Lte | 2017-12-01

CritComm Insights Releases U.S. Public Safety DAS Landscape Study

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

Report describes growing requirements for building owners and developers to install emergency responder radio coverage systems.

New building construction projects must now contend with expanding and changing requirements for public safety distributed antenna systems (DAS). According to CritComm Insights, these requirements create challenges for building owners but also set the stage for opportunity. Owners that meet fire code emergency responder radio coverage (ERRC) requirements today and gain an essential certificate of occupancy may find new requirements appearing in the future. Architects and engineers planning structures must contend with local code demands that can vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

One of the most significant unknowns lurking in the future is the potential introduction of FirstNet support into fire codes. Unlike the voice-oriented radio systems commonly used for fire and police operations today, FirstNet is a 4G LTE mobile broadband network operating on spectrum assigned to AT&T. The difference is stark and can trigger requirements for significant upgrades to in-building ERRC systems in previously approved structures.

Even with this uncertainty, building owners and first responders stand to gain from expanding demands for ERRC systems. CritComm Insights, a market research firm focused on the critical communications industry, sees opportunities for building owners and developers that strategically address the fire code demands. At a time when building occupants increasingly rely upon mobile 4G LTE service to conduct business, leveraging the mandatory ERRC system installation to pave the way for future cellular support is a smart path to future-proofed structures.

"Further ERRC requirement changes in the nation's fire codes are inevitable," said Ken Rehbehn, Principal Analyst at CritComm Insights. "But the good news is that building owners can gain competitive ground in local commercial real estate markets. DAS suppliers have smartly expanded portfolios to address the need."

CritComm Insights research report, Public Safety DAS Landscape: Opportunity and Challenge, supplies a comprehensive examination of fire code ERRC requirements and the impact on building owners and developers. The report shows the variation between different fire codes and the diverse approaches taken by local jurisdictions. Beyond the fire code, the study looks at what the incorporation of FirstNet will mean for building owners. Finally, the report describes the portfolios offered by leading public safety DAS suppliers.

The following important questions are addressed in the CritComm Insights report:

  • Building code changes make public safety DAS an imperative. Why did this happen and what does it mean for building owners, developers, general contractors and subcontractors?
  • What is the difference between cell system in-building coverage and public safety coverage
  • Fire codes evolve. What are the changes coming in the next several years and what does that mean for a building owner, developer or contractor?
  • What challenges are raised by varying interpretations of building code requirements from jurisdiction to jurisdiction?
  • How will public safety DAS evolve to handle new FirstNet communications requirements?
  • What are the current building code requirements and where can they be located??
  • Why does variability in requirements exist between jurisdictions?
  • What is the industry doing to help local authorities become more consistent and realistic?
  • What is the political risk that local authorities face as requirements are added to the building code?
  • Who are the major vendors supplying elements of the public safety DAS technology?
  • What are the competitive forces influencing the landscape?

The information in this market report will be valuable for:

  • Building owners and developers planning major new projects in 2018
  • In-building coverage equipment suppliers, particularly companies with DAS, repeaters, BDAs and small cell offers that serve the U.S. market
  • In-building system integrators and installers serving the U.S. market
  • Local building and fire code officials who must plan and enforce ERRC requirements
  • European regulators planning for public safety communication transformation towards mission-critical LTE networks
  • Financial and investment analysts