Freeside:3:Documentation:User:Tower coverage estimation

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Tower coverage estimation

Freeside now has simple capabilities to estimate the coverage areas of RF towers. To use this, you will need:

  • A tower and sector entry for the radio site, with coordinates and mast height.
  • The antenna direction (0 - 360 degrees) and downtilt.
  • The horizontal and vertical beamwidth of the antenna.
  • A minimum signal margin for a site to be considered "covered". This is generally (transmit power) + (antenna gains) - (minimum RSSI). Most WISP operators should be able to determine this.

Generating a map

  • Open the tower list (Configuration / Services / Wireless broadband / Towers).
  • Click "Sector coverage maps".
  • Find the entry for your tower.
    • If any of the required fields are missing, the column to the right will list them. If so, click the tower name to edit the tower and sector, then come back.
  • Click "Create map". This may take some time as the terrain maps are downloaded.
  • There will now be a link for "View map--X margin". Click that to open the map.


  • This only works in North America. SRTM data is available for anywhere on Earth, but right now the software doesn't know the other download paths.
  • The map won't display unless there's at least one broadband service attached to the sector (because it's actually the svc_broadband map for the sector).
  • We can only show one signal margin on the map at a time.
  • Similarly, we only show the map for one sector at a time. It would be nice to at least show the entire tower.
  • All of these can be fixed.