Home / Mobile / Sky tackles mobile not-spots at west London headquarters – ComputerWeekly.com

Sky tackles mobile not-spots at west London headquarters – ComputerWeekly.com


Consumer media and communications supplier Sky has deployed Zinwave’s UNItivity distributed antenna system (DAS) at its headquarters in Osterley, west London, after an extensive redevelopment to consolidate its operations onto the same campus.

However, Sky was concerned that the mobile signal in Sky Central, a new building constructed as part of the second phase of the redevelopment, would be heavily disrupted as 4G, 3G and 2G signals were struggling to penetrate the dense structure.

Sky Central is a three-storey building with a total area of around 46,000m2. Housing more than 3,000 employees, it includes office space, studio and production facilities, and research and development zones. For Sky, it was paramount that employees had access to a consistent, strong signal source to allow them to communicate wirelessly when moving around the building.

Martin Eddleston, planning and delivery manager for network implementation at Sky, said the firm had already installed single operator DAS in its existing buildings, but when it came to the Sky Central facility, it wanted multi-operator coverage to cope with the higher volume of users.

DAS systems essentially comprise a network of small antennae placed throughout a building to serve as repeaters to boost signal. They operate in licensed spectrum owned by mobile network operators (MNOs) and connect back to the carrier’s base station.

“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,” said Eddleston.

Through Sky’s channel partner Herbert, Eddleston selected Zinwave’s DAS system to ensure reliable and robust wireless communications in the building to support mobile signal, public safety and IP access services.

Public safety was a notable requirement of the project build from Sky’s side, as the organisation could be obliged to optimise wireless coverage in its facilities to ensure the safety of any emergency services personnel operating on site. UNItivity met this particular need, delivering end-to-end fibre on a single converged system.

The UNItivity system supports 2G through 4G mobile services and frequencies on the three largest UK operators, EE, Vodafone and O2, which Eddleston said made it the most cost-effective and technically capable setup for the business.

Zinwave said the flexibility and scalability of the technology would ultimately mean Sky can easily incorporate future 5G services without needed any replacement hardware or cable installations.

“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,” said Zinwave CEO Scott Willis. “Our solution is built to overcome these issues, directing all mobile signals to exactly where they are needed, ensuring seamless communications at all times.”

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