Using Cradlepoint to Maintain Safe Internet Use at Schools

Maintain Safe Internet


In the world today, students require access to the internet. From researching topics to checking homework assignments and learning remotely, having fast, reliable internet is essential for students of all ages. Whether students are working in the classroom, cafeteria, or the library, it’s important for school districts to ensure they have secure connections, too.

As a leading integrated wireless solutions provider, Metropolitan Communications can help your school upgrade your network security with Cradlepoint technology. We proudly serve districts across Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia, PA, as well as New Castle County, DE and Camden County and Gloucester, NJ.


Secure Connections On & Off Campus

Secure Connections With wireless edge routers, designed specifically for your school district, Cradlepoint offers both the equipment and technology your students need to succeed. Using Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Service, schools can utilize fast and reliable LTE and 5G wireless solutions.

Cradlepoint also features advanced security solutions that are in line with Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) standards. Some of the ways they prevent inappropriate content from campus networks include:

  • Application Control
  • Industry-Leasing Content Filtering
  • Network Segmentation
  • Secure Device-to Cloud Connections

In addition to keeping potentially dangerous or inappropriate content out of the classroom, Cradlepoint makes it easy for you to monitor and control the network. The NetCloud Manager allows you to see Wireless WAN activity, analytics, and more from a single screen.

Thanks to flexible LTE and 5G, your students, faculty, and staff, can get access from anywhere on campus. Whether students start their homework on the bus or need to submit an assignment before the big game, Cradlepoint’s Wireless WAN can help them get online and stay safe while they browse.


Expert Installation

At Metropolitan Communications, we’re always ready to help you choose the best technology for your district’s needs, and we can install the equipment for you, too. Our highly trained technicians can equip both buildings and your fleet of vehicles with the right cutting-edge Cradlepoint equipment for your campus.

Our team has over 90 years of combined experience, so you can feel confident your network will be installed properly. That way, you can focus on the day-to-day operations on campus, instead of thinking about your internet security.


Reliable, 24/7 Service & Maintenance

24/7 Service & Maintenance Every school requires maintenance to keep things running smoothly, and your district’s internet is no different. That’s why our team can provide service and maintenance whenever you need it. Our knowledgeable team is on call 24/7.

You can contact Metropolitan Communications for support any time, during in-service days, summer vacation, or while school is in session. If an issue can’t be resolved through troubleshooting, we’ll get a technician on-site to diagnose and fix whatever may be going on as soon as possible.


Learn More About Internet Safety for Your School

For more information on how Cradlepoint can help you maintain a safe internet connection, contact us at Metropolitan Communications. We’re happy to help schools like yours throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County, Philadelphia, PA, New Castle County, DE, Camden County, and Gloucester, NJ.

Choose the right equipment for your internet needs. Contact us for a quote today!


What Industries Should Use Intrinsically Safe Radios?

What Industries Should Use Intrinsically Safe Two-Way Radios

Two-way radios help improve safety in dangerous work environments. They keep teams connected with one-touch instant communication.

In hazardous work environments, employees take safety precautions by wearing personal protective equipment, or PPE. Your two-way radios should have PPE built in, too—and that’s exactly what intrinsically safe radios are. An intrinsically safe radio has a strong construction that can prevent combustion, even under intense conditions.

To see if intrinsically safe radios could benefit your industry, keep reading this guide from Metropolitan Communications. We design, install, and maintain wireless communications solutions for industries throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, including Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County, PA; New Castle County, DE; and Gloucester and Camden County, NJ.

What Are Intrinsically Safe Radios?

What Industries Should Use Intrinsically Safe Radios In high temperatures, electronic equipment can combust. In dangerous work environments, it’s good practice to keep electrical equipment protected from heat, flammable particles, and conductive materials.

Intrinsic protection is a safety designation that ensures electrical equipment is constructed to prevent ignition. Intrinsically safe radios are those that can withstand extreme elements without becoming dangerous themselves. They do this by isolating the radio’s electrical components and keeping its temperature regulated.

Industries that should use intrinsically safe radios are ones with higher risks of combustion or explosion. The National Fire Protection Association classifies workplaces based on the type of flammable materials and combustion risks present. Combustion risks can include:

  • Gasses and vapors: Hydrogen, propane, methane, and more
  • Dust: Metal shavings, coal, grains, and all fibers

In high-heat environments, flammable materials are more likely to combust. Intrinsically safe radios can withstand these risks without adding more liability.

What Industries Should Use Intrinsically Safe Radios?

Industries that should use intrinsically safe radios are those that require exposure to high temperatures and flammable materials, such as:

  • Public Safety: Firefighters, as well as EMTs and police officers, have to be prepared for the unexpected.
  • Utilities: Petroleum, gasoline, and methane are all highly combustible. In case of an emergency, rely on an intrinsically safe radio to communicate with your team or call for help.
  • Construction: Construction crews should use Motorola intrinsically safe radios to prevent radio damage in concrete dust, metal shavings, and gasses.
  • Manufacturing: High heat, dangerous chemicals, and high-powered electrical equipment all call for intrinsically safe radios on the production floor.
  • Agriculture and Food Production: Everyday foods, like rice, powdered sugar, nuts, and more can create flammable dust under high heat.

At Metropolitan Communications, we have decades of experience in identifying the best two-way radio communications solution for every enterprise. To learn more about whether intrinsically safe radios could benefit you, reach out to our experts today.

Motorola Intrinsically Safe Radios

What Industries Should Use Intrinsically Safe Radios Metropolitan Communications is proud to partner with Motorola Solutions, one of the most trusted two-way radio manufacturers. Their intrinsically safe radios exceed requirements and often also include other features for increased durability, like added waterproofing and emergency call buttons.

APX 8000XE: Designed with the help of firefighters, this intrinsically safe Motorola fire radio has what it takes to get the job done. It can withstand extreme heat and zero visibility and operates on the P25 network. It also offers:

  • Unique channel and volume knobs: Even in complete darkness, operate channels and volume with confidence. Their different shapes and sizes are easy to use and distinguish from one another.
  • T-grip: The APX 8000XE fits perfectly in one hand, and its large controls make it possible to operate while wearing gloves.

XPR 7000e: This next-generation Motorola intrinsically safe radio takes safety to the next level, thanks to integrated digital technology. This portable two-way can help keep your teams safer with features like:

  • Man Down: An integrated accelerometer can sense if the user has fallen and can automatically call for help.
  • Indoor location tracking: Keep track of coworkers’ whereabouts for added security.
  • Industrial-level noise cancellation: Make sure your message gets through loud and clear every time.

Intrinsically Safe Accessories

Every component of your two-way radio communications solution should be intrinsically safe, not just the radios. Metropolitan Communications can supply you with the highest-caliber intrinsically safe accessories for your Motorola radios, such as:

  • Headsets
  • Hearing protectors
  • Batteries
  • Public safety microphones

Metropolitan Communications

The Greater Philadelphia area is rich in industry, employing people in manufacturing, utilities, oil and gas, fire protection, and more. Keep operations moving with an intrinsically safe Motorola radio.

Reach out to Metropolitan Communications to see how we can help you find the best two-way radio for your needs in the region. We serve the areas near Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County, PA; New Castle County, DE; and Gloucester and Camden County, NJ.

 

Importance of Wireless Integration in Manufacturing

Importance of Wireless Integration in Manufacturing

When it comes to working efficiently in the manufacturing industry, communication is key. From monitoring your machinery to communicating workflow changes, it’s essential to keep your coworkers and employees updated to ensure safe and productive operations. Uniting different operations under wireless integration helps streamline business all around!

Metropolitan Communications has over 60 years of experience as communications integrators. We provide businesses with the wireless integration solutions they need to keep their company running smoothly.

We serve the Greater Philadelphia area, including Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County, PA; New Castle County, DE; as well as the Gloucester, and Camden County, NJ, areas. We design, install, and maintain wireless integration solutions to maximize productivity.

Why You Need Wireless Integration

When staying in touch is crucial, wireless integration unites all forms of communication under the same umbrella. It streamlines communications in one secure network that connects you to the technologies you need to manage your business.

By arming your workforce with a dependable wireless network infrastructure, you’ll process orders, report data, and analyze workflow more quickly, thereby maximizing your ability to increase revenue.

What Can Be Integrated:

  • Importance of Wireless Technology Integration in Manufacturing Two-way radios: Merge radios into one fleet, so everyone can get in touch with each other, whether that person is on the manufacturing floor, behind the wheel of a delivery truck, or in the front office.
  • Security cameras: Monitor the floor, as well as entrances, exits, and loading bays to keep staff and property safe.
  • Wireless access points: A wireless access point is a hardware device that allows for Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network. Sync desktop computers with tablets, smart radios, and more.
  • Phone lines: Integrating phone lines makes it possible for someone in the front office to use the phone to contact someone’s radio on the other side of the plant. These wireless integration solutions even help corporations extend their networks to difficult-to-cable buildings. That way, your employees and associates will always have the connection they need to do their jobs. With this streamlined efficiency, it’s easier than ever to analyze workflows for gaps in productivity. Efficiency is everything in manufacturing. Wireless integration makes it easier.

Not only is this integration helpful in improving day-to-day productivity, but it also safeguards your crew in the event of an emergency. Being able to get in touch with coworkers at all times means faster responses to unexpected events, whether that’s inclement weather, an issue with machinery, or even a workplace injury.

Support Infrastructure: BDA and DAS Equipment

When in-building wireless signals are weak, there are a variety of causes. In some cases, weak signals are a sign of low wireless coverage; signals can’t reach a certain area, causing a dropped call.

In other cases, wireless signals are weak because of an issue with signal capacity. In these instances, a signal might be able to reach certain areas, but too many users can cause an overload.

In manufacturing, a plant may have thousands of personnel in one area: machinists, supervisors, administrative assistants, delivery drivers, and more. Imagine how easily a network supporting all this staff could get overloaded. With an in-building signal-boosting solution, everyone gets the connectivity they need.

Metropolitan Communications has decades of experience pinpointing the root causes of poor in-building wireless signals and designing custom solutions. From radio and cellular connectivity to Wi-Fi connectivity, in-building signal boosters are a wireless integration solution that meets the needs of a variety of different industries, especially manufacturing.

When it comes to in-building signal-boosting solutions for wireless integration, there are a few different kinds of additional infrastructure that can help. Two of the most common are BDAs and DAS equipment, or Bi-Directional Amplifiers and Distributed Antenna Systems, respectively.

In-Building Signal Booster: Bi-Directional Amplifiers and Distributed Antenna Systems

BDAs, or Bi-Directional Amplifiers, are antennas that guarantee wireless communications signals can reach all areas of a building, even those more secluded areas like basements, stairwells, and elevators. These are usually employed to enhance wireless signal coverage.

DAS, or Distributed Antenna Systems, are a communications solution that enhances signals using an external receiver and in-building antennas, and they can be designed to correct issues with either coverage or capacity. In DAS solutions, the in-building antennas are often Bi-Directional Amplifiers, or BDAs.

BDA and DAS equipment work with only one type of wireless signal; a cellular BDA would not enhance radio signals and vice versa. For this reason, employing more than one BDA/DAS solution is often essential.

Public Safety Communications Regulations

Not only does BDA/DAS equipment help streamline day-to-day operations, but they are also legally required in many jurisdictions. In case of an emergency, first responders such as police officers, firefighters, and EMTs need to be able to communicate without any interruptions or lost calls, regardless of where they are in a building.

Strong in-building signals are essential for the manufacturing business that wants to protect its employees and keep production moving seamlessly. Working with machinery can increase the risk of injury, and in case of an accident, BDA/DAS solutions mean a swift response to any calls for help—and a swift return to normal operations.

There are a few regulatory bodies that oversee legal requirements for in-building signal boosters. Some of the legal codes include:

  • National Fire Protection Association: NFPA 72 Chapter 24 requires 90% in-building coverage, as well as 99% coverage for critical areas like fire pump rooms, elevator lobbies, and exit stairs and passageways.
  • International Fire Code: IFC codes require 95% in-building wireless signal coverage, and that coverage must meet a minimum signal strength of -95 dB.
  • Federal Communications Commission: The FCC requires designated public safety radio channels be kept clear for first responders. Your signal-boosting system must be able to support these bandwidths, which are typically in the 600 MHz to 900 MHz range.

In the same way technology is always growing and changing, so are legal requirements surrounding wireless communications. Luckily, we have experts on hand to help you navigate local fire codes; in fact, we have technicians who are FCC certified.

Two-Way Radios for Manufacturing

Two-way Radios for ManufacturingMaintaining clear communication is important for any type of business. This is especially true for the manufacturing industry, where miscommunications can impede production or cause accidents.

Fortunately, two-way radios and other wireless communication solutions are a great way to safely and securely stay in touch.

Two-way radios help increase productivity and safety in manufacturing. With the one-touch communications of two-way portable radios, it’s easier than ever to check in on progress reports from the other side of the production floor.

Equip your workspace with two-way radios to allow your coworkers and colleagues to quickly check on data and solve problems with the touch of a button. For instance, instead of walking across the factory to verify information, continue working on your task and get the answer you need at the same time.

Metropolitan Communications is proud to partner with some of the leading manufacturers of two-way radios, including Motorola Solutions and JVC Kenwood.

The manufacturing industry consists of many moving parts—literally. Depending on specific needs, we recommend a variety of two-way radios.

Two-Way Radios for Manufacturing

One of the most popular portable two-way radios we supply is the Kenwood NX-3220/3320/3420. With durable construction, built-in GPS, and active noise cancellation, this two-way radio has almost everything workers could need. Best of all, though, is its adaptability. It can operate with analog or digital protocols, so it seamlessly integrates into an existing fleet.

For those who work on the floor, the Motorola SL 7000e Series is a great fit. Superior ambient-noise-cancelling technology makes sure that loud machinery doesn’t drown out messages. However, one of the most useful features this radio has is its Man Down feature. Using a built-in accelerometer and indoor GPS location tracking, this radio can sense if the wearer has fallen down and can automatically call for help.

For those who work in more extreme environments, the MOTOTRBO™ Ion Rugged Commercial Smart Radio is an intrinsically safe two-way radio that can survive drops, dust, moisture, and more. A specially designed touchscreen means users can wear gloves to operate it, and smart engineering means users can also use this radio to access customizable apps for monitoring security cameras, logging work hours, and more.

Integrate Phone Lines

Two-way radios are great for those who need to be up and active on the jobsite. Phone lines are important, too, though, especially since they are often the main method of contact for clients.

Let us provide you with advanced tools for voicemail management and call forwarding. With state-of-the-art call processing, avoid stressful system malfunctions or missed messages.

In addition, it’s possible to include phone lines in wireless integration solutions too. Use an Interconnect Gateway System to make phone lines and radio channels interoperable. This works by connecting incomparable systems through specialized hardware, making it easier than ever to integrate new technology into a legacy suite as needs change.

With an Interconnect Gateway System, exchange data between two different kinds of networks—which includes phones and two-way radios. One interconnect gateway we often recommend for manufacturing is the MOTOTRBO™ XRI 9100. This advanced gateway makes it possible for a phone user to initiate a call to a radio and for a radio user to call a phone straight from the radio keypad.

With this integration, the days of waiting for someone to return to their office to answer the phone are over. Calls from clients can go straight from the front desk to the floor, decreasing downtime and increasing productivity.

Two-Way Radios vs Cell Phones

The first cell phones hit markets in the ‘90s, and although they started as a niche tech product, they’ve since overtaken landlines in most capacities. It’s for good reason too. Cell phones can do almost anything: make phone calls, stream videos, take photos, connect to apps and the internet, and more. However, when it comes to a wireless integration communications solution for manufacturing businesses, two-way radios are a better fit. Here’s why:

  • Durability: Go ahead, use your two-way radio without a protective case. It’s designed to endure falls, spills, dust, and more. You can’t say the same for your more fragile cell phone.
  • One-touch communication: Instead of taking off protective equipment to unlock a phone, dial a number, and then wait for someone to answer, a two-way radio only requires the push of a button to broadcast any message loud and clear. This improves workflow times and doesn’t require employees to pull away from their work.
  • Improved productivity: Much like cell phones, many two-way radios offer customizable business apps. However, with a two-way radio, there is less risk of personnel getting sidetracked with checking social media and using the internet for personal purposes.
  • Cost: Cell phones require a sizable up-front investment, and after that, service contracts and fees. For the budget-conscious, these costs add up quickly. With two-way radios, you can get all the functionality of smartphones with a one-time payment.

Video Surveillance

Loss prevention, employee safety, quality control, insurance liability—these are just some of the reasons why a video surveillance system is an integral part of your wireless integration solution. Thankfully, with high-tech cameras and analytic software, controlling advanced security systems is easier than ever.

Metropolitan Communications works with Avigilon, a Motorola Solutions company that specializes in cutting-edge video security solutions.

Some of the best video cameras for the manufacturing industry are those from the H5A Explosion-Protected Camera Line. Like the name suggests, these durable cameras are internationally rated to capture crisp footage in almost any environment, which is perfect for an industry that often involves hazardous materials and heavy machinery.

These strong cameras are made even better, thanks to the addition of Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software. This artificial-intelligence software helps security personnel be proactive rather than reactive in the event of a potential safety risk.

For instance, the Appearance Search makes it possible to find video footage of a person or vehicle of interest as easily as finding a web page after an internet search. Instead of combing through hours of footage, upload a photo of the person or vehicle, and the software can pull up any matches. It is even possible to search video footage based on physical descriptors, like age group, gender, and clothing color.

Best of all, when this video surveillance is part of a wireless integration solution, it’s easy to access footage from anywhere, not just the security office.

Secure Data Solutions

Wireless Integration for Manufacturing All this data needs somewhere safe to live. That’s where cloud-based data storage comes in.

Cloud-based storage isn’t a weather phenomenon—it’s a way to manage software and services using the internet rather than locally on a computer. Since internet-based storage is accessible from anywhere, it streamlines remote work and makes video surveillance footage easier to sort through and other files easier to access.

More importantly, cloud-based storage is safer than relying on a computer’s hard drive. New technology makes it easier than ever to organize a business’s operations, but new technology also means new kinds of security threats. The manufacturing industry is one of the most vulnerable for data breaches and cyberattacks. Hackers can access computer files via malware, phishing schemes, and more.

However, with cloud storage, information is automatically encrypted, and as more security measures evolve, updates are automatic—one less thing to manage on top of running a business in a fast-paced industry. With a secure data solution, you can keep your enterprise safe from both internal and external threats from cyber criminals.

Guarantee Complete In-Building Coverage with a Wireless Access Point

Wireless Access Points, abbreviated as WAP or simply AP, make it possible for Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network.

Access Points help with in-building connectivity because they make it possible for devices to connect without a wired connection, which is especially useful in older, larger, or otherwise hard-to-wire buildings. Ensure connectivity in all corners of your facility, even those hard-to-reach areas like basements and stairwells.

Some Access Points also provide internet-customization capabilities, such as blocking users from certain websites, sending email alerts about potential security threats, and accessing control scheduling. The Access Points we offer come with built-in encryption for more security too.

Reach Out to Metropolitan Communications Today!

Your team of professionals deserves the tools needed for productivity, communication, and high performance. Wireless integration is one of the best ways to work smarter, not harder.

Metropolitan Communications has the expertise necessary to design, install, and maintain your custom wireless integration solution. We know that the manufacturing industry is fast-paced and demanding, which is why our expert technicians are available 24/7 for service and maintenance.

At Metropolitan Communications, serving the Greater Philadelphia region, we’re equipped with the wireless integration and radio communication solutions required to improve the productivity of your business in the Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County, PA; New Castle County, DE; as well as Gloucester, and Camden County, NJ, areas.

To discover more about the wireless integration solutions that are right for your company, give us a call or request a quote today!

 

 

Importance of Wireless Integration in Schools

Importance of Wireless Integration in Schools Philadelphia, PA

Wireless technology is all around us, both in our personal lives and in professional applications. When it comes to creating a safe and connected school environment, this technology works wonders. Share images from a laptop to a projector instantly. Install smart cameras that automatically store data in the cloud. Log into class virtually—and seamlessly.

With the help of Metropolitan Communications, you can integrate all the wireless technology in your school. Our team of highly trained technicians can help you design, install, and maintain a custom wireless communications system that keeps everyone connected. Our expertise covers several kinds of communications solutions, including:

  • Two-way radios
  • Phone lines
  • Video surveillance systems
  • Secure data storage
  • Signal-boosting systems, such as BDA/DAS technology

Metropolitan Communications works in the Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County, PA; New Castle County, DE; as well as the Gloucester and Camden County, NJ, areas. We offer 24/7 tech support to make sure schools always have the systems they need to stay up and running at their best.

Why Your School Needs Wireless Integration

Wireless integration in schools keeps operations under one umbrella. For instance, if suspicious activity in a video surveillance feed triggers a security alert, an integrated wireless communications solution will guarantee that everyone will get that notification, whether it’s in the form of a radio message, an online alert, or a phone call.

Ensuring interoperability between various methods of communication means that day-to-day operations flow more smoothly. Managing a school requires coordination among teams and clear expectations, all of which are improved with wireless integration.

An efficient communications system facilitates daily operations, and more importantly, it helps in case of an emergency. When administrators and staff can reach each other quickly, schools can solve problems as they come up and potentially help prevent them in the first place.

Streamline communications and save time in case of a critical incident by integrating all of your wireless technology. With less time spent on coordinating communications, it is easier than ever to focus on what matters most: providing the best education possible in a safe and productive environment.

Two-Way Radios for Your School or District

One major component of wireless integration is the implementation of two-way radios. In an unexpected situation, two-way radios provide immediate and clear wireless communication with the push of one button. Their durable construction, long battery life, and emergency features make them a great option for school staff who are tasked with keeping others safe.

Two-Way Radios for Bus Drivers

With a base station at a dispatch center and two-way radios in every bus, long-range two-way radios help bus drivers coordinate routes and communicate traffic issues.

We often recommend the Motorola XPR 5000e series for school bus drivers. This mobile radio provides clear and safe messaging with ambient-noise cancellation and hands-free operation. Plus, with Text-to-Speech technology, drivers can keep their eyes on the road while still staying connected. Analog and digital capabilities make it quick and easy to integrate this radio into a legacy suite, keeping everything under one umbrella as communications needs change.

Two-Way Radios for Teachers and Staff

Integrating wireless communications for schools is easy with the right equipment. Metropolitan Communications is proud to partner with several leading radio manufacturers, including Kenwood.

We often recommend the Kenwood NX-1300 Digital UHF Radio for schools. It’s compatible with different radio brands that operate on the same frequency, so it integrates seamlessly with legacy equipment. The highly capable NX-1300 can also operate on analog or digital technology, delivering clear audio every time, no matter what.

Safety features like the Lone Worker function monitor users’ whereabouts, which helps staff who don’t always have co-workers close by. Coaches in the field, maintenance personnel in the basement, and everyone in between can know that no matter what, someone else can find them. This kind of assurance helps with the day to day, and it also helps in emergency situations, like during a fire drill.

Two-Way Radios for Administrators

Principals and administrators are often the first people others turn to in an emergency, acting as a bridge between a school and first responders. As such, they can benefit greatly from P25 radios. P25 radios, or Project 25 radios, are two-way radios that conform to a suite of communications guidelines for public safety. P25-certified radios are interoperable with several public safety agencies, like law enforcement, fire departments, and Emergency Medical Services.

For school administrators, we also recommend the Kenwood NX-5000 Series. These triple-digital radios combine the power of three digital Common Air Interfaces: P25, as well as NXDN and DMR. In addition to digital interoperability, they also provide FM analog capabilities and interoperability with legacy radios.

These highly interoperable radios are a great fit for wireless integration in schools because they work with both existing tech and cutting-edge digital systems. Best of all for busy principals, operation is intuitive. Two-way radios in the Kenwood NX-5000 Series can receive several kinds of wireless signals, and in turn, automatically send the user’s response in the same mode received. This high-tech P25 radio from Kenwood saves time when it matters most.

Two-Way Radios vs Cell Phones

Most people take their smartphones with them everywhere. They’re all-in-one tools that help people make calls, as well as check emails, send texts, and more. However, when it comes to a school’s wireless integration plan, personal cell phones don’t get the job done as well as two-way radios do.

For one, cell phones are less durable. Unlike two-way radios, they are not designed to withstand inclement weather, extreme temperatures, or impacts with the ground.

In addition, they require more time to send the same message. With a two-way radio, one-touch talk means instantaneous communication with no effort. With a smartphone, making a call requires unlocking the phone, dialing a number, and waiting for someone to answer. Two-way radios field direct communication without the worry of missing a call.

Cost is another factor to consider. Any communications solution that a school adopts will have to work with school budgets. Cell phones require a large investment up front, and then they also require service plans and contracts, which add up quickly. Conversely, investing in two-way radios means opting for a communications solution that lets you hit the ground running—no added expenses or fees for the school.

Integrating Phone Lines

Two-way radios are a great fit for streamlining day-to-day operations, but that doesn’t mean phones can’t be part of a wireless integration plan. Phone calls are one of the most common ways that parents get in touch with schools, so including phone lines in your wireless integration plan helps schools and guardians stay in touch.

With a streamlined, integrated phone solution, it is easier and faster than ever to maximize productivity. From computer-aided call-routing systems to voicemail storage and record management, Metropolitan Communications has decades of experience upgrading telecommunications and designing custom solutions.

Then, our Interconnect Gateway radio systems make it easy to seamlessly connect phone lines with radio channels, making them interoperable. A gateway works by connecting incompatible radio systems through specialized hardware without significant changes to pre-existing radio infrastructure. This way, as a school’s needs grow and change, it’s possible to keep communications consistent even as equipment needs fluctuate.

Video Surveillance

High-Tech Cameras: Do More with Less

Another integral part of wireless integration involves video surveillance. With high-definition cameras and cutting-edge sensors, it’s easier than ever to monitor schools for safety. Metropolitan Communications is proud to partner with Avigilon, a Motorola Solutions company that creates cutting-edge security solutions.

Some of the best cameras and sensors are those that cover wide ranges with low profiles to keep them safe from tampering. The Avigilon H5A Fisheye Camera is a great fit for schools in areas like cafeterias because it offers 360-degree coverage with no blind spots.

Another useful product is the Avigilon Presence Detector. In areas where a camera is inappropriate, such as in restrooms or locker rooms, a presence detector can locate a human presence, even if the person is hidden or obstructed by objects such as blankets, drywall, wood, or cardboard.

In an emergency situation, a presence detector saves time for school staff and first responders. Instead of manually searching an area, a presence detector can point safety personnel directly to a person in need. Schools often have hundreds, if not thousands, of students to account for. Use a presence detector to make sure everyone’s where they need to be.

Analytic Video Surveillance Software

Often, what’s behind the camera is just as important as what’s in front of it. With high-tech, artificial intelligence software, schools can save time and money in assessing potential threats and responding proactively. Integrate a video surveillance program into a school’s emergency response plan to keep students and staff safer than ever.

Avigilon offers state-of-the-art artificial intelligence software that makes it possible to search through video footage as easily as searching for a page on the internet. For instance, the Avigilon Appearance Search can quickly locate a person or vehicle of interest by comparing video footage to an uploaded photo or by entering physical descriptions. Instead of scouring through hours of footage, operators using this advanced technology can search based on a person’s clothing color, gender, and age range.

For schools with many campuses, Avigilon Appearance Search can cross-reference those locations, too, seamlessly integrating wireless communications for schools.

Many other cutting-edge video analytic solutions are available from Avigilon. Metropolitan Communications is here to help schools integrate this technology into their wireless communications plan.

Data: Secure Private Networks and Cloud-Based Storage

All this data needs somewhere to live. Wireless integration in schools should include a private and secure network.

In the past, storing data meant using physical tapes and bulky records. Now, however, wireless integration for schools means turning to cloud-based solutions. Whereas physical storage solutions limit the amount of information an institution can store, an encrypted online storage solution provides virtually unlimited storage options. You can hold on to records for years, and because cloud-based solutions are easily navigable, access whatever you need at any time.

Access whatever you need from anywhere too. As remote learning becomes more commonplace, students will need to keep more of their educational materials digital and readily accessible from anywhere. Cloud-based storage creates a bridge between in-person and online learning and extends wireless integration to anywhere education happens, not just the classroom.

Outside of hybrid learning, cloud-based storage for educational materials still helps streamline learning. Teachers can assign homework, send feedback, and update grades all in one system. Students and parents can access it all from the comfort of home.

Metropolitan Communications offers wireless data systems, as well as broadband to help schools operate their integrated systems and keep them secure.

Additional Infrastructure

Sometimes, additional infrastructure is required to guarantee seamless wireless integration.

Poor wireless signals have many causes, but the effects are the same: reduced communications. In an emergency, an unreliable signal isn’t an option. In-building signal boosters can help. In-building signal boosters make sure that external wireless signals can reach throughout all areas of a building.

Luckily, Metropolitan Communications has decades of experience in diagnosing wireless communications issues, as well as designing, installing, and maintaining in-building signal-boosting solutions.

Bi-Directional Amplifiers, or BDAs

If you’ve ever had trouble sending a text while in an elevator or hearing a radio call clearly in a basement, it’s most likely because a wireless signal can’t extend to these hard-to-reach places. When this is the case, a Bi-Directional Amplifier, or BDA, can help. These antennas take an existing signal and enhance its strength.

As part of a plan to integrate wireless communications in schools, having BDAs in more secluded areas of the building will make sure that no matter where school staff are, they’ll be connected to everything else that’s going on.

Distributed Antenna Systems, or DAS

Another cause of poor wireless signals is a lack of capacity. For instance, if you’ve ever been along a crowded parade route and experienced a dip in cell reception, it’s because a high concentration of cell phone users in one area overwhelmed local cell towers.

The same thing can happen in schools, too, especially since most students have their own personal cell phones. To prevent overloading cell towers, a Distributed Antenna System, or DAS, solution in a building can increase cell phone wireless capacity.

A Distributed Antenna System will take an existing signal from outside and disseminate it throughout the building, often employing Bi-Directional Amplifiers to extend coverage to hard-to-reach areas.

In-building signal boosters work for specific kinds of signals, so a cell reception BDA/DAS only works for cell phones, and a radio signal BDA/DAS only works for radio signals. Many enterprises find it beneficial to employ both.

Legal Communications Requirements

Not only do BDAs help with day-to-day operations, but they are also often legally required for public safety purposes. In case of an emergency, first responders need to be able to communicate with each other from anywhere in or outside of a building.

There are a few regulatory bodies that oversee legal requirements for in-building signal boosters:

  • International Fire Code: The IFC-510 requires 95% in-building wireless signal coverage with a minimum signal strength of -95 dB.
  • National Fire Protection Association: NFPA 72 Chapter 24 requires 90% in-building coverage as well as 99% coverage for critical areas like elevator lobbies, exit stairs and passageways, and fire pump rooms.
  • Federal Communications Committee: The FCC requires certain radio channels, usually within the 600 MHz to 900 MHz range, be kept clear for first responders. Your signal-boosting system must be able to support these bandwidths.

In the same way technology is always growing and changing, so are legal requirements surrounding wireless communications. Luckily, we have experts on hand to help you navigate local fire codes; in fact, our technicians are FCC certified.

Case Study: Wireless Integration

Metropolitan Communications recently partnered with a school district in the Greater Philadelphia area to improve in-building wireless communications for public safety, boosting radio signals to make them more compatible with first responders’ systems.

Before working with Metropolitan Communications, hard-to-reach areas of schools had little to no coverage, presenting a safety risk in case of an emergency. After our expert technicians designed and installed BDAs, local law enforcement tested the wireless signal strength and deemed the results “very positive,” saying that the wireless coverage issue “has been resolved.”

Integrating the school’s coverage into the broader first responder network added extra peace of mind for school administrators, teachers, staff, and parents. It also helped the district comply with ever-evolving legal requirements surrounding safety protocols.

Contact Metropolitan Communications Today!

Wireless integration in schools is the answer to creating an environment that is as safe and productive as possible when it comes to both day-to-day operations, as well as unexpected events.

Metropolitan Communications is a leading integrated wireless solutions provider that sells, supports, designs, and installs communications systems. We work in the Greater Philadelphia area, including Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County, PA; New Castle County, DE; as well as Gloucester and Camden County, NJ.

Reach out today to see how we can help your school integrate your wireless communications under one system.

Security Cameras for Schools

Security Camera

In a rapidly changing world, one thing remains constant: the need for safety in schools.

Ensuring a safe learning environment through proper video surveillance has never been more intuitive or streamlined. Gone are the days of security guards trying to muddle through grainy footage. Now, intelligent security camera solutions combine video surveillance with security notifications, video analysis, and storage management—all in one integrated system.

Metropolitan Communications is here to show you how we can install state-of-the-art security technology and help keep schools safe through our partnership with Avigilon. We proudly serve the Greater Philadelphia area, including Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County, PA. We also assist areas outside of PA, including Gloucester and Camden County in NJ and New Castle County, DE.

Security Solutions We Offer

We specialize in Avigilon systems. Avigilon is a leading surveillance technology enterprise that makes it easy for you to capture, store, and navigate high-definition video surveillance recordings. Their streamlined approach to security makes ensuring the safety of students and staff simpler than ever.

With end-to-end solutions from Avigilon, video is captured, stored, analyzed, and maintained all in one easy-to-manage, integrated system. There are custom solutions for every school, but the basics of an Avigilon security system includes:

  • Security Cameras
  • Analytic Technology
  • Data Retrieval Software
  • Cloud-Based Data Management

Cameras for Your Needs

Cameras are most effective when they’re monitoring the most important areas. In a school, that means areas like the entrances and exits, stairwells, hallways, and front offices, along with protected areas where confidential files are stored.

Avigilon offers state-of-the-art, high-definition cameras, which the Metropolitan Communications team can expertly install for you. Some of the most effective surveillance cameras for schools include:

  • H5A Corner Camera: This no-grip, impact-rated camera attaches to corners, making it an effective way to monitor a large room, like a cafeteria. Plus, its durability means it can survive even the most extreme attempts to detach, dismantle, or disable it.
  • H5A Dual Head Camera: Like the H5A Corner Camera, this high-strength surveillance solution can monitor a large area and minimize blind spots. As an added bonus, it offers Next-Generation Video Analytic capabilities.
  • H4 Video Intercom: Using this intercom, front-office attendants can remotely see, talk to, and allow or deny building access to anyone at the school’s doors.

These are only some of the video surveillance cameras that Metropolitan Communications can install for you. To learn more, reach out today!

Behind the Camera: State-of-the-Art Technology

Capturing images is only the start of an effective security system. Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software contains technologies that make it possible to recognize specific objects and faces, as well as detect unusual motion.

Not only that, but this software autonomously sends alerts when it detects events that may warrant attention. In the words of Dr. Saptharishi, Chief Technology Officer of Avigilon, these technologies are valuable because “only the interesting events get presented to you.” Instead of manning a security desk after hours, let technology work for you.

Here are some of the technologies offered through ACC and how they can benefit you:

Next-Generation Video Analytics

This self-learning software enables the tracking and classification of over 50 objects, whether they are moving or stationary. These objects include bicycles, cars, buses, and trucks, making this software an excellent addition to schools, where students can come and go via various modes of transportation.

Facial Recognition

Create watch lists using uploaded photos or appearance parameters, and this AI-powered software can send an alert if it detects someone specific. Since Avigilon values privacy, as well as safety, this technology is assistive and only functional for helping organizations that are already authorized to scan faces.

Unusual Motion Detection (UMD)

After school hours, school hallways and campuses should be empty—and Unusual Motion Detection makes sure you know if they’re not. This technology works with H4 platform Avigilon cameras to learn movement patterns and detect when there is activity outside the norm. Unusual activity can mean people walking very late at night, cars moving erratically, a person loitering in an unusual spot, and more.

Avigilon Appearance Search™

The cameras are installed, and the recordings are in process. Security cameras, especially ones that run full-time, generate seemingly endless hours of data. When it’s time to find specific video footage, how do you start?

With Avigilon Appearance Search™, instead of combing through hours of footage, you can have what you need right away.

Easily search for specific criteria in seconds, much like using an internet browser to find the exact webpage you need. As part of an integrated security solution, this analytic technology makes it possible to search video footage for a person or vehicle of interest based on physical description. The technology can also compare an uploaded photo of a subject to surveillance camera footage.

These ACC technologies work in tandem to maximize safety while minimizing labor. Without these cutting-edge technologies, monitoring school safety takes longer and is less effective.

Data Storage and Management

All this high-definition video footage and cutting-edge software requires an advanced management strategy. Avigilon Cloud Services (ACS) makes it easier than ever to store and manage the data from your Avigilon Control Center (ACC) sites. ACS features include:

  • Access from Anywhere: Since the data is securely stored in the cloud, authorized users can retrieve and assess this data remotely, including from a secure ACC app. This access includes an easy-to-read dashboard with smart filters to streamline monitoring.
  • Seamless User Provisioning: Schools often have many administrators and staff who need access to security footage. ACC group privileges make it possible for team members to view and access information simultaneously.
  • Maintenance Services and Continuous Updates: Technology evolves all the time. With troubleshooting tools and automatic updates, your security system stays at its best.

In addition to all these helpful features and more, Metropolitan Communications offers 24/7 tech support for all the systems we install! Whether you experience an outage or need an expert to walk you through our integrated software systems, our team is here for you.

Security Cameras for Schools: A Case Study

Billings School District, Montana

Middle schools across the country often face issues with vandalism, graffiti, and bullying. This was certainly the case in the Billings School District of Montana, which suffered high crime rates that were difficult to resolve or prevent.

School administrators turned to security systems from Avigilon for help. With high-tech cameras that could detect individuals, school staff were able to catch perpetrators and verify testimonies when students’ accounts differed after incidents, such as fights.

In addition to making it easier to remedy difficult situations, this technology also helped prevent issues before they began. With technology that could detect unusual behaviors, school staff could intervene and de-escalate instances of bullying.

Outside of inter-student conflicts, the security system also detected a building contractor who failed to lock a door upon leaving, which resulted in a subsequent break-in. With this proof, the school did not have to take on the financial liability of the damage.

A complete Avigilon video surveillance solution that includes video analytics, ACC software, and Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology can help combat and prevent issues in your school too.

Installation and Maintenance

Avigilon offers unparalleled technology and services, which is why we’re so proud to work with them. At Metropolitan Communications, we install these systems and are on call for anything you need.

Installing security cameras for schools is simple. It starts with an inspection, where we determine your needs and find the best streamlined solution for you.

For installation, we’ll make sure to consider high-traffic areas, as well as secluded areas in the building and on its grounds. Ideal locations for security cameras include hallways, the front desk, classrooms, fields, stairwells, secluded areas, cafeterias, and more. Our expertise means we can recommend the best cameras and software packages for your needs.

Once the security cameras and other infrastructure are in place, our part isn’t done—we’re still around for 24/7 tech support.

Contact Metropolitan Communications Today!

Our technicians have over 90 years of combined experience, and they constantly undergo new training to stay experts.

We work with schools in Bucks County, Montgomery County, Chester County, and Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We help schools stay safe in other states too. Our service areas also include Gloucester and Camden County in New Jersey, as well as in New Castle County, Delaware.

For all your security camera needs in the Greater Philadelphia area, Metropolitan Communications is here to help. Contact us today!

Metropolitan Communications BDA vs DAS: What’s the Difference?

BDA vs DAS Exton, PA

No matter where you’re working, it’s important that you and your team are always equipped with a dependable wireless communications system. When communications are less reliable, day-to-day operations are less effective too. If your enterprise has unreliable in-building wireless signals, Metropolitan Communications is here to help with BDA/DAS technologies.

We are a leading integrated wireless solutions provider who designs, sells, supports, and installs communications systems in the Greater Philadelphia area, including Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County, PA; as well as Gloucester and Camden County, NJ; and New Castle County, DE.

Keep reading to learn more about BDAs, DAS, and how they work.

Why BDA and DAS Systems Are Essential

In buildings with thick walls made of concrete or steel, wireless communications like cell phones and radios are often unable to reach their destination. In addition, areas that host very large populations, like football stadiums, may not have the signal strength to accommodate so many cell phone users at once.

BDA/DAS solutions guarantee signal connections. They are useful for both commercial and private use, as well as public safety.

Consumer and Commercial Applications

Since they help improve in-building wireless signals, BDA/DAS technologies help employees stay in touch with each other from anywhere in a building. That way, colleagues can report issues more effectively and let each other know which tasks need to be completed, increasing productivity in the process.

Consumer and commercial signal-boosting systems are commonly used to improve wireless cell phone signals over long distances and in large crowds. Examples of consumer and commercial BDA/DAS systems include those found in shopping malls, high-rise hotels, and sports stadiums.

Public Safety Applications

Wireless cell reception is important for businesses and customers, but strong and reliable wireless communications are also essential in emergency situations. When every second counts, first responders need to be able to communicate with each other.

Many enterprises are legally required to install and maintain public safety BDA/DAS systems. Public safety signal boosters usually enhance wireless radio communications, so first responders can communicate with each other from inside and outside a building.

Metropolitan Communications is here to walk you through how BDA/DAS solutions work and how they can help you, whether you need more in-building coverage for business, public safety, or both.

How Do BDA & DAS Systems Work?

When a building has poor in-house communications signals, it is possible to fix the issue by capturing a wireless signal from outside and then re-distributing it inside with more signal strength.

A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) is used to re-distribute the signal, and Bi-Directional Amplifiers (BDAs) enhance signals in every part of a building. Although they are different, they work together as in-building signal boosters.

At a Glance: BDA vs DAS

BDA

DAS

What It Is

Specialized antenna

Signal distribution system

What It Does

Extends coverage

Extends coverage, enhances capacity

When it comes to losing an in-building signal, there are two root causes: problems with coverage and problems with capacity.

In areas where wireless signals often have trouble reaching, like basements and stairwells, you can experience issues with coverage. When in-building coverage is a problem, BDA antennas can help extend a signal, whether that is a cell signal, radio signal, or some other kind of wireless connection.

Issues with capacity occur when the signal strength cannot support all the users. At a sold-out football game, for instance, thousands of people using their cell phones at once can overwhelm nearby cell towers. This issue often requires a more specialized DAS to enhance signal capacity for everyone in attendance.

The Key Components of Signal Boosters

Although these types of equipment are customizable depending on the signals that need to be boosted, generally, in-building signal booster solutions include three key components:

  1. A donor antenna: This is mounted on the exterior of the building to capture the wireless signal from the outside and feed it into the building.
  2. A Distributed Antenna System (DAS): This is a group of antennas placed throughout a structure to disseminate the captured signal.
  3. Bi-Directional Amplifiers (BDAs): These are a type of signal-boosting antenna that work within a DAS. They extend two-way radio coverage into difficult-to-reach areas, such as stairwells, underground hallways, tunnels, parking garages, and other challenging zones.

As you can see, BDA and DAS technologies often work hand in hand, but there are differences in how they operate to increase in-building signal coverage and capacity.

The experts at Metropolitan Communications can inspect your enterprise, discern problem areas, and craft a custom solution that works for you. We want to ensure all communications come through loud and clear, no matter the circumstance!

Who Benefits from BDA/DAS Solutions?

BDA/DAS for Your Business

Since BDA/DAS solutions improve wireless communications, almost any industry benefits from them. Some of the industries that Metropolitan Communications has assisted include:

Essentially, almost any industry that benefits from guaranteed in-house wireless communications can benefit greatly from these technologies.

Since every industry is unique, BDA and DAS solutions are unique too. Keep reading to learn more about the practical applications of each and how Metropolitan Communications can help your enterprise.

About BDAs: Bi-Directional Amplifiers

As an important part of a Distributed Antenna System, Bi-Directional Amplifiers extend coverage into hard-to-reach areas. Essentially, a BDA will pick up a signal from a transmitting antenna, strengthen the signal, and extend it to wherever you need it.

BDAs are signal boosters that sustain wireless communications throughout a facility. BDAs have many practical applications, including connectivity for cell phones, public safety communications, radios, and Wi-Fi signals.

However, a cell signal-boosting BDA will not increase two-way radio coverage and vice-versa, so it is best to install each as a separate system, if needed. Some enterprises employ both cell-specific and radio-specific BDAs.

The convenience of this connection-amplifying solution means that you can begin construction in an old building or address a problem in a remote area without worrying about your portable radio losing its signal.

With BDAs in place, coworkers can get in touch with each other from wherever they are—meaning they can focus more on the job at hand and worry less about the reduced efficiency that comes with connectivity issues.

About DAS: Distributed Antenna Systems

A DAS is a more general term for any communications solution that ensures in-building coverage and capacity through the use of in-house antennas. There are a few different types of DAS solutions, and the two main ones are passive DAS and active DAS.

Passive DAS

Passive DAS systems work by receiving a signal from outside, bringing it into a building, and distributing that same signal via coaxial cables to amplifiers that live throughout the building. Since a DAS involves amplifiers, a passive DAS often employs BDAs.

With many buildings, this is enough to meet legal requirements and ensure that emergency personnel will be able to reach each other in case of an emergency.

However, signals often degrade over very long distances, like from the top floor of a hotel to the main lobby. For this reason, a passive DAS system works best in buildings that are under 100,000 square feet.

Active DAS

Active DAS solutions can help in buildings that are very large, like airports, convention centers, and sports stadiums. This is because when signals travel long distances, they begin to degrade.

Active DAS solutions are also useful for areas that host very large populations at once, like sold-out concert venues. When crowds gather in high concentrations, the multitude of cell phones can overwhelm the capacity of nearby cell towers.

A passive DAS solution simply passes a received signal throughout a building via antennas placed on every floor. An active DAS is different because it first converts the signal from a radio or cell frequency into an optic frequency.

After conversion, that signal is transported via fiber optic cables that connect to antennas placed throughout the building. This maintains the integrity of the original signal while increasing coverage and capacity for all the people in the area.

BDAs still prove useful in active DAS solutions since they extend this coverage into all areas of a structure, even if that signal has been converted in some way.

BDA/DAS for Public Safety

Why They Are Necessary

Thick concrete and metal can prevent signals from getting into your building, which makes conducting business difficult for both coworkers and clients.

In addition, not only do in-house communications solutions make good business sense, but they are also often required by different local and federal statutes for public safety reasons. After all, in an emergency, first responders need guaranteed clear communication throughout all areas of a building. For this reason, there are several legal regulations that require facilities to have guaranteed communication with emergency personnel.

In the same way that BDA and DAS solutions can enhance both coverage and capacity, legal requirements address both those root causes of wireless issues as well.

Legal Codes that Affect Your BDA/DAS Solutions: NFPA and IFC

When it comes to ensuring coverage, two of the most important requirements are put in place by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Fire Code (IFC). Some of these codes include:

  • NFPA 72 Chapter 24: Requires 90 percent of in-building coverage, as well as 99 percent coverage for critical areas, such as elevator lobbies, exit stairs and passageways, and fire pump rooms.
  • IFC-510: Requires 95 percent in-building wireless signal coverage with a minimum signal strength of -95 dB.

Not only must a BDA/DAS solution provide coverage in all areas of a building, but that coverage must be able to function under extreme conditions, like high heat and high humidity. They must also have backup batteries that last up to 12 hours, and sometimes even longer.

Legal Codes that Affect Your BDA/DAS Solutions: FCC

Another organization that regulates and enforces wireless communications standards is the FCC, or the Federal Communications Commission. Their regulations on communications traffic includes different kinds of wireless signals. They oversee many industries, and part of their role is to act in the interest of public safety by keeping certain airwaves free of clutter, so they have enough capacity for first responders.

This is outlined in the FCC’s Network Protection Standard, which is a “series of technical precautions that minimize the chances of signal boosters interfering with wireless networks.” When your BDA/DAS solutions operate on the proper channels, they make sure that nothing gets in the way of emergency responders.

More specifically, emergency responders operate on protected bandwidths, usually within the 600 MHz to 900 MHz range. Your signal-boosting system must be able to support these channels, and your enterprise must keep these channels clear.

Legal Codes that Affect Your BDA/DAS Solutions: FirstNet

Legal requirements evolve all the time. One example is the relatively recent creation of the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, in 2012. This government organization aims to create and employ a nationwide wireless network for first responders.

Local ordinances often have regionally specific communications standards. Creating a nationwide standard will help first responders work more effectively in emergencies that affect many regions—like when a hurricane hits several states on the East Coast.

Keeping track of all these legal requirements can be challenging. Luckily, Metropolitan Communications is here to help make sure that all the equipment we install is up to code. This way, there’s no risk of facing heavy penalties. More importantly, there’s more assurance that if there is ever an emergency situation, everyone can be safer.

How Our BDA/DAS Solutions Can Help You

At Metropolitan Communications, our expert technicians have over 90 combined years of experience serving the Greater Philadelphia area. Before installing a custom BDA/DAS solution for you, we will perform an on-site survey. This survey will assess signal strength throughout the building and determine the causes of any poor signals.

From there, we can determine the best locations for donor antennas, in-building BDAs, and the type of DAS required. Since every solution is unique, our plans are too. We partner with major telecommunications corporations, like Motorola, Cisco, 3M, and more to bring you the latest and most advanced technology.

Our installation team is seasoned in installing all different types of equipment, including:

  • Antenna systems
  • Base stations
  • Repeaters
  • In-building amplification systems
  • Radio equipment
  • Emergency lighting
  • Mobile data terminals
  • Headset and intercom systems
  • In-vehicle cameras
  • Digital recording systems
  • Management information systems
  • Call-routing
  • Records management

Once your inspection and installation are complete, we are still here for you. In fact, we offer 24/7 support for all your needs, along with our data management systems.

Case Studies

Don’t just take our word for it—see how we have helped others in the area.

Education

Nothing is more important than our children’s safety. Safety can be challenging in many schools, where concentrated populations and thick concrete walls can negatively affect signal capacity and coverage. That’s why Metropolitan Communications partnered with public safety officials and school district administrators in Southeastern PA to improve signal strength in schools.

Our experts reviewed, designed, and installed in-building NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) compliant solutions. After implementing their new signal-boosting solution, communications signals now reach previously hard-to-cover areas. According to local law enforcement, the results are “very positive.”

Healthcare

Our expert teams recently created a custom BDA solution for a local healthcare system to improve patient care and security.

In addition to being tested and approved by local first responders, the system also helped the healthcare facility by implementing a web-based notification system. This system provides email, text, or voice notifications in the event of a system issue. With this helpful automation in place, healthcare providers can spend more attention on patient care and worry less about communication problems in the event of an emergency.

Reach out to Metropolitan Communications Today!

No matter what, we can ensure that all our BDA/DAS solutions will be code-compliant, expertly installed, and consistently tested. We are ready to serve the Greater Philadelphia area, including Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County, PA; Gloucester and Camden County, NJ; and New Castle County, DE.

Whether you work in public safety, education, healthcare, or another vital industry, our team is ready to partner with yours. To learn more about how we can help you keep your wireless communications efficient and compliant, reach out for a consultation and a quote today!

 

Security Cameras for Hospitals

Security Camera

People trust medical professionals with their health and their lives. To offer the best care possible, hospitals must be safe and secure.

On top of guaranteeing patient health and safety, hospital administrators must also consider business operations and legal regulations. As such, they need the best in security cameras to keep operations running smoothly. Not only can a security system help ensure patient care and safety, but it can also protect the hospital legally.

Metropolitan Communications is here to show you how end-to-end surveillance solutions from Avigilon can streamline your security protocols, from video recording and encryption to data organization and storage.

We’re proud to serve the Greater Philadelphia area, which includes healthcare facilities in Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County, PA. Our expertise also extends over state lines to New Castle County, DE; Gloucester, NJ; and Camden County, NJ.

Streamlined Security Solutions

How Avigilon Technology Can Help You

Metropolitan Communications works with Avigilon to offer easy-to-install, user-friendly, and scalable end-to-end security solutions. An Avigilon security solution can make it faster and easier than ever to:

  • Keep patients well cared for
  • Prevent unauthorized patient departures
  • Collect evidence in the case of a liability investigation
  • Ensure accountability for medical staff

Hospital administrators and medical professionals have enough to focus on. Security solutions from Avigilon can help these teams spend less time monitoring potential security risks, leaving more time for providing the best healthcare possible.

Components of a Streamlined Solution

An end-to-end solution is just what it sounds like—a system that provides everything you need from beginning to end. Every situation is unique, and different packages will work better for some than others. Streamlined solutions from Avigilon consist of:

  • High-definition cameras and sensors
  • Intelligent software
  • Secure data storage

Security Cameras for Your Needs

Metropolitan Communications installs several kinds of Avigilon cameras, which offer high-definition video, optional audio that can be engaged as needed, and other advanced capabilities. Plus, most come partnered with Avigilon software, so security personnel can utilize footage more effectively. Some of the best cameras for hospitals include:

  • H4 Cameras: The H4 Thermal Camera can detect body heat in complete darkness and low-visibility situations, like through smoke. The H4 Thermal Elevated Temperature Detection takes this technology a step further and provides contactless pre-screening to detect elevated skin temperatures. Monitoring for fevers from a distance helps keep hospital staff and patients safe and can be useful in assessing changes in a patient’s health status.
  • H5A Camera Line: This line of sleek and low-profile cameras comes with Avigilon Appearance Search™ capabilities, which makes it possible to search footage for a specific person. As an added bonus, these cameras are easy to clean and difficult to dismantle.
  • FIPS Series Avigilon Network Video Recorders: Privacy is a priority in hospitals. This line of video recorders provides secure data-in-flight cryptography that meets FIPS 140-2 requirements.

Another security device that can benefit hospitals is the Avigilon Presence Detector. It is not a camera, but it detects people’s presence using radar. Its equipped self-learning analytics means it can scan, “learn,” and adapt to monitor usual and unusual activity. This is helpful for hospitals because it can help security staff monitor areas with an added layer of privacy for patients.

Behind the Camera: Avigilon Control Center™ Software

A security camera can capture images more sharply than ever before, but without a way to assess footage, security teams can still have trouble analyzing critical events quickly. Thanks to Avigilon Control Center™ (ACC) software, security cameras can now help assess what’s on the screen. Then, the software can send alerts when it registers anything noteworthy.

ACC software offers an expansive suite of capabilities, such as facial recognition, image search license plate detection, unusual activity monitors, and more.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, where providing care and staying safe are more important than ever, ACC can monitor and alert you in real time—no need to wait for a human to notice or have someone scroll through hours of video footage to take decisive action.

Security During the COVID-19 Pandemic

ACC enhances the effectiveness of high-definition cameras with intelligent monitoring systems that can send notifications as necessary. This software helps ensure COVID-19-compliant practices to keep healthcare centers as safe as possible. These detection technologies include:

  • Occupancy Counting Technology
  • Social Distancing Technology
  • No Face Mask Detection Technology
  • Contact Tracing with Access Control

With these smart systems in place, hospitals can better protect their staff and patients. Then, when it comes time to decipher a sequence of events (like in the case of contact tracing), Avigilon Control Center™ software makes it possible for operators to lace different camera views together. This provides a more complete understanding of events in the hospital.

Remote and Centralized Care for Immuno-Compromised Patients

The Mobile Patient Alert & Communications Terminal makes it possible for medical professionals to check in and verify a patient’s condition from the safety of a central location. This reduces the chance of pathogen exposure while continuing to provide the best treatment and care for patients.

Not only is this useful for COVID-19 patients, but remote monitoring helps protect patients with severely compromised immune systems, like those who have suffered extreme burns.

Protecting Patients’ Privacy: FIPS Regulations

Ensuring privacy helps ease a patient’s mind and keeps a hospital compliant with legal regulations surrounding how information is shared and stored. The FIPS Series Avigilon Network Video Recorders offer pre-hardened encryption to make sure your data meets federal statutes.

FIPS stands for Federal Information Processing Standards, which come from the National Institute of Standards and Technology office of the United States Department of Commerce. They set standards for cryptographic-based security systems.

FIPS compliance is mandatory in all federal healthcare facilities, but it is also valuable in public and private hospitals because of the high level of security and dependability it ensures.

Integrating Technology

In addition to streamlined video capture, encryption, and organization, Avigilon also partners with Motorola Solutions to incorporate communications technology into security systems.

ACC software includes system alerts, and by syncing with MOTOTRBO and APX P25 two-way radios, it is possible to receive urgent text-to-voice alerts via radio. With this integration, security personnel can acknowledge alerts on the go.

This integrated technology solution equips your security team to:

  • Monitor live video on a continuous basis, even with limited resources or time
  • Be aware of all potential and occurring security incidents
  • Mobilize security resources in a timely manner when a potential security incident is detected

With the capabilities that come with ACC, such as facial recognition and license plate detection, security personnel can be informed of potential issues as soon as possible. As with most situations in a hospital, taking security action as quickly as possible is a must.

Case Study

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Connecticut faced problems that are common in many hospitals, like liability concerns and patient elopement. Unfortunately, their outdated security system made it difficult to investigate claims and track persons of interest.

Avigilon improved their system with a streamlined approach, installing over 100 cameras. Many were from the H4 line of cameras, which provide exceptional image quality. Then, with Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology to assess camera footage, security staff could easily locate persons of interest.

In places where video cameras were not an option, like restrooms, the hospital relied on the Avigilon Presence Detector. Its smart-sensing technology made it possible to keep track of people’s locations without affecting their privacy.

With high-definition cameras, presence detectors, smart software, and an encrypted storage solution, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital is now able to address investigations and improve safety. Now, they can spend more time on providing the best healthcare possible.

Contact Metropolitan Communications Today!

In a field where mistakes are costly, the extra assurance from video surveillance solutions provides immense peace of mind. That’s why we at Metropolitan Communications are proud to partner with Avigilon to keep hospitals safe.

Healthcare facilities in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas, like Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County, Pennsylvania; New Castle County, Delaware; and Gloucester and Camden County, New Jersey, can all benefit from state-of-the-art security solutions. Reach out today to see how we can help you and your hospital.