Preferred Roaming List (PRL) Tools FAQs

Introduction and Benefits

Why do I need these tools?
PRL maintenance is complex, TDS maintenance is complex, PRL building is obscure and System selection is confusing. The PRL tool suite was developed in order to assist with PRL design, maintenance and testing in CDMA systems.

Who would use the PRL tool suite?
The PRL tools were specifically designed for users who build pricing strategies, set carrier partner preferences, desing PRLs and those who test and maintain PRLs.

Which operators currently use the PRL tool suite to build their PRLs?
All major US operators and many major handset and infrastructure providers are using the tools today.

What is PRESTO and how can it help me?
Presto is a configurable PRL import and export utility that enables PRLs to be edited directly in Excel. PRL Presto supports IS683-A,B and C type PRLs and MCC/MNC format entries as suggested in the CDG Document #86, PRL enhancements. Presto supports the definition of your own labels and the use of numbers for both GEOs and priorities inside a GEO.

What is PREDICATE and how can it help me?
A comprehensive auditor and query utility that loads in the Technical Data Sheets (TDS) of your roaming partners and allows full TDS and PRL query by country, operator, market, band class, channel, etc as well as PRL cross checking. This tool can save you hours of time when adding in new partners or checking for errors. Try out the policy feature which allows you to verify your previously built PRL with just one click (after a policy has been created).

What is PREDICT and how can it help me?
PREDICT is a System Selection code simulator; it uses the same code that’s given to handset manufactures. The simulation is carried out using RF data coming from TDS information previously loaded with PREDICATE. That data is narrowed down by clicking in a specific globe position on the map and selecting a market which TDS data is available for. PRL information will be read with PRESTO, which guarantees that any PRL that PRESTO is able to read will be available for use in PREDICT. Additional information regarding the System Selection process (which usually is hidden) is available to the PRL tester.

Installation and Support

How do I get the tools?
The tools are open to the industry and can be found by going to

What are the minimum system requirements that are required for the PRL tools?
Wondows XP and Office 2007. There is no support for MAC users except an intel-chipped mac running windows.
NEW: Windows 7 and office 2010 are supported as well.

On installation, I get a “newer version of Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable” error. How can I successfully install the tools?

 Please download from here instead. This version does not try to install the VC++ components.

The tool bar has gone missing, now what?
The PRL tools are an add-in to the Microsoft Excel. Sometimes add-in’s get disabled. To re-enable them simply follow the directions below:
Open Excel, click the Office/File button > Excel Options > Add-Ins > Manage > COM Add-ins > Go, then ensure the PRL Toolsuite box is checked, and close and restart Excel.
In the rare case that this doesn’t work, try also Office/File button > Excel Options > Add-Ins > Manage > Disabled Items > Go, then re-enable mscoree.dll from the list of disabled items if it is present.
For either version, close and restart Excel.

What do I do if I’ve installed the tools but I don’t see them in my excel bar?
See answer above

What do I do if I’ve installed the tools but I can see only 1 and not all three?
See answer above.

I tried installing the tools but the installer looks to be hung up, now what?
It is most likely the tools are waiting for you to register before it can complete installation. Be sure to close all of your windows as the registration page may be underneath or hidden by the progress window.

What languages are supported in the tool suite?
The tool suite can sit in Excel applications that are configured in all languages. However the menu bars on each of the tools will be displayed in English only.

How do I get updates to the tool?
Click on the “Check for updates” button in the Help group on the PRL Tools ribbon tab in Excel. An automatic check is also made every 2 months. New features may also be announced to the email address used for registration.

How do I report bugs?
The tools are only optimized once they have been used. Bug fixes are important for you to report. They will be noted and then prioritized into a work order for new releases. Please send all feedback to

What type of support is available for the tools?
The tools are not formally supported. However, best effort support will be provided. Your patience is requested when asking for support. Please send all inquiries to

Tool Usage

How do I change column names so that I can see the operator’s name instead of the SID?
If TDS information is loaded using PREDICATE, operator and market information can be listed on the PRL System Records sheet next to the SID. After loading the TDS information, go PREDICATE > TDS Manager > Parse PRL for Reporting, then PREDICATE > Query Manager > PRL Reports > System Info to PRL

What is a PRL policy in PREDICATE?
A PRL Policy is the High Level Design of a Preferred Roaming List. Users create a PRL Policy by defining the properties, GEOs, and priorities within each GEO that represent that PRL. The first step in creating the PRL Policy is to specify the PRL properties. Next, a GEO is defined for each coverage area served by the PRL. Within each of these GEOs, systems are defined and prioritized.

How do I create a policy in PREDICATE?
The PRL Policy editor has two main areas, one located next to the left edge of the window, which will reflect the policy names and structures and the rest of the window where there will be displayed the details of the policy selected. To start creating a policy follow these steps

  1. Right click on the white area and select Add New Policy
  2. Type the policy name
  3. Type the Policy ID (self selected)and select PRL ID is the logical name of the policy if you want them to be the same
  4. Check Preferred Only if that’s the desired behavior for this PRL and select the Default Roaming Indicator
  • Fill in the Description field with details about the PRL
  • Enter a PRL file size limit, if you want to limit the size

How do I create a Policy GEO?
You must first create a Policy and load all of the TDSs that you want to include in your PRL.

  1. With PREDICATE open, click on PRL Policies which is the next tab over from Technical Data Sheets
  2. Right click on the policy node (this should be the policy that you have created from the last FAQ) and select ADD NEW GEO
  3. Enter a description for the Geo (what rules will the GEO contain?)
  4. Select the technologies allowed for the GEO (notice the available operators lists fills in with the appropriate operators as you add technologies)
  5. Add operators to the USE OPERATOR list
  6. Select the Country. Select the State (or check nationwide)
  7. Add the markets that you want to be preferred in this GEO
  8. Change to NEGTIVE and add the negative markets that will appear in this GEO
    -By default , all technologies have the same priority inside the current GEO. To change this behavior add PRIORITY change marks with the button that looks like this: —
    -Repeat this step for each of the operators in the GEO
  9. Select SEARCH Priority for the GEO

How do I create a concatenated PRL?
Concatenated PRLs (cPRLs) contain both 683A and 683C/E PRLs. They are typically used in RUIM/CSIM environments.
Use the PRESTO > PRL Operations > Compose cPRL command to select the component parts of the cPRL and combine them into one binary file.

Can the tools build EVDO PRLs?
Yes, The PRL in revision C of the standard adds some new structure and meaning. It still contains the three major sections as before (i.e. propoerties, Acquisition table and System table) but additional elements now allow for - A new tabled called the sub-net table, - A new extended system record that can describe analog, 1x/IS-95 and 1xEV-DO systems. - New grouping and linkage mechanisms that introduce a new new level of sub-grouping of 1x/IS-95 and 1x EV-Do systems fully contained within the existing GEO group mechanism. - New generic CDMA and 1xEV-DO acquisition records.

Can the tools convert an PRL excel file into binary format?
Yes, PRESTO does. Simply select PRESTO in the tools menu and then click “write a binary PRL”.

Can I use a partner’s TDS even if it is not in the standard CDG Doc#81 format?
Yes, while PREDICATE supports standard TDS formats, it doesn’t require them. You can select “Custom TDS” and configure which columns contain which pieces of information on a per-operator basis.

Does Presto (v support Band Class 10 and Band Class 14? If so, which of these Values is the correct option?
Yes, supports Band Class 10 and 14,
The way that the IS-683 standard supports these two bandclasses is by using the CDMA Generic acquisistion record, once you have selected CDMA Generic, you will have to fill it up with bandclass/channel pairs, for example,
Bandclass 10, channel x, then band class 14, channel y, etc …

What are the (Bc, Channel) Pair List/Count reports for?
Many devices have a limit to the number of unique Mode(i.e. 1X or DO)-Band-Channel combinations that can be present in a PRL. This is not the same as the number of acquisition records, or even the total number of channels listed in the acquisition records, since some channels may be duplicated across multiple records. The limit depends on the device age/software version, with typical values being 100 entries for old (>5 years) devices, and 200 entries for newer devices. (Please contact your OEM for specifics.)

The reports provide either a count of the number of unique combinations in a PRL, or a list of these combinations. This can assist in PRL design when approaching the limit.