When Corning announced the installation of a DAS at the World Market Center in Las Vegas, this month, it was the second such announcement since November when it deployed DAS in a multi-building marketplace at AmericasMart in Atlanta.
Troy Suddith, director, Solutions and RF Engineering, Corning, told AGL Small Cell Link, that the vendor has done several merchandising venues recently and they each have their own morphology that demands different wireless solutions.
“They are massive buildings filled with vendors, distributors and merchandisers,” he said. “For the carriers, these are key public venues because they drive so much capacity, and there is such a desire for good coverage by the venues themselves, which want the events to go well for the exhibitors and the people attending.”
With 6 million square feet, World Market Center is one of the largest showroom complexes for the home and hospitality furnishings industry. AmericasMart, a global wholesale marketplace, contains 7 million square feet of space across three buildings and 15 floors, including showrooms and exhibit halls.
Although the facilities are similar in size, the DAS solutions were different. The signal requirement for the World Market Center was much higher than AmericasMart (15 dBm to 17 dBm higher RF target), because of the dominance on nearby macrocells, and the intermediate distribution frame locations were not as prevalent as in the AmericasMart, which meant the coax runs from the remotes were longer.
Corning deployed its MobileAccessHX two-watt amplifier solution at the World Market Center. “Pretty much everything being deployed today is capacity-driven,” Suddith said. “Our 2-watt HX allowed us to drive coax farther distances from the remotes at the IDF and to dominate the macrocell.”
Likewise, with less macrocellular dominance inside the buildings, Corning used a more traditional low-power solution: the MobileAccess 2000 QSX and TSX solution (20 dBm output power) with a dedicated amplifier.
Enterprise DAS Morphed in to Neutral Host System
Originally, the World Market Center came to Corning through a carrier as an enterprise deal. It was designed as a single-carrier design initially in summer of 2012. Six months later, the carrier came back to Corning and wanted it changed to be a neutral-host DAS.
“We designed the MobileAccessHX in a way that we could easily swap one component and change it from single carrier to neutral host,” Suddith said. “The two-watt solution, which has one port, is designed with a one-by-four splitter, which we could add other HX remotes later. We swapped out a one-by-four with a four-by-four combiner, allowing us to add three other carriers.”
The operator required quad-band MIMO with a plan to deploy LTE on all frequencies at the World Market Center. So two boxes were deployed in each remote location for two streams. The equipment deployment included 97 remote locations, 194 boxes and 776 antennas.
Multiple-building DAS Presents Cabling Challenges
Having multiple adjacent buildings in a venue can help or provide a challenge from a design perspective. One of the challenges for the hybrid fiber/coax-fed DAS system in AmericasMart, for example, was getting fiber from the head end to all the remote locations.
“It can be a lot of fiber if their multiple buildings. In AmericasMart, what we leveraged was a single-fiber wave division multiplexing (WDM) solution that allowed us to have remotes at each building,” Suddith said.
A head end was positioned in one building and Corning used its 330 System to consolidate the fiber and remotes were placed in the other two buildings. Therefore, shorter distances were required for the multiple fiber runs to the individual remotes in each building, versus pulling all of them to the head end in one building.
“It is a consideration of what type of fiber you have and what type of through-way you have for fiber-optic cabling. It significantly reduces the amount of fiber needed for multiple buildings,” Suddith said. “In the World Market Center, however, there were plenty of conduits for us to run fiber from the head end to the remotes in each building.”
The AmericasMart supports LTE MIMO DAS, comprising nearly 1,300 antennas and more than 250 fiber-fed remotes.