Tools for Indoor Radio Planning
The trade of indoor radio planning relies on several types of tools to aid the radio planner with the process. These tools help in accurately predicting and verifying radio coverage, capacity and quality. More logistical tools may be also needed to calculate the component count, equipment lists and project costs. Obviously tools for design documentation, diagrams, etc., are needed as well. There are many different types of tools, and each operator has a tool box that relies on different types of tools for the various aspects of the process.
The choice of the tools you should select is must be relevant to your individual needs. If you only design three to five indoor projects per year, it might be alright to use standard spreadsheets for link budget calculations and simple diagram drawing programs for documentation. However, if you are dedicated to indoor radio planning on a full-time basis and design 20 or more indoor systems per year, it would be worthwhile investing in automatic tools that can make your design process more cost-efficient and improve the quality of your work. Remember that the design documentation should also be used by other parties in the project, so all documentation must be clear and precise.
In the following, examples of tools are presented. These are just examples, and many different tools from various manufacturers are available, each with their own pros and cons.