The wireless operators have been battling and crawling with the in-building wireless coverage since the primordial days of mobile phones. From the steel-framed buildings, concrete facilities and warehouses, to thick-glassed towers, all modern day construction materials passionately interfere with the wireless signals and block any or all traces of wireless signals. It not only creates a heap of barrier for the signals to pierce into the premises, but also creates problem for the businesses and enterprises whose people heavily rely on the cellular devices and wireless connections inside the offices.
Distributed Antenna System (DAS) is one of the solutions that is out to solve problems of poor coverage and (gasp) call-drops, by linking a range of antenna modules to a central controller, which then connects to the wireless operator's base station. Fundamentally, it is the in-building cell site that has its own backhaul that goes back to the operator network.
Built to handle Multi-band/Multi-technology/Multi-Operator
The newer generations of DAS equipment are designed to handle a wide range of technologies and frequency bands. This allows a use of multiple carriers and channels. Similarly, the modules allow for assorted signals to coexist without causing performance hiccups. Built to better avoid issues of interference through the transmission from multiple bands.
Converged Cellular, Public Safety, and Wi-Fi
Better integration of Wi-Fi and cellular services within the building is one of the aspects the new generation of DAS are able to handle better. If the DAS integrator also manages the Wi-Fi services in the premise, they can opt to design the Wi-Fi coverage and functionality into the overall system design. This takes away the question of who assumes the ownership of the Wi-Fi issues should they arise, if all is done within one umbrella.
There's an ever-growing demand for an array of different wireless technologies in the internal space as today's population largely depend on the mobility and their devices' ability to handle that. Integration of the Wireless technologies in the design of the DAS systems allows for it to do that well. With the right design and integration, the DAS system bear a wide range of technologies.
But are technologies and capabilities enough?
Gaining all necessary approvals from Wireless carriers in time
Gaining the right and timely approvals from the wireless operators and carriers is a must for any DAS integration project. Getting required permission and approval from all carriers that are being added to your DAS system is crucial. If there's only one carrier in the system design, then approval from one is sufficient. However, it's crucial to gain approval from all carriers that are included in the plans.
On the same breadth, it is also important to gain all necessary approvals regardless of whether it is an active or passive DAS that is being deployed. Why? Because the carriers hold the frequencies that FCC has licensed to them - and they are required to control the use of those frequencies. Therefore, in case of any failure to organize DAS implementation with the carriers in time can lead to the carriers in question not joining the system, therefore a shutdown from the carrier, eventually leading to the ponderous fines from the FCC.
Gaining all necessary approvals from the Government & regulators
Similarly, the regulations mandate that the public-safety communication service is a part of a 'gating item to building occupancy covering the indoor areas'. This includes rooms, hallways, staircases, basements, terraces, back-of-house areas, etc. Public Safety DAS is a beast that comes with a number of different protocols, regulations and decrees - meeting all is not only a key to a successful DAS implementation, but also a way to avoid heavy fines.
Not obtaining approvals from the regulatory bodies including NFPA and IFC, as well as from wireless providers - in a timely fashion - can lead to the heavy fines of upto $100,000.
By gaining all necessary approvals, building a good design, conducting all necessary and thorough site surveys, doing all the pre-installation, during-installation, and post-installation testing, can help ensure the successful delivery of your In-Building Wireless project - not to mention, avoid hefty unnecessary fines.
As much as the modern day new generation DAS system is capable of handling more - it's also crucial to have a good DAS partner on your side.
Does your DAS integrator have enough experience and expertise to do things right and do the right things? Are they seeking all required permits, approvals, and consents from all related parties - internal and external?