Building owners, venue owners, and large operators and service providers have been using DAS (Distributed Antenna System) for over two decades now in an attempt to enhance the network coverage in their facilities. Especially in buildings where the traditional macrocell approach doesn’t do the job of providing reliable (or any) wireless signals indoors. Mobile networks have been upgrading from 2G to 3G to LTE, and now we’re waiting for 5G to arrive here with a gusto. WIth this shift, the DAS architecture has alo evolved over time.
DAS system has been a quite successful one in its capability to provide a technology and carrier agnostic network solution where multiple operators’ network would work at the same time. This ability to fuse the networks of multiple operators with a range of different technology considerably amplifies the business case for DAS, and undoubtedly makes it a significantly more attractive solution for the neutral hosts and building owners. We recently published an article about why implementing a reliable and robust In-Building-Wireless (IBW) infrastructure is an important one to boost the property value. Now we want to look into why implementing it at the architectural stage is crucial.
All facilities - residential or business, recreational or professional, public or private - are in a dire need to be fully lit as people are increasingly becoming reliant on the ‘connectivity’ for everything they do. Everyone, from tenants, employees and guests to building owners and IT Dept. Managers are progressively demanding better device connectivity throughout their facilities and premises. This is an inevitable piece of infrastructure for any building today - much like the installation of electricity and water supply infrastructure. Therefore, delaying it at the building construction stage is only going to increase the cost of doing so at a later stage. By including the plans for cellular connectivity in the building into the construction process of new buildings and renovations early on - preferably during the architecture and design stage - can not only discharge much of the costs that would otherwise be associated with it if carried out at a later stage, but also boost the building’s allure to the potential tenants.
There are a number of key requirements for any IBW solutions, and one of those is to minimize the aesthetic impact to the building or venue. While it’s becoming a crucial thing for everyone involved to ensure no one has to experience a poor or no wireless connectivity, it’s also an important aspect to not have too many hardware and equipment in their buildings - which may negatively impact their aesthetic appeal. Installation of IBW infrastructure early on in the process will help strike that balance by offering a well-thought out and planned out solution that is neutral to multiple carriers, offers better Quality of Experience (QoE), and yet isn’t unsightly or grotesque for the clients, visitors, and tenants alike.
The immediate nature of our connectivity needs are growing. The mobile era is ever-shifting and flourishing to newer standards and everyone is always trying to keep up. Having the IBW infrastructure in the building from day one in order to support this overall technological growth is not only pivotal to the success in earning and keeping the tenancy, but also a common sense.
There are also the requirements of the Public Safety DAS, which are mandatory elements to adapt during construction phase, which we will explore in our next article. On that note, it is important to note that 70% of continuity of 911 calls take place over the cellular network and 64% of those calls made to 911 are indoors (according to wia.org). Stay tuned for our next blog on this topic next week.