The future belongs to mobile services. Payment options, email, video, company apps – all this is turning the smartphone into a multitasking machine for work and play. Always on means always on. Being off the grid is unacceptable at work and often undesirable in private life. Most data communication takes place inside buildings. They need good mobile service to satisfy the expectations of people who live and work inside them.
Conventional mobile services often fail to reach inside large buildings. Glass, steel and concrete absorb mobile radio signals, especially at the high frequencies that come with 4G and 5G.
Property owners and developers can up the appeal and earnings power of their real estate by satisfying this need for mobile access. They can do this by installing the appropriate infrastructure – what we call in-building systems. First, these solutions funnel all the frequency bands of local mobile network operators into a single component. Experts call this combining. Then a distribution system forwards the shared radio signal to antennas in the complex.
So, how do you best capitalize on your investment over the long term? Before we can answer that, you need to know that there are two ways of combining mobile radio frequencies, passive and active.
We see active equipment deployed in huge buildings that have to handle extremely heavy cellular traffic – think football stadiums and vast complexes. These active solutions convert incoming mobile radio frequencies into signals to be transmitted loss-free via fiber-optic or Ethernet cables. This makes sense for forwarding signals across greater distances. When they arrive, though, passive equipment takes over and distributes the bandwidth across their assigned sectors.
That is a legitimate use case. However, active systems are often deployed in office buildings and shopping malls where a passive solution would easily do the job – and we say this with the experience born of more than 1,000 projects.
The two options’ price/performance ratios makes for an interesting comparison. Active solutions involve a lot of technical overhead, which is why they usually cost twice as much as the passive option. See our CAPEX analysis for details.
Passive solutions also save on operating expenses. Unlike active systems, they work without electricity and need no maintenance. Passive systems generally run for ten to fifteen years without upkeep. They are easily extended to respond to emerging requirements. Passive in-building solutions generate exactly zero operating expenses and leave just one footprint, as our OPEX analysis explains details.
Making the most of a passive solution is a matter of smart planning. Or as the professionals put it – “It’s all about sectorization.” The trick is to distribute antennas across the complex so that every area has proper coverage. Many reputable planners know how to do this well, as the passive SPINNER solutions at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, the Geneva Exhibition Grounds and Singapore’s Changi International Airport go to show.
Planners will mix the two technologies, designing a hybrid model to bridge long distances. Active components cover the long-throw sections and passive components cover individual sectors, as in Switzerland’s Gotthard Tunnel.
Passive systems are also more future-proof, far less complex and not as susceptible to sabotage.
These benefits have won over many property owners, developers and managers. To mention just a few, the Vodafone Campus at Düsseldorf, the ultra-advanced #cloud.paris office building in Paris, Hamburg’s Europapassage shopping center and the Village Mall in Rio all rely on SPINNER solutions.
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MAIN TOWER Frankfurt
#cloud.paris Office Building
Czech Republic's Ministry of Culture
Rembrandt Tower Amsterdam
Vodafone Campus Düsseldorf
Village Mall Rio de Janeiro
Gardens by the Bay Singapur
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SPINNER has been setting standards with its RF technology products for more than 70 years, thus leading the information age to even greater vitality. We have summarized our claim in one phrase: HIGH FREQUENCY PERFORMANCE WORLDWIDE
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