Connected Real Estate Magazine - Vol 1 Issue 2 - 63
IN BUILDING & DAS
What Type of Wireless Network
DO YOU NEED?
BY DOMINIC VILLECCO
n Connected Real Estate Magazine's debut issue, we explored the fundamentals of in-building
wireless and wireless through the generations. We've gained a better understanding of what
wireless is and how we've evolved, but one question still remains: what type of wireless network
do you need? As a building owner, knowing what type of system you're deploying in your
buildings, if it is a reliable network and how much it will cost you is most important.
ALONG CAME DAS
A Distributed Antenna System, otherwise referred to as
"DAS", is exactly what it sounds like. In the most basic sense,
it is a system of antennas distributed throughout a building.
Cell towers serve the greater area with radio signals from the
four major carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon
Wireless. (Note: through industry consolidation, there are
more names than networks; Cricket runs on AT&T's network, MetroPCS runs on T-Mobile's network and so on.)
Signals from cell towers penetrate many smaller buildings
and single-family residences, but often times larger buildings
aren't fully covered. Two key points from the last article are
coverage (penetration) and capacity (ability to utilize coverage). If you're in a larger building with minimal coverage and
capacity, the network will be unfit for public consumption and
people will complain. This is where DAS plays a major role.
Imagine breaking a cell tower into a handful of pieces, and
then distributing those pieces throughout a building. That is essentially how a Distributed Antenna System works; like having
your own personal cell tower. This solves any coverage problems
and adds inherent capacity specifically to your building.
WHAT DOES DAS LOOK LIKE?
A typical DAS model begins with your IDF closets/rooms
usually found on multiple floors of a building. The IDF houses
the central equipment for the system, also known as the Head
End. The Head End is the main hub where the signal originates. The system then distributes the carrier signals through
fiber optic cables to nodes and antennas on each floor, which
emit the signal to your wireless devices.
MULTI-CARRIER DAS MODEL