What started out as a final semester project for engineering students Niranjan Akella, Arumalla Koushik Reddy, Yeseswi Sree Neeli and Bachu Sai Nikheel is now a patent pending technology and may soon go to market.
Akella said the idea germinated when the four realised that their own campus saw call drops frequently. “We had to work on a final semester project and thought if we can use AI (artificial intelligence) to address this issue, it would be ideal,” he said.
Simply put, the technology uses a software that is deployed at the base transmitter station (BTS) which studies cluster patterns in the area for a set number of days. Once the data is collected, the software instructs the antennae on the cell tower to realign to provide the best coverage in the area. The antennae, of course, need to be fitted with a motorised apparatus which can be used to realign the antennae.
Once developed, the students, with help from their professor, decided to patent the technology. The patent, which has been published, is awaiting a request for examination. The group has held initial talks with telecom operators.
“This automation improves the commercial customer relationship factor of every mobile telecommunication operator such as Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea, etc., by improving the signal strength at highly populated regions inside the cell, which in turn reduces the frequency of call drops that are generally observed and reduces the necessity to physically operate on a BTS antenna. This cuts a huge amount of compounded money cost to the company by automating the entire setup,” said Akella.
Since this solution is customisable in terms of utility, every network carrier can add additional processing technology stacks over this solution, making it more robust. This means that once the apparatus and software are installed, telcos can customise the data collection period.For instance, the software can be programmed to collect data for places expecting an increase in footfall – stadiums, malls, city squares and arenas, in the run up to a major event, and ensure optimised network coverage when footfall increases.
“It aids to provide a strong signal to the trending areas in a cell site (area covered by the cell tower) and given that the tech stack used is quite integration friendly, it can be integrated with all currently existing tech stacks used for communication,” said Akella.