ETHS implements antenna system to improve wireless cell coverage


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave. ETHS created a distributed antenna system to improve wireless cell coverage.

Catherine Henderson, Assistant City Editor

Evanston Township High School launched a new project to improve wireless cell coverage on its campus in an effort to improve public safety, according to a news release on Thursday.

ETHS collaborated with partners, including wireless coverage and mobile communications company Cobham Wireless, to create a new distributed antenna system — a system of small antennas throughout a large building to deal with poor coverage. Because the partners covered the cost, the project was designed and installed at no cost to District 202.

Keith Radousky, president of Radvisory 5G, a partner in the project, said cellular technology is a “fourth utility” for schools. Radousky said the system would improve public safety by expediting contact to Evanston first responders. According to Radousky, 80 percent of 911 calls are made wirelessly.

In a news release, Radousky said ETHS may be the first public school to use a “pure hybrid public safety and cellular digital system.”

The cost of system maintenance is covered for the first five years, and the school anticipates a reduction in operational costs over time since the antenna system uses 30 percent less electricity than traditional systems, according to the news release.

ETHS assistant director of safety Terrence Doby praised the system for being more efficient and accurate than regular cell coverage at ETHS.

“With this implementation, we’ve been able to … take steps to remain at the forefront of the best technology in public safety communications,” Doby said.

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