Radio access network planning (RAN Planning) can be defined as the process of proposing locations, configurations and settings of the new network nodes to be rolled out in a wireless network.

The general objectives of radio network planning are:

  • Obtaining sufficient coverage over target area, ensuring satisfactory service quality and low bit-error rates.
  • Providing the demanded network capacity with low service blocking, satisfactory user throughputs and low dropped call rates.
  • Preserving profitability by implementing an economically efficient network infrastructure (i.e. minimum number of sites and transmitters required to satisfy coverage, quality and capacity requirements).

These radio network planning objectives are fulfilled by proper selection of site locations and configuration of cell settings and parameters, including antenna models, antenna heights, azimuth and tilt angles, etc. Automated site selection and configuration is becoming a must for 5G NR RAN planning, as the number of cells to be deployed in urban areas is much higher than for previous wireless technologies.

Next steps of the RAN planning process include specification of technology-dependent parameters.

Deriving neighbour lists for new sites is also part of the RAN Planning process, especially for 2G and 3G. All other numerous standardized and vendor-specific parameters are typically set at nominal values at rollout and continuously tuned when cells are operational and KPIs become available. Efficient RAN planning is reflected in satisfied subscribers, profitable network (low infrastructure cost) and lower optimization efforts following the network rollout.

Atoll provides fully integrated single-RAN – multi-RAT network planning and optimisation features for both 3GPP and 3GPP2 radio access technologies including 5G NR, LTE, NB-IoT, UMTS, GSM and CDMA.

Atoll radio planning and optimisation software also provides full support for the latest advances in wireless technologies such as massive MIMO, 3D beamforming and mmWave propagation for the design and roll-out of 5G networks.

Atoll Microwave supports backhaul design and planning for networks comprising microwave and other backhaul links.


Further information about RAN Planning :