October 29, 2019

DAS is designed to provide connectivity in commercial properties where wireless coverage is weakest. A large responsibility is placed on property owners to think about how their tenants and guests depend on technology while visiting or residing in their property. DAS, or distributed antenna systems, have become a popular solution for building owners to amplify their existing coverage. Continue reading to learn how distributed antenna systems work and how they can improve wireless coverage on your property.

Why DAS is the New Normal

Unsurprisingly, it’s largely the millennials that have driven the digital revolution. After growing up with connectivity, they’re putting pressure on organizations everywhere to provide excellent response times. But these expectations don’t stop at the younger crowd. Anxious, not-to-be-left-behind Baby Boomers have also been rapidly adopting new technology, creating an even greater dependence on media consumption and the transfer of information. 

Further, property owners are increasingly relying on connectivity for building control. From security systems to thermostats, the devices of today make it easier than ever before to monitor, connect and optimize building efficiency. When your network handles both internal and external equipment, it needs to work under even the most extreme circumstances. DAS was born because standard Wi-Fi is simply insufficient for all connectivity needs. 

Skyscrapers under construction in New York City

Why Connectivity Matters

The vast majority of cellphone users aren’t using their devices outdoors. They’re typically in a building, on a property, or in a venue. Along with water and power, widespread coverage is beginning to be viewed as a necessary utility. After all, if someone is injured on your grounds, the first thing people will do is pull out their phones. As new technology debuts on the market, the need to connect devices (including the ability to support unlimited data) will become even more crucial for property owners. 

How Distributed Antenna Systems Operate

DAS stands for distributed antenna system. It’s a wireless infrastructure solution, but it is not the same as Wi-Fi. DAS relies on cellular signals already in use in a building and then amplifies the signals with the help of multiple antennas. These antennas can be placed practically anywhere, giving you customized all-over coverage. Whether placed on the interior of the parking structure or an outdoor utility pole, the antennas provide a significant boost to your cellular coverage when you’re short on connectivity. 

Who Uses DAS

DAS is typically used by large organizations that already have access to cellular signals. Hotels, hospitals, industrial plants, stadiums, and college campuses regularly make use of cellular DAS to improve their connectivity and ensure satisfied staff, guests and tenants. Whole cities can implement DAS networks to connect people to everything from city services to FaceTime. 

Some building owners choose DAS because their structure is made from a material that impedes cellphone signals. LEED-certified buildings may be required to use energy-efficient glass, but this material can quickly dampen the quality of connectivity indoors. Metal, concrete, and aluminum can also make it difficult to send and receive data, which is why it’s common to lose connection in a parking garage or basement.

Other owners leverage DAS when the data usage becomes too much for Wi-Fi to handle. If you have 2,000 people come together to see a famous keynote speaker, it’s not unusual for data speeds to quickly slow to a crawl. Finally, this wireless solution is useful for high-rises that lose coverage depending on what floor you happen to be on. DAS can overcome the interferences of busy areas and displaced tower access. 

How DAS Solves Connectivity Issues

The antennas of a cellular DAS will essentially pick up the signal and dole it out to the surrounding area. The antennas capture the signal either in the air or by a direct feed and then spreads them out within the building or across its grounds.

A Wi-Fi connection will use different mechanisms to provide coverage. When these networks were first installed and deployed, carriers did not necessarily account for the data needs of today. (Nor were they powerful enough to make it through fortified construction.) While several improvements have been made to Wi-Fi, you still can’t achieve the same coverage and capacity that a DAS system provides. 

The Breakdown of DAS

A cellular DAS is designed based on the needs of your building. DAS solutions include a centralized unit that receives signals and sends it out to various remote units scattered across the property. (These units are often kept in server rooms or IT cubicles.) From there, the signals will be sent out to the antennas that are strategically scattered throughout the property. These antennas are small enough to be placed nearly anywhere, making it easy to improve coverage without spoiling your aesthetic design. Antennas are supported with high-efficiency cables and can often extend for hundreds of feet.

DAS is adaptable to a variety of cell signals and can support radio coverage. The only way to know exactly where to put the antennas is to have an expert evaluate your location. You can deploy them nearly anywhere, from the basement to the penthouse and beyond. You can even deploy them in tunnels, making them exceptionally handy for connected college campuses or industrial plants

Getting Help with DAS

Connectivity Wireless is here to provide property owners with the coverage they need when they need it most. DAS is just one of several in-building wireless solutions that you can use to improve your connectivity.

As new technology debuts on the scene, you need a connectivity solution that can keep up with the associated demands. We’re here to help you design, install and launch a connectivity solution that works for you. Contact our experts today to learn more about installing DAS or other in-building wireless solutions for your property