Cabling today for future wireless solutions

Many times we have all entered a building, especially a high-rise, and instantly experience dead zones with cell phone signal. This also creates a serious problem for our public safety first responders. The radio signals have to pass through various materials before reaching a receiver’s antenna. Many modern buildings erected with steel and low-e glass are notorious for lowering the signals. The Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN) Program, a jointly sponsored initiative of the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury implemented a program that encourages interoperable communications among wireless networks to address local, state, federal, and tribal public safety requirements. It shares a vision with the public safety community which is seamless, coordinated, integrated public safety communications for the safe, effective, efficient protection of life and property.

The PSWN document (In-Building/In-Tunnel User Considerations) presents considerations for achieving adequate radio coverage in buildings and in tunnels especially since public safety agencies operate radios throughout a wide range of spectrum and each frequency has different characteristics. This report, published in August 2002 discusses solution considerations ranging from simple, complex, to forward-looking. In general, a radio system must be able to propagate or transmit a signal with enough strength to be received where needed. This also includes cell phones and other mobile devices. The system must have the capability to perform this function with a high degree of reliability under many different conditions.

Today, the solution utilizes modern technology and a broadband cabling infrastructure to support antennas throughout the building. The federal mandate, an ordinance for improved public safety communications in new building construction is an option that many municipalities are beginning to implement. The purpose of this ordinance is to mandate radio-friendly infrastructure inside new construction. Some municipalities are making this a requirement and will not permit occupancy until the in-building wireless, distributed antenna system (DAS) has been installed and commissioned. Building owners that are bracing for this to be mandatory nationwide can be prepared by deploying broadband coaxial cable and antennas throughout a building during the construction phase. By doing this, custom design is eliminated and system costs are lower. This creates the pathways for the in-building wireless needs for today and tomorrow.

For your new construction or modernization project, don’t miss this opportunity, during the structured cabling installation, to future-proof and provide a cost-effective platform that is ready for carrier-neutral and uniform wireless coverage.

bill Buckingham - network cabling engineer William B. Buckingham, is a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD). Over 24 years of knowledge and experience in the telecommunications industry, with a broad background in cable plant design, project management and installation.
William B. Buckingham, RCDD
(916) 616-9598