Radio Frequency experts fine-tuning TelEm Group’s 3G/2G networks


Manager, Networks, Mr. Julien Lake (Center) consulting with Network Performance and Optimization Consultant, Jarek Fuksa, from Poland (right), and 3G RAN Engineer, Nathan Lake, from the UK, about adjustments being made to the company’s 3G and 2G networks for better island-wide coverage.

TelEm Group has drafted in a Polish and British Network Performance Consultants to fine tune the company’s 2G and 3G networks now operating under a newly assigned frequency.

The frequency change became necessary last month following interference problems originating in nearby Anguilla.

As a result of this change TelEm Group’s mobile equipment also had to be adjusted to work optimally with the new frequency.

TelEm Group announced this week that for the next three weeks it will be carrying out "fine-tuning" work on the 2G and 3G mobile networks to further improve service to customers throughout St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius

"There has been a tremendous improvement in the overall network performance since we reconfigured our equipment to the new frequency. Now we are taking things a step further by fine-tuning our mobile network for optimum performance," said Manager Networks, Mr. Julien Lake.

Mr. Lake said the visiting consultants began the optimization of the networks last week. Based on early drive tests and measurements, there has been a "significant improvement" in network performance and mobile customer experience.

The consultants have been tweaking mobile network parameters and their primary focus has been the manner in which these cell sites hand over calls from one cell site to another. The next step will involve the increasing of network resources to afford our customers greater availability of the network for their calls and data sessions.

"We are encouraged by the early tests and we expect further improvement as other adjustments are made. Customers should already be having a much better experience with their voice and data service than they were having last month," said Mr. Lake.

TelEm Group’s Chief Technical Officer, Mr. Eldert Louisa, said the visiting experts are knowledgeable in their respective fields. Mr. Fuksa is a Network performance and Optimization consultant with extensive experience working on various networks in Europe and South America, which Mr. Lake is a 3G RAN Engineer with network experience with telecommunications systems in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Louisa says TelEm Group has been fortunate to call on their combined experience to assist with network improvements on St. Maarten.

"Last month’s frequency interference created some problems for us, but it also highlighted the matter of congestion of our networks caused by a growing demand for voice and data traffic from our customers – especially data on the 3G network," continued Mr. Louisa.

He said TelEm Group, like telecommunication companies the world over, have to continually assess and adjust hardware and software to meet these growing demands – in some cases having to project future demand to maintain good customer experiences.

He said while here, the visiting experts will also be looking at improvement to TelEm Group’s mobile coverage on neighboring French St. Martin in collaboration with business partner, Dauphin.

Customers have complained about dropped calls to family and friends when visiting the French side. Technicians believe the situation can be greatly improved with better synchronization between Dauphin and TelEm Group switches.

"We have clearly seen some improvements and we expect to see more in the coming weeks. We want to thank our mobile and data customers for their patience while we continue to optimize our networks for better performance," added the Chief Technical Officer.