Empirical Path Loss Modelling for Selected LTE Networks in FUTA Campus, Ondo State, Nigeria
Keywords:LTE, Propagation Models, Path Loss, Root Mean Square Error, Reference Signal Received Power
Deployed Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in Nigeria can barely meet the desired 100 Mbps downlink throughput leading to unsatisfactory quality of experience by mobile users. Typically, mobile network operators (MNOs) rely on network planning tools designed for generalized environments. These tools employ legacy propagation models that may not be suited to the operational environments under consideration. As such, the efficiency of such legacy path loss models suffers when they are used in environments different from those for which they have been designed, and this poses a major challenge to the MNOs. This is because the Nigerian geographical areas and topographical features vary widely from the areas where the legacy models were developed. Several studies in Nigeria and other African countries have shown that the legacy path loss models perform unsatisfactorily when compared with field measurement data. To address this challenge and enable accurate path loss prediction for an urban campus environment, extensive measurements at 2600 MHz were carried out in the main campus of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Ondo State, Nigeria. The measurement results were compared with the path loss predictions from the commonly-used legacy propagation models (Free space and 3GPP TR 36.873). The results show that the legacy path loss models under-predict the path loss averagely by 20-40 dB, and up to 88 dB in some cases, for the considered environment. Root mean square error (RMSE) values in the range of 1.895 and 9.159 were also observed along the routes. The measurement results will enable the MNOs to adjust the path losses in order to deliver improved quality of service.
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