Connected Real Estate Magazine - Vol 2 Issue 1 - 48
also preparing to launch a CriticalPoint
Fiber DAS system product for
700MHz and 800MHz public safety.
Target shipping dates are late February
or early March 2018.
Generally an in-building cellular
DAS is traditionally an easier sell to
building owners because there is an
obvious, tangible return on investment
(ROI). The owner can sell potential
renters on how clear their cell phone
calls would be when they are home. The
same goes for multi-tenant commercial
owns or hotel proprietors; they can
draw tenants or guests in with good
quality cell coverage. It's worth the
investment to install a DAS system in
their building because it will help them
fill vacancies faster.
"Depending on the building, the
building owner and what their business
is, good indoor cell coverage could be a
make or break thing," Comba Telecom's
Don Henry said. "If I go to a hotel and
my cell phone doesn't work, I'll never go
back there. If you are a building owner
that rents offices to tenants and a tenant
comes in and says, 'I'd like to rent two
floors of your building because I'm a
huge stockbrokerage firm.' They are not
going to be happy if their brokers have
to walk out into the parking lot to have
a phone conversation with a client who
has a $50 million portfolio."
What Comba has done is take the
cellular clarity and good call quality that
residents and tenants expect and given
it to first responders who use handheld
two-way radios. Just like a cell phone
user in a building, first responders
may have difficulties communicating
if there's no in-building DAS system.
Numerous factors could prevent signals
from getting into the building and to
their radio with enough signal quality
left to actually use their device. This
could be problematic in situations
where a firefighter needed to call out
of the building to send for more trucks
or if a police officer arrives on the scene
and needs to call for backup.
"They have the same problem,"
Henry said. "Their radios do not have
enough power to get that signal out of
the building and 20 miles to the public
What Comba has done is
take the cellular clarity and
good call quality that residents
and tenants expect and given
it to first responders who use
handheld two-way radios.
safety transmitter that is sitting up on
the mountainside. And conversely
- the signal emanating from the
transmitter site may not be able to get
through the building walls and glass
and deliver a strong signal to the first
Generally, building owners do not
see any ROI in putting a system to
support first responders because it has
nothing to with "Is that hotel guest
going to come back because their cell
phone worked really well?"
Although ROI is not a reason
for building owners to equip their
properties with first responder friendly
technology, there are a few other reasons
motivating them to do so. One reason is
local ordinance demands; especially for
newly constructed buildings as it is part
48 CONNECTED REAL ESTATE | WINTER 2018
of the local building code. In addition,
some jurisdictions are beginning
to modify their local ordinances so
existing buildings need to install public
safety DAS systems, too.
If a police officer or firefighter
frequently gets called into a building
in a particular jurisdiction and their
radio does not work, they can report
it to their management. From there,
management will let the city know and
the city will inform the building owner
they need to fix their system because
first responders have to be assured of
critical voice communication.
"Building owners will almost never
do this on their own accord; they do it
because they are forced to," Henry said.
"There are exceptions and we are starting
to see the exceptions become more
frequent. One exception is hospitals."
Part of the reason more building
owners are embracing public safety
coverage without being forced to is
liability. Although these owners of
hotels, resorts, commercial offices
buildings, etc., won't see an ROI, they
are realizing it could save them money
in the long run. As Henry points out,
if there's a fire at a hotel, and the first
wave of firefighters' calls for more
trucks doesn't go through, resulting in
a fatality, the owner could be facing a
multi-million dollar lawsuit.
"The building owner says, 'You know
what? If I get sued for something like
that, my cost to defend myself, even if I
win, could be three times what it would
cost me to just put the system in,"
Henry said. "I think I'll just go ahead
and do that."
It does not matter if a building
owner is forced to install public safety
measures or they do it on their own
accord; Comba will deliver a quality
product. The company provides a rock