Poor In-Building Connectivity: Why It Happens and How to Fix It

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Connectivity problems, from cell phone dead zones, unreliable two-way radio coverage, spotty WiFi coverage – or a combination of all three – aren’t just bad for business and productivity, for public safety users, they can be downright dangerous.

If you’re facing communications challenges, it can feel as if you’re fighting a losing battle, but there are some secret – and not-so-secret – weapons you can use to improve performance, even in the most stubborn spots.

Here’s an overview of why poor in-building connectivity happens and how to fix it.

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Tags: Wireless Communication, Technology, Bi-Directional Amplifiers, Distributed Antenna System

How to Make the Case for a BDA At Your Agency

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, December 8, 2016

To make the case for a BDA, or bi-directional amplifier, for your agency, start by painting a picture of life without dead zones. Imagine a world with no more spotty reception, no more half-heard or misheard conversations and no more standing by the windows yelling, “Can you hear me now?” There's no doubt that agencies wasted resources paying staff for down-time when they simply can't do their work because they can't connect.

The BDA solutions for cell phones and two-way radios are different, but the big benefits of both are the same: better, crystal-clear communications. As you’re working through your wireless communications wish list, here are some suggestions for how to make the case for a BDA at your agency. 

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Tags: Bi-Directional Amplifiers

Anatomy of a Great Healthcare Communications System

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, November 21, 2016

A great healthcare communications system can act as the hidden hero in staff, patient and visitor safety, security and privacy. A great system not only delivers instant, reliable communication, it’s tailored to the unique needs of the healthcare environment.

That’s why digital two-way radios and applications, as well as a strong wireless network, are must-haves for healthcare facilities and campuses. Two-way radio solutions are less expensive and more cost-effective than cell phones, and they can be scaled from the simple to the robust depending on what features and functionality are enabled. A strong wireless network will provide the backbone for all of your communications, especially with increasing reliance on radio frequency identification in healthcare.

Healthcare-specific solutions will also offer HIPAA-compliant encryption capabilities for all communications. With all of that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the anatomy of a great healthcare communications system.

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Tags: Healthcare, Bi-Directional Amplifiers, Digital Two-Way Radios, Wireless Networking

4 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew About Wireless Communication

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, November 7, 2016

As your boss keeps reminding you, it’s your job to make sure wireless communication at your company, campus or property is something that no one is talking about because all is well: You’re effectively using communications to enhance safety and security, you don’t need to improve wireless communications with a stronger network and dead zones are a dead issue.

But if your communications are still a topic of conversation, there are solutions available.

Here are four things your boss wishes you knew:

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Tags: Wireless Communication, Bi-Directional Amplifiers, Digital Two-Way Radios

5 Core Wireless Communication Solutions: With Video

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

As wireless communication solutions are constantly evolving, it’s a challenge to keep up with the latest and greatest devices and functionality. While it would be impossible to keep up with every update or product that’s made available, it is worthwhile to conduct an occasional appraisal of your existing systems -- and your current challenges -- to see if a boost, replacement or new investment makes sense. 

To help with your once-over of your equipment, systems and challenges, here are five core wireless communication solutions to keep in mind that you may need to deploy, upgrade or replace. (Bonus: Check out our latest video, below, to find out how Chicago Communications helps companies and agencies meet their comprehensive communications needs.)
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Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Public Safety Communications, Bi-Directional Amplifiers, Maintenance/Installation/Service, Wireless Networking

Building Condition Assessment: Is Your New Facility Communications - Ready?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

If you're purchasing a new facility and about to do a building condition assessment, you're probably expecting that assessment to cover the facility’s structural and maintenance bases, but what about communications readiness? To make sure your assessment is painting as comprehensive a picture as possible, and to position you to meet your needs now and into the future, there are some key communications considerations to keep in mind.

Your users will be expecting instant and reliable connectivity from day one, whether they’re relying on wireless communications, cell phones or two-way radios. As you’re considering a property for your business, you’ll need a realistic assessment of whether it’ll support your communications needs or will require some help in the form of bi-directional amplifiers or other enhancements.

Here are some questions to keep in mind as you’re carrying out your assessment:

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Tags: Wireless Communication, Bi-Directional Amplifiers, Wireless Networking, Facilities Management

Using Analytical Tools for Facility Managers to Improve Communications

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, July 11, 2016

Analytical tools offer a variety of mechanisms for facility managers to improve communications systems, from on-site wireless to mobile communications. Reliable WiFi and dependable devices are business necessities that your internal customers and end users likely don’t think that much about – and you can keep it that way by heading off problems before they start and anticipating their needs.

Analytical tools for facility managers aren’t just about keeping the assets you can see running smoothly, you can also put data to work for you to boost unseen communications channels.

Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities for using analytic tools for facilities managers to improve communications.

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Tags: Bi-Directional Amplifiers, Wireless Networking, Facilities Management

What to Look for in a Bi-Directional Amplifier

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A bi-directional amplifier, or BDA, can be one of the best investments for your business, facility or public safety agency, allowing you to say goodbye to dead zones for cell phones and radios, and hello to crystal clear calls and reception when and where you need it most.

As you’re shopping around, it can be difficult to know exactly what options will best meet your needs, so here are some factors to keep in mind as you consider what to look for in a bi-directional amplifier.

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Tags: Bi-Directional Amplifiers

Bi-Directional Amplifiers vs Repeaters: How Are They Different?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bi-Directional amplifiers, boosters, extenders, repeaters – there is no shortage of options when you’re looking to broaden the reach and enhance the effectiveness of your cell and two-way radio coverage to combat dreaded “dead zones.” For now, let’s focus on just one part of the coverage picture – bi directional amplifiers and repeaters for two-way radios and how the two options are different. Looking at the two side-by-side can help you decide which will be the best fit for you.

Two-way Radio Bi Directional Amplifiers

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Tags: Wireless Communication, Radio System, Bi-Directional Amplifiers

Cellular vs. Public Safety Bi-Directional Amplifier

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

While the job of any bi-directional amplifier (BDA) is to boost a signal, there are significant differences between cellular BDAs for enhanced mobile phone use vs. the public safety BDAs for first responders’ two-way radios, and the two aren’t interchangeable.

There are comprehensive BDA solutions available for both challenges, and the right BDA system properly deployed can address everything from reducing dropped calls for hotel guests to ensuring seamless mission critical communications for firefighters and police during emergencies.

Let’s take a look at some of the key differences between a cellular and a public safety bi directional amplifier.

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Tags: Public Safety Communications, Bi-Directional Amplifiers