Industries | Verticals

Distributed Antenna Systems

How they work.

Indoor connectivity issues arise when the signal from nearby outdoor cell towers can’t penetrate a building’s exterior, or when the available signal is spread across too many users or devices.

A distributed antenna system, or DAS, can help solve both of these problems. Think of a DAS as an indoor cell tower, entirely dedicated to a single building. The system brings signal indoors by either piping it in from an exterior-mounted “donor antenna”, a standard data connection, or a carrier-managed “base transceiver station”.

This signal is then distributed throughout the building using a network of inconspicuous antennas, providing both the coverage and bandwidth necessary to resolve cellular network availability and performance issues.

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You know a distributed antenna system (DAS) would improve cellular connectivity in your building, but you might not know which kind you need or how to get started. This buyer’s guide will help you ask all the right questions — and find the right answers — before beginning your DAS project.

How much coverage does your building need?
The size of your building and the square footage requiring coverage will help determine which DAS is right for you. When answering this question, think about your current space allocation and future needs. For example, your building might be 25 stories tall, but maybe some floors are empty or used for equipment or storage.

WIN can recommend the right DAS for your current and future coverage requirements, based on discussions with you and a thorough site walkthrough. Our connectivity solutions range from neutral-carrier DAS to enterprise small cell technologies.

Which carrier networks do your tenants use?
It’s important to know your tenants’ carrier networks so the DAS installer can negotiate with them and secure the appropriate network signals.

WIN specializes in negotiating projects with mobile network carriers. This process goes smoothly for us because we’ve built trusting relationships with all major carriers and we make sure our DAS solutions benefit you as well as the carriers.

Who will pay for the DAS?
In general, DAS solutions are funded by the carrier(s), the property or a third-party systems integrator. Be wary of integrator-funded solutions in which carrier participation isn’t secured upfront — in these cases, your DAS might sit idle for months or even years.

At WIN, we work with all parties to develop a funding model that works for everyone. Usually either the carrier or the property funds and owns the DAS solution because we find that these options offer the greatest mutual benefit. We secure carrier participation upfront to make sure the DAS delivers value upon installation.

How long will it take to install the DAS?
It should only take a few months to get your DAS up and running if carrier participation is secured upfront and your system integrator works efficiently. But it could take years, depending on funding, the negotiation process and the experience level of your system integrator.

WIN usually completes projects within 120 days or less for the anchor tenant, and soon after for additional tenants. We’re able to keep our process especially efficient because we ask all the right questions upfront and solve potential problems before they arise.

What support will you get after the DAS installation?
You’ll need initial support to be sure your solution is functioning optimally. And you’ll need ongoing support to fix any urgent issues that might arise over time. Be sure to ask your system integrator if they provide this kind of assistance.

If you work with WIN, you’ll have all the support you need. We monitor and manage our installed DAS solutions in real time so we can make adjustments as necessary, and we conduct biannual audits to ensure performance quality. We also monitor industry trends to prepare for future mobile technology advancements that may be applicable to your property.