Public Safety Communications: In-door Wireless – Technologies and Markets

Among in-building communications applications, Public Safety Communications (PSC) posses a special role:

– PSC special needs require extended building coverage in the areas such tunnels, basements and other that may be in no interest to other groups of subscribers;
– In-building communications is also required to be integrated into the uniform class of channels to seamlessly extend first responder outdoor radio communications;
– Traditional in-building RF coverage extenders can be damaged even before first responders arrival; responders have to rely in a great degree on temporary network solutions (such as, for example, mesh structures).

Many P25 and TETRA networks were planned and deployed, providing the necessary outdoor coverage and capacity; at the same time, seamless coverage to the indoor environment was considered as a secondary requirement. Now, the availability of robust indoor coverage has become a significant competitive advantage for network operators.

Public Safety networks that cannot guarantee coverage in federal, state and local government agency facilities as well as primary private and public venues, have a severely limited value in supporting first responders operations.

This report addresses in-door PSC communications technologies, related applications and markets; as well as industries. In particular, this report analyzes:

– Ultra wideband (UWB) communications, which can give first responders the power of communications, radar and location
– Wireless mesh networks ((WMN), which are self-healing and self-organizing structures
– Small Cells that allow reliable coverage of user groups inside (or outside) of a building
– Distributed Antenna System (DAS) that allows the use of multi-band and multi-standard technologies coexistence inside of a building.

Research Methodology

Considerable research was done using the Internet. Information from various Web sites was studied and analyzed; evaluation of publicly available marketing and technical publications was conducted. Telephone conversations and interviews were held with industry analysts, technical experts and executives. In addition to these interviews and primary research, secondary sources were used to develop a more complete mosaic of the market landscape, including industry and trade publications, conferences and seminars.

The overriding objective throughout the work has been to provide valid and relevant information. This has led to a continual review and update of the information content.

Target Audience

This report is important for the government agencies involved in the first response to critical situations. It is necessary for technical departments of such agencies to have a document, which explains the radio technology and architectures of networks supporting public safety communications inside of buildings, tunnels and similar structures. They also need to have market statistics and to know the major players and their portfolios to select the right equipment.