Small cell solutions Firefly Networks

In-Building Solutions – Distributed Antenna System (IBS – DAS)

Currently, the mobile coverage is mostly provided by telecom operators by installing mobile towers in and around a given locality which caters to streets and buildings within that locality. However, due to increase in density of the buildings, thick walls, height of the buildings, multiple obstructions etc. the mobile signals are not able to penetrate the buildings adequately, particularly in basements and underground parking areas. This has become increasingly pronounced with the explosion of data usage which is exponentially more demanding on the networks than voice connectivity.

Furthermore, since almost 70% to 80% of the communication occurs indoors i.e. within the building, it also leads to capacity-related concerns wherein the currently available network capacity is often not enough to cater to the multiple users inside, simultaneously using resource-hungry applications like conferencing and streaming.


Challenges of indoors

  1. Low Penetration of Signal

    There is low/nil availability of signal inside the building because of the thickness of walls which does not allow the signal to penetrate inside.

  2. Zero Signal in the Basement

    There is non-availability of signal in the basements as the waves are unable to reach those areas and the majority of offices/stores/halls etc. happen to be in basements.

  3. Signal Quality Issue

    The quality of the signal is poor on the higher floors, leading to frequent call drops and many times calls not going through at all.

  4. Shared Capacity

    The site serving the building is also serving the nearby areas, hence there is no dedicated capacity for voice or data.


Types of In-Building Solutions

There are various solutions that can be implemented for a particular site. For a design approach, we select the most appropriate and cost-efficient solution to meet the coverage and capacity criteria.

  1. Using Standard Co-Axial Cable

  2. Active Distributed Antenna

  3. Using Leaky Cable

  4. Hybrid System


To cater to such network challenges within the building, we deploy an In-Building Solution (IBS) as an operator-agnostic neutral host. The IBS provides:

  • Dedicated coverage to each area of the building
  • Dedicated capacity for the building


Small Cell Solution

Depending on the assessment of specific needs of the customers and venue owners, we often recommend and undertake deployment of outdoor/indoor site small-cells to enhance the coverage and capacity where a macro tower-based solution would either be not feasible or sub-optimal. The Small Cell solution is provided to improve signal strength and speech quality.


1.  Why Small Cells?


  1. Low Coverage of Signal

There is low/nil coverage in a patch within a building or in a lane/part of a market.


  1. Zero Signal in the Basement

There is non-availability of signal in the basements as waves are unable to reach those areas and the majority of offices/stores/halls etc. happen to be in basements.


  1. Capacity used – Shared Capacity

The site serving the building/area is unable to meet the capacity of the part of the building/spot.


  1. Offloading

The Macro site of the area is getting congested and unable to serve the entire community of the area.


2. Benefits of Small Cells


  • Coverage enhancement
  • Voice and Data experience
  • Increase in user’s capacity

3. Types of Small Cells


There are two types of small cell sites i.e. outdoor and indoor.

OUTDOOR SMALL CELL SITES: The outdoor small cell sites can be further categorised as:

Wall Mounted sites – These are wall-mounted on densely populated streets and marketplaces where installation of big towers is a challenge and they are generally installed at heights of up to 3 Metres. These can be camouflaged on a need basis (as shown below in the pictures of small cell camouflaged like AC units).

Rooftop/Ground-Based Poles sites – These are mounted on the poles of terraces (varying from 2 to 12m poles) or on the ground or street poles. They can be camouflaged on a need basis too.

  1. Rooftop Pole site

  2. Ground-based Pole site


Indoor Small Cell sites: This type of small cell is generally deployed at densely populated indoor areas viz. food courts, conventional halls, meeting rooms, etc.


FireFly stays committed to providing the best possible service to its customers. Please connect with us if you wish to have a detailed discussion of the proposal and to answer any queries about our IBS/Small Cell solutions.


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