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Barclays Center DAS Gives ExteNet a Brooklyn Beachhead

ExteNet Systems has 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.

“The fundamental thing for us is that [the Barclay Center] system gives us a great anchor location in Brooklyn and for the development of that whole Atlantic Yards area — to provide a base station hub, if you will, for other network deployments in that area,” Ross Manire, president and CEO at ExteNet Systems, told DAS Bulletin. “This is a strategy that we are starting to deploy in more cities. Instead of calling it DAS, we now call it distributed network architecture (DNA).”

DNA is another way of saying that ExteNet plans on distributing more than just antennas. In order keep up with wireless technology developments, the company is going beyond DAS to incorporate other network components, such as Wi-Fi and remote radio heads, as well as picocells.

“We have to change the language of narrowly defining what we do as DAS,”Manire said. “We are seeing a multitude of different types of equipment being deployed in the context of the architectures. It is a natural fit for us, providing access points and backhaul.

Enhanced Capacity for the Enhanced Apps

App development will continue to push the envelope of wireless system capacity in stadiums, according to Manire.

“We are in the early stages of app development particularly targeted at the sports and entertainment market. There will be apps for ordering concessions, buying jerseys or tickets to the next game, or to access instant replay. This will drive the need for additional capacity within the stadium,” he said.

As a matter of course, in the last 18 months, Manire has seen an increased focus on providing in-building coverage. “In the past, carriers would try to blast their signal into the building with their macro-sites to provide coverage, which was okay to make a phone call but not with today’s data applications and with the macro sites being oversubscribed.”

The increased in-building focus has led to DAS systems being deployed from the inside out,” Manire said. “You need to have greater and more efficient coverage indoors, and then, as we did with the University of Michigan, the plan is to build out and provide additional outdoor coverage, depending on the nature of the outdoor network.”