Methods to assess the network condition (besides Drive Test)

Hi Experts.

Is there any alternate method available to assess the network condition other than drive test in the field?

Particularly in the present 4G/5G scenario.

Please enlight.

Admin note: this post was updated with image below.

Source: rcrwireless

Yes, MDT.

Thanks. Is it economical compared to conventional DT?

Whether many telos using MDT right now?

Many are using MDT.

It’s super economical due to no vehicle drive required and its triangulation method is more accurate.


Any detailed document is available for this (MDT)?

Here you have a good explanation (What is Minimization of Drive Tests (MDT) in 5G?)

You can check system description from your OEM.

Whether any restriction is there to collect information from number of users?

What I mean is, shall we take like this: MDT is useful for particular issue based data collection, and Conventional DT is data collection of entire network?

Is this right?

MDT can replace DT almost.

Consider that MDT can give you coverage plot for houses and where there is no road.

Wherever there are UEs can give you the service quality reports.

For MDT you need tool to read the information.

Nokia has a tool that converts call logs to csv. Export and then you can plot this information on map via Musa tool.

Huawei also has similar tool.

What about cost wise of such tools compared to conventional TEMS or any other Tool?

It can save alot, you will need DT rarely, just initial investment in tool and then you can have plots from every corner of network.

I saw a report from Nokia saying it saved 70% cost. TIM Italy: Opex saving for Drive Test of 70%.

It is a 3GPP feature.

MDT functionality provide collection and sending of the measurements made by the mobile, technically defined as User Equipment (UE), both when it is in the IDLE status (Logged mode), or when it is in the CONNECTED status (Immediate mode).

All devices support the feature but only a percentage of them is able to send coordinates (around 10%-20%). This number of devices is enough to collect significant data for performances monitoring and optimization purpose

The data collected by the UE are sent during ordinary connection time (RRC active), therefore they don’t affect in any way billing of customer traffic.

The MDT functionality ensures that along with the radio measurements typical of the access network, the GPS coordinates are also reported. These may be valid / invalid and more or less accurate, depending on the visibility of the GPS satellites from the UE. This can cause loss of data in building (the approach is not suitable for inbuilding performances analysis)

My opinion: MDT can’t replace ordinary DT in many aspects.
Like indoor issues.
Like new site on air.
It’s a good alternative but depends much on UE specs and GPS type.

In advanced countries (where high class UE penetration is high) it can be very useful.

My contribution:

  • One problem with MDT is that it’s accuracy is I guess around 50m which is very high and sometime very irrelevant.

  • Secondly it can’t feedback SINR which most of network demand. You can get RSRP but for SINR you need to do Drive Test.

  • Thirdly when you enable MDT it will cause frequent measurement that can impact peak user throughout and increase in drops.

  • 4th if there are less users supporting the feature then very low count of measurement. In Dense Urban it’s OK but in rural areas it’s challenging.

Minimization of Drive Test enables several benefits to network operators. Some of these list below:

  • Money Saving – MDT save lots of money with reduced the no. of drive tests required.
  • Faster Network Optimization – MDT with real-time data, allow service providers to optimize their network performance fast.
  • Better Network performance – MDT helps a more comprehensive view of network performance to helps service providers to identify areas that require optimization or troubleshooting.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience – MDT considers end-users’ experience, which helps to improve the QoS levels for end-users.

Detailed Information is provided in following blog post from techplayon.

How MDT works?

What is MDT in 5G ?