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LTE Radio Access, Rel.

RL40,
Operating Documentation,
Issue 03

LTE Traffic Model


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LTE Traffic Model

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Table of contents
This document has 17 pages.
Summary of changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

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Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

2
2.1

Traffic dimensionig principles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


Overbooking factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Traffic modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Default LTE traffic model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

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LTE Traffic Model

List of figures
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6

Overall dimensioning process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


Offered vs served traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Traffic daily profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Overall dimensioning workflow (E-UTRAN + EPC). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Subscription rate vs average throughput . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Steps in traffic modelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

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LTE Traffic Model

List of tables
Table 1
Table 2
Table 3
Table 4
Table 5

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Exemplary TM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Service characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Traffic mixs for different subscriber type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Calculated values for BHCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Traffic model for LTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Summary of changes

LTE Traffic Model

Summary of changes
Changes between document issues are cumulative. Therefore, the latest document
issue contains all changes made to previous issues.
Changes between issues 03 DRAFT (2012-07-13, RL40) and 03 (2012-10-16, RL40)

All chapters: editorial changes

Issue 03 DRAFT (2012-07-13, RL40)


First issue for RL40.

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Introduction

1 Introduction
The purpose of this document is to describe the general LTE Traffic Model (TM) concept
and its role in the network dimensioning process. In addition to descriptions of the
general conceptual background, the document also provides proposals for a default TM
for LTE networks that can be used as basic traffic requirement assumptions during
dimensioning exercises that have to be executed without information on expected traffic
volumes.

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Traffic dimensionig principles

LTE Traffic Model

2 Traffic dimensionig principles


The Traffic Model described in this document is an essential precondition for both LTE
Radio Network and LTE Access Transport Network Dimensioning. The objective of
Network Dimensioning is:

for Radio dimensioning, to determine the number of cells/sites required


to cover a certain geographical area (radio coverage dimensioning)
to serve a particular expected total traffic volume demanded by the network's
subscribers (radio capacity dimensioning)
for Access/Transport dimensioning, to determine
transport resources required for user data, signaling data & O&M data on the
LTE/SAE transport interfaces (transport capacity dimensioning)

A dimensioning campaign can only be started if a particular set of obligatory input data
has been collected beforehand. Especially for radio and transport capacity dimensioning, the Traffic Model is one of those essential inputs. For the radio network, the initial
point of a dimensioning campaign is to ensure that the desired coverage is achieved
(this takes place without any evaluation of expected subscriber traffic volumes or figures). Once this step is made, the minimum amount of needed sites required to cover
the area to be served with sufficiently strong radio signal is known.

Figure 1

Overall dimensioning process

Usually the next step is capacity dimensioning. This is because capacity dimensioning
basically compares the capacity (= throughput) of a single cell/site with the expected
traffic volumes.

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Traffic dimensionig principles

Figure 2

Offered vs served traffic

The maximum traffic must be managed in the 'busy hour', it is of essential importance to
estimate the amount of traffic that is to be carried by a system/network in the Busy Hour
(BH). This is only one of possible approaches, assuming the worst case from the point
of offered traffic. On the other hand, it is the most appropriate solution because the
network must be capable of serving users all the time.
Figure 3 Traffic daily profile shows the 'busy hour' denotes that time of day, where the
highest traffic volumes are to be expected due to subscribers' behavior.

Figure 3

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Traffic daily profile

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Traffic dimensionig principles

LTE Traffic Model

In a typical network, during a packet call, network subscribers receive and transmit different amounts of data. Moreover, they move/roam from one cell to another. Though the
subscribers' traffic demands and roaming behavior during established connections are
highly individual and independent events, a statistical representation of the subscribers'
behavior in the network helps planners to achieve suitable figures on which to base a
dimensioning campaign. In other words, individual subscriber behavior must be
reflected by a modeled 'busy hour traffic profile' (= Traffic Model) the aim of which is to
come as close as possible to the traffic volumes that the network in question must carry
in reality.
The aforementioned aspects are described in this Traffic Model document.
A TM can either be very complex and precise or very simple. Either way, the dimensioning expert should usually have received the traffic model description parameters or
figures from the customer for which the dimensioning campaign is performed. If the
traffic model figures are not provided by the requesting customer, the dimensioning
expert should request this data and clearly state that without exact TM the accuracy of
the results of the capacity dimensioning campaign is reduced.
Usually, a TM is provided in the form of a number of subscribers with a traffic model per
subscriber, as shown in Table 1 Exemplary TM:
Service

Usage per month

Usage in Busy Hour

Voice

300 min

28,4 mErlang

WWW

10 MB

0,13 kbps

FTP

30 MB

0,39 kbps

Streaming

20 MB

0,26 kbps

Table 1

Exemplary TM

However, the availability of a customer-provided traffic model cannot always be taken


for granted. In some cases, the dimensioning expert has no traffic model description
from the customer which he can use as basis for capacity dimensioning. As a TM is a
mandatory input for any capacity dimensioning campaign, a default TM should exist for
the case that no other customer-specific traffic figures are available. As, usually, a TM
is very operator- or, respectively, country-specific the default model shall be used only
if operator data do no allow for an estimation of expected traffic in the analyzed network.
During dimensioning, the traffic model has a direct influence on the load that must be
managed, all of the segments/interfaces; therefore, it must be clearly defined. Generally
speaking, to avoid further problems, traffic modeling should be the first step when it
comes to network dimensioning.
The following workflow then can be applied:

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LTE Traffic Model

Traffic dimensionig principles

Figure 4

Overall dimensioning workflow (E-UTRAN + EPC)

For detailed information about Radio, Access, or Core planning please refer to the corresponding guidelines.

2.1

Overbooking factor
The network has to be designed to provide sufficient capacity to its users. It is a compromise between costs and bandwidth. In practice, users transmit data for only a small
portion of time. In fact the average throughput tends to be much lower than the
requested subscription rate. The relation between subscription rate and average subscriber throughput in the busy hour (BH) is called overbooking factor (OBF).
Subscription Rate
OFB = ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Average throughput within BH

Figure 5

Subscription rate vs average throughput

In other words, this parameter gives information about the possibility to increase the
number of users that can share the same resources. For typical dimensioning campaigns values for OBF are in the range of 10-25.

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Traffic modeling

LTE Traffic Model

3 Traffic modeling
The real traffic in a network depends on the distribution of subscribers with individually
varying traffic behavior using different terminal types over the planned area. This distribution is not constant, but more or less randomly varies over time.
For dimensioning, however, usually it is assumed that only one TM is valid in the whole
network (i.e. neither subscriber nor clutter differentiation). For big areas, it is possible to
assume different traffic models for different clutters. In an LTE network, which is based
on an 'all-IP' architecture, various applications can be served.
One of the steps in the TM definition is to assume which application will be allowed for
particular users. When different phases of traffic evolution are planned also a forecast
of traffic increase in forthcoming years is essential.
Figure 6 Steps in traffic modelling sums up all of the mentioned issues.

Figure 6

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Steps in traffic modelling

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Default LTE traffic model

4 Default LTE traffic model


As stated in the introduction, a default traffic model is required for those cases where a
dimensioning expert needs to execute a dimensioning campaign, but did not receive a
traffic model from the requesting customer. A default TM is defined by assuming a 'standard' subscriber who uses all accounted services in parallel. In this document, three different variants 'subscriber profile' have been defined (the exact difference between them
are explained in more detail later), each of them characterized by a particular emphasis
in the 'traffic mix':

Voice dominant
Data dominant
Mixed (voice + data)

The proposed TM follows the steps introduced in Traffic modeling. All corresponding
assumptions have been collected below.
1. The proposed TM assumes the usage of only one TM in the whole area. Users are
uniformly distributed among all areas of different clutter types, and, within each area,
the subscriber behavior is assumed to be the same.
2. The amount of considered services used by the network subscribers is limited to five
(see table below).
3. Each service is characterized by the mean holding time and transfer size:
Service

Transfer size
[kB]

Mean holding
time [s]

VoIP

180

90

Video

720

90

Streaming (Live TV)

10500

600

Web browsing

500

600

FTP

5000

312

Table 2

Service characteristics

4. As indicated above, three different subscriber profiles were defined. Each profile is
represented by different services usage. Three different traffic mix have been
defined as shown in the Table 3 Traffic mixs for different subscriber type.

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Default LTE traffic model

LTE Traffic Model

Unit

Value

1) Voice dominant subscriber profile


Voice Usage per Subscriber

min

Video Usage per Subscriber

min

Streaming Usage per Subscriber

min

Web Usage per Subscriber

pages

0,333

FTP

kB

390,7

Data Usage per Subscriber

MB

2) Data dominant subscriber profile


Voice Usage per Subscriber

min

0,1

Video Usage per Subscriber

min

0,1

Streaming Usage per Subscriber

min

Web Usage per Subscriber

pages

3,33

FTP

kB

7747

Data Usage per Subscriber

MB

10

3) Voice and data mixed profile


Voice Usage per Subscriber

min

2,5

Video Usage per Subscriber

min

0,05

Streaming Usage per Subscriber

min

Web Usage per Subscriber

pages

1,665

FTP

kB

2913,5

Data Usage per Subscriber

MB

Table 3

Traffic mixs for different subscriber type

As the users'/subscribers' behavior is influenced by evolving operators' service


policies and the extent of the users' familiarity with the new data services, the traffic
mix of the different subscriber profile is expected to change in forthcoming years.
Therefore, a further tuning of the TM and subscriber profiles will be necessary in
future.
5. For calculation of traffic demand, the number of Busy Hour Call Attempts (BHCA)
must be calculated.
The Busy Hour Call Attempts per subscriber can be calculated using the following
other formulas:
Voice, Video, and Streaming usage is expressed as 'minutes per month', therefore the same formula applies to all of these.
Service usage per BH [min]
BHCA [#] = --------------------------------------------------------------------------Service MHT

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Default LTE traffic model

For Web-browsing BHCA per subscriber, the following parameters are needed:
Web Usage per Subscriber
BHCA [#] = -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Traffic Requests per session

Typical web session consists of 5 web pages; one page is equal to one Traffic
Request .The average size of a web page is considered to be 100 KB. Considering this, the average data size of HTTP based traffic is 500 KB (5 web pages
* 100 KB) as seen in the table.
For calculating the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) BHCA, the following formula is
used.
Data volume
BHCA [#] = ---------------------------------------------FTP transfer size

BHCA
1) Voice dominant subscriber profile
VoIP

3,33

Video

Streaming (Live TV)

Web browsing

0,07

FTP

0,08

2) Data dominant subscriber profile


VoIP

0,07

Video

0,07

Streaming (Live TV)

0,20

Web browsing

0,67

FTP

1,55

3) Voice and data mixed profile


VoIP

1,67

Video

0,03

Streaming (Live TV)

0,10

Web browsing

0,33

FTP

0,58

Table 4

Calculated values for BHCA

If the application characteristics and BHCA of a system can be determined, then


traffic per particular application for the busy hour can be obtained in the following
way:
Traffic_Volume_per_Application [kB] = BHCA transfer_size_application

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Default LTE traffic model

LTE Traffic Model

Traffic volume per subscriber is the sum of all application volumes used by this subscriber.
For each area (and each phase), the traffic demand has to be accumulated for the
number of subscribers who may use the specified services in this area and in this
phase.
The following definitions shall be used:
OfferedTraffic [kB] = number_of_subcarriers Traffic_Volume_per_subscriber

6. Traffic forecast plays a major role in cellular planning. It gives information about
network growth for the years to come. It allows to plan future network design, cost,
geographical site distribution etc. The current prediction is that network traffic growth
will be very fast. The estimated growth will be 15% per year. By using the following
equation, the traffic evolution for the years 2009-2013 has been calculated.
TrafficVolume ( 2009 + n ) = 1.15 n TrafficVolume ( 2009 )

n = 1, 2, 3...
A number of services have different requirements for uplink and downlink direction,
e. g. download of music files requires high transfer capacity for downlink while the
uplink is utilized only for short messages such as acknowledgements. Therefore, the
calculations described below need to be done separately for the uplink and downlink. While the main reference document provides only values for downlink direction,
the following simplified approach is used for the UL traffic volume calculation. The
general idea is to introduce a parameter responsible for converting the DL volume
to UL. This parameter is set to equal "4,3 : 1 " It is important to indicate that this is
a simplified approach, and no differentiation on application basis has been done - all
applications are being treated with the same conditions.
All proposed values [kB during BH] have been collected in the following table.

Voice dominant

2010

2011

2012

2013

DL

UL

DL

UL

DL

UL

DL

UL

DL

UL

VoIP

600,00

139,53

690,00

160,47

793,50

184,53

912,53

212,22

1049,40

244,05

Video

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

Streaming
(Live TV)

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

Web browsing

33,30

7,74

38,30

8,91

44,04

10,24

50,65

11,78

58,24

13,54

FTP

390,70

90,86

449,31

104,49

516,70

120,16

594,21

138,19

683,34

158,92

TOTAL

1024,00

238,14

1177,60

273,86

1354,24

314,94

1557,38

362,18

1790,98

416,51

Data dominant

16

2009

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

DL

UL

DL

UL

DL

UL

DL

UL

DL

UL

VoIP

12,00

2,79

13,80

3,21

15,87

3,69

18,25

4,24

20,99

4,88

Video

48,00

11,16

55,20

12,84

63,48

14,76

73,00

16,98

83,95

19,52

TOTAL

10240,00

2381,40

11776,00

2738,60

13542,40

3149,40

15573,76

3621,80

17909,82

4165,08

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Default LTE traffic model

Streaming
(Live TV)

2100,00

488,37

2415,00

561,63

2777,25

645,87

3193,84

742,75

3672,91

854,17

Web browsing

333,00

77,44

382,95

89,06

440,39

102,42

506,45

117,78

582,42

135,45

FTP

7747,00

1801,63

8909,05

2071,87

10245,41

2382,65

11782,22

2740,05

13549,55

3151,06

TOTAL

10240,00

2381,40

11776,00

2738,60

13542,40

3149,40

15573,76

3621,80

17909,82

4165,08

Voice + Data

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

DL

UL

DL

UL

DL

UL

DL

UL

DL

UL

VoIP

300,00

69,77

345,00

80,23

396,75

92,27

456,26

106,11

524,70

122,02

Video

24,00

5,58

27,60

6,42

31,74

7,38

36,50

8,49

41,98

9,76

Streaming
(Live TV)

1050,00

244,19

1207,50

280,81

1388,63

322,94

1596,92

371,38

1836,46

427,08

Web browsing

832,50

193,60

957,38

222,65

1100,98

256,04

1266,13

294,45

1456,05

338,62

FTP

2913,50

677,56

3350,53

779,19

3853,10

896,07

4431,07

1030,48

5095,73

1185,05

TOTAL

5120,00

1190,70

5888,00

1369,30

6771,20

1574,70

7786,88

1810,90

8954,91

2082,54

Table 5

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