Modeling Wireless Broadband Coverage

Wireless coverage is created by calculating the sight lines from the tower antenna, using antenna parameters, GIS analysis and detailed terrain map layers. The line of sight is controlled by the direction the antenna faces, how far the signal reaches, and the terrain in the surrounding area.

Example of tower with propagated wireless coverage area.

If fixed wireless providers do not have propagated or line-of-sight based coverage footprints, the Broadband Outreach Center mapping team will create a coverage footprint for review. During the review, providers will have the opportunity to refine the modeled coverage areas to simplify or adjust covered areas.

To create the initial line-of-sight footprint, the following tower information is needed:

1. Location of tower – The best and most accurate way to do this is using coordinates.(latitude/longitude). Another option is a map showing the tower locations.
2. How far the signal reaches – The farthest distance from the tower where you can still pick up the signal.
3. Height of antenna  – If this is unavailable, we can use a standard antenna height.
4. Scan range – We need the start and end angle of the scan range. This is the direction that the signal goes out and how wide it is. Start and end angle can be given in degrees (0-360, with 0 being North).
5. Maximum advertised download and upload speeds – preferably in Mbps.
6. Elevation of tower (if available).