F.A.S.T. BDA and Radio Services

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A BDA (Bi-Directional Amplifier) is also known as a Signal Booster. It is the main component of a BDA system or ERCES (Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement System). A BDA is an amplifier that amplifies radio frequency (RF) signals in two directions simultaneously: from a subscriber to a radio repeater system (uplink) and from the radio repeater system to the subscriber (downlink). BDAs can improve in-building coverage for radio communications, and cellular signals. They are also occasionally used for outdoor coverage improvement.

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Fire, Police, EMS, and other public safety personnel rely on two-way radios daily. Their personal safety, as well as the safety of the building occupants, depends on reliable communications. Public safety radio systems are designed to provide reliable outdoor radio signal coverage. However, signal coverage inside buildings and other structures is usually much weaker or non-existent. Building materials such as concrete, metal, Low-E glass etc attenuate (degrade) radio signals resulting in poor in-building coverage and “dead spots”.


To remedy the problem, we need to enhance the radio signal in the part of the building that has poor radio signal coverage and to “fill in the dead spots”. An ERCES (Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement System) is required. The BDA system is the best way to enhance the in-building signal coverage..

The BDA receives a signal from the Public Safety Radio Repeater through the donor antenna on the roof. The signal is then amplified by the BDA. The amplified signal is then distributed throughout the weak signal areas of the building.


A typical fire-ground operation involves firefighters inside the building, fire ground command, and the fire station radio dispatch center. Everyone needs to be able to clearly communicate with each other. A properly designed and deployed system will provide reliable coverage throughout the building so that firefighters, police officers and EMS can communicate reliably regardless if they are inside or outside the building