Using Scanning Receivers to View Your Network’s Performance

A scanning receiver is a specialized piece of equipment used to precisely test, optimize, and troubleshoot radio frequency (RF) signals. These receivers are a huge asset as increasing 5G deployments can cause the Radio Access Network (RAN) to be affected with new bands and technologies. Chintan Fafadia, senior director of product management of PCTEL, states that around 60 to 70 percent of network issues originate from the RAN. Fafadia adds that, “You need devices like scanning receivers which can give you independent data to make sure that you can capture the reasons behind these issues in your RAN and solve them to provide resolution to your customer.”

In a RCR Wireless News webinar, Fafadia touches on the supported frequencies of PCTEL’s scanning receivers, as well as the complexity and importance of understanding MMwave and MIMO installations. He stresses that RF details are crucial in order to determine how networks should be baselined, designed, and optimized.

Pierson Wireless utilizes PCTEL scanning receivers for Continuous Wave (CW) testing in pre-deployment as well as for troubleshooting in post-deployment testing. They also allow us to perform grid testing in order to sign off on in-building public safety systems as well as determine if a public safety system is required to be installed or not. The receiver measures signal power levels and quality without the need of an end user device.

“The main reason why we like to use a PCTEL scanner in data collection is because it provides us with the best possible view of the RF in the space. We get to see the total power, control channel power, signal-to-noise ratio, and the individual beams coming off of the antennas. This allows us to optimize antenna placement, output powers, and the sector seams as much as possible,” says Aaron West, Pierson Wireless Engineer.

Pierson Wireless is skilled with knowledgeable engineers who are dedicated in achieving and maintaining an optimal performing network. We have multiple years of experience in using UE devices and PCTEL scanning receivers to collect, analyze, and pinpoint possible coverage issues. A key factor of the Pierson Wireless Advantage is that these tools allow us to produce simple, straightforward reports to communicate necessary next steps.

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