Why a Distributed Antenna System is the best answer to in-building wireless dead spots

October 08, 2020
Author: John Scola
Blog | Infrastructure

Wireless connectivity is quickly becoming the distinguishing factor between success and failure in business. If you look across the entire economic spectrum, products and services that engage customers in an intuitive and helpful manner perform much better in terms of brand awareness, loyalty, and most importantly, sales.

This same phenomenon is taking place across the building ownership and management sector, which encompasses everything from apartment complexes, office buildings/campuses, resorts, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. The more thorough and reliable the wireless coverage within a building, the easier it is for owners to attract and retain top-paying occupants, as well as lower their own operating costs and perhaps even create new revenue streams for themselves.

Bringing dead spots back to life

Wireless signal penetration is not always easy in large buildings, however. Common materials like steel and concrete can dampen or block RF signals entirely, while even some newer construction features like LEED-certified energy efficient windows can be problematic. In many cases, Wi-Fi extenders can improve indoor dead spots, but this is a partial solution at best. Full Wi-Fi coverage can get expensive depending on the size and layout of the building, and it can still cut out in the presence of high demand—which means tenants will likely fail to connect just when they need to most.

A far more effective solution is a fiber-based private in-building wireless network, such as private LTE or a Distributed Antenna System. Private LTE is a local cellular network that features cell sites and core network servers dedicated to supporting an organization’s requirements independent of public cellular service providers. It can be the better choice when large amounts of data that are transferred can stress the public network in a given area. It can be deployed anywhere—including areas beyond the reach of public carriers—and can keep data on-site for security reasons. And private LTE can be optimized to handle traffic types with specific requirements. For example, real-time IoT applications can be guaranteed with extremely low latency for immediate response.

A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) is designed from the ground up to provide full cellular coverage throughout any building. It is also compatible with any phone model and all cellular carriers, providing a lower-cost, scalable approach to the connectivity needs of large numbers of users.

Using DAS, building owners will place themselves at the forefront of the wireless revolution, particularly as data demands increase significantly with the advent of 5G. Among the key benefits are:

  • A scalable architecture that meets dynamic data needs without having to over-provision network resources that then remain idle most of the time.
  • Access to the latest 4G and 5G services, including next-generation intelligent applications that can create new revenue streams and lower maintenance and other costs.
  • Connectivity to most 911 platforms and other emergency services.
  • Faster data throughput and more streamlined traffic management to deliver high-quality connectivity at all times.

Few building owners have the in-house skills or knowledge to deploy and maintain cutting-edge networks, of course, which is why partnering with a leader in the field is essential. CBTS has a long history of designing and engineering the latest communications technologies, and we have now turned that expertise toward private LTE and DAS. Our solution features a streamlined design capable of broad customization and easy installation. At the same time, we back it up with a full-service operations and maintenance contract, including integration with leading carrier platforms. In this way, clients can focus their efforts on improving service to their tenants and generating new revenue streams for themselves while we handle the network.

As strange as it may seem given that mobile communications have been with us for several decades, the power of this technology is still in its nascent stage. As the world becomes more connected, virtually everything around us will become dependent on access to wireless networks. Property owners and businesses in general would do well to stay ahead of the curve, and the easiest and least costly way to do that is by partnering with a seasoned technology expert who knows the ins and outs of modern networking.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can help you implement a distributed antenna system and private in-building wireless network solution.

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