Title page for ETD etd-04102003-105503

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Scheibe, Kevin Paul
Author's Email Address kscheibe@vt.edu
URN etd-04102003-105503
Title A Spatial Decision Support System for Planning Broadband, Fixed Wireless Telecommunication Networks
Degree PhD
Department Management Science and Information Technology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rees, Loren Paul Committee Chair
Moore, Laurence J. Committee Member
Ragsdale, Cliff T. Committee Member
Rakes, Terry R. Committee Member
Zobel, Christopher W. Committee Member
  • Broadband Wireless Network Planning
  • Spatial Decision Support Systems
Date of Defense 2003-04-04
Availability unrestricted
Over the last two decades, wireless technology has become ubiquitous in the United States and other developed countries. Consumer devices such as AM/FM radios, cordless and cellular telephones, pagers, satellite televisions, garage door openers, and television channel changers are just some of the applications of wireless technology. More recently, wireless computer networking has seen increasing employment. A few reasons for this move toward wireless networking are improved electronics transmitters and receivers, reduced costs, simplified installation, and enhanced network expandability.

The objective of the study is to generate understanding of the planning inherent in a broadband, fixed wireless telecommunication network and to implement that knowledge into an SDSS. Intermediate steps toward this goal include solutions to both fixed wireless point-to-multipoint (PMP) and fixed wireless mesh networks, which are developed and incorporated into the SDSS.

This study explores the use of a Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) for broadband fixed wireless connectivity to solve the wireless network planning problem. The spatial component of the DSS is a Geographic Information System (GIS), which displays visibility for specific tower locations. The SDSS proposed here incorporates cost, revenue, and performance capabilities of a wireless technology applied to a given area. It encompasses cost and range capabilities of wireless equipment, the customers’ propensity to pay, the market penetration of a given service offering, the topology of the area in which the wireless service is proffered, and signal obstructions due to local geography.

This research is both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Quantitatively, the wireless network planning problem may be formulated as integer programming problems (IP). The line-of-sight restriction imposed by several extant wireless technologies necessitates the incorporation of a GIS and the development of an SDSS to facilitate the symbiosis of the mathematics and geography.

The qualitative aspect of this research involves the consideration of planning guidelines for the general wireless planning problem. Methodologically, this requires a synthesis of the literature and insights gathered from using the SDSS above in a what-if mode.

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