New paging system coming to Medical Center

A 10 million-square-foot cellular network will be built on the Washington University Medical Center campus this year as part of a new paging system.

Sprint and Telecommunications Facilities Corp., the joint School of Medicine- and BJC HealthCare-operated company that supports telecommunications services, will build the network, estimated to be complete in early 2010.

More than 8,000 pagers will be replaced next year with Sprint devices enabled with text messaging. The new network and devices will provide more reliable paging and messaging.

In addition, TFC and Sprint are building an on-site customer-service and retail center in the Clinical Science Research Building link to provide one-stop support for all devices and billing as well as sales of personal devices and equipment. The TFC Customer Center, scheduled to hold a grand opening Aug. 18-20, will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends.

“This Next-Generation Paging Project brings a cellular signal into antennas on each floor of every building on the main medical campus,” said Chris Mossengren, TFC project manager. “This private network is being engineered to specifications unique to building layouts, clinical environments and to customer and patient needs.”

Employees of the School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital who have pagers provided by TFC will have their devices replaced with a new Sprint device beginning next spring. Training also will be provided for those receiving the new devices.

For more information about the Next Generation Paging Project or the new TFC Customer Center, go to