Behind every wireless telecommunications decision is a prediction of how far the signal will travel and how much strength it will lose along the way. This is called propagation modelling. Propagation models drive decisions about things like how and where to deploy cell towers, what rules to establish for geographically sharing spectrum, and what kind of spectrum equipment to build. It is vital that all stakeholders trust the models being used and accept the results as sound.
This month, NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), the nation’s spectrum and communications lab, released a new official code base for the Irregular Terrain Model (ITM) for use by experts and non-experts alike.
The Federal Communications Commission Report and Order opening the 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi and other unlicensed uses requires that ITM be used by the automated frequency coordination system designed to protect incumbents from commercial entrants. Under the Commission’s ruling, at specific distances ITM must be used with an appropriate clutter model as one of the factors when determining exclusion zones to protect incumbent services.