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RSCP (Received Signal Code Power) The Received Signal Code Power (RSCP) is the collected RF energy after

the correlation / descrambling process, usually given in dBm. Because this process already filters out the signal with the correct code (the code meant for the specific UE), the RSCP can not be calculated back to the total received RF power that a normal monitoring receiver or spectrum analyzer measures. Instead, a correlation receiver has to be used and the RSCP has to be measured for the specific code only, in the code domain. Only this code power is of interest for the following receiver stages when judging on the quality of the reception. A commercial UMTS receiver has to know the code that is transmitted for it in order to perform the correlation process. With monitoring equipment, however, we want to measure UMTS emissions with any code. Therefore, special measurement receivers and equipment are necessary for UMTS measurements. These receivers have to try and correlate the received pseudo-noise-like signal with every possible code. This process is called PN scanning. Only after the receiver has found a match, the descrambling can take place, followed by measurement of the RSCP in the code domain. Ec/I0 This is the ratio of the received energy per chip (= code bit) and the interference level, usually given in dB. In case no true interference is present, the interference level is equal to the noise level. However, in a UMTS network the UE normally receives signals from multiple base stations, all transmitting on the same frequency. Therefore it is possible that even at a location close to a base station, with a high RSCP, no logon is possible, due to high interference levels from a second nearby base station. This effect is called pilot pollution and network planners try to avoid too close spacing of base stations to minimize regions where it can occur.


In UMTS that's the signal power over the complete 5 MHz carrier which includes all components received, including the signals from the current and neighboring cells on the same frequency. The total received signal power (Received Signal Strength Indicator RSSI) is never considered in a WCDMA system as an indication of coverage. It is mainly due to the inability to estimate the quality by this value: 10 weak cells would result in a strong RSSI, but the lack of any dominant server would yield poor system performance. This concept is sometime called pilot pollution, where multiple servers contribute to a high RSSI, but where the signal cannot be used due to lack of strong dominant server.

What is Cell Breathing in UMTS and its limitations? In WCDMA, the coverage and capacity requirement cannot be considered independently, but should be planned at the same time with proper guidelines. This relation between coverage and capacity is often referred to as the breathing effect of WCDMA. Comparing with TDMA/FDMA technologies, such as GSM, the coverage of a WCDMA network cannot be planned independently of the load on the network. The load on the network will impact the coverage in mainly two different ways, depending on which

link (Uplink or Downlink) is considered. On the uplink, as more users are added to the network, higher noise would be detected at the node Bs. This increase in noise, called rise over thermal, requires each of the phones or data cards (UE) to increase its transmit power to overcome this noise increase: effectively the uplink coverage is reduced by this required increase in transmit power. On the downlink, the breathing effect cannot be quantified so easily as coverage is impacted by the maximum transmit power assigned to traffic channels and the current load on the network rather than by a quantifiable formula. When the loading of the system increases the Ec/No degrades but the RSCP stays constant. Degrading Ec/No is an indication of increased other cell interference which will also increase the need for downlink traffic power (DPCH Ec/Ior, when expressed in relative terms). Power being a limited resource, the higher required transmit power may not be available, thus the coverage not being met in loaded condition: this represent the coverage and capacity trade-off for the downlink in a WCDMA systems.

From Ericsson paper the threshold of RSCP and Ec/No are:

HSDPA does not make use of soft-handover; it is of the utmost importance that a single dominant server be available in the majority of the network. So, according to Qualcomm following is the KPI which we should focus on: