Indoor Networks

Indoor WiFi, 4G, 5G LTE network planning & analysis


Why is indoor network planning & analysis important?

Modern day indoor environments serve many purposes, including being office buildings, shopping centres, food courts, industrial facilities, residential apartment buildings and individual homes. Each of these will benefit from support of a wireless network, the benefit may be a convenience or essential to the building’s function.

The wireless networking required in a building may vary from a single WiFi hotspot supplying internet access, to multiple access points and base stations supporting multiple technologies operating concurrently and managed centrally or remotely.

Wireless technologies available in modern day indoor environments may include WiFi, GSM, LTE, 3G, 4G, 5G, Bluetooth, RFID, and many others. Technologies may use frequencies ranging from several MHz to tens of GHz.

Different wireless technologies have different operating requirements and behave differently depending on the wireless frequency, power, sensitivity and properties of the environment and many other factors.

In order to ensure that an installed network will perform as required, a wireless planning tool is used to design the environment and the network and predict the network performance before installation. A planning wool is also used to measure the network performance after installation to validate the performance of the design, and identify any observed issues.

What will EMSlice do?

EMSlice will:

  • Allow you to design the environment in low or high detail, including walls, doors, windows, etc.
  • Allow you to design a variety of wireless networks to be installed into the environment.
  • Predict the coverage and performance of those networks before cables, hotspots, base stations and other equipment have been installed and configured.
  • Measure the resulting performance of the WiFi component of the network once installed.
  • Validate the design and identify possible issues that may arise with layout, hotspot configuration, positioning, etc.

How does EMSlice work?

EMSlice will accept an image (jpg, png, etc) as the floorplan of a building to accept a network design. (EMSlice can work without a floorplan to start with)

  • EMSlice will allow you to design the environment to deploy the network into, including walls, doors, windows, etc. EMSlice will then allow you to add, move and configure the different wireless networking components and technologies as needed to achieve the coverage/ performance desired.
  • Network performance is predicted from simulations and calculations from the designed environment and access point/ base station positions and parameters. The simulation includes a combination of ray tracing, propagation modelling, power loss calculations and post-processing to create the final result. The network simulation considers a variety of radio transmission and propagation mechanisms including reflection, refraction, diffraction, scattering, etc. Transmit and receive antenna performance is calculated based on the size, shape and orientation of the antenna as well as the properties of the radio signal of interest. Multiple wireless technologies can be planned and modelled in this way, including GSM, LTE, WiFi, etc. and where a technology is not directly supported by EMSlice, the relevant parameters can be selected such as the radiation and antenna parameters (frequency, power, etc).
  • The result of the predicted network performance is then given visually as a heatmap image, and can be exported into a .csv file for further analysis as necessary.
  • EMSlice will measure the available wifi networks at multiple locations within and around the building, from builtin and/or attached (by USB, etc) wifi interfaces. Surveying for other wireless technologies (other than WiFi) is not supported at the moment.
  • The available measured networks can then be saved against a particular location in the building area. Once multiple scans are done in the network area, issues will be clear regarding for example where the WiFi signal may be too low for suitable connectivity, performance, etc.

For example?

Above on this page is an image of a large indoor office building with a wifi network simulated, and the resulting heatmap indicating network coverage.
Below is an image demonstrating the reflection, refraction and diffraction of radiation while traveling from a transmitter to receiver in a basic indoor environment.
In the lower half of the image, the direction of departure (DOD) and direction of arrival (DAO) or all successful propagation paths are shown.
At lower frequencies and longer distances, diffraction becomes a more significant factor in modelling radio propagation and performance.
At higher frequencies however, diffraction and refraction (transmission through barriers & objects) incur greater power loss, and so reflection & scattering become more significant contributors to a system’s performance.

Try EMSlice yourself?

Click HERE for options to get EMSlice and try it yourself.

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