Large companies with expansive business campuses can be challenged when it comes to wireless coverage for their employees. Large, multi-building campuses, miles away from wireless provider’s cell towers can lead to multiple dead spots.
One solution is the use of wireless extenders, amplifiers or bidirectional antennas. One word of caution, the systems aren’t always legal. The equipment can be expensive and if your wireless provider finds out, they can make you remove it.
This sounds a little like the days when end users weren’t allowed to use their own phone equipment because it could “contaminate” the phone company’s network. Ah, monopoly, those were the days.
But this is a little different. Wireless companies, like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, won’t allow the use of wireless enhancing equipment because each segment of their networks are engineered to support a certain amount of call and data traffic. Wireless extenders and amplifying equipment would increase the network traffic in a given area and wireless providers would be unable to properly prepare for the increase.
An analogy would be if a business were to build another exit from its facility that connected to residential neighborhood. The increase in traffic that would result could overwhelm the neighborhood, maybe even cause accidents.
Unexpected and unprepared for wireless traffic could block customer calls or lead to more dropped calls, and those calls could be directed to or be coming from emergency services. All of a sudden, a well intentioned IT or telecom professional could be leading his company to a lawsuit when all he was trying to do was improve cell signals.
If possible, involve your wireless provider from the beginning, before you sign an agreement. If you introduce the topic when you’re negotiating pricing and terms, you can have the provider include the equipment. You’ll achieve proper wireless coverage across your entire campus and the wireless company will be able to properly prepare for your traffic.
Otherwise, most wireless providers have pre-approved systems that won’t interfere with their towers, that you can implement without fear of reprisal. Some providers also sell their own systems. If your company is large enough, it’s in the wireless providers best interest to cooperate; it will make you a happy customer and help them hold onto your business.