This blog post originally appeared on the TeleTalk blog on ETTelecom.com.
The phenomenon of BYOD
(Bring your own device) is spreading rapidly in enterprises. As India’s workforce becomes increasingly young and mobile
, the use of smart devices like smartphones and tablets alongside work gadgets is now a norm
in most offices.
Last year alone, smartphone sales grew almost three-fold to over 44 million, and with the surge of smart devices, it’s no surprise that up to 57 percent
of Indian enterprises are already planning to invest in BYOD and mobile technologies.
However, this growth presents its own set of challenges
. For instance, there is a visible gap
between the prevalence of mobile device usage within buildings and adequate indoor mobile coverage or capacity.According to the CommScope Global Enterprise Survey 2013
, 43 percent of all phone calls originating
within an enterprise facility involve a mobile phone, however only 30 percent
of these businesses say their carrier provided in-building signal coverage that
to handle the mobile traffic. Importantly almost three quarters
the respondents admitted that employees had to roam around within the office or
go outdoors for strong enough signal to make a call.
At the heart of the problem
is the fact that most enterprises operate out of
large buildings and campuses
. The large architectural designs and layouts tend
to impact wireless connectivity indoors, often leading to weak or blocked
signal areas and dead zones
where there is no connectivity. With productivity
at stake, enterprises are increasingly paying attention to the network coverage
within their facilities.
There are a number of solutions
that can be deployed to improve connectivity.
When traditional macro cell sites and towers are unable to reach all corners of
a building, deploying a portfolio of small cells
(remember: a small cell is
defined as any RF solution that is crafted to augment capacity or coverage to
the macro cell) for large buildings and femto or pico cells for smaller office
buildings yields immediate coverage benefits.
Small cell solutions can manage high-density traffic
while offloading up to 100
percent of the traffic from the surrounding macro cells.
Some operators are also using cell sculpting
or addition of new sectors with
focused coverage (using sector splitting, high gain or high vertical beam width
antennas) to throw stronger indoor signals from the outside on selected zones
One specific solution that secures investments in future is to deploy active distributed antenna systems
(DAS). These enable greater coverage and capacity in
larger-sized structures, typically above 100,000 square feet or even smaller
structures of 25,000 square feet or less. Fiber-optic, low-power DAS
leverage sectorization to improve capacity for complex indoor structures.
On the other hand, using fiber-optic, high-power DAS
is ideal for large
structures like shopping centers or high-rise buildings where precise coverage
is crucial. Many enterprises are even thinking of owning and deploying
active DAS solutions themselves instead of relying on operators investments to
support the needs to their staff working in the premises.
As mobile devices gain greater importance and see increased usage in the
workplace, it is essential that building owners look closely at indoor network
during construction as opposed to following the traditional
retroactive approach that is the cause of the number of dead zones seen in
The aim should be to develop a living intelligent building
from the ground up,
which inherently supports critical building services such as cellular coverage,
video and data and automation systems. The key is to incorporate high
performance infrastructure into the building network during the design phase
itself and provide ubiquitous cellular coverage through distributed antenna
system (DAS) deployment and remote powering requirements. As a consequence,
building owners and enterprises can overcome challenges of poor network
coverage and enable greater productivity for the always-connected workforce