Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) have quickly become essential for adding value, and cost to any project. Moreover, connectivity has become a significant issue for all commercial real estate developers.
3 Myths Uncovered about DAS systems that just might help you out!
Myth #1: The phone company will fix it!
The fact that the US telecommunications industry is transitioning from wired lines to wireless.
The wireless service providers’ (WSP) macro systems provide sufficient outdoor coverage and capacity for the most part, but building materials can significantly compromise the signal. In urban areas where there are dense structural footprints, it is getting harder and harder to manage consistent cell phone coverage within buildings.
Unlike landlines, where it is common practice for the phone company to provide the service, indoor coverage and capacity for mobile devices only get carrier funding if it is strategic to the carrier’s interest.
Most individual, commercial, residential, and office buildings are not considered to be of strategic interest, so the responsibility of providing coverage and capacity in the building becomes the owner’s or tenant’s problem, as it is in Public Safety Radio amplification.
Myth #2: You can do it cheaply.
While rebroadcasting the phone company’s RF Signals, you should know that the phone company owns it! They paid billions for it, and without their stated written permission, you can’t rebroadcast their signal in your building.
Myth #3: Wi-Fi Coverage can replace cell coverage
Wi-Fi technology was an early entry into the wireless world. The hardware is relatively inexpensive, it is not complicated to install, there are thousands of Wi-Fi sellers and it operates in an unlicensed and uncontrolled ecosystem. These consumer-like features make Wi-Fi relatively common.
On the other side, Wi-Fi is only available when hotspots provide access to user access, and even then, logging on can be frustrating at times, and costly. Additionally, the technology only supports data, not voice. Wi-Fi can ride on top of the wired element of a DAS. However, the Wi-Fi RF coverage range from a shared antenna is smaller than cellular services due to its higher frequencies, so you need more antennas to be closer to provide seamless Wi-Fi coverage. This translates into a big potential for interference and degraded service.
Since Wi-Fi is completely unregulated it has no service guarantees. It does serve well today as a backhaul to off-load the cellular network, but that will be of less importance as newer cellular technologies come are rising.
In itself, Wi-Fi is not the end-all, and it is certainly not a total replacement for cellular coverage/capacity. As 4G/LTE and 5G become more settled, Wi-Fi will take a real back seat. 5G is a true wireless data network and it was specifically designed to provide overflowing capacity to those hundreds of millions of smart devices. It is faster than Wi-Fi, secure, completely reliable with guaranteed levels of service and the best news is that you don’t have to live your whole life in a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Think of DAS from a different angle.
A distributed antenna system DAS, in your building will bring more tenant acquisition and retention opportunities with it.
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