Remote spectrum monitoring pivotal to fighting interference

Learn how remote spectrum monitors from Anritsu can save time, money and company resources

Consumer data use, particularly mobile video, is growing at a remarkable pace with no signs slowing, which is prompting carriers to continually invest in network densification while navigating the pressure to continue innovating while cutting costs. This trend toward the expectation ubiquitous cellular access is difficult in a vacuum. Add in the variable of RF interference caused by anything from a wireless microphone to an amateur radio operator, and it’s clear that service providers need a way to streamline the process of finding and mitigating interference.

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In order to identify interferences, technicians could have to visit a problem area and move around radios, directional antennas and maps. Because interference can be cyclical or present at different frequencies, techs can have a hard time pinpointing and solving for the interference. To take time and cost out of this process, remote spectrum monitoring solutions have been brought to market that help avoid truck rolls, optimize the use of talented staff and deliver high-quality service.

Remote spectrum monitors are designed to discern unlicensed or illegal signal activity in licensed frequencies. Test and measurement specialist Anritsu has developed a range of remote spectrum monitors, including  Remote Spectrum Monitor™ MS27102A, MS27103A and MX280001A, tailored for this task. Regular, centralized monitoring helps rapidly identify and respond to interference.

Remote spectrum monitoring tools can be fitted to fulfill a swath of needs; there are four primary use models:

  • Remote monitoring, which essentially allows a technician to be virtually on-site in multiple locations;
  • Spectrum recording network allows techs to review any interference events that could potentially occur when most responders are off-the-clock;
  • Alert an event capabilities enable response to transient or critical interference by sending a notification when conditions meet a predetermined set of parameters;
  • Location by triangulation provides engineers with the ability to estimate the location of interference by coordinating across at least three spectrum monitoring stations.

The potential applications of spectrum monitoring are limitless. Take air traffic control as an example. The schedule of flights and runways demands a limited number of communication mistakes. Tracking interferences of neighboring channels and bands is crucial to threat response.

Remote spectrum monitoring can help track illegal broadcasting from jails; when inmates smuggle cell phones to facilitate crimes outside prison walls, for instance. Remote spectrum monitoring alerts officers and guards where a telecommunications breach is taking place inside the prison.

The sports industry stands to reap from the benefits of remote spectrum monitoring as well. Sports venues contract engineers to allow coaches, referees and medical personnel to communicate during games with minimal interference. Spectrum monitoring can detect interferences during games, letting engineers spend more time on tasks that demand the full resources of their minds.

Remote spectrum monitoring is essential to the reliability of mobile  networks. Interference can results in dropped calls, which, for carriers, means an influx of complaints and the potential for churn. In the context of public safety,  interference can be life-threatening, especially over police, fire department and hospital channels. Remote spectrum monitoring even plays into the spectral auction process. As government regulators refarm or otherwise make licensed spectrum available, it’s important for the companies potentially spending billions of dollars for access to understand the characteristics like the potential of interference during co-channel broadcasts.

Remote spectrum monitoring can be applied to a variety of applications, and creates direct value to the user by ensuring the performance of valuable assets while creating workforce efficiencies that save time and money. Click here to learn more about Anritsu’s approach remote spectrum monitoring.

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