Lifting the Iron Dome on Lousy Cell Phone Service in Office Buildings

no-cell-serviceWith well insulated offices, beams and concrete floors, buildings and skyscrapers can be an Iron Dome where weak or absent cell phone coverage is common.  With more employees cutting the cord from the office landline and conducting business on their cell phone, tenants struggle with poor coverage from carriers like Sprint, AT&T and Verizon.  Corporations have tried network extenders and other hardware, but these solutions have been found better suited to the residential market rather than for commercial applications.

Corporations may not opt not to invest in a traditional PBX system claiming an all wireless phone system is in their future.  But the challenge to developing a suitable solution is making the system compatible for all carriers, not just AT&T and Verizon. But reasonably priced options apparently do exist to boost in-building coverage such as mobile repeaters and signal boosters.

One solution I’ve read is installing inside antennas hardwired to an antenna on the roof of the building. Other options include leaky feeder systems which can be found in tunnels.  This is where coaxial cabling is run throughout the building with intermittent openings in the cable’s sheath to radiate the signal. Another solution which is popular amongst the tech savvy is called Distributed Antenna System, or DAS which is installed by cell carriers and contractors.

Systems vary depending on the size and reach of your needs so hiring a good consultant is critical.

Below are some links to helpful articles:
In-Building Cellular & Distribution Antenna Systems (DAS) Services: http://tinyurl.com/btt63ju
Wikipedia article on distributed antenna systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_antenna_system
How Building Connectivity Drives Asset Value: http://www.realcomm.com/realcomm-edge/files/realcomm-edge-08.pdf

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2 Comments on Lifting the Iron Dome on Lousy Cell Phone Service in Office Buildings

  1. thebrokerlist // August 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm // Reply

    Great information Richard as usual! I never heard of an M-Cell device either. I live and work in a high-rise as well so I will discuss this with Verizon. I try to make as many calls as I can on my computer, but the internet is not a sure thing for voice calls either and even with my phone, it is spotty at times.

  2. Keith Andoos // August 21, 2013 at 10:46 am // Reply

    After Hurricane Sandy, I had no AT&T service for several weeks. After service returned I still had a weak signal so AT&T gave me an M-Cell device. It basically plugs into my router and provides me and whomever I enter into the M-Cell web site with a strong signal at and near my home.

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