Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

Lost in the jargon of small cell, femto cell, BDA, DAS, LTE, PIM, C-RAN, 4G, 5G, etc.?  

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What is BYOD?

Bring Your Own Device was a term coined when employers moved towards reimbursing employees for use of their personal phone. Instead of the employer managing the phone account and the device, businesses transitioned to an expense model in which employees are given a reimbursement for use of their personal phone while used at work. Nobody wants a work phone and personal phone so BYOD was also a way to reduce the "Nerd Alert" factor.  

Do I need 5G?

As of the end of 2017, the 5G standard had not been finalized. But even so, don't spend too much time on this marketing term. With each iteration of wireless standards (2G, 3G, 4G, etc.), the networks have gotten faster, more efficient, and supported new features and enhancements. From chip manufacturers, to handset OEMs, to network operators, to telecom hardware manufacturers, all support a given standard at a given time. The standards are designed so the ecosystem is uniform across all entities. For the Enterprise, it’s important that any deployed solution is compatible with the latest wireless standards. Check out one of the governing bodies for the 5G standard at http://www.3gpp.org  

Our business relies on multiple wireless operators, 2-way radios, paging and public safety services.  Can we consolidate these onto a single infrastructure?

In most cases, yes. DAS is a perfect solution to consolidate most, if not all, RF services onto a common infrastructure.  Each service has its own requirements so its best to understand the nuances with each. Public Safety devices, for example, can co-exist on the same system with licensed frequencies; however, local AHJs (All Hands Jurisdictions) may require it to be on a separate system. Be sure to understand the cost differences of a converged Public Safety DAS vs a stand-alone Public Safety DAS.

CAN a DAS be used for other services?

If this question was asked three years ago, the answer would be “no.” DAS infrastructure was traditionally single purpose. Today, the options have increased as many new solutions leverage your existing CAT6A and fiber optic networks. Each have their advantages so your decision should be based on factors like the number of wireless service providers you want on your system, if you want to include WiFi, and it you want to include security cameras, security card readers, and other IP-based networks.

Are future tenants checking for wireless coverage before signing a lease?

You bet. According to WiredScore, a commercial real estate rating system, of the top nine questions tenants ask brokers about building technology, #5 asks "how is the indoor wireless coverage?" Since poor and improper connectivity affects business profitability, this has now become an important factor in how prospective tenants view a possible location for their business.  

 

WHat exactly is DAS?

Distributed Antenna Systems have become a widely accepted method for distributing cellular signals in geographically challenged areas like inside buildings, tunnels, stadiums, and underground transport systems. A DAS sends/receives a signal to/from various hard-to-reach locations amplifying the signal. The DAS “plumbing” is built using fiber optic cable, twisted pair cabling or even air dielectric cable. 

If I build a DAS in my building, will the wireless operators reimburse me?

The answer to this question is a definite maybe. Based on the current business climate, statistics show that wireless operators are still funding some, but fewer in-building projects. To be fair, the demand for wireless enhancement has increased exponentially and network budgets have not increased at the same pace to keep up with this demand. If your facility is a high profile stadium or venue, if your company is viewed as a Fortune 500 company, if you are a large hospital your chances are certainly improved. But even if you meet these criteria, you are not guaranteed reimbursement for your system.

WIFI calling will handle my indoor challenges, correct?

Sure, WiFi calling is a good solution but it will only be as good as your network and the end-user devices on the network. Not all devices support WiFi calling, nor do all features work when using WiFi calling, particularly the ability to hand-off to the cellular network when leaving the WIFI coverage area. And to complicate matters, some phones must be in “Airplane” mode to use WiFi calling otherwise the phone is always trying to connect to the cellular network.  

If you truly expect to use your phone while sitting still, WiFi calling should be sufficient. If you want to use your mobile device in a mobile fashion, you are best sticking with cellular, LTE-type solutions. 

Will the rF energy coming from an antenna cause harmful radiation to a human?

The FCC acknowledged the rise of mobile devices long ago and released two bulletins related to RF radiation and human health: OET 56 and 65. OET 56 discusses the issues in a FAQ format while OET 65 provides guidelines for engineers, equipment OEMs, and wireless operators for designing and deploying wireless networks. Software design tools provide these calculations in a pass/fail report. Make sure to ask for these reports before you deploy a wireless network.

We did not receive our certificate of occupancy due to first responders not being able to use their radios in our building. how do we fix this problem?

Most, if not all, major metropolitan and rural communities now have mandates to ensure First Responders can communicate indoors. It's very common to NOT receive a certificate of occupancy when Public Safety connectivity does not meet First Responder's standards. Public Safety communication indoors is commonly solved via the installation of a DAS. Pando Telecom advises their customers to account for this type of solution during the planning stages of their new construction project.