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Investigating the Effects of Building Materials on Wireless Signal Coverage

Investigating the Effects of Building Materials on Wireless Signal Coverage

Mr. Mario Eunick & Dr. Louis-Ray Harris
Faculty of Science and Technology
Telecommunications, ICTs and BPO

With the increasing development of infrastructure and information and communication technologies (ICTs), there is an increased dependency on wireless technologies in a variety of user environments. The users of wireless networks are always concerned about the performance of such networks, which is dependent on both the network design as well as environmental conditions.

Building designs are constantly evolving, especially given the need to adapt to changing climatic conditions, and there have been many experiments with new building materials and dimensions. However, combinations of these materials would affect wireless signals in different ways, and it is important to understand the behaviour of wireless signals in these environments. This enables us to optimize designs for wireless networks in many different environments.

This study aims to obtain a better understanding of radio frequency (RF) signal propagation in specific environments with different building designs, and considers the building dimensions, designs and unique combinations of commonly used building materials. In one instance shown below, we use software to model the performance of wireless networks in a faculty on the UWI, Mona campus. The model shows what happens as a signal propagates and interacts with its environment.

The methodology and results obtained show that this approach can be used to help achieve the successful roll-out of Wi-Fi access and other wireless technologies in public spaces.

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