* Tell us about Commscope:
CommScope is at the forefront of shaping infrastructure, products and solutions that enhance people’s lives. We make communication faster, easier and more efficient for today’s always-on world. You will find our solutions in the largest buildings, venues and outdoor spaces; in data centers and buildings of all shapes, sizes and complexity; at wireless cell sites; in telecom central offices and cable head-ends; in FTTx deployments; and in airports, trains, and tunnels. Vital networks around the world run on CommScope solutions. Industry analysts consistently rank CommScope as the global market share leader in distributed antenna systems (DAS).
* Which problems do you focus on solving in the process of improving in-building public safety wireless communications?
CommScope focuses on the two core areas of public safety in buildings: 1) ensuring that first responders’ radio systems operate reliably in buildings even – or especially – amid disruptions such as fires, floods or power outages; and 2) ensuring that civilian inhabitants and visitors have full access to commercial cellular services throughout the building for communication in emergencies.
* Do you have any products or services that can improve in-building public safety wireless communications?
CommScope is a major provider of wireless and wired physical layer infrastructure for all types of buildings ranging from carpeted office buildings, hospitals and hotels to some of the world’s largest skyscrapers, stadiums, airports and railway tunnels. Our products are used for both commercial and public safety purposes. Key products relevant to public safety include:
- ION® series distributed antenna systems, which include options for public safety frequency antennas as well as other public safety requirements such as power and cable path redundancy. Our ION-E digital DAS features Cat6A and fiber cabling, and software-based traffic routing for ease of deployment.
- Node-A+ series digital off-air repeater, which allows channels or band segments to be set up independently in either gain or power mode, and uses software-controlled digital filters for precise and dynamic control of channel bandwidth. These features are critical in public safety applications to retransmit donor signals that may be received at significantly different levels, and to exclude noise from adjacent channels.
- OneCell® C-RAN enterprise LTE small cell uses a unique centralized baseband architecture to eliminate cell border interference, ensuring a high-quality signal throughout buildings for both commercial and first-responder users. OneCell supports system-level redundancy and mission-critical LTE push-to-talk (PTT) with prioritization for first responders.
- SYSTIMAX®, Uniprise® and NETCONNECT® structured cabling solutions provide coaxial, fiber and twisted-pair cabling that complies with local fire safety regulations.
- An extensive range of Professional Services including site surveys, RF design, installation, commissioning and system monitoring of in-building wireless solutions. CommScope has designed some of the world’s largest and most complex in-building wireless solutions.
* Why is it important for CommScope and others in the industry to get involved in the public safety arena?
It goes without saying that safety is important to all of us. We are a technology vendor but each of us is also an individual with family members, friends and co-workers. We want safety for ourselves and others wherever we live and work.
Wireless is increasingly becoming the default mode of all types of communication, including public safety. If we are in danger or see a problem, we reach for our smartphone, not our office desk phone. An emergency is not the time to learn that you have no signal.
Our industry is moving to advance the cause of public safety. FirstNet promises to provide a nation-wide public safety broadband network that will operate reliably and uniformly across jurisdictions.
* What inspired you to join the Safer Buildings Coalition?
For CommScope, providing public safety solutions is part of responding to market demand – it’s a normal part of our business. But at the same time, we recognize that there are challenges that require a coordinated industry approach, for example creating broader awareness of the need for public safety, educating AHJs, public agencies and building owners of the options, and establishing best practices.
One critical area is helping all stake-holders understand the tradeoffs that exist between cost and capabilities for public safety solutions. The best solution is of little use if no one can afford it.
The Safer Buildings Coalition is a vehicle to address these issues and more in a transparent, collaborative way. The fact that SBC’s executive director Chief Alan Purdue is himself a member of the first responder community adds credibility to the organization.
CommScope looks forward to contributing to, and learning from our participation in the Safer Buildings Coalition.