Coverage Testing

Drive Test

Most system operators require coverage testing as confirmation of system performance, for planning and to provide a demographic basis for marketing efforts. Two examples of drive testing are shown here. Figure 1 shows a segment of a drive test performed in a large metropolitan area, the market included multiple cells and the data provided on this plot is a result of extensive driving in several of these cells.

The system used for data collection was designed by Digital Microwave Consulting and provided GPS correlation of signal level. A total of three systems were constructed and the last built provided post processed differential GPS for a system accuracy of about nine feet. Digital Microwave Consulting also provided project supervision of the data collection and data reduction efforts. Multiple Boolean expressions were applied to the database used in the plot and the data points were reduced to 1/10th (one point every ten seconds)of the total taken.

Figure 2 represents a plot of acquisition point locations for IEEE 802.11b access points. This data can be used as a reference for obtaining broadband service or as an indication of potential interference sources for system planning. Although not plotted, channel information and MAC address information is available from the database.

In addition to drive testing, systems should be tested for compliance to the link budget design requirements of the system. These tests are performed in the field using calibrated test set-ups at various locations based on antenna quantity, location and patterns.


Drive Test

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