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What is a "Pilot" in WCDMA?


#1

Hi,

I was reading a fundamental (or beginner) introduction to WCDMA and it said

“Pilot coverage decides the coverage boundary for a particular site. Proper Pilot power planning is very important. Too-weak pilot will lead to coverage holes, whereas too-strong pilots will lead to overshooting and interferance.”

So my question is, What is this Pilot signal? Is it a logical channel like BCCH in GSM? I have seen DT teams use BCCH signal to determine coverage for a particular GSM site. Is Pilot signal like that too? Does it have any other purpose?

Thanks in advance. I would really appreciate your help in grasping the concept.


#2

The information here seems decent:

In general, although the format may be totally different, mobiles need a downlink “pilot” signal for several reasons, from network acquisition to mobility among downlink “cells”. The WCDMA CPICH, or Common Pilot Channel, beyond original network acquisition, allows the mobiles to help the network to determine the “best server” at any given time. Not just GSM or WCDMA, but LTE and 5G NR, also have “pilot” signals for similar purposes,


#3

Thank you mariotorres for the answer. I am beginning to understand the channel concepts of wcdma and lte and they are vastly different than that of gsm, so these are a bit confusing. but your reply helped so much.