The telecom consultants with unique expertise in GSM-R and indoor coverage network design

Clear CinCom Principle Engineer Martijn Kuijpers investigates test procedures for a distributed antenna systems in an indoor environment.

Clear CinCom engineers monitoring the Carrier to Interference Ratio

The measured Indoor coverage with a nanoBTS

The measured Indoor coverage without a nanoBTS

How a major bank becomes a major mobile operator

A Clear CinCom Indoor Coverage Case Study, using nanoBTS

When a major Dutch bank becomes a reseller for Orange mobile phone subscriptions, it wants to ensure that all its customers have optimal coverage in all of its 1240 branches. Clear CinCom, the European quality leader in designing indoor coverage, produced a very cost-efficient plan to achieve this within just a couple of months.

Project description

Rabo Mobiel is a highly successful product of Rabobank, the only private Dutch bank to achieve triple A-status. It allows Rabobank customers to have a mobile phone subscription on the Orange network for a competitive price, and have that complemented by a set of specific features offered by Rabobank under the banner of “mobile banking”. Rabobank, however, is known for its solid customer service; it owns the most extensive network of branches in the country. When bank personnel is to assist customers in setting up and using their Rabo Mobiel connections, it is of paramount importance that all branches have maximum indoor coverage on the Orange network. That is should, of course, include those the branches inin the more remote locations. So Orange Turnkey supplier NSN Netherlands asked Clear CinCom to fill any coverage gaps that existed.

Clear CinCom expertise

There were two major reasons why NSN decided to contract Clear CinCom. Firstly, Clear CinCom is the European quality leader when it comes to indoor coverage. With its in-house developed tools and specific experience, Clear CinCom offers the best possible indoor design. Secondly, any large operation like this requires a level of flexibility that Clear CinCom can offer. Originally, the assignment instructions for Clear CinCom received included only related to a little over 10 pilot branches which had no or low quality indoor coverage. But as the benefits of the Clear CinCom- approach became clear, more and more branches, and other Orange -customers and‚ offices were added to the project. Clear CinCom offers the flexibility to take up a large project such as this one asynchronously, with busy peak times combined with slower weeks.

Selected approach

Traditionally, indoor coverage is improved by extending or amplifying the Macro network using extra base stations or adding repeaters. These can easily cost 100,.000 to 200.,000 euros a piece. For this occasion, an alternative approach was chosen selected that used using the NSN nano BTS. This device can be connected to the Orange network using any DSL connection, including ADSL, and transmits its signal in a specific area such as a bank branch, shopping mall, supermarket or a larger office building. The cost of these NSN nano Base Stations as they are distributed by Clear CinCom is less than 2,000 euros each, bringing costs down to only 1 to 2 percent of what a traditional repeaters or base stations would have cost! That made the approach chosen selected by Clear CinCom highly cost-effective.

Operating procedure

To ensure rapid implementation, Clear CinCom first loaded the floor plans of the building into its proprietary software package called Coverage Signal Measurement (CSM). This enabled the technical staff to calculate the optimal placement of the nano BTS stations and, combined with the current PABX data, the bandwidth requirements. A Technical Site Survey (TSS) on location is was, next, performed to map the current coverage inside and around the building. After all this data collection is was completed, a test setup is was installed. The Clear CinCom software allows can from this setup to calculate path loss from the nano BTS station to all locations within the building. When the optimal setup meets met all the requirements, the installation is was finaliszed.

Results

The results for Rabobank and its customers was more than satisfactory. Rabo Mobiel is a success story for Rabobank and Orange, thanks in part to the expertise and flexibility of Clear CinCom as well as to the cost effectiveness of the NSN nanoBTS that it distributes.

In less than six months, not only the originally 10 branches planned were connected to the Orange network, but many more offices now enjoy optimal mobile coverage for both voice and data.

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