Here are the most frequently asked questions that people have about the technologies that we utilize. If you have any other questions, or you need further explanation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Why does my phone not work as well inside a building as out?

The signal from your phone normally starts at the tower site. The signal is reduced as it travels to and from your phone. The amount of loss is different in different materials and is even diminished in air. Everything attenuates or reduces the signal level. Each phone has minimum signal levels that it must receive to work. The signal starts out high and is reduced along its path to your phone. Buildings and the materials they are made of all reduce this signal.

What Causes a Weak Indoor Signal?

Outdoor Coverage vs. Indoor Coverage

Great coverage outside doesn’t always mean perfect coverage inside. Outdoor coverage (the macro network) has improved steadily over time with more cell sites and improved dropped call rates. But in-building coverage such as offices, commercial buildings and residences, can often be impacted by barriers beyond your carrier’s control.

Building Materials and Changing Networks Conditions

Cell phones and email have increasingly become a way of staying connected no matter where we are. Building material such as concrete, cinderblock, steel, brick and tinted glass, or building locations in shadowed areas, can limit the penetration of cellular and PCS signals into your home or office. Even changes in weather and environmental conditions such as tree foliage or terrain, can affect the signal inside.

How do I know if my new construction project is required to provide indoor public safety coverage?

The best source of information regarding public safety ordinances is the local fire marshal. Viable Technologies can also assist you with determining your local requirements and provide any necessary proof of compliance.

Why are government agencies requiring two-way radio public safety coverage for new buildings?

Due to the need for greater homeland security, government agencies and developers have come to realize the importance of firefighters and police officers ability to communicate while indoors. Construction materials limit indoor radio coverage, which necessitates re-transmission of the wireless signals. DAS systems boost radio frequency signal strength to optimize emergency communication indoors.

What is a public safety signal booster ordinance (also known as a radio system amplification ordinance)?

Public safety signal booster ordinances require developers to guarantee minimal radio coverage for fire fighters and police officers in any new construction. These ordinances ensure that the first responders to emergencies will be able to communicate to each other and to their dispatch controllers.

What is a DAS?

A Distributed Antenna System is a network of components that distributes wireless signals throughout a building from a central point. The system takes wireless signals, distributes them using a cabling infrastructure and transmits the signal through remote antennas to provide seamless wireless communications where you need it most.

What is the purpose of a DAS?

A DAS improves wireless in-building coverage for anyone who uses a cell phone, two-way radio (i.e. fire fighters and police officers) or a wireless LAN laptop.

Where can a DAS be useful?

Anywhere people need indoor wireless coverage. When it comes to wireless communications, your building is not your friend. The steel, concrete and leaded glass used in most large structures absorbs wireless radio signals. The strong outside wireless signal quickly becomes non-existent on the inside. Some environments that can benefit from a DAS include: airports, campuses, convention centers, high-rise buildings, trains, shopping centers and sporting arenas.

What wireless technologies does a DAS support?

Dependent on manufacturers, DAS can support many types of technologies ranging from 380 MHz to 5.8 GHz. Wireless applications include private security, public safety, paging, wireless telemetry, cellular, PCS and 802.11a/b/g.

Do wireless carriers utilize DAS technology for their networks?

Yes. Many of the carriers install DAS technology to improve their wireless network coverage indoors. Their decision to utilize a DAS is usually dependent on the type of customer, number of handheld devices, the length of the contract and their return of investment (ROI).

What are the advantages of using a DAS for Wi-Fi?

Instead of the traditional wireless access point deployment where AP’s are installed in the ceilings or on the walls throughout a facility, a DAS enables all of the active equipment to be placed in the closets. This approach drastically reduces maintenance costs, increases security of your equipment and eliminates the need to run more cables in the ceiling for future growth.

Can the Wi-Fi coverage be managed separately from the voice coverage?

Yes, depending on the manufacturer, the controls for each are mutually exclusive.

How does a DAS propagate Wi-Fi signal?

The DAS propagates Wi-Fi signals by combining the wireless access points to the remote fiber equipment in the closets.

Can multiple wireless carriers share the same DAS infrastructure?

Although consideration must be given to proper filtering between carriers, multiple carriers can share the same DAS by creating a “neutral host system”.

What wireless standards does a DAS support?

Although not comprehensive, some of the supported wireless access standards include 1XRTT, Analog, CDMA, CDMA2000, EDACS, EDGE, ESMR, EV-DO, FDMA, GPRS, GSM, iDEN®, LTR Trunking, NPCS, Paging, SMR, TDMA, TETRA, UMTS, WCDMA & 802.11a/b/g.