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Posts Tagged ‘ shared das ’

The Future of DAS Ownership

By Mike Collado
June 15th, 2012

Our friend Tom Crotty at Wireless Information Networks (WIN) has written a terrific article on the state of the Distributed Antenna System (DAS) industry which is featured in the current Realcomm Edge.

The article raises some questions we’re hearing a lot of:

Who should own the DAS? And who should pay for the DAS?

These issues are clearly on the minds of ICT leaders at colleges and universities as we blogged about in our wrap-up of ACUTA Annual Conference.

And it’s also a key point for stakeholders seeking to include public safety service on the DAS.

The Three Flavors of DAS Ownership

Tom’s article in Realcomm summarizes how the industry typically addresses ownership:

While there are several options currently present in the multi-tenant and mixed use markets, it is clear that today there are basically three main options which exist and will continue to evolve as the mobile device marketplace and its associated indoor and outdoor network infrastructures perpetually expand over the next five to ten years:

Option #1: Building owners and managers have the option of capitalizing and owning their own DAS infrastructure and attempting to recoup a portion of these costs from the four major cellular providers. This process can be lengthy and may involve significant staff resources.

Option #2: Building owners and managers could look to a single carrier to capitalize and own the DAS infrastructure, with a contractual responsibility to ensure that eventually all four major cellular providers (at a minimum) will have their respective cellular signals integrated into the initial (or anchor) carrier’s DAS infrastructure.

Option #3: Building owners and managers could utilize one of a number of third-party integrators who provide capitalization and ownership of the DAS infrastructure independent of the cellular carriers, often with a guarantee to provide the integration of all major carrier signals within a defined timeframe.

A Win-Win-Win Model

Last year, we suggested a Shared DAS Model in which the Building Owner owns the DAS, the Wireless Operators pay only for their share, and the Integrator designs, installs and manages the network:

In-building DAS systems (iDAS), once installed, become the property of a carrier, a building owner or a third-party owner (3PO). Inextricably linked to the issue of ownership is the more important issue of control. We shouldn’t cynically assume a desire to control the DAS is only for the purpose of extracting profit or limiting competition. For example, building owners desire control because they feel ultimately responsible for delivering critical services, including public safety and commercial wireless, inside the four walls of their venue. Carriers desire control of the DAS so they can modify and upgrade systems without asking permission or aligning timetables with other carriers participating on the DAS. And finally, 3PO’s desire control of the DAS to generate a return on their investment and ensure they can live up to the terms of any SLAs they offer to carriers who lease space on their DAS.

At SOLiD, we see the tension around DAS ownership increasingly resolving itself naturally through a “Shared DAS” model focused on what each party already owns. In every case, the building owner owns the building and the carriers own the spectrum. Building owners are not accustomed to giving up control or rights to critical infrastructure and carriers guard their networks closely. Both are equally motivated to improve the experience of shared customers within the indoor environment. We see a trend toward building owners owning and maintaining a multi-carrier shared DAS, which is funded entirely by participating carriers.


As in some of the other methods mentioned above, there are two critical success elements in the Shared DAS Model: carrier licensing and DAS management.

Multiple stakeholders could have the responsibility of securing wireless operators to be on the DAS. In the Shared DAS Model, SOLiD often “brokers” the carrier licensing.

Similarly, monitoring, management and support of the DAS could be handled by a mix of qualified participants. In the Shared DAS Model SOLiD typically handles monitoring.

The Future of DAS Ownership

With increasing demand for mobile applications and the need to upgrade thousands of DAS systems to support LTE, we will see a variety of models explored in the name of pragmatism. During the next five years, we expect to see the Shared DAS model, with building owners maintaining control of a DAS funded by participating carriers, come to prominence as the model of choice.

The Shared DAS Model is compelling for verticals such as Higher Education where end users (students) are on the bleeding edge. ICT leaders – who keenly understand the need for DAS – are struggling to figure out ways to pay for it yet still exercise some measure of control over their wireless destiny.

Similarly, this model can also be a catalyst for putting public safety service on the DAS to help make buildings safer. Think about it… The Shared DAS Model enables Building Owners to comply to codes requiring reliable public safety radio coverage inside buildings. And the model lowers the cost burden for cash-strapped local agencies (fire, police,EMS) who are unlikely to be able to fund a separate in-building public safety network.

Tell Us…

What are the pros and cons in the who owns and who pays debate?

Indoor Public Safety Coverage – It’s Not About Technology

By Mike Collado
February 14th, 2012

We’ve been invited to present at the “Signal Boosters Roundtable” on Thursday, February 23 from 11:15 am to 12:30 pm during the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

While it might seem odd for a company whose name includes “technologies” to say this, we’re NOT going to be talking about technology at IWCE.

That’s because the technology already exists to make buildings safer by providing universal indoor public safety radio coverage. It’s a non-issue.

(Our multi-service Distributed Antenna System (DAS) – ALLIANCE™, which supports commercial wireless, public safety, private two-way radio and paging on a single platform – has been deployed at numerous high-profile locations including the Bellevue Collection. See our video below.)


The Technology Objection Myth

There are technical reasons that Public Safety, Commercial Cellular, and Two-Way Radio should remain separate

This is an outdated argument that has been overcome hundreds of times with quality systems deployed by qualified integrators.

In fact, many wireless industry experts believe a converged system with proper filtering is the preferred method of eliminating potential RF interference when compared to two systems often managed by two parties.

Greg Glenn, a co-panelist at IWCE  and noted Public Safety expert on RF Engineering and DAS infrastructure solutions at TriPower will debunk this myth.


The Solution: Stakeholder Alignment

We announced the formation of the Public Safety Shared DAS Coalition which weeks seeks to establish a national policy framework for ensuring universal indoor coverage for public safety radio service.

The Coalition seeks to require DAS networks to accommodate public safety radio frequencies and develop an accredited certification program for technicians responsible for deploying DAS networks that serve Public Safety, Commercial Cellular, and Two-Way Radio.

Most importantly, the Coalition is about aligning multiple interests including Local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) and Building Owners as well as Public Safety and Wireless Industry stakeholders.

And, pragmatically, it removes objections such as “technology” from the discussion.


Attend the Roundtable

The Signal Boosters Roundtable is  Thursday, February 23 from 11:15 am to 12:30 pm in Room S231.

Zac Champ of the DAS Forum will moderate the discussion.

Other presenting companies during the roundtable include TriPower, Harris Public Safety & Professional Communications, Fiplex Communications and Bird Technologies Group.


What’s on Your Mind?

What do you consider to be the key issues and challenges in attaining universal indoor public safety radio coverage for first responders?

  • Liability?
  • Financial?
  • Network Management?

Let us know in the comments below – we’ll discuss during the presentation.

Thanks for reading and following!



A Modest Proposal: The Public Safety Shared DAS Coalition

By Mike Collado
February 3rd, 2012

SOLiD is proposing the formation of a Public Safety Shared DAS Coalition to ensure that public radio service coverage is as universal indoors as it is outside of the building for first responders. Simply put, it is the right thing to do.

We believe that Public Safety is viewed as a “hitchhiker” when it comes to Distributed Antenna System (DAS) deployments. That’s because Public Safety is typically unfunded and the local agencies – fire, police and EMS – generally are unable to fully fund the project on their own. SOLiD, through the Coalition initiative, is urging a shift whereby Public Safety becomes a “carpooler” that shares the DAS with other commercial cellular providers. In other words, Public Safety pays its share for being on the DAS.

This is akin to the early days of cellular when each carrier erected its own tower. Over time, carriers learned that it was more effective to share towers to deliver coverage.

We’ve seen a similar transformation in DAS in which single-carrier, standalone DAS deployments have increasingly become neutral-host, multi-carrier DAS platforms.

It’s now time for indoor coverage for Public Safety to similarly evolve. Technology is not the obstacle. Instead, it is alignment of the stakeholders as in the above examples.

The Coalition calls upon the public safety organizations, building owners and wireless industry to create a national policy framework that would require DAS networks to accommodate public safety radio frequencies and develop an accredited certification program for technicians responsible for deploying DAS networks that serve Public Safety, Commercial Cellular, and Two-Way Radio.

Seth Buechley, SOLiD’s president, presented this proposal at an FCC DAS panel event earlier this week:


To be sure, the Public Safety Shared DAS Coalition is in the nascent planning stages and we’re sorting through the dynamics of bringing together the public safety, wireless and building owner stakeholders. So let us ask a simple question whose answer is likely not simple:

How can the Coalition best effect change to achieve the outcome of universal indoor public safety radio coverage?

Look for a Frenzy of Activity in DAS in 2012

By Mike Collado
December 29th, 2011

In my previous post, I highlighted what we at SOLiD Technologies believe were the biggest trends in DAS in 2011. Today, I’m back with predictions for 2012 – a year in which we forecast will include a frenzy of activity.

In 2012 the wireless carriers will finally face the music with regard to delivering public safety communications over a DAS.

With the 700 MHz D Block allocation being sought by the public safety community (see Public Safety Alliance) and an increasing number of state and regional agencies mandating public safety coverage inside buildings, the requirement for public safety communications over DAS is unavoidable. Building owners demand converged DAS rather than the stand-alone systems carriers would offer. In the same way, building owners will require public safety, and in many cases two-way radio, on the DAS whether the carriers like it or not. Technology, real field experience, and the already-announced carrier alliances to use LTE for public safety have exposed carrier arguments against public safety on DAS as outdated.

Wi-Fi offload will make major strides in 2012.

Experts are predicting as much as $500 million in “carrier-grade” Wi-Fi dedicated to wireless carriers. From a manufacturing standpoint, the ecosystem is abuzz trying to pull the network elements together to get smartphones onto Wi-Fi whenever possible and with the same QoS and management capability as the RAN network. Though these systems are usually discrete, they are increasingly being deployed at the same time. Leading DAS integrators are becoming adept at deploying both Wi-Fi and DAS networks.

LTE deployments and the need for dedicated, high-capacity backhaul to each node will swing open the door for innovative transport solutions.

Expect to see the introduction of low-latency digital optical networks and even some base-station hoteling in 2012. An all-optical infrastructure will lead to significant savings through fiber reduction and the elimination of unnecessary hub sites.

And, finally, in 2012 I predict a “plug-in world.”

By that, I mean that the carriers will each develop a more streamlined process for plugging into a DAS owned by a building owner or a 3PO. Carriers have limited experience managing multi-carrier DAS, and building owners generally prefer to maintain control of their physical environment and communications infrastructure. Carriers are more motivated than ever to enhance indoor network performance and the quickest way to get there will be writing a check, plugging in and moving on.

On behalf of the 160 employees of SOLiD Technologies serving markets around the world, I’d like to wish our peers a fantastic New Year in the most exciting industry there is!

Now it’s your turn – tell me what you think!

A version of this article was originally published in AGL Bulletin.

(Image: Ludie Cochrane)