Ranplan showcases advanced indoor/outdoor network modelling for small cells, DAS and Wi-Fi at SCWS World in London

By Zenobia Hegde

At Small Cells World Summit in London, Ranplan Wireless will be featuring Ranplan Professional, its flagship product that bridges the gap between indoor and outdoor design to plan and deploy Small Cell, DAS and Wi-Fi networksacross in-building and densified urban environments in coordination.

And with 5G gaining momentum, Ranplan Professional also meets the urgent need for a new generation of design tools capable of planning 5G networks using the latest simulation and predictive modelling techniques.

Ranplan Professional can simultaneously model both indoor and outdoor environments, taking inputs for traditional in-building designs such as CAD and other image files and combining these with high-resolution geo-data to reproduce ahybrid real world virtual environment.

By providing high quality resolution imagery to accurately represent buildings andfoliage in large dense urban environment, designers can detect any obstruction that may impact signal propagation andmore accurately plan network deployment for small cells. This hybrid environment allows users to easily and accurately plan and simulate the performance of complex coordinated multilayer, multi-technology networks both indoor and out.

This insight provides a true picture of overall network, sector and subscriber performance prior to the network being deployed. Additionally, by leveraging the advanced 3D modelling, fast and accurate 3D ray-tracing, along with powerful data analysis, Ranplan Professional selects the best location type and output power for antenna placement and correct channel allocation for selected sectors to minimise interference and maximise capacity.

Designing and planning 5G networks presents a variety of technical challenges; in particular, how to design for short range, high frequencies that can still cope with demanding indoor and outdoor coverage and capacity levels. Ranplan Professional offers users a true 3D ray-tracing model covering frequency bands from 100MHz up to 70GHz, supporting 5G and mmWavetechnologies. It also features a device database of over 7,500 up-to-date components for both indoor and outdoor applications.

“With the arrival of 5G and the drive to deliver smart city initiatives and support the IoT, we believe Ranplan Professional will play a significant role in integrating small cells, DAS and Wi-Fi into in-building and combined in-building and dense urban outdoor environments, smart cities and public safety networks,” said Alastair Williamson, CEO at Ranplan Wireless.

According to recent Ericsson Mobility Report, video consumption is set to increase from 50% of all mobile traffic in 2017 to over 75% by 2023, while the number of IoT devices is also projected to reach 1.8 billion in 2023. “With the number of wireless devices and the data consumed by these devices rising significantly over the foreseeable future, mobile operators are focused on densifying their mobile networks by implementing DAS and small cells,” adds Williamson.

“To do this they need a tool that can design in-building and dense urban outdoor environments in coordination to accurately predict and simulate the effect of densification, so they can optimise their networks for increased capacity and coverage to deliver the best customer quality of experience.”

Visit Ranplan at SCWS the Novotel London West, Hammersmith International Centre from 21-23 May.

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On the road with IoT

By Zenobia Hegde

As more companies move to a predictive model of equipment maintenance, they are looking for ways to use connected devices to improve field service. Here, George Walker, managing director of field service management software provider Novotek UK and Ireland, explains how the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing field service.

Before internet-connected devices were the norm, it was common for facilities managers and in-house maintenance staff to spend time on the phone with suppliers booking in a suitable time for repairs to be carried out. It might have taken hours, if not days, for an engineer to come out to the site — leading to potential downtime in the interim.

When the technician came to the site, they may have found that they didn’t have the right tools, the right parts, or even the specific knowledge to carry out the service needed. This would mean the same technician would have to go back, or a second technician would need to come out to complete the service.

Although this model has been the norm for many years, it is no longer feasible in a modern environment. Factors such as first-time fix rates, mean time to repair and overall efficiency are driving businesses to closely monitor resource allocation and the time spent on maintenance.

Field service management has traditionally been responsible for activities such as locating fleet vehicles, scheduling maintenance work-orders and dispatching personnel. However, the advent of the IoT means that much of this model is shifting to real-time, predictive maintenance and those companies that adapt their businesses will benefit the most from the resulting competitive advantage.

The number of connected IoT devices is set to surge in the next few years, going from 27 billion in 2017 to an estimated 125 billion in 2030, according to analysis firm IHS Markit. Sensors can not only help engineers to remotely diagnose problems in many instances, they can also help to remotely repair or prevent further damageto equipment.

However, hardware sensors are just the start. Better software will help businesses to truly realise the potential of IoT in field service management. Modern field servicing software needs to go beyond the basics and offer better wider integration with the company’s inventory, billing and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

This is why we’ve partnered with the leading vendor in the industry to help our customers achieve better results.Novotek is the sole distributor of GE‘s ServiceMax field servicing software in the UK and Ireland. ServiceMax creates solutions for the people who install, maintain and repair machines across dozens of industries, as the leading provider of complete end-to-end mobile and cloud-based technology.

George Walker

The results speak for themselves. In a recent survey of ServiceMax customers in March 2018, technicians and engineers were 19% more productive, service costs went down by 9% and service revenue increased by 10%. In addition to this, customers saw contract renewals increase by 11%, mean time-to-repair decrease 13% and equipment uptime improve by 9% — leading to customers being11% more satisfied. Overall, compliance incidents dropped by 13%.

By sending the right technician to the right job, at the right time, you avoid situations where some technicians are overloaded, while others have white space in their schedules. Using an app that works across devices, technicians can request jobs from anywhere. Each service level agreement (SLA) is easily managed and field service reports are easily produced.

What was science fiction a mere five years ago is now reality. A machine on a customer site can send an alert to the service team […]

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