“Do we really have reception everywhere we need it?” Many visitors to the Vodafone Innovation Labs ask themselves this question, as the new mobile technologies are demonstrated in a tangible way by exhibiting possible application examples from the industry. The question is frequently asked in particular with regard to the low-power network technologies NB-IoT and LTE-M, as they have excellent building penetration and should therefore still enable a connection to the Internet even in difficult coverage areas, such as basements.
In response to this question, the first Network Analyzer prototype was developed, which measures the signal strength, quality and SINR value of NB-IoT and LTE-M. The Network Analyzer also measures the GSM network, which is very popular with business customers, for comparison purposes. The SINR value indicates the distance from the useful signal to the interfering signal. The prototype was developed entirely in-house at Vodafone by the IoT Future Lab, from the hardware and housing to the software development. Subsequently, the question: “Where can you buy the device?” became the latest most popular question in the Innovation Lab. This led to the decision to develop the Network Analyzer into a small series product with the help of a partner company.