Constructing connectivity

Providing full connectivity to large construction sites has always been a challenge, but now companies want to access broadband data and deploy IoT applications to locate workers and equipment and for health and security monitoring, as Simon Creasey reports

Few industry sectors encounter as many communications challenges as construction. For starters, construction sites are often in remote locations where it is incredibly difficult to deliver full connectivity. You might also have hundreds of workers from numerous different companies scattered across a site that stretches for many acres, with some beavering away deep underground on the building’s foundations and others working hundreds of feet in the sky in cranes.

So what options are available to construction companies looking to establish wireless communication networks on sites? For starters, providing fibre to a project that starts out as a giant hole in the ground that is often located in the middle of nowhere is a non-starter. Often it is not logistically possible to put fibre into sites as it is too cost prohibitive or the lead time is going to be too long – according to industry sources, construction companies only typically require connectivity for around nine months. Other connectivity options such as dongles and satellites only offer restricted data and speeds. Another obstacle is that construction companies usually want connectivity delivered quickly.

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