Reliable indoor coverage is required to reach a growing number of portable devices—cell phones, smart phones, netbooks and notebooks. Wireless carriers are using a number of techniques to improve indoor coverage, including femto-cells and distributed antenna systems. However, predicting coverage in an indoor environment is not easy, making it difficult to optimize system design. RF propagation software provider EDX Wireless this week announced release of EDX Signal-IQ, a "fully integrated standalone indoor RF design tool."
Predicting indoor coverage requires knowledge of the building design. EDX Signal-IQ allows importing building floor plans using AutoCAD .dwg files or a simple integrated bitmap to vector converter. Image files can be imported, then floor plans can be sketched on top of them, and RF properties assigned to walls and other objects with the use of simple pull down menus.
Once the floor plan is complete, the indoor RF network is created by placing RF objects and connecting them with various placement tools, including an automatic RF cable tool, which automatically calculates cable loss. Antennas can be moved around to see how their location affects predicted coverage.
"Signal-IQ extends the capabilities of our leading SignalPro family of products by adding significant new functionality specific for the design of in-building RF networks," said Steve Webster, director of product management at EDX. "Signal-IQ builds on the EDX heritage, applying our extensive RF expertise to the emerging problems posed by in-building RF environment. In Signal-IQ we have created a comprehensive, yet cost-effective in-building RF design package."
More information is available at EDX.com. Prices were not quoted, although evaluation copies can be requested.
Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.
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