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In this paper, two key aspects relating to the electromagnetic engineering of wireless communication systems in built environments are considered. Firstly, the mechanisms by which radio signals propagate in typical built environments are discussed, using results from a comprehensive study of propagation in a representative multi-storey building using the Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) method. Secondly, the influence of these propagation effects on the reliability and capacity of wireless systems from a user perspective are considered. Strategies for how wireless communication systems engineers might best address the challenges imposed by the propagation process on system deployments are then proposed.