Tessco Wireless Journal June July 2014 Page 2 TWJ June / July 2014

Product information and performance claims are provided by manufacturers. 2 Product information and performance claims are provided by manufacturers. June / July 2014 Admit it, cellular service is pretty good. In fact, in many cases, cellular service is very good. Mobile devices appear nearly everywhere and support all aspects of our lives. Still, we all have experienced poor service that is annoy- ing or downright infuriating. You turn to the smartphone to make you "smarter" only to be disappointed by a painfully slow connection or weak signal. Whether a "Can you hear me now? "moment, the much-needed directions that refuse to load, the YouTube video on fix- ing a flat tire accessed from the side of the highway that will not play more than 15 sec- onds, or the inability to text in the break room, reliance on cellular connections is reaching epic levels. Consumers demand a hassle-free, cellular experience anytime and anywhere. It is estimated that 80 percent of all cellular use occurs inside of a building or structure. The performance of the cellular connection is dictated by several factors: the building's layout and construction materials; macro cell performance; the number of simultaneous us- ers; and the quality-of-service requirements of the application. There was a time when the only solutions to improve connections were for carriers to increase tower deployments and for users to work around the problem. Who hasn't walked to a window to sneak in another signal bar? The good news: Solutions are readily available to enhance the cellular experience wherever you are located. The cellular experience can be enhanced by passively or actively amplifying the cellular signal from the macro tower or establishing a BTS (base transceiver station) access point within a structure and retransmitting the cel- lular signal via an antenna. Additionally, a car- rier can leverage emerging small cell technol- ogy for both indoor and outdoor applications, or Wi-Fi can be used to enhance data services by offloading data from the cellular network. Selecting the right option for your require- ments begins with identifying where you need to deploy a solution. The technology, solution design and user requirements will change slightly based on the type of building structure or location. To simplify the decision-making process, consider if your location falls within one of the following four categories. Residential/ SOHO Have you ever moved from room to room to take a call in your home or walked to the front office of your workplace to download a file? Those locations probably receive the stron- gest signal from the cell tower. A location's distance from a macro tower combined with obstructing topology and different building materials can greatly reduce a signal. The solution for most residential and small office applications is to add a bidirectional ampli- fier or signal booster. The booster captures the signal from the tower and retransmits the amplified signal within the dwelling, eliminat- ing dead zones and providing a better user experience. These solutions, which work well for areas under 20,000 square feet, are often referred to as passive distributed antenna systems (DAS) because they maintain the radio frequency through the amplification and retransmit function. Today's booster solutions can provide coverage across multiple fre- quencies supporting multiple carriers. In 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stipulated new rules to improve wireless coverage through the use of signal boosters. The rules, effective in early 2014, require signal booster owners to obtain wire- less service provider consent to oper- ate the device and to register the de- vice with their wireless service provider prior to operation. Commercial Office and Business From conference room to cubical, mobile devices are always in use. That may not always hold true for the cel- lular network that provides the con- nection. Have you discovered that your phone works in the lobby but not at your desk? Have you started a confer- ence call in your car that is dropped the minute you step into the office building's lobby? The problem is not with your phone, but with the macro tower's ability to send and receive a signal from your loca- tion. Simply put, it is not feasible to have 100 percent coverage through the macro tower access network. However, the situation can be addressed quickly by establishing the best available con- nection with the cell tower and retransmitting and distributing the signal equitably through- out the structure. Finding the right solution re- quires a site survey, an understanding of user requirements, and consideration of a number of factors, including signal strength from the tower, number of simultaneous users, size of the coverage space, and materials used to construct the space. Previously mentioned amplifiers, or boosters, are one solution. Another option is an active DAS, which uses either an outside antenna to communicate with a macro tower or hosts a BTS located in the building to provide the cellular signal, which is then distributed within the facility via an array of strategically placed antennas. These robust systems can serve multiple carriers and support very large and diverse areas. Hotels, office buildings, manu- facturing plants and warehouse facilities can all benefit from such a system, but each will have different design considerations, includ- ing antenna placement based on coverage re- quirements, RF propagation characteristics of the building, and interference generators such as machinery and other radio systems. Enhance the Cellular Experience Anytime, Anywhere Submitted by Scott Gregory, TESSCO Technologies Residential SOHO Commercial

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