Small cell planning software can significantly reduce deployment time

Software solutions firm iBwave claims that a tier-1 operator using the company's in-building planning software to engineer its small cell network has been able to reduce its planning and design time by 10 hours and reduce site survey time by four hours. The network is in a warehouse of a U.S. retailer.

Given the explosive growth in wireless data and the high cost of spectrum, operators are increasingly deploying solutions such as small cells and distributed antenna systems. Analysts from Wells Fargo recently wrote that while many of those solutions have already been deployed in venues such as casinos, stadiums and arenas, there is still a need to make those deployments more efficient.  

Joe Madden, a small cell expert and principal analyst at Mobile Experts LLC, commented that solutions such as iBwave's have become the de facto standard for the planning of small cells.

iBwave is not the only company with solutions that help small cell engineers plan their networks. Enduria Wireless, Consistel, TEOCO and Newfield Wireless are just a few of the companies that offer similar solutions. Some of these companies have close relationships with certain integrators and some of them have a regional focus, according to Madden, who added that Singapore-based Consitel is strong in Asia.

iBwave's case study said that site surveys normally require a great deal of time. Technicians visit the site, often carrying paper floor plans, and then take notes and pictures as they survey the site. Then, hours may be spent compiling the pictures and documentation so that an RF engineer can plan the site. Then, "almost always," follow-up visits are required to validate the design.

The time savings from iBwave's solution comes from three sources, according to the company. These include post-survey documentation, the lack of follow-up site visits and enhanced coordination between team members.

For more:
- learn about the iBwave Mobile Planner

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