Stuck In Line: Three Known Capacity Robbers Of Wireless Networks

MattMelester_160x160 Matt Melester November 14, 2012

In today’s world, wireless users expect to have full use of their mobile devices everywhere they go. Unfortunately there are a few things that keep users from placing a call or accessing their data while moving in certain structures or densely populated places. A main culprit is limited capacity.



Think of capacity as a check-out area at your grocery store. If there are multiple cashier lanes, but only one is open, a lengthy line quickly will form. So limited check-out capacity; slow shopper throughput. But add more capacity by opening more cashier lanes, and suddenly shoppers are breezing through the check-out area.


Similarly, a line may get stalled by a shopper at the check stand with three fully-loaded carts of food and an envelope full of coupons. This shopper is taking up considerable capacity, much like someone downloading video files can be squeezing out other wireless users who are in need of that same limited network capacity.

Here are the three most notorious robbers of capacity holding up users from fully utilizing their mobile devices:



  1. Inter- and Intra-cell Interference: Interferences caused from adjacent sectors within a building as well as from macro sites.

  2. Passive Intermodulation (PIM) Interference: PIM is created when multiple signals are moving through passive devices such as cables or connectors, and a nonlinear response is created. This is caused when connections are bad, made of different metals or are loose.

  3. MIMO Implementation: Not understanding signal-to-noise ratio requirements and improper balancing the network. Companies may double hardware and infrastructure and still get far less quality than they want.


As you can see, with the ongoing advancements in mobile technology, we will continually have to look for ways to provide ample capacity to meet growing consumer demand. But the solutions must be scalable and reconfigurable. New technologies will come and, in order to fight the capacity robbers, our best weapons will be good design and installation practices wherever increased capacity is needed.

I will be speaking at length about distributed coverage and capacity solutions and how distributed antenna systems can be optimized to achieve their best at the upcomingLTE North America 2012 conference in Dallas. My presentation will be part of Track 2 onWednesday, November 14 from 5:15–5:35 p.m. Hope to see you there.


About the Author

MattMelester_160x160

Matt Melester

Matt Melester is senior vice president office of the CTO at CommScope. He and his team are responsible for the technology strategy for CommScope’s Outdoor Wireless Networks and Venue and Campus Networks segments for use in service provider and business enterprise networks around the world. Prior to his role in the CTO office, Matt led the Distributed Coverage and Capacity Solutions team that focused on distributed antenna systems and in-building small cell solutions, including successfully enhancing wireless coverage and capacity at numerous high-profile locations and events. Matt has over 35 years of experience in the telecommunications industry at CommScope, Andrew Corporation, Chrysler Technologies Airborne Systems and Texas Instruments. He has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky.