“For 95% of the RF spectrum, a simple spectrum monitoring system will provide enough capability”

by Staff Reporter | April 29th, 2013

Roger Franklin, CEO and Owner, Crystal Solutions

Roger Franklin, CEO, Crystal Solutions, underlines the need for spectrum monitoring and highlights the popular misconceptions.

The high-end systems should be reserved for times when detailed spectrum analysis is required. An analogy: why give every soldier a large HD camera pack to see things far away when you can simple give them a pair of binoculars

“Typically, my client needs to monitor his carriers for spikes, power drops, interference events that are noticeable and record it because he has to show it as evidence to his satellite provider to undertake corrective action. Companies are increasingly doing more with the same number of people. Monitoring needs to be automatic and easy-to-use … operators at the NOC cannot pay attention to everything.”

On spectrum monitoring and the bottomline

“There can be a definite link between spectrum monitoring and the bottom line, but like many failure detection systems, it may not be immediately obvious. With a spectrum monitoring and recording system such as Crystal’s, the customer can be alerted to potential outages by being aware of RF problems that are gradually getting worse over a period of time. With digital video, the picture often looks great until the RF deteriorates significantly, after which the video picture goes away.

“When using spectrum monitoring, the customer can be alerted to deteriorating RF conditions while video is still present. This enables the customer to prevent an outage, thereby protecting revenue or avoiding penalties. Additionally, with a recording of the RF spectrum, the customer may be able to prove when they are a victim of intentional interference which may impact their service level obligations.”

Popular misconceptions about spectrum monitoring

“The most popular misconception concerning spectrum monitoring is that it is expensive and you must have detailed spectrum analytics with any monitoring system. Our system is designed to be affordable, makes use of economically priced spectrum analysers (as well as high-end analysers), and monitors multiple spectrum segments from multiple RF sources. This enables a customer to leverage a single analyser to monitor many carriers. It also is not always economically practical to use a high-end and hard-to-configure spectrum analytics system to provide simple monitoring and early warning detection.

“The high-end systems should be reserved for times when detailed spectrum analysis is required. An analogy: why give every soldier a large HD camera pack to see things far away when you can simple give them a pair of binoculars. For 95% of the cases, a pair of binoculars will work just fine. Likewise, for 95% of the RF spectrum, a simple and easy-to-use spectrum monitoring and recording system, such as Crystal’s, will provide more than enough capability.”

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