A major healthcare system in the Midwest operates 14 healthcare centers and physician practices. Like all hospitals and medical centers, it is experiencing a growing demand for always-on cellular connectivity in all areas of its buildings. Poor cellular coverage is a significant hindrance for patients and their families, doctors and medical staff. Long gone are the days of landlines and pagers, replaced by smartphones, tablets and computer carts.
In addition to the growing connectivity demand, the construction of healthcare centers is typically rugged and built to exacting sustainability and energy-saving standards as well as the ability to withstand all manner of storms, presenting a challenge to receiving outside wireless signals. Add in the expansion of lead-lined radiology departments, and the result is a challenging space for cellular connectivity.
Over the past 12 months, RF Connect designed and installed distributed antenna system (DAS) solutions in six healthcare centers located throughout the Midwest.
At five of the hospitals, RF Connect installed a carrier-neutral CommScope ION-B DAS platform, supporting AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile and Cellcom. The ION-B DAS carries transmissions over coaxial cable and fibers.
At the sixth hospital, RF Connect installed a carrier-neutral CommScope ION-E DAS platform, supporting all carriers plus the 800 MHz public safety frequency.
The ION-E solution uses new technology with Category 6A,10-gigabit cable and can support 450, 700 and 800 MHz public safety frequencies.
RF Connect makes it a habit to remain transparent when presenting cost estimates to its clients. No overages, no surprises and consistent job costing result from RF Connect’s excellent relationships with the carriers and its detailed understanding of and long experience with DAS installations. In addition, RF Connect prides itself on knowing exactly what is and is not required for each implementation.
For example, at one of the hospitals, one of the carriers wanted to install a base station. Following RF Connect’s site survey, we determined that an antenna would suffice, saving the client approximately $250,000, which was then available for the next project.
RF Connect collaborates with local teams on implementations to ensure a well-coordinated project. The RF Connect team worked closely with Anixter International in Bloomington, IL and Anixter’s representative, Lynn Staley. We also collaborated with the CommScope Enterprise Sales Team from St. Louis. Both partners contributed to the success of the projects.