Small Cell Optimization Considerations

Indoor small cells are typically installed in venues to fill in small coverage holes to provide better voice quality, data throughput speeds and reduced drop calls at a very low Installation cost compared to a conventional DAS system. As with any other wireless system small cells have to be carefully designed, installed and optimized to provide optimum coverage and quality to end users. KEY DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS TO ACHIEVE AN OPTIMIZED SMALL CELLS NETWORK

  • Ensure proper RF dominance (coverage & quality) over existing macro network penetration
  • Minimize pilot pollution especially in high traffic areas within the venue
  • Minimize RF leakage as much as possible outside the designed coverage area
  • Maintain the minimum required distance between each Access Point to avoid potential interference
  • Properly identifying the grid – Access Points and Gateway – Access Points
  • Ensure the back haul meets design objectives


  • Gateway AP is typically at the Ingress/Egress Location of the designed building or any location in the building which needs Hand in or Hand out from a Macro site.
  • Grid AP is typically all other Access Points which are configured to confine handovers only within the Small Cell network away from macro network boundary to minimize any potential poor performance from Macro Intruders.


  • Basic Functional Call Testing is completed on all Access Points within the venue
  • RF coverage and quality meets design objectives
  • Pre-Launch parameters are set as per operator’s requirements
  • Each Access Point is properly configured as Gateway or Grid AP
  • Neighbors are defined between each AP and also between the Gateway AP and Macro Sites outside the metro cell coverage area
  • Gateway APs are defined as neighbors on macro sites and are enabled for IFHO
  • Successful handovers and reselection in both directions between each Access Points
  • Successful handovers and reselection between the Gateway Access Points and Macro Sites outside the metro cell coverage area
  • Ensure proper AP Dominance as per the design objectives and identify any over-shooters and bleed outs
  • Optimize the power profiles to reduce and over-shooters or bleed outs
  • Ensure that Automatic Neighbor Sniffing is enabled on all APs if available


  • Monitor KPIs for few days post launch to identify any issues while the newly deployed small cells network is serving commercial traffic
  • Optimize transmit power profiles to reduce any inter AP interference due to over shooters or bleeds within multiple floors
  • Adjust Gateway/ Grid configurations if needed to address any handover issues due to macro Intruders or bleed outs from the metro cells
  • Adjust E2D threshold parameters on Macro Sites if needed to address any handover issues between gateway APs and macro sites


  • SON may be enabled to automatically configure the Metro Cells with respect to the surrounding network and to periodically monitor, update, and optimize their neighbor lists and handover parameters
  • SON intermittently adjusts transmit power and schedule of resource settings to avoid inter-cell interference
  • SON may significantly reduce network planning, deployment, and planning costs

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