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.
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.
A sign of the times is the race to deploy ubiquitous wireless communication across sports enterprise locations throughout the nation. Owners, and wireless providers alike, are scrambling to offer an umbrella of wireless interconnect throughout their venues.
The arena owners want to offer fans the ability to stay connected while enjoying their sport. Wireless infrastructure players see this as an opportunity to push products and services to targeted customers in a captive environment.
In December, Corning announced it has reached a major milestone—providing wireless coverage to 50 sports stadiums and arenas in the United States, Canada and Mexico with combined coverage for 2.4 million spectators. In the United States, the list of venues covered by Corning MobileAccess wireless technology includes 12 NFL stadiums, seven MLB stadiums, and 14 NCAA football and basketball arenas. In addition, Corning MobileAccess covers eight stadiums and arenas in Canada and Mexico, including one of the world’s largest bullrings.
New High-Speed Wireless Network Enhances Verizon Center Communications
An example of the importance of DAS to today’s high-tech arena is the recent announcement that Monumental Sports and Entertainment, owners and managers of the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., will contract Mobilitie to install a new DAS at the arena.
The stadium plays host to fans of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the NCAA’s Georgetown Hoyas, as well as concert and event patrons. The new DAS network is earmarked to provide enhance high-speed wireless connectivity and services to the arena’s 2.5 million annual visitors at more than 220 world-class sporting events and concerts.
“Mobilitie brings access to the latest wireless technology ensuring fans who come to Verizon Center games and events will stay connected and be able to run the latest mobile applications on their smartphones and mobile devices,” Ted Leonsis, chairman, majority owner and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, said in an interview.
The owners, wireless providers and third-party application and service providers are betting that a high-speed, wide bandwidth neutral-host antenna system will enhance fans overall wireless experience across multiple wireless carriers. The system is being carefully designed to improve wireless coverage, enhance capacity and improve data speeds during peak times at Verizon Center events.
Mobilitie already owns and operates wireless infrastructure at many professional sports stadiums across the country, including some of the largest stadiums and arenas in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. The company also provides wireless infrastructure to marquee venues, such as Churchill Downs and the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The DAS network is expected to be finished in the spring.
Highlighting the year were new products offered up by manufacturers aimed at providing a wider variety of coverage solutions, spanning indoor/outdoor and low-power/high-power solutions, thus blurring the lines between an in-building wireless system and an outdoor DAS. Steps were also made toward the goal of making DAS a component of the heterogeneous network of the future.
Even indoor DAS technology now comes in multiple flavors. TE Connectivity introduced remote antenna units (RAU) that 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.
In deployments, such as the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., in-building DAS moved from being a wireless stepchild to a cornerstone for dense urban cellular coverage. Additionally, DAS providers found a way distribute all the network components over the fiber infrastructure, allowing one headend to service multiple venues.
Even as the industry hype shifted to small cells and Wi-Fi, DAS remained the go-to technology for health care, campuses and stadiums, among other venues. In the last 12 months, whether it was the Super Bowl, the Olympics, Formula One racing, the Republican and Democratic national conventions or the NATO Summit – DAS was there providing communications at every high-profile event. Below are some of the stories that embody these trends.
Corning MobileAccess celebrated the completing integration of the two companies at the International CTIA Wireless 2012 in New Orleans. With the companies now fully assimilated, the new entity is ready to move forward with marketing of its product line. Corning MobileAccess chose the CTIA conference to introduce its new slogan “Total DAS: Where Cutting-edge DAS Design Meets Cabling Innovation.” Corning MobileAccess announced a high-power node to its portfolio, the MobileAccessGX, which provides 40 Watts (46 dBm) high-power remote outdoor coverage. The fiber-fed, multi-frequency, multi-operator remote is designed to complement the company’s lower power solutions, the MobileAccess1000 and MobileAccess2000. MORE
The line dividing in-building wireless and outdoor DAS is blurring, and that calls for higher power DAS units that integrate with in-building systems. To wit, Solid North America introduced the Titan 5 watt and 20 watt remote DAS units to provide expanded coverage area and capacity both inside and outside of buildings. Titan integrates with the Solid Alliance multi-operator and Express single-operator head-ends. MORE
A hybrid of high- and low-power DAS is the obvious choice for sporting venues and college and corporate campuses, where there is a need for indoor and outdoor coverage. There are systems that serve each purpose, but they may operate as separate systems, sometimes in the same venue. Running separate systems for each, however, didn’t make any sense to TE Connectivity. In response to the need for hybrid high-power/low-power DAS, TE Connectivity now offers a common system and graphical user interface that drives both the Flexwave Prism high-power DAS and InterReach Spectrum low-power DAS. MORE
ExteNet Systems won the contract to design, install, manage and maintain a DAS network in the currently being constructed Barclays Center, the 675,000-square foot, 19,000-seat home of the Brooklyn Nets, in Brooklyn, N.Y. What audiences at concerts, sports and family shows will see as interactive multimedia mobile network ExteNet sees as just the beginning of an expansive system that will connect the new Atlantic Yards mixed-use commercial and residential development project that includes 16 high-rise buildings. MORE
Political conventions are high-stakes affairs, affecting the future of the country. From a communications standpoint, these high-profile events, like the Super Bowl or the NCAA Final Four, offer a make-or-break test for a DAS to handle extreme amounts of data for a short period of time. TE Connectivity was hired to provide several systems that will operate at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., and the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Fla. MORE
The dazzling spectacle that is sport at its highest level will take center stage as the Olympics make their quadrennial run in London from July 27 to Aug. 12. Behind the scenes there will be no less herculean effort exerted as in-building systems designed by iWireless Solutions and Real Wireless, with help from iBwave Solutions, attempt to provide the wireless capacity that will match the data usage of millions of people. MORE
With a growing amount of the practice of medicine and public health is supported by mobile devices, Connectivity Wireless Solutions has deployed DAS in-building wireless coverage at 15 healthcare facilities, covering more than 20 million square feet of space so far this year. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are adopting wireless for point of care delivery and workflow enhancements, access to patient records and delivery of test results, augmentation of VoIP communications, telemetry and wireless IV pumps, remote monitoring and diagnostics, and mobile medication management and prescription information. MORE
With the hiring of Darlene Braunschweig as president of its DAS and small cell division, Tempest Telecom is ready to take its in-building and ODAS integration services on the road from coast to coast.
With a knowledge of DAS from both the carrier and OEM sides, Braunschweig appears to be a perfect fit for Tempest. Previously, she was with Corning MobileAccess in charge of the DAS product line and before that worked at Sprint Nextel as the head of Sprint’s Converged Network Solutions group, where she led hundreds of DAS deployments. While at Corning MobileAccess, Braunscheig worked with Tempest, relying on it to integrate its DAS equipment in the West Coast region.
“My approach at Corning MobileAccess was always to use integrators to fulfill, design, deploy and maintain these systems,” Braunschweig told DAS Bulletin. “My relationship with Tempest was a unique one, not only were they willing to expand throughout the nation, but also because it is female-owned. Having this diversity is important in the wireless space right now.”
A supplier of wireless infrastructure equipment and services to telecom carriers and network operators, Tempest, expanded in to DAS when it purchased Seattle-based Leaf Communications Services a little more than a year ago and subsequently decided to include the business across its nationwide footprint.
While Tempest’s new division has been focused on DAS, the integrator is responding to customer demand and expanding into small cell coverage. It is also expanding beyond its public safety focus to include more vertical niches, as well.
Tempest supports all the major carriers plus the regional carriers, providing them with in-building coverage to support LTE deployments. With the nationwide expansion, Braunschweig said Tempest will fill a carrier need for consistent deployment strategies in all of their regions, shifting away from using local and regional integrators.
“This is such as growing industry now. There is a huge demand for an integrator that has a nationwide footprint,” Braunschweig said. “Our goal is to provide a value-add service to the end customer, whether it is the carrier or the enterprise.
“Tempest’s vision for a national DAS and small cell division aligns closely with the needs of our customers to provide a consistent design, engineering, construction, systems integration and coordination role, so that solutions are implemented to support best practices,” she added.
Braunschweig expects enterprise customers to become more sophisticated about wireless as applications drive more in-building coverage, viewing DAS in the same vein as they look at wireline technologies like a PBX system.
Braunschweig expects carriers to move beyond stadium build outs to concentrate on areas with a bigger return on investment and that cover more consumers. These venues include focused on hospitality, malls, airports and hospitals.
“The quasi-public venue is very important to the carrier, branching out to cover venues that are a little outside of what they covered in the past year or two,” she said.