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5G Planning Introduction

 5G includes a new core network that is able to support previous technologies like 3G and 4G, as well as a new air interface called NR (New Radio) that provides much higher data rates, and capacity, by using the higher frequency bands (mmWave). 5G use cases are broadly classified into three main types of communication services. eMBB (enhanced Mobile broadband) - 5G is a technology that will not only make smartphones better, but will also deliver new immersive experiences like AR (Augmented Reality), VR(Virtual Reality) with faster, uniform data rates, lower latency, and low cost per bit. Mission-critical communications - it will enable new services with ultra-reliability and lower latency such as remote control of the critical infrastructure, vehicles, etc. Massive Internet of things - it will connect a massive number of embedded sensors and can provide a low-cost solution. 

RAN Planning 

5Radio Access Network Planning can be defined as the process of locating and planning various locations, different configurations, and all the settings of the network nodes which are rolled out in a wireless network. The objectives of radio network planning are : 

  • To obtain sufficient coverage over the area (target area)with a good data rate and service quality. 
  • To provide the demanded network capacity. 
  • Network capacity should have low service blocking, satisfactory user throughputs and low dropped calls. 
  • Implementing economically efficient network infrastructure. 
  • Use of a minimum number of sites to satisfy coverage, quality, and capacity requirements. 

The radio network planning objectives are fulfilled by proper selection of site locations, configurations of cell settings and their parameters, antenna-related parameters like models, tilts, angles, height, azimuths, etc. The cells deployed for 5G should be much higher than that of the previous generations, so Automatic site selection is an important factor that is required to consider 5G planning. After this, the planning process includes specification of all technology-dependent parameters, addition, and removal of neighbors. It should reduce optimization efforts following the network rollout. 

5g radio network planning outline

Key capabilities

5G Propagation model 

  1. Ray-tracing Propagation models: This model is established upon high-precision electronic maps and multipath modeling which plays an important role in 5G network planning. The beam-based ray-tracing propagation model includes the features as a) Direct radiation: the transmitter and receiver are not affected by tall buildings or dense vegetation. b) Reflection: when it occurs, the incident ray, reflected ray, and reflection point is at the same point. c) Diffraction: the condition of diffraction is related to the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave and the size of the obstacle edge. d) Signal transmission: the transmission energy is related to the dielectric constant and permeability of the material. e) combined paths: the transmission mode of multiple paths combined can be marginalized. 
  2. UMI and UMA Propagation Models: The high-frequency and experience-centric propagation model does not include environmental features. To develop a high-frequency propagation model featuring high efficiency and accuracy. It includes important aspects such as the height coefficient of the receiver/transmitter. 

Refined coverage prediction    

Coverage prediction is the most commonly used approach to evaluate network coverage, as well as the foundation of network planning. It is capable of simulating the network coverage for various 5G services like eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband), etc. It covers coverage in frequency bands (3.5/4.5/28/39 GHz), it also covers outdoors, etc. It supports propagation models like the Ray-tracing model, UMI and UMA propagation models, static beamforming, and dynamic beamforming of Massive MIMO, signal level, interference, signal quality, and uplink and downlink throughput of the pilot, broadcast, control and traffic channels, coverage prediction after the penetration loss caused by an unspecified number of materials. 

3D Coverage Prediction

In the future, mostly the traffic generated is indoor data traffic. 3D coverage prediction function can extend the simulation range from a 2D plane to a 3D space. In this, multiple coverage indicators are displayed: 3D space modeling which uses an electronic map providing important information for large structures, 3D propagation model - 3D simulation, and 2D outdoor simulation are different in terms of radio signal propagation. Under 3D prediction - signal level, interference, signal quality, throughput as well as various traffic channels are predicted in the 3D scenarios. 

Automatic Cell planning

Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) is one of the main features of the 5G technology. Massive MIMO groups together antennas at the transmitter and the receiver to provide better throughput and spectral efficiency. Massive MIMO antenna beams are classified into static and dynamic beams. 5G static broadcast beams cover the entire cell using the narrow beams which are transmitted over proper time and frequency resources. Dynamic beams can be configured based on the coverage scenarios. ACP solution can help in the planning the massive MIMO antenna beam patterns by: 

  • It can accurately identify the building scenarios which are based on high-precision digital maps. 
  • It can determine the height, angle, and azimuth of massive MIMO antennas after collecting various statistics. 
  • It can generate the best set of RF and BF parameters for new sites. 

5G Radio Propagation modeling 

Radio propagation provides the best way to provide the best support for 5G propagation scenarios: based on true 3D ray tracing/launching algorithms, supports 5G spectrum for multi-layer 5G networks, it is integrated with building material electromagnetic property, supports MIMO, multi-user MIM) and 3D MIMO, it works in indoor, indoor to outdoor and outdoor to indoor scenarios. 

Planning Automation 

Planning a new network with mmWave frequencies has its different challenges as the signals get easily obstructed which creates problems for the network planners to plan the network. With Planning Automation, network planners gain an up-to-date view of the dynamic, multi-technology network and can ensure that all the content changes do not interfere with each other or it will impact the service quality of experience. It has several benefits like :

  • Extensive 5G capabilities
  • Advanced Network Modeling
  • OSS Integration
  • Highly Automated
  • Global reach and local support 
  • A future proof investment 

Accurate Site Planning 

In the 5G era, more sites are growing and also densely deployed. Accurate Site planning solutions will help to reduce the construction costs of the network. This solution will help in selecting new sites to realize the network construction objectives like coverage and throughput. This solution supports site-level and sector-level planning based on various values and scenarios.