Control Thresholds

Parameter Level MML Name Suggested Description


Value
AMR Power Control FR PC BTS LDRF 3 With this parameter you define the
Lower Threshold DL Rx threshold level of the downlink signal
Qual quality measurements for the BTS
power increase. Defined for the default
FR AMR set.
AMR Power Control FR PC BTS LURF 3 With this parameter you define the
Lower Threshold UL Rx threshold level of the downlink signal
Qual quality measurements for the MS
power increase. Defined for the default
FR AMR set.
AMR Power Control FR PC BTS UDRF 1 With this parameter you define the
Upper Threshold DL Rx threshold level of the downlink signal
Qual quality measurements for the BTS
power decrease. Defined for the
default FR AMR set.
AMR Power Control FR PC BTS UURF 1 With this parameter you define the
Upper Threshold UL Rx threshold level of the downlink signal
Qual quality measurements for the MS
power decrease. Defined for the
default FR AMR set.
AMR Power Control HR PC BTS LDRH 2 With this parameter you define the
Lower Threshold DL Rx threshold level of the downlink signal
Qual quality measurements for the BTS
power increase. Defined for the default
HR AMR set.
AMR Power Control HR PC BTS LURH 2 With this parameter you define the
Lower Threshold UL Rx threshold level of the downlink signal
Qual quality measurements for the BTS
power increase. Defined for the default
HR AMR set.
AMR Power Control HR PC BTS UDRH 0 With this parameter you define the
Upper Threshold DL Rx threshold level of the downlink signal
Qual quality measurements for the BTS
power decrease. Defined for the
default HR AMR set.
AMR Power Control HR PC BTS UURH 0 With this parameter you define the
Upper Threshold UL Rx threshold level of the downlink signal
Qual quality measurements for the MS
power decrease. Defined for the
default HR AMR set.

7.5 AMR Progressive Power Control parameters


AMR PPC enables you to define four different power level points in which the quality
thresholds are changed compared to the ones used in the existing power control
algorithm for AMR calls.

You can define these points separately for AMR FR and AMR HR, and in the downlink
and uplink direction. This introduces 32 new BSC level parameters.
59/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009
60/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

The range for all the above parameters is from 0 to 30dB and it covers power levels from
the maximum power level to the minimum power level. It will be wise to start with less
aggressive settings and then change them based on the DCR performance. The default
values for the thresholds (in order X1, X2, X3, X4) are 30dB, 16dB, 6dB and 0dB.

Note that the power control quality threshold values are only changed within the
algorithm during an AMR call. The values of the actual parameters, such as LDRF are
not changed.

With AMR PPC, the BSC uses the same Px and Nx values and averaging windows as
with the normal power control algorithm.

7.6 Channel mode adaptation (Packing/Unpacking)


Channel mode adaptation considers the traffic in the cell and the set quality thresholds
to make decisions on Packing and Unpacking. RxQual HO thresholds are specified for
FR and HR AMR and they are taken into account when making intra-cell handovers
between FR AMR and HR AMR. Current Nx and Px values of RxQual thresholds are
used. In addition, thresholds are set on BSC and BTS level for defining cell load.

Packing is triggered due to cell load while unpacking is triggered due to call quality.

Refer to Figure 18 for an example of packing of AMR FR calls to AMR HR.


Spontaneous packing of FR AMR calls to HR AMR calls is triggered when

 The cell load is high enough, i.e. the number of free full rate resources reduces
below the value of the parameter amrSegLoadDepTchRateLower (AFRL)
which is shown as FR TCH resources in the figure below.

 AND at least 2 calls in which quality is above the amrHandoverFr(IHRF)

Packing continues until the cell load is low enough, i.e. the number of free full rate
resources increases above the value of the parameter amrSegLoadDepTchRateUpper
(AFRU) which is shown as the upper limit for FR TCH resources. Spontaneous packing
is triggered by any new channel allocation.
61/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Figure 18: Packing of FR calls to HR AMR calls due to cell load

The packing algorithm tries to fill the timeslots in HR channel pairs or tries to find an
empty half for one HR channel allocation. Before FR – HR handover decision the number of
timeslots having only one HR connection are measured. For example, if there is only one half
timeslot available, that is allocated first. Then, if more FR – HR handovers are required, those will
be made in pairs so that two FR connections are selected and allocated to same timeslot.

Spontaneous unpacking of AMR HR calls to AMR FR calls is triggered when the quality
of an AMR HR call degrades below the amrHandoverHr (IHRH) for UL or DL. Cell load
does not have an effect.

Table 17: Parameters controlling Packing/Unpacking

Parameter Level MML Suggested Description


Name Value
AMR Handover FR Intra BTS IHRF 0 With this parameter you define the threshold
Threshold DI Rx Qual level of the signal quality downlink and uplink
measurements for triggering the intra-cell
handover process for an AMR FR call in order
to switch it to an AMR HR call.

AMR Handover HR Intra BTS IHRH 4 With this parameter you define the threshold
Threshold Dl Rx Qual level of the signal quality downlink and uplink
measurements for triggering the intra-cell
handover process for an AMR HR call in order
to switch it to an AMR FR call.

Limit For FR TCH BTS FRL 40 With this parameter you define the percentage
Resources Lower (%) (variable) of full rate TCH resources that must be
FRL available for traffic channel allocation. Full rate
TCHs are allocated until the number of free
full rate resources is reduced below the
threshold given in the parameter. The half rate
resources are then allocated.
62/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Limit For FR TCH BTS FRU 60 With this parameter you define the percentage
Resources Upper (%) (variable) of full rate TCH resources that must be
FRU available for traffic channel allocation. Full rate
TCHs are again allocated when the number of
the free full rate resources increases above
the threshold given by the parameter.

Lower limit for FR TCH BSC HRL 20 btsLoadDepTCHRate (HRL) and


resources btsLoadDepTCHRate (HRU) are considered in
call set-up and handovers only when IAC=1.
HR is to be assigned if free resources go
below HRL.

Upper limit for FR TCH BSC HRU 40 FR is to be assigned if free resources go


resources above HRU
amrSegLoadDepTchRate BTS/SE AFRL 40 With this parameter you define the percentage
Lower G of full rate TCH resources that must be
available for traffic channel allocation in order
to use full rate for AMR calls in the cell. AMR
full rate TCHs are allocated until the number
of free full rate resources is reduced below the
threshold given in the parameter. AMR half
rate resources are then allocated.
amrSegLoadDepTchRate BTS/SE AFRU 60 With this parameter you define the percentage
Upper G of full rate TCH resources that must be
available for traffic channel allocation before
the BSC allocates AMR calls in full rate mode
again after using half rate for AMR calls in the
cell. AMR full rate TCHs are again allocated
when the number of the free full rate
resources increases above the threshold
given by the parameter.
amrLoadDepTchRateLow BSC AHRL 40 The parameter controls the TCH channel rate
er determination for AMR calls in the cells of the
BSC according to the cell load of each
particular cell. With this parameter you define
the lower limit for the percentage of free full
rate resources. AMR full rate TCHs are
allocated until the number of free full rate
resources is reduced below the value of the
parameter. AMR half rate resources are then
allocated.
amrLoadDepTchRateUpp BSC AHRU 60 The parameter controls the AMR TCH channel
er rate determination on the BSC level according
to the cell load in traffic channel allocation.
With this parameter you define the upper limit
for the percentage of free full rate resources.
AMR Full rate TCHs are allocated when the
number of free full rate resources exceeds the
value of the parameter.

Note that AFRL (FRL in case of FR resources) and AFRU (FRU in case of FR
resources) are BTS level parameters and have priority over the corresponding BSC
level parameters AHRL (HRL) and AHRU (HRU). The packing/unpacking mechanism
based on cell load is disabled if the lower limit is set higher than the upper limit i.e.
AHRL > AHRU or AFRL > AFRU. In practice, it has been seen that it’s better to set
AHRL > AHRU and AFRL > AFRU to be sure that the feature is disabled.
63/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

The default value of IHRF is 0 which means that only FR calls with excellent Rx Quality
will be candidates for packing to HR. In case more HR is required due to congestion,
the value can be adjusted (IHRF = 1) to allow more calls to be packed.

Also note that for the non-AMR traffic, parameters HRL/HRU and FRL/FRU are used.
In that case, the quality thresholds are not applied (they are only used for AMR traffic
for packing/unpacking). A new call is assigned to HR when the number of free full rate
TCH resources is lower than FRL/HRL. Existing FR calls are not packed to HR.

7.6.1 Unpacking HO types


AMR Unpacking can happen in three cases.

 AMR HR calls are handed over back to AMR FR calls when the quality of an
AMR HR call degrades above the intra HO threshold Rx qual AMR HR
threshold for AMR HR. This is the criteria for the lowest priority level unpacking
handover. This is HO type 24 in the figure below.

 Higher prior unpacking HO are triggered if the average RxQual is above intra
HO threshold Rx qual AMR HR threshold and at the same time level degrades
below threshold level uplink Rx level or threshold level downlink Rx level. In
such case unpacking is triggered before handover due to low RxLev is started.
These are HO types 5 and 7 in the figure below.

The above are considered to be quality-based intra-cell HO (due to interference or


packing/unpacking).
64/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

7.7 Radio link timeout


The parameter Radio Link Timeout (RLT) is used in radio link failure (dropped call)
situations to control whether the radio resources have been released or not. This is
based on a counter which is increased by 2 when the mobile measurement has been
successfully received during the SACCH frame. If the measurement report is not
received, the counter is decreased by 1. In case the counter reaches 0, the radio
connection between BTS and MS will been released. With this method it is ensured
that the release will not normally occur until the call has degraded to a quality below
which the majority of subscribers would have manually released it.

RLT is based on SACCH deletion. However, SACCH is not using a dynamic codec like
voice in AMR, which means:

 Using the EFR RLT value an AMR customer can have the call dropped because
RLT reaches 0 when the FER is still good

 RLT is not anymore reliable with the same value in AMR than in EFR

Due to the fact that the FER performance is different when comparing AMR calls to
EFR calls, the Radio Link Timeout needs to be defined separately for AMR.

Changing the radio link timeout has a direct impact on the TCH Retainability (1 - Drop
call ratio). Increasing the RLT reduces the drop call ratio, so it’s important to be aware
of the RLT setting when looking at the DCR performance.

The Radio Link Timeout parameter for AMR is radioLinkTimeoutAmr (ARLT),


available from S11.5. The principle of ARLT is the same as in the RLT but it is used only
for the AMR capable mobile stations.

With S13, there is a separate parameter available to define Radio Link Timeout for HR
calls – this is called radioLinkTimeoutAmrHr (AHRLT).

Table 18: Radio Link Timeout parameters

Parameter Level MML Name Suggested Description


Value
AMR HR Radio Link BTS AHRLT 20 With this parameter you define the
Timeout maximum value of the radio link counter
expressed in SACCH blocks for AMR HR
connections
AMR Radio Link Timeout BTS ARLT 32 With this parameter you define the
maximum value of the radio link counter
expressed in SACCH blocks for AMR
connections

Note that the Talk Family base stations do not support the parameter ARLT.

7.8 Parameter grouping


The figure below shows the basic set of AMR parameters discussed in the previous
sections as a quick reference.
65/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

Figure 19: AMR Parameter summary


66/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

8. Optimizing AMR Network


This section discusses the counters and measurements specific to AMR monitoring and
performance. The parameters for AMR have been covered in the previous section.

This section also discusses the impact of AMR on KPIs and some of the strategies for
AMR optimization.

8.1 Counters related to AMR


8.1.1 Counters in Traffic Measurement (p_nbsc_traffic)
The following counters were added in S10

Counter
ID Measurement Counter name
001182 TRAFFIC FULL_TCH_SEIZ_INTRA_AMR_HO
001183 TRAFFIC HALF_TCH_SEIZ_INTRA_AMR_HO
001184 TRAFFIC TCH_CALL_REQ_FOR_AMR
001185 TRAFFIC SUCC_AMR_CODEC_SET_DOWNGR
001186 TRAFFIC UNSUCC_AMR_CODEC_SET_DOWNGR
001187 TRAFFIC SUCC_AMR_CODEC_SET_UPGR
001188 TRAFFIC UNSUCC_AMR_CODEC_SET_UPGR

8.1.2 Counters in Handover Measurement (p_nbsc_ho)


Counter
ID Measurement Counter name
004142 HO HO_ATT_FOR_AMR_TO_HR
004143 HO HO_ATT_FOR_AMR_TO_FR

These counters are updated in case of packing (counter 004142) and unpacking
(004143) which are type of Intra cell handovers.

8.1.3 Counters in RxQual Measurement (p_nbsc_rx_qual)


The counters added to this measurement provide the RxQual samples (from 0 to 7) for
FR/HR and for UL/DL direction. In addition, the counters are separated by the codec
used (of the possible 4 codecs used during a call)

As an example, the list of counters for AMR FR, Codec mode 1 for UL are listed below.

Counter
ID Measurement Counter name
014021 RXQUAL AMR_FR_MODE_1_UL_RXQUAL_0
014023 RXQUAL AMR_FR_MODE_1_UL_RXQUAL_1
014025 RXQUAL AMR_FR_MODE_1_UL_RXQUAL_2
014027 RXQUAL AMR_FR_MODE_1_UL_RXQUAL_3
014029 RXQUAL AMR_FR_MODE_1_UL_RXQUAL_4
014031 RXQUAL AMR_FR_MODE_1_UL_RXQUAL_5
014033 RXQUAL AMR_FR_MODE_1_UL_RXQUAL_6
014035 RXQUAL AMR_FR_MODE_1_UL_RXQUAL_7
67/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

There are a total of 128 such counters added

In addition, the following two counters are added to this measurement

Counter
ID Measurement Counter name
014149_1 RXQUAL AMR_FR_CODEC_MODE_SET
014149_2 RXQUAL AMR_HR_CODEC_MODE_SET

Since the codec type in the above counters is not specifically identified, problems occur
when different BSCs have a different codec set in use. The reporting in such cases
becomes unreliable.

8.1.4 Counters in AMR RxQual Measurement (p_nbsc_amr_rx_qual)


This measurement was added in S12 and is an optional measurement. The
measurement is similar to the previous measurement but there are separate counters for
each of the AMR codecs available in FR and HR. The measurement is on TRX Level.

As an exampled, the list of counters for AMR FR, for UL and RxQUal 0 are listed below.
Samples for each codec are counted in separate counter.

Counter
ID Measurement Counter name
107005 AMR_RXQUAL FR_475_UL_RXQ_0
107021 AMR_RXQUAL FR_515_UL_RXQ_0
107037 AMR_RXQUAL FR_590_UL_RXQ_0
107053 AMR_RXQUAL FR_670_UL_RXQ_0
107069 AMR_RXQUAL FR_740_UL_RXQ_0
107085 AMR_RXQUAL FR_795_UL_RXQ_0
107101 AMR_RXQUAL FR_102_UL_RXQ_0
107117 AMR_RXQUAL FR_122_UL_RXQ_0

A total of 208 such counters are added:

 8 FR codecs for UL and DL for RxQual 0 to 7 = 128 counters


 5 HR codecs for UL and DL for RxQual 0 to 7 = 80 counters
8.1.5 Counters in BSC Level Clear Code (PM) Measurement
(p_nbsc_cc_pm)
The counters added to this measurement measure the packing and unpacking attempts.

Counter ID Measurement End release


051133 CC_PM INTRA HO TO AMR HR
051134 CC_PM INTRA HO TO AMR FR

8.1.6 Counters in AMR PPC Measurement (p_nbsc_amr_ppc)


68/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

This measurement is specifically for the AMR Progressive Power Control feature. The
counters in this measurement measure the average signal quality class for different
power level distribution class on TRX level

This measurement has 60 counters to measure the RXQuaity and additional 2 counters
as listed below.
Counter ID Measurement Counter name
111000 AMR_PPC FREQUENCY_GROUP_ID_PPC
111001 AMR_PPC RX_TRX_IN_EXT_AREA_PPC
111002 AMR_PPC UL_RX_QUAL_POWER_CL_0
111003 AMR_PPC UL_RX_QUAL_POWER_CL_0_DENOM
111004 AMR_PPC DL_RX_QUAL_POWER_CL_0
111005 AMR_PPC DL_RX_QUAL_POWER_CL_0_DENOM
111006 AMR_PPC UL_RX_QUAL_POWER_CL_1
111007 AMR_PPC UL_RX_QUAL_POWER_CL_1_DENOM
111008 AMR_PPC DL_RX_QUAL_POWER_CL_1
111009 AMR_PPC DL_RX_QUAL_POWER_CL_1_DENOM
… AMR_PPC …
… AMR_PPC …
… AMR_PPC …
… AMR_PPC upto AMR PPC power class 15

Counter 111000 indicates the Identity of the frequency group that the frequency of the
serving TRX belongs to. Counter 111001 indicates whether the serving TRX is from
normal or extended area.

For each of the 15 AMR PPC power classes (0-15), there are 4 counters that measure
the reported UL/DL quality class value (0-7) when the UL/DL transmitting power falls in
that PPC power class.

8.1.7 AMR Signalling Measurement


The AMR Signalling Measurement (AMR_SIG) measures a proportion of Repeated
ACCH Capable mobiles in network and usage of repeated SACCH and FACCH features.

This optional measurement is a part of Robust AMR signalling (FACCH / SACCH). There
are 6 new counters introduced by this measurement. Refer to BSS S13 NED
Documentation Counters of AMR Signalling Measurement for details of each counter.

The measurement can be started when at least one state of the features has been set to
value ON.

• FACCH and SACCH repetition for repeated ACCH capable mobiles on AMR

• FACCH repetition for legacy mobiles on AMR FR

• FACCH repetition for legacy mobiles on AMR HR

8.2 Planning and Benchmark KPIs for AMR


The following KPIs related to AMR are used as Planning and Benchmark KPIs on a
BSC/Area level. These can be collected from Reporting Suite (report 252).
69/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

KPI group Description KPI


Accessibility Number of dual TSLs available, normal TRXs ava_34
Traffic volume TCH traffic share of non-AMR calls % trf_120a
TCH traffic share of FR AMR calls % trf_121
TCH traffic share of HR AMR calls % trf_122a
QoS Codec set upgrade attempts amr_1
Codec set downgrade attempts amr_2
Codec set upgrade failure ratio amr_3
Codec set downgrade failure ratio amr_4
AMR FR UL cumulative quality ratio in class X,
BITRATE resolution ulq_30
AMR FR DL cumulative quality ratio in class X,
BITRATE resolution dlq_30
DL cumulative quality ratio in class X, HR AMR dlq_4
UL cumulative quality ratio in class X, HR AMR ulq_4

8.3 BSS Reporting Suite


The following reports in the Reporting Suite provide AMR related counters and KPIs.
Some of these reports are discussed in the following sections.

 AMR Details (252) – This report is the most comprehensive one for AMR and
indicates the following main KPIs:
 share of AMR FR/HR traffic;
 Packing and Unpacking attempts;
 Codec distribution ratio
 Codec upgrade/downgrade attempts and failure ratio
 RxQuality for AMR FR, AMR HR and non-AMR traffic

 AMR call time and quality, dynamic time and object aggregation (246) –
 - call time: non-AMR, FR AMR, FR AMR (see report 244 for more
details)
 - BER based quality KPIs (see report 244 for more details)
 - FER (UL) and FEP (DL) based quality KPIs (see report 245 for
more details)

 Distribution of call samples by codecs and quality classes (BER) (244) - This
report shows the call sample distribution for AMR and non-AMR modes. You
can choose Time (total, day, hour) and object aggregation level (TRX, BTS,
BSC, whole area, MR)

 Distribution of call samples by codecs and quality classes (FER) (245) - This
report shows call sample distribution over all used codec types and FER
70/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

classes. Time (total, day, hour) and object aggregation level TRX, BTS, BSC,
whole area, MR, TRX) can be chosen.

 Transcoder Failure Ratio (247) - This report shows TCH seizure and failure
statistics for different speech codecs (including AMR FR and HR)

 Network Benchmark Statistics (204) – This detailed report has some AMR KPIs
added to indicate AMR FR/HR traffic share (TCH time) and packing/unpacking
attempts

8.4 KPIs affected by implementation of AMR


When AMR is used in the network there may occur a need to change the used speech
codec between AMR and (E)FR/HR in a call setup or in a handover. Changing the used
speech codec i.e. circuit pool switching affects the TCH request and TCH request reject
statistics. The corresponding KPIs may therefore be affected. Refer to 2.5.1 for details.

8.4.1 TCH Retainability


Introduction of AMR itself does not affect the DCR of individual connections as much as
the overall system impact of it. AMR calls can be subjected to aggressive power control
settings, thus driving the overall interference low.

Radio Link Timeout must be adapted to AMR in order for dropped calls to maintain the
same correlation with voice quality degradation as with EFR (RLT value could be moved
from 20 to 36, for instance). When ARLT parameter is available, then RLT and ARLT can
be set separately. See the impact of changing ARLT from 20 to 32 in the chart below on
drop calls.
71/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

8.4.2 TCH Congestion/Blocking


When AMR HR is used, it provides extra capacity by serving two calls on one physical
timeslot. This will reduce the TCH raw blocking and TCH congestion in busy hour.
Percentage of call time used by non-AMR, AMR FR and AMR HR calls can be obtained
from BSC counters.

8.4.3 Handover Reasons and Failures


RxLev and Power Budget HO parameters are identical for AMR and EFR. An AMR call
would handover at the same point as an EFR call. Therefore, the thresholds for RxLev
and PBGT handovers should be set the same for AMR and EFR.

However, there are separate RxQual threshold settings for AMR, and these are usually
set to trigger later than EFR (e.g. EFR =5, AMR = 6). With these settings AMR calls
would be expected to have fewer HO due to quality.

Packing/Unpacking within a cell is an intra-cell handover. Packing and unpacking


attempts are measured in a counter but the success rate of the same is not measured.

If AMR handover thresholds parameters are set too aggressive, it could have a negative
impact on handover failures.

8.5 AMR Penetration in the network


One of the first things to know is the share of AMR capable MS in the network to the
total. This varies a lot with the values from 40% to over 90% in different networks.
72/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

From the radio network, comparing the AMR traffic to the total traffic gives an idea of the
penetration of AMR mobile in the networks. However this value will be more accurate if
AMR is implemented across the network and there is circuit pool congestion.

Apart from looking at the codec distribution, there is no straightforward way to get an
estimate of the AMR capable mobile in the network.

The following pie chart shows the distribution of AMR FR, AMR HR, EFR and FR based
on TCH seizures. Note that the packing and unpacking also cause the TCH seizures to
be pegged, so this is not an indication of actual FR and HR traffic.

The following charts shows the share of codec usage and will be a better indicator.
73/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

8.6 AMR Codec usage and RxQual


With the availability of counters for each codec and each quality class (BER based), it is
possible to check the share of the codec usage as well as the reported RxQUal. This can
be obtained from Reporting Suite report 244 a sample of which is shown below.

This gives you the quality (BER) distribution for each codec but doesn’t tell the share of
each codec. This report provides a measure of the quality of the network (radio link)
since it is based on BER. Poor quality (worse BER) will impact the correct decoding of
SACCH blocks, thus affecting the DCR.

The report identifies the codecs in the codec set as M1…M4 (with M1 being the codec
with lowest bit rate) without specifically identifying the codec. So the report will contain
correct information only when the codec set is the same across all the BTSs.

8.7 AMR Codec usage and FER


The report 245 provides FER per quality class for each codec. Unlike report 244, the
codecs in this report are identified specifically, so the report output is correct even if you
have a mix of BTSs using different codec sets.

This report provides a measure of the quality of speech since it is based on FER. A poor
FER directly impacts the MOS experienced by the subscribers.

8.8 Enhanced TRX Priority in TCH Allocation


A network will have a mix of AMR and non-AMR capable terminals. The AMR terminals
are able to tolerate lower C/I radio conditions than the other terminals. Non-AMR
terminals can have better signal quality on a BCCH TRX which is usually planned to have
minimum interference.

The parameter TRP (TRX Priority in TCH Allocation) allows the non-AMR traffic to be
preferred on the BCCH TRX when set to value 3.
74/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

TRP Effect

0 All TRXs are treated equally in TCH allocation


(default)
1 A traffic channel is allocated primarily from the BCCH TRX

2 A traffic channel is allocated primarily beyond BCCH TRX

3 A traffic channel is allocated primarily from the BCCH TRX


for the non-AMR users and for the AMR users beyond the
BCCH TRX

8.9 Aggressive use of AMR HR


AMR HR is mainly utilized to reduce congestion or blocking in the cells without the need
for adding additional hardware. However strategies have been tried to increase the use
of AMR HR to reduce the overall interference in the area.

When the use of AMR HR is high, fewer physical timeslots are in use in the network as
compared to having all those calls on AMR FR. This also reduces the overall interference
in the network if the area is interference limited. The downside of having more calls on
AMR HR is the lower MOS as compared to AMR FR.

The two charts below compares the HR penetration of 25% with HR penetration of 85%
on one BSC in a city area. The DL FER distribution was obtained from TEMS.
75/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

There is a slight improvement in FER and RxQual distribution as a result of interference


reduction. Good DL FER samples improved 89% to 91%.
76/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

9. AMR S14 features


9.1 AMR Unpacking Optimization
In BSS 14, feature BSS21120 is introduced for AMR unpacking optimization. This is the
last in a series of steps (in previous BSS releases) that have improved the unpacking
mechanism. With this feature, the HO mechanism itself is not changed from the
functionality point of view.

9.1.1 Unpacking and Intra-Cell Handovers


AMR HR is not robust enough to cope with bad RF conditions compared to AMR FR. It
has been observed in live networks that when an AMR HR call unpacks to AMR FR in
bad RF conditions, the chances of the call getting dropped is very high. Due to this, some
networks have disabled unpacking altogether to reduce the drops during intra-cell
handovers. In case unpacking does not happen, the call would continue on HR and may
get handed over to another cell (inter-cell handover).

The solution to the problem is available from S11.5 as a patch to UTPFIL parameters that
govern the quality and level based thresholds to AMR unpacking. The UTPFIL
parameters (ID: 7E, 80 and 81) that were available from S11.5 to S13 are now replaced
with new HOC parameters: intra HO upper rx level limit AMR HR, intra HO lower rx level
limit AMR HR and intra HO lower rx quality limit AMR. So these improvements were
added in S13 as UTPFIL parameters but are available in S14 as BSS-HOC parameters.

These new HOC parameters are taken into account in case of AMR unpacking and
interference based intra cell handover decisions. The only modification is that from
BSS14 unpacking is not allowed if RxQual is above the threshold (previously it was equal
or greater than the threshold).

If averaged uplink or downlink quality is equal or greater than the threshold intra HO
lower rx quality limit AMR, intra-cell handover to switch an AMR HR call to an AMR FR
and interference based intra cell handover is not allowed.

Moreover RxLev is also limiting factor for unpacking in the following way:

 If UL or DL level is below intra HO lower rx level limit AMR HR, intra-cell


handover to switch an AMR HR call to an AMR FR is not allowed.

 If UL or DL level is above intra HO upper rx level limit AMR HR, intra-cell


handover to switch an AMR HR call to an AMR FR is not allowed.

9.1.2 Prevent unpacking in poor quality: intra HO lower rx quality limit AMR
This parameter is used to control handovers caused by AMR unpacking and interference
based on RxQuality. If the average RxQuality is worse than the value of this parameter,
handovers caused by AMR packing/unpacking or interference are not allowed. A suitable
value for this parameter would be 4 (HR calls with quality worse than 4 would not
unpack)

Note the change from the UTPFIL parameter 81: the condition earlier was that the
unpacking was not allowed if the RxQual is equal to or greater than the threshold. Now
the condition says that the unpacking is not allowed if the RxQual is greater than the
77/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

threshold. So when going from S13 to S14, make sure that you set the threshold
accordingly.

Until BSS 11.5 intracell handover from HR to FR was triggered if RxQual was above intra
HO threshold Rx qual AMR HR (on the picture it is named as IHRH). This was standard
unpacking procedure. This is shown in the figure below.

Figure 20: Standard Unpacking Procedure

From BSS 11.5, with the new UTPFIL parameter (from BSS 14.0 on called intra HO lower
rx quality limit AMR) unpacking procedure was enhanced. Now it is only allowed if
RxQual is between intra HO threshold Rx qual AMR HR and intra HO lower rx quality
limit AMR (on the picture it is called respectively: IHRH and RxQualLimit). This is show in
the figure below.

Figure 21: Enhanced Unpacking Procedure


78/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

This obviously means that the Intra HO lower rx quality limit AMR threshold should be set
in conjunction with quality threshold AMR Handover HR Intra Threshold DL Rx Qual
(amrHoHrInHoThrDlRxQual) parameter in such a way that

intraHoLoRxQualLimAmr > amrHoHrInHoThrDlRxQual.

9.1.3 Prevent unpacking in poor RxLevel: intra HO lower rx level limit AMR
HR
This parameter is used to control handovers caused by AMR unpacking and interference
based on RxLevel. If the average RxLevel is lower than the value of this parameter,
handovers caused by AMR packing/unpacking or interference are not allowed. A suitable
value for this parameter would be between -90 to -100 dBm

9.1.4 Prevent unpacking in good RxLevel: intra HO upper rx level limit AMR
HR
This parameter prevents unpacking HOs if the signal level exceeds this threshold. It aims
to reduce unnecessary AMR HR-> AMR FR-> AMR HR changes. With the level limit HR
codec can be kept and just change HR channel in case of interference. The need to
prevent unpacking in good RxLevel is explained with the following example.

If the unpacking quality threshold (intra HO threshold Rx qual AMR HR) is below
interference quality threshold (threshold Dl Rx Qual AMR HR or threshold Ul Rx Qual
AMR HR), HO from AMR HR to AMR FR would be triggered before interference HO (e.g.
unpacking quality threshold = 4, interference quality threshold =5).

If after unpacking HO quality would degrade, interference HO would be started. After this
type of HO (especially in DFCA network) quality usually improves and that could lead to
packing HO. In this way instead of interference HO only, there would be unnecessary
AMR HR-> AMR FR-> AMR HR HOs. With the new higher RxLev limit for AMR
unpacking handovers threshold it is possible to prevent this situation.

9.1.5 Parameter planning strategy for unpacking


With the above parameters, the unpacking strategy can be explained with an example.
The parameters are set as follows:

With the above settings, the packing region of AMR FR and unpacking region of AMR HR
is illustrated below.
79/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

9.2 AMR HO Signalling Optimization


9.2.1 Introduction
This feature optimizes HO signalling for AMR in order to reduce the call drop rate for
intracell handovers and during call setup.

FACCH channel used for signalling is less robust for poor radio conditions than the most
robust AMR codecs (i.e. AFS4.75) thereby limiting the coverage and capacity gains that
can be achieved with AMR. The FACCH carries the ASSIGNMENT CMD message and it
is sent over one or more FACCH blocks (20 bytes each of LY3 message) depending on
the length of the information in the ASSIGNMENT CMD message. Each segment is sent
as layer 2 ‘I-frame’ in acknowledged mode, i.e. each segment is monitored by T200 and
needs to be acknowledged by the MS.

When call setup or intracell HO is to the hopping layer the ASS CMD is segmented into 2
FACCH blocks. This requires the MS to correctly decode both FACCH blocks, which may
cause problems in bad radio link conditions. One way of increasing signalling
performance is to reduce the size of signalling messages of the Assignment Command
that is used in call setup and intra cell HO. This is done by removing some information
form the intra-cell HO messages in such a way that one L3 message fits e.g. into one L2
frame.

When the ASSIGNMENT CMD is sent for allocation on the BCCH layer, then the
message fits into 1 FACCH block. So if most of the traffic is on the BCCH layer, the
benefit from this feature will be reduced significantly.

Note that there are other features that have brought improvements to the performance of
FACCH and SACCH signalling channels. Performance of SACCH was improved by
providing a separate Radio Link Timeout for AMR (S11.5) and by Repeated SACCH
80/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

(S13) feature. The performance of FACCH was improved by Repeated FACCH (S13) and
FACCH Power Increment (S13). These are discussed earlier in this document.

9.2.2 Background
A drop call happens when the dedicated signalling connection between the MS and the
BTS is lost. This may happen due to bad coverage or interference.

In case of bad coverage, a big distance between MS and BTS or radio path obstacles
cause the received UL or DL RXLEV to be so low that the radio signals are no longer
correctly detectable on the receiving side.

In case of interference, radio frequencies used to convey the information are interfered
by radio signals using the same frequency (or adjacent frequency) which lead to
corruption and the unsuccessful decoding of the received signal.

Now, corrupted speech frames only result in a decrease of the speech quality. This has
an impact on the subscriber perception but does not affect the call stability from the radio
network’s point of view. However, corrupted signalling frames, can lead to the loss of
essential call processing information – therefore, network and MS may be no longer able
to keep up the dedicated connection.

For this reason, both the network and the MS use specific mechanisms to continuously
verify the availability and quality of the radio connection. Radio Link Supervision is done
in the following ways:

 On Um layer 1, using a countdown mechanism:

The ‘S’ counter in MS and BTS is reduced by 1 for each invalid SACCH
multiframe and increased by 2 for each correctly decoded one. If ‘S’ reaches
the value ‘0’, the connection is regarded as dropped and a
‘radio link failure’ is declared.

 On Um layer 2, using the LAPDm timer T200 in MS and BTS:

Um Layer 2 messages sent in ‘acknowledged mode’ are buffered until an


acknowledgement from the remote peer is received. If after N200 repetitions
of the buffered message no acknowledgement has been received, the
connection is regarded as lost due to ‘T200 expired N200+1 times’.

 On layer 3, using specific timers (e.g. T3103, T3107)

These timers are started in the BSC when specific channel change messages
(such as ASSIGNMENT COMMAND or HANDOVER COMMAND) are
transmitted and which are stopped by events that confirm the correct receipt
of the transmitted message by the
remote peer.

9.2.3 Feature description


81/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

This feature performs the following actions for reducing the size of Assignment
Command:

 Cell Channel Description IE is removed from the Assignment Command


message if MS has received the proper Cell Allocation (CA) list in the previous
message. (i.e. System Information type 1 in case of call establishment and
Assignment Command during the call setup in case of a HO).

 Channel mode of the first channel IE is sent only if it changes (w/o the feature it
was always sent).

Figure 22: Changes to Assignment Command IE

9.2.4 Constraints for Intra-cell HO


In case of intra-cell HO from HR to FR in the cell which uses 4 AMR FR codecs with AMR
signalling optimization feature in case BTS uses up to 16 hopping frequencies
Assignment Command will always be reduced to 1 I-frame (no matter if Multi Rate
Configuration and Channel mode of the first channel IEs must be sent or not).

During the packing HO in the cell which uses 3 HR codec in the Active Codec Set (ACS)
24 hopping frequencies can be coded in a Mobile Allocation IE in order to fit ASS CMD
into 1 FACCH block.

In intracell HO when channel mode is not changed besides Cell Channel Description
both Multi Rate Configuration and Channel mode of the first channel IEs can be skipped.
This means that no matter how many hopping frequencies there are ASS CMD will
always be conveyed by 1 I-frame. Anyway there is system limitation for maximum
number of hopping frequencies which is 63.

9.2.5 Constraints for Call Setup


In call setup phase Multi Rate Configuration and Channel mode of the first channel IEs
cannot be removed. Therefore the maximum number of hopping frequencies in Mobile
Allocation, to fit ASS CMD into 1 FACCH block, depends on AMR configuration and
varies from 16 to 48 (since the length of Multirate Configuration is from 4 to 8 octets):
82/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

 16 hoppers if FR channel is assigned and 4 AMR FR codecs are used in the cell
(for 4 codecs 8 octets are needed).
 24 hoppers if 3 AMR FR or 3 AMR HR codecs are used in the cell (for 3 codecs 7
bytes are needed)
 32 hoppers if 2 AMR FR or 2 AMR HR codecs are used in the cell (for 2 codecs 6
bytes are needed)
 48 hoppers if 1 AMR FR or 1 AMR HR codec is used in the cell (for 1 codec 4
octets are needed)

Figure 23: Bytes required for AMR Multirate configuration

Note that these constraints regarding the number of hopping frequencies is not a hard
constraint but indicate the max number of hopping frequencies so that the ASS CMD can
fit into 1 FACCH block (and thus benefiting the maximum from this feature).

9.2.6 HW and SW Requirements


There are no HW requirements for this feature. For the SW requirements, this feature is
implemented in S14 as mentioned previously.

The feature is enabled / disabled on a BSC level by an On/Off type licence. To enable
this feature, it is required that a valid AMR FR or AMR HR licence be active in the BSC.

9.2.7 Planning and Monitoring


There are no BSS parameters for this feature. So once the feature is activated, there are
no other steps but to monitor for expected improvements.

This feature is recommended to be applied in networks with AMR FR or AMR HR


enabled using frequency hopping, where majority of drops are HO drops (especially
during intracell HO). However, the TCH allocation during call setup will improve too.

In order to verify if HO drops during intracell HOs are significant, Drop Call Breakdown
Observation shall be activated and the number of Observation with the clear code 320
DX cause: err_ind_c monitored

The feature is expected to provide three benefits

 Improvement in Call Setup Success


83/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

With only 1 FACCH block to be decoded correctly to get the full ASSIGNMEN
CMD message, this would improve the call setup success rate for the calls
assigned to the hopping layer (due to shorter ASS CMD probability that this
message will be lost is lower). An exception is in case of Common BCCH setup
where the call is assigned to the other band. In that case, the ASSIGNMENT
CMD must contain the Cell Channel Description IE.

 Improvement in Intra-cell HO success

In case of inter-cell HO, the channel is assigned with HANDOVER CMD


message. Therefore, no improvement is expected in inter-cell HO success rate.

 Improvement in Drop call ratio

The feature reduces the drops that happen during intra-cell HO. The benefit may
not be noticeable in case the majority of call drops are caused by radio link
timeout due to lack of coverage.

The simulation figures below show the expected improvement in drops due to HO
when the ASSIGNMENT CMD is sent over 1, 2 or 3 FACCH blocks.

Figure 24: Simulation results for AMR FR

Figure 25: Simulation results for AMR HR


84/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

10. Abbreviations
AMR Adaptive Multi Rate Codec

BSC Base Station Controller

BSS Base Station Subsystem

BTS Base Transceiver Station

C/I Carrier To Interference Ratio

DL Down Link (connection from BTS to MS)

DTX Discontinuous transmission

EFR Enhanced Full Rate

EFL Effective Frequency Load

FER Frame Error Rate

FH Frequency Hopping

FR Full Rate

HO Handover

HR Half Rate

DR Dual Rate

IFH Intelligent Frequency Hopping

IUO Intelligent Underlay Overlay

LA Link Adaptation

MOS Mean Opinion Score

MS Mobile Station

MSC Mobile Switching Centre

PC Power Control

RX Receiving

TCH Traffic Channel

TRX Transceiver

TX Transmitting

UL Up Link (connection from MS to BTS)


85/85 CMO MS AMR Planning & Optimization Guideline Copyright 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks.
All rights reserved.
Network & Service Optimization For Internal Use
Capability Management May 2009

11. References

[1] Nokia Siemens GSM/EDGE BSS S13 Product Documentation (NED)

[2] BSS S14 features under development

[3] Advanced RANOP Course – Chapter AMR

[4] GSM, GPRS and EDGE Performance, Appendix B: Hardware dimensioning studies

[5] KPI Impact from AMR activation


https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Download/377622515

[6] AMR Info Session – 3 parts


https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Download/371670835

https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Download/372183612

https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Download/373000932

[7] Minimum HW requirements for S14


https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Open/394860747

[8] BSS AMR Unpacking Optimisation

https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Overview/390387483

[9] AMR HO Signalling Optimisation

https://sharenet-ims.inside.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/Overview/390387481