Have you heard of DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems)?
People are using cellular devices more than ever. Not only for personal reasons, but they are relying on cell phone networks for business, emergencies, and other communication purposes.
As more people are returning to the office, the carrier networks can become overloaded with traffic, resulting in poor service. In addition, factors such as location, topography, construction materials, and building size can create challenges for over-the-air RF coverage.
That's where DAS comes in. This blog will explain what DAS is and why building owners, general contractors, and IT managers should care about it.
A DAS, or Distributed Antenna System, is a network of antennas that work together to provide wireless coverage to a specific area, such as a commercial building or campus. DAS can support multiple wireless carriers and is often used in areas with poor cellular coverage or capacity.
Building owners, general contractors, and IT managers are the main stakeholders in DAS implementation. Building owners want to provide reliable cellular coverage to tenants, general contractors need to meet building codes and regulations, and IT managers want to ensure that employees have access to reliable wireless networks.
In the following sections, we'll delve into the specifics of DAS and why it is essential for these stakeholders.
DAS is a network of antennas distributed throughout a building or campus. The antennas are connected to a central hub or headend, which is connected to the carrier's network. The headend acts as a gateway between the carrier's network and the DAS.
A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) provides broad coverage and can support multiple carriers simultaneously.
There are two types of Distributed Antenna Systems: Cellular DAS and Public Safety DAS.
Cellular DAS provides cellular coverage to a specific area, such as a commercial building, multi-tenant housing, or a parking ramp. Cellular DAS works by distributing the cellular signal throughout the building, eliminating dead zones, and providing better coverage and capacity.
A single DAS can provide coverage for multiple carriers. This is important for building owners who want to provide coverage for their tenants, as it eliminates the need for each carrier to install its own antennas.
Public Safety DAS is separate from Cellular DAS. Public Safety DAS provides two-way radio coverage for public safety agencies, such as police, fire, and emergency medical services. Building codes and regulations often require that public safety agencies have reliable coverage in the event of an emergency.
The official terminology for Public Safety DAS is Emergency Responder Radio Coverage System (ERRCS).
There are several scenarios where Cellular DAS is beneficial or required:
Cellular DAS provides reliable tenant, employee, and customer coverage in each of these scenarios.
There are several scenarios where Public Safety DAS is critical or required:
In these scenarios, Public Safety DAS can ensure that public safety agencies have reliable coverage in the event of an emergency.
DAS provides several benefits for building owners, general contractors, and IT managers:
Implementing DAS can be challenging and requires a comprehensive understanding of the building or campus, wireless carriers, and regulations.
Some of the challenges include:
To overcome the challenges of implementing DAS, there are several best practices that building owners, general contractors, and IT managers should follow:
By following these best practices, building owners, general contractors, and IT managers can ensure that the DAS provides reliable coverage for tenants, employees, and customers.
In addition to managing the challenges of implementing DAS, it is important to periodically test the system to ensure that it continues to provide reliable coverage. Testing should include both on-site testing, such as walk tests, and off-site testing, such as drive tests. Testing is essential to ensure that the DAS continues to provide reliable coverage for tenants, employees, and customers.
DAS is a critical technology for providing reliable wireless coverage in commercial buildings and campuses. Cellular DAS provides coverage for multiple cellular carriers, while Public Safety DAS ensures reliable coverage for public safety agencies.
Building owners, general contractors, and IT managers should care about DAS because it provides improved tenant or employee satisfaction, compliance with building codes and regulations, increased property value, and reduced costs.
While implementing DAS can be challenging, following best practices can ensure that it provides reliable coverage and complies with regulations.
Are you ready to take your building's connectivity to the next level? Then it's time to implement a Distributed Antenna System (DAS). DAS can benefit building owners, general contractors, and IT managers in numerous ways. So why wait? Contact MTG today to learn more about DAS installation and how it can improve your business operations. Don't miss out on this opportunity to enhance your connectivity and stay ahead in the game!
Is DAS required by law?
Public Safety DAS is often required by building codes and regulations to ensure reliable coverage for public safety agencies.
Can DAS support multiple carriers?
Yes, Cellular DAS can support multiple carriers, eliminating the need for each carrier to install its antennas.
How does DAS improve tenant or employee satisfaction?
Reliable wireless coverage is essential for tenants or employees to conduct business, communicate with colleagues, and access information.
How does DAS increase property value?
Reliable wireless coverage can make a commercial property more attractive to tenants or buyers, increasing its value.
What are the challenges in implementing DAS?
Site survey and design, carrier coordination, compliance with building codes and regulations, and ongoing maintenance are challenges in implementing DAS.
What are the best practices for implementing DAS?
Conducting a comprehensive site survey and design, coordinating with wireless carriers early in the design process, ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations, working with experienced DAS integrators, and planning for ongoing maintenance and upgrades are some of the best practices for implementing DAS.
How much does it cost to install a DAS system?
The cost of installing a DAS varies depending on the size of the building, the number of carriers involved, and the complexity of the design. Currently, Cellular DAS will typically cost between $1.00 and $1.50 per square foot. Public Safety DAS can range from $.60 to $.90 per square foot.
What carriers can be supported by a DAS system?
A DAS can support multiple carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
Is DAS necessary for small buildings?
DAS are generally recommended for larger facilities, but there are cases where DAS is needed in smaller buildings. It is all about the existing signal strength of the desired carriers or radio frequencies.
Can DAS be installed in historic buildings?
Yes, DAS can be installed in historic buildings, but the installation must comply with building codes and regulations and may require careful planning and coordination with historic preservation authorities.
How often does a DAS system need maintenance?
A DAS should be maintained regularly to ensure optimal performance. Maintenance tasks may include checking for signal interference, replacing damaged components, and upgrading software and firmware. The frequency of maintenance may vary depending on the specific system and usage patterns.