Today setting up shop at the jobsite doesn’t feel as disconnected as it has in years past. Advancements in cellular and satellite coverage, along with some systems and solutions that add a “boost” to such connectivity means contractors can feel more connected than ever before.

Cellphone performance at the jobsite can often leave a lot to be desired. Even as the cellular networks improve and use of data cards help improve performance, coverage is never quite what most construction professionals would hope. For this reason, things like cell boosters and femtocells are gaining traction in both consumer and business settings as a way to increase wireless signals.

Cellular boosters keep voice and data traffic on the carrier’s network. In contrast, femtocells, which are offered by some of the network providers, take voice and data traffic off of handset and offload it from the wireless network–often to the broadband network. Essentially, femtocells are taking the traffic off of the wireless network and put it on the Internet.

One provider of cell boosters, Wilson Electronics, www.wilsonelectronics.com, St. George, Utah, says it is experiencing some growing interest in such products from the construction industry.

In particular, Wilson’s SignalBoost DT Desktop is an interesting option to consider. The product is designed to improve the overall performance of your cellphone by increasing signal strength and data rates. The product supports multiple cellphones and data cards simultaneously and works with all major cellular network providers in North America. This includes both cellular and PCS carrier frequency bands.

With regards to productivity solutions at the jobsite, Chandler McCormack, CEO, OxBlue, www.oxblue.com, Atlanta, Ga., believes construction cameras have proven to be an effective part of the project management strategy for contractors. Years ago, he says, there was a constant disconnect with what people on the jobsite knew and what the people off the job site thought. The company, which recently celebrated 10 years of being in the business, has made it a point to address this challenge with its line of cameras.

“We were able to empower contractors to coordinate in real-time with design teams, and enable owners to be kept in the loop on progress,” says McCormack, adding that unnecessary communications were reduced across the board and schedule disputes were eliminated.

The company is now enhancing the functionality of its system by using image technology and refining the interface with the intent to make the product more user friendly. According to the company, OxBlue tools now allow users to narrow down specific events and images while accessing the jobsite remotely.

Other enhancements announced by the company include new rugged 12 megapixel pan-tilt-zoom construction cameras, and a line of solar systems designed for use with its construction cameras. The company says tax credits associated with solar power means these cameras help meet the need for a cost-effective solar solution. According to OxBlue, customers purchasing solar power systems, such as those offered by the company, may be eligible for a minimum of $1,000 in Federal tax credits, in addition to other tax credits from state, local, and utility renewable energy programs.