What Is the RTWP in UMTS?

by Stephen Byron CooperUpdated September 28, 2017

The European implementation of the 3G mobile telephone network is known as the Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS). Like any telephone system, the UMTS network is vulnerable to interference from noise. Received Total Wideband Power (RTWP) is a method of measuring this.


Received Total Wideband Power does not solve the problem of noise in the telephone network. Instead it is a standard for measuring levels of interference within a mobile telephone cell. The interference measured by RTWP is not environmental, like static, but is the incidence of collision between calls.


The Universal Mobile Telecommunication System reserves a range of radio frequencies for the transmission of telephone calls. This band of frequencies is the “Wideband” in the name of RTWP. It is a finite resource and it is possible that it can be overloaded. This is “congestion” and RTWP is a tool aimed at managing this phenomenon.


RTWP is measured in decibels per milliwatt, expressed as dBm, or dBmW. An unloaded network will report an RTWP of minus 105 dBm. A highly congested network is indicated by an RTWP of minus 85 dBm. An acceptable level of service is deemed to be between minus 95 dBm and minus 105 dBm.

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