Events and conferences

ARBS webinar on in-building connectivity and 5G

Given that approximately 70 per cent of mobile data in Australia is consumed indoors, in-building connectivity will increasingly play a deciding role in where a business is located, with a flow-on effect on the occupancy rates of commercial buildings and real estate.

This is the premise for Alex Fuershchke’s upcoming presentation at IBTech@ARBS 2022. Titled “In-Building Cellular Connectivity and the Impact of 5G”, the webinar will explore how 5G is expected to change the landscape with improved network performance standards.

As well as analysing how businesses can navigate the practical realities of 5G and harness its full potential, the session will also take a close look at the challenges of getting in-building cellular connectivity right.

“The thing about 5G or any mobile connectivity is that we tend to associate it with external macro signals experienced through our mobile devices, in our cars or on the streets,” says Fuershchke.

“The challenge with connectivity within large buildings is that the building structure will block the mobile signal. To enable signals in a large office building, for example, you would need to have an in-building cellular system called the Distributor Antenna System (DAS).

“Before deploying 5G in a building, you would first need to be conscious that the building will not naturally have coverage. And if your DAS is not properly set up, there are elements of 5G that make building penetration difficult.”

Alex Fuerschke is Head of Building Technology Infrastructure at Dexus where he is working on developing a smart building strategy and framework to execute across one of Australia’s largest property portfolios.

He has held several roles in IT, with over 20 years’ experience gained in organisations including Dexus, Deutsche Bank and UNSW. Before his current role, he led the application and software development team at Dexus.

While the building may require a DAS, Fuerschke says that the system’s existence alone does not guarantee a good in-building signal.

“In commercial property, in-building mobile reception has been a pain point, and common source of customer complaints,” Fuerschke says.

“Part of it is because implementing these DAS systems is complex. Another reason is that the parties contracted to implement them – typically building or electrical contractors – often lack the subject expertise to manage a good outcome. Unfortunately, there are many examples of such projects.”

Fuerschke says the aim of the webinar is to unravel “the black box”.

“I want to provide a really good baseline understanding of the subject. We all rely on mobile signals but don’t really know how it works.

“I think it is important for practitioners in construction or building services to understand the process behind in-building connectivity. You see the five bars on your mobile phones, but what actually goes on behind the scenes to achieve them?”

IBTech@ARBS is a dedicated precinct focused on building technologies and solutions within ARBS, Australia’s international air conditioning, refrigeration and building services trade exhibition.

The presentation “In-Building Cellular Connectivity and the Impact of 5G” will be held on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 1pm (NSW, Vic, ACT, Tas) | 12.30pm (SA) | 12pm (Qld) | 11.30am (NT) | 10am (WA). This event costs $15 to attend.

Click here for more webinar information and registration details.

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