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Feb 7

Written by: dkimball
2/7/2010 9:31 PM 

Fortunately, in most cases, little or no actual debugging is necessary. Most problems eventually are solved or we find a way around the problem. However, in the case of public safety for even relatively minor outages there is an element of pressure caused by the need for uninterrupted communications. For this reason some of the carriers will automatically prioritize trouble tickets associated with public safety accounts.

That being said, there is a fair amount of difficulty in diagnosing a network problem. Is the tower bad? Maybe its one of the three transceivers on the tower. Did the carrier recently upgrade the switching software? The list goes on. For this reason our approach is to capture detailed network information at the point of origin, the vehicle's computer and modem.

Through the use of continuous wrap-around logging we record the identity of every tower the modem connects to, the signal strength as it changes, and every status change within the local modem. Using this data in conjunction with environmental data on teh computer itself, we are prepared to talk intelligently with the carrier about specific network issues. 

Some evidence of the usefulness of this approach is that over time we have correctly identified failing network components for the carrier, even at times when the carriers management tools seem unable to identify these same problems.

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