There are two types of passive intermodulation (PIM): external and internal. External PIM differs from internal PIM as the former is caused by objects located near cell sites such as metallic objects (usually rusty) close to the antenna. With external PIM, technicians must hunt down and pinpoint the source (or sources) causing the interference.
Troubleshooting either internal or external PIM can be an expensive, manual process. When PIM is external, the process is similar to radio frequency (RF) interference hunting, where a technician is dispatched onsite and uses a RF spectrum analyzer to pinpoint the source. The process of interference hunting is highly manual and typically requires expertise in the area of RF.
Read about internal PIM
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