Good ICT infrastructure is essential to effective construction site operations – including employee communication, security and of course health and safety. Construction sites can often be dangerous environments to work within, and with communications infrastructure temperamental in many cases, due to factors such as remoteness of the location and adverse weather. In this article, we will explore how to improve communication, security and employee health and safety, through the use of wireless technologies.
Laying the Foundations – Construction Site Internet Access
The first action that must be taken is to evaluate the site and determine the best internet option. Factors include the following:
Site location – how remote or central is the site? How far is it from the nearest Openreach exchange and mobile masts? Sites that are located close to town and city centres may have access to existing 5G infrastructure, whereas more remote sites may require Air Fibre or Satellite Broadband.
Number of users – for larger projects that have a large number of users and devices, a faster connection with better equipment is a must. Data allowance must also be considered here – thankfully, we offer unlimited data on many site connectivity packages.
Project start date and duration – construction projects must be connected from day one. A traditional fibre installation could take months, which will have a significant impact on operational deadlines.
Budget – the costs of equipment (devices, routers, antennas, cabling, CCTV, sensors etc.), installation and data must all be considered and worked into the operating costs for the duration of the project.
Connectivity options – with the above taken into consideration, a site survey will then identify the best type of connection for your project. Options include 4G / 5G broadband, Private LTE & 5G networks, Air Fibre, Satellite Broadband and traditional Land Fibre.
Fitting out the Site Cabins
Once the requirements have been defined and the site survey is complete, it’s time to design the solution. For smaller sites with a limited number of users and devices, a plug and play 4G option could provide enough bandwidth to allow effective communication. For larger sites, with more employees, more devices and more arduous health and safety requirements, fully networked communications infrastructure is a must. This would involve the installation of high-gain antennas and industrial-grade routers, combined with dual network sims with automatic failover, for the fastest, most reliable connection. For projects with sites spread across a large area, perhaps tens or hundreds of miles, sites that depend on vital IoT automation, or organisations that handle sensitive data, then a Private LTE / 5G network could be considered.
Check out a comparison of construction site connectivity solutions for further information.
Reliable Communications Systems – VoIP & Mobile
VoIP solutions are not restricted by phone lines or geography, all that is required is a data connection. This makes VoIP an extremely flexible solution for communication between different sites and projects. Deployment is very fast, and new numbers can be added within minutes, with no need to wait for new lines to be commissioned.
Mobile phones allow employees a great deal of flexibility when working across sites – they are not only key for calls, but also email communications, video calling and for the use of essential business apps.
Mobile Signal Improvement
Related to the above, many sites, particularly those in remote or rural areas, suffer from poor voice and data connectivity. Thankfully, our licence-exempt mobile signal boosters solve this problem. Good voice and data coverage are absolutely essential for health and safety and employee communication, but also as a backup solution for internet access, should site broadband ever go down.
We’ve already highlighted the importance of a good wireless connection for IoT, including for for use in security systems. This may include:
- IoT-enabled employee PPE
- Vehicle tracking
- Security cameras
- Site access terminals
If you are looking for further guidance on you can improve construction project communications, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team.