Perfect RF Planning for a Mobile Network

RF planning is one of the most important part of the network as it is a reason of most customer complaint. The wholesome efforts of Switch and BSS can go in vain if the RF planning is not upto the mark. As the name itself consists of planning It is sometimes called as Network Planning as well. We will see the importance and the key challenges faced in RF Planning and the walk through these Issues.
Perfect RF Planning

RF planning is optimally planning the frequency spectrum allocated to the operator without actually suffering the customer experience. More optimized the planning is more chance of fulfilling the KPI norms of optimized network which needs to be sent to regulatory by an operator. Other than this mandate today the customers are very sensitive about network quality and they don’t hesitate to switch network and post MNP Launch the most common reason which accounts to nearly 90% of the MNP requests is network quality. With the competition increasing and Mobile network is observed closely by the users and they expect not a single moment of failure in the network.

So here is the list of prominent problems faced by end users due to improper RF Planning:-

1. Call Drop while moving and talking on mobile phone.
2. No Coverage at certain places.
3. Voice cracking
4. Call initiation failed.

1. Call Drop while moving and talking on mobile phone.
For this issue the common reason is improper definition of neighbor cells or handover failure. Plus it could be frequency improper planning lead to interference. Should be resolved by correcting neighbor cells in BSS. Plus the intervention can be an issue and this may be due to nearby mountain, sea or building which are biggest reflectors of signals causing this issue. So need to tilt the antenna of the origination of distraction signal.

2. No coverage area or is also called as black spot in RF terminology is considered the biggest flaw in RF planning. Sometime it is a mistake and sometime it is inevitable as the Frequency reuse matrix has to leave a spot to reuse the same frequency as neighboring one. Spot is left to avoid interference. But this also has a solution, if it is an error it would be immediately be rectified by either increasing the range of the antenna emission or by tilting the antenna to make sure signals reach the spot. If it is inevitable we can either put in a tower on wheels to compensate or to check the number of call drops if they are alarmingly high a replan could be scheduled for the region.

3. Voice cracking is letting the similar frequencies distorting signal of a particular area. It can be suppressed by signal suppressors or by reducing the coverage of the originating tower.

4. Call Initiation failed happens due to congestion at site and if it is twelve sector heavily loaded site. It could be changed to orient pick more voice calls as compared to data calls in busy hour. Or by scheduling the change in coverage for the site in different hours. It increases the call drops or load on neighboring site but the point of heavy traffic will be solving the purpose. Also by installation of IBS or micro sites in the area could serve the purpose.

So what are your challenges in RF Planning? What are your expectations in network quality from a cellular operator?
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