In an emergency, first responders have to talk to each other, regardless of where they are. But sometimes, the facility they are in prohibits that from happening.
That’s why amplifiers are needed to increase in-building radio signal strength. Read all about their importance below, along with how you can get them installed in your building. And be sure to contact the team at BearCom to get additional questions answered.
Importance of In-Building Communications Systems
Having a sufficient in-building communications system is crucial for first responders. With the right system in place, firefighters, police officers, and EMTs will never lose their point of contact in a dire situation.
These men and women depend on indoor two-way coverage, often on multiple frequency bands, for team coordination and emergency communications. Public Safety professionals need to maintain contact with each other, regardless of their location in your building, be it on underground floors, elevators, stairwells, parking garages, or wherever.
In most localities, it is now legally required that communication systems maintain signal strength throughout a facility. This is primarily so there is a guaranteed level of in-building signal strength for first responders.
Needing In-Building Coverage
In the past, in-building coverage was primarily extended through an outdoor network of high site antennas. However, this left many highly populated areas inside hospitals, high-rise buildings, schools, and other facilities with severely limited coverage.
In addition, in modern structures constructed of concrete, steel beams, and glass, radio signals are often blocked from the outside, as well as inside the building. To increase signal challenges even further, “green” and LEED certified buildings are often sealed with tighter designs.
Fortunately, in-building signal boosters are available to help solve these radio coverage issues.
To help maintain communication in hard-to-reach areas, Bi-Directional Amplifiers (BDAS) are often used. These signal boosters are installed as part of a Distributed Antenna System and use wireless Radio Frequency (RF) technology along with cabling (if available) to boost and distribute RF signals in challenging environments.
How Amplifiers Increase Signal Strength
A BDA is often the solution to boost signal strength. Depending on the capabilities of the unit (or units) selected, these signal boosters can be deployed and programmed to extend two-way radio range for facilities operational teams (usually bands UHF or VHF) and/or Public Safety frequencies (450/700/800 MHz bands), as well as cellular signals. In many localities, maintaining radio signal strength is required by law on the Public Safety frequency bands.
Passive DAS: In buildings less than 500,000 square feet, a passive Distributed Antenna System often includes a BDA to receive signal from off-air, boost it and send it throughout the building using coax cabling. Passive designs are the most commonly used systems to meet Public Safety signal requirements.
Active DAS: An active Distributed Antenna System is often used for larger buildings – usually more 10 floors and over 500,000 square feet of coverage area. Facilities that benefit from using an active DAS are venues such as concert arenas, sports stadiums, and airports.
Wireless communications providers perform site surveys to properly design and deploy an in-building signal booster system. As part of the survey, an RF signal analyzer is used to record the best signal strength in your building and identify poor indoor signals. This helps determine where to position the exterior antenna and where to place signal boosters inside the building.
The survey, wiring schematic, and floor plans help determine the optimal configuration of the Distributed Antenna System and individual antenna nodes, as well as the head-end position for the Bi-Directional Amplifier. When done properly, the system design and infrastructure, along with the power and programming of the BDA will sufficiently boost indoor signal to essentially eliminate dead spots.
Learn More about Amplifiers
It is important to note that planning and deploying the DAS/BDA solution early into a new construction or remodeling project is far less costly than retrofitting the signal booster system into the structure later in the process.
BearCom has vast levels of experience designing and deploying DAS/BDA systems in just about every sector and stands ready to assist with your wireless communications needs.
For a FREE consultation or to request a site-walk, call the BearCompliance Hotline at 844.883.8904.
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