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Optimum Antenna Downtilt Angles for Macrocellular WCDMA Network

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The impact of antenna downtilt on the performance of cellular WCDMA network has been studied by using a radio network planning tool. An optimum downtilt angle has been evaluated for numerous practical macrocellular site and antenna configurations for electrical and mechanical antenna downtilt concepts. The aim of this massive simulation campaign was expected to provide an answer to two questions: firstly, how to select the downtilt angle of a macrocellular base station antenna? Secondly, what is the impact of antenna downtilt on system capacity and network coverage? Optimum downtilt angles were observed to vary between depending on the network configuration. Moreover, the corresponding downlink capacity gains varied between. Antenna vertical beamwidth affects clearly the required optimum downtilt angle the most. On the other hand, with wider antenna vertical beamwidth, the impact of downtilt on system performance is not such imposing. In addition, antenna height together with the size of the dominance area affect the required downtilt angle. Finally, the simulation results revealed how the importance of the antenna downtilt becomes more significant in dense networks, where the capacity requirements are typically also higher.

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Correspondence to Jarno Niemelä.

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  • electrical downtilt
  • other-cell interference
  • mechanical downtilt
  • network coverage
  • system capacity