RF Drive testing is a method to evaluate the performance of a wireless network while driving – a procedure while you’re in motion through a car to measure and assess the Quality of Service (QoS), coverage, and capacity of a mobile radio network. The purpose of the drive test is to collect test data by identifying areas with no 4G/5G connectivity, handover issues, call drops, low throughputs, no data, etc.
Drive tests can be performed through software, which is useful in determining such network issues and enhancing the network performance for their users. The best part is that test results can be viewed/analyzed in real-time (Live) during the test, allowing a view of network performance on the field. This is beneficial to detect the network obstruction reasons as some of the factors that may have affected signal coverage, such as nearby wooded areas, bodies of water, large buildings, or topography. So now let us see how to perform RF drive testing with Accurate 5g tester, 5G test equipment, 5g network tester tools and Accurate 4G Testing RF drive test software, Cellular LTE RF drive test tools & equipment.
Performing a drive test, you will be able to see the following causes which may hamper your network on 4G/5G coverage:
- Areas that have stronger networks than others.
- Areas that may not have coverage.
- Areas that have hot spots or cell tower coverage that create spots of coverage which allow someone to connect to a cell tower farther away than expected.
In addition, RF Drive test measurements can be performed on the following aspects:
- A drive test performs to verify if the specified sites meet the coverage objectives.
- Dropped call.
- Short and long-duration CS calls and PS calls.
- Handover with the same Radio Access Technology (RAT), for example- GSM.
- Handover between two RATs, for example- GSM and WCDMA.
- Verification of different call quality levels based on shifting different factors.
- RF Signal strength measurement.
- Idle and connected mode tests.
- RLC throughput as per system requirement/limit.
- RF drive tests can be conducted either when no site has been built or even selected or temporarily constructed.
Importance of RF drive testing
In telecommunications, drive testing is an indispensable procedure, one of the most traditional ways of measuring the quality and performance of a mobile radio network (the air interface that includes the cell towers that our mobile phones connect with) to create a cellular connection. Drive testing involves collecting data from a mobile phone or other mobile devices while driving around an area, which allows a mobile operator to monitor the network, troubleshoot problems, measure coverage, and signal strength. Further, optimising the radio network to improve mobile network coverage and capacity is part of the drive test. With RF drive testing, data is analyzed not only to identify network problems but also to meet its performance and capacity requirements. RF drive testing is conducted by RF engineers who do field measurements while driving within the cells on vehicles equipped with specialised RF tools.
RF Drive testing process involves data collection, processing, and analysis followed by reports. Drive test is one of the key methods through which mobile network gathers performance measurements by using specialised hardware and software to carry out drive testing. Drive tests allow the RF engineers to perform field measurements while driving on vehicles equipped with specialized RF tools to record network quality from a mobile phone user’s perspective.
When drive test in telecom is the best possible solution for mobile network operators or communication service providers (CSPs) to collect signal strength, mobile network latency, voice call KPIs, and constantly improve the network, several tools have been designed and available in the market.
RantCell is an innovative, affordable, and convenient mobile-based application that helps telecommunications operators or CSPs to analyze the area of coverage, collect signal strength, latency, and KPIs, and measure network performance by conducting drive tests. It (RantCell) enables you to perform drive tests on the mobile network and performs drive tests on the mobile network, post-drive test analysis, and optimizes the cellular network by identifying poor QoE (quality of experience).