Wireless Coverage Enhancements for Educational Institutions
For decades, schools have relied upon analog two-way radios for in-building and on-campus communications. Today, digital technologies, like our Motorola two-way and smart radios, are leading the industry when it comes to instant communications — blending the best features of smartphones with the dependability and power of push-to-talk (PTT). Today, security officers, educators, administrators, and bus drivers can access features like texting, GPS, Wi-Fi, and more. Despite these expanded capabilities, schools are discovering dead spots across their facilities.
Business Overview | School Building Radio Communications
Whether schools are using analog radios, or newer digital and cellular ones, they need them to work reliably campus-wide. They use radios to coordinate bus pick ups, ensure campus safety, direct janitorial tasks, and more – during both standard and emergency operations. Depending upon when their facilities were built, and the materials used during construction, all their radios regardless of age or technological capability, may fail to work in a myriad of spots in and around their campuses. As the safety and security of students and faculty is of critical importance, any inability to communicate or coordinate activities is generally deemed to be unacceptable.
Current Challenge | Inadequate In-Building Radio and Cellular Coverage
Despite all the advancements in handheld cellular technologies, devices like smartphones and tablets are generally limited to operation on public cellular networks. While reliable enough for standard communications, those networks and the cell towers they utilize to connect, can fail to support critical communications during major school emergencies. When such emergencies occur, cell tower overload can limit or otherwise prevent attempts to connect, making private radio and private cellular networks the preferred options for critical communications. However, even when private networks are deployed, typical construction materials like concrete cinder blocks can degrade or prevent RF and LTE signals from reaching users inside school buildings.
Solution Overview | Coverage Enhancing DAS Solutions for School Buildings
Regardless of whether your school has deployed a private radio network or private LTE network like our Motorola NitroTM solution, they still need additional systems in place to distribute signals evenly across their facilities. Ideally, they need to install systems that utilize a single combined cabling infrastructure that minimize any redundant materials that may be obtrusive to school aesthetic design while also being scalable — allowing for rapid deployment of new RF and LTE technologies without necessarily having to completely replace existing systems.
When properly configured, installed, and tested within schools, Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) boost cellular and radio signals and coverage across your entire building – especially in locations that commonly experience poor reception like maintenance areas and stairwells. DAS system components (like BDA’s, HEU’s, and Indoor and Outdoor Antennas) become vital parts of your schools’ overall communications infrastructure, ensuring your analog, digital, and smart radios can broadcast and receive clear and concise signals no matter the situation that necessitates their use.
Even more important than systems that boost signal coverage for your in-house communications systems, schools need systems that boost coverage for emergency responder radio communications. When police, fire, and rescue teams arrive on-scene to emergency events, they need to be able to quickly and clearly communicate with one another to coordinate rescue operations. For this kind of communication, your school must have a tested and certified public safety DAS system capable of boosting ERRCS signals.
Our Team | Solution Engineering, Installation, and Support
For over 30 years, MCA has provided expert solutions to public and private agencies in need of two-way radios and signal enhancement systems. We provide top-tier support for all aspects of your critical communications projects. Our techs and install teams assess your needs, engineer customized solutions, and install hardware and software that fit your requirements.