Zinwave DAS tackles not-spots at Sky UK’s headquarters

Cambridge-based systems integrator Herbert has deployed Zinwave’s UNItivity distributed antenna system to eliminate mobile phone coverage issues at Sky’s London headquarters

Zinwave DAS tackles not-spots at Sky UK’s headquarters

Zinwave and its UK partner Herbert have deployed Zinwave’s UNItivity Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to eliminate wireless coverage and capacity issues at Sky’s new headquarters in London.

The Sky campus, located in Osterley, West London, has recently undergone an extensive redevelopment, consolidating the company's operations. With multiple floors and the use of dense materials, mobile signal was heavily affected, which led Sky to turn to experienced systems integrator Herbert.

Herbert recommended the Zinwave UNItivity solution, which ensures that wireless communications (mobile signal, public safety and IP access services) are always available.

New building structures can make it extremely difficult to provide ubiquitous in-building wireless services, with 4G signal often unable to penetrate building walls as well as 2G or 3G services.

For Sky, the biggest area of concern involved the second phase of the development, Sky Central, a modern mixed-use scheme with a combined total area of approximately 46,000sqm.

Set over three floors, encompassing office space, a studio and also production facilities, together with research and development zones, it was paramount that Sky was able to provide a consistent, strong signal source. Employees need to be able to use their mobile devices, connect to the internet and communicate wirelessly wherever they are on campus.

Martin Eddleston, planning and delivery manager – network implementation at Sky said: “Sky is very forward thinking and technically capable, and had the foresight to install single operator DAS in our existing buildings on campus, but when it came to our new Sky Central building, we wanted multi-operator coverage to cope with user volumes and multiple Mobile Network Operators throughout this much larger building.

“With the number of colleagues occupying our new building and the importance of mobile communications, it was imperative that a scalable, high performing and future proof solution was selected. Zinwave Unitivity met the desired criteria, with Herbert pulling-out all the stops with the project scoping, implementation and in-building integration in the timescales required.”

Zinwave UNItivity was selected as the preferred coverage solution because of its ability to support multiple mobile operators (EE, O2 & Vodafone) and services (2G, 3G & 4G) and frequencies, making it the most cost-effective and technically-capable solution for Sky.

It is flexible and scalable, enabling the rollout of additional services, such as 5G, to be quickly implemented without needing any hardware replacements or cabling refits, offering future-proofing advantages and delivering rapid return on investment (ROI). In addition, Zinwave UNItivity is the only solution that can provide consistent mobile phone coverage inside metal lifts, according to the company.

The solution was scoped, installed and commissioned by Herbert In-Building Wireless, an established supplier of productivity solutions to major organisations in the UK, and Zinwave’s preferred UK channel partner.

Scott Willis, CEO of Zinwave said: “We are extremely pleased that Sky has been able to eliminate all mobile ‘not-spots’ with our in-building wireless solution. Dense building materials are a common barrier for mobile signals, which can cause a number of problems in a world that increasingly relies on ubiquitous coverage. Our solution is built to overcome these issues, directing all mobile signals to exactly where they’re needed, ensuring seamless communications at all times.”

Mark Channen, marketing director at Herbert, said: “Sky is an innovator in all that they do, and it is the implementation of innovative turn-key solutions such as the Zinwave UNItivity product that we scoped for them, that ultimately keeps their business at the forefront. Professional and guaranteed communication drives business workflow and productivity at all times with UNItivity.”

Meeting public safety requirements was also key for Sky. Today’s building owners are also often obliged to optimise wireless coverage in their facilities to ensure the safety of emergency service personnel in their day-to-day activities as well as in emergency situations. Zinwave UNItivity provides mobile and public safety access services, delivering an end-to-end all fibre solution on a single converged system within the building.

Image: Arup Associates

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