When an area is covered by a mobile network even with high quality coverage, sometimes, the network inside the building infrastructures is degraded or even non-existent due to multiple factors such as having thick walls, basement space, office located in a building which is too high, etc. This is why operators offer a range of solutions to bring or extend mobile network connectivity inside buildings. Indoor mobile coverage consists in bringing or optimizing a 3G, 4G or 5G mobile network inside buildings.
On behalf of a French operator, our team of indoor network experts was entrusted to design 5G indoor radio networks for corporate customers in the large accounts and local community segments. In addition, as a Product Owner of the radio design and dimensioning tools, one of our consultants was in charge of managing and monitoring changes to the tool and adapting it to the needs of internal users in production.
Cross-Functional Studies to Defining the Needs of Indoor Connectivity for Customers
Our team of experts has brought its know-how in the design of indoor radio networks to contribute in defining the needs of several B2B customer projects in domains such as industry, theaters and public transport. The transition to a 5G indoor network has allowed us to maximize network capacity and to develop new practices in these domains. At the same time, this work has enabled us to meet the requirements of the regulator (ARCEP) as well as to expand the catalog of indoor RAN, DAS and Small Cell solutions1.
The contributions had several dimensions such as measurement and analysis of indoor 5G connections; technical recommendations and determination of the design thresholds of indoor 5G; intermodulation studies, the definition of the pilot phase or new products adapted to the needs.
Managing and Monitoring Functional Needs around Design Tools and Internal Network Sizing
As a referent on network design, sizing and planning tools, our consultant, the Product Owner, was the interface between the functional needs of the production units and the editors. Submitted requests were implemented based on their priority level. Its intervention ranged from the collection of needs, its technical implementation to tests and demonstrations with users.
Also, as an expert on the tools, our consultant participated in various tenders to assist in the selection of software publishing partners in the field. In particular, he contributed to the specification and organization of functional tests. Once the tool has been selected, it is adapted and supported by the production teams.
This project allowed the operator to have its first indoor 5G performance qualifications. In favor of experiments and various 5G indoor network design initiatives, the operator was able to establish the engineering and design rules for new 5G products and services. Also, the support provided to the production units concerning the design tools made it possible to adapt the handling of the tool to thevarious business needs of customers. Currently, our consultants continue to work on the 5G indoor domain in support of the work in progress for the 2024 Olympic Games.
1 RAN : Radio Access Network
DAS : Distributed Antenna System which allows the creation of an indoor mobile network independant from the external network
Small Cell : Access point to the mobile telecommunications network