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Minimization of drive tests is a feature introduced in 3GPP Release 10 that enables operators to utilize users' equipment to collect radio measurements and associated location information, in order to assess network performance while reducing the OPEX associated with traditional drive tests. However, in the increasingly complex wireless packet data networks of today, performance is affected by many different factors and cannot easily be estimated by simple radio measurements. Therefore, in 3GPP Release 11 specifications, MDT is enhanced in order to provide a more complete view of network performance. This article describes the MDT enhancements added in Release 11, explains how measurements collected by MDT can be used to draw conclusions that are relevant for network management, and discusses similarities and differences between MDT and traditional drive tests.
Date of Publication: November 2012