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As the telecommunications industry looks to the future, it is becoming clearer that wireless will play a key role, especially when it comes to safety. Last year, in their Boston Symposium, NEDAS, a grassroots organization facilitating collaboration and education at the intersection of wireline and wireless, invited commercial real estate experts to a panel discussion that explored the overlap between wireless innovation, safety, and emerging technologies like 5G and IoT. Dennis Burns, Sales Manager of the Northeast and Mid Atlantic for AADRF, was one of the industry insiders that participated. He notes, “we’re looking forward to that relationship continuing, and we hope that as we talk about where carriers are going with new technologies and the convergence here of IOT, the convergence of 5G, and different public safety technologies, that we can bring some value to the community.” NEDAS’ goal is to educate the public on codes and technologies that are fostering the creation of safer buildings and distributed antennae systems. Right now, as the wireless convergence is going on, the industry is also experiencing the convergence of public safety and commercial cellular with things like FirstNet.

FirstNet is a first responder network deployed across the 700 megahertz of spectrum. It’s a public/private sector collaboration on the AT&T macro network. “It’s all about using that 700 megahertz band,” Burns explains. “Whether it’s being used for commercial cellular traffic, or when there is an emergency priority and preemption is required, it enables first responders to take control over that 700 megahertz spectrum. This capability ensures that messages are getting through to boots-on-the-ground during times of emergency when folks like EMS, fire, and police need to communicate.”

One of the challenges that Dennis Burns is seeing is that there needs to be a bit more conversation about FirstNet.

More About FirstNet

FirstNet is the national public safety network, helping law enforcement, firefighters and EMS save lives and protect communities across the United States. The FirstNet network will be a reliable, secure broadband network dedicated to public safety.

The First Responder Network Authority was created as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (PUBLIC LAW 112–96), which was signed into law on February 22, 2012.

The recognition of FirstNet network is something that is a challenge for the industry. Though FirstNet is considered a public safety network, it is also considered an extension of the commercial cellular network. When property owners put in these systems, they still need to have fire marshals review, and meet certain codes and the standard requirements in order to get a certificate of occupancy. There are battery backups, hardening of cases and conduits, the fire ratings and all of the things that go into a public safety system.

“If you’re deploying FirstNet on a commercial cellular DAS, you don’t have a lot of those requirements around battery backup and fire ratings and everything. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens as we move forward in 2019.”

“This year, I’m really looking forward to the NEDAS event in D.C. since the D.C. attendees will include the Office of Unified Communications (OUC), which has the VHF authority or jurisdiction as an organization.” One of the unique aspects of FirstNet has been the nationwide collaborative efforts that have gone into its development, ensuring the best standards for public safety.

The law that established the FirstNet Authority required it to consult with federal, state, tribal, and local public safety entities to ensure that the FirstNet network was designed to meet the needs of public safety across the country.

In June of this year,” Mr. Burns continued, “The OUC are going to include in their code requirements that systems going inside a building must be FirstNet capable. It’s coming to the forefront exactly how FirstNet technology is going to mesh with these systems in the commercial cellular and public safety spaces. It’ll all come together in D.C., and this set of OUC standards, probably discussed in D.C., is going to be the first mandated FirstNet coverage inside a building.”

More In-Building Technologies

ADRF recently announced that it would be supporting  Ranplan. They support Ranplan’s IV Wave from a design standpoint, and as an organization they also support Ranplan when it comes down to doing designs for in-building and outdoor data deployments.

What is RanPlan?

Ranplan is an innovative UK-based wireless technology company that has developed leading software tools for outdoor/indoor wireless network planning, design and optimisation, using advanced 3D in-building modelling and 3D RF propagation and simulation.

“We also just recently had an announcement about our UL2524 certification in the public safety space, and that impacts all of our public safety equipment, and ADRF will be the first with a Class A channelized public safety repeater that will be UL2524-certified later this month in April.”

“A couple of other exciting things that are coming for ADRF are our new digital DAS. We will be deploying our digital DAS with ethernet and fiber to the edge so you’ll be doing low power remotes with either fiber or over ethernet 6A. So we’ll be deploying our new digital DAS later this year in 2019. So we’re very excited about this new technology.”

The Ranplan announcement will appear in the next issue of the NEDAS bi-weekly newsletter.

Those interested in finding out more about ADRF can go to and readers can also request a meeting with Dennis or any other NEDAS advisory council member here. ADRF is also looking forward to another great year with NEDAS with Burns being part of the NEDAS advisory council.

iMPR and Data Center POST would like to thank Mr. Burns for sharing his industry perspective.


You can meet Dennis Burns and the rest of the NEDAS Advisory Council at the upcoming NEDAS Boston Symposium, their big event taking place July 17, 2019, at Convene One Boston Place. The early bird registration date for #NEDASBoston ends on May 15th (less than a month away). To request a meeting with ADRF during NEDAS Boston Symposium — July 17, 2019, please click here.

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