Wireless connectivity has never been as crucial to as many people as it is today.
In a new world shaped by social distancing, wireless capabilities have transcended convenience and become the primary fabric of human interaction.
As recently as 2016, ABI Research reported that more than 80 percent of mobile data traffic occurs inside buildings. Buildings, by their nature, provide a physical barrier to wireless communication. Dropped calls, poor signals, and slow downloads all result when RF signals are obstructed by building materials like concrete walls and low emission windows. In the worst-case scenario, parts of a building may become wireless dead zones. There is also the question of capacity—buildings may be home to many more users than can be supported by a given cell tower.
In-building wireless (IBW) solutions serve to address these concerns. IBW solutions can ensure that networks deliver on Quality of Service (QoS) agreements and that Quality of Experience (QoE) expectations are met by building occupants. These solutions range from minimal passive signal routing that ensure coverage to sophisticated digital distributed antenna systems that add additional cellular capacity. There is no one-size-fits-all IBW solution—the correct approach is dependent on the nature of the building and the scope of wireless services required.
In this report, we will examine different IBW solutions available today, the challenges that come with them, and the emerging technologies that are changing the landscape of IBW.