An operation that guarantees coverage and communication between devices
An IoT solution must have a network infrastructure that guarantees sufficient coverage and capacity to offer the services and operations required.
To ensure that these parameters are present, it is important to do radio planning, that is a study of the network connectivity present in the area in which one wants to intervene.
This operation is composed of two important phases:
- Study of the area
- Inspection and evaluation in field
1. Study of the area
In the preliminary phase, it is recommended to perform a careful study/inspection, using a map, of the area of interest and the positioning of the devices.
Through this first analysis it is essential to identify the ideal positions for the gateways, which must have the following characteristics:
- availability of power supply
- sufficient height
- cellular coverage
This first step proves to be very important as it goes to examine in detail the geographic conformation (whether it is a flat or mountainous territory) which significantly affects when defining the exact point where to install the gateway.
In fact, when you are in an area with differences in height, it is recommended to place the gateway on the highest area to increase the coverage range, consequently the number of gateways to be installed but above all the costs. A gateway, on average, can manage 200 devices.
On the contrary, in the case of a flat area, the identification of a high position is more complex. In this scenario it will be necessary to study a specific accommodation to guarantee the desired coverage.
Thanks to this first analysis, a set of ideal points for the positioning of the gateways are obtained, which will then be verified, and possibly approved, in the next phase.
2. Inspection and evaluation in field
In the second phase it is important to do an inspection and coverage checks through validation tests. In this step, the primary purpose is to check that the points identified during the study are correct and that they ensure the necessary coverage in that area.
Using a telescopic pole, you position yourself on the point of the first gateway, identified in the previous phase, and analyze the coverage area. The device used during the verification test can provide information on the quality of the signal and allows you to download the exact geographic coordinates. The quality analysis operation takes place at all points where the gateways need to be installed.
Radio planning benefits
First, radio planning is an operation that can be carried out in open spaces, indoors or in hybrid scenarios.
This operation is inexpensive, in fact it requires basic equipment which includes:
- telescopic pole
- LoRaWAN gateway
- power bank
The architecture that is created is wireless and network coverage is guaranteed through preliminary and on-site analysis. Signal stability is ensured thanks to the use of the LoRaWAN communication protocol. This technology is suitable for covering long distances without interference and managing many devices simultaneously.