In-building wireless can be a complex solution to consider even for seasoned enterprise managers and building managers. There are a numerous Distributed Antenna System (DAS), such as Active, Passive, Hybrid and Digital systems. Each system must be fed by a signal source such as BDA, BTS, Small Cell, CBRS or Mix and Match in some cases. Then, there are about 10 equipment vendors to choose from. These combinations can lead to more than 100 different possible options!
While network installations can be costly and time consuming, the process is worth the time, effort and money for commercial real estate owners. A viable in-building wireless solution will enhance tenants’ experience, which keeps occupancy rates high. Additionally, buildings with reliable wireless networks are more attractive to future tenants.
The key to making wireless installation worth the financial and time commitment is ensuring the job is done right the first time. That might seem like a simple concept, but it does not always happen. CRE owners can be enticed to hire a vendor that doesn’t have a lot of installation experience because their quote is cheaper than their competitors, only to end up paying to have their work corrected. In those cases, CRE owners could eventually spend more money between the initial installation and hiring someone else to redo the work than they would have if they’d just hired a vendor they deemed “too expensive” initially.
“(CRE owners) could spend one and a half to two times what it takes to fix something to deploy a network,” Telnet Incorporated EVP of RF Engineering Mike Dorranian said. “So if a network costs $100,000 to $200,000, they could end up spending $300,000 to fix it.”
Telnet is one of those vendors who bring enough experience to a job that will give CRE owners peace of mind that the work will be done right the first time. The company has been providing solutions to wireless operators, equipment vendors, government and commercial entities, both in the form of turnkey operations or technical outsourcing for 25 years. Telnet also provides wireless network-related services to wireless carriers and equipment providers.
“It’s best to work with a company that knows what to do the first time, so you don’t have to come back, spend a lot of money cleaning up after things that have gone wrong,” Dorranian said. “There are a lot of problems with poor designs, PIM (passive intermodulation) testing and intermodulation elements where if you don’t know what you’re doing as far as whether the connector is too tight or loose, or if the antenna is too close to metal panels, for example. There are all sorts of things that you need to be aware of than simply just putting stuff in there.”
Working with a vendor that can handle every phase of the network build process can help save CRE owners time and money, too. Rather than searching for a company that specializes in installation, then another one who focuses on network design, etc., CRE owners should seek out vendors that can provide them a “one-stop shop” approach to building their wireless network. Telnet offers capability for a wireless network build’s entire lifecycle, including site design, zoning, site build, monitoring, maintenance, engineering and deployment.
“It’s important to work with someone who has experience in all aspects of this,” Dorranian said. “If someone is only doing an installation, they may not know where the problem in the design is. But, someone who does it all turnkey in-house, that’s the person who knows in and out how to design (the network) to begin with and how to finish it the right way.
“We do it end to end. We also have all of the tools and software so we can do the best design out there. We’re vendor-agnostic and can determine what fits best for each case based on the power requirement, space requirement and frequency.”
Telnet has used its 25 years of telecommunications experience to provide enterprises with numerous services including engineering (RF, in-building solutions project management and more) and IT (network security, virtualization and cloud computing and application development.) It’s also helped CRE owners and enterprises enhance or create their in-building coverage whether it’s in the Public Safety, Cellular, WIFI, or Private LTE network/CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) sectors.
PUBLIC SAFETY COVERAGE
Public safety communications are an important juncture. Every day, seemingly, news headlines are filled with reports of incidents in which communications plays a pivotal role in the outcome.
At the height of any emergency, it is paramount that first responders can communicate with one another: “Do they hear me? Can I hear them?” Yet as clear as this imperative is, the stark reality is that public safety communication faces challenges, particularly inside buildings having certain characteristics. It is imperative that every stakeholder in the public safety mix assess and address the issues that impact their contribution to public safety communications.
Wireless connectivity has quickly transitioned from a “nice to have” to a “must have” amenity that CRE owners can offer their tenants. Many tenants demand reliable wireless connectivity so they can conduct their business effectively, but public safety is an even more critical reason for CRE owners to ensure their network is reliable. Public safety communications is not relegated to only police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS). It is about the general public, too. After all, if a tenant cannot be notified about an incident, or call for help when inside a building, first responders will not know that they need help.
It’s critical that there’s reliable cellular coverage anywhere in a building that the public can access so tenants can call 911, and public safety coverage so first responders can communicate with each other without issue through their radio systems.
Reliable public safety coverage requires well-designed in-building infrastructure for any indoor or outdoor venue. Commercial building owners and property managers must adopt and implement prevailing local building and fire codes, and find workable business models to fund in-building wireless systems that enhance public safety inside their buildings.
Telnet designs, tests and implements public safety wireless systems in numerous venues. These venues include stadiums, shopping malls, hospitals, schools, office buildings, commercial residential buildings, subway and railway systems and more. Its public safety services include coverage verification, site certification, regulatory compliance, installation and maintenance. Telnet is also a Safer Building Coalition member and stays on top of various counties’ regulations.
The emergence of CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service), the portion of the 150 MHz spectrum in the 3.5 GHz range, has made private LTE networks more attainable for CRE owners. Before CBRS became available to the public, CRE owners were either to put their wireless network on Wi-Fi, which was cost-effective, but not always reliable, or install a private network and pay a wireless operator to handle and share any data that was transmitted. Now CRE owners can enjoy the best of both options—a private network that’s closer in cost to Wi-Fi, but has LTE’s capabilities.
CRE owners can experience numerous benefits when they switch from Wi-Fi to a private network. First, their network will be more secure and the Band 48 CBRS will keep all of their data local. Private networks provide mobile handoff capabilities and have more range than Wi-Fi. Additionally, Band 48 has enough capacity to allow high data rate applications and many devices to work at once. Private networks also allow CRE to leverage a connectivity to a large number of devices, and technology that will be required with upcoming IOT, data analytic, smart building and connected smart cities. Private networks will lower utilities cost, increase space efficiency, increase performance, generate revenues and more.
Telnet can translate its in-building wireless network capabilities and apply them to a private LTE network—everything from design, installation, deployment, maintenance and monitoring. It can also deploy Wi-Fi, as most business may choose to have both Wi-Fi and a private network, where the Wi-Fi is used for guest and visitors and the private network is used to transfer internal sensitive data.
CELLULAR COVERAGE/CAPACITY ENHANCEMENT FOR WIRELESS CARRIERS
Mobile devices can be used to communicate in many different ways now, but when it comes to business communication, the phone call is still at the top of the list. Wireless carriers don’t want to be the reason that their customers’ important business call drops, so they take every measure possible to ensure their cellular coverage is reliable everywhere. That can be tough to guarantee, especially indoors—and especially at a crowded venue. Telnet offers cellular coverage and capacity enhancement service to wireless carriers so they can more confidently assure their customers that they can make their phone calls worry-free.
Whether a CRE owner needs to enhance their building’s safety coverage, cellular coverage or wants to put a private LTE network in their building, it is imperative to work with a vendor that knows what they are doing because it will save them time and money in the long run. If the vendor can handle all aspects of the network build process, that’s a bonus. Telnet, Incorporated checks all of the boxes.
“You want to do things right the first time, right?” Dorranian said. “Go with an expert because this is a complex system. It’s not like any electrician or contractor out there can do. (Telnet) had done thousands of projects in this arena. We’ve seen all sorts of things that could go wrong so we can foresee (issues) and take action before they happen.”