ABI Research has recognized several vendors for their product and market offerings in recently published research on the driving forces within the DAS manufacturing community.
While Corning MobileAccess, TE Connectivity, and Andrew Commscope dominate the marketplace, ABI Research has identified Axell Wireless, Solid Technologies, Optiway, Alvarion, Zinwave and Powerwave as the foundation of the next phase of market development.
“Amongst these vendors, Axell Wireless is possibly the furthest along collectively in terms of operator acceptance and product innovation,” Aditya Kaul, ABI analyst, wrote. “Their new broadband DAS solution combined with their considerable presence in public safety gives them an edge over their competition and is closing in on the top three.”
Along with Axell Wireless, ABI called Solid Technologies a vendor to “watch out for” in the North America space. The research firm also noted that Powerwave is staying in the game with new LTE picocell and low-power DAS products. Highlighted for work in the wideband, multiservice DAS space was Zinwave, Optiway and Alvarion.
Ian Brown, CEO, Axell Wireless, told DAS Bulletin, that the recognition from ABI is a product of the company’s experience and its involvement in several high profile in-building installations, including the [English] Channel Tunnel, Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, the Pentagon, the Royal Palaces in Oman and the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Most recently, a network at the 2012 Olympics in London was deployed by Axell Wireless where there were more than 400 base stations feeding several DAS systems.
“We have a long history in DAS. We have been involved in fiber optic technology for some 25 years,” Brown said. “Initially we focused on the public safety market where we have a market-leading presence around the world. There is probably not one major national public safety network that we haven’t had some involvement in. We have been fortunate enough to win projects to deploy public safety coverage into many of the world’s leading iconic buildings.”
During the last five or six years, Axell Wireless has broadened its focus to include cellular in-building market, in addition to public safety.
“We recognized there is a huge job to be done there [in cellular],” Brown said. “You have heard the statistic that 80 percent of mobile traffic is initiated within buildings. Data applications don’t work too well with one bar of signal strength.”
The majority of Axell’s customers in North America deploy a public safety system separately from the cellular DAS, but Brown believes the tide is changing toward converged public safety/cellular DAS systems, because of new building codes and the economics of deploying wireless. Axell Wireless’ Heathrow Airport deployment is an integrated public safety/cellular system.
“I do think it is changing. It has already changed quite rapidly in parts of Europe,” he said. “One of the drivers is cost. One DAS system with one headend that can support multiple remotes over the same fiber, you save a lot of money.”
The in-building wireless market has a lot of potential with surveys showing no more than 25 percent of public buildings with wireless. Beyond smart phones, Brown sees plenty of machine-to-machine wireless opportunities in verticals, such as healthcare.
“Patients can be sent home the same day as their surgery, wearing wireless monitors so the nurses can keep an eye on them,” Brown said. “There a tons of applications for wireless.”