The coverage-capacity tradeoff in cellular CDMA systems

Venugopal V. Veeravalli, Andrew Sendonaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In cellular COM A systems that employ single-user detectors, in-cell interference limits the coverage of the cell. Thus for a given upper limit on transmit power, the coverage of a cell is inversely proportional to the number of users in it. This tradeoff between coverage and number of users is explicitly characterized here. Our analysis may be used in cellular planning to set hard limits on the number of users admitted into the cell in order to meet coverage requirements. Furthermore, our approach allows us to arrive at a precise definition for the pole capacity of a cell, which serves as an upper bound on the number of users a cell can support as the coverage shrinks to zero. We also present a technique to calculate cell coverage as a function of carried traffic, for any given admission policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1450
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • CDMA
  • Capacity
  • Cellular systems
  • Coverage
  • Pole capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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