Mobile Radio Network Design in the VHF and UHF Bands: A Practical Approach

Adrian Graham, Nicholas C. Kirkman, Peter M. Paul




An essential element of radio technology and propagation is how to use radio technology and knowledge of radio propagation to design a network that meets the needs of customers. Mobile Radio Network Design in the VHF and UHF Bands provides the technical and fundamental knowledge required for advanced mobile radio network design to achieve this in terms that the engineer will understand, and augments this with essential information gleaned from the authors' extensive experience in mobile radio network design. 

In this book you will find out how some of the most highly-regarded radio network designers around go about designing radio networks that actually meet the needs of the network subscriber and of the network operator. It describes a well-proven framework that meets the essential need of ensuring that each step of the design project is carried out against known, unique and unambiguous requirements, and that these requirements have been extensively validated against the original requirements. 

  • Reveals the secrets behind coverage design, capacity planning, interference analysis and reduction, frequency assignment and verifying that the delivered network actually performs as promised
  • Introduces the concept of documentary deliverables as part of the project and underlines the need for method statements, user requirement, functional, test and design specifications
  • Provides readers with a far greater understanding of the methods and processes necessary to bring about the successful completion of a radio network project
  • Highlights vital aspects of radio network projects that are not always apparent to every engineer, but which may have a vital impact on the success of the project

The powerful approach used in this book will help to ensure the successful completion of every project and will be the basis for ensuring contractual compliance at every stage. It is an indispensable resource for all radio network design consultants and engineers, network operator technical managers, radio regulation engineers and military radio network planners.


Table of Contents






1.1 Mobile Radio Network Design in the Modern World.

1.2 Network Stakeholders.

1.3 Spectrum Co-existence.

1.4 The Network Design Activity.

1.5 Project Resources.

1.6 Validation and Verification.

1.7 Evolving Needs.

1.8 A Practical Approach, Not the Practical Approach.

2.Spectrum and Standards.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 International Spectrum Management.

2.2.1 The International Telecommunications Union.

2.2.2 ICAO.

2.3 Regional Bodies.

2.3.1 CEPT.

2.3.2 CITEL.

2.3.3 Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications.

2.3.4 Asia-Pacific Telecommunity.

2.3.5 Gulf Cooperation Council.

2.3.6 African Telecommunications Union.

2.4 Other Useful Bodies.

2.4.1 Introduction.

2.4.2 ETSI.

2.4.3 COST.

2.4.4 IEEE.

2.4.5 IET.

2.4.6 NTIS.

2.4.7 NTIA & ITS.

3.Mobile Radio Technologies.

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Mobile Radio Network Users and Networks.

3.3 Types of Mobile Network.

3.4 Direct Mode.

3.5 Single Site.

3.6 Simulcast.

3.7 Trunked Radio Systems.

3.8 Cellular Systems.

3.9 Composite Systems.

3.10 Other Approaches.

3.11 Fixed and Mobile Convergence.

4. The Mobile Environment Part 1:  Propagation Mechanisms and Modelling.

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 The Electromagnetic Spectrum.

4.3 Propagation Mechanisms at VHF and UHF.

4.3.1 Distance.

4.3.2 Reflection.

4.3.3 Scattering.

4.3.4 Refraction.

4.3.5 Diffraction.

4.3.6 Absorption.

4.4 Introduction to Propagation Modelling.

4.5 Point-to-Area Models.

4.5.1 General Properties of Point to Area Models.

4.5.2 ITU-R P.370 and ITU-R P.154.

4.5.3 Okumura-Hata, COST231 Hata and Other Point-to-Area Models.

4.5.4 IF-77 and ITU-R P.528 Models.

4.5.5 Other Point-to-Area Models.

4.6 Point-to-Point Models.

4.6.1 General Properties of Point-to-Point Models.

4.6.2 Bullington Method.

4.6.3 Epstein-Peterson Method.

4.6.4 Edwards and Durkin Method.

4.6.5 Deygout Method.

4.6.6 ITU-R P.526 Model.

4.7 Hybrid Models.

4.8 Radio Clutter in Propagation Models.

4.9 Tuning Propagation Models.

4.10 Factors in Model Selection.

4.10.1 Introduction.

4.10.2 Frequency Range.

4.10.3 Link Length.

4.10.4 Radio Environment.

4.10.5 Antenna Height.

4.10.6 The Application.

4.10.7 Available Data.

4.11 Abnormal Propagation Conditions.

4.11.1 Propagation Model Summary.

5.The Mobile Environment Part 2:  Fading, Margins and Link Budgets.

5.1 Introduction.

5.1.1Statistics Relevant for Fading.

5.1.2 Log-Normal Distribution.

5.1.3 Rayleigh Distribution.

5.1.4 Ricean Distribution.

5.1.5 Other Statistical Distributions.

5.2 Slow Fading.

5.2.1 Slow Fading (Shadowing) Mechanisms.

5.2.2 Slow Fading and Propagation Model.

5.3 Fast Fading.

5.3.1 Fast Fading Mechanisms.

5.4 Receiver Antenna Environment – Body Loss and Other Factors.

5.5 Elements of a Radio Link.

5.5.1 Generic Link Diagram.

5.5.2 Nominal Power.

5.5.3 Feeder and Connector Losses.

5.5.4 Tuning Units, Amplifiers and Combiners.

5.5.5 Base Station Antennas.

5.5.6 Mobile Antennas.

5.5.7 Receiver Sensitivity.

5.5.8 Sensitivity and Noise.

5.6 Building a Link Budget.

5.6.1 Introduction.

5.6.2 Link Loss Calculation to Determine Level at Receiver.

5.6.3 Link Budget to Determine Maximum Allowable Loss.

5.6.4 Link Budget to Determine MMOL.

5.6.5 Other Factors in Link Budgets.

5.7 Expressing the Link Budget in a Planning Tool.

5.8 Balanced and Unbalanced Links.

5.9 Equipment Data Sheets and Reality.


6.The Radio Network Design Environment.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Network Design Professionals.

6.2.1 Junior Network Design Engineer.

6.2.2 Senior Network Design Engineer.

6.2.3 Network Designers.

6.2.4 Network Design Capability Strategies.

6.3 Network Stakeholders.

6.3.1 The Concept of Stakeholders.

6.3.2 Stakeholders In Typical Projects.

6.4 A 'Business-Centric' Approach to Design.

6.5 Design Elements.

6.6 Project Phases & Project Lifecycle.

6.6.1 The Classic Life Cycle.

6.6.2 The Prototyping Life Cycle.

6.6.3 The Spiral Life Cycle.

6.6.4 Combining Project Life Cycles.

6.7 Design Specifications.

6.7.1 Our Approach to Projects.

6.7.2 Specification and Documentation within the Project.

6.7.3 The Business Case.

6.7.4 The Customer Statement of Requirements.

6.7.5 The Contract.

6.7.6 Method Statement (MS).

6.7.7 User Requirements Specification.

6.7.8 Functional Specification.

6.7.9 Detailed Design Document.

6.7.10 Test Specification.

6.7.11 Acceptance Certificate.

6.8 Design Deliverables.

7.Selection of Engineering Tools and Data.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Engineering Tools for Network Design.

7.2.1 History of Planning Tools.

7.2.2 Current Planning Tools.

7.2.3 Future Trends in Planning Tools.

7.3 Benefits of using Design Tools.

7.4 Radio Network Design Tool Fundamentals.

7.5 Geographic Information System (GIS) Functionality.

7.6 Propagation Modelling.

7.7 Modelling Functions of a Radio Network Design Tool.

7.7.1 Path-based Predictions.

7.7.2 Coverage-Based Predictions.

7.7.3 Traffic Predictions.

7.7.4 Interference Predictions.

7.7.5 Frequency Assignment.

7.7.6 Modelling Radios.

7.7.7 Ancillary Features.

7.7.8 Advanced Features.

7.7.9 System Integration Features.

7.7.10 Selecting the Right Tool for the Job.

7.8 Environmental Data.

7.8.1 Introduction to Environmental Data.

7.8.2 Digital Terrain Maps & Digital Elevation Models.

7.8.3 Clutter Data.

7.8.4 Building Data.

7.8.5 Image Data.

8.Starting the Project.

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 Project Requirements Statement.

8.2.1 The Perceived Need for the Project.

8.2.2 The Spectrum Environment.

8.2.3 The Service Area.

8.2.4 The Required Services.

8.2.5 Contracted Tasks.

8.2.6 The CIS Project.

8.3 RNDS Initial Actions.

8.4 The RNDS Project Team and the Stakeholders.

8.4.1 Countyshire Investigation Services (CIS).

8.4.2 Emergency Services Spectrum Group (ESSG).

8.4.3 Spectrum Services Ltd (SSL).

8.4.4 Radio Infrastructure Services (RIS).

8.4.5 Radio Network Design Services (RNDS).

8.4.6 Interacting with Stakeholders.

8.5 Project Activities.

8.6 Setting up the Project.

8.6.1 Starting the Method Statement.

8.6.2 Project Resources.

8.7 Elucidating Project Requirements.

8.8 Detailed Design Document.

8.9 Test Specification.

8.10 Project Plan.

8.11 Quality Plan.

8.12 Risk Register.

8.13 Producing a Baseline.

8.14 Outline Planning and Dimensioning.

8.15 Calibration Surveys.

8.16 Continuing with the Project.

9.Mobile Coverage Design.

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 Practical Expression of Performance Criteria.

9.2.1 Introduction.

9.2.2 Practical Definition of Service Requirements.

9.2.3 Definition of Geographic Service Areas.

9.3 Initial Design Approaches.

9.3.1 Grid Style Approach.

9.3.2 Selective Design Approach.

9.3.3 High Point Approach.

9.3.4 Existing Site Approach.

9.3.5 Automatic Site Finding Approach.

9.4 Configuring, Performing and Interpreting Coverage Simulations.

9.4.1 Setting up coverage predictions.

9.4.2 Performing coverage predictions.

9.4.3 Configuring prediction results.

9.4.4 Interpreting Coverage Predictions.

9.5 Nominal Characteristics for the Network Design Activity.

9.5.1 Introduction.

9.5.2 Nominal base station parameters.

9.5.3 Mobile Parameters.

9.6 Base Station Design and Optimisation.

9.7 Project Types.

9.7.1 Introduction.

9.7.2 Green Field Projects.

9.8 Legacy Projects.

9.9' Existing Site' Projects (site databases).

9.10 Coverage Design Deliverables.

10.Traffic Demand and Capacity.

10.1 Introduction.

10.2 Modelling Mobile Subscribers.

10.2.1 Determining Subscriber Types.

10.2.2 Public Safety Example.

10.2.3 Other Methods of Representing Subscribers.

10.3 Representing Traffic Demand Metrics.

10.4 Blocking and Queuing.

10.4.1 Introduction.

10.5 Determining Traffic Demand on a Site-by-Site Basis.

10.6 Capacity Planning for Traffic.

10.7 Modelling Mixed Services.

10.8 Designing for Traffic.

10.9 Traffic Analysis Deliverables.

11.Network Design Methods.

11.1 Network Limiting Factor.

11.2 Rollout Strategy.

11.2.1 Introduction.

11.2.2 Pilot System.

11.2.3 Regional Rollout.

11.2.4 Sparse Network.

11.2.5 Limited service.

11.3 Re-broadcast/Relay Links.

11.4 Future Proofing.


12.1 Introduction.

12.2 Background to Backhaul.

12.3 Specifying Link Performance.

12.4 Radio Link Design Aspects.

12.4.1 Line of Sight Condition.

12.4.2 Availability Calculations for Fixed Links.

12.4.3 Diversity Techniques to Improve Link Performance.

12.5 Calculating Microwave Reliability.

12.6 Microwave Noise and Interference.

12.6.1 Noise in Microwave Systems.

12.6.2 Equipment Thermal Noise.

12.6.3 Interference.

12.7 Summary of Backhaul Chapter.

13.Network Interference.

13.1 Introduction.

13.2 Thermal Noise Floor, Receiver Noise Floor and Receiver Sensitivity.

13.3 Noise in the VHF and UHF Bands.

13.4 Interfering Radio Noise at the Receiving Antenna.

13.5 Interference Engineering.

13.5.1 Introduction.

13.5.2 Co-channel Interference.

13.5.3 Adjacent and Other Channel Offset Interference.

13.5.4 Multiple Interferers.

13.6 Interference Propagation Models.

13.7 Interference Mitigation Approaches.

13.8 Interference Deliverables.

14.Frequency Assignment.

14.1 Introduction to Frequency Assignment.

14.2 Frequency assignment in Context.

14.3 Network Frequency Plans.

14.4 Overall Assignment Process.

14.5 Far-site Assignment Methodologies.

14.5.1 Prioritisation of Requests.

14.5.2 Manually Seeding Assignments.

14.5.3 Illustration of an Assignment Process.

14.6 Co-site Assignment Methodologies.

14.6.1 Introduction.

14.6.2 Harmonics.

14.6.3 Image Frequencies.

14.6.4 Frequency Separation.

14.6.5 Inter-Modulation Products.

14.7 Assignment Methods for Mobile Units.

14.8 Frequency Assignment Deliverables.


15.1 Validation and Verification.

15.2 Introduction to Surveys.

15.3 Survey Fundamentals.

15.3.1 Capturing Statistically Valid Data.

15.3.2 The Mobile Signal.

15.3.3 Sampling rate.

15.3.4 Sample Gap Distance.

15.3.5Selecting a Measurement Receiver.

15.3.6 Surveying Fundamentals Summary.

15.4 Digital Surveying.

15.5 Digital Network Performance Surveys.

15.6 Planning a Survey Campaign.

15.6.1 Vehicle surveying.

15.6.2 Pedestrian / Indoor Surveying.

15.6.3 Emulating hand-portable performance from a vehicle radio.

15.6.4 Operating Multiple Radio Terminals in a Survey Vehicle.

15.7 Network Analysis and Network Acceptance.

15.8 A Case Study.

15.9 Verification Deliverables.

16.Mobile Network Development Cookbook.

16.1 Introduction.

16.2 Pre-project Activities.

16.2.1 Stakeholder Analysis (Chapters 6 and 8).

16.2.2 Technology Analysis.

16.2.3 Pricing the Design and Preparing a Project Plan.

16.3 Project Phases and Documentation (Chapter 6).

16.4 Setting up the Project (Chapter 8).

16.5 Data Requirements (Chapter 7).

16.5.1 Environmental Data.

16.5.2 Radio Equipment Technical Parameters.

16.5.3 Antenna Characteristics.

16.6 The URS (Chapters 6 and 8).

16.7 The FS and TS (Chapters 6 and 8).

16.8 Coverage Design (Chapter 9).

16.9 Traffic Design (Chapter 10).

16.10 Interference Mitigation (Chapter 13).

16.11 Frequency Planning (Chapter 14).

16.12 Verification (Chapter 15).

16.13 Typical Project Deliverables.

16.13.1 Project Documents.

16.13.2 Design Deliverables.

16.14 Final Thoughts.








1.1 現代世界中的移動無線電網絡設計