Traditionally, DAS has come in two flavors: low-power indoor and high-power outdoor. But as the technology matures, manufacturers are introducing different power variants to provide a variety of coverage options for integrators. These additional tools allow the power of a DAS to fit more closely the size of the area, capacity needs and the number of carriers.
TE Connectivity has increased the power output of its latest remote amplifier unit (RAU), which resides within a couple feet of the passive antenna unit on its current Spectrum and Fusion product lines.
The new RAUs pump out six times the power of the standard RAUs in the bands above 1900 MHz and two times the power in the frequencies at 700 MHz and 850 MHz. Increased power gives the antennas greater coverage area, which means DAS deployments will require fewer antennas and less electronics and cabling. The units will provide more capacity, higher data throughput and the ability to accommodate more carriers, John Spindler, TE Connectivity director, product management, In-Building DAS, told DAS Bulletin.
“One of the drivers [of higher power RAUs] is the need for lower solution costs and another aspect is data demands in high-usage areas. Additionally, the growth of multi-user, neutral host DAS,” Spindler said.
Another reason to increase the power of RAUs is combatting interference. One of the first venues the new RAUs were deployed was Sports Authority field in Denver, home of the NFL’s Broncos. TE Connectivity had a Spectrum DAS deployed at the stadium, which is shaped like a “U,” that was suffering interference from a nearby macrocell.
“We changed out five of the remote units for the new high-power units,” Spindler said. “We immediately saw that the interference issue effectively go away, with much better performance in data-throughput at that open end of the stadium.” Along the same lines higher-power RAUs can protect cell phones in high-rise apartment buildings from soft handoffs to multiple macrocells.
The higher power RAUs will not be the last development in DAS. Indeed, as every new model smart phone rolls out, new demands are made on the wireless infrastructure.
“The issue is making sure the capabilities of the solution are meeting the application,” Spindler said. “As applications shift over time from voice to data and from simple phones, to smart phones to tablets, there will be changes in the infrastructure.”