Mobile coverage: Interior and exterior, ensuring the network throughout
Have you ever wondered why your mobile telephone couldn’t get a signal in certain buildings, even though they were situated in the middle of town, yet your telephone worked perfectly in the underground? Answer: This is related to mobile indoor coverage.
A radio (or mobile) network consists of transmission stations, relay antennas, and receivers, such as smartphones. When we talk about radio network coverage we are referring to the area in which it’s possible to receive a signal. The latter is referred to as outdoor if we are outside, and indoor if we are inside a building. This issue affects all types of mobile networks (2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi, and private networks).
To ensure indoor coverage within an enclosed place it is necessary to provide coverage in areas that are not normally accessible using standard networks, such as in rooms below ground or in a building with overly thick walls. In fact, the propagation of radio waves can be slowed or disrupted by obstacles or by certain materials (concrete, iron…). The new materials used in HQE-certified buildings also exacerbate this problem as they make it more difficult for radio waves to pass through.
A network for whom?
80% of network usage depends on indoor coverage. In addition to the public, security organisms such as fire-fighters and police use their own radio telecommunication networks and need to have continuous service.
Reinforce the mobile network when necessary
The network is usually reinforced in two types of sites:
- Large structures such as high-rise buildings, stadiums, shopping malls… In this type of site many people use mobile devices. The communication density is high within a limited space, so a reinforced network is necessary to support it.
- The transportation sector (rail, trucking, airports). In addition to high public usage, the transportation sector has to contend with the issues of tunnels and parking garages. Legally, the management of such structures is obliged to ensure network coverage for the security services.
To improve the network there are two solutions: to amplify the current signal, as is the case with certain internet routers, which relay radio waves to improve the network in your home, or to recreate the signal.
Optimisation of mobile coverage for buildings
VINCI Energies, through its brand Axians, has provided coverage for numerous types of buildings, installing WiFi and VPN networks and 2G, 3G, and 4G: from the Nice stadium to the Prime Tower of Zurich through the European Parliament in Brussels.