Welcome to our new blog channel, where we will share our insights, research, and expertise in radio frequency (RF) propagation, network planning and optimisation, and cloud collaboration. To begin, we thought you might like a quick flashback of Ranplan Wireless’ journey.
How did Ranplan Wireless begin?
Born out of research projects led by Professor Jie Zhang, Joyce Wu (COO), and Hui Song (CTO), Ranplan Wireless was created in 2006 with the primary goal to offer research and consultancy services to the telecommunications industry. The traditional blanket wireless coverage approach was proving to be insufficient for complex indoor scenarios. This initiated the first research project, iPlan which focused on Radio Access Network (RAN) planning for in-building environments.
During this research phase, the founders identified two key aspects:
- The industry had limited insight of radio propagation behaviours inside buildings. For example, the upper floors of an enterprise building will suffer interference from outdoor networks more than lower floors.
- Indoor and outdoor networks were being modelled separately, making it impossible to mitigate interference from neighbouring networks, let alone the poor handover experienced by users as they entered or left a building.
This discovery led to the creation of a single software platform that could model the environment the radio propagation across indoor and outdoor environments.
The answer to HetNet planning
2014 marked the year for the first commercial release of Ranplan’s heterogeneous (HetNet) networking planning software, Ranplan Professional (initially known as iBuildNet). This revolutionary software tool enabled the seamless planning, design and optimisation of wireless networks that reflected real-world indoor and outdoor scenarios. It was quickly adopted and trialled by Ericsson and Huawei, who both responded with positive feedback.
The research never ends
Although Ranplan evolved from a research company to deliver its own software to the industry, the research projects have carried on and continue to fuel the development of the platform. Here are a few key projects Ranplan has been entrusted with grants to develop.
- 2017: Ranplan took part in a €2.8 EU-funded project WAVECOMBE that investigates millimetre wave communications in the built environments. Ranplan received just under £300K funding from the European Commission to characterise and model radio propagation channels for the theoretical analysis and optimisation of massive MIMO mmWave Small Cells performance in densely built environments such as offices, homes, stations, airports. The 4-year research project has also developed methods to jointly optimise the planning and deployment of massive MIMO millimetre wave small cell networks and their operating environments.
- 2019: Ranplan was selected as a lead contributor to a 4-year EU-H2020 project worth EUR 1.4 million, which focuses on realising the concept of network slicing in preparation for mass-market deployment of programmable 5G networks. The Big dAta aNalYtics for radio Access Networks (BANYAN) project is in partnership with CNR of Italy, IMDEA Networks of Spain, Orange Labs of France and the University of Cambridge.
- 2020: To complement the BANYAN project, Ranplan was awarded an H2020 project called CORRELATION to drive new research into how AI-based data analytics can help to optimise sliced 5G mobile networks.
- 2020: Ranplan received a UK Innovate research award to advance the development of its microservice platform and apply machine learning to improve prediction accuracy.
Joining Nasdaq First North
In June 2018, Ranplan Group AB joined the Nasdaq First North stock market in Stockholm, making shares available to investors. This prominent platform increases our exposure amongst the investor community and continues to provide our customers with the transparency that fosters trust and reliability.
1st place for 5G planning goes to Ranplan
We proudly launched the first indoor and outdoor 5G Networking planning solution in October 2018. Since then, our customers have been efficiently planning and optimising networks supporting the key features of 5G NR. Building upon our existing abilities to address MIMO, the Ranplan Professional 5.2 release boasted enhanced support for massive MIMO and true 3D beamforming, both key for optimising spectrum efficiency to deliver eMBB services such as VR/AR.
As networks migrate to virtual cloud environments, the evolution process becomes perpetual, rather than stage by stage, and the roll out of new features and application is faster. At the beginning of 2020, we introduced our new RF propagation engine, called Ranplan Maxwell, named after the famous 19th Century Cambridge professor, James Clerk Maxwell. Ranplan Maxwell is designed to operate in any environment and provides increased accuracy and faster prediction speeds. This addition is paving the way for a cloud native and multi-vendor environment, embracing open interfaces and automation, enabling us to stay in-step with evolving network design complexity.
As a completely impartial player in the wireless game, we invite you to collaborate with us as we continue our mission to develop software solutions that can perfect the way the world is wirelessly connected.