Making cellular signals go further

Making cellular signals go further

Zyxel’s ZoneDAS solution for extending cellular signals is now available with the new MultiSite repeaters, which can be cascaded to support areas of up to 25,000 square meters, making them ideal for providing coverage in larger buildings, shopping malls, warehouses, and many other locations, says Patrick Hirscher, EMEA Wireless Market Development Manager at Zyxel.

As well as good WiFi, people expect to get good cellular signals everywhere today. There are many reasons why this is important. Obviously, people want to stay in touch and available. I am sure we have all had that slight feeling of insecurity that comes when we realise that we have entered an area where there is no reception for our particular cellular operator’s service. We have come to depend on our mobiles as a way of keeping in touch when we are not at our desks.

Our smartphones have also become important as data devices. Most of the time we will pick up our email and do most of our collaboration and conferencing on a notebook PC or desktop display; but there will also be times when we use our cellular device for these interactions. And when there is no WiFi connection available, they provide an ideal and instant contingency.

Dual dependency

Zyxel, as you will already be aware, is very well-known for its wired and WiFi networking solutions. With our ZoneDAS solutions, we also cater for the dual dependency that organisations and users now have on the main network infrastructure and cellular connectivity.

While most businesses and other organisations will be in a place where users they can pick up a good cellular signal everywhere, there will also be a significant number that can’t do that. If they are located in an old building, with thick or metallic walls, for example. If they have a lower ground floor and/or basement area, or if products that might disrupt or obstruct signals are often present, they may have some issues with cellular.

Many such buildings that have this kind of problem – not just large office buildings, but also hospitals, hotels and resort, shopping malls, warehouses, and high-rise housing complexes, for example. In such instances, you need a solution that can cover a larger area, and probably you’ll need to do that on a number of physical levels i.e. on several floors.

A perfect solution

Zyxel’s MultiSite repeater provides the perfect solution in these scenarios. It extends the reach of the cellular ‘doner’ unit – the device through which the cellular connection is made (this is basically a cellular router with a powerful antenna) – by up to 100 meters; and MultiSite repeaters and it can be cascaded up to seven times. This means is you can have up to seven mini base stations providing mobile coverage within a building, stretched over a distance of 700 meters.

Each MultiSite will provide cellular coverage over an area 3,600 square meters, which means it is possible to cover as much as 25,000 square meters in total. That’s just over three football pitches, which is pretty extensive when you think about it.

If you need to go further – to extend coverage through a road or railway tunnel, for example – you can do this with Zyxel’s SymmRepeater devices, which can carry the signal up to 500 meters and can also be cascaded to stretch over longer distances.

CE RED-certified

Importantly for our customers, the MultiSite repeater is CE RED-certified, which means it meets all the necessary European safety and regulatory requirements for devices that make use of the public radio spectrum, so it can be deployed right away, sure in the knowledge that it is compliant.

It is surprising how many locations have an issue with cellular signals, and it can be a real problem because, as I said at the start of this blog, people come to rely on always being in touch. ZoneDAS MultiSite has attracted a lot of attention ahead of its release and we are delighted that it is now available here in Europe. If you would like to find out more about it, please get in touch with your nearest Zyxel office, or your trusted local partner.