Small cell planning company (although that's a term that hardly does it justice) Keima Wireless is impressing visitors with its highly visual tools to evaluate cell spectrum efficiency.
Simon Chapman, Director, and Iris Barcia, Director of New Product Development, at Keima Wireless have developed a solution that uses a combination of geotagged social data, such as Twitter updates and Flickr posts, and census data to build up detailed demand maps. In other words, concentrations of updates and uploads show up as red areas on a map - indicating high cellular demand.
Keima Overture, the name of the product, then maps that against a map that includes all buildings, trees and streets - something Chapman calls "clutter". Overture's "Vector Clutter" tool can then display this view down to definitions of 1 metre.
"We've done this for the entire planet," says Chapman, with the nonchalance of a man who, as well as stints at Agilent and Actix, advised on a numerical relativistic study of coalescing neutron stars at the Max Planck Institut for Gravitationsphysik.
Once the demand is mapped against the local environment you have a view of indoor and outdoor demand, and a theoretically precise view of where to site small cells.
The tool goes further, however, by analysing the spectral efficiency of that site deployment - so that macro and small cell layers are optimised in combination. It is important to deploy in the best bands, for instance perhaps turning off a couple of macro bands where a macro signal might be very strong, so as to form an exclusion zone around small cell bands.
Backhaul planning is then deployed, with a map of sites listed against their demand (bits per Hz), distance from fibre conduits and nodes, and even the manner in which local lamposts can provide power (costs of providing power can vary greatly. If an operator is deploying 60GHz wireless links for backhaul within its mix, the mapping tool will show the propogation of those signals, avoiding any interference from overlapping alignment. All these metrics are combined to give a "ranking" to the ROI of small cell sites, and therefore a running order for deployment.
The solution is currently being used by several major T1 carriers for small cell deployments, planning the optimum spectral efficiency in future Het Net plans. The company is also "inside" the small cell planning service capability of at least one major vendor, The Mobile Network can confirm.