Site Installation & FCS1331
Perhaps one of the most difficult things about properly installing a resilient business Radio solution is the work associated with the site itself. For this reason, Site Engineer is a major topic within the industry.
Radiocommunications sites come in all shapes and sizes. They range from a simple stub antenna on a desk to a huge radio mast with its own control room attached.
The work encompasses a lot of skills. It ranges across obtaining the necessary radio spectrum licences through to selecting the right concrete for the mast base (if needed), selection of materials, the whole question of safety and security arrangements, the fasteners and related cable arrangements, legal requirements for working on sites (at height) and other compliance matters, site earthing and lightning protection arrangements and the potentially very sophisticated RF engineering involved for the power levels, to address interference and software configuration of the entire system and units, all to achieve the desired level of resilience.
At the same time, the market is competitive and so is open to new entrants. Naturally, there may be some need for advice as they start up and gain skills. For this reason, the FCS provides a Code of Practice that gives useful guidance to the industry on all these matters. This Code of Practice is referred to as: FCS 1331 Code of Practice for Business Radio Site Engineering: 2013
FCS 1331 Code of Practice for Business Radio Site Engineering: 2013
This Code of Practice is currently under revision.
There is a secondary and perhaps even more important aspect of Site Installations. Because the sector is currently open to competition, there are no market entrance criteria. There is an unfortunately large number of entities who seek to gain business through lower pricing, made possible by poor site installation practice. The FCS membership receives too many reports of customers being provided with site solutions that are so bad they the system doesn’t work properly. Indeed, it may not even work at all. The FCS member is contacted by an end user requesting assistance to come in to fix it.
It may be that there needs to be a recognised professional qualification created that addresses this matter.