Cell planning is a critical component for successful design, deployment, and expansion of broadband wireless networks. Proper cell planning and subsequent network optimization are necessary to obtain the highest availability and performance for all system users. Effective planning is accomplished through a rigorous process of investigation, analysis, definition of system-wide technology parameters, and allocation of radio frequency resources. The cell plan network model provides the high level of detail necessary to optimize the number of base station sites and preserve valuable spectrum resources while delivering the required services to all sites.

Redline’s senior cell plan engineers have decades of experience in radio-frequency planning and the complex tasks of deploying and optimizing wireless networks. Rely on Redline’s experience, expertise, and practical networking knowledge to deliver expert planning and professional RF modeling.


Cell Planning Benefits

In today’s highly competitive market, resource industries, enterprises, and service providers are under tremendous pressure to extract a greater return on investment (ROI) from their wireless assets. Important considerations include the capital expenditures (CAPEX) of designing and building wireless infrastructure, and the operating expenditures (OPEX) of maintenance, upgrades, and expansion. All of these tasks must be performed at the lowest cost while maintaining the necessary quality of service.

The primary goal of cell planning projects is to maximize traffic capacity and performance by optimizing system coverage and spectrum efficiency. By using Redline’s professional cell planning services, you will ensure a successful wireless deployment using the minimum number of base station sites and the best use of valuable spectrum resources while providing high availability and stable performance for all subscribers. As the network is expanded, a well structured cell plan can be easily upgraded and used to optimize costs throughout the lifecycle of the wireless network.

Cell Planning Services

Redline’s Cell Planning Services department provides expertise accumulated through many years of providing RF planning services to small regional networks, national networks supporting hundreds of base stations and thousands of subscribers, and complex and demanding resource-based industries including offshore drilling. The cell planning resource base includes a comprehensive set of planning and optimization tools for modeling and analyzing wireless networks. These tools are also used to create reports containing data that is essential for a successful deployment. Reports typically include the following items:

The radio-specific parameters of all Redline products are integrated into the cell planning tools and are updated regularly as new radio platforms and features are added to products. The currently supported products are: AN-80i, RDL-2000, RDL-3000, RDL-5000, and RedMAX (WiMAX™).

Service Descriptions

Redline’s Cell Planning Services department offers a suite of professional services that can be packaged to meet your individual needs. This can range from a single one-time service to complete ongoing coverage from design through deployment and optimization. The following eight services are available:

1. Site Survey/Preferred Base Station Site Selection

A comprehensive site survey and site selection process secures the best use of CAPEX and OPEX.

A site survey collects the detailed information set required as input to the cell planning tools. This includes topology data, preferred base station sites, tower assets, available spectrum, interference, and the wireless services to be deployed at each location. This collection process ensures a stable network build-out with the necessary capacity in each deployed sector. These factors are key project components for both the initial deployment and the rollout of future services.

Identifying and selecting preferred base station sites are key deployment activities. Preferred locations typically have a higher elevation and are capable of providing coverage to the greatest number of locations for subscribers or CPEs (Customer Premise Equipment).

A Redline Deployment Engineer can be contracted to assist with this service. Refer to the Deployment Engineer description brochure for a detailed description of this activity.

2. Detailed Cell Planning and Validation

A detailed cell plan design is essential for the initial deployment of a network.

Redline’s extensive experience with a wide range of both small and large scale deployments has reinforced the importance of the Detailed Cell Planning and Validation service in ensuring a successful network build-out. A Redline cell plan provides details about the coverage area, modulation rates, sector capacity, frequency use, and antenna placement and pointing. All of these deliverables and the related documentation are instrumental in ensuring the preliminary success of the network deployment.

A typical cell plan study also includes detailed information about the following important items:

It is essential to perform a site survey report prior to creating the detailed cell planning study. The successful delivery of this service is highly dependent on the customer providing a complete and comprehensive set of site survey definitions including the preferred base station site locations, tower assets, available spectrum, capacity requirements, and other factors.

A Redline Deployment Engineer or Resident Engineer can be contracted to assist with this service.

3. Cell Planning Consultation

Use the consultation service to validate and enhance your design, expansion, and optimization plans.

For customers adding Redline wireless network components to their existing wireless infrastructure, the Cell Planning Consultation service can provide substantial benefits during all program phases. Redline Cell Planning engineers will obtain and analyze detailed information about the current network, including deployed frequencies, etc. Service deliverables can include detailed recommendations for the network expansion with coverage analysis and related plots, and an initial frequency plan.

This service is also beneficial to Redline Certified Partners responding to a request for proposal (RFP) requiring cell planning information for Redline wireless solutions. The focus of this consultation service is to provide a high level design (HLD) study using the RF cell planning tools. Data inputs to this analysis include the specific Redline product parameters required for propagation modeling, definition of the overall planning strategy, and definition of key network design variables. Following a project award, more extensive cell planning studies can be performed using the Detailed Cell Planning and Validation service.

A Redline Deployment Engineer or Resident Engineer can be contracted to perform this service.

4. Backhaul Design

All wireless networks require backhaul from the base station sites.

The Backhaul Design service reviews the requirement for data transfer between wireless base stations and the central Point of Presence (POP) for locations where wired broadband access is not available and therefore a wireless backhaul link is required. This analysis includes reviewing the cell planning network model to ensure adequate capacity throughout the system, including planned expansion.

Using the powerful cell planning tools, Redline cell planning engineers examine the surrounding terrain and the capabilities of the deployed wireless backhaul equipment to provide recommendations for the location and type of backhaul link for each base station. Redline wireless products include a selection of licensed and unlicensed microwave backhaul solutions with rates to 800 Mbps.

5. Drive Test

The Test Drive process enhances the calibration of the cell planning model.

The Drive Test service collects field data from the deployed network. The collected data is imported into the cell planning tools where a post-processing exercise integrates the data to refine the network model. This process enhances the calibration of the cell planning model created using the Detailed Cell Planning and Validation Service.

It is recommended to perform the Drive Test service after two or three base station sites have been deployed in locations that are representative of the overall network plan. The drive test results improve the accuracy of the planning prediction and coverage model for future rollout, and may also be used as inputs to the Network Optimization service.

A Redline Deployment Engineer or Resident Engineer may be contracted to perform this service.

6. Network Optimization

Wireless networks require continuous optimization to ensure maximum capacity and performance.

As a wireless network is expanded to accommodate growth, the original network model becomes outdated. There are various field tests, planning exercises, and analysis functions that can be performed to characterize a deployed wireless network and the results be used to update the cell planning network model. For example, a spectrum analysis can identify sources of interference and be used to evaluate the overall noise level in the network. Spectrum reports and other related information are forwarded to the Redline Cell Planning Department for analysis and a report is issued containing the analysis and recommendations for changes that will improve the over-all network performance.

A Redline Deployment Engineer or Resident Engineer can be contracted to perform this service.

7. Planning Tool Selection Analysis

Realize the maximum effectiveness of cell planning tools for Redline wireless products.

For customers with existing cell planning tools, the Planning Tool Selection Analysis service can be focused on cell planning best practices and recommendations for technology parameters used to model Redline products. This includes the assignment of a Redline Cell Planning Engineer to meet with the customer or Certified Partner to review the cell planning tools currently being used and provide recommendations their use with Redline products. Deliverables typically include a list of the Redline specific variables and technology parameters necessary to assist with cell planning activities.

The Planning Tool Selection Analysis service is also available to assist customers reviewing cell planning tools from various suppliers. Each set of software tools may support different cell planning features. Redline can help evaluate software packages and ensure selection of the most appropriate tools.

8. Training
Redline provides one of the most highly recognized and valued training programs in the broadband wireless industry.

Redline offers a role-based course focused on cell planning. This course covers the essential areas required for effective network cell planning and deployment. The following key aspects are included:

Redline also offers a wide selection of training courses that cover the theory of operation, installation, configuration, and maintenance of each Redline wireless product.

Flexible to Customer Requirements

Redline Professional Services help customers and Certified Partners reduce their operational costs and realize higher returns on their investment from Redline wireless network solutions. Redline takes pride in demonstrating its flexibility to recognize and address the unique business needs of each customer and the corresponding complexities in their wireless infrastructure.

Redline provides its global customers and Certified Partners with the option to select and customize services provided by the Redline Cell Planning Services department. This ensures that the desired level of engagement is maintained throughout all RF planning activities. All requests for cell planning and related services are thoroughly reviewed and a detailed statement of work is agreed upon between the parties as part of a professional services contract.

For additional information or to obtain a detailed quotation for cell planning services, please contact a Redline Territory Manager and/or Redline Certified Partner.

Learn More


Redline Professional Services (PDF)

Redline Cell Planning Services (PDF)



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