THR880i handheld TETRA radio from Airbus Defence and Space

Indoor coverage

What's your best option for indoor radio coverage?

There are three options to set up radio coverage indoors:

  1. Direct mode (DMO) communication between handheld radio devices
  2. A cell enhancer to extend the coverage of an existing outdoor radio network into the building
  3. Installing a base station to provide coverage in the building.

Which of these three is the best choice for a transportation company?

Direct mode does not give enough coverage

DMO alone cannot provide reliable and stable radio coverage for a building or in a tunnel. Radio coverage depends on the users’ locations so it is unpredictable. In addition, losses apply to both ends, which reduces the range of radio coverage.

Cell-enhancers do not give enough capacity

A cell-enhancer will only repeat a signal coming from an outdoor base station. That base station will have to handle additional traffic from the users inside the building. This eats up its capacity. Cell-enhancers may also interfere with the main cell.

The best choice: TB3-series TETRA base stations

The best way to ensure indoor radio coverage is to distribute the signal along the confined area and set up a TB3p mini TETRA base station or TB3hp high power base station to serve the indoor area.

The keys to excellent coverage

When building radio coverage, the trick is to balance the uplink - traffic from a radio terminal to the base station - and downlink - from a base station to the radio terminal. The uplink is more critical, so a base station should have significantly better than average uplink connection. The better coverage with fewer base stations helps cut costs.

Setting up a network in difficult locations such as tunnels can be challenging. Sensitive, powerful base stations with low power consumption and small physical size are important. It must also be possible to operate and maintain them remotely.

While regular RF repeaters are an option for tunnels, a miniature base station can be so much better. The TB3p and TB3hp mini base stations

  • require less power
  • do not need line of sight to the serving base station
  • have no RF-isolation requirements
  • need no RF expertise for setting up.

If you thought that a more powerful PMR radio enjoys better radio coverage, you should read this blog post: Do you know the secret of Watts in your PMR radio? (Nobody else will tell you.)

More information

Smallest and smartest TETRA base station
TB3p mini TETRA base station
Small and smart base station with high power
TB3hp mini TETRA base station
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