Long Term Evolution (LTE) Radio Network Dimensioning: Case of Addis Ababa City

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Addis Ababa University


With increasing demand for wireless services, the capacity of 2G and 3G networks is reaching saturation point. To deal with the shortage of mobile network resources, 3GPP has proposed Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. But radio network planning is a challenge especially radio network planning for a densely populated city adds to certain level of complexity in the overall work in terms of proper resource management and capacity as well as coverage requirement fulfillment. Ethio Telecom introduced LTE technology for Addis Ababa city to achieve the goal of Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) of the country in 2015. The current LTE infrastructure consists of 329 sites from which 222 sites covered the dense urban area and the rest cover the hotspots of urban area to provide service for 400,000 subscribers. There is no doubt that the deployed LTE as pilot will be expanded to cover the whole of Addis Ababa city and to other city to align with the evaluation of technology. In this paper, a detailed LTE radio network planning procedure has been elaborately presented which concentrates on nominal and detailed planning considering possible network implementation in the most populated city of Addis Ababa with area of 460 km2. The possible parameters for link budget, capacity, frequency and coverage were collected from marketing department, standards and existing network for the purpose of theoretical analysis and simulations. The propagation modeling is done using COST231-Model with inclusion of additional parameters obtained from the real environment i.e. terrain model which improves the coverage estimation. The simulation was performed using ATOLL program to evaluate the traffic demand throughput and to estimate the signal strength per pixel to ensure the coverage and capacity of the target area.