The Telecom industry today expects more indoor solutions than ever. In this post, we have gathered, analysed and compared Indoor Radio Planning tools as this is an essential part of any Indoor Wireless Strategy execution.
Why the Indoor Networks become so important these days.
We, in Rantastic, can see the following reasons for that:
- Higher bands imply having worst coverage compare to the low band, weak signal, more antennas required and less indoors covered;
- 5G most advanced and hyped features, like low latency, work in 28GHz band, which means that for indoors it will require having systems almost in every building;
- Private LTE require very good quality for critical communications, which requires having supportive indoor systems even for low bands;
- 5G rises concerns regarding Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure from A Massive MIMO 5G (RF-EMF) requires from operators lowering the power to meet the requirements for outdoor stations;
- Service demands are growing — not only voice, but high-speed data requires more robust networks;
Here's a slides showing how high bands work inside buildings:
We have selected a few tools to compare, and no worries — Rantastic is also on the list.
Let's start from iBwave — the first and the most famous Indoor Radio Planning tool
Pros — very well known, many engineers around the world work with the tool. Supports almost all important wireless technologies, very detailed calculations, good reports and accurate results. Equipment library.
Cons — Expensive, complex interface, takes quite long to make a project, no backward compatibility even for the equipment DB, paid license transfer for the seats.
If you think to purchase an indoor planning tool and your budget is big enough — you can easily go with iBwave, this is a very solid, feature-rich and trustworthy product from any standpoints.
When it comes to iBwave software cost — the price tag for iBwave Enterprise starts from $30,000 for all technologies.
Quite successful iBwave rival from the UK.
Pros — strong stadium modelling, indoor/outdoor capabilities, strong team, project management features. Good presence in the APAC region.
Cons — known stability issues, less advanced outdoor modelling, smaller Equipment DB.
Ranplan is a good choice indeed, just make sure that the price gap with iBwave justifies the differences. Technically speaking it's not as mature as iBwave, plus it is a bit limited for the data exchange with other companies as Ranplan is not well shared around the world.
When it comes to Ranplan software cost — the price tag for Ranplan is very close to the iBwave one, and starts from $30,000 for all technologies.
very well known and the only tool in our list with Wi-Fi only capabilities.
Pros — very strong Wi-Fi feature set, including advanced measurements with spectrum analysis, an ecosystem with HW and SW.
Cons — no 3GPP support, simplified prediction models.
Ekahau is a perfect choice for big Wi-Fi deployments, serial projects and massive measurements tasks.
Ekahau Pro software cost — the price tag for Ekahau starts from $8,790 plus it requires annual Ekahau Connect Subscription $1,595 for Wi-Fi.
Extends AutoCAD for quick indoor wireless analysis.
Pros — Single source of truth — engineering and wireless network planning in the same interface. Support for all technologies inside AutoCAD, very easy and quick installation, no need to purchase a separated tool, all data in one place. Monthly subscription.
Cons — bit limited feature set so far, covering 70%—80% of classical planning tools, no measurements features.
Regarding the price tag for Rantastic, this is out of reach for the competitors — only $29 USD for wi-fi per month, and only $99 USD for all technologies per month.
Rantastic is the obvious choice for companies already having a planning tool and looking for a way to extend their planning capabilities without spending a fortune. Plus, if you have irregular planning tasks — Rantastic provides a perfect value for money.
To sum up — we believe in good software in Rantastic and that every task has the best tool to use. Come and try all tools in the list to find the most beneficial for you.
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