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Planning, Engineering, Installation, and Maintenance of BDA Systems

Oct 03, 2014

Planning, Engineering, Installation, and Maintenance of BDA Systems

Planning, engineering, installation, and maintenance of bidirectional signal amplifiers (BDA) or signal boosters requires RF technical knowledge & expertise that offers through its certified and experienced personnel.

The Problem.

When you can’t do basic things in your residential or commercial complex such as receiving and making calls or texts, accessing high speed internet among other cellular services, there's a problem.

The Reason.

Weak cellular related connections are usually two-fold; the downlink (incoming) coverage needs to be sufficiently effective to reach a Smartphone / two-way radio, or any other cellular coverage gadget around. At the same time, uplink (outgoing) cellular reception should be efficient and powerful as needed to return to the cellular tower.

The Solution.

If wireless connectivity does not occur consistently, 24/7, 365 days a year, then a Bi-directional Antenna System (BDA) can help.

With the right bi-directional amplifier solution, all these connection issues are perfectly handled through an ideal wireless framework and antennas. The two-way cellular bi-directional repeater takes a cellular signals to, and from the nearest cellular tower. It ensures signal is perfectly amplified for use in your cellular devices such as Smartphones, cell phones, tablets or other wireless reception devices.

Communication critical in so many areas.

Lack of proper communication in any modern home or business affects a lot of things. It means no one is safe at home or at work, productivity is highly curtailed and keeping up with clients, loved ones or family members isn’t guaranteed. Even those visiting your commercial complex or home cannot guarantee their safety.

Even worse, most counties and states across United States and beyond are demanding for installation of two-way Public Safety radio coverage for first responders. As such, ensuring there’s a working cellular signal is key anywhere. Due to so many reasons, natural and manmade, getting a quality cellular reception isn't guaranteed. A weak signal doesn't help anyone.

That is why all commercial and residential spaces, large, medium or small require a BDA system. With a working signal booster, a reliable wireless reception will be provided, though it must be planned accordingly, tested effectively, engineered properly and installed professionally if the high-performance cellular coverage booster will function as desired.

Installation planning.

BDA systems help ensure a facility has a reliable coverage or essential two-way radio connection in every place, including such easily-forgotten areas as parking garages, underground rooms and tunnels, stairwells among others, where cellular signal might not reach properly.

BDAs ensure cellular signal strength is boosted in all these areas where reception is unreliable and weak perhaps due to obstructions, architectural integrity of a building and construction materials, among other reasons. Wireless signal shouldn't be prevented from reaching the closest cell tower.

Cellular and first responder solution.

BDAs can either cover public safety bands or commercial/consumer band. Cellular devices will enjoy wireless boosted signals enhanced by the commercial/consumer BDAs while public safety in-building BDA systems ensure the radio coverage for first responders is always present.

While planning cellular signal and public safety communication needs, in-building cellular signal amplifier solution will most likely be made up of three critical essentials.

This includes a bidirectional amplifier extending two-way reception for radio communication into spaces considered hard to reach, such as underground sections, parking bays and stairwells. Note that due to complex architecture, building materials or size of some commercial or residential buildings, dual BDA system might be needed since a single system may not be sufficient to cover all areas.

Secondly, a DAS (distributed antenna system) is required to spread antennas across the building to enhance reception. The final requirement will be a donor antenna usually fixed on top of the building or the roof for effective capture of the cellular outdoor signal.

Efficient installation means improved communication.

BDAs are usually installed and highly required in diverse buildings across the board, especially in commercial offices, hospitals and clinics, sports arenas, diverse private and public schools, warehouses and manufacturing complexes, among others.

With the right equipment and having ensured it is engineered, deployed, programmed and maintained expertly, BDA systems will make sure communication across the building is reliable and top-notch. This includes connection for two-way radio users such as workers in a plant through UHF/VHF bands as well as meeting the requirement by different jurisdictions to provide sufficient Public Safety communication radio reception, particularly through the 450/700/800 MHz frequency bands.

To effectively plan a successful BDA system installation, consider a number of things. With all the complexity involved, it pays to work with experienced BDA experts and equipment providers. Using experts has its perks; they will not only install an entire system, but also service and offer maintenance as much as needed.

In most cases, all you need is to fill a typical questionnaire for BDA installation to receive a proper quotation with everything you need to meet all your commercial/ consumer wireless reception and/or Public Safety two-way coverage for emergencies and first responders.

If the best solution is to be fully ascertained, including placement details, the installation engineers and installation experts will request all manner of things, particularly in the questionnaire. This includes wiring schematics and building floor plans. Arguably one of the most important, they will also need to visit the site to determine a number of things such as cellular strength indoors and outside as well as effectively plan the installation and deployment of the system.

Expert installation and system maintenance.

It is highly important to seek reputable, experienced and certified installation experts for your BDA/DAS installation needs. Technical experts should have received sufficient training in planning, engineering, installation, safety and maintenance of BDA systems. It is highly reassuring to know that experts mandated with handling the BDA system installation are professionals and experienced and their work is out there for all to see.

You might want to ensure the BDA expert installation team isn't just certified, but also licensed and insured. That means they have all the needed qualifications and training required to carry out in-building BDA installations safely.

To engineer the most ideal BDA solution for a business or residential complex, technical knowledge is key. All installers should have verifiable expertise and experience in such installation, right from carrying out site surveys, coming up with the best possible solution for a specific space to offering after-installation services and maintenance troubleshooting if need be.

Even better, BDA experts comprehend all that is needed and come up with effective solutions as a result of their extensive understanding of all available cellular coverage amplifier products, antennas, cables, repeaters to connectors and others.

Having received training and certification in in-building structural integration, the experts will find all the best places for mounting antennas and placing the cellular amplifier. As they do this, they will also be paying attention to power requirement and ease of access for possible servicing and maintenance.

Note that almost all BDA solutions need to be customized for every environment they are to be deployed in.

BDA system requirement and compliance.

Apart from ensuring a particular space has received a reliable wireless communication, BDA systems come in handy in ensuring facilities comply with the code for ERRC (Emergency Responder Radio Coverage) as well as meeting the Federal Communications Commissions' NPS (Network Protection Standard) requirements. With NPS, FCC ensures there're proper technical checks that lower the possibility of cellular amplifiers interfering and damaging other wireless communications.

As such, it is important to ensure all BDA systems are FCC certified to allow all communication lines available in a specific place to operate. This is because in-building frameworks may suffer a path loss or insufficient isolation in a building mostly between antenna nodes and antenna fixed on the roof.

Insufficient isolation results into an imbalanced system causing oscillation and widespread interference. An oscillating system is illegal and gain settings need to be lessened to balance the framework to avoid FCC-imposed fines or confiscation of interfering equipment.

Local jurisdictions are mandated with the enforcement and compliance of BDA systems, particularly for Public Safety needs. The best way to check compliance requirements is with the Fire Marshal within a specific jurisdiction because the needs vary from one county to the next within United States. Even so, in-building reception coverage statutes and laws are set in standards developed by such authorities as IFC (International Fire Code) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

Codes such as IFC-510 require 95% in-building reception coverage with minimum-95dB signal strength while NFPA 72 indicates that it is a must to reach a minimum in-building reception of 90%. Even so, it is in such sections of a building as fire pump spaces, stairways, passageways, elevator lobbies among others where the codes require 99% signal coverage.

The general requirements in most areas across United States indicate that BDA systems are a must in spaces with at least two floors or a below grade space. Also, most areas require every new building to incorporate Public Safety first responder communication access while other jurisdictions are requiring installation retrogressively in older constructions.

The reason for these requirements is due to the challenge faced by first responders. Over the years, they have reported lack of wireless communication and persistent dead zones in buildings. In fact, in a study by a global fire chief association, over 98% of surveyed first responders indicated having problems with communication in most buildings due to lack of wireless communication and dead spots. As a result, over 55 percent of first responders suffered connection failure inside buildings while responding to emergencies.

Certified installation.

DBA systems once engineered successfully and expertly, ensure Public Safety communication needs are met. While guaranteeing cellular devices don’t suffer signal problems, Public Safety BDAs also support the required two-way radio communication.

As you may have observed already, installation of BDA systems, including Public Safety ones require certified professionals and should be certified by the FCC (clearly indicating an ID number from the FCC and labels of compliance). Expert installation, maintenance and troubleshooting is key, considering all Public Safety BDAs have to withstand extreme humidity and heat while ensuring they also work well with a backup battery up to 24 hours as per the code you're adhering to.

Note that the NEMA 4 enclosures are the only allowed housing of the BDA systems; they can endure all manner of pressures such as solid objects like debris blown by wind, fire hose water spray, snow, sleet, fluids or rain.

BDA systems, to meet Public Safety requirements or not, require expert and professional installation by experienced experts to meet all the strict and complex compliances and work optimally as needed.

Call for FREE consultation:


Or submit request for Public Safety BDA Installation Service which includes site survey, BDA, installation, and all reqd. approvals.

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  • It’s hard to keep up with all the acronyms in society and these are something else. BDA, DAS, and so on. I suppose it’s just another example of the saying “the right tool for the right job.” If you’re trying to improve your signal, there are different things that work in different situations. I’m glad someone knows what all these acronyms stand for and what each specific things does.

    Skylar Hansen on

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