December 9, 2019
If you’re considering a distributed antenna system, also known as a DAS installation, you may wonder exactly how the process will work and what you can expect from the technology after the installation is complete. DAS installation companies may make a lot of promises, but the reality can be different from your expectations. It all depends on your property, personal preferences, and choice of installer. If you’re a building owner looking for all the facts, here are a few things to keep in mind before you get started.
Preferences and Plans for a DAS Installation
Some building owners in the United States are highly attuned to the technology in their building. Before making any changes, they want to know the pros and cons of each option before deciding. Other building owners may only have a passing interest in technology. They recognize the need for coverage (both in terms of productivity and safety), but they may not want to learn every detail behind the equipment and mechanisms that drive their wireless solution.
That’s why it helps to opt for an installation company that offers a wide variety of services. If you want to take charge of your DAS installation, you may only need a team to design and install the system. You can then oversee maintenance and upkeep from there. If you’re seeking a hands-off approach, however, you may opt for a full team to design, install, manage and maintain your DAS system.
What you decide will depend on everything from the size of your building to the free time you have to devote to the project. For example, a medium-sized building with a relatively strong carrier signal may only need a simple network of antennas. If you choose to take on many of the installation duties yourself, you’ll need to have a solid handle on how the equipment works and how the signal boosters interact with the carrier frequencies to eliminate dead zones.
Choosing a Network
DAS can become exceptionally complicated for large properties with serious traffic. Some properties will need to install a full network of fiber optic cables complete with multiple base transmitter stations (BTS). This network will actively convert an analog transmission into a digital one, making them more difficult to install than a passive repeater network.
The network you choose has less to do with your preferences and more to do with the size of your building, its proximity to your carrier towers, and the maximum capacity of the property. You also need to consider building safety codes. Authorities strive to ensure public safety, and this includes having enough coverage for devices to be used everywhere on the property.
Addressing Obstacles with a DAS Installation
A distributed antenna system (DAS) is recommended for large buildings or properties that face multiple coverage and capacity problems. For example, a sports stadium with a subterranean parking garage would likely see coverage problems from fortified construction below and the surrounding trees above.
A multiple-antenna distributed antenna system installation will need to address each obstacle properly, which may require some creativity on the part of the designer. The right installer will be able to see how the in-building wireless solution will function long before it’s ever integrated with your existing technology.
Hiccups and Hang-ups
Whether your building needs active DAS wireless signals or passive DAS, you may experience snags in the installation along the way. For example, you may find that the signal strength is simply too weak to use with DAS in certain areas of the property. If the microcell tower is located too far from a coverage zone, the antennas may fail to improve the signal. In this case, the signals will fall back on the larger system with many dead zones.
Whether cellphone calls or internet access, DAS can be the answer to your coverage problems. But a voice and data system installation is often much more than just buying a few antennas and placing them in the dead zones. You need the cables, carrier contracts, and system support that will keep your network up and running — no matter what.
The DAS Systems of Tomorrow
As you design the DAS system for a property today, you must think about what will happen in the future. Do you know if your DAS will work if you choose to expand your property? Do you know how it will respond once everyone switches their devices over to 5G? Will your DAS be able to scale with future building codes? While planning for every scenario is impossible, you can predict the most likely events and plan around them.
Wireless technology has become a sore spot for many building owners, especially considering the rate of change for devices and coverage. When a building owner finally does decide to upgrade, it may not be long before they’re told that their technology is out of date. But DAS was specifically created to be flexible enough to meet the needs of today while allowing for the promise of tomorrow. And while it may not last forever (simply because nothing ever does), an effective DAS system installation is an investment that you won’t regret making.
Moving Forward With a DAS Installation
Before you get started with an installation, there are several factors to take into account. If you have additional questions about how DAS works or whether it’s right for you, Connectivity Wireless can help. DAS is a popular solution for property owners that don’t want to take chances with their network, but it’s not the only in-building wireless solution available.
If you do decide that DAS is the right path forward for you, we offer a wide variety of wireless services to our clients. So, whether you’re looking for a little assistance or a full installation, we have a plan for you. Contact us when you’re ready to take the next step.