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UMTS has been designed as the next platform for mobile mass market communication. After a slow start, the usage of UMTS in terms of subscribers and volume is picking up momentum. Following the initial coverage-driven phase, network capacity is moving into focus. During network planning and optimization, cell capacity can be improved by explicitly designing for minimal interference. This paper introduces planning methodologies that allow to minimize interference overhead while maintaining the established network coverage. The authors' main contribution is the first practicable approach for comparing interference to lower bounds and benchmarks.
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