How Do I Improve Cell Signal in a Large Distribution Center?
Solid cellular coverage can be especially challenging in large commercial buildings like distribution centers. Those who own, operate or work in these facilities often simply accept the fact that they’re going to have poor or no cellular coverage inside of these buildings or warehouses.
Lack of coverage isn’t a “necessary evil” though, thanks to available solutions designed to address the problem and improve cellular coverage. There are products that can address weak cellular signals, no matter how large the facility or how severe the “dead zones” inside of it. Before we get to what those solutions are, however, let’s take a look at some of the factors that are working against strong cellular signals in large distribution centers.
Building Materials Impede Signal
Most often, weak signals are not due to a lack of cell coverage in the area but rather to building materials that block those signals from penetrating the building. This is particularly true of the warehouse-type spaces that distribution centers often occupy.
Building materials including brick, thick concrete, steel and metals, glass, radiant barrier, and other materials that conduct electric or magnetic energy, disrupt and weaken cell signals. That means that while there may be plenty of strong cellular coverage outside of your distribution center, that signal is weakened before it reaches the cell phones and other devices being used indoors.
What’s the Solution?
When looking for solutions to combat cellular signal problems within large warehouses and distribution centers, some effective options can be cost prohibitive. For example, active distributed antenna systems (DAS) such as those used at large sports stadiums and similar venues could do an excellent job creating strong signal inside any distribution center. However, these systems cost between $2 and $4 per square foot and take considerable time to install, rendering them out of reach for most commercial buildings under 100,000 square feet. But there are solutions available that are far more affordable and just as effective as active DAS.
Cellular signals can be improved by as much as 32 times through the use of passive DAS. Unlike active DAS, which essentially serves as a carrier-specific cell tower inside the building, passive DAS technology detects the available signal outside of the distribution center, brings it inside and boosts it, then distributes the amplified signal throughout the building. Compared to DAS, passive DAS is much less expensive (it can be installed for as little as 30 cents to 70 cents per square foot) and can be up and running in just hours or days.
One commercial cell phone signal booster can cover multi-story buildings up to 100,000 square feet. Using multiple signal boosters can provide an unlimited amount of coverage, so the systems are flexible enough to meet the needs of your facility. Signal boosters are also carrier-agnostic, meaning all cellular devices using 3G and 4G services will benefit from the boosted cell signal, whether they’re connected to Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, or a tiny regional provider.
If you’d like to learn more about how a passive DAS solution can improve the cell signal in your distribution warehouse, contact WilsonPro for more information.