Seamless Communications: The Key to Improving Tenant Experience

It's not surprising that 80% of property teams plan to spend at least half their time this year improving the tenant experience. Attracting and retaining quality tenants is at the heart of success in the $3.5 trillion CRE industry. An excellent tenant experience means greater tenant loyalty, higher occupancy, longer leases, premium prices, and increased profitability.

In iGR's 2019 Building Manager Survey, more than 60% of the managers surveyed said that current tenants complain about the quality of mobile LTE voice/data service. More than 80% said that prospective tenants ask about the quality of mobile LTE voice/data service.

The gap between the communication experience that tenants want and their current reality is your opportunity to improve the tenant experience, and ultimately, profitability.

A Great Tenant Experience Starts with the Basics

The tenant experience is the sum total of how tenants and employees feelabout the workspace. While there are many elements that contribute to
the overall experience, not every amenity has the same weight. It is helpful to think in terms of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and cool perks. Getting the priorities right can make all the difference in tenant satisfaction and profitability.

  • Must-haves are the basics, and they form the foundation of a positive experience. Think things like temperature, air quality, safety, building appearance, and communication.
  • Nice-to-haves might include a gym, bike storage, a cafe or coffee shop, retail, and maybe conference rooms. But these have little impact if the must-haves are lacking.
  • Cool perks are luxuries. Electric car charging, nap pods, car wash, or dry cleaning service are examples. Again, these are great if the must-haves are in place.

Tenants rate public Wi-Fi as the top amenity contributing to positive workplace experience.  It is rated higher than a gym, café, coffee shop, or meeting and event space. Communication and connection are so important that 74% of Millennials surveyed said they couldn't go more than one day without access to their smartphones.

To retain top talent, companies strive to provide a work environment that inspires employees to their best performance. To that end, today's workplace is different from office plans of the past. Open workspaces, a team environment, remote work, and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) are common and growing. New bandwidth-consuming technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are quickly emerging. The success of all of these trends rests on a foundation of reliable, flexible communication infrastructure.

In-Building Communications Strategies

Wired, Wi-Fi, and cellular systems are three options for providing service within a building, and each has strengths and weaknesses.

  • Wired service is reliable and less subject to interference than other options. It is expensive due to the time and labor needed to run the wire. It is also inflexible. If the building or office layout changes, the cables also have to be moved, and costs can be high.
  • Wi-Fi is easy to deploy, but it can get bogged down, and there can be areas of poor reception. In addition, as the number of people in the building or office increases, the coverage per person is less, and voice quality can decrease.
  • Cellular service is ubiquitous in outdoor areas, but walk into a modern or legacy commercial building, and the signal can drop as you move. Building design and materials such as concrete, steel, aluminum, furniture, equipment, and other objects can block cellular signals.

A SOLiD Solution

The SOLiD solution for in-building mobile coverage is distributed antenna system (DAS) technology. DAS is used in large buildings and public spaces to make the mobile signals available everywhere, no matter the surrounding building materials or design. The systems easily flex with demand surges, so transmission is as robust on quiet weekends as it is during a busy conference.

A DAS distributes mobile signals from a central point to antennas deployed
throughout the building, and the system is engineered to cover even hard-to-reach spots. DAS systems support the signals from all of the major network operators and are less costly than deploying multiple layers of single-service-provider radio systems.

SOLiD's DAS modular technology fits in tight IT closets and is sized to be an unobtrusive element in ceilings and on walls. And with Fiber-to-the-Edge Technology, SOLiD builds a fiber-based backhaul solution that can handle your growing bandwidth needs.

Long seen as a nice-to-have, providing in-building cellular coverage is now as important as providing basic utilities. SOLiD's Fiber-to-the-Edge technology is a game-changer. It is simple, scalable, and ready to grow as you grow.

 

Factors that impact in-building Cellular Service The SOLiD DAS Solution
Building architecture – building and window materials, other buildings, distance from the cell tower, and carrier frequency can impact service. SOLiD DAS solutions are engineered to cover even the hardest-to-serve parts of the building.
Costs of adding standalone cellular systems – multiple radios are needed for each major network operator, adding expense, consuming large amounts of IT closet space, and requiring multiple layers of cables and antennas. Moves and changes are complicated, expensive, and disruptive. SOLiD DAS is a neutral-host solution that provides coverage for all connected major network operators. Capacity scales with demand. Little IT closet space is needed, and with fiber-to-the-edge technology, moves and changes are easy and inexpensive.
The need to have mobile carriers provide signal sources. SOLiD DAS is approved for connection by all major network operators. SOLiD and partners can help you obtain signal sources.
Rapidly changing technology and fears of obsolescence. SOLiD DAS solutions provide modularity, scalability, and a robust roadmap that provides for incremental changes to protect your investment and avoid rip-and-replace.
New technology that promises everything without a clear path forward. SOLiD brings you industry knowledge, the most current technology, and a track record of results.
An overwhelming set of manufacturers, installers and service providers. SOLiD has the experience to evaluate, advise, and implement a complete system, keeping the process simple.


How Do I Plan For 5G In My Building?

On June 12, 2019, I participated in a panel discussion at the DASpedia 5G Congress. The conversation included consideration of current and future CRE wireless network needs. At that panel some key points were discussed:

Key Issues for CRE owners and managers include: 

  1. When it comes to 5G wireless connectivity, it’s important to distinguish between what is possible today and what you’ll need tomorrow. Ongoing improvements in LTE technology will maintain its relevance for years to come. Keep in mind that it’s possible for LTE 4G and 5G to coexist during any transition.
  2. To prepare for the future, create a 5G roadmap with clearly defined goals. Understand the expectations of your current and future tenants. You’ll want to be clear about your enterprise’s 5G timing. I’d recommend that you create a strategic plan. This should include short-term (next 18 months), mid-term (18-36 months) and long-term (4-5 years) goals. Your goals should reflect the fact that widespread private 5G deployments lie years into the future. Still, if you want to offer prospective tenants a competitive mix of amenities, you need a progressive plan.
  3. For the short-term, consider that Private LTE already delivers data usage savings, enhanced security and better traffic flow. Long-term, the allure of 5G is undeniable. First, it is anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than LTE 4G. Second, it dramatically increases connection density.

Increasing needs will drive the evolution of private LTE and 5G wireless networks. Consider the many demands on private wireless networks in the future:

  • More mobile devices on-premises
  • Increased HD video streaming
      • IoT requirements
  • Security needs, including wireless access cards
  • Changing shopper behavior

For example, retail shoppers increasingly use their smartphones while in the store. Eventually, 5G will deliver the low-latency, speed and coverage consumers and workers will come to expect.

Private LTE & CBRS: New Opportunities

As we discuss private wireless networks deployed in commercial real estate buildings, it’s important to define terms:

  • Private LTE networks serve individual enterprises, educational institutions and government entities. Regular mobile carriers operate some, while third-party operators (3PO) run others. Some use licensed spectrum; others use unlicensed spectrum.
  • Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) occupies a 150 MHz-wide band of the spectrum. For many years, it was mostly used by the U.S. Navy’s radar systems. Although this will continue, unused portions are now available for commercial use.

CBRS offers CRE owners/managers a new path to effective wireless coverage. For many, CBRS is the next big thing that they haven’t really heard about yet. It provides a way to deploy private 5G networks without costly spectrum licenses. Since a CBRS-based network is not aligned with any single carrier, third-party installation and operation is an option.

For more about CBRS and 5G, check out the video, “Commercial Real Estate is Changing, Are You Still A Rated.” It includes a discussion I had with Rich Berliner, founder of Connected/RE magazine.

Berliner observes that “amenities are everything” in today’s commercial real estate market. Building owners must deliver the kind of connectivity that tenants and their employees expect. When it comes to wireless network upgrades, he says, “Don’t wait, that’s the important message in commercial real estate.” Still, Berliner believes that widespread private 5G is a few years out yet. Availability of 5G phones is one key factor.

Case Study: The Farley Building

How does a CRE owner/manager transition existing wireless services to Private LTE and 5G? Let’s look at one case study. New York City’s Farley Building is an iconic civic structure constructed in 1912 and expanded in 1934. The massive structure is across the street from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. The updated building will include 740,000 square feet of office space, 120,000 square feet of curated retail and a “majestic train hall.”

Developers are transforming it into “New York City's best-in-class creative office hub.” To this end, they are providing a distributed antenna system (DAS), along “with space allocation for multiple carriers.”

About SOLiD

If your tenants aren’t already asking about 5G, they will be soon. You’ll want to respond with a well-conceived 5G roadmap. Using CBRS for upgraded private LTE may be part of that plan.

SOLiD connects people, places and things with innovative telecom tech. We’ve been at the forefront of multi-carrier DAS. Now, we’re excited about the potential for CBRS-based systems.

To learn how to apply the latest technology to your wireless needs, please contact us today.


SOLiD DAS Keeps NYC Connected in Demanding Environments

https://youtu.be/Yr9J8C69XQY

The urban landscape of New York City is one of the most concentrated in the world. It includes soaring skyscrapers along with a vast maze of subway routes and road tunnels.

Everywhere in the city, visitors, residents and workers access wireless systems as never before. A June 2019 report from Pew Research notes that 81 percent of Americans have smartphones, up from 35 percent in 2011. Almost three-quarters own laptop or desktop computers, and about half own tablets. The proliferation of streaming HD video and expanding LTE and 5G services ensure a key role for distributed antenna systems (DAS) well into the future.

SOLiD DAS addresses wireless connectivity issues in demanding urban environments. Subways, tunnels and airports are some examples. Office buildings, condominium high-rises and other densely populated structures also need state-of-the-art equipment to meet both coverage and capacity requirements.

Evolution of Wireless Coverage in NYC

When Bandwidth Logic CEO Mark Parr spoke with SOLiD SVP of Operations Scott Deweese at Connect (X), they discussed the evolution of DAS deployments in NYC. Check out the full discussion here.

In the early 2000s, Bandwidth Logic deployed outdoor networks in Central Park. The company also set up networks for corporate clients like Pfizer and the News Corporation of America. Early contracts focused on pole top antennas and fiber installation.

Eventually, Transit Wireless was specifically created to deliver wireless services in the MTA subway. Ultimately, Transit Wireless chose SOLiD DAS to meet the unique demands of the subway environment. SOLiD’s equipment had already proven itself in the subway system in Seoul, South Korea.

Over the years, there’s been a change in who owns the equipment. The carrier consortiums of the early 2000s are giving way to third-party ownership of multi-carrier equipment. Bandwidth Logic is a third-party owner (3PO) dedicated to serving enterprises and carriers alike.

SOLiD DAS in NYC

In NYC, SOLiD DAS now enables 2 billion wireless connections annually.

Equipment versatility and durability are key factors in SOLiD’s success. For example, SOLiD’s Alliance DAS meets the demand for LTE services in any band. Alliance DAS can lock in radio frequency (RF) power levels to meet public safety communications requirements pertaining to 2-way (UHF/VHF) and public-safety (700/800) services.

SOLiD’s durable equipment performs well in demanding environments. For example, in the subway, heat exchangers on the subway cars emit heat throughout the system. Officials carefully examine proposed equipment to confirm that it will hold up in such a hostile environment. Everything must meet stringent standards, right down to the paint chip samples.

SOLiD: Subway DAS

The sprawling Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) subway system requires wireless coverage in 472 stations serving 1.7 billion riders/year. SOLiD leveraged its experience with other large subway systems to propose equipment for NYC's subway.

SOLiD’s success with the MTA subway led to yet another deployment in Toronto. SOLiD’s Alliance Multi-Carrier DAS is now in the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway system.

SOLiD: Airport DAS

NYC’s three international airports also need state-of-the-art DAS to meet demand. JFK’s six terminals serve 60 million passengers/year. LaGuardia’s four terminals serve 30 million passengers/year. At Newark International, there are three terminals serving another 30 million passengers/year.

SOLiD: Tunnel DAS

The three tubes that comprise the Lincoln Tunnel span 8,000 feet. They serve 35 million vehicles/yr. The two tubes of the Holland Tunnel cover another 8,100 feet. They serve 25 million vehicles/yr. DAS delivers vital wireless coverage in these unique environments.

SOLiD: Building DAS

Consider the magnitude of the DAS requirements in the city’s ubiquitous skyscrapers. For example, at the UN headquarters, SOLiD DAS helps to address the wireless needs of representatives from 193 countries. It also serves 1 million visitors/yr.

SOLiD’s state-of-the-art DAS is also critical in the 2.2 million sqft Empire State Building. This iconic attraction hosts 3.5 million visitors/yr. Residential structures have massive wireless requirements as well. Consider 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential building in the world. The 412,637 sqft structure is 1,396-ft tall.

About SOLiD

Appearing across the depths of NYC’s dense urban canyons are wireless connection challenges aplenty. State-of-the-art, multi-carrier DAS is often the perfect antidote to what ails urban wireless communications.

Whether you’re a visitor, worker or resident in NYC, you already rely on SOLiD DAS to stay connected. In dense and demanding urban environments, wireless coverage and capacity requirements continue to evolve. As demands grow, SOLiD stands ready to deliver effective, durable DAS solutions.

SOLiD has been an innovator in wireless communications equipment for more than 20 years. For further assistance, please contact us today.


SOLiD is Key to SK Telecom 5G In-Building Award Winning Solution

We at SOLiD are at the forefront of 5G innovation.  Our heritage is based in Korea – a place where a comprehensive 5G rollout is happening in Seoul and many other cities. This rollout includes indoor and outside solutions. It’s really cool to be part of a company driving this type of innovation.

Recently SOLiD was recognized in a press release from SK Telecom as a key ingredient in a 5G repeater being rolled out by SKT.  Earlier this month, SKT had won an award at SCF 2019 in London for SK Telecom’s World 1st 5G NR RF Repeater Commercialization for 5G Coverage Extension.

Here is the SKT press release translated into English.  The original press release is found in the hyperlink included below.


SK Telecom 5G in-building Solution Recognized Across the World

SK Telecom 5GX Lab's manager (left), who participated in the awards ceremony of 'Small Cell Design and Technology Commercialization' at the 'Small Cell Award 2019' held in London on May 21, Judge of Small Cell Awards. Photo provided by SK Telecom

SK Telecom has been awarded for '5G In-Building Solution Commercialization Technology' at 'Small Cell Forum Awards 2019' held in London, U.K. on May 21, 2019.

SK Telecom won this award in recognition of its achievements in developing and commercializing 2  two different types of 5G RF repeaters in the 3.5GHz band for the first time in the world last year. RF repeaters amplifying the 5G signals to transmit longer distances are used to improve the quality of In-door 5G service indoors by enhancing coverage.

The Small Cell Award highly recognizes SK Telecom’s RF repeater which is built with 5G Standard-based Time Division Duplex (TDD) Synchronization detection technology. By using the TDD technology, both uplink and downlink transmissions are arranged one after the other on time scale, which enables more efficient use of limited frequency resources.

The award is more delightful, particularly to SOLiD which is a specialized company in RF development in South Korea. As a collaborating company of SK Telecom, SOLiD has developed the 5G RF repeaters with SK Telecom. Also, both companies have applied new features - wide bandwidth support and operational optimization features - to this new 5G RF repeaters.

The Small Cell Awards is a global ICT awards ceremony held every year since 2009 by the 'Small Cell Forum', which boasts world-renowned authority. Some of the world's leading mobile operators such as AT & T, Vodafone, and NTT DoCoMo, as well as some 90 telecom equipment manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics, Huawei and Ericsson, join the Small Cell Forum.

A small cell as a device provides a radio access point and network coverage with low radio frequency (RF) power output, footprint, and range. It can be deployed indoors or outdoors, where the signal barely reaches to and on licensed, shared or unlicensed spectrum. In addition, the small cell carries data traffic that occurs in a small area, it is possible to provide stable communication quality even in an environment where the amount of data is rapidly increased.

“SK Telecom is delighted to receive this award as it recognizes our efforts to develop and commercialize new technologies in the field of 5G,” said Park Jong-kwan, Vice President and Head of 5GX Labs of SK Telecom. “We will continue to lead the 5G ecosystem by developing innovative 5G technologies to further enhance our 5G service quality”

Translated from original at : http://www.m-i.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=605793


Coping With Dense Outdoor Environments Like Urban Canyons

One frustrating experience is all too common. You’re trusting Google Maps to deliver you, on time, to an important meeting in the city's central business district. You turn the corner only to find a massive high-rise blocking your signal. Your timely arrival at that important meeting is now in doubt.

Fortunately, intelligent network planning and signal transport resolve the challenges of the urban canyon. Today, it is possible to transform dense outdoor environments into oases of high-capacity connectivity.

Deployment in Dense Outdoor Environments

The delivery of wireless speed and capacity in urban canyons requires:

  • An infrastructure supportive of 5G NR
  • Devotion to fiber-to-the edge technology
  • Software-based solutions minimizing “rip and replace”
  • Use of open, flexible, standards-based equipment

Fiber-to-the-edge is key in coping with issues related to network densification. To achieve a software-based solution, it’s important to virtualize as many network elements as possible. The use of vRAN supportive of a standards-based signal source is key. It will allow for faster, easier agreements and enhanced management capability.

Growing demand for 5G will drive cooperation. The open, standards-based approach promoted by the O-RAN Alliance will help address this need. Clean builds follow constructive collaboration between major operators.

Otherwise, there will be too much equipment deployed in urban canyons. As it is, the 5G era will require small cell densification on an unprecedented scale. It is estimated that it will require approximately 1 million small cell sites. Compare this to the 300,000 existing cell sites.

Network Densification: Challenges & Concerns

Network densification strategies require success in:

  • Making 4G and 5G work together
  • Ensuring the coexistence of indoor and outdoor wireless services
  • Overcoming NIMBY
  • Successful integration of outdoor antennas and architectural elements
  • Allaying concerns about RF radiation

Although the buzz around 5G is certainly legitimate, it’s safe to say 4G will be around for a long time. In fact, I think you’ll see new 4G deployments for years to come. Therefore, it's important to see to it that 4G and 5G systems work well together.

There are challenges associated with mmWave signal propagation in urban canyons. Both beamforming and the use of multiple antennas help to deliver desired coverage. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to install equipment on light poles, rooftops, strand and utility poles. It is important to camouflage outdoor antennas for the sake of architectural integrity.

At SOLiD, we find that it is possible to deliver robust, widespread coverage while controlling capital expenditures.

Potential of mmWave

Newly available millimeter wave frequencies (mmWave) will help meet the demand for wireless speed and capacity in urban canyons, stadiums, arenas and airports. Thanks to very high frequencies in the 30-300 GHz range, users enjoy low-latency, gigabit performance.

Going forward, IoT, HD video, multimedia content, cars and wearables will all drive demand for low latency signals and consistent quality. CBRS, mmWave and LAA are all cost-effective ways to deliver service that meets expectations.

Planning for the Future

Those responsible for wireless connectivity should prepare for inevitable 5G upgrades in the future. They should develop an infrastructure supportive of 5G NR. To simplify future upgrades, it is important to commit to fiber-to-the-edge technology. It is also important to install open, standards-based equipment and to choose software-based solutions whenever possible.

About Us

At SOLiD, we help our customers enhance LTE and build out 5G in an efficient and cost-effective manner. We are already aligned with 5G NR specifications. We are developing innovative mmWave-based infrastructure to speed 5G deployment. Learn more by viewing the RCR Webinar, “Network Densification: Turning Urban Canyons into Wireless Oases.”

The SOLiD team believes in the tremendous possibilities of a fantastically connected world. We drive extreme edge connectivity via fiber optic transport, DAS and IoT. Our equipment is already found in more than 2,000 premier venues and buildings around the world. SOLiD led the way with the world's first 5G deployments when we installed 5G repeaters across Seoul, South Korea.

For a prompt, expert assessment of your needs, please contact us today!


The Middleprise 2.0

Four years ago, SOLiD started the MIDDLEPRISE discussion.  Three years ago, the wireless industry joined the conversation and today the MIDDLEPRISE is starting to talk MIDDLEPRISE.  However, is it the same MIDDLEPRISE market as three years ago?  Maybe.  Everyone I talk with questions the early MIDDLEPRISE size estimates.  Nobody thinks it’s not still huge, but they feel it is less than initially proposed.   But why?   I’m sure if you asked 100 wireless insiders, to define the MIDDLEPRISE, you would get pretty much the same answer, “ … commercial properties between 100K and 500K sqft that make up a billion-dollar IBW market” , along with some additional qualifiers like “ … where the building owner pays for the network or where a building’s tenants are not happy that their cellphones don’t work” and while this is accurate the MIDDLEPRISE is a bit more complicated and it’s the complicated stuff that seems to shrink the market.

MIDDLEPRISE Size

The size of the MIDDLEPRISE, and the IBW opportunity, is driven by fluctuations in the current leasable sqft inventory along with typical 3-10 year lease cycles.  Both have a big impact on sizing the IBW market and overall, they reduce market size because at any given time there is a rather small subset of the market where negotiations and financial considerations can be addressed by lease terms.  The use case and pitch for an IBW cellular network must align with a property’s lease cycles and market demand for leasable space.  Once a lease is signed and the tenant improvement budget set, the opportunity for an IBW network has passed for both the building owner and the tenant, that is until the lease is up for negation.  Also keep in mind that multi-tenant buildings have staggered, if not seemingly random lease turnover cycles.  Additionally, IBW cellular connectivity is a positive differentiator for every building or property, however, if the occupancy rate is high and the available inventory is low, IBW becomes less of a value-add factor and much lower on the buildings to do list if at all. While the total available market is large, the serviceable market, on any given day, is rather small. The good news for the MIDDLEPRISE is that new construction, including renovations, is impacted less by both drivers. New construction is also where the commercial real estate industry is talking MIDDLEPRISE, but chances are they are talking about a lot of other technology and less about cellular connectivity and capacity.

CRE Property Technology

Commercial construction projects are accelerating CRE’s adoption of technology.  CRE market leaders are talking and acting on smart building programs, building automation, IoT solutions, and the emergence of enhanced tenant experience and adaptive environments, which, by-the-way, all need a network to function.  The MIDDLEPRISE discussion, with a property owner is probably more property technology and tenant experience focused than cellular connectivity.  Making the market even more complex is a wireless market talking about 5G, CBRS and millimeter wave … topics that don’t directly address the CRE market’s agenda.  The MIDDLEPRISE has broaden in scope dramatically and subsequently is organically prioritizing technology adoption. I wonder where cellular connectivity ranks but I can’t help to think that all the talk of 5G is hindering the MIDDLEPRISE and while the promise of 5G, standardization of the RAN and other technologies provide a great vision of the future, they do nothing to address the 4G cellular problem in the MIDDLEPRISE.

The Elephants

Finally, the MIDDLEPRISE has and continues to deal with the elephant in the room. That is the simple fact that the signal source is owned by the wireless operator.  It is their option to work with a building owner or others and by-in-large seem uninterested in most of the MIDDLEPRISE, engaging in only the most strategic venues to their support their own interests.  Now couple this with the high cost of the BTS and the proprietary nature of the equipment OEMs and the size of the MIDDLEPRISE again takes another dip in size and puts the brakes on much of the market.   There is a bit of light at the end of tunnel, the wireless industry is looking to leverage CBRS as an unlicensed inbuilding solution that would simplify the MNO participation a bit and the industry wide talk of an open RAN with standardization of the signal source is promising. I’m encouraged to see both the BTS OEMs and MNOs participating in industry wide alliances and forums and hope it is to advance rather than impede the effort.

The MIDDLEPRISE is not going away, but it is going to be rolling out a lot differently than our industry’s freshman analysis.

Up next will look a bit deeper into the open RAN efforts and how standardization never fails to jumpstart a stalled telecom opportunity.


How Will 5G Impact Your Building or Venue?

“Is Your Property Ready for 5G?" is a webinar presented by Building Design + Construction. In the webinar, executives from SOLiD and Boingo discuss the opportunities presented by in-building 5G systems. Ken Sandfeld is President of SOLiD Americas. Doug Lodder is the SVP of Business Development for Boingo Wireless.

The Challenge

5G’s arrival is well-timed. The demand for wireless capacity is exploding. Cisco estimates mobile data traffic will increase sevenfold by 2022. In 2002, global internet traffic was about 100 GB per second. By 2022, Cisco projects that figure will be 1,500 times higher.

Many things will drive demand for increased indoor wireless capacity. Everything in your building, including IoT, is going to be connected to your wireless solution. This includes everything from building automation systems to smart door locks.

The 5G Response

You’ll want to develop a wireless system ready for the onslaught of growing demand. 5G delivers unprecedented capacity and speed. Its low latency will drive new wireless applications including IoT.

As individuals encounter 5G elsewhere, expectations will increase at your venue. Tenants, employees and visitors will want seamless delivery regardless of their data needs.

It's wise to develop the right wireless infrastructure to meet expectations. It's good to know that you may very well increase property values in the process.

State-of-the-Art Experience

In the webinar, Fodder asserts, “We’re really excited about what’s happening in the ecosystem of connectivity.” Properties that use emerging technologies to deliver a state-of-the-art wireless experience will stand out. An advanced infrastructure can:

  • Drive operational efficiencies
  • Attract higher rents
  • Increase user satisfaction
  • Increase property values

Long-term success depends on scalability and ready access to open technology.

5G Deployments By Property Segment

There’s a relentless focus on ROI in most commercial projects. There are many ways that 5G delivers excellent ROI. Sandfeld notes that SOLiD develops equipment with 5G in mind. He further asserts, “We’re able to expand our solutions to support 5G.”

Requirements for successful 5G deployments vary by property segment. There are differences in the need for wireless capacity in office venues, retail buildings and multi-family developments.

Office venues

It is possible to reduce initial costs by purchasing an infrastructure that starts small. But, it needs to be scalable as the system proves itself.

Focus on higher radio frequencies in office structures. This allows for smaller and flatter antennas which are easier to disguise. Lodder notes that the antennas are almost imperceptible at the Oculus, the transportation hub at the World Trade Center. Also, effective in-building wireless connectivity does not require bulky coaxial cables. Installers pull relatively small bundles of copper and fiber.

Retail buildings

When you calculate the cost of 5G upgrades, consider the cost of not upgrading as well. Fodder says “Be smart” to keep costs down. One way to reduce costs long-term is to make sure your wireless infrastructure is eminently scalable.

Fortunately, in both retail and office settings, retrofits don’t always require that you start from scratch. At many venues, modern systems use lightweight cabling and equipment that facilitate the process

Multi-family developments

Developments that offer superior wireless connectivity can command higher rents. Tenants value the convenience inherent in a state-of-the-art system. It may enhance occupancy rates as well. Owners benefit from common area security and conveniences enhanced by advanced systems.

Important Role for CBRS

As of 2018, Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) became a viable in-building wireless option. When it comes to commercial venues, Sandfeld says, “CBRS is an amazing opportunity for building owners.”

CBRS offers key advantages. First, it addresses the limitations posed by carrier licenses. With traditional licensing arrangements, whoever controlled the license controlled the spectrum. By contrast, CBRS-based LTE solutions support all four carriers: Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and ATT. They will support future operators as well. Second, it delivers attractive economics for mobile coverage/capacity. Third, the wide 150 MHz shared spectrum delivers 1.5-gigabit theoretical 5G speeds. CBRS will allow for “dedicated lanes” devoted to specialized needs. Fourth, a CBRS-based system gives venue owners access to valuable data analytics.

CBRS systems are already becoming a reality. For example, Fodder notes that Boingo has deployed an early version at Love Field in Dallas.

Proper Planning

Sandfeld notes how important it is that cable installation occurs as the building goes up. Most commercial developments have protracted timelines. Stakeholders should include wireless connectivity in deliberations from Day One. For example, seek input from the engineers about the physics of radio frequency needs.

With proper planning, you’ll end up with the wireless infrastructure you need to deliver services tenants value.

About SOLiD 

SOLID has been providing in-building wireless solutions for 20 years. Today, the company is poised to contribute to the 5G era. In fact, some of the world’s very first 5G networks are deployed on SOLiD equipment in South Korea.

SOLiD’s wireless solutions enhance wireless communications at many high-profile sites. Examples include international airports, major sports venues, leading hospitals, prestigious universities and Fortune 500 corporate campuses.

To access the webinar, “Is Your Property Ready for 5G?”, visit SOLiD.


Active Vs Passive DAS Systems

Public safety officials understand how vital in-building wireless connectivity is during an emergency. There are numerous sobering reminders of the extreme conditions under which emergency responders must often perform their duties. Effective, uninterrupted communication is always vital.

As a result, Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) require state-of-the-art radio communication systems for emergency responders. Public safety distributed antenna systems (DAS) often address such needs. They are deployed in new construction and existing structures.

Factors Impacting Public Safety DAS Design

Designers of public safety DAS systems face complexities that are uncommon in commercial DAS. The uplink design is especially crucial. The lack of power control on portable radios is an important factor. DAS system designers must always consider the performance and capabilities of all active equipment in use.

Key factors influencing the design of a public safety DAS include venue size, required frequencies, signal strength, coverage and local codes.

Venue size

Usually, the size of the venue determines whether an active or passive DAS solution is most appropriate. Typically, passive DAS systems are limited to structures with up to 500,000 sqft of space.

Frequencies

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regulations guide many AHJs. NFPA 72 includes rigorous requirements for a public safety DAS that commercial DAS does not face.  It must operate on frequencies designated exclusively for first responders only.

Signal strength

Systems must deliver an inbound signal strength of at least -95dBm. The same strength is required for outbound signals at the donor site. Note that certain AHJs may require different minimum signal strengths.

Sec. 24.5.2.2.3 of NFPA 72 requires a public safety DAS (with FCC-certified signal booster), radiating cable system or other approved system when the required signal strength is not otherwise attainable.

Coverage

While a commercial DAS focuses only on areas where people are regularly present, a public safety DAS must provide coverage in stairwells, basements and other lesser used areas as well. Finally, there must be back up service to ensure continuous communication the event of an outage.

General building areas require 90 percent floor area radio coverage, while certain specific areas require higher levels of coverage. For example, Sec. 24.5.2.2.1 of NFPA 72 requires 99 percent floor area coverage in all areas defined as critical by the AHJ. Examples include fire command centers, fire pump rooms, elevator lobbies, exit stairways and standpipe cabinets.

Local codes

Public safety DAS must also comply with the local codes that vary from region to region. Although NFPA and IFC provide a framework for these regulations, they do vary. Some AHJs have their own specific requirements. Ultimately, it is necessary to follow local code requirements set forth by the AHJ with jurisdiction.

Difference Between Active vs. Passive DAS Systems

Commercial DAS systems enhance worker productivity, improve visitor experience and increase property values. The goals of public safety DAS systems are quite different. They speak to the needs of emergency responders when a communication failure is not an option.

Systems must overcome structural communication barriers like concrete and low E-glass. Other active DAS systems are deployed to increase network capacities to meet expanding mobile data requirements.

Active DAS Systems

Active DAS systems deploy fiber optics, remote antenna nodes and other components to enhance in-building wireless connectivity. Active DAS can improve both reliability and capacity. Active DAS solutions address needs for both increased reliability and capacity. Amplifying and distributing signals evenly throughout a building enhances reliability. System designers can provide as much capacity as is needed by breaking up the DAS into different zones, all fed from a common head-end location.

Passive DAS Systems

Passive DAS solutions rely primarily on signal boosters to deliver reliable in-building wireless connectivity. Unlike active systems, they only increase reliability, not capacity. They are considered passive systems because theyare distributed only through parts that don't require power such as splitters, coaxial cables and couplers. Passive DAS systems simply use donor antennas and BDAs (Bi-Directional Amplifiers) to boost the signals to and from the donor site.

Contact SOLiD Today

A properly designed public safety DAS is critical to the safety of first responders and those who require their professional assistance.

We’d welcome the opportunity to address your public safety wireless communication inquiry, whether you are an AHJ, a DAS system designer/integrator, a building contractor or an electrical contractor. SOLiD’s innovative, cutting-edge DAS solutions are deployed around the world. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you. For prompt, friendly assistance, please contact us today!


MWC19 Barcelona Predictions

What announcements or new initiatives are we likely to see at this year's MWC? Three key themes to watch for include O-RAN Alliance news, innovative 5G applications and the further development of private LTE solutions using CBRS.

O-RAN Alliance News

The O-RAN Alliance was announced at last year’s MWC, and it now includes most of the industry’s Tier 1 providers. At MWC19, look for major operators and suppliers to make significant O-RAN announcements.

The work of the O-RAN Alliance addresses important topics like Open Interfaces, Intelligent RAN Control, RAN Virtualization and White Box. O-RAN defines next-gen RAN architecture, enabling increased use of infrastructure virtualization and embedded intelligence.

Certain initiatives will likely address the rapidly evolving demands of the RAN marketplace, including:

  • Simplified deployment
  • New technology concepts
  • Reduced costs
  • Innovative business models

As the 5G era dawns, the open interface defined by the O-RAN Alliance will promote a more agile response to exponential increases in network complexity. Open APIs and interfaces will be further empowered by AI, heralding a new era of synchronicity.

O-RAN provides an additional point of entry to the market for vendors and industry innovators. SOLiD recently joined the O-RAN Alliance as a contributing member. The company is committed to delivering solutions to global operators based upon the protocols established by the O-RAN Alliance. Examples include Genesis DAS, IA-8000 and its mobile front-haul solutions.

5G Opportunities Multiply

As 5G deployments continue to appear on the horizon, its myriad practical applications will only be limited by the collective imagination of industry innovators.

Support of massive IoT

5G’s arrival is well-timed to address the demands of a rapidly expanding Internet of Things. Estimates of the number of in-service IoT devices range up to 50 billion by 2020. 5G responds with an exponential increase in capacity, seamlessly connecting these myriad, ubiquitous devices.

Reliable low-latency communication

5G’s low latency makes it attractive in the public safety space. It can also enhance smart-grid control, robotics, industrial automation, drone control and more.

Enhanced mobile broadband

5G will also deliver an exponential increase in power required to deliver real-time responsiveness in mobile broadband. For example, it can respond to the burgeoning needs of both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

LTE Networks and CBRS

Industry buzz about private LTE networks and use of the CBRS spectrum will drive numerous conversations at MWC19. CBRS spectrum access will supercharge the development of private LTE networks. For many enterprises, these private networks are attractive because they simultaneously address coverage, capacity, compliance and security needs.

Specifically, private LTE will enhance everything from IoT to enterprise connectivity. A CBRS field trial for first responders is underway in Clarksville, TN. The NFL may use CBRS to replace established two-way radio communications in stadiums. The PGA wants to use CBRS to address capacity issues that occur when thousands of fans arrive for golf tournaments.

It is likely that vendors will launch CBRS-capable smartphones and other devices at this year's MWC. End-to-end system testing expanded in 2018, as numerous vendors and operators worked to fine-tune CBRS use. For example, on April 5, 2018, Verizon announced a collaborative effort to expand LTE networks across the CBRS spectrum.

About SOLiD

SOLiD (https://www.solid.com) drives extreme edge connectivity through a portfolio of DAS, optical and IOT solutions to connect people, places and things in a fantastically connected world. SOLiD delivers distributed antenna systems, optical transport and IOT solutions across the globe. SOLiD enables indoor and outdoor cellular and public-safety communications at some of the world’s best-known and most challenging venues including leading hospitals; professional, and college sports venues; government, university and Fortune 500 corporate buildings and campuses; international airports and metropolitan subways; industrial and logistical facilities; and other high-profile sites.

For further information on SOLiD DAS, Backhaul and Fronthaul and IOT solutions go to www.solid.com or call 888-409-9997


5G and DAS - How 5G Will Impact In-Building Wireless Connectivity?

5G represents a dramatic paradigm shift in wireless connectivity. It’s a real game-changer, and SOLiD systems are well-positioned to ease your transition.

In important ways, SOLiD’s DAS solutions for wireless coverage already support 5G, and SOLiD continues to lead the way in delivering crucial 5G infrastructure. On January 14, 2019, the company announced its 5G Solutions Platform at Verizon VZTUF XIII.

SOLiD has always been committed to delivering efficient alternatives to the “rip and replace” approach too often embraced by others in the industry.

As the wireless universe expands, SOLiD responds!

5G and DAS:

There are important considerations when contemplating the impact of 5G on in-building wireless connectivity.

  1. Did you know…

That the earlier transition from 2G to 3G, from 3G to 4G and, finally, from 4G to 5G, were all inherently supported by SOLiD’s DAS platform? That’s right. Sweeping changes were not required.

Like everyone in the industry, SOLiD has witnessed an unrelenting increase in available spectra. First, PCS was added to the original 850 MHz cellular bands. Then, in the early 2000s, Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) came along, with 1710-1755 MHz for uplink and 2110-2155 MHz for downlink. AWS addressed rapidly expanding demand for mobile voice, messaging and data services.

Next came the 700 MHz band freed up by the transition to digital TV. Next up was Broadband Radio Service (BRS), responding to an increasing need for video-on-demand and high-speed data. followed by the Wireless Communication Service (WCS) bands.

Every step of the way, SOLiD's systems were designed to adapt in a cost-efficient manner. 5G is no different.

  1. Did you know…

That due to the modularity of SOLiD’s products, new frequency bands, including Citizen Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), are easily added via a quick field upgrade?

Understandably, carriers are eager to expand coverage and capacity via the 3.5 GHz shared spectrum “innovation band” that’s now available for the first time. CBRS is a 150 MHz-wide broadcast band of the 3.5 GHz band. The federal government still uses these frequencies, primarily for U.S. Navy radar systems. However, they are also now available for commercial purposes.

  1. Did you know …

That it is possible for SOLiD’s products to use the same fiber infrastructure supporting new 5G configurations?

5G and fiber infrastructure will enter into a symbiotic relationship in which both will thrive. SOLiD’s equipment can use the same fiber infrastructure designed to support new 5G configurations.

  1. Did you know ….

That ALLIANCE DAS delivers the 5G connectivity you want?

Like other distributed antenna systems, ALLIANCE DAS is a carrier-neutral network distributing multiple operator signals via shared antennas and related equipment that is a boon to property owners and operators alike.

ALLIANCE DAS already supports 5G NR (New Radio). SK Telecom (SKT) previously took delivery of the first commercially deployed 5G repeater, and it performed its first 5G air transmission on December 1, 2018. SOLiD is also delivering 5G mobile fronthaul solutions to the leading Korean mobile network operator (MNO).

With ALLIANCE DAS, high power output reduces costs by requiring less hardware across all cellular and public safety services from 150/450 radio to 2.5TDD. Enjoy superior performance delivered by a single strand of fiber to each remote.

As others talk, SOLiD takes action! Moving forward, SOLiD will further enhance its platform to support CBRS, mmWave and other advanced wireless solutions.

SOLiD

SOLiD leads the industry in cellular in-building and public safety infrastructure, keeping people connected in the dynamic, ever-changing wireless environment. SOLiD’s portfolio of RF Amplifier, RF Radio, and Optical Transport solutions are in use at well-known venues around the world, including hospitals, airports, stadiums, subways and Fortune 500 campuses.

Contact us today for pertinent information that addresses your unique requirements.