Tektronix, Inc. , a worldwide provider of communications network management and diagnostics products, announced a new addition to the NetTek portfolio. The RF Scout Interference Hunter provides all of the tools necessary to hunt for RF interference and check signal quality in one rugged, handheld platform, enabling network performance planning and optimization teams to explore, discover, analyze and document interference or other signal quality problems in a field-ready tool. The handheld form factor, performance and durability make measurements convenient, reliable and accurate whether inside a building or outdoors.
The trend toward higher speed wireless data services is driving the need for cleaner RF signals, since high data rates depend on clean signals. At the same time, the need for network optimization is becoming increasingly more important as the number of mobile subscribers increases along with their adoption of more bandwidth-hungry services such as multimedia text messaging, gaming and other video and data applications -- all of which require more bandwidth than stand-alone voice services. The RF Scout enables the identification and troubleshooting of those issues that have a direct impact on the RF network performance, whether they be associated to the network or caused by other radio systems co-existing in the same geographic area.
"Wireless network operators need to check clearance of new frequency bands, optimize the data rate of new services such as EVDO or HSDPA and maximize network capacity," said Arif Kareem, Vice President, Diagnostics, Tektronix. "The RF Scout assists in eliminating RF interference and improving network coverage to help optimize overall network efficiency as well as quality of service -- both of which are fundamental in delivering today's new revenue generating services."
Reducing interference (i.e. any signal that interferes with the reception of the desired signal) is becoming more important as new data services are adopted. Interference is best detected with a spectrum analyzer rather than a drive tester; however, conventional portable spectrum analyzers are bulky and require an expert user for best results. The handheld RF Scout has built-in tools that provide a simple-to-use interference hunting capability under field conditions. In addition to the interactive interference tools, the RF Scout has extensive signal logging capabilities, which allow users to capture intermittent interfering signals whenever they occur.
Coverage Measurements/Co-Channel Interference
RF problems may be the result of conventional interference; other times, the problem is co-channel interference (often, from overlapping coverage) or coverage gaps. Coverage gaps create weak signals, slow data rates and even dead spots. Coverage overlaps can tie up network resources with extended soft handoffs, or reduce data rate and voice call capacity with pilot pollution (i.e. co-channel interference), compromising the signal. The RF Scout has carrier scanners for all of the major cellular standards, which allow for the identification of physical layer RF coverage issues as well as interference issues. Since interference and coverage/co-channel interference both affect network operation, it is important to be able to check for both with one instrument.
Integrated Signal Mapping
By nature, interference and coverage/co-channel interference vary with geographic location. Mapping this variation is key to analysis and identification of faults since a signal that may be good in one location is an interference or coverage issue in another. In addition, when hunting interference, reflections can make triangulating on a source difficult. Traditionally, these issues are resolved by plotting measurements on a map. The RF Scout uses an integrated mapping capability (iMap), to directly map any of a number of different interference and coverage/co-channel interference measurements, without the need for either writing measurements on a paper map or hooking up to an external PC.
Once the signals are mapped and the signal information and location are available in one easy-to-read display, analysis of the data becomes much simpler, leading to reduced time to insight and quick solutions for interference or coverage problems. Often, when resolving interference problems, it is necessary to convince a third party that their equipment is generating the interfering signal. The polished documentation provided by the RF Scout will assist with this task and so expedite the quick resolution of interference or coverage issues, whether they be in-building or outside.
The RF Scout provides spectrum analysis, interference analysis and logging tools, coverage tools, and iMap in a hand-held, durable instrument. The combination of capabilities is ideal for network optimization, performance and planning teams. With its Windows-based user interface, the RF Scout simplifies operation and makes the process of moving data and maps on and off the instrument effortless. The rugged form factor, and optional all day battery life, make the RF Scout a true field instrument.
Tektronix, Inc. is a test, measurement, and monitoring company providing measurement solutions to the communications, computer, and semiconductor industries worldwide. With 60 years of experience, Tektronix enables its customers to design, build, deploy, and manage next-generation global communications networks and advanced technologies. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Tektronix has operations in 19 countries worldwide. Tektronix' Web address is www.tektronix.com.
NOTE: Tektronix is a registered trademark of Tektronix, Inc. All other trade names referenced are the service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
SOURCE: Tektronix, Inc.
CONTACT: Amy Higgins of Tektronix, Inc., +1-503-627-6497, or
Web site: http://www.tektronix.com/
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