As the festive season brings joy and happiness to people’s lives, dtac’s engineers are working hard to ensure that the fun continues without interruption. Despite the strategic and engineering challenges that come with hosting colorful events, dtac is committed to delivering a seamless experience for its customers. Recently, dtacblog joined the engineers on the job to see firsthand how they are making this possible.
Behind the Scenes
According to Panupong Peyatsaphan, dtac’s Head of Field Service Operation Central & East Unit, his team always plans for events throughout the year to ensure smooth service and excellent customer experiences. However, many events tend to be concentrated around the year-end period, which requires extra care in planning and implementation. And these preparations are crucial for maintaining customer confidence in dtac.
During the planning stage, dtac’s Planning Team uses data from the Field Service Operation Unit’s lab or “NOC Room” (Network Operation Center) to make informed decisions. They consider two key factors when evaluating a particular event: network coverage and network utilization.
- Network Coverage: In considering this factor, the planners check that the event venue has a dtac base station. If not, they must find ways to enhance coverage at the venue that fit its physical characteristics.
- Network Utilization: If the event venue is already covered by one or more of dtac’s base stations, the Planning Team will calculate the normal usage volume and the anticipated usage increase during the event. To do this, they use data provided by event organizers to design solutions to accommodate the expected increase in usage.
“There are various network solutions that can be implemented to facilitate services at events. These might include reconfiguring parameters to evenly distribute bandwidth among users, adjusting antennae, or even installing additional signal distribution systems in high-traffic areas,” said Mr. Panupong. “These measures help ensure smooth network experience during events.”
In addition to these measures, temporary mobile base stations can be set up at event venues. These temporary sites are fully equipped with signal transmission poles, transmitters, and built-in transformers. Another option is the “Quick Deploy” solution, which consists of scaffolds, transmitters, and signal extenders to enhance network coverage.
Once the Planning Team has developed a plan, the implementation stage begins. This is the responsibility of the Field Operation Team, whose work focuses on basic components of a base station, such as access to electricity, cable installations, and location, ensuring that the necessary preparations are in place.
Pattaya International Fireworks Festival 2022
Bangornrat Samniangpro, an engineer of dtac’s Field Service Operation Central & East Unit, was on the ground at the Pattaya International Fireworks Festival 2022 to ensure uninterrupted network service. She explained that although the event was expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors, the capacity of dtac’s network in the area could only accommodate usage by about 3,000 people at a time. The Planning Team thus recommended the Temp Sites solution, which consist of a temporary mobile base station and three “Quick Deploy” locations. The plan also involved parameter reconfigurations and antenna-direction adjustments. The team also prioritized 4G services on the 2300-MHz spectrum with 60 MHz bandwidth frequency to increase network bandwidth.
One of the main challenges during the implementation stage is the consideration of uncontrollable factors. Sometimes the locations chosen by the event organizer are too narrow or not suitable for equipment installations. So it is important that the implementation team works closely with the organizers to find solutions that won’t interfere with the aesthetics of the venue. Another challenge is the tight deadline as electrical wire and cable installations can be time-consuming. Given all these challenges, the overall implementation can take at least one week to complete.
“Implementing temp sites is far more complicated than a ‘plug and play’ TV installation. We need to prepare lots of data and connect infrastructural systems like electrical wires and cables. There are also lots of technical configurations, which must be carefully set to prevent frequency interference. We also conduct walk tests before actual service delivery to guarantee the best experience for dtac customers,” Ms. Bangornrat said.
The Big Mountain Festival
Noppadol Peanpanich, engineering chief of dtac’s Field Service Operation Central & East Unit, shared details about the preparations for the 12th annual Big Mountain Music Festival. This large-scale event now covers more than 600 rai of land and attracts over 100,000 visitors, a significant increase from its early years when the venue covered only 110 rai and drew just over 10,000 attendees.
To prepare dtac’s network services for the festival, the Planning Team conducted a detailed assessment of the venue, which was located at the Ocean golf course in Nakhon Ratchasima province. Although the site already had two dtac feeder-link stations, the team had to carefully plan for the expected high levels of network usage during the festival. The final plan called for the addition of 13 temporary sites with one mobile vehicle and 12 Quick-Deploy locations, as well as the integration of Massive MIMO technology to support smooth network services for over 100,000 attendees. The network preparations focused on both 4G on the 2300-MHz spectrum and 5G on the 700-MHz spectrum.
“Due to the popularity of the performing artists at the festival, we expected a high demand for network usage. To ensure smooth services, we even looked into the lineup and schedule to find out when each band would perform. The Field Operation team members and vendors were on standby at the festival, and we also worked closely with the NOC team,” Mr. Noppadol said. “We are all proud to have contributed to the happiness of dtac customers”.