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LTE Network Planning and Simulation

Coverage and Capacity Prediction for LTE with WinProp’s LTE module

LTE Air Interface
The LTE air interface is based on OFDM and MIMO - therefore planning tools for 2.5G TDMA or 3G CDMA networks cannot be re-used for LTE.

The determination of the interference in OFDM networks (with and without MIMO) is a critical task and requires highly accurate propagation models.

Max. achievable data rates (Throughput)
for an indoor LTE network

Max. achievable data rates (Throughput)
for an urban LTE network

WinProp's ray-optical propagation models and the dominant path model (DPM) for rural, urban, and indoor scenarios predict the signal level as well as the LOS/NLOS status and they consider additionally the polarization of the signals (especially important for MIMO antennas).
Parameters of LTE in WinProp

For LTE networks with 5, 10, 15, and 20 MHz bandwidth the properties of the LTE air interface are pre-defined in WinProp's NET-O module (for different frequency bands used for LTE around the world).

ProMan in combination with the NET-O module is therefore ideally suited for the simulation of LTE networks.

The user can additionally modify the following parameters of the LTE settings:
  • Subcarriers and symbols
    • FFT size
    • number of subcarriers (for reference signals, control channels, data, guard, etc.)
    • symbols used for reference signals, control channels, and data transmission
    • number of subcarriers in one resource block
  • Power backoffs for reference, control, and data carriers/symbols (either default for all cells or individually for each cell)
  • Cell assignment mode (either best SNIR or highest signal level) and min. required thresholds for SNIR and signal level
  • Transmission Modes
    • MCS (modulation and coding)
    • Nr. of resource block used for transmission
    • Min. required SNIR (and optionally signal level)
    • Tx power backoff
  • MIMO
    • 2x2, 2x4, 4x4, etc.
    • Interference between the MIMO streams (depending on polarizations of MIMO streams, LOS/NLOS conditions, etc.)
  • TDD properties (e.g. ratios between UL, DL, guard)

Min. Tx power for downlink (QPSK, 1/8, 30% cell load)

SNIR in downlink (QPSK, code rate 1/8, 30% cell load)

Simulation of LTE Networks
Besides the classical cell assignment, WinProp's NET-O module provides the following simulation results:
  • Cell Assignment
    • cell area
    • max. number of received carriers/transmitters/sites (in downlink)
    • received power in mobile station
    • total received interference and noise
  • Reference signals and control channels
    • RSRP, RSSI, and RSRQ
    • Received signal level and SNIR for control channels
  • For the mobile stations in the simulation area
    (i.e. for each pixel in the simulation area):
    • max. achievable data rate for a single user at the pixel (downlink and uplink) incl. gain due to MIMO
    • max. achievable throughput (for multiple users) at the pixel incl. gain due to MIMO
    • number of received MIMO streams (and their signal levels, SNIRs, etc.) in uplink and downlink
  • For each transmission mode at each pixel:
    • min. required Tx power at UE (UL) and Node B (DL)
    • max. received Rx power at UE (DL) and Node B (UL)
    • max. achievable SNIR in downlink and uplink
    • reception probability (DL and UL)

Received power in downlink (for a selected transmission mode) in an urban LTE network

Consideration of MIMO

MIMO is an optional technology for the LTE air interface to increase data rates and throughput. WinProp's NET-O module considers MIMO in LTE network planning:
  • The number of MIMO streams received in up- and downlink is predicted and for each of the MIMO streams the signal level and SNIR are visualized.
  • Distributed MIMO is possible (the location of each Tx antenna radiating a MIMO stream is defined individually by the user => arbitrary locations are possible).
  • The MIMO streams of a signal can be assigned to the Tx antennas individually. Multiple antennas can radiate the same MIMO stream (DAS).
  • The interference between the MIMO streams depends on the LOS/NLOS conditions, the signal levels, and the polarizations of the signals (the polarization of each Tx antenna can be defined individually).

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