Western Wireless finds 2001 Odyssey
2001 really is an Odyssey for Western Wireless (www.wwireless.com). The carrier came to an agreement earlier this month with Logica Radio Planning (www.logica.com) to use Logica’s Odyssey product. Odyssey is a network-planning tool that helps with RF planning, network management and network optimization.
Part of the reason Western Wireless decided to use Odyssey was because Logica can tailor the tool to a carrier’s network.
“We were willing to work with them to customize the tool to meet their specific requirements,” said Ally Adnan, Logica vice president, North and South America. “Clearly, this helps us too because nobody understands the need of the operators better than the operators themselves. The best enhancements in Odyssey have been the result of the requests of our clients and their feedback.”
Logica and Western Wireless have worked together in the past to design a tool for Western’s existing 2G network, Adnan said.
“Now that they’re moving toward digital technology, they wanted to look at a different tool,” he said.
Adnan said Western Wireless would use Odyssey to help design its CDMA network. Odyssey has multiple technology layers, so it can help a carrier that is overlaying its TDMA network with CDMA or adding UMTS to some sites.
“When an operator migrates from one technology to another, it becomes imperative that they are able to take care of both the old and new networks simultaneously,” Adnan said.
Network modeling and management tools such as Odyssey are becoming common in the industry because of the costs associated with drive- testing enormous networks.
“When capacity requirements were not very high, it was easy for operators to do a lot of drive testing,” Adnan said. “Now that networks have become very big, it is more efficient to use modeling than actual measurement. We still do actual measurement, but not to the extent that we were able to a few years ago.”
Although Western Wireless is primarily a rural carrier, Adnan said Odyssey would be appropriate for any carrier having problems organizing a large database or multiple technologies.
Busy with Q3 reporting, Western Wireless representatives familiar with the agreement were unable to comment for this story.
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