Radio propagation: a necessary level for operators

Thu 14 Mar 2024

Radio propagation simulation is a critical component of an operator's mission. Its effectiveness depends on various factors, such as topography, network data, and field measurements. The quality of each element significantly influences the simulation's robustness and accuracy, and thus, the success of its intended purpose.

Why is it crucial to enhance the accuracy of your radio propagation model?

There are several important reasons for an operator to ensure its accuracy: 

1. Ensuring Mobile Coverage and Investment Strategies

Throughout the lifespan of their networks, operators face various challenges that manifest in different projects, such as designing radio coverage in rural areas, optimizing 5G coverage in densely populated urban areas, considering towerco (tower company) services, and providing connectivity through Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). Similar to the way geographical data impacts simulations, the accuracy of the radio propagation model affects the quality of mobile network simulations. Enhancing its accuracy leads to more precise coverage predictions, thereby avoiding issues : 

  • increased energy costs
  • dropped calls
  •  the inaccurate estimation of the number of sites required.

2. Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

The allocation and operation of frequencies often come with obligations that vary widely :

  •  he percentage of the population to be covered by the mobile network,
  • Thresholds for human exposure to radio frequencies
  • The percentage of a country's area that must be covered by the operator.

In cases where there is a discrepancy between expectations and the observed reality, actions may need to be taken with the regulator when radio interference from a third party is detected, or, if necessary, sanctions may be imposed if the operator fails to meet the objectives set by the regulator.

3. Guaranteeing Customer Satisfaction

As the emphasis on data speed intensifies, coverage continues to be a crucial selling point. The precision of the simulation is essential for fulfilling customer expectations, which are increasing for both outdoor and indoor scenarios. Providing diverse coverage options enhances the user experience and helps prevent complaints that could damage the service's reputation and lead to issues with regulators.

4. Monitoring Environmental Changes

The development of villages, cities, and regions, as well as their accompanying challenges, affects the behavior of radio signals. Developments such as the creation of new neighborhoods, the implementation of new architectural standards, or changes in building height regulations require the predictions for your mobile network to be updated and made more representative.

5. Securing the Results of Automation Implementation:

Radio propagation simulation is a component of an automated system, which encounters challenges such as data quality, parameterization, and integration. Once operational, this automation streamlines the creation of automated coverage maps, which are crucial for monitoring network development, as well as the execution of customized processes designed to meet the unique requirements of the service.

What are your challenges?

Are you considering acquiring a new frequency, reorganizing existing frequencies, updating your geographical database, or do you need training and skill development for your teams?

Our team of experts is eager to listen and engage in discussions about your specific needs to collaboratively identify the most effective solutions

Alexandre Colpin

Pre-sales consultant for mobile network engineering tools distribution.