Coverage is an essential component to any radio network. Testing coverage is especially important when it comes to a public safety radio network where communication is considered mission critical. Poor coverage may be the difference between critical communication being heard or not. Yet, many agencies have not taken a scientific approach and have relied on anecdotal evidence by their users.
Coverage testing is the act of measuring both signal strength and quality of the radio signal. Signal strength is measured by decibels while quality is measured by Delivered Audio Quality (DAQ). Radio frequencies can be tested in an in-building or wide area environment and provides valuable data for future radio upgrades, immediate coverage enhancements, and gives verification for safety purposes. Testing ultimately gives radio operators and its users the confidence that your radio or the radio network is working appropriately so communication is always heard.
Wide-Area Testing: How is it done?
Wide area coverage testing can now be done in a cost effective and efficient manner by using sophisticated PCTEL software and equipment. Technicians mount an antenna onto a car roof and perform a “drive test” with the PCTEL gear. Many datasets are gathered and processed on the course of the coverage test. We can test any LMR radio frequency (VHF, UHF, 7/8/900) or type (Analog, DMR, P25 1&2, TETRA). Additionally, both radio and cellular signal can be tested simultaneously using the same device and methodology so it is a great way to gather data if agencies are moving towards LMR and LTE hybrid environment. After completion of a “drive test”, we create easily digestible maps, charts, and graphs highlighting current coverage. From there we can determine the best course of action to remediate any issues. You can be as specific as needed, doing street by street detail, or you can just test a specific route if that’s all that’s required.
Coverage Solution Services
Day Wireless has the expertise and know-how to ensure your radio network is operating successfully from start to finish. We provide you with the real life data you need to make important decisions. Our wide area coverage testing service saves you time and money, while ensuring the safety of your staff. Contact our service department to learn more.