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The field of radio network planning and optimization (RNPO) is central for wireless cellular network design, deployment, and enhancement. Wireless cellular operators invest huge sums of capital on deploying, launching, and maintaining their networks in order to ensure competitive performance and high user satisfaction. This work presents a lab course composed of 10 experiments that cover the different phases of RNPO for various state-of-the-art wireless technologies such as GSM, UMTS, and WiMAX. Each experiment constitutes a complete entity including the necessary theoretical background and references, the lab tasks based on real-world scenarios, and a research component consisting of general questions. The proposed lab course represents a novel initiative to increase interactive learning by integrating communications theory fundamental knowledge with state-of-the-art wireless communications software tools and measurement equipment. The experiments are carefully designed to enhance the analytical skills and to advance the academic and practical knowledge of the students.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2010