A distributed antenna system is a collection of antenna that are spatially separated within a given geographic area. They all share a common base station or hub that houses the providers equipment. A DAS can be used for extending the coverage or a cellular telephone network as part of a wireless communications infrastructure, or a wireless LAN. They can be positioned both indoors and outdoors. DAS are often installed for example within an airport or shopping mall to extend wireless LAN coverage around the building.
Advantages of using a DAS are that the same coverage of an area can be achieved with multiple distributed antennas than a single one, but operate at a lower power output. In built up environments for example it means less power is wasted in penetrating walls and shadowing effects, providing a line of site coverage for devices connected to the network. As each antenna operates at a lower power output than a single large antenna would it also ensures that radiation levels are within required parameters so as not to have an impact on the human body. DAS systems also reduce the capital costs of traditional cell tower sites that require rectifiers, HVAC systems, land rental and higher level of security for expensive equipment. As DAS also requires much less power it results in a more energy efficient network, with lower operational costs and less carbon footprint.
DAS systems are becoming more and more prevalent for wireless carriers. Verizon and AT&T have already begun as early as 2009 to implement DAS systems in their networks (AT&T installed a DAS network at Dallas Cowboys Stadium). It is projected that the market for DAS infrastructure will grow at a rate of 11% over the next five years, and account for almost $4billion USD in revenues (forecast by SNS Research).
With this growth it is important that there is sufficient support for monitoring DAS infrastructure. Many DAS systems are currently not monitored effectively, with issues and network connectivity downtime only being discovered when customers complain. By implementing an effective DAS monitoring solution system downtime can be minimized, on site visits cut down and system security ensured. This results in higher consumer confidence and lower operational costs.
AKCP provides a complete monitoring solution for distributed antenna systems. Intelligent Base units such as the securityProbe 5E, sensorProbe 8 and Door Control Unit, collect sensor data from the DAS and can alert the network operator should systems be unreachable, power levels are inadequate or security has been breached. Alarm data can then be used to determine if an on site technician is required. The system can not only therefore alert you to the abnormal situation but also work as a diagnostic tool, cutting costs dispatching technicians unnecessarily on site.