Vodafone Eledia pLAnning tool

UMTS (3G) Cellular Network Optimization Tool

Cellular Network Optimization

more coverage without interferences, and less consumptions

Radio planning and coverage optimization are critical issues for service providers and vendors that are deploying third and fourth generation mobile networks and need to control coverage as well as the huge costs involved.

There are many areas of cellular networks that can be optimized in order to find a trade-off between maximizing coverage and minimizing costs.

The goal of cellular network planning and optimization is to obtain sufficient coverage over the entire service area to ensure that high quality voice services and data services with low error rates can be offered to the subscribers.

VELA focuses on the optimization of the Air Interface in terms of antennas (BTS) parameters such as:

  • channel Power (CPICH) [dBm]
  • antenna Azimut and Tilt [degree]
  • antenna Height [m]

Due to the peculiarities of the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) scheme used in 3G cellular systems like UMTS and CDMA2000, network planning cannot be based only on signal predictions, and the approach relying on classical set covering formulations adopted for second generation systems is not appropriate.

VELA Features

advanced network optimization made simple

Coverage Model

The problem of predicting the coverage area in single frequency systems is electromagnetically re-formulated, and an efficient solver is deduced which, taking into account co-channel interferences, not only estimates the coverage area on a pixel-by-pixel basis, but also provides probabilistic information regarding its reliability (as shown in the picture)

Fully Configurable

The processing schema of VELA is fully configurable in terms of optimization targets (which parameters it shall tweak, their range and quantization) and allows also to set different constraints for each parameter of each antenna.
Two evolutionary models are embedded:

  • Particle Swarm Optimization
  • Genetic Algorithm

FORSK ATOLL Plugin

The VELA software is based on a modular toolkit that can be used with any radio planning software, although we implemented a specific adaption layer (plugin) for the leading FORSK ATOLL tool. Major features are:

  • Configuration of selected BTSs is automatically exported/imported to VELA
  • Map Zones are automatically loaded from Atoll workspace
  • VELA supports complex polygons, even with holes

How VELA works?

evolutionary optimization of BTS configuration

The Vodafone Eledia pLAnning tool (VELA) is a UMTS (3G) cellular network optimization tool based on a complex coverage probability model and evolutionary processing.

The system is based on a complex Coverage Model engine (VECoM - Vodafone-Eledia COverage Model) and an optimizer based on evolutionary algorithms with guarantees solution convergence.
Basically, VELA tunes cells configuration in order to achieve a performance gain with respect to some targets, for example:

  • Signal Coverage
  • Traffic
  • Power Consumption
  • Cell Overlaps

VELA supports multiple targets at same time and non-uniform weights, typically defined as spatial color-map.

The process might be customized in terms of optimization targets and settings, constraints, exit conditions, and each parameter of each antenna may have a custom dynamic (range and eventually quantization).

VELA outputs, in terms of optimized configurations of BTSs parameters, are summarized in an extensive PDF report that includes differential configuration values, coverage probability maps, and the behavior of fitness (convergence) during the analysis (this is also shown in the GUI at real-time).

References
  • L. Manica, G. Oliveri, G. Ruscitti, L. Gandini, and A. Massa, "An innovative and reliable tool for the electromagnetic prediction in UMTS scenarios," PIERS 2011 in Marrakesh, Marrakesh, Morocco, Mar. 20-23, 2011.

Using VELA

VELA3 is actually used by the network-management department of Vodafone Omnitel N.V.

VELA screencast

In the video we have a very quick overview of VELA3 User Interface on Windows environment. Although VELA software is multi-platform.

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