- To provide path loss data for initial site survey work
- To verify the propagation prediction during the initial planning of the network.
- To verify the network system parameters, as defined in the EG8: GSM/DCS System-Specific Parameters.
- To provide the initial test parameters used in Benchmarking (as defined in the “Analysis” section of the Network Performance and Monitoring Guideline).
- To verify the performance of the network after changes have been made e.g. When a new TRX is added; the removal or addition of a new site; any power
Adjustments or changes to the antenna; any changes in clutter or traffic habits such as the addition of new roads etc.
- To measure any interference problems such as coverage from neighbouring Countries.
- To locate any RF issues relating to traffic problems such as dropped or blocked calls.
- To locate any poor coverage areas.
- To monitor the network against a slow degradation over time, as well as Monitoring the network after sudden environmental conditions, such as gales or electrical storms.
- To monitor the performance of a competitor’s network.
- Drive testing can take place during the day or at night and is dependant upon the Operator’s requirements and subscriber habits.
- Drive testing during the day will mimic the conditions as seen by subscribers, but may clog up the network if call analysis is being performed.
- Drive testing during the night will allow a greater area to be surveyed due to the reduction.
- It is important that a drive test is documented. This is specified by the Operator and can either take the form of creating a new item of documentation or filling in an existing document. All documentation will be passed to Analysts and Engineers, who will need accurate records of any test work carried out.
- The area to be drive tested is ascertained before leaving the office. There are three levels of drive testing depending on the purpose of the test:
- Primary Route: This includes all major roads, highways and throughfares and should be given priority to all other roads when conducting a coverage test, unless a new site is put
into service for a specific objective.
- Secondary Route: This includes all streets, by-streets and compounds, where accessible, such as a University Campus. Secondary routes are used in areas where problems have
been located during a primary route test and further investigation is needed.
- Miscellaneous Routes: This includes in-building and non-access routes to vehicles such as shopping malls, golf courses, airports, hotels, conference centres etc.
- A route is prepared by photocopying a map and highlighting the route to be driven. For primary routes, a map of scale no less than 1:20,000 should be used, and a map of scale
1:10,000 is recommended for secondary routes. It is recommended that the route is
marked in a contiguous circuit, taking account of one-way streets at this stage. A drive test should be planned in both directions, where possible, and at the same speed. This minimises any errors and checks the point of handovers and cell dimensioning. For new sites that are being tested, it is recommended that the transceiver is forced to camp onto the cell (forbidding any handovers) in order to ascertain the full coverage of the cell. The test should be re-driven with any forced handovers removed.