5G introductions that are going on or in the plans in several countries around the world are bringing the radio network planning once more into the focus. With 5G new, higher frequency bands and new service requirements, like higher data rates and low latency will be introduced. This means new requirements for the radio network and will require an update of network planning rules and thresholds. Even though operators typically utilise their existing site grid as basis for 5G rollouts, some changes for sites might be needed as the existing site grid and site configurations may not always provide an optimal solution from 5G point of view. Densification of site grid might be needed in some areas to ensure proper indoor coverage, while in some areas current site grid with some modifications works well. Proper cell planning and controlling cell dominance areas has been important already for 3G and 4G, same applies even more with 5G to reach the throughput targets. Introduction on mMIMO and selection of most optimal mMIMO solution also needs to be considered in the site planning.
As the focus and infrastructure of the network have changed over the years, due to changing city infrastructure, increased traffic volume, shifts in traffic distribution and evolved service level requirements, the current site grid might have become partly non-optimal in some locations. Introduction of 5G offers a good opportunity to review and optimise the current site grid and site configurations from legacy technology point view as well, as a lot of field work is foreseen for the radio network infra in any case.
Site grid optimisation offers a cost-efficient way to review the existing site grid and apply the changes that are needed to optimise the network performance. Omnitele has developed an efficient, stepwise approach on grid optimisation, which takes into account the new requirements of a 3.5 GHz grid, and ensures the new grid meets the 5G indoor coverage demands. Omnitele’s systematic approach ensures that operator’s targets and priorities are fully taken into account in the site grid.
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