Putting the technology to the test
Viavi recently worked with an operator in Europe that was reporting high Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) problems, which were affecting a specific LTE physical resource block (PRB). The interfering signal could be easily observed at the radio unit on the tower, but was difficult to detect on the ground due to a low signal level. Despite this, it was affecting LTE uplink throughput.
The two sites repeatedly reporting high RSSI in LTE services were 400 metres apart. To identify the location of highest power, all of the streets between both sites needed to be covered. Viavi performed an on-site measurement as the interferer could not be seen from the ground level. By doing this, it was able to detect a single tone interference at a specific PRB.
Using automated software, Viavi successfully identified the most probable area after just 6 minutes of driving. The team parked the car near the suspected area and performed a manual hunt using a handheld, light-weight component that could pinpoint the direction of the strongest interferer signal received. The manual hunt indicated that the strongest signal was coming from a TV signal booster on the 9th floor of an apartment building, which is why it was so difficult to detect from the ground. As soon as the TV booster was removed, the problem was eliminated.
With the help of automaton and portable equipment, Viavi was able to dramatically speed up the interference finding process and eliminate the problem for the operator.
The way forward
With the ever-increasing complexity of wireless networks, service providers need to look for smarter, efficient solutions to combat interference head on. New technology is constantly evolving to help mobile operators meet this objective. Taking advantage of these technologies will be vital for operators to improve quality of service, reduce churn and cut much-needed costs.
About the author:
Kashif Hussain, CellAdvisor Solutions Marketing at Viavi Solutions - www.viavisolutions.com