Indoor radio coverage
For fire brigades, police and rescue services, i.e. public safety agencies, it is necessary for operational and tactical reasons to have sufficient radio coverage in specific buildings and other physical structures. This is the case in particular for structures with a major risk of fire or explosion which would threaten a large number of people or cause major damage or which require regular or permanent police presence to ensure order and security for visitors.
The digital radio network BOS currently being set up by BDBOS already ensures some coverage in structures. The quality of coverage depends on the construction of buildings, the building material, the surroundings and the distance to the nearest TETRA base station. If coverage is too poor to provide radio communication inside the structure it may be necessary to use additional radio technology to ensure indoor radio coverage.
Who is responsible for such systems?
For various reasons (fire protection, safety, etc.) ensuring comprehensive radio coverage in buildings and physical structures is up to the responsible operators. The building codes of various Länder require owners or users of a building or physical structure to set up an in-house coverage system. For example, certain buildings (sport stadiums, shopping centres, etc.) may be subject to special requirements for fire protection in order to receive a building permit. These requirements may include setting up and maintaining an in-house coverage system ensuring that fire-fighters can communicate inside the building.
If a builder is required by law to set up an in-house coverage system, it is generally up to the builder to decide on the technical solution for in-house coverage unless otherwise indicated in the building permit or relevant guidelines. The builder may choose an agency to plan the in-house coverage system. As a rule, the resulting detailed plans must be approved by the responsible fire brigade. Upon completion the in-house coverage system must be tested to make sure it is safe and effective (functional checks). Existing systems are not subject to these new regulations.
BDBOS has created the necessary conditions so that owners or operators of buildings (i.e. third parties) can adapt their objects and systems to the new communication age. Guidelines were drawn up to help with planning and procuring digital in-house coverage systems.
Impact of indoor radio coverage on the network
Every additional in-house coverage system integrated into the BOS digital radio network also has an influence on the network and may cause various kinds of interference. To limit such interference to an acceptable degree specific requirements must be met when planning and implementing indoor radio coverage. In cooperation with the Bundesverband für Objektfunk Deutschland e.V. (BODeV, German Association for Indoor Radio Coverage) and the Verband Professioneller Mobilfunk e.V. (PMeV, Association of Professional Mobile Radio) a quality label was developed to identify reliable planners, builders and service providers. The technical solution applied in a specific case also depends on the tactical plans of the public safety agency concerned. For this reason, the technical design must be agreed with the user of the digital in-house coverage system.