A newly released report urges equipment vendors, building owners and other stakeholders to ensure their systems will work properly within buildings as AT&T deploys the FirstNet public safety network.
The study from ABI Research, titled “Public Safety DAS in the FirstNet Era,” examined AT&T’s FirstNet buildout as it relates to Distributed Antenna Systems and in-building wireless service.
Analysts wrote that because more than 80 percent of wireless traffic either originates or ends indoors, a strong in-building signal will be needed to support first responder communications in emergency situations.
The study called for “early and frequent collaboration” with both AT&T and FirstNet, as well as with local governing jurisdictions, to ensure the network performs when required.
Analysts noted that AT&T has already issued more than 6,000 DAS systems and some 40,000 WiFi access points for first responders to deploy within buildings — but the system still faces significant hurdles, including the possibility of multiple jurisdictions with different standards for wireless system performance, ownership or funding.
“Although the FirstNet buildout has just been started by AT&T, the requirements for in-building coverage have received little attention so far,” ABI Research Director Nick Marshall said in a statement. “Overlooking FirstNet standards for in-building public safety may, in fact, compromise the effectiveness of this mission-critical service.”
The report also estimated that revenue for indoor wireless public safety systems, excluding signal sources, would grow at an average annual rate of nearly 16 percent and hit $1.8 billion by 2021. The North American market alone, already the largest for those systems, is expected to grow to 1.5 times its 2017 value.
Filed Under: Infrastructure