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Distributed Antenna System for Maryland Hospital

State-Of-The-Art Behavioral Hospital Requires Public Safety Distributed Antenna System

The 50-acre Sheppard Pratt – Baltimore/Washington Campus includes an 85-bed, 156,000-square-foot hospital with inpatient, specialized outpatient programs, and crisis services, as well as a gymnasium, three basketball courts, a yoga/meditation room, cafeteria, and more. The new hospital’s design features outdoor courtyards and terraces and offers patients a comprehensive, therapeutic, and recreational environment to support their treatment, healing, and recovery. 

Nature is at the heart of the campus’s design. Natural light floods every room and corridor, upholding the vision of founder Moses Sheppard that “no patient was to be confined below ground.”

When Sheppard Pratt completed the construction of a 50-acre state-of-the-art behavioral health hospital campus in Howard County, Maryland, Communications Electronics, now a part of MCA, was contracted to design, deploy, and maintain their neutral host carrier and public safety distributed antenna systems.

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Challenge | Meeting Regulatory Mandates for Public Safety DAS

When Sheppard Pratt began sourcing contractors for the construction phases, they turned to one of their long-term trusted partners, ConCor Networks, to manage the procurement and installation of all the facility’s RF and fiber optic cabling. Based on previous collaborations, ConCor Networks introduced the team to Sheppard Pratt as their reliable wireless network provider and integrator.

Together with ConCor Networks, MCA began working on their proposal to amplify the AT&T and Verizon cellular coverage throughout the facility, as well as the proposal to meet the Howard County 700/800MHz Public Safety radio coverage mandates, as specified by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). Based upon their competitive bid and the comprehensive antenna and cable plan, Sheppard Pratt accepted the ConCor / MCA proposal, and the teams immediately set to work to meet the construction schedule.

Solution | Customized and Discrete Indoor Wireless Network Design

The combination of the facility’s stunning open floor concept and the extensive use of energy-efficient LEED glass utilized throughout the three-story, multi-wing facility presented some unique obstacles to achieving proper signal strengths for all patient rooms, common areas, and stairwells. To overcome the wireless signal challenges, they relied on iBwave software (the software standard for designing indoor wireless networks) to design a comprehensive antenna coverage and fiber optic cable plan that capitalized off the fiber head-end on the ground floor and the off-air donor antennas located on the roof above the DAS head-end.

Result | RF Coverage for Daily Activities and First Responders

Working collaboratively with ConCor Networks, MCA was able to install discrete DAS antennas below the drop ceilings and other key strategic areas to achieve the required optimum cellular and PS RF coverage to support the day-to-day activities of Sheppard Pratt personnel and patients, as well as the required coverage for all First Responders.

Since the hospital campus opened in June 2021, Sheppard Pratt has been pleased with the facility’s wireless coverage. According to John Shirk, Director of Telecommunications, “MCA understood some of the unique design challenges within our facility and delivered a comprehensive solution that met our coverage needs.”

As a testament to this new partnership and the success of the project, Sheppard Pratt has already contracted with MCA to broaden its wireless Wi-Fi network across the campus.

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About MCA

For over 30 years, MCA has provided expertly tailored communications solutions to property developers and builders in need of two-way radios, job-site connectivity, and wireless signal enhancement systems. Our team provides top-tier support for every aspect of your business and mission-critical communications projects from start to finish. Our engineers assess your needs, design custom solutions, and install systems that fit your organization’s exacting requirements

As a local single-source distributor and integrator, MCA has been uniquely positioned to provide responsive and professional wireless voice–video–data services to their customers in Maryland, Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Central Pennsylvania.

MCA has technical expertise across a diverse range of wireless voice—video—data solutions. Their capabilities include system design and engineering, sales, installation, maintenance, technical support, and service agreements to ensure optimal performance of your systems and critical infrastructure.

From on-site to wide-area voice technology/two-way radio solutions, MCA creates dependable wireless radio systems that can enhance productivity, and protect your people and your property.

Their Wireless Coverage Solutions connect facilities and campuses with Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) for commercial and public safety networks. MCA also designs, deploys, and maintains multi-network capable Wi-Fi, PTP / PTMP, and the latest LTE solutions, including CBRS.

MCA’s comprehensive Integrated Security and Video Solutions allow you to detect, monitor and safeguard your facilities 24/7 through the latest technologies in video surveillance, access control, and emergency call stations.

MCA allows you to keep moving forward when it matters most, with our Intelligent Transportation Systems. These systems optimize traffic safety and flow on our roadways through the latest technologies in integrated traffic automation, such as Automatic Traffic Recorders (ATR), CCTV, LPR, weather sensors, dynamic messaging, and more.

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