The Importance of Cellular DAS in Public Safety

June 13, 2019 | Blue Wave Communications

A cellular distributed antenna system (DAS) can play a surprisingly important role in ensuring safety for your employees during an emergency. Having a reliable line of communication between your employees and emergency services can prove crucial for keeping first responders apprised of where people are in the building and providing other details about the emergency situation.

However, while cellular DAS is important for emergency communications, it should not be confused with public safety DAS. Where cellular DAS is designed as a “cellular enhancement” technology for general use, public safety DAS systems are designed to work exclusively with first responder radio frequencies to ensure clear and efficient radio communication throughout the building or facility.

How Cellular Distributed Antenna Systems Work

Cellular enhancement DAS works by using a series of internal antennas throughout a building to broadcast and receive cellular signals. These internal antennas are connected to an external antenna, which is used to communicate with local cell phone towers in the area.

This is important because otherwise, the individual cell phones used by employees would have to try to transmit through the building’s materials, creating interference that leads to static and dropped calls. These “dead spots” in cell signals not only obstruct productivity, they can prevent emergency calls from going through. By routing cell signals through a repeater system, interference can be bypassed—enabling more dependable communications for employees, visitors, and customers.

The Safety and Convenience Benefits of Cellular DAS

Using DAS cellular technology in your building carries several benefits for both employee productivity and safety, including:

  • Providing Improved Cellular Connectivity. The most obvious benefit of using cellular DAS systems is that they eliminate dead spots for communication within a structure. This helps ensure that employees are able to freely communicate and collaborate with one another via cell phone regardless of where they are in the building.

  • Improving Emergency Communications. Being able to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency is crucial for ensuring employee safety—whether they’re in an office during a fire or in a closet during an armed robbery or active shooter situation. With DAS cellular technology, employees, visitors, and customers can communicate their location to emergency responders while receiving instructions, improving their chances of being rescued safely.

  • Increasing Convenience for Employees, Customers, and Visitors. Aside from improving employee collaboration, using cellular distributed antenna systems helps increase convenience for customers, students, visitors—virtually anyone and everyone who wants or needs to use a cell phone in a building. This can help to add a convenience factor that distinguishes your building from others in the area that lack cellular enhancement systems.

  • Meeting Key Compliance Regulations. Organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) frequently make regulations designed to increase public safety. For example, NFPA 72® (the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®) establishes requirements “for mass notification systems used for weather emergencies; terrorist events; biological, chemical, and nuclear emergencies; and other threats.” Using cellular DAS helps allow cellphone-based mass notification systems to operate normally inside of what would otherwise be dead spots in a building.

While using cellular DAS is important, it’s just as important to carefully screen your DAS solution providers to find the right team to handle installation for you. A top-notch DAS installation helps to maximize cell phone reception throughout a structure with just the right number of signal receivers to eliminate dead spots without wasting your time and money.

When looking for DAS installation services, consider whether they are preparing a quote based solely on the square footage of your facility or a careful assessment of your structure layout, average occupancy, and your business’ specific requirements. Odds are, the service provider who makes the more detailed assessment will provide a more accurate quote.

Need reliable DAS installation services from one of Florida’s most trusted structured cabling contractors? Reach out to the Blue Wave Communications team to get started.

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