Lake Nona Medical City, a 650-acre health and life science park, is in itself a marvel of health care institutions that have arisen from the wetlands surrounding the airport in Orlando, Fla. It is also the site of a ubiquitous distributed antenna system that connects multiple campuses delivering service to doctors, patients, employees and students.
Lake Nona Medical City chose Dais Technologies to integrate a fiber and distributed antenna system to provide enhanced cellular coverage, capacity and support for medical telemetry, electronic medical records and public safety communications.
“As major organizations decided to build here, we wanted them to collaborate on what they needed in terms of infrastructure, such as roadways and electricity, and to look at information technology as the fourth utility,” said Michael Voll, vice president of Dais Technologies, who supervises all aspects of technology and telecommunications for the 7,000-acre Lake Nona community and oversaw the construction and implementation of the fiber infrastructure.
An IT council was formed of the CIOs and CTOs of each organization to create a vision of what was needed in a technology platform that would serve the entire community.
“It is a very collaborative group. While collaboration is not easy, the outcome is always better. Things are more efficient when you look at them holistically,” Voll said. “They envisioned a single, no-limits network with shared infrastructure and fiber running throughout each facility in the community.”
Dais Technologies selected Corning fiber and the MobileAccess2000 distributed antenna system, a multi-carrier platform that provides support for all cellular bands including LTE, to do the job. A robust fiber system was designed that provides connectivity throughout Lake Nona Medical City. The headend is situated in the main telecom facility along with the signal source equipment, which is fed to remotes at each building. The MobileAccess equipment is layered in on top of the fiber network.
“We have centralized facilities for the DAS headend equipment and the flexibility to allow the carriers to grow into the space but also be able to allocate capacity in sectors as needed in different areas throughout the community,” Voll said. “It reduced the costs and increased the efficiency of the system. Also, it allows us to continue to grow the system and design it dynamically as needs change and wireless demand grows.”
The resulting DAS provides 2.5 to 3.0 million square feet of coverage in buildings owned by the University of Central Florida Health Sciences Campus, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, and the University of Florida Academic and Research Center.
As residential, retail and medical space grow in the future, Voll expects the DAS to grow to 14 million square feet of coverage eventually.
Dais Technologies owns and maintains the fiber infrastructure and the headend facilities, and it licenses the use of the system.
“We designed a unique cost-sharing model for the system, which is paid by the building owners, as well as the wireless carriers,” Voll said.