Information of actual cell coverage in mobile networks is very valuable. It provides operators with insight in the coverage and quality of their network while for example criminal investigations can benefit as it gives authorities more precise information on the whereabouts of the cell phone. Typically such information is provided by the mobile operators using their Radio Planning System. However, this is often a theoretical model rather than the actual coverage. Actual field measurements provide a more accurate and complete source of information. Such measurements can be provided by so-called drive tests that cover various areas or they can be focused on a specific area using a static device. The G2K Labs LIMA Cell Monitor is a rich-featured device for carrying out such measurements supporting law enforcement to be in control and mobile network operators to measure the actual coverage.
The LIMA Cell Monitor is a purpose-built (small) device that collects information of cell towers and their coverage in particular geographical areas. Its ability to host up to 12 modems, allows measurements to take place in parallel. This device simultaneously collects measurements on cells of different operators and technologies (2G, 3G, and 4G) while mounted on a vehicle for drive testing or installed at a fixed location. The device can carry out continuous measurements and bind those to a specific location through the internal GPS receiver. The measured information is uploaded to a central server via a mobile data connection on a dedicated modem. The Cell Monitor also has an option that allows scanning for Wi-Fi networks.
With the collected information, coverage maps for GSM 2G, 3G, and 4G networks can be created for all available operators. In case operator-provided coverage information is available, the measurements can be used to improve the existing coverage maps by overlaying these with the measurements of the LIMA Cell Monitor. This functionality is supported through a separate available backend application that can process the information from multiple devices.
A back end application for the LIMA Cell Monitor is made available as an open source project for query and analyzing purposes.
To support the user of the LIMA Cell Monitor in monitoring and configuring the device, the LIMA Cell Monitor companion app for Android devices is available as well. The LIMA Cell Monitor companion app provides you with an overview of the Cell Monitor status, its modems, GPS, connected networks, Wi-Fi, storage, and transmission devices. In addition, it also provides Location and Coverage tracking functionality and file management capabilities.
As an end-to-end solution provider G2K Labs can deliver the Cell Monitor devices including the back end solution as a turnkey project, including standard installation, testing, training and project management services.
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