Macrocell-Wide Behavior of the Orthogonality Factor in WCDMA Downlinks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The orthogonality factor (OF) quantifies the loss of orthogonality between the signals transmitted simultaneously on a wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) downlink due to multipath dispersion. It is one of the fundamental parameters that determines the signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio at the output of the Rake receiver and, consequently, it has a significant impact on downlink system capacity. The OF depends greatly on the delay profile of the multipath channel between the mobile and its serving base station; this profile varies considerably from one location in the cell to another. In this paper, we study how the statistical properties of the small-scale-fading-averaged OF vary over the entire macrocellular area. We use an ensemble of channel profiles at different locations in a cell generated from an implementation of the comprehensive COST259 channel model, which incorporates results from several experimental investigations. We show that the small-scale-fading-averaged OF is itself a random variable whose statistics depend on the mobile's distance from its serving base station. The large observed variance of the OF indicates that using a single value for all users in downlink capacity analyses and simulations, as has been the practice, may lead to erroneous conclusions. Finally, we propose a simple model that closely matches the statistics of the OF as a function of mobile-to-base distance, thus obviating the need to set up the complicated channel model every time OF values are to be generated.


  • N B Mehta
  • Andreas Molisch
  • L Greenstein
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering


  • wideband code division multiple access, land mobile, fading channels, multipath channels, radio propagation factors, Rayleigh channels, Rake receivers, cellular radio, COST259, channel profile, time-varying channels, statistics, radio receivers, orthogonality factor
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3394-3399
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Department of Electroscience (011041000)