CC&N expands and ensures reliable wireless service coverage for event venues, hospitals, schools, and businesses throughout communities nationwide. An RF design team at CC&N works collaboratively to create a design that meets the needs of the environment today and into the future.
CC&N’s RF design team utilizes five key steps to create reliable and effective designs for Cellular and Emergency Responder Radio Communication System (ERRC) systems. In order, they are communication, signal survey, modeling, engineering, and verification.
Radio Frequency (RF) Design: Coverage and Capacity Communications
- Communication comes in two parts: discovery with the customer to gather information on the services and areas they want to be covered. The second is with the service provider (in the case of cellular) or the AHJ (in the case of ERRCS). This determines what bands will be repeating and what codes and ordinances the system will comply with.
- Areas of existing coverage: Total building coverage is not always necessary, especially in the case of ERRCS where partial coverage may already exist. This saves the customer money by avoiding unnecessary materials and labor.
- Available off-air signal levels: Many systems work by repeating existing off-air signal sources. In these cases, it is important to know what is available to be repeated.
- Sources of interference: Several things can interfere with RF signals like high-power robotics charging stations and competing sources of the same signal bands. Identifying these sources so they can be avoided or eliminated is key to a successful system.
- Modeling involves using specialized RF design software to create 3D models of the structure in need of coverage. Using the appropriate materials in the model to predict how RF signals will interact with the environment takes the guesswork out of the engineering process.
- Engineering is where the RF design process comes together. Taking the information from communications and surveys and creating a custom-tailored system to best meet coverage needs within the 3D model.
- The other benefit of 3D modeling the design is the ability to run a prediction model that will show how the signal produced by the freshly engineered system will interact with the environment. This not only provides a great deal of confidence in the designs but is also a useful tool for verifying the systems’ quality post-installation.
- Post-installation network testing is conducted to ensure the system meets the key performance indicators of the design.