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In-Building LTE Testing at the University of Colorado

Report ID
Technical Report TR-15-518
July 01, 2015
Robert T. Johnk; Mitchell Powell; Jaydee L. Griffith; Mark A. McFarland; Kenneth R. Baker; Prachee Daithanker; Saman Samdian; Lavanya Gopal; Sai Gavva

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