Refer to this glossary to be up-to-date with all the terms prevalent in industry-specific materials available on our website.

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1G: The first generation of analogue mobile phone technologies including AMPS, TACS and NMT

2D: Two dimensional

2G: Second generation of wireless communications systems

3D: Three dimensional

3G: Third generation of wireless communications systems

4G: 4G is the fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology. Potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, 3D television.

5G: 5th generation wireless systems. In addition to providing simply faster speeds, they predict that 5G networks (rollout in 2020) also will need to meet new use cases, such as the Internet of Things (network equipment in buildings or vehicles for web access) as well as broadcast-like services and lifeline communication in times of natural disaster.

802.11: The IEEE committee and the set of standards maintained by the IEEE for wireless networking.


A/D: Analog-to-digital

AC: Alternating current


Access Points: Networking hardware device that allows a Wi-Fi compliant device to connect to a wired network

ACPR: Adjacent - channel power ratio

ADC: Analog-to-digital converter

AMPS: Advanced mobile phone system

Annotations: Collection of notes about site details including text, photo, video or audio

AP: Access points

As-built: Descriptive representation of how an installation was built

ASP: Application service provider

ATM: Asynchronous transfer mode

AutoCAD: 3D design software mostly used for engineering and architecture


BER: Bit error rate

BPSK: Binary phase shift keying

BSC: Base Station Controller; the network entity controlling a number of Base Transceiver Stations

BSS: Base Station System / Subsystem

BTS: Base Transceiver Station; the network entity which communicates with the mobile station

BOM, Bill of materials: Document outlining all the equipment necessary to install and deploy a wireless network

Building modelling (3D): Building modeling in standard CAD software such as AutoCAD, and/or with iBwave 3D Modeler


C/(N+I): Carrier-to-Noise plus Interference

C/I: Carrier-to-Interference ratio

CAD: Computer Aided Design

Cable routing: Refers to the path of installed network cables inside a building, tunnel or venue

Capacity planning: The science and of estimating the throughput needed for a particular wireless network

Carrier Grade Wi-Fi: A Wi-Fi network deployed by a network operator with high emphasis on quality and accessibility

CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access

Cellular: Communication network where the last link is wireless

CENELEC: European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization

Certification: The process of being certified by qualified instructors through a series of courses and exams

Component database: iBwave's continuously growing database of network antennas and components for indoor wireless network design

COST 231: Collaboration in Science and Technology, project 231

CP: Circularly polarized

CPICH: Common Pilot Channel

CW: Continuous wave


DAS: Distributed Antenna System

dB: Decibel

dBd: Decibel referenced to dipole antenna

dBi: Decibel referenced to isotropic antenna

dBm: Decibel power relative to 1 milliwatt

dBW: Decibel power relative to 1 watt

Dominance over macro: The signal difference in dB between the indoor wireless network and the outdoor macro network

DPM: Dominant Path Model


Ecosystem: Refers to the community of integrators, manufacturers and vendors responsible to install, delpoy and maintain a wireless network

EIRP: Effective Isotropic Radiated Power

EM: Electromagnetic

EMC: Electromagnetic compatibility


FNBW: First-null beamwidth

FSL: Free Space Loss


GHz: Gigahertz

GPRS: Global Packet Radio Service

GPS: Global Positioning System

GSM: Global System for Mobile


H&S: Health and Safety

Heat maps: A graphical representation of data where values are represented in colors to illustrate various network KPIs of a given wireless signal

Hetnet: A network connecting computers and other devices with different operating systems and/or protocols

HPBW: Half-power beamwidth


ICNIRP: International Committee on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection

IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

In-building / indoor network: A wireless network deployed indoors

Indoor RF planning: Planning of an indoor wireless cellular (radio frequencies) network


KPI: Key Performance Indicators


LAN: Local area network

LHCP: Left-hand circularly polarized

LOS: Line of sight

LTE: Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals


MAPL: Maximum acceptable path loss

Macro interference: Interference on the indoor wireless network from the surrounding outdoor wireless networks

MCP: Measurement Campaign Plan

MHz: Megahertz

MIMO: Multiple-input and multiple-output

Multi-operator: Where multiple carriers are sharing the same wireless network

MWM: Multi-wall-model

Multi-technology: Where multiple technologies are being used in a single wireless network


NLOS: Non line of sight

Network capacity: The capacity defined by the traffic that can be supported by a network in terms of number of users and type of application used

Network coverage: Geographical area where the station can communicate to the station's intended service area

Network design: Network planning and design is an iterative process aimed at ensuring that a new telecommunications network or service meets the needs of the subscriber and operator


OLOS: Obstructed line of sight

Optimization: The process of striking the best possible balance between network performance and network costs, in consideration of grade of service (GoS) requirements


PAN: Personal Area Networks

PEL: Plane Earth Loss

Plan annotation: Capturing notes about a site and attaching them to a specific point on the floor plan. Notes include: text, photo, video or audio

Prediction maps: Same as heat map. A graphical representation of data where values are represented in colors to illustrate various network KPIs of a given wireless signal

Propagation: The simulation of how a wireless network will perform once it is deployed

Public Safety Network: A public safety network is an inter-organizational network system to share information and communicate when faced with public safety incidents


QoS: Quality of Service


RF: Radio Frequency

RF collection: The collection of signal strength readings from an RF collection tool

RF engineer: An engineer who specializes in radio frequencies, often associated with wireless networks

Reporting: Reports created from iBwave software to show various information related to the design and deployment of a wireless network project

RHCP: Right-hand circularly polarized

ROI: Return on Investment

RX: Receive


SAR: Specific absorption rates

SC: Small Cells

SINR: Signal to interference plus noise ratio

Site survey: Inspection and gathering of information of an area where a proposed wireless network is to be deployed

Small Cells: Small cells are low-powered radio access nodes that operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrum that have a range of 10 meters to 1 or 2 kilometers

Survey data: The data gathered from a site survey, can include RF measurements and annotations such as text notes, photos, videos, and audio notes


TDD: Time division duplexing

TDM: Time division multiplexing

TDMA: Time division multiple access

Throughput: Rate of successful data transfer over a communication channel

TV: Television

TX: Transmit out


UHF: Ultra high frequency

UMTS: Universal Mobile Telecommunications System

UWB: Ultra Wide Band


VHF: Very high frequency

VSWR: Voltage Standing Wave Ratio


Walk test: Method of measuring, while walking, the coverage, capacity and Quality of Service (QoS) of a mobile radio network

WCDMA: Wideband Code Division Multiple Access

Wi-Fi: Wireless Fidelity

WLAN: Wireless local area network


XPD: Cross-polar discrimination