Cellular Specialties to debut public-safety-oriented signal booster
In-building wireless solutions vendor Cellular Specialties will introduce a 700/800 MHz signal booster designed to maintain clear, uninterrupted communications for first responders in basements, stairwells and inner offices. The company will debut the product this week at the International Wireless Communications Exposition (IWCE) in Las Vegas.
The company was attracted to the public-safety market largely because more municipalities are mandating specific coverage and performance benchmarks for in-building, first responder communications, said Martin Cassidy, Cellular Specialties’ vice president of business development. Indeed, an effort is underway to harmonize such codes nationwide because they vary from state to state and even municipality to municipality, according to Cassidy.
“It’s very difficult to put up a new building without having public-safety codes met. … Even buildings that already are there are having codes retroactively applied to them,” Cassidy said.
Addressing 800 MHz frequencies with this product was a no-brainer, given the number of public-safety agencies that operate in the band. The decision to also address 700 MHz frequencies as well was made to future-proof the device, Cassidy said.
An additional filter can be added to the signal booster to notch out interfering cellular signals, he added.
“This is really important. If you’re running into a burning building and your signal is being swamped by cellular frequencies, your guys might not be able to communicate with base, which is fundamental,” Cassidy said. “We’re reproving the ability to communicate reliably by notching out those cellular signals.”
The signal booster is contained within a NEMA-4 enclosure that is resistant to dust, heat and water, the latter two of which come into play in a firefighting situation. The device also provides oscillation control and automatic gain control.
“For example, if the gain is too high in the unit, we can back off in small steps and try again until we find a setting that works,” Cassidy said. “That’s important in two aspects. First, it stays up and works longer. It also means you don’t have to send someone to the site if there’s a problem, because to a level it will self-correct. If it can’t self-correct, it will shut down and send a message back to the central base. We think that’s a differentiator for us.”
The signal booster is available through authorized resellers with pricing starting at $5995.