With smartphones so deeply embedded in our daily lives, people are demanding high-quality in-building cellular service in every building where they spend time,” asserts Dean Fresonke, Executive Vice President, ClearSky Technologies. “The problem is the wireless operators cannot keep up with demand, so the requirement to provide indoor cellular shifts to the building owners, operators, or tenants.”
Many commercial building owners and facility managers routinely receive complaints from their tenants and employees about weak indoor cellular signal. As the overall use of cellular data grows, the available capacity of the cellular network decreases and in-building network performance suffers the most. While the rollout of 5G is making headlines, it does not solve the in-building coverage problem. “AT&T and Verizon are deploying outdoor 5G networks using spectrum that has virtually zero penetration into buildings,” noted Fresonke.
Businesses and building owners need to ensure reliable, uninterrupted cellular coverage, not only to improve productivity but also to retain employees and tenants. Distributed antenna systems (DAS) are a tried and true method to bring cellular service inside a building. However, a DAS installation requires both the distributed antenna system itself and radio sources from the mobile operators to enable the cellular service. DAS equipment and installation services are available from a wide range of high-quality manufacturers and experienced installers. The missing link for many DAS projects is the cellular signal sources needed to power the DAS.
With their focus on outdoor 5G, the cellular network operators have very little time and budget to supply signal sources for
in-building DAS deployments. Unless the building is on the scale of a sports stadium, airport or convention center, the mobile network operators will likely decline to participate, leaving it to building owners to purchase their DAS and then try to figure out
how to get a cellular signal source without assistance from the operators.
ClearSky is addressing this critical need for fully operator approved, inbuilding cellular signal sources for building owners, property managers, and tenants. The company has been offering managed cellular infrastructure as a service to wireless operators for almost two decades. Using this experience, ClearSky developed ForteNeutral Source™—a turnkey service
that combines cellular radios and ongoing services to power in-building DAS. It’s a complete package of hardware, software, and ongoing management that effectively provides any combination of AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint cellular signal needed for a DAS installation. “With a relatively small increase to the overall DAS project budget, we can guarantee the delivery, installation, and ongoing operation of the cellular signal,” says Fresonke. ClearSky acts as the single point of contact for all interactions with the mobile network operators and monitors and maintains the signal sources throughout the life of the project.
With a long history of working with the wireless network operators, ClearSky has developed strong relationships that ensure the DAS buyer gets the cellular service they need on a reliable schedule and within budget. “Our solution is tailored to quickly solve the problem of indoor cellular coverage for smaller buildings that do not have the attention of the wireless operators, including commercial buildings, hotels, hospitals, and manufacturing facilities,” explains Fresonke.
With the recent announcement from the Federal government on the availability of high-quality radio spectrum called “CBRS” for private use, the company has now begun offering private LTE within its portfolio of services. “Our customers and partners can count on us to power in-building projects across a range of needs, from traditional cellular networks to highly secure private LTE networks dedicated to the needs of the property and enterprise,” states Fresonke.