I read an interesting article in the September issue of Cable Installation & Maintenance by Karl Griffith, who retired from Graybar after 39 years of service. The title of the article? “Improving Wireless Coverage in Smaller Buildings.” It clearly discusses the financial constraints and implications that typically prevent building owners from installing distributed antenna systems (DAS) into their buildings. Active DAS is usually found in large buildings where the numbers of users are far greater in number, which thereby opens it up to possible funding, by cell phone service providers. Service providers don’t typically fund buildings that are less than 750,000 square feet. This, obviously, doesn’t do much good for smaller buildings.
The Definition of a Small Building
Let’s start by defining what makes for a smaller buildings. According to the U.S. Energy Administration’s 2012 Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey, 88% of commercial buildings are 25,000 square feet or less. Most commercial buildings fall into the “small” category, but the needs for clear and consistent cellular and data are huge and continuing to grow. Following, are some examples of smaller buildings where DAS is needed:
• Buildings constructed with materials that block cellular signals. These materials include low-emissivity glass, concrete and metal.
• Buildings where the cellular signal isn’t consistently strong enough within the coverage area.
• Large campuses where some of the buildings have inadequate signal reception.
Presenting THE Viable Alternative to DAS
There is an alternative, FCC-approved passive DAS solution known as “cellular signal boosters” that are designed to accommodate the needs of most companies. SureCall is the brand of signal boosters recommended by the author of the aforementioned article. Cellular signal boosters work with an outdoor antenna, one or more indoor antennas and cable. Signals from cell towers are picked up by the outside antenna and transmitted to the booster. The booster, in turn, amplifies the signal and sends the signal through the inside antenna to all cellular devices.
By complying with all FCC rules and guidelines, SureCall’s line of cellular signal boosters are approved for use by all cellular providers, but must be registered with the individual wireless providers. These boosters are designed to automatically attenuate in order to eliminate the possibility of interference with cell towers as well as to detect and correct oscillation occurrences.
In the final analysis, SureCall has a solution that fits all building sizes (up to 250,000 square feet) and routine configurations. For others, there are models that boost cellular signals as well as HDTV signals along with a Wi-Fi extender. For more information about SureCall and our family of award-winning boosters, visit www.surecall.com.