FUN currently supports planning for radio services:
Planning of different radio services is fully integrated concerning data maintenance, display of data and use of functionality. It is configurable which radio services are available to a user and the user can switch them on and off according to requirements. Locations are maintained independent from services.
Description of radio service related functionality is available in separate flyers for GSM, UMTS, LTE and MW.
As FUN provides an open framework, other services can be integrated in short time and at low costs.
Data Maintenance and GUI
A convenient user interface makes life easy for the planner. It provides tree overviews on network elements and devices. Editing is possible per element or in lists.
A great variety of context menu functions and of search, sort and filter functions enable quick and target-oriented working.
GUI is based on docking windows and perspective framework. The user can minimize, maximize, close, undock, dock and move around the windows to create a personalized window layout and save it as default.
FUN provides flexibility and performance by using a commercially available rich Geographic Information System (GIS) underpinning. The GIS provides high performance, multi-resolution display functions, and a wide range of vector and raster features.
The following layer types are pre-defined in FUN:
• Clutter data
• Terrain data (relief and automatic height classification)
• Building height data
• Traffic data
• Other raster data
• Vector data of all standard formats
• Network elements
• Calculation results
Displays are configurable in transparency, brightness etc. Symbols, symbol sizes and colours are fully controllable by attributes.
A helpful feature to configure suitable backgrounds maps are map sets. The user can combine an arbitrary number of layers to a map set, each of them configured individually in display properties and visibility controlled by map scale. Map sets are saved and opened by name.
Several features support the user in special analyses:
• Terrain profile analysis
• Inter-visibility analysis
• Neighbour display analysis
• Blending of background/foreground WYSIWIG and scaled plotting, high resolution plotting
An interface to Google Earth enables the visualization of FUN network elements and results in the environment of this internet service and the use of its big pallet of tools including 3D functionality.
Algorithms in most cases are radio service specific. Commonly the input parameters of algorithms can be pre-configured by parameter sets. The planner will appreciate the work with standard parameter sets. On the other hand the key user is not limited in research on best parameter settings.
Configurable batch calculation allows job execution in the background with full control on progress and job cancellation. Background jobs are not affected by closing the user application. After restart, jobs and their control is available again without constraint.
A set of standard reports is delivered with FUN. They are based on an open source reporting tool which provides a report designer. Customers can redesign existing reports and can add new ones according to their requirements.
Standard output formats (PDF, HTML, CSV, XLS, RTF …) are available.
Customers do not have to renounce their established reporting tools. Provided certain standard features, third party reporting tools can be linked to FUN by configuration.
Large networks have to be planned in parts. Very large networks even require different geographic projections over the whole planning area.
Work areas provide geographical windows with projections and pre-configured sets of appropriate raster data. Work areas are permission controlled.
When planning coverage, the planner deals with totally different parameters than in case of planning neighbour lists.
Data views are sets of viewable and editable parameters that are displayed in the GUI. They are fully configurable by administrators and availability is controlled by roles.
The data view concept is used comprehensively in the GUI concerning editors, GIS map configuration and list selection dialogs.
Variants and Versions
Generally the planning process comprises several steps. In GSM these could be e. g. coverage planning which has a middle to long term perspective, then neighbour, frequency and colour code planning with closer proximity in time, then planned role out steps and the life network.
In FUN each network element is uniquely determined over the planning process, but can have several variants.
If different networks are planned or grass play areas have to be provided, this can be done in versions. A version can be configured to be absolutely separate concerning network elements, locations, equipment, devices etc.
As FUN is designed for use by big providers, it contains a permission management, containing a user and role concept.
Permissions are maintained by roles. Access can be controlled for radio services, versions and variants, functions and algorithms, data views, parameter sets. Access also can be controlled for network elements depending on geographic areas (“regions”).
FUN has a client-server architecture. The server is designed according to SOA guidelines. To avoid nasty file access in big networks (nearly) all data are maintained in database(s).
This especially applies to raster data which are completely stored in database. They are accessed by a raster service (RASDB).
A job server can be configured to distribute CPU intensive calculations over the network. Most algorithms like field strength prediction, CAP calculation, I-matrix and neighbour calculation etc. are designed for parallelization. Performance enhancement can be achieved by linking a computer to the network and configuring FUN’s job server to use it.
Hardware and Software Platforms
Except for algorithms which mainly are programmed in C/C++ FUN is implemented in Java. It can be run on a big variety of hardware and software platforms. For calculations, one or more LINUX and/or UNIX machines have to be available.
FUN in Enterprise’s IT-Network
There are several possibilities to configure FUN’s components in an IT-network. First and simplest is a stand-alone installation.
A standard distributed configuration is to use a server for FUN server and database and to run clients on PCs in the LAN. When link capacity is low a “client server” for FUN clients can be provided, accessed by remote desktop software. For large numbers of users a separate database server and a set of number crunchers may be useful.
Enterprise Business Process
Planning of radio networks is a complex process. Typically planners are specialized to a few sub-processes.
FUN supports them with customized GUI environments providing specific data views and sets of functionality. Customization is role-specific and can be configured by administrators.
Integration into Tool Chain
Radio network planning is an important but only small part of network operations. Interaction with other software tools is crucial for efficiency. Connections in general are required for
• Inventory management
• Configuration management
• Operating system surveillance
• Drive test data and evaluation
• Transmission and core network planning
Integration is easy by FUN’s open interfaces
• Web- or Java services
• CORBA services
• C / C++ API
• Direct database access
Workflow Management Support
Workflow management is supported firstly by built-in administrative structures version and variant (see above). Given this internal qualification FUN is easily integrated in customer’s workflow management system.
Akosim offers full support packages including e-mail, hotline, on-site support, as well as web-based support with full transparency to customers through Internet access. Detailed reports and powerful filter options are available showing status information, work progress and responsibilities.