Making wireless and the built environment work better together

Industry experts delve into the issues of wireless in the built environment and delivering in-building coverage at Cambridge Wireless event

Making wireless and the built environment work better together

The wireless industry needs to work more closely with the construction sectors and better understand the interactions between radio signals and the built environment, if it is to deliver ubiquitous in-building mobile coverage, according to speakers at the CW (Cambridge Wireless) event on 2 December 2015.

Delegates at the ‘Wireless in the built environment', CW Radio Technology SIG event, hosted by law firm Bird & Bird and sponsored by Rohde and Schwarz, heard from leading experts from BRE, ip.access, University of Sheffield, The Knowledge Transfer Network and University of Bristol.

“Wireless is a key enabler for smart homes and building solutions, which have the potential to improve our quality of life, increase industrial productivity and help address key social issues such as the aging population, demands on the health service, sustainable energy, security and the environment,” said Martin Ganley, Director Smart Homes and Buildings at BRE, an independent consultancy, testing and training organisation for the built environment.

“However, large variations in the construction of houses and buildings present a major challenge and there is still insufficient knowledge about outdoor-indoor propagation losses and the impact of energy-efficient materials. It is also unclear to what extent wireless innovation can help resolve these issues, so it is important that BRE and organisations such as CW are helping to bring the radio communications and construction sectors together to deliver new solutions.”

“As we strive to improve the performance of our homes and offices, especially with respect to thermal insulation that may include foil-backed materials, we risk degrading other critical services, such as surveillance or personal health monitoring, on which we rely,” said Stephen Lowe from The Knowledge Transfer Network.

“So, we are faced with the option; warm rooms and no wireless connection or cold rooms and good wireless. While loss of streaming media around the home is inconvenient, loss of emergency monitoring could be life threatening.”

“Buildings aren’t just bricks, mortar and increasingly, metallised glass. They have owners and tenants and visitors, all of whom want a friendly wireless experience,” said Nick Johnson, CTO at ip.access.

“But none of these stakeholders are interested in being a pawn in a battle between licensed radio operators. We’re on a mission to bring peace to the workplace and let the building owner, user and mobile operator live together in perfect and profitable harmony (and licensed spectrum).”

In other presentations, Richard Langley, Professor at University of Sheffield explored the propagation of signals in buildings and the effect of energy insulation on signal quality while Rob Piechocki, Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol, explained the role low cost wireless ultra-low power sensors can play in residential eHealth systems.

To see presentations from the event please visit


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