Connected Real Estate Magazine - Vol 1 Issue 2 - 13
owners. It reflects heat back to its source, improving thermal
efficiency, but it also stops RF from coming in," said Chapman. "It's RF reflective, and as a result the external network no
longer can reach deep inside buildings. That means the cellular
performance inside a building can be significantly impacted as
the building's fabric changes."
Also constantly changing are the way partitions are situated
inside buildings, and the density of people who live or work there,
which can impact capacity demands and signal propagation.
"A building is not a fixed thing," said Chapman.
That again means building owners should look to RF experts
to maintain their networks as well, Chapman and Grant said.
"It's not like Wi-Fi where you just ask the network guy to
stick another access point on the roof," said Chapman, who
also predicted a greater integration between Wi-Fi and cellular networks in the future. "Even that's changing. Wi-Fi itself
is growing massively in complexity. Throwing up access points
where needed used to be a solution for a coverage problem,
but it isn't a solution for a capacity problem. Capacity is the
driving issue not coverage."
In addition, building owners must take public safety in-building coverage into account which is increasingly becoming a
code compliance requirement for most municipalities.
"The building owners deploy cellular for capacity, for retention of clients and for profit, whereas they deploy public safety
primarily for compliance," said Chapman. "One is the best
network you can get to support current and future capacity
needs and the other is typically the cheapest network you can
get to meet the compliance standards."
Finding an engineering firm that understands both is a
smart move for building owners, Grant and Chapman said.
MobileNet is one company that can work with a variety of
networks. Based in Irvine, California, with offices in Plano,
Texas, the company has grown 25 percent this year alone, said
Grant. The company currently employees about 150 people
working on about 40 projects simultaneously across 27 states.
The company provides its services nationally and scales its
operation depending on the size of projects it has on its plate.
In an industry often plagued by a shortage of qualified RF
engineers, MobileNet Services has developed loyalty among
its staff by providing a structured training path and then deploying employees on internal or outsourced projects.
"We are continually siphoning people up, out into the market and back through our training system again," said Grant.
"That outsourced engineering process allows us to bring in entry-level RF staff, train them up, have them work on real-life
projects and continually build expertise, which then reflects
back into MobileNet."
In an industry often plagued by a
shortage of qualified RF engineers,
MobileNet Services has developed
loyalty among its staff by providing
a structured training path and then
deploying employees on internal or