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This software is out of date, see RadioPlanner 3.0

RadioPlanner 2.1

Mobile and Broadcast Network Planning Software

User Manual

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Download in PDF format

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From the Developers

We’ve made every effort to create a user-friendly and intuitive application. However, we recommend that you spend some time reading this User Manual to get the most out of the RadioPlanner application.

RadioPlanner was created by engineers with more than 20 years of experience in designing radio communication and broadcasting networks and is a full-featured, yet simple and convenient planning tool.


RadioPlanner 2.1 is a tool for planning:

- GSM / WCDMA / CDMA / UMTS / LTE / 5G mobile networks
- TETRA / P25 / DMR / dPMR / NXDN / GSM-R /McWiLL land mobile radio networks
- Networks based on wireless IoT LPWAN technologies: LoRa, SigFox, and others

- Precision agriculture systems
- DVB-H / DVB-T / DVB-T2 / ISDB-T / DAB / DAB+ terrestrial radio and television broadcast networks
- Air-to-ground communication systems and radio navigation operating in the VHF, UHF, and microwave frequencies: UAV (Drone) Control, Air-to-ground radio, ADS-B, VOR, DME, etc.

RadioPlanner 2.1 uses the following propagation models:
-    ITU-R P.1812-4 model 
-    Longley-Rice (ITM) model v 1.2.2 
-    Combined ITU-R P.528-3 + P.526-14 model (for aeronautical radio only)


RadioPlanner 2.1 performs various RF prediction types for mobile networks:
-    Received Power uplink/downlink
-    Strongest Server (Best Server)
-    C/I ratio
-    Area with Signal above Both the Base and Mobile Thresholds

-    Number of servers above uplink


Area studies for terrestrial radio and television broadcast transmitters:
-    Field Strength at the Receiver Location
-    Strongest Server (Best Server)

-    FCC contours

-    ITU-R P.1546-6 contours
-    Calculation of the population in the coverage area based on the OpenStreetMap project database
-    Generation of the list of localities covered by broadcasting

Area studies for air-to-ground communication systems:
-    Received power Air-to-Ground link
-    Received power Ground-to-Air link
-    Strongest (most likely) Server Air-to-Ground link

RadioPlanner allows you to do:

-    Frequency planning of radio networks considering co-channel and adjacent channels’ interference
-    Points calculation showing the profile of the path, losses, and levels of the signal and interference on co-channel and adjacent channels

-    Calculation of uplink/downlink Rx levels for a set of IoT end-devices: LoRa, SigFox, and others, located in different conditions.
-    Import the measurement results of the received signal power levels for comparison with calculated values and adjust propagation model parameters
-    Save the coverage prediction result as an interactive web page, PNG image, CSV file, MIF file, or a KMZ file
-    Flexible adjusting of the layers on the base map and show custom vector layers


GIS features:

-    Terrain elevation data 30m plane resolution (for more details on data sources see Appendix 3. Terrain Elevation Data)
-    A clutter model with nine clutter types. The built-in clutter model was created from the OpenStreetMap ( and Global Forest Change ( projects. If necessary, the simple and easy-to-use Clutter Editor will allow the user to prepare their own clutter model based on new satellite imagery.
-    Any kind of base map—both common (such as OpenStreetMap, OpenTopoMap, etc.) and custom ones.

Installation and Activation

RadioPlanner supports 64-bit Windows 7/8/8.1/10

The minimum computer configuration is 64-bit Windows, Core i3 CPU, 4GB RAM, 200GB HDD, video card, and monitor with support for 1366x768, although the program can be installed on a less productive computer.

The recommended computer configuration is 64-bit Windows, Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, video card, and monitor with support for 1920x1080. To use all RadioPlanner features, the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet editor must be installed on the computer.

To use the full version of RadioPlanner, you should purchase a license.

Once you have successfully purchased RadioPlanner, you will receive an automated email within a few seconds containing a link to download the installation file and the Activation ID for the license.

Run the installation file and follow the instructions that appear on your screen. When the installation is complete, run the application, enter the Activation ID provided to you in the order email, and click Activate
Once you have done that, you have activated the fully functional version. 

Software Update

Periodically, we release free current updates in which we improve the functionality and stability of the software.

RadioPlanner supports both manual and automatic checking for updates. The software will check for available updates every time it starts. To check for updates manually, click “Help - Check for updates.” If there is an available update, a window will open with information about the current and available versions. You can download the update from the link and install it manually. Exit the RadioPlanner software before installing the update.

User Interface

RadioPlanner has three different types of projects:

-    Mobile Radio
-    Radio or TV Broadcasting

-    Air-to-Ground Communication

The configuration of the program menu and the set of input parameters will depend on the choice of project type, so before starting, the user must select the project type in the Settings menu (see the Settings section). The general procedure for working with the software is almost the same regardless of the type of project.

This manual is divided into four parts - first, a description of the work with those program functions that are independent of the type of project, then a description of work with Mobile communications projects, then with TV and radio broadcasting projects, and finally with air-to-ground communications projects.

After the program starts, the main panel will appear with the main menu on the left side and the base map on the right side. You can change the size of the panels as needed using the separator.

Different layers can be displayed on the base map — base stations, radio coverage, various additional vector layers, etc. You can choose to display one of the pre-installed base maps or customize your base map, as described in the Base map Settings section.
Navigation on the map is carried out using the mouse. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in on the map. You can also select the desired zoom from the drop-down list in the toolbar.

Toolbar and Main Menu

When you hover over each of the icons, a hint appears.


-  Standard tools for working with files: Create, Open, Save

 - The current zoom of the base map


- The current base map


- The tool "ruler", which allows measuring the distance and azimuth between any two points. To perform a measurement, click on the ruler, then click on any two points of the map and you will see the distance between the points and the azimuth from first to second. To exit, right-click anywhere on the map.

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 - Perform coverage calculation

- Add coverage to compare

- Save the coverage as a web page

- Save radio coverage as an image in * .png format

- Save radio coverage in *.kmz format

- Save the coverage in Text CSV file or Exchange file MapInfo (MIF + MID)

- Clutter Editor

- Calculator of the Noise-Adjusted Faded Performance Threshold

- Help

More information about each of the tools is described later in the relevant sections of the manual.

RadioPlanner interface

Figure 1. Tree View interface

Project Information

A new project is created automatically when RadioPlanner is launched. 

There are standard buttons: New, Open, Save, Save As on the File menu, which allow performing standard file operations. A project file can be saved with the extension *.rplx. This file contains all of the information about the project.

You can specify the project’s general information in the project information panel. 


Figure 2. Project Information

Project name



Text field

Text field

Text field - When creating a new project, it records the date and time of the project creation


Before you start working with the software, you must configure the settings.


Figure 3. Settings

Project Settings

Type of Project

-    Mobile Radio Communication
-    Radio or TV Broadcasting
-    Air-to-Ground Communication
Before changing the project type, save the current project, as the program will create a new project. The type of project will determine the configuration of the application menu.

Distance and Height Units

-    Metric
-    English

Coordinate Format

-    Decimal Degrees (N44.345678 W134.567893)
-    Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (N44 34' 23.7" W134 29' 23,4")
-    Degrees, Decimal Minutes (N4434.2356' W134 29.2354')

Coordinate System

-    WGS-84
-    SK-42
-    GSK-2011

Application Settings

Path to Folder with Cache Files

The path to the folder where downloaded base map tiles will be saved for quick access. This will speed up the application. The downloaded maps will remain on your computer, and you will be able to view them when you do not have an Internet connection. This folder is created automatically when the application is launched for the first time. You can change this folder.

Path to Folder with Data Files

The path to the folder where the downloaded SRTM and clutter files will be saved for quick access. This will speed up the application. Moreover, the downloaded files will remain on your computer and the application will be able to use them and create a terrain profile when you don't have an Internet connection. This folder is created automatically when the application is launched for the first time. You can change this folder.

Proxy Settings

If you are using a proxy server to access the Internet, enter its IP-address and port number. If the proxy server requires authentication, enter the username and password.

Bas Map Settings
You can configure your own custom basemap by specifying a tile server URL.

The prototype URL encapsulates a request format that is specific to the map provider and it varies from map provider to map provider. It consists of a text string that begins with http://, has a domain name and possible parameters, plus some symbols that RadioPlanner substitutes with real-time tile request information when actually contacting the server.

Below is a detailed explanation of how prototype URLs are constructed. The possible symbols that RadioPlanner accepts in the prototype URL are: [X], [Y] and [Z] coordinates and zoom.

To lookup map imagery in their database, most map providers use tile coordinates of x and y, plus zoom. As an example, the OpenStreetMap provides map imagery using x, y, and zoom. We can test-fetch a map tile of a portion of North America by typing the following URL into a web browser: 

The numbers at the end of the URL represent zoom, x, and y, respectively. The OpenStreetMap fetches the map tile corresponding to x = 1, y = 2, and zoom = 3.

In order for RadioPlanner to properly fetch tiles from a map provider, a generalized prototype URL scheme must be furnished. This generalized URL scheme will be used by RadioPlanner to fetch any tile, at any coordinate, with any zoom. To accomplish this, the symbols "[X]," "[Y]," and "[Z]" (without the quotes) are inserted in the place of explicit coordinates.

For example, creating custom map types in RadioPlanner for OpenStreetMap can be accomplished by mixing the known specific URLs above with the symbols representing x, y, and zoom to form a custom map prototype URL (try these in the custom maps setup screen):[Z]/[X]/[Y].png

If the user has more relevant or more detailed cartographic data for the desired territory in the form of an image or vector map, he can create a tile server by himself in specialized GIS: MapInfo, QGIS, Global Mapper.

Map Layers

In the Map Layers menu, the user can control layers that are displayed on the map. The order of the layers in the menu corresponds to the order on the map (the base map is below all of the layers, sites are on top of all of the layers).

RadioPlanner Map Layers

Figure 4. Map Layers


Sites are base stations or transmitters for TV and radio broadcasting, depending on the type of project.

Show layer  

Show all sites

Show only active sites

Show site names

Show sector directions

Site marker

Site font style

Show/hide site layer

Show all sites

Show only active sites

Show site names

Show sector direction according to antenna azimuth

Choose marker for sites

Change font type for sites

Custom Layers (KML, CSV)

The user can load and display as a layer on the map any point or linear vector objects in KML format. This may be, for example, power lines, piping, and the results of measurements of signal levels. 

Point objects can also be downloaded from a CSV file (text format, where the separator is a semicolon).
This is a universal format in which you can save a spreadsheet from any spreadsheet editor (Excel, LibreOffice Calc, and others), as well as databases.

The required fields for each point object are Parameter, Latitude, and Longitude. Format coordinates - HEMISPHERE degrees minutes seconds (N35 23.8 36) or HEMISPHERE decimal degrees (N12.34567). As a parameter, there can be any text that appears at the point with the specified coordinates. This may be, for example, the measurement result or the name of the object.


Figure 5. Sample CSV file with measurement results

RadioPlanner 2.1. User Manual. Figure 6.

Figure 6. An example of the display of measurement results on the map

The user also can quickly create point objects on the map. To do this, right-click on the point location and in the context menu that appears, select “Add a new point to the ‘Custom Points’ layer,” and then specify the point name. The point will appear on the map and it will also be added to the “Custom Points” layer, which will be automatically created when the user creates the first point object. The created point objects can also be deleted - to do this, right-click on the point and select “Delete the nearest point in the ‘Custom Points’ layer.”


Figure 7. Adding a point feature to a map

Custom layers are saved in the project file.





Line width

Line color

Load a custom layer (KML, CSV file)

Delete selected custom layer

Position the map on the first point of the selected layer

Save points from the selected layer to a CSV file

The name of the user layer. Initially corresponds to the file name, but can be changed

Show/hide custom map layer

Select a marker for the item (only for point objects)

Specify line width (only for line)

Specify line color (only for line)


Controlling the layer with the result of the coverage prediction.

Show layer


Show/hide layer

Set layer opacity in the range from 0 (fully transparent) to 10 (not transparent)


Control the clutter layer. The clutter layer is displayed starting with Zoom = 11.

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Figure 8. Clutter map

Colors that show clutter:

RadioPlanner 2.1 Clutter.png

Show layer 



Show/hide layer

Download landcover within the screen area. This command will be required if the calculation of coverage in this area has not been performed yet.

Layer opacity in the range from 0 (fully transparent) to 10 (not transparent)

Base Map

Base map layer control.

Show layer

Show/hide the layer

Show in grayscale

Show base map in grayscale

Grayscale level

Brightness from the range 0 (darker) - 3 (lighter)

Saving the Result of Coverage Calculation

Coverage prediction result can be saved as:
-    Interactive web page in HTML format
-    Image file in PNG format
-    KMZ file
-    Text CSV file - a set of points with coordinates and a received power / a field strength
-    Exchange file MapInfo (MIF + MID) - a set of squares with the attribute as received power / a field strength

             Save the coverage as a webpage - Save the result of the calculation as an interactive webpage. The application allows the user to select the location and the name of the directory in which the result is saved. The index.html file (this is the page script), the bs.png file (base station icon), and the folder with the radio coverage tile pyramid {ZOOM} / {X} / {Y} will be saved to the specified directory. To open a web page, open the index.html file using your browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.). The specified folder with the script and the pyramid of tiles can be archived and forwarded to the customer.

Also, the resulting webpage can be placed on a web server for viewing in any browser and on any of the operating systems (Windows, Mac, IOS, Android, and Linux).

This webpage allows you to:
-    Choose a base map from four different base maps;
-    Change zoom
-    View basic data from the legend
-    Display the scale and current coordinates of the cursor


For the operation of the web page, you’ll need access to the Internet, since the base maps are downloaded from the corresponding resources.

A folder with a pyramid of tiles can be used for more than just this script. For example, it can be connected to any GIS that supports working with tiles, which will allow you to demonstrate the result of the calculation of radio coverage as a layer on any GIS (QGIS, MapInfo, ArcGIS, SAS.Planet, and others).

Radioplanner web page

Figure 9. An example of the result as an interactive web page


             Save the coverage as an image - Save the result of the calculation of radio coverage as an image file in *.png format.


Before saving the image, the user can select the area of the saved coverage using the appearing frame (in this case, you can move both the border of the frame and the map itself).

When saving an image, the user also selects its resolution. Resolution may correspond with the current size or be two or four times larger. The better the resolution, the larger the size of the saved file. The maximum size of the bitmap image is approximately 5400x4400 pixels; the file size in the *.png format is about 10 MB.

Show map scale - a scale bar will appear in the lower-left corner of the saved image.

Save coordinates (* .txt file) - saves a text file with the same name as the image file. The coordinates of the corners of the image are written into a text file (for uploading the result to the cartographic service

RadioPlanner 2.1. User Manual. Figure 10

Figure 10. Selecting the area and resolution of the saved image

             Save the calculation result as a KMZ file - Save the calculation result as a KMZ file, which can be opened in Google Earth.

RadioPlanner 0000.png

            Save the coverage in GIS format – Save the coverage in Text CSV file or Exchange file MapInfo (MIF + MID). Coverage export to these vector formats is necessary for those users who use the coverage for further analysis in various GIS applications.
When saving the file, you will need to specify the space grid with which the result will be saved.
The minimum signal level in the saved file will correspond to the minimum Rx power level (or field strength) that was specified in the Area Study Details menu.

CSV file format 

Each line contains three parameters: geographical latitude; geographic longitude; strongest signal level (Rx power level for Mobile projects or field strength for Radio or TV projects); BS name; Sector azimuth. The separator of parameter values is a semicolon. Formats for geographic coordinates: Degrees Minutes Second (35 36 23.8) or Decimal Degrees (12.34567). See the example in Figure 11.


Figure 11. CSV file sample 

MIF coverage file is a standard MapInfo exchange file that can be opened in any GIS application.


Figure 12. MIF Mapinfo Coverage file as a layer in QGIS


Figure 13. MIF Attribute Table

Two Coverage Calculation Comparison

RadioPlanner allows you to visually compare the results of the current coverage calculation with the calculation result previously added for such a comparison. Thus, it is possible to estimate the impact on the coverage due to changes in various parameters of the BS, the propagation model, etc.

To add the performed calculation to the comparison, click the Add Coverage to Compare button on the top toolbar. Now, when you go to the Compare coverage menu of the main toolbar, this calculation result will be located on the left side of the screen. Whereas on the right side of the screen, the result of the current coverage calculation will be displayed. Now, for example, you can change the height of the sector or sectors of active BSs, and after performing the coverage calculation, you can see how these changes were reflected in the result compared to the previous calculation.

Manage maps in the left and right panels (map shift and zoom) independently of each other. It is convenient to perform this operation with the mouse by dragging and rotating the wheel. By controlling the maps in this way, one can compare in small details the two results of coverage calculating.


Figure 14. Two coverage calculation comparison


In the Report menu, you can create several types of equipment reports - short, complete, for all base stations, or for only active base stations.

The project report shows the results of calculating the coverage area in square kilometers for the corresponding Rx levels.

Using the toolbar, which is located above the report, you can print it as well as save it in PDF, Microsoft Word, or Excel formats.

RadioPlanner Text Report

Figure 15. Text report

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