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Smart Cities: Important Conversation Topics

What You Need to Know from the 2017 CompTIA ChannelCon

While technology reliance and innovation has been increasing in all sectors, the increase in technological capabilities for cities is an exciting new frontier, and those that are running with technology innovations are being called “smart cities.” No longer a science fiction concept, smart cities are being transformed across the U.S., and globally.

The 2017 CompTIA ChannelCon conference featured on session on “Smart Cities: The Future is Now” moderated by Peter Murray. Details on the sessions »

Smart Cities Need to Avoid Silos

Smart cities tackle the urban challenges of the increase in cellular and mobile dependability as well as the need to utilize big data and technology intelligence to create a more efficient place to live and work.

Creating an integrated smart city requires collaboration across almost all sectors and has the power to transform the lives and experiences of both residents and visitors (creating a safer, more energy efficient city with potentially more jobs and more competition in the marketplace).

Orlando was discussed at the conference as an example smart city that has begun intentionally avoiding silos in how they’re developing into a smart city. They have integrated infrastructure to interconnect the intelligence of:

  • Citizen and visitor engagement
  • Administration
  • Public safety (fire and police)
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Diverse modes of access and mobility
  • Water
  • Energy and utilities
  • Waste management
  • Economic development
  • Inclusion of vulnerable and under-served groups

Smart Cities Need to Keep in Mind User Expectations

The cellular carriers are not the only deciders at play when it comes to mapping out and deploying cell towers in a smart city. Think about the expectations of the users (both residents and visitors). Game days in arenas, festivals that attract out-of-towners, and other events or reasons why demand may go up should be taken into account.

Smart Cities Need to Build Relationships & Partner Up

Because of the intricacies of smart cities and how involved deployment can be across different sectors, partnering up to work toward a common goal is essential. Austin, Texas was an example mentioned at the conference. The city of Austin coordinated between around 50 companies and organizations in the city (from IBM and Amazon Web Services to the Chamber of Commerce and the Austin Tech Alliance) to coordinate smart city deployment goals and efforts.

Smart Cities Are All About 5G

5G wireless technology is transforming wireless network infrastructure with small-cell networks employing 5G speeds. Full potential of economic growth and innovation depends on how the infrastructure upgrades are deployed widespread, however it only shows continued adaption and potential growth.

Network deployment of 5G small-cell networks involves 10 – 100 times more antenna locations than 4G or 3G currently require. These cells are about the size of a show box and are critical for delivering the network speed and capacity and supporting the expected increase in even more devices connecting in the future.

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Posted in DAS on August 29th, 2017 · Comments Off on Smart Cities: Important Conversation Topics

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The Public Safety Communication Research Division & a New Generation of Communication for Public Safety

We’ve talked a lot about public safety communications on our site—from who benefits from public safety communications innovations and how the demand for DAS has help improve the challenge.  Today, we’re sharing a newer project in this trend and other projects that have helped push advancements to public safety communications and reliability forward across the country.

About the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Public Safety Communications Research Division

The Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program provides research, development, testing and evaluation to foster nationwide advancements and innovations for communications technology when it comes to public safety. This is a division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that helps work with industry and science to advance innovation and improve quality of life.

Recent Funding for Public Safety Communication: Next Generation of Public Safety Communications

Part of $38.5 million in grants from NIST PSCR goes to researchers from NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering for a three-year project to develop an end-to-end platform for mmwave research specifically for public safety communications. The project, part of FirstNet, aims to provide first responders with dedicated and prioritized access to high-speed data, voice, and other mission critical communications. This nationwide network will help public safety agencies at the federal, state, and local levels to effectively conduct their mission by establishing a common communications system based on 3GPP LTE standards.

The overall project strives to move toward a “next generation” of cellular systems that works on the 6 GHz and millimeter wave spectrum, which can allow for greater data rates, lower latency, and even new types of applications for first responders in emergency situations. Learn more »

Other Projects Under PSCR & FirstNet

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 appropriated $7 billion for the establishment of a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network under FirstNet. Other projects pushing the advancement of public safety communications include:

  • In-Building Coverage & Measurement App – the PSCR is developing in-building apps for evaluating signal coverage and strength, which is critical when it comes to public safety communications. The app will allow for rapid collection of in-build data and coverage and allow for quick identification of problem areas that need improvement. Learn more »
  • Extended Cell Testing – know that 68% of landmass in the U.S. is rural, this project aims to improve the typical cellular radius of cell towers in rural areas to allow for increased range with decreased deployment costs to ensure that extended performance and coverage is provided for emergency responders nationwide. Learn more »
  • Vehicular Network System – this project is analyzing cost-effective solution for vehicle-mounted satellite infrastructure for emergency responders operating outside the coverage of FirstNet and LTE signal. This could provide first responders with critical communications services when other signal is unavailable. Learn more »

DAS Installation for Public Safety Use in the Southwest

While these projects are helping move the industry forward greatly, you can take immediate measures to improve the connectivity for public safety in your building, in case an emergency should occur. At Corporate Technology Solutions, we strive to design and install a solution suited to your specific needs. Our team can design in-building emergency communication systems to ensure that your building is first responder ready, while creating efficient, cost-saving designs.

We have offices in Tempe and Tucson, but can provide DAS installation and design services throughout Arizona. Contact us to get started on improving the emergency response communication throughout your building or property!

Posted in DAS on July 31st, 2017 · Comments Off on The Public Safety Communication Research Division & a New Generation of Communication for Public Safety

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BYOD: What It Means for Your Business

You may be hearing trends and talks about “BYOD” and how or why businesses should prepare. At Corporate Technology Solutions, we have everything you need to know here. Read below to learn more about how you can stay prepared and ahead of the growing trend to improve your business’s efficiency and bottom line.

If you’re looking for full-service low voltage solutions for your Southwest building or company, contact us online to talk through how we can meet your needs.

What Is BYOD?

BYOD is “bring your own device” and has been a growing trend in offices across the country. This means that employees are providing their own smartphones, laptops, tablets, and wearables to integrate into their day-to-day operations in and out of the office.

Some forecast that 85% of businesses will be BYOD be 2020 (only a few years out!).

What Are the Benefits of BYOD?

BYOD can, in fact, be beneficial for employers, as it can:

  • Increase productivity
  • Improve employee satisfaction
  • Minimize adoption phrase
  • Reduce technology and hardware costs

How Does This Impact Businesses?

With benefits, however, there are areas that need attention as well.

  • Security – with employees bringing and integrating their own devices into their operation, security can be at risk, depending on the types of files and data they have access to. Business owners need to think about types of new or adjusted policies and security measures should be put in place to protect the customers or the business.
  • Network Connectivity – offices from 10 years ago could be expected to connect and support one desktop and one phone for each employee (with likely some printers or other copiers throughout the office). Now, every employee may be bringing in 3-4+ devices each that need to connect to the internet and other devices in the office. Reliable and versatile networks are a must for businesses and buildings trying to keep up with the emerging new devices and reliance on more.

How Can Low Voltage Technology Help?

With increased demand and expectation for wireless connectivity reliability and bandwidth, it’s expected that many buildings and businesses will need to upgrade their network cabling and capabilities. Luckily, low voltage solutions providers, like Corporate Technology Solutions, can help. Here are some solutions that can help buildings move beyond limited structured and stay ahead of the trend:

Improved Wireless Connectivity

Mobile data traffic has been predicted to grow by seven-fold by 2021, which will require most business owners or facility managers to greatly upgrade the wireless connectivity infrastructure in their buildings. Upgraded Wi-Fi networks can also incorporate more features for the growing BYOD device trend, including:

  • Security encryption
  • Support for increased bandwidth demand from Wi-Fi for voice calling
  • Big data insights on usage and demand
  • Device flexibility for smartphones, tablets, wearables, and laptops
  • And more

Learn more about our in-building wireless solutions offered to Southwest companies »

Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS)

Wireless signal may be integral to your business’s operation, but cellular connectivity (for 3G, 4G, and LTE devices) is also critical to your success (especially with many employees using their own smart phones and tablets in the workplace). DAS improves cellular connectivity issues and can be easily scaled with growing companies or when demand peaks during the workday. DAS is also key to overcoming many structural obstacles office buildings face (with weaker signal in stairwells, parking decks, interior conference rooms, and more).

Learn more about our DAS services offered in the Southwest »

Small Cells

Similar to distributed antenna systems, small cells are often the solution for smaller work environments at a lower employment and operation cost. Small cells improve cellular connectivity issues when offices are too congested or blocked by strong signal.

Low Voltage & Wireless Infrastructure Upgrades in the Southwest

Corporate Technology Solutions provides full in-building wireless solutions, DAS services, and infrastructure upgrades, from installation and maintenance to design and testing. We have offices in Tempe and Tucson, but can provide turnkey services throughout Arizona. Contact us to get started on improving the wireless signal strength to meet growing demand from bring-your-own or additional devices throughout your building today!

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Why Property Owners Should Consider Enhanced DAS Before Construction Begins

Posted in DAS, In-Building Wireless on June 26th, 2017 · Comments Off on BYOD: What It Means for Your Business

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Who Benefits from Improvements to DAS for Public Safety Purposes?

Made clear during the tragedies of September 11, a common issue that property managers and building owners can help improve is that not all structures are set up to provide safety and security measures. A DAS system that is specially designed for public safety purposes enables first responders to have quick, clear radio communication within any given space. Without a specific DAS system for public safety, dead zones may exist that could prohibit first responders from doing their job. Handheld radios often lose signals in difficult environments, such as:

  • Elevators
  • Basements
  • Garages
  • Stairwells

Below we walk through who can benefit from DAS for public safety connectivity.

First & Emergency Responders

First responders can include police, fire, and EMS personnel that are frequently called to respond to emergencies inside buildings (and unfortunately may find that the building has poor radio reception). These specifically-designed DAS system upgrades can truly be a lifeline for the first responder, as clear communication allows for navigation and instructions from captains and engineers on-site at the emergency.

Tenants, Employees & Customers in the Building

Just as DAS improvements for public safety connectivity can be a lifeline for first responders, it can also be a lifeline for those within the building when an emergency strikes who are waiting for help from the emergency responders. An emergency can be a chaotic, scary time, and having the comfort that first responders will be able to efficiently find and help you within the building, can add peace of mind and improved chances of minimal damage, injury, or loss.

The Public

When emergency responders are able to do their job effectively and efficiently in protecting the public, they can be available for continued or advanced help and ready to go for the next emergency. The longer any emergency response call takes, the longer it takes until they are ready to help again. If emergency responders have trouble communicating with individuals or their own teams within a building with poor wireless and cellular connectivity, missions can take longer due to lack of communication and direction.

Building Owners

Because of the need to have a reliable means of communication to send and receive information, emergency DAS systems are potentially necessary systems for all types of buildings and properties. Building owners can benefit from improving the DAS infrastructure of their:

  • Office buildings
  • High-rises
  • Parking structures and stairwells
  • Hotels and hospitality venues
  • Malls and retail centers
  • Campuses
  • Stadiums and arenas
  • Airport, train stations, and other transit centers

Not only does improving the DAS for public safety connectivity make the building a safer place should an emergency occur, it can help make the building more reliable to future tenants (and even in future sales)—benefitting business owners financially and competitively in the commercial property market.

What Is the Goal of Improving DAS Connectivity for Public Safety?

The tragedies that took place 9/11 showed a clear need to focus on improving reliable radio communications in large buildings, such as high-rises, public structures, and more, so that all can get and receive the help they need. The goal of DAS for public safety is to extend wireless coverage within structures and enable first responders’ radio and cell phones to work regardless of their location within that building (from a parking deck, to the basement, to a stairwell, or interior conference room).

At Corporate Technology Solutions, we strive to design and install a solution suited to your specific needs. Our team can design in-building emergency communication systems to ensure that your Southwest-based building is first responder ready, while creating efficient, cost-saving designs.

Posted in DAS on April 27th, 2017 · Comments Off on Who Benefits from Improvements to DAS for Public Safety Purposes?

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Public Safety Connectivity and the Demand for DAS

The Need for Public Safety Connectivity Coverage

Since the tragedies of September 11, many have realized the increasing need for reliable public safety communications and connectivity for first responders and emergency personnel, including firefighters, EMS, and police.  All these operations rely on two-way radio communication, but in growing cities and bigger structures, communication can fail in stairwells, concrete structures, and other properties where, unfortunately, it may come a time where reliable connectivity means life or death.

Solution: DAS for Public Safety Connectivity

Because of the need to have a reliable means of communication to send and receive information, emergency DAS systems are potentially necessary systems for all types of buildings and properties, including:

  • Office buildings
  • High-rises
  • Parking structures and stairwells
  • Hotels and hospitality venues
  • Malls and retail centers
  • Campuses
  • Stadiums and arenas
  • Airport, train stations, and other transit centers

There is a clear need to focus on improving reliable radio communications in large buildings, such as high-rises, public structures, and more, so that all can get and receive the help they need (including the public and first responders).

The goal of DAS for public safety is to extend wireless coverage within structures and enable first responders’ radio and cell phones to work regardless of their location within that building (from a parking deck, to the basement, to a stairwell, or interior conference room).

NFPA Requirements for Public Safety Coverage

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets standards and requirements to lead information and resources on fire, electrical, and related hazards.

According to NFPA requirements for public safety coverage, buildings and public spaces must:

  • Have 99% system coverage in designated crucial areas
  • Have 90% system coverage in general-use areas
  • Paint public safety enclosures red to assemble a piece of fire requirement (and they must be protected from dust and driven rain)
  • Have a Public Safety radio system to remain operational on a backup battery for no less than 12 hours, should a building emergency result in power failure
  • Read more requirements »

New public safety building codes being implemented and updated by the NFPA (as well as the International Code Council) have been driving implementation and growth of in-building wireless solutions for public safety, such as DAS infrastructure.

Creation of First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet)

Due to increase in national, state, and local legislation realizing the need for public safety connectivity standards and improvements, the First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet) was created as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of February 2012. FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, composed of representatives from public safety, local, state, and federal government, and the wireless industry. The goal is to provide first responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety.

Posted in DAS on March 22nd, 2017 · Comments Off on Public Safety Connectivity and the Demand for DAS

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5G Is the Next Generation for Cellular Connections

At Corporate Technology Solutions, we are always making sure we’re staying up to date with industry trends and new technology that will help us better serve our clients and provide truly innovative, custom low voltage solutions to businesses in the Southwest. We’ve been keeping our eye on the adaption and emerging innovation that come with 5G LTE technology.

What Is 5G Technology?

5G wireless technology is transforming wireless network infrastructure with small-cell networks employing 5G speeds. Full potential of economic growth and innovation depends on how the infrastructure upgrades are deployed widespread, however it only shows continued adaption and potential growth.

Network deployment of 5G small-cell networks involves 10 – 100 times more antenna locations than 4G or 3G currently require. These cells are about the size of a show box and are critical for delivering the network speed and capacity and supporting the expected increase in even more devices connecting in the future.

How Will 5G Technology Impact Different Industries?

Here’s a sample of industries that can benefit from the emerging technology of 5G:

  • Entertainment – from virtual reality to on-the-go streaming, 5G will allow for immersive entertainment and experiences
  • Transportation – 5G can allow for safer, more autonomous transportation as cars and public transport vehicles become smart and self-driving
  • Healthcare – reliable access to records and files, no matter how remote can provide better, faster, and safer care
  • Public safety – with dedicated, high-strength access for first responders, public safety and security improve
  • Manufacturing – improved technology can lead to more autonomous manufacturing and digitized logistics and retail
  • Infrastructure – this can provide a new platform for sustainable cities and more efficient use of energy/utilities (learn more about Smart Cities here)

Using Innovation to Improve Mission-Critical Communication

5G technology can deliver even better efficiencies and new capabilities to mission-critical services. Innovation in the LTE world brings:

  • Reliability
  • Availability
  • Security
  • Low, bounded latency

These improvements can benefit all types of public and private industries, including robots, medical, industrial automation, and smart energy.

It can also help the Internet of Things, including:

  • Smart cities
  • Smart utilities
  • Connected retail
  • Connected buildings
  • Senor networks
  • Asset tracking

Expanding the Mobile Ecosystem

With increased technology (with faster speeds, reliable connections on the go, and quicker loading times), 5G technology can take the Internet of Things even further. For example, new verticals that can be pioneered with innovative approaches:

  • Public safety – leveraging the vast LTE ecosystem for robust public safety communications for first responders
  • Vehicle-to-everything communication – giving vehicles the ability to reliably communicate with each other and everything around them. This can allow for traffic signal timing and priorities, collision avoidance safety systems, real-time traffic and routing, safety alerts to bicyclists and pedestrians, and more.
  • Drone communication – enabling a growing set of drone use cases leveraging extensive LTE coverage
  • Digital TV broadcasting – evolving single-device broadcasting to deliver a converged TB network

Keep Tabs on 5G Developments

At Corporate Technology Solutions, we’re continually monitoring the introduction and adaptation of new technologies as they emerge on the markets and come to fruition. We stay on top of the latest trends to ensure that are offering the highest quality, most technologically advanced low voltage solutions to businesses throughout the Southwest. To learn more about fiber optic cabling or another service, call us at 877-685-2626 or contact us online.

Posted in DAS on February 13th, 2017 · Comments Off on 5G Is the Next Generation for Cellular Connections

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Smart Cities & 5G Deployment Advantages

While technology reliance and innovation has been increasing in all sectors, the increase in technological capabilities for cities is an exciting new frontier—all thanks to 5G wireless technology.

What Does Being a Smart City Entail?

5G wireless technology is transforming wireless network infrastructure with small-cell networks employing 5G speeds. Full potential of economic growth and cost savings (as outlined below) depends on how the infrastructure upgrades are deployed in cities. Network deployment of 5G small-cell networks will involve 10 – 100 times more antenna locations than 4G or 3G currently require. These cells are about the size of a show box and are critical for delivering the network speed and capacity and supporting the expected increase in even more devices connecting in the future.

How 5G Can Transform a City

Smart Cities, when fully deployed, can see benefits across many sectors in the municipality, including:

  • Energy & Utilities – 5G connections can allow accurately monitoring and forecasting energy needs. With smart grid technology, demand-side management can support load balancing to help reduce electricity peaks, minimize down times, and reduce energy costs. Smart lighting is another technique in practice that dims public lighting when no pedestrian or vehicles are present, helping save power and reduce light pollution (San Diego is expected to save an estimated $1.9 million annually from these street light installations).
  • Public Safety – Technological innovations in this segment is just at the forefront of what is possible, but some Smart Cities are able to generate detailed, real-time location-based information on firearm discharges (San Francisco has this) or real-time video that assess a scene before first responders arrive (Chicago). Pole-by-pole deployment of 5G could allow responders to use facial recognition to identify known criminals or spot missing person before arriving on the scene. Other potential deployments could include emergency warning systems, such as life-saving tornado or flood alerts or traffic rerouting.
  • Public Transportation – Rider wait time can be reduced and bus inventory can be optimized with minute-by-minute information on number of users riding the system and estimating who intends to use the system at a specific time which can allow for dynamic bus routing.
  • Traffic & Commuting – With 5G’s ultra-fast speeds, traffic congestion could be reduced by 40% by increasing road vehicle capacity through “convoying” cars into groups. This can also provide substantial energy savings for your residents for their vehicle and energy costs (in addition to the less qualitative, but equally important productive and quality of life improvements).
  • Public Parking – Low-cost 5G sensors on street lamps could indicate available on-street parking spaces. In already deployed areas, this technology has helped increase parking revenue by 27% while also reducing congestion and idling in popular spots.

Cost Savings & Economic Impact of Smart Cities

Research has shown that when municipalities (of varying sizes) make the switch to become a Smart City, there can be many benefits. Financially, Smart City solutions applied to the management of vehicle traffic and electrical grids can produce $160 billion in benefits (nationwide) through the reduction in:

  • Energy use
  • Traffic congestion
  • Fuel costs

Since Smart Cities are able to use technology to reduce commute time, public safety and energy efficiency can increase.

It’s also forecasted that Smart Cities could have a substantial economic impact as well, including:

  • $275 billion invested
  • 3 million jobs created
  • $500 billion GDP growth predicted

Research has also shown that cities of all sizes can benefit from the infrastructure upgrades of becoming a Smart City, whether the population is 90,000 or 9 million. Small to medium-sized cities with a population of 30,000 – 100,000 can expect to see 300 to 1,000 jobs created; larger cities can expect to see as many as 90,000 jobs created.

Broader Economic Impacts of 5G

In addition to the more immediate economic impact from the deployment of 5G wireless infrastructure in cities across the nation, there are also more long-term benefits to the economy that this innovation can bring.

Even More Jobs – While deployments in individual cities will create new jobs, the technology will also bring on new industries and increased investment in to different sectors, which continues to create new jobs in the Smart Cities.

Staying Competitive – Smart Cities are expected to stay more competitive when it comes to bringing in new business and retaining residents. A more competitive workforce can turn in to attract higher-paying jobs in these communities.

Access to Wireless – While it might seem that a wireless connect is available every place you go (from your local coffee shop to work to even some cars), Smart Cities can help bridge the gap and bring high-speed broadband internet access to the 5% of Americans who currently do not have access.

The Path to Smart Cities Located Across the U.S.

The biggest barriers for a city to become a Smart City are the cost for the 5G deployment and the understanding that such upgrades should be made to keep their municipality competitive.  By facilitating 5G infrastructure deployment, municipal leaders can make their communities more efficient, safe, affordable, and attractive to business and citizens alike.

Posted in DAS, PON/GPON on January 20th, 2017 · Comments Off on Smart Cities & 5G Deployment Advantages

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Why the IoT Needs Distributed Antenna Systems

The Internet of Things (IoT) has only continued growing at a rapid rate in recent years. With the connectivity of cellular devices, computers, vehicles, buildings, sensors, and more electronics, it’s more important than ever that these devices are able to connect and meet the needs that users covet.

Distributed antenna systems (DAS) help building owners provide strong and reliable connectivity throughout their entire facility. Adoption of DAS by all building owners is something that the IoT will rely on as technological advances continue to move forward.

Reliance on LTE Signal

While there are other communication methods for technological devices (e.g. Bluetooth), LTE and cellular data signal remains the main driver that supports the IoT. And that reliance on LTE should only continue to grow, according to a student by 2015 Beecham Research, global cellular IoT connection are expected to grow by almost 400% (from 261 million connections in 2015 to a forecasted 1.22 billion in 2021).

As more devices attempt to connect, the demand for increased and reliable signal should only increase as well. DAS implementation in buildings across the country can attempt to provide seamless coverage for all devices (which users expect, but currently do not encounter).

What Building Owners Should Consider for DAS

There are a number of DAS solutions available on the market, but when considering customized solutions, building owners should consider:

  • Multi-frequency support – selecting a DAS solution that has specific frequency requirements can be complicated (especially when ordering all parts and components). Look for a DAS that natively supports all frequencies available in the same system
  • TDD and FDD capabilities – while not all DAS solutions do, ensure that yours supports both FDD (frequency division duplexing) and TDD (time division duplexing) technologies.
  • Ease of installation and scaling – look for a system that has a short installation period to minimize downtime in your building or any other interruption to the work day. Systems that use fiber cabling can be less disruptive, as the cabling is thin and light and easier to deploy in your building than other cabling materials.
  • Future upgrade costs and requirements – look for a solution that has a low total cost of ownership (TCO). Some DAS products require upgrading (and additional hardware) every time a new frequency is added (which cellular carriers do every few years). Make sure that any upgrade can be taken care of in a cost-effective way to support the system in the long-term.

Implementing a distributed antenna system in your building is a smart, and effective, way to continue meeting the needs and wireless demands of its tenants (whether that includes a building of employees, a stadium of fans, or a hoard of daily commuters).

You May Be Interested In…

Contact us to get started on improving the wireless signal strength throughout your building today!

Posted in DAS on December 29th, 2016 · Comments Off on Why the IoT Needs Distributed Antenna Systems

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How Real Estate Owners Can Profit From an In-Building Wireless Strategy

Data demands from mobile devices are exploding and everyone expects to have high speed connectivity at all time. Do you know what the cell service is like in your property? If you receive complaints of weak signal or poor reception in certain parts of your building, it may not be the carrier’s lack of coverage, but show a clear need for an upgrade to your current approach to wireless connectivity.

Having an in-building wireless strategy, such as a Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), is a way that many real estate owners are combatting this trend—taking the need in the industry into their own hands and improving the signals in their properties, thus increasing their perceived value by tenants, employees, and customers alike.

Treating wireless coverage like a fourth utility can be a way for you (and your properties) to compete in the new wireless world. If you do not have a comprehensive wireless strategy, you are likely missing future revenue opportunities and can end up spending excess money on multiple systems if not designed to work and scale on one infrastructure.

Keep reading below on the benefits of investing in DAS for your real estate properties, or call us today to discuss your wireless improvement needs throughout the Southwest.

Why Does Your Real Estate Property Have Poor Cell Coverage?

Many real estate owners are realizing that poor cell coverage may not just be from the carriers (like Verizon and AT&T), but may be how the building is built and structured. Higher floors can see poor cell reception and even low-E glass (found in many energy efficient residential and commercial windows) can block the signal. The structure of your building (including building materials (like concrete), layout (including parking structures and stairwells), and the number of users trying to connect can all impact how strong (or rather, more noticeably by tenants, how weak), the signal is in your buildings.

How to Add Value to Tenants with Strong Wireless Signal

Savvy real estate owners understand that investing in a DAS system makes their property more technologically desirable. As more and more people use their phones and other devices that need to connect to wireless or cellular data and expect strong, reliable service no matter where they are in the building, a property with an enhanced DAS system can be seen as a value add.

Looking for a go-to company to handle wireless upgrading in your new or existing real estate property? Corporate Technology Solutions is the name to know in the Southwest. Growing from a top tier cabling installer, we now specialize in the design and installation of many systems based on our history of voice, data, video, and fiber optic cabling systems.

Viewing Wireless Connectivity as a Fourth Utility

Current building managers have increased pressure to make their wireless connectivity (both cellular signal and Wi-Fi) reliable for their employees and customers throughout their entire buildings. And this is also a consideration for real estate owners or investors looking for toward their next purchase or build.

Wireless connectivity is important for buildings of all types, from residential apartments, to high-rise office buildings, to manufacturing plants and event centers. Even more than just phones and computers require connectivity these days—from printers to security systems and thermostats to the never-ending release of new “smart” devices.

It’s important for real estate owners to understand that tenants want full-strength, full-speed dependable wireless communication. One initial strategy for managers is simply a mental shift to viewing wireless connectivity as a fourth utility—in addition to gas, water, and electric. Employees and customers now expect strong signal in an office just as much as they’d expect working faucets and A/C or heat.

With that viewpoint, it will be installed and implemented with the intent to last a life time, rather than causing building owners the headache of upgrading to meet with increasing demands (both in terms over capacity demand and the demand for five-bar coverage throughout an entire property).

How Will DAS Improve Your Real Estate Property in the Southwest?

A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) is a network of antenna nodes that share a neutral host in order to expand a wireless network by adding coverage and capacity to a specific area or building structure. This expansion increases wireless network quality to areas notoriously difficult to hold a signal.

The network contains a central hub, which requires fiber to link to a system of nodes. The nodes can be conveniently placed on any object, such as a sign, a light, or a plant, in order to provide strong coverage everywhere within the specified area. DAS can provide improvement to Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, and LTE services and offer a highly scalable network design to evolve further with the needs of your property.

We have offices in Tempe and Tucson, but can provide DAS system design, installation, integration, and maintenance services throughout Arizona. Contact us to get started on improving the signal strength throughout your real estate property and increasing the value you provide to your tenants!

Posted in DAS, In-Building Wireless on November 18th, 2016 · Comments Off on How Real Estate Owners Can Profit From an In-Building Wireless Strategy

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DAS for Public Safety Connectivity

Installation of distributed antenna systems (DAS) networks for emergency and public safety responders has been increasing across the country over the past few years—driven by the need for first responders to get in touch with each other and people in buildings should a crisis emerge. In fact, this market is expected to grow at double-digit rates over the next five years.

First responders can include police, fire, and EMS personnel that are frequently called to respond to emergencies inside buildings (and unfortunately may find that the building has poor radio reception).

Because of the need to have a reliable means of communication to send and receive information, emergency DAS systems are potentially necessary systems for all types of buildings and properties, including:

  • Office buildings
  • High-rises
  • Parking structures and stairwells
  • Hotels and hospitality venues
  • Stadiums and arenas
  • Airport, train stations, and other transit centers

What Is the Current Issue?

The current gap for property managers and building owners is that not all structures are set up to provide safety and security measures, enabling first responders to have quick, clear radio communication within any given space. Without a specific DAS system for public safety, dead zones may exist that could prohibit first responders from doing their job. Handheld radios often lose signals in difficult environments, such as:

  • Elevators
  • Basements
  • Garages
  • Stairwells

These specifically-designed DAS system can truly be a lifeline for the first responder (and those in the building needing help), as clear communication allows for navigation and instructions from captains and engineers on-site at the emergency.

DAS for public safety consist of an antenna located on the outside of the building that picks up outdoor signals, a bidirectional amplifier that boosts and strengthens the signal, and a passive distributed antenna system that distributes the signal throughout the building.

Installation Needs for Commercial DAS vs. DAS for Public Safety?

DAS installation for public safety is a bit different than traditional commercially-used distributed antenna systems. In these cases, you have to consider redundancy and how to minimize interference. Trying to utilize a commercially-designed DAS integration can cause issues with network requirements and lead to unnecessary costs and complications. It’s also important that your public safety network is fully accessible by first responders and won’t receive any interference with public or commercial use should an emergency occur. This means, the infrastructure itself should be different and separate, with maintenance and user access strictly controlled, so there is no un-wanted crossover.

What Is the Goal of This Increasing Trend?

The tragedies that took place 9/11 showed a clear need to focus on improving reliable radio communications in large buildings, such as high-rises, public structures, and more, so that all can get and receive the help they need. The goal of DAS for public safety is to extend wireless coverage within structures and enable first responders’ radio and cell phones to work regardless of their location within that building (from a parking deck, to the basement, to a stairwell, or interior conference room).

NFPA 72

In 2009, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fire code NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code was updated to offer a technically correct in-building radio system into local fire codes. Rules cover the application, installation, location, performance, inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire alarm systems, supervising station alarm systems, public emergency alarm reporting systems, fire warning equipment and emergency communications systems (ECS), and their components.

According to the NFPA, at least 30 states have adopted (or will soon adopt) codes that apply to first responder coverage.

International Fire Code (IFC)

The International Fire Code (IFC) is another governing body providing best practices and standards for buildings and is designed to address the conditions that can be dangerous from fire, explosion, and hazardous materials. The main priority of the IFC is to safeguard public health and safety in any size of community or building. The 2015 updates in section 510 covers updates to radio coverage and standards for fire responders.

DAS Installation for Public Safety Use in the Southwest

At Corporate Technology Solutions, we strive to design and install a solution suited to your specific needs. Our team can design in-building emergency communication systems to ensure that your building is first responder ready, while creating efficient, cost-saving designs.

We have offices in Tempe and Tucson, but can provide DAS installation and design services throughout Arizona. Contact us to get started on improving the emergency response communication throughout your building or property!

Posted in DAS on September 20th, 2016 · Comments Off on DAS for Public Safety Connectivity

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