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Sharing the Success of Shared DAS

By Seth Buechley
September 23rd, 2010

Toronto Skyline

I had no idea Toronto was such a beautiful city!  At once clean, cosmopolitan and in serious need of some creative thinking about in-building wireless.  Team SOLiD was in town signing on our new Canadian Value Added Reseller, Navair Technologies, and we had a chance to line up some stellar executive meetings with several of Canada’s leading purveyors of wireless.   Canada presents a a great opportunity for applying lessons learned (sometimes the hard way) while deploying neutral-host DAS in the U.S.    Having paid attention to DAS for over a decade, the progression seemed to go like this; (1) operators acted in self-interested, providing in-building coverage only for themselves until (2), building-owners decide they want coverage for all of their enterprise smartphones but didn’t want to have four separate DAS systems in their building and didn’t want to be pushed to sign up for more handsets just to get coverage for the handsets they are already had.  Finally, in stage (3), the operators saw the light and chose to overcome the perceived business and technical issues required to embrace shared DAS.  In a nutshell, that’s what happened in the U.S., but it took the better part of the last seven years to get here.  Fortunately, Canada gets to start at a jog rather than from a dead stop.   Not only have progressive manufacturers like SOLiD created systems that can elegantly combine public safety and all the flavors of cellular, but the perspective of the entire wireless industry has changed with hundred of shared DAS deployments under our belt.  Working through the details will take time, but I have high hopes for Canadian operators who choose to get on board the DAS train early rather than wait for their brand equity to feel the blunt end of poor indoor user experience.

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