It’s a common problem – you hit a certain floor and all of a sudden, you’re finding it hard to get signal on your phone. Imagine you’re in The Shard, the tallest non-natural structure in Western Europe. It’s a lovely sunny day (I did say use your imagination), and you’re standing on one of the viewing platforms. This one is on the 72nd floor. Considering most of the time you can’t be guaranteed a decent signal above 100 metres, and almost all antenna’s point down or along the ground (next time you pass a base station, see how many of them are tilted up), how did you expect to make a call when you’re 244 metres up to tell your mates how great the view is?
Vodafone realised it would be a problem and did something about it. They converted the signal so it would be carried by fiber optical cable and converted back to radio signals at ‘key points’ littered throughout the building. There are several of the tiny antennas hidden on each floor to ensure you great great coverage in the building.
The Shard: Essential stats and facts
- The Viewing platforms are 244 metres above London
- The spine of the building is comprised of two separate lift shafts, one that goes to the 33rd floor, and another that goes from 33 to 68
- Those lifts shoot up and down at a speed of 6 metres per second
- The viewing platforms contain a collection of unique Telescopes, which use augmented reality to overlay facts about London’s skyline on their touchscreens as you navigate view of the capital
- The view on a clear day is 40 miles (64 km)
For more information, check the Vodafone Blog.