Applus+ measures mobile phone signal quality at wind farms for the three main Spanish operators


    The Applus+ Energy & Industry Division in Spain has won a contract to certify the quality of mobile phone signals for communities and roads close to various wind farms once these have been commissioned. The services for measuring coverage are known as Drive Tests.

    The services for measuring coverage and optimizing wireless networks are aimed at telephone companies which want to improve the service they offer to clients and comply with regulations.

    These services are crucial for the rollout, operation, and maintenance of any wireless network as the coverage data they provide helps the operator or the provider responsible for the installation, management or maintenance of the network to make decisions about policies and investment.

    The aim of this project is to determine the effect that the establishment of wind farms can have on the telephone coverage in the surrounding area. The main problem is that the wind farm structures are very high, and this can interrupt telephone, television, or radio communications. In addition, the movement of the turbine blades causes turbulence which can change or interrupt coverage in a zone where telephone services were previously available.

    Our job involves carrying out the first phase of measurements before the wind farms are commissioned. In order to take these measurements, a team of Applus+ technicians travels across the area in a vehicle, taking measurements using terminals and scanning the level of mobile phone signal in built-up areas as well as on roads, on the site of the wind farm, and in the surrounding area. This gives the developer of the wind farm information about the levels of coverage and the sources of signal emission which they will need to take into consideration when designing and building the wind farm in order to avoid a deterioration in the telephone service. In addition, a series of measures can be taken when the wind park is in operation to check that phone signals are being received correctly.

    The Applus+ Telecommunications Business Line ensures a service that is tailored to each client and their specific measuring protocols thanks to our modular mobile laboratories and the use of market-leading technologies (Ascom TEMS, Accuver Xcal, and Xcap platforms, and SwissQual). Likewise, Applus+ is very experienced with 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies, as well as TDT, TETRA, WiMAX, DAB, and others, and we also have solutions available for the analysis, processing, and optimization of wireless networks such as TEMS Discovery, Actix, and Cellular Expert.

    Additionally, Applus+ offers a wide range of services for large-scale wind energy projects at all stages of their life cycle such as wind engineeringwind consultingQA/QC, and wind turbine inspection.

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