As it continues to build a consensus, defining the problems that prevent in-building wireless systems, the Safer Buildings Coalition has been broaching the topic across multiple communities. In particular, it is looking to FirstNet, the proposed nationwide broadband public safety network, to be an ally in its mission to make buildings safer through wireless communications.
Deployment of a nationwide public safety network without consideration of in-building spaces would be a lost opportunity, according to Seth Buechley, SOLiD president and co-founder of the coalition, who has been engaging with the FirstNet leaders on the subject of in-building coverage.
“We find a shared concern that, without appropriate action, the FirstNet nationwide broadband network will get built and the public safety radios still will not work indoors,” he said.
The question remains as to whether FirstNet will take a position on in-building coverage or leave the matter up to each individual state.
“We want to prevent what happened in the cellular industry, which spent 20 years focusing on the macro networks and at the end of that they began to focus on the in-building coverage,” Buechley said.
In-building wireless systems pose a number of challenges that will require stakeholders to band together, Buechley said, such as how to define best practices. A consensus must be achieved among the various stakeholders about the importance of in-building wireless systems, he said.
“We have elevated the conversations across multiple communities and so the panelists reflect a broad section of the stakeholders, the cellular community, public safety and the vendor community,” Buechley said. “We have been very impressed with the way the public safety community, in particular, has jumped into the conversation.”
One of those conversations will take place at APCO International 79th Annual Conference & Expo, Aug. 18, in Anaheim, Calif., where Buechley will host a panel of public-safety executives to discuss in-building public-safety communications challenges and opportunities on a panel titled, “Developing Standards and Certifications for Converged Public-Safety and Cellular DAS Networks.”
Panel participants will be Jonathan S. Adelstein, president and CEO, PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association; Buechley; Robert LeGrande II, founder, The Digital Decision, LLC; James Teel, director of business development, Harris Corporation.
“We are at the formative stage of identifying policy and technology solutions at the highest level through FirstNet for delivering mission-critical emergency communications to save lives,” said LeGrande. “To overcome often-conflicting interests and myriad challenges that include technical, liability, cost and management, pragmatic solutions must inspire — not simply require — stakeholders to participate.”
Dali Wireless has introduced a digital-over-fiber solution for delivering distributed wireless coverage and capacity. Based on the company’s t-Series RF router system, the Dali system extends the coverage and capacity of signals from wireless carriers indoors and outdoors in various environments. Primary components of the t-Series include tHost head-end units, quad-band t30 low-power remote transceivers for indoor applications, and quad-band t43 high-power remote transceivers for outdoor applications. Software options include network management and an advanced capacity management systems. All network functions, as well as adding new hardware, features and capacity re-allocation, are orchestrated from a single point via a user interface either locally or via the Internet.
With an instantaneous bandwidth of 164 megahertz in both the uplink and downlink paths, the system can simultaneously accommodate every active band (700 MHz, 850 MHz, 1900 MHz and 2100 MHz) used by the four major wireless carriers, with bandwidth remaining to provide network backhaul at 1 Gb/s as well as Wi-Fi capability. Wi-Fi traffic is completely isolated from the cellular network signals to ensure security. www.daliwireless.com
L-com has added two HyperLink DAS sectorial antennas. The HG72710XP-065 provides 10 dBi gain, 65 degrees of coverage and features two independent antennas with cross polarization. This feature doubles the wireless capacity over the same channels. The HG72714P-090 is vertically polarized and features 90 degrees of coverage. A single N-Female connector to the antenna’s internal combiner simplifies installation because only one coax cable is required to be sent to the antenna. Both antennas feature bandwidths in frequencies ranging from 698-960/1710-2700 MHz, UV resistant radomes for all-weather operation and heavy-duty steel mounting brackets. www.L-com.com
Fire Island, situated just off Long Island, N.Y., never had good cell phone coverage. And after Superstorm Sandy finished with the outer barrier island late in October 2012, the landline phone network didn’t look too good either.
“They had an outdated wireline network in place and the island has no room for a cell tower. After Sandy hit, the operator looked at the situation and decided there would not be a sufficient ROI from replacing the copper network,” Tyler Hanson, wireless product manager, TE Connectivity, told DAS Bulletin. “As a result, they decide to deploy a DAS network, which could help serve both the wireline network, as well as the wireless network.”
Deploying DAS solved multiple problems. The operator is able to use DAS as a backhaul to the wireline equipment. Remote units are distributed on light poles throughout the island, providing adequate cell phone coverage where there once was little. But it took some time for the island to come back from Sandy.
The 8.8-square-mile island took the brunt of the storm, which literally ripped a hole right through it, and it wasn’t until March that the Army Corps of Engineers began to clear the debris. On March 12, Kristin Thorne, reporter for WABC said, “If you look around Fire Island, it seems like Superstorm Sandy hit just yesterday.”
TE’s DAS equipment began to be deployed early in May this year, and while it’s still a work in progress in terms of full deployment, the critical areas now have communications.
“One of the challenges to deploying the DAS is space. There is no room to build additional shelters,” Hanson said. “We had to consolidate all the base stations into what space was available. With the TE equipment being digital we can go a long way from our base station hotel to each remote.”
A residential location for little more than 200 people, Fire Island is a vacation destination that pulls in crowds all summer as the home of a National Park Service seashore preserve. It is beloved because of its beaches and rustic accommodations. It has few roads, and access is mostly via boardwalks. And now, thanks to DAS, it has both wireline and wireless communications.
The industry lost the ninth climber, Aug. 12, to fall from a tower in 2013 and the fifth since July 10, in Coats, N.C.
John Dailey, 49, Silvester, Ga., lost his balance while attempting to attach a carabiner from his safety harness to the tower, according to a report on WTVD. He fell 200 feet and was pronounced dead on the scene.
Dailey, who was working with one other climber, was employed by Transit PM, Duxbury, Mass.