Scaling-up Cell Phone Reception

Executive Summary

DAS Systems, was contacted by the senior manager of El Centro Apartments and Bungalows in Los Angeles, California. According to the property manager, many tenants were struggling with poor cellphone reception, which caused them to wander around the property in search of better signal. As a result, some of them decided to move out to a different residence.

DAS Systems proposed a solution for all three interconnected buildings using a CATFED distribution system from Zyxel. The project was completed in under 45 days and was successful in resolving the poor reception issue. The feedback received from the property manager and tenants was extremely positive, with general tenant satisfaction improving and less people moving out due to the issue.


El Centro Apartments and Bungalows is a luxury property consisting of five floors and around 590 units, with over a thousand users. The senior manager reported that the problem was mainly coming from one of the buildings, resulting in many complaints. DAS Systems was brought in to address the issue and propose a solution.

Case evaluation

DAS Systems proposed using a CAT6FED system from Zyxel, which was a low-cost solution for the client.   This system allowed up to four bands to work. 

However, after the initial research, DAS Systems found that 86% of fibernet users in the area were using either Verizon or AT&T and opted to integrate the two most popular bands of carriers in the local market.

DAS Systems gauged that this was the best option in order to provide a seamless handshake from the moment a user walked in and out of the property.

Proposed solutions

The proposed solution involved using a CAT6FED system from Zyxel given the cost-effective and scalable technology that included four bands of carriers to operate within the property. 

The use of the CAT6FED system from Zyxel made the installation process easier despite the tight raceway constraints, as it is a skinny cable that fits inside the same conduit as other low voltage equipment.

As part of the process, DAS Systems communicated and coordinated with Verizon and AT&T to obtain the exact bands and frequencies used in the neighborhood, moreover, DAS Systems  mirrored the signal in installed system to ensure a seamless handshake between the macro-sites outside the property and the system within the community.


One of the challenges faced by DAS Systems was that the property already had an ERRCS system installed, and the raceway had to be very tight. This made the use of the CAT6FED system from Zyxel the best option as it is very skinny and could fit inside the same conduit as other low voltage equipment. 

Additionally, since approximately only 14% of fibernet users were unable to receive the improved reception within the structure, and given the scalable solution that DAS Systems implemented, remaining users could be accounted for during future expansions given the remaining carrier slots on the system.


The successful implementation of the carrier DAS at the El Centro Apartments and Bungalows by DAS Systems shows that a low-cost solution can be effective in resolving poor cellphone reception issues. 

Having good relationships with carriers in the market and communicating with them about the exact bands and frequencies used in the neighborhood is crucial for creating a seamless handshake between macro-sites outside the property, especially when careful research, planning and communication is upheld. 

Despite the challenges faced during the installation process, DAS Systems was able to provide a cost-effective and successful solution to the poor reception issue with a scalable approach for future optimizations and improvements.

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