As public safety users leverage new applications and use cases that rely on data services, they need to get comprehensive, reliable indoor coverage that supports not only voice but mobile data.

Indoor and mobile coverage specialist Nextivity sees this area as one where it can both “do well and do good” to meet market demand.

“We are all-in on public safety,” said Joe Schmelzer, senior director of products for Nextivity’s Cel-Fi product line, in a recent conversation with RCR Wireless News at the International Wireless Communications Expo. “It’s something where it’s a great fit for us. It’s a booming market in that the public safety community is looking for all kinds of new applications, new kinds of features. They’re introducing data into their wireless networks. They’re bringing in LTE. FirstNet is generating tons of excitement and doing great things there.”

The company has already launched its first public safety product: the Cel-Fi GO RED signal booster that supports AT&T’s FirstNet Band 14 as well as Band 12 spectrum, providing 100 db of coverage for up to 15,000 square feet per system.  Cel-Fi GO RED can be used for solving in-building FirstNet coverage challenges, or integrate into a case solution as a portable solution for emergency responders. Nextivity is also a supporter of the Safer Buildings Coalition, which focuses on improving all types of communications indoors, so that both the public and first responders have the technology support that they need to communicate in emergencies. Schmelzer said that Nextivity is planning to follow up the GO RED release with another product for the public safety space later this year that he said will be “really be exciting for everybody from FirstNet to LMR, to everyone who’s doing public safety.”

Beyond the public safety market, Schmelzer noted that Nextivity recently launched its new Cel-Fi SOLO signal booster for the European market at Mobile World Congress, targeting small-to-medium businesses which need better cellular coverage. He also hinted at what’s ahead for the company this year.  

“The enterprise and the middleprise, that’s a space where we feel we can be extremely competitive,” Schmelzer said. “Our class of technology is disruptive. Everyone in the space is used to paying exorbitant amounts of money for their equipment and waiting long periods of time to have it installed. So we’re solving those problems, and our next product release in that category will continue on that theme.”

Schmelzer discussed the costs and market trends in indoor coverage and distributed antenna systems during a recent session at IWCE. DAS, he noted, began as a high-performance technology designed to serve large venues such as stadiums and airports – but the returns on investment for DAS aren’t a good fit for smaller buildings, on the order of 100,000 to 500,000 square feet.

“We need to transform that and rationalize that, and deliver solutions that are right-sized for the customer,” he said. Watch the full interview with Schmelzer below:

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