Poor indoor mobile coverage

Kim Lange
Kim Lange
Feb 8, 2017 · 2 min read
Indoor mobile coverage remains a problem in large buildings

In today’s society, people want to be able to use their smartphones at any time and in any place. According to an often quoted stat from the analyst group Informa, approximately 80 percent of mobile phone calls are now made from inside a building.

Indoor mobile coverage continues to be a challenge. It’s not uncommon for an organization’s conference room to get a consistent, strong cell phone signal while the connection in the CEO’s office on the other side of the building is clear one moment and inaudible the next.

Its known that there are a wide range of variables that cause poor indoor cellular coverage, from concrete construction materials and environmental conditions to remoteness and geographical terrain.

Technologies like femto cells, RF repeaters and Distributed Antenna Systems have matured and are being applied to solve indoor coverage problems.

What about WiFi?
WiFi calling is possible. To make calling over WiFi is really attractive for end-users, an almost seamless integration with the native calling function of the mobile device is necessary and mobile incoming calls can be answered over WiFi.

You can easily check to see if you have a signal on your device by looking at the signal bar on the top right hand side of your phone. If you have a signal, the bars will be white and you’ll know if you have 3G or 4G coverage because you’ll see a 3G, H, H+, 4G or LTE icon next to the signal bar.

The key to effective indoor mobile coverage and capacity is far-traveling, uninterrupted signal. Filled with materials that act as radio signal barriers i.e. metalized insulation, steel frames, treated glass, modern buildings are already doing their best to block this.

A very efficient and flexible option for solving the indoor coverage issue is inside-in or in-building solutions, in which mobile signals are delivered from an access point within the building. These can be deployed either in a standalone configuration or as part of an integrated or hybrid design.

Another alternative is private GSM or LTE (4G). The regulator can free up some part of the mobile spectrum that can consequently be used by non-provider owned small (femto) cells. Mobile devices that are registered with the company — or even any visiting device — can roam into this network when entering the building.

The good news is that today’s solutions will work tomorrow. They can be built upon as demand increases, and will last a long time, ensuring a great level of mobile service for the lifetime of a building of the future.

Kim Lange

Kim Lange

Consultant in a larger firm. I am a dedicated golfer :) and a father of two lovely children. When the weather permits, i do a little windsurfing too.

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