μRadar : A system for detecting interference from cable networks




Hernan Lopez Conde, Leandro Santi, Gonzalo Arana

3rd Party Hardware and Software used

  • Lime microsystems SDR

Current State

μRadar is ready and able to scan an entire city

  • Field-tested by a major 4-play telecom in Argentina
  • SaaS Business model (we sell recurrent information not a one-time platform)

Next steps are:

  • Deploy the μRadar in production this year
  • Be able to detect the side (“right” vs “left”) of the location of the leak; to be solved using LimeSDR's MIMO inputs when hardware is made available
  • Understand proprietary markets for this solution


μRadar is a solution to quickly and cheaply understand interference to LTE networks coming from cable networks.

Spectrum re-farming/clearance initiatives currently being rolled out globally

  • High-value frequency bands re-assigned to mobile operators
  • Consequently, new sources of interference become relevant

According to R&S, some of the most common, relevant sources of LTE interference in the US are:

  • Cable egress (i.e. signal leaking out from the cable network)
  • Bidirectional amplifiers (signal boosters, cell phone repeaters)
  • Spurious emissions • Wireless microphones
  • Fluorescent lighting

There is currently a worldwide trend of increasing frequency overlap:

  • LTE operators deploying low-frequency, high-value bands (in the 900/800/700/600 MHz ranges – re-farming)
  • Cable systems increasing capacity using more bandwidth and higher modulation limits. Most of the largest cable networks worldwide today transmitting well past the 750/850 MHz marks. Some of them already at 1+ GHz

In general, LTE interference hunting in the mobile industry is largely a manual process, and so expensive and inefficient. Current cable egress IH efforts are done manually using portable spectrum analysers and directional antennas.

μRadar is the first platform in the industry offering the following combination of features:

  • Reduces costs, as it can be driven by a non-technical driver, with no speed constrain and aided by a navigation App
  • Convergent architecture enables to Identify interference hot-spots by order of relevance
  • Produces non-repudiable detection outcomes
  • Operates passively, in stand-alone mode, completely outside of the scope of the cable company (does not require the keys to the head-end, no need to inject proprietary reference signals for measurement)
  • Fully-automates the process of cable egress interference hunting


Video: “201709 BT-Lime Hackathon”

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