Technology has played a crucial role to unravel the value of communication and information systems for all its stakeholders who spend majority of their day within the building and desire to always stay connected. With the rapid uptake of smartphones and increase in data services subscriptions, reducing dropped calls in indoor voice communications only is no more relevant but, delivering sufficient network capacity indoors has become essential. As the quality of data service gradually becomes the most dominant factor for evaluating the overall service experience, building owners and/or facility managers are strategically deploying in-building wireless solutions to enhance coverage availability and capacity at public and private facilities.
The in-building wireless solutions are being adopted for facilities of all sizes across the globe to provide indoor coverage and capacity. With an increase in the volume of mobile workforce and the adoption of project-oriented business models, the need for in-building wireless solutions is increasing. There is a growing demand in the commercial, multi-tenant space due to high user densities and high rises where a dominant cellular signal is not available.
In-Building Communication Challenges
- Voice and Data Connectivity: As individuals spend more time inside the buildings, they expect wireless performance similar to the quality of service on the streets and a smooth transit with uninterrupted services from one location to another. It is crucial to increase the network capacity and coverage within the buildings to support the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives and accommodate high voice and data usage. Continuous connectivity facilitates constant data communication and delivers mobility and flexibility for the execution of operations along with improving individual performance.
- Public Safety and Security: The radio frequency coverage within a building is poor due to the distance and topographical constraints between the nearest tower and the building, building construction material, and data and voice usage traffic creating communication difficulties for emergency responders. Enhancing indoor communication capabilities is essential as it allows first responders an access to reliable, ubiquitous radio coverage to ensure safety. Also, improving the coverage for areas such as parking garages and elevators enables mobility and assures security for individuals.
The in-building wireless solutions support in bringing the network inside the building to address the concerns related to call drops and dead zones throughout various locations such as parking garages, stairwells, and elevators enabling seamless communication. These solutions ensure continuous connectivity across the building allowing building occupants, owners, and administrators to leverage the pervasive wireless coverage and efficiently establish connections.
In-Building Wireless Solution Selection and Deployment Considerations
Even as solution providers design high-performance in-building wireless solutions supporting multiple frequencies, the selection and deployment of an in-building solution is critical for a building occupant’s performance and safety. It is essential to revisit the business challenges that lead to consideration of in-building wireless solutions to better data performance, coherent coverage, and seamless connectivity. Considerations to determine the best fit include:
- Facility Considerations: It is essential to examine the in-building wireless deployment objectives, occupant characteristics, and existing network infrastructure to build a strong foundation for implementing in-building wireless solution. The facility or site considerations include current and future scale of business operations at the facility, bandwidth and latency level requirements, type and availability of mobile devices, volume of mobile workforce, multi-carrier requirements, and existing cable infrastructure.
- Cost Considerations: The cost of in-building wireless solutions varies depending upon the size of the facility, type of the facility (old or new), construction material used, and service level requirements if any (for instance, traffic offloading increases the implementation cost).
An in-building wireless solution that addresses the occupant’s needs along with a competitive budget should be strategically chosen.
In-Building Wireless Solution Benefits
The amalgamation of in-building wireless within the existing communication framework will improve workforce productivity and enhance the ability to coordinate with local emergency responders. The in-building wireless solutions facilitate flexible, mobile, and seamless support for high data rate delivery. These solutions are becoming relevant as they improve call connection quality and reduce the maintenance overheads and energy costs considerably. The in-building wireless solutions empower organizations to focus on their core business functions by relying upon the pervasive coverage capabilities they deliver. An in-building wireless solution funded and operated by service provider enhances the quality of service and increases customer satisfaction with dedicated service.
The increasing consumer dependence on mobile communication services and preference to wireless connectivity and applications has created revenue opportunities for the wireless service providers across the globe. Operators are aligning their resources to improve in-building coverage and network capacity with the in-building wireless solutions to retain customers, sustain competition, and differentiate their service offerings.