As a Cellular Radio Access Planning and Optimization expert, top grade quality of service (QOS) as expected by subscribers is your top priority. Do all your subs really get the kind of QOS they are expecting or only those who reside or work near the macro towers or small cells?
The choice of antennas can make or break customer satisfaction. Accessible, retainable cellular coverage is a “must” for todays “always connected” users which in many cases means nearly everybody. The cellular provider’s share of this bonanza depends on the quality of his Radio Access Network. In most scenarios, standard infrastructure antennas will do the job. However, when the drive test results start coming in followed by the complaints and inevitable migration of customers, it is time to fine tune the network’s coverage and retain those frustrated customers.
A somewhat less known and less implemented approach to cellular coverage efficiency improvement is choosing to adopt a radically different antenna such as a spot beam dish antenna that enables the cellular coverage optimizer to provide a strong, narrow beam signal either along a traffic axis that needs improved, extended coverage or aimed at remote sub clusters such as residential communities, recreational parks or any site that is in need of better QOS.
Adopting such antennas as part of the available toolbox not only allows fast, low cost improvement to existing networks, but when included in the Greenfield planning stage can both lower rollout costs and reduce the need for sometimes difficult (and costly) to implement network elements such as repeaters, small cells, or DAS.
When planning or optimizing a cellular radio access network, one should “think outside the box” and not forget that there are more choices of antennas, the “forgotten component” than meet the eye. Thousands of such narrow beam very high gain antennas serve Radio Access Networks in more than 50 countries worldwide.