Achieving Reliable Indoor Critical Communications Coverage Is Easier Than You Think

Public safety personnel depend on high quality critical communications coverage to respond effectively and safely during an emergency. But indoors, where most public safety emergencies occur, communications networks frequently suffer from poor quality and coverage gaps. Reliable indoor critical communications coverage needs to be high priority.

Standards such as the International Fire Code’s IFC 510 and National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 1221 and 1225 were created to address these gaps. For years, adoption and enforcement of in-building coverage requirements lagged the standards, due to the high cost and subjective results of the traditional manual voice testing process.

Fortunately, the poor state of in-building coverage is beginning to change. Today, a growing number of government agencies, especially in the United States, are enforcing in-building coverage requirements based on these standards.

PCTEL’s automated public safety network testing solution has helped accelerate this change by making enforcement easier for officials and cost-effective for building owners.

Building owners are typically responsible for testing their coverage, compiling, and submitting a report with test results graded against pass/fail standards. If coverage from the existing network doesn’t meet the requirements, the building must be equipped with an in-building system, called an Emergency Responder Communication Enhancement System (ERCES) in IFC 510. Then the system must be tested again.

PCTEL’s solution saves time and simplifies the entire process for building owners, in-building solution providers, and code officials alike. It provides automated solutions for coverage testing, in-building system commissioning, troubleshooting, reporting, and even outdoor network testing. The SeeHawk™ Central cloud platform makes it easy manage projects, securely share and track results.

PCTEL’s new uplink testing solution makes in-building coverage testing even more reliable. It is the first to enable accurate, repeatable indoor uplink testing while eliminating the need for a second technician to receive test calls.

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