Today’s mobile communications networks are rapidly adapting to manage a relentless growth in traffic while MNO’s fight to maintain or minimize CAPEX and maximize coverage and capacity on their increasingly congested networks.
The situation is similar for indoor or in-building wireless systems and perhaps even more demanding for the MNO, owner or operator since by many accounts about 80% of mobile traffic is consumed and/or generated indoors. Typical in-building wireless systems use distributed antenna systems (DAS) but other technologies such as Wi-Fi and small cells are also good choices.
Mobile operators and building owners must extend the reach of their cellular networks indoors to meet subscriber demand for always-on, high-bandwidth connections deep inside buildings of various types. However, cellular signals received from an outdoor macrocell do not penetrate well indoors and suffer from attenuation due to building materials such as concrete, steel, metal film window tint, and low-E glass, which all attenuate the RF signals, particularly at the higher GHz-range frequencies in use today.
In this analysis ABI Research discusses in-building wireless in hospital and medical facilities and outlines some of the unique requirements that are particular to these scenarios.
In large installations such as those found in hospital or medical facilities some combination of multiple wireless system architectures may be in use. One of the key trends in today’s healthcare environments is network convergence, in which the in-building wireless system can accommodate a wide range of frequencies, any protocol and any modulation scheme and which is future-proof. This means that a significant reduction in TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) can be had from a converged in-building architecture.
ABI Research also provides short profiles of 14 companies heavily involved in manufacturing installing and deploying indoor DAS for hospital facilities.