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Radio network planning

Individual course

The goal of the course is to familiarise the students with the cellular radio network planning process using existing mobile radio technologies as an example. The planning concepts learned during the course are coverage planning, capacity planning and optimisation. The mobile communication systems under inspection are GSM, UMTS, and LTE.

Course contents

GSM system and radio network planning:

  • GSM system introduction
  • Planning process
  • GSM configuration planning
  • GSM coverage planning
  • GSM capacity planning
  • GSM frequency planning, optimisation, and monitoring

The students understand the fundamental radio network planning problem and become aware of planning related phenomena of multi path radio propagation environment. Students learn the phases of radio network planning process and the properties of the network configuration (equipment) that affect the GSM link and system performance. Students are able to estimate the GSM cell coverage through link budget and propagation model calculations. Students can separately, based on calculations, assess the impact of coverage and capacity on the GSM network performance.

UMTS system and radio network planning:

  • UMTS introduction
  • UMTS configuration planning
  • UMTS coverage and capacity enhancements
  • UMTS topology planning
  • UMTS radio resource management and functionality

Students become aware of the differences between GSM and UMTS radio interface. They will have the ability to understand and calculate how the coverage and capacity planning are bound together in UMTS. Students are able, based on calculations, to assess and estimate capacity of UMTS network and know how the traffic load affects the system performance. The students also know the functionality and the key radio resource management functions of UMTS network.

System improvements towards higher packet data rate services:

  • LTE system
  • LTE performance

The students know the basics of radio resource management, system functionality and air interface of high packet data rate technologies such as HSDPA, HSUPA, and LTE. The students are able to describe and calculate achievable air interface throughput and the factors that affect it.

Learning outcomes

After the course, the students understand the basic operation of the three systems and know the tools and methods for planning a cellular radio network and configuring it to match given capacity requirements. The learnings of radio propagation and RF equipment will be rehearsed, and students know how to apply the learnings of previous courses on radio network planning.

Course material

Lecture notes, slides and other complementary materials.

Completion methods

Project work and exam. For FITech students, flexible mechanisms are pursued.

More information in the Tampere University study guide.

You can get a digital badge after completing this course.

5G, 6G, tietoliikennetekniikka, tietoliikenneverkot, tiedonsiirtotekniikka, langaton teknologia, langattomat verkot, mobiiliverkot, Internet, esineiden Internet, teollinen Internet, radioverkot, radioverkkosuunnittelu

Responsible teacher

University of Tampere
Jukka Lempiäinen, Professor

Further information about the course and studying

University of Tampere
Mikko Valkama, 5G-coordinator

Contact person for applications

FITech Network University
Fanny Qvickström, Student services specialist
Application period has ended
Application period has ended
5G technology,
Industrial internet,
Wireless technology
Course code:
Study credits:
0 €
Course level:
Teaching period:
Application start date:
Application deadline:
Application period has ended
Host university:
Tampere University
Who can apply:
Adult learner,
Degree student
Teaching method:
Teaching language:
General prerequisites:
Basic understanding of wireless communications.
Course suitable for:
For all who are interested in radio network planning and optimisation.
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