First Responders: In-building Communications and Localization Technologies and Markets

First Responders: In-building Communications and Localization - Technologies and Markets

PracTel, Date of Publication: Mar 19, 2015, 125 Pages

First Responders: In-building Communications and Localization - Technologies and Markets

This report addresses specifics of wireless communications and localization technologies that support first responders operations inside of enclosures such as buildings, tunnels and similar constructions. It also addresses related industries, applicable standards and markets.

Increasingly, public safety entities, commercial wireless service providers, and wireless users require reliable communications inside buildings. For public safety, reliable coverage is often essential throughout a broad jurisdiction, including coverage on-street, in-building, and in-tunnel. In such cases, there is no substitute for a properly designed dedicated mission-critical communications system with sufficient transmit sites to provide the level of signal required for reliable coverage anywhere within the jurisdiction, whether on-street or indoors.

Indoor wireless communications environments usually do not allow using traditional PSC (Public Safety Communications) networking based on TETRA, P25 or LTE. Building materials attenuate signals and this makes communications unreadable. Localization based on GPS techniques is becoming also questionable due to weak satellite signals inside of a construction.

All these factors make it necessary to develop special methods to extend outdoor communications channels inside of enclosures. Two such methods are analyzed in this report; and they are based on utilization:

-Small Cells
-DAS – Distributed Antenna Systems.

Small Cells base stations are small in size, lightweight and designed to serve up to several tens of users. They may be conveniently spread throughout a building, covering each corridor, hall, corners and so on. The technology relatively recently became commercialized and brought multiple benefits to users.

DAS is used for in-building signals distributions for at least twenty years. The report concentrates on advances in this technology, its specifics and issues.

Standard organizations activities, the in-depth market analysis and survey of the industry are also studied in this report.

There are multiple methods suggested for in-building localization of first responders as well as other people or objects in the operational area. They are based on utilization of sensors, RF signatures in a building, amplification of GPS signals and other. The report concentrates on commercialized methods, and provides details of their advantages and issues. The report also addresses marketing aspects of in-building localization.

The report is written for a wide audience of technical and managerial staff involved in the development of reliable PSC and localization inside buildings or similar enclosures.

Research Methodology

Considerable research was done using the Internet. Information from various Web sites was studied and analyzed; evaluation of publicly available marketing and technical publications was conducted. Telephone conversations and interviews were held with industry analysts, technical experts and executives. In addition to these interviews and primary research, secondary sources were used to develop a more complete mosaic of the market landscape, including industry and trade publications, conferences and seminars.

The overriding objective throughout the work has been to provide valid and relevant information. This has led to a continual review and update of the information content.

Target Audience

This report is important for the government agencies involved in the first response to critical situations. It is necessary for technical departments of such agencies to have a document, which explains the radio technology and architectures of networks supporting public safety communications inside of buildings, tunnels and similar structures. They also need to have market statistics and to know the major players and their portfolios to select the proper equipment.

For vendors, this report provides valuable information on competition. It also supports these vendors with the market assessment. For building owners and network providers this report may provide information on additional sources of revenue from in-building communications and localization services.


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Need 8
1.1.1 Outdoor Environment 8
1.1.2 Indoor Environment 9 Legislation 9 Examples 9
1.1.3 Transparency 10
1.2 Unified In-Building Wireless 11
1.3 Public Safety Communications Specifics 12
1.4 Scope and Goals 13
1.5 Research Methodology 14
1.6 Target Audience 14

2.0 PSC Spectrum

2.1 U.S. 15
2.1.1 FCC - General 15
2.1.2 800 MHz Band 15
2.1.3 700 MHz Band 17 700 MHz Nationwide Network - FirstNet 19
2.2 EU 19
2.3 Global 20

3.0 Special Considerations

3.1 Requirements: First Responders In-building Communications 21
3.1.1 General 21
3.2 Choices 21
3.2.1 Classes 22
3.2.2 Properties 24 Regulations 24 Who Benefits? 25 Factors 25
3.3 Specifics of In-building Communications 26
3.3.1 Extended Coverage 27

4.0 Developmental Trends

4.1 Small Cells 28
4.1.1 General 28
4.1.2 Nomenclature 29
4.1.3 Groups 29 C-RAN SC 31
4.1.4 Applications 33 Indoor Use Cases 33 Outdoor Use Cases 34 Public Safety Communications 34
4.1.5 Benefits and Issues 34
4.1.6 Small Cell Market 36 Drivers 36 Market Geography 37 Estimate 37
4.1.7 Standardization 39 3GPP Rel.12 and SCs 41
4.1.8 Small Cell Industry (29 companies) 43

5.0 Distributed Antenna System (DAS)

5.1 General 75
5.1.1 Definition 75
5.2 Classification 76
5.2.1 Utilization 79
5.3 DAS Benefits 80
5.4 Forum 81
5.5 Specifics of DAS in Public Safety Communications 81
5.6 Market 82
5.6.1 General 82
5.6.2 Cost Efficiency 83
5.6.3 Market Drivers 83
5.6.4 Forecast 83
5.7 Industry (17 companies) 85

6.0 In-Building Wireless Communications: Market Estimate

7.0 In-building Localization

7.1 Standardization Activity 103
7.1.1 In-Location Alliance 104
7.2 Industry (18 companies) 105
7.3 Market Estimate 119

8.0 FirstNet and Indoor Communications

9.0 Comparison

9.1 DAS 122
9.2 C-RAN Small Cells 122
9.3 Small Cells Issues 124

10.0 Conclusions 125

Figure 1: FCC PSC Spectrum Allocation 15
Figure 2: 800 MHz Reconfiguration Plan 17
Figure 3: 700 MHz Band 18
Figure 4: In-building Communications Systems - Classification 23
Figure 5: Macro vs. Small BS 28
Figure 6: Base Stations Characteristics - Illustration 30
Figure 7: Estimate: Global SC Shipments (Mil. Units) 38
Figure 8: Estimate: Global SC Shipments ($B) 39
Figure 9: Projections: Indoor Femtocells Shipments (Mil. Units) 39
Figure 10: Rel. 12 Enhancements 41
Figure 11: Scenario 1 42
Figure 12: Scenario 2 42
Figure 13: Differences 76
Figure 14: Active DAS 77
Figure 15: Passive DAS 78
Figure 16: Hybrid DAS 79
Figure 17: General Layout 80
Figure 18: TAM: DAS Equipment Sales - Global ($B) 84
Figure 19: Market Segments - DAS Types 85
Figure 20: Estimate: Global Market - In-Building Wireless Communications ($B) 102
Figure 21: Indoor Ranging - Standardization Activity (2012) 104
Figure 22: Estimate: Global Indoor Location Market ($B) 119
Figure 23: Estimate: Global Indoor Location Market - First Responders ($B) 120
Figure 24: Technical Characteristics 124

Table 1: RF Signals Attenuation (dB) 10
Table 2: Classification 30


Date of Publication:
Mar 19, 2015
File Format:
PDF via E-mail
Number of Pages:
125 Pages