July 2015 | NTIA Technical Report TR-15-518

In-Building LTE Testing at the University of Colorado

Robert T. Johnk; Mitchell Powell; Jaydee L. Griffith; Mark A. McFarland; Kenneth R. Baker; Prachee Daithanker; Saman Samdian; Lavanya Gopal; Sai Gavva

Abstract: This report describes a comprehensive series of tests that were conducted by engineers and researchers from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program and the University of Colorado during the period of July 2013–May 2014. The report presents results obtained at two buildings located on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Indoor coverage was measured using the PSCR Band 14 LTE outdoor macro network. We also explored methods for improving in-building coverage using a cell on wheels and small cell feeding either discrete antennas or a distributed antenna system. The results indicate that the PSCR macro network by itself does not provide complete coverage inside these buildings and that coverage needs to be supplemented with combinations of a small cell deployed indoors and a cell on wheels (COW). The results indicate that significant system in-building performance improvements can be realized using small cells and a COW.

Keywords: modem; antenna; building attenuation; indoor propagation; signal strength; spectrum analyzer; Long Term Evolution (LTE); small cells; test methodology; backpack measurement system; macro network; Band 14; cell on wheels; channel analyzer; in-building

To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572

For technical information concerning this report, contact:

Robert T. Johnk
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3737

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

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