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BOMA International Conference & Expo 2017

Join us in Nashville, June 24-27 for  the BOMA International Conference & Expo! Looking to improve cellular service in your facility and improve tenant relations? Join us for “My Cellphone Doesn’t Work in my Building. Help!” – Tuesday, June 27, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Be sure to visit us at booth #321 for a glimpse of the latest in convergence technology and speak with our in-building wireless experts to learn how you can save time, space and money by converging your cellular, WiFi and IT applications onto one, fiber infrastructure!

Register today! BOMA Registration Page

One World Trade Center Press Release and Video

Robust In-building Wireless Systems Enable Premier Safety and Enterprise Communications for One World Trade Center

Towering 1,776 feet over lower Manhattan, One World Trade Center is an instantly iconic building, holding deep meaning for New Yorkers and the United States.

Managed by the Durst Organization, the class-A property reopened in October of 2014 in the footprint of the twin towers that fell September 11, 2001. Since the rebuild, One World Trade Center has become one of the most desired office properties in the world, drawing top tenants including Conde´ Nast, Cushman & Wakefield, Moody’s and the U.S. General Services Administration.

In addition to first-class amenities, tenants rely on building management to provide reliable in-building wireless to support their always-on business needs. To provide that level of connectivity, Durst selected in-building wireless integrator Connectivity Wireless to install a robust distributed antenna system (DAS).


The One World Trade Center in-building deployment is “an iconic build in one of the most iconic buildings in the country,” said Clayt Mason, Connectivity Wireless CEO. During 9/11, “One of the biggest challenges that unfolded was the lack of cellular communications and adequate first responder radio coverage. In the rebuild, Durst placed priority on having strong in-building wireless coverage not only for safety reasons, but also for world-class business operations.”

Durst Project Manager John Whitty said the system installed in One World Trade Center eclipses other class-A buildings in Manhattan, which offers some of the highest-end commercial real estate available anywhere.

“We quite often have prospective tenants come into the building,” Whitty explained, “and it’s important to us as the managing agent for the building to have these prospective tenants see that they actually do have cell service whether on the 45th floor or the 100th floor in the building.”

Whitty worked closely with Connectivity Wireless throughout the design, build and deployment process, which culminated in an early and under-budget delivery. “With today’s world and the way things go in the workplace, everybody wants to be connected all the time, and in this building, we actually have that.”

Using Corning MobileAccess GX equipment, Connectivity Wireless installed more than 1,000 indoor antennas to build out a DAS providing coverage to some 3-million-square-feet of rentable office space, along with mechanical, visitor and other common areas of One World Trade Center. The DAS install required more than 30 miles of fiber optic and coaxial transmission cable.

Keith Martin of Corning shared his thoughts on partnering with Connectivity Wireless on the One World Trade Center project: “They have a great track record of making the right choices for the long-term technologies that their end users need. We tend to go to them when we just need things to go right.”

Martin lauded the in-building wireless project, as well as the stakeholders: “There’s just a great sense of pride because this building symbolizes everything about not only American resiliency, but also about innovation and technology. You have to give a lot of credit to Durst to have the foresight to have put such a robust system into the building.”

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View the original RCR Wireless press release here: http://www.rcrwireless.com/20160824/network-infrastructure/case-study-bringing-building-wireless-one-world-trade-center-content-provided-connectivity-wireless-rcr

Four Costly Public-Safety DAS Mistakes You’re About to Make

Check out the digital article here  >> HetNet Magazine article

With public-safety DAS deployments costing upwards of a million dollars for large venues, overlooking the new code standards—even if they have not been adopted today by your jurisdiction—would be a costly mistake. But armed with a bit of knowledge, proper planning, and some creative problem-solving, you can be part of the 10 percent that get it right.

I know what you’re thinking: “He said impending code, but my deployment will be grandfathered.” Maybe, but many counties, cities, and municipalities don’t like the thought of first-responders losing radio coverage as they cross the threshold into a burning building. Therefore, many counties, like Summit County, CO, and municipalities like Schaumburg, IL, are enforcing codes retroactively.

To better understand the value of proactive code compliance and to fully gauge the impact of four significant code changes, we examine the ongoing efforts at Phoenix Convention Center (PCC) to bring their facility up to the latest fire safety standards, even though the city of Phoenix has yet to adopt the latest code.

In 2013, PCC was struggling to operate and maintain public-safety and cellular DAS equipment from Powerwave Technologies, who filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy the same year. To remedy the situation, PCC turned to their technology services provider, Smart City, to deploy and manage a new state-of-the-art public-safety and cellular DAS. In turn, Smart City engaged DAS integrator Connectivity Wireless to design, deploy, and maintain both the cellular and public-safety DAS. “In the past, Smart City relied on Connectivity Wireless to deploy cellular-only DAS­­­­­­, but the PCC project gave us the opportunity to leverage our public-safety expertise,” says Bryce Bregen, VP of sales and marketing at Connectivity Wireless. PCC and Smart City had the foresight to build the public-safety DAS to NFPA 2015 standards, but that decision presented a set of challenges the project partners would need to overcome.

Raelyn Thomas, Connectivity’s project manager, identified the greatest NFPA code challenges they encountered: circuit survivability, two-hour fire-rated IDF closets, two-hour fire-rated cabling, and system monitoring.

How Thomas’s team addressed these requirements provides a cautionary tale for others planning to deploy a public-safety DAS.

Editor’s note: NFPA and IFC codes are complex and ever-changing; the following lists, descriptions, and interpretation of fire codes should not be considered a substitute for obtaining a thorough and professional review of the fire code as it relates to your deployment:

1.    Pathway survivability: This section of the code epitomizes the motivation behind the code changes. Previous versions of the code focused entirely on the performance of the DAS, with no regard to how a network of cable, antennas, and electronics would operate in the early stages of a fire. Fortunately for PCC, their building was fully protected by an automated sprinkler system in accordance with NFPA 13. This meant that all transmission cables connecting the bi-directional amplifier (BDA) to the coverage antennas would need to be installed in metal conduit; otherwise these cable paths would need to meet a two-hour fire rating.

NFPA allows an exception for radiating cable, aka “leaky coax,” because radiating cable would not radiate inside metal conduit. Although radiating cable was a common, if not preferred, method of distributing RF signals back in the day, today its use is generally limited to subway and tunnel applications. If your intent is to deploy a state-of-the-art public-safety DAS, avoid its use if at all possible.

The requirement for metal raceway was the primary reason Connectivity Wireless decided not to combine the public-safety and cellular DAS. Many active DAS products were design to support cellular and public-safety DAS as a way to save money and mitigate channel interference. However, the survivability requirement of the new code frequently offsets the financial benefits of deploying a combined system. This was the case at PCC, so Connectivity Wireless designers chose to separate the systems and deploy a passive DAS for public safety. Despite separating the systems, over 5,500 feet of conduit was installed at substantial cost to meet this section of the new code.

2.    Two-hour fire-rated cables: NFPA is very particular about protecting the circuits running between the donor antenna and the BDA.  Because coaxial cable companies have yet to manufacture a two-hour fire-rated cable, Connectivity Wireless sought out a solution to transform the coax cable to meet the two-hour rating. Endothermic mat wrap (E-Mat) became the first choice. However, according to Thomas, “Hundreds of feet of riser cable and coax jumpers required E-Mat wrapping at $232/ft. So we turned to 3M to help find a less expensive solution, and they recommended their Fire Barrier Dust Wrap 615+, at a relative bargain price of $85/ft, to accomplish the job.”

PCC ended up using a bit more wrap than originally planned. Because one of the BDAs was in a distant location, it required a fiber-optic cable run and some analog-to-digital conversion to connect it to the donor antenna. Despite this long, horizontal cable run, the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) did not consider this cable run to be part of the horizontal cable distribution allowed to be installed in a metal raceway/conduit. Therefore, this long run of fiber-optic cable also required the two-hour fire rating.

3.    Two-hour fire-rated rooms: No public-safety BDA or fiber-based DAS electronic equipment meets a two-hour fire rating, and because the electronics typically reside in an intermediate-distribution-frame (IDF) closet, the IDF closets/rooms require the two-hour rating. The good news at PCC was that all of their IDF closets met the code requirement; the bad news was that there was no IDF closet near a remote location where one BDA needed to be installed. The deployment team at PCC considered multiple options, but in the end they were required to build a new fire-rated IDF closet to house the remote BDA.

It appears to me that the code was drafted around the assumption that passive DAS is the predominate choice for in-building radio coverage. Passive DAS works for small to midsize buildings, but it is not technically and financially practical for larger buildings. “NFPA did consider active/fiber DAS deployments when drafting the 2016 code,” says Minfei Leng of Bird Technologies, a principal on NFPA’s Emergency Communications Systems (ECS) Technical Committee.

In my experience, where there was confusion in applying certain aspects of the code to the realities of active/fiber DAS deployments, the AHJs have been able to apply the intent of the code to resolve matters. As a general rule of thumb, consider the fiber-based remote units as BDAs, then apply the code appropriately. This effectively means that your fiber runs (jumpers too) from the fiber-DAS headend unit to the remote units will need to meet the two-hour fire rating. Of course, all rooms housing fiber electronic equipment will need to meet the two-hour rating as well.

4.    System monitoring: This is where it gets interesting. As previously mentioned, the code committee appears to have overlooked the need for active/fiber-based DAS products. (I suppose one could argue that the active/fiber DAS manufacturers have not kept up with the code.) The code requires that the “system” include automatic supervisory signals for malfunction. Items that require supervision are associated with the BDA and power source. This part of the code is not new, so it’s not difficult to source BDAs and backup power systems with dry-contact relay ports to communicate the information to a dedicated monitoring panel (2016 NFPA 1221 Section 9.6.13.2).

The trouble arises when one tries to apply this requirement to an active/fiber DAS product. Most active DAS solutions include some dry-contact alarm ports on their remote units, but most of the alarming is software based, as well as proprietary, making communication to the dedicated monitoring panel, as defined by code, virtually impossible.

Prior  to defaulting to a passive DAS solution for PCC, Connectivity Wireless engineers had debated how to meet the system-monitoring requirement when deploying an active/fiber DAS. These systems are monitored and controlled via a computer terminal with an IP address. In an appeal to the City of Phoenix, the AHJ acknowledged the conundrum and agreed a terminal and monitor was the only option. (My personal experience is that AHJs are reasonable people; if there is not a commercial solution that meets the letter of the code, the AHJs will work with you to achieve the objective, as long as it meets the intent of the code.)

According to author H. Jackson Brown, Jr., “Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” And fortunately, PCC didn’t miss the opportunity to properly upgrade their public-safety radio coverage. Can you imagine the inconvenience and cost of reinstalling all of your cable in conduit, building out new fire-rated IDF closets, wrapping all of your fiber runs, and potentially scrapping your entire active/fiber DAS?

PCC worked with their partners to overcome four major code challenges, and then some. With proper education, the right deployment partners, and some creative problem-solving, you can also find yourself in the category of the lucky 10 percent who won’t need to worry when the city council votes to adopt the latest edition of NFPA or IFC code.

Additional impending code items you’ll want to consider:

  • Permits for the DAS: Local fire officials may not be aware of the code—I’ve experienced this many times. Make sure your originating source of information is the AHJ.
  • Testing: There are very specific test procedures that must be followed.
  • Minimum qualifications of personnel: Most often the system design requires sign-off by an FCC Licensed Radio Operator. Almost all DAS integrators lack this person.
  • As-built drawings: Specific formatting is required.
  • Power backup: NFPA requires twelve hours; IFC is considering twenty-four hours.
  • Network operations center (NOC) monitoring: Your system will require 24/7/365 monitoring.
  • Channelized BDA: It is often required by the AHJ. Broadband BDAs have the potential to cause adjacent-channel interference. PCC has deployed CommScope’s Node-A channelized BDA.
  • Obstruction by new building: In some jurisdictions, including Sunnyvale, CA, building a new structure that blocks the RF signals into a building that previously had adequate coverage means that you will be picking up the tab for your neighbor’s DAS.

 

Next-Generation Wireless Networks: The Future of Convergence and Enterprise Infrastructures

The wireless world is changing.

Consumers have bigger, faster expectations. Enterprises have need of more powerful, intricate operational and business infrastructures. And CIOs are challenged to keep up with these demands all the while optimizing space and expenditures in the process.

But what if the answer wasn’t found in “bigger and more”? What if the solution was a simple as “stronger” and as sensible as streamlining?

Sound too good (or costly) to be true? Let’s take a moment to explore the challenges of today’s enterprise landscapes and opportunities for tomorrow’s wireless world:

The Changing LANscape

Due to burgeoning cloud-based applications, HD video streaming and social media apps, more and more devices are being manufactured with dual network capabilities, allowing consumers to connect via cellular spectrum and unlicensed spectrum, e.g., Bluetooth and WiFi.

It comes as no surprise that this ultimately requires enterprise networks to become more scalable and flexible, in anticipation of future devices and related data and consumer demands, and optimized for both WLAN and cellular devices.

While within copper-rich LAN enterprises, this elicits an internal tug-of-war for additional space and funding, the traditional upgrade methods of rip-and-replace and running additional strands of CAT 5/6 are becoming an increasingly ill-cost-effective solution.

Even at their best, copper-based DAS, LAN and Business Management Systems still strain to keep up with the demand due to the limitations of copper cabling.

So let’s talk fiber.

Fiber vs Copper

Traditional two- and three-tier LAN designs, as well as other system architectures—DAS, BMS, PoE, etc.— are a product of copper limitations in attenuation, bandwidth and physical properties, namely weight and bulk.

But coppers innate weaknesses are fiber’s inherent strengths:

Single mode fiber is shown to be far superior to CAT 5 and 6 copper in terms of throughput (supporting 6x the number of devices and end users than those supported by CAT 5) and attenuation (reaching kilometers versus meters).

Additionally, fiber’s lighter and flexible composition requires significantly less structural support and space than copper, allowing enterprises to architect the system to fit their facility, not the other way around.

Next-generation Wireless Networks

The imminence of smart buildings with limitless, interconnected applications and seamless device connection boasts great and exciting possibilities for enterprises and end users alike, but it also calls for a transformation in the IT infrastructures and OT standards needed to support forthcoming demands.

That’s where POLs’ upgradability comes into play.

All-fiber backbones offer everything needed to run the systems and applications your enterprise needs today, including IT, DAS, PoE and BMS, among others, with a virtually limitless capacity to support the data and connection needs of tomorrow.

And while upgrading your enterprise infrastructure for the sake of HD video streaming and Instagrams, WiFi and cloud-based applications may seem undue at the moment, these independent, separate applications are but a precursor to the interactive, unified wireless world of tomorrow’s IoT—a tomorrow that begins today.

So let’s explore some of the benefits that Passive Optical LANs offer enterprises today:

Security

As enterprise systems continue to expand with big data growth, it is important to consider the measures being taken to ensure network security and access.

While traditional copper-rich LANS can be modified for critical security measures, it is costly, requiring specialized cabling and, in facilities that house highly sensitive information, is subject to daily inspection.

Fiber on the other hand, is dielectric, requiring a direct tap to infiltrate the system which is quite difficult due to the physical nature of the product, and on the chance that the fiber is successfully tapped, it is very easily detected. Additionally, fiber can easily be encrypted for supplemental protection.

Lastly, from a public safety perspective, it’s worth mentioning that fiber is inflammable.

Cost Savings

The main capital expenditure savings of POL comes from installation and IDF/riser closet equipment:

As previously mentioned, fiber is lightweight, flexible and requires far fewer strands to support a full infrastructure than copper. Additionally, fiber has fewer installation requirements. All of which save on installation time and, ultimately, installation costs.

The main contributors to operational savings are floor space, power and cooling:

Passive Optical LANs use passive components, replacing access layer and building aggregation layer switches, significantly reducing, and in some cases eliminating, IDF closets.

Because passive splitters do not require cooling it is not unusual for facilities to see an approximate 69 percent network floor space reduction and on-going energy cost savings of approximately 74 percent. (Corning: “Corning ONE Wireless Platform All-Optical Platform” 2015)

Further, the smaller infrastructure footprint allows enterprises to utilized square footage formerly allotted for IDF closets for revenue-generating purposes.

(IBM: Smarter Networks with Passive Optical LAN, 2014)

Future Proof

When aiming for sustainability and green certifications, enterprises will see evidence of immediate environmental benefits of Passive Optical LANs—foregone copper mining and 50 percent reduced plastic waste—as well as ongoing operational energy savings as a result of conserved HVAC and power.

Passive Optical LANs not only help reach sustainability goals and green certifications today, but, when fully utilized as a converged network solution, they help maintain a minimal infrastructure footprint at the addition of future applications.

Moreover, as these networks become denser and more data-driven, fiber will be able to withstand bandwidth increases without affecting its attenuation.

Because fiber-based infrastructures are scalable, converging network operations onto a single, unified platform, in most cases, is the most cost-effective solution for today’s disparate wireless challenges and the foundation for tomorrow’s connected world.

A Final Thought

It’s helpful to think of Passive Optical LANs as a present gateway to the world of tomorrow.

For now, fiber is simply functional backbone for integrating independent business applications and systems onto a single platform, but in the near future, as the Internet of Things matures, it is practical to presume that widespread POL will serve as a foundational element and enabler for the world of connected and interactive “Things.”

As converged networks open this new world of possibilities, is your enterprise ready and able to explore the opportunities?

Written by Connectivity’s President and CEO, Clayt Mason

 

Sources:

Corning (July 2015) Corning ONE Wireless Platform All-Optical Networking: http://csmedia.corning.com/opcomm/Resource_Documents/whitepapers_rl/CMA-415-AEN.pdf

IBM (October 2014) Smarter Networks with Passive Optical LANs: http://public.dhe.ibm.com/common/ssi/ecm/sf/en/sfw03021usen/SFW03021USEN.PDF

Gartner (March 2011) Gartner Says the World of IT and Operational Technology Are Converging: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/1590814

 

View this article in the CIO Review magazine, Next-Generation Wireless Networks: The Future of Convergence and Enterprise Infrastructures

Third-party neutral hosts to rule US $9.5 billion in-building wireless market

While carrier-led deployments account for more than 47% of in-building wireless deployments today and vendor-led deployments sit close to only 10%, third-party/neutral hosts control close to 43% of overall market deployment revenues and are set to grow that share to over 54% by 2020. ABI Research anticipates that the industry will see a larger concentration of neutral hosts funding enterprise projects in the years ahead.

“Commercial property owners, such as real-estate companies or enterprises, are taking more responsibility for in-building wireless systems and provisioning their own buildings,” said Nick Marshall, research director at ABI Research. “Subscribers and employees expect wireless coverage and capacity the same as they expect running water or electricity from a building. In-building wireless is increasingly viewed as business-critical and is becoming a major marketing tool for building and venue owners.”

Check out the full article here

A Web of Wireless Challenges

View our latest article in the April issue of High Rise Facilities magazine, A Web of Wireless Challenges, to learn about the special challenges high-rise building owners face when it comes to in-building wireless as well as the future of DAS and converged networks.

Written by Connectivity’s President and CEO, Greg Jacobs.

St. Louis Rams Fan Score Improved Wireless Connectivity with Verizon and Mobilitie

T. LOUIS, Oct. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Verizon Wireless and Mobilitie today announced significant improvements to the wireless network at Edward Jones Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams. The enhancements led to near record mobile data traffic during last-night’s game, as the network handled 2.5 times more traffic than the average event.

Verizon Wireless recently installed their network system, tapping into Mobilitie’s DAS infrastructure. The DAS includes separate antennas located throughout the venue to boost network strength and capacity, which distributes the cell site signal in a manner that provides superior performance and capacity gains over a normal cell site serving the track from outside the venue.

“People attending events today expect an excellent wireless experience whenever they’re in a stadium,” said Brendan Fallis, president—Kansas/Missouri Region, Verizon Wireless. “We are very pleased to support fans of the St. Louis Rams and other events at the Edward Jones Dome with the excellent wireless experience they’ve come to expect from Verizon Wireless.”

>>Check out the full article

 

Smart City Networks Constructs Distributed Antenna System at Phoenix Convention Center

Smart City to complete system in time for venue to host 2015 NFL Super Bowl media headquarters

LAS VEGAS– August 29, 2014– Nevada Business– Mark Haley, president of Smart City Networks, the nation’s leading communications provider for convention centers and hospitality venues, announced the company is constructing a distributed antenna system (DAS) at the Phoenix Convention Center. The new DAS will be in place in time to host the 2015 NFL Super Bowl media headquarters.

Construction of the DAS has already begun under the direction of Todd Zuccato, Smart City’s general manager at the Phoenix Convention Center, and is expected to be completed and operational by the end of 2014. The DAS will boost mobile broadband coverage, improve reliability in heavily trafficked areas and enhance network capacity. To process the abundance of mobile data, Smart City has signed carrier agreements with both Verizon and AT&T.

>>Check out the full article

DAS Industry Growth Lands Georgia Fast 40 Award for Connectivity Wireless

DULUTH, Ga.–June 13, 2014–Leading distributed antenna systems integrator, Connectivity Wireless Solutions, has been recognized as one of Georgia’s fastest growing companies for 2014 by the Atlanta Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG Atlanta).

“We are honored to be among the Georgia Fast 40,” said Connectivity Wireless Solutions CEO Greg Jacobs.

 

“This award is a testament to the strength and stability of our industry as well as the dedication to excellence that drives our team members and defines our company.”

 

Each year, ACG Atlanta honors Georgia’s top 40 middle-market companies that demonstrate the greatest sustained growth within a three-year period. This year’s nominee list was the largest in ACG Atlanta’s history.

“Winning this award in such a competitive year, amid so many thriving industries and companies, makes this honor even more gratifying,” said COO Clayt Mason.

Applicants are objectively ranked on a weighted three-year average growth in net revenue and employment with revenue growth accounting for 75 percent and employment growth accounting for 25 percent of the score.

With a weighted growth average exceeding 250%, Connectivity is being honored in the Lower Middle-Market category.

Connectivity Wireless Solutions, along with the other honorees, will be featured in the July issue of Georgia Trend Magazine and presented at the Georgia Fast 40 Honoree Awards and Gala on June 19, 2014 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead.

 

About Connectivity Wireless Solutions

A leading nationwide provider of in-building wireless solutions, Connectivity Wireless Solutions has implemented more than 2,500 distributed antenna system (DAS) networks and wireless data solutions across 50 states. Connectivity’s DAS solutions deliver reliable cellphone, data and multimedia services for all indoor wireless applications — hospitality, healthcare, commercial business, government and higher education — and public venue environments, including airports and athletic stadiums.

Backed by a team with more than 300 years of combined industry-certified expertise in wireless and RF engineering, Connectivity offers 24/7 service and support from headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., and eight regional offices in Dallas, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; Chicago, Ill.; Frederick, Md.; Charlotte, N.C.; Houston, Texas; San Francisco, Calif.; Anaheim, Calif. and additional field offices throughout the U.S.

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Media Contact:

Brittanie Boyd

Connectivity Wireless Solutions

(678) 584-5622 x 124

info@connectivitywireless.com

BOMA Every Building Conference & Expo

June 22-24

Gaylord Palms Convention Center

Orlando, FL

 

Excited to have our VP of Sales and Marketing Bryce Bregen participate as a panelist at this year’s BOMA Every Building & Conference Expo!

Learn all about “Matching the Right Technology With Your Venue”  in the Wireless Coverage and Capacity panel Sunday, June 22 9:15-10:30 a.m.

Register today!

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