Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) and Reference Signal Received Power (RSRP)

RSSI is the more traditional metric that has long been used to display signal strength for GSM, CDMA1X, etc., and it integrates all of the RF power within the channel passband. In other words, for LTE, RSSI measurement bandwidth is all active subcarriers.

RSRP, on the other hand, is an LTE specific metric that averages the RF power in all of the reference signals in the passband. Remember those aforementioned and depicted 100 subcarriers that contain reference signals? To calculate RSRP, the power in each one of those subcarriers is averaged. As such, RSRP measurement bandwidth is the equivalent of only a single subcarrier. 

In other words:

RSRP (Reference Signal Receive Power) is the average power of Resource Elements (RE) that carry cell specific Reference Signals (RS) over the entire bandwidth, so RSRP is only measured in the symbols carrying RS. While RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) is a parameter which provides information about total received wide-band power (measure in all symbols) including all interference and thermal noise.

So it would be safe to write that, in LTE, RSRP provides information about signal strength and RSSI helps in determining interference and noise information. This is the reason, RSRQ (Reference Signal Receive Quality) measurement and calculation is based on both RSRP and RSSI.

Since the logarithmic ratio of 100 subcarriers to one subcarrier is 20 dB (e.g. 10 × log 100 = 20), RSSI tends to measure about 20 dB higher than does RSRP. Or, to put it another way, RSRP measures about 20 dB lower than what we are accustomed to observing for a given signal level. Thus, that superficially weak -102 dBm RSRP signal level would actually be roughly -82 dBm if it were converted to RSSI.

To conclude, here are a few takeaways about RSSI and RSRP as signal strength measurement techniques for LTE:
  • RSSI varies with LTE downlink bandwidth. For example, even if all other factors were equal, VZW 10 MHz LTE bandwidth RSSI would measure 3 dB greater than would Sprint 5 MHz LTE bandwidth RSSI. But that does not actually translate to stronger signal to the end user.
  • RSSI varies with LTE subcarrier activity -- the greater the data transfer activity, the higher the RSSI. But, again, that does not actually translate to stronger signal to the end user.
  • RSRP does a better job of measuring signal power from a specific sector while potentially excluding noise and interference from other sectors.
  • RSRP levels for usable signal typically range from about -75 dBm close in to an LTE cell site to -120 dBm at the edge of LTE coverage.

1 comment:

  1. can you will geve the range value of SINR and RSSI AND TX power