Today’s mobile telecom market features fierce competition, but optimum indoor coverage can help operators take the lead and improve customer experience. With over 60% of communications services performed indoors, operators must ensure coverage is placed high on their agenda.
Key issues facing operators include:
– Ability to provide efficient indoor coverage,
– Guaranteeing coverage for growing traffic,
– Prohibitive costs associated with increasing the number of macro cells for indoor coverage.
Ensuring indoor coverage is often a challenging task, particularly due to the propagation path loss from the outer walls of buildings and which is amplified by constraints on field strength exposure regulations, regulations which ensure the general public are not at risk of EMF exposure (limitations include transmitted power, site location restrictions etc.).
The 3GPP Release 9 (TR 25.967) introduced a new concept of base station called Home NodeB (HNB), or Femtocell, aimed at improving indoor coverage (for UTRAN and E-UTRAN access networks), which features lower equipment costs and reduced deployment complexity compared to the traditional macro and micro stations. Femtocell is a low-power base station mostly connected to the network via the internet, which offers improved indoor coverage and increased voice performance. On entering their home the subscriber’s mobile phone automatically locates the presence of the Femtocell and switches to it. This handover alerts the macro base station, which ensures all further communication at this location relies on the home ISP network.
ICS designer features an advanced clustering module which enables planners to design, optimise and guarantee the integrity and reliability of the switchover.
ADVANTAGES OF FEMTOCELL
Advantages for the mobile operator:
– Increased revenue (resulting from new subscribers)
– Reduced network infrastructure and rollout costs
– Increased capacity
– Improved indoor coverage
– Ability to offer enhanced services for end users
– Compliments other convergent technologies
– Improves customer satisfaction rates.
Advantages for the users:
- Simple deployment process
- Improved indoor coverage
- Ability to access new applications
- Reduced power consumption meaning longer battery life
- Availability of enhanced multimedia/IP services.
FEMTOCELL MODELLING IN ICS DESIGNER
ICS designer supports advanced features, based on 3GPP specifications and a deterministic approach, which enables operators to improve their network with the implementation of Femtocells. These features include:
– Import of HNB database via a CSV file
– HNB indoor coverage simulation
– HNB <->HNB and HNB <->eNodeB interferences (Ec/I0 and Eb/N0)
– Creation of coverage plots for 3G voice and HSDPA services
– Automatic frequency planning
– Reporting features