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1 Architecture of the Radio Network

1.1 Introduction: dB concept


The dB is a unit that is used to convert a multiplication into a sum and a ratio into a difference:
P1-P2 (dB) = 10 log (p1/p2).
The dBm and dBW are units used to express power:
P1 (dBm) = 10 log (p1) (with p1 in mW)
P1 (dBW) = 10 log (p1) (with p1 in W) (To convert from dBm to dBW, subtract 30 dBm)
The dBm and dBW are absolute units (using respectively 1mW and 1 W as reference) while the dB is a
relative unit. By using dBm/dBW instead of W, it is possible to calculate power amplification and attenuation
by performing additions and subtractions instead of multiplications and divisions.
Example:
p1/p2
2
4
8
10
20
40
100
200
1000
etc

P1-P2
+ 3 dB
+ 6 dB
+ 9 dB
+ 10 dB
+ 13 dB
+ 16 dB
+ 20 dB
+ 23 dB
+ 30 dB

p1/p2
1/2

P1-P2
- 3 dB

1/10
etc.

- 10dB

p1 (W)
0.01 pW
1 mW
1W
2W

P1 (dBm)
- 110 dBm
0 dBm
30 dBm
33 dBm

5W

37 dBm

50 W
500 W

47 dBm
57 dBm

Comments
BTS RX sensitivity
Max MS pwr in 1800
Max MS pwr in 900
Max TX pwr from micro BTS
BTS TX pwr in our lab (set by
default)
Max TX pwr from Macro BTS
Max TX pwr from BTS antenna

1.2 BTS Antenna System


1.2.1 Antenna Near Part
General
The antenna near part is the interface between the TRXs and the antennas.
The antenna near part consists of:
TX combiner. Combines the output from several TXs to one antenna input.
RX divider. Distributes the output from one antenna to several RXs.
Jumpers and feeders. These are 50 coaxial cables used to transport the RF signal between TX/RX
and the antennas. The feeders are placed along the antenna mast and are quite thick in order to have
lower attenuation. The jumpers are thinner and more flexible than the feeders. They are used between
the BTS and the antenna mast. It is important that all RF cables have the same impedance (50 )
otherwise, the signal will be reflected at the connectors.
Duplex filter (optional). The duplex filter allows a TX and RX signal to share the same feeder/antenna.
TMA (Tower Mounted Amplifier), also called ALNA (Antenna Low Noise Amplifier). Used to increase
the uplink signal strength (especially in 1800 and 1900 MHz). There are three types of TMAs: simplex,
duplex, dual duplex.

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Example of antenna configurations:


RX B

Without Duplex Filter

TX 0

COMB 1

TX 1

Feeders

Jumpers
COMB 2 TX 2

TX 2

COMB 2

TX 3

DIV A

RX 0

RX A

RX 1
RX 2

COMB 1

DIV A

TX 1
RX A

TX 1
Dupl RX A
TX 2

RX A

RX 1
DIV B

Dupl

RX 2

RX B

DIV B

RX 3

RX 3

BTS CABINET

BTS CABINET

TX 2
RX B

TX 1

TX 1

TX 3

RX 0

With Duplex Filter,

TX 0

TX 1

TX 1
TX 2

RX A

TX 2

TX 2
RX B

RX B

Types of TMA:
Simplex

Duplex

Dual-Duplex

Special case: lab connections


In a lab, there are no antennas. The MS is connected to the BTS through 50 coaxial cables. Attenuators
are needed on the RF path (typically around 100 dB), in order not to burn the receivers in MS and BTS.
A thick attenuator (capable of supporting up to 50 W) is needed at the TX output.
Example of connections:

20 dB (1W)
RX B
BTS cabinet

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Coupler

RX A

20 dB (50W)

Coupler

TX

4x 20 dB (1W)

MS

1.2.2 Antenna Types


The antenna has two purposes:
- impedance adaption between feeder (Z = 50 ) and air interface (Z = 377 ).
- amplification of TX and RX signal
Since an antenna is passive, the only way to obtain gain in any direction is to increase the directivity by
concentrating the radiation in the wanted direction. By stacking dipoles vertically we get a gain in the
horizontal plane (constructive interference horizontally, destructive interference vertically).
Each doubling of the number of dipole elements (corresponding to a doubling in length) increases the gain in
the main direction by 3 dB.

The antenna gain is expressed in dBd or dBi; dBd expresses the gain compared to a dipole antenna, while
dBi expresses the gain compared to an isotrop antenna (an antenna emitting equally in all directions).
G (dBi) = G (dBd) + 2 dB.
The Radiated Power (ERP or EIRP) is equal to the BTS output power minus feeder loss plus antenna gain.
If Ant. gain is expressed in dBd, then: ERP (dBm) = BTSout (dBm) feeder loss (dB) + Ant.gain (dBd)
If Ant. gain is expressed in dBi, then: EIRP (dBm) = BTSout (dBm) feeder loss (dB) + Ant.gain (dBi)
Ex: EIRP (RBS 2000 CDU A-900) = 44.5 4 + 17 = 57.5 dBm = 500 W
Omni-directional antenna:
Omni-antennas have a uniform radiation pattern with respect to horizontal directions. However, looking at
vertical directions, the radiation pattern is concentrated thus making gain possible. Typical gain values are
between 8 and 11 dBi (6 to 9 dBd). The limiting factor is mainly the physical size. As an example, an omni
antenna for 900 MHz with a gain of 11 dBi has a height of 3 meters. (In 1800/1900 MHz, an antenna with
such a gain will be twice as short since the wavelength is twice as short.)

Sector Antenna
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A sector antenna (or uni-directional antenna) is realised by adding reflectors behind the stack of dipoles, thus
creating a gain in a certain horizontal direction. Typical values for the horizontal beamwidth (BW) at 3 dB
are: 33 (highway coverage), 65 (120 sector) or 90 (180 sector).
Example of 900 MHz sector antennas:
Horizontal BW
at 3 dB at 10 dB
33
60
33
60
65
120
65
120
90
180

Height

Max gain

Application

0.25 m
1m
0.25 m
2m
2,5 m

12 dBi
18 dBi
9 dBi
17 dBi
16.5 dBi

highway low coverage


highway max coverage
urban micro cell
urban or rural macro cell
rural

Example of a 65 sector antenna, which is used in 120 sector cell:

V-polarized and X-polarised sector antenna


In the V-polarised antenna there is one vertical array per antenna housing => Space diversity (the diversity
distance must be around 18, i.e 6m in 900 MHz and 3m in 1800 MHz).
In the X-polarised antenna, two arrays are placed in the same antenna housing allowing polarisation
diversity => antenna occupies less space. Drawback: slant loss on TX (-1.5 dB) due to 45 degree
polarisation (the slant loss on RX is compensated by higher diversity gain compared to space diversity).
V-polarised Antenna (Space diversity)

X-polarised Antenna (Polarisation diversity)


+/- 45 degrees

Reference: the antenna homepage http://www.gsm.ericsson.se/pers-org/lv/r/antenna/start.htm

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1.2.3 Antenna Supervision


TX antenna supervision: VSWR monitoring
The VSWR (Voltage Standing Wave Ratio) expresses how much of the TX power is reflected before the
antenna. A high VSWR means that there are some impedance mismatch on the RF path. For example, bad
connection between two feeders, antenna blown off, etc.
Pf (Power forward) and Pr (Power Reflected) are measured on each TS. For the TS where Pr is highest,
VSWR is calculated and if its value is higher than the limit defined by operator, an alarm is raised.

VSWR

1 rc
1 rc

rc is the reflection coefficient: rc 10 ( -RL / 20 ) 1 / rl ,


RL is the return loss in dB RL=Pf/Pr (Pf and Pr in dBm)
rl is the return loss in ratio: rl = pf/pr (pf and pr in W)
We can also calculate TP, the percentage of TX pwr that is actually sent out through the antenna. TP=Pf/
(Pf+Pr) = rl/(rl+1)
Example:
rl
1000
100
25
12,5
7.1
4.5

RL
30 dB
20 dB
14 dB
11 dB
8.5 dB
6.5 dB

rc
0.032
0.1
0.2
0.283
0.376
0.471

VSWR
1.07
1.22
1.5
1.8
2.2
2.8

TP
99.9%
99 %
96 %
93 %
88 %
82 %

3 dB

0.707

5.83

67 %

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Comments
antennas usually have a VSWR in this range
(between 1.2 and 1.5)
class 2 alarm (warning)
class 1 alarm (BSC should disable TX)
TX disables itself automatically (if it hasnt been
already disabled by BSC)
terrible