A wave of DAS systems for in-building use is making a splash at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week, as the wireless industry continues to try to break into the enterprise space. The new products feature all-digital technology and 100-percent fiber optics, as well as virtualization and centralized RANs. The products are also smaller and use less electricity.
Among the OEMs showing off new products are CommScope with its Era all-digital C-RAN antenna system, Zinwave with its UNItivity 5000 DAS solution and JMA Wireless with its XRAN fully-virtualized adaptive baseband software. Additionally, Cobham Wireless has integrated vRAN (virtualized radio access networks) capabilities into its idDAS (intelligent digital DAS).
OEMs are expanding their market from wireless users to include serve the internet of things and smart buildings applications, as well as public safety. But there are many impediments to DAS in the enterprise. One of them being price. The latest wave of DAS equipment is smaller and less expensive. According to Josh Adelson, marketing director, CommScope, DAS is following the same trends occurring in the outdoor wireless space.
“It’s about finding a way to deliver in-building wireless in a way that is consistent with the approach the operators are taking,” Adelson said. “The main technical step forward is allowing the signal source to be located in the operator’s C-RAN rather than in the building.”
DAS OEMs are also taking using virtualization to replicate the features of a proprietary base station in software that is run on a commercially available hardware platform.
CommScope Era is an all-digital C-RAN antenna system that leverages wireless operators’ initiatives to centralize and virtualize baseband radio assets. The centralized headend serves multiple buildings, as well as tapping capacity from existing C-RAN hubs.
“The C-RAN allows an operator to manage a pool of resources within its own facility and allocate them on a dynamic basis, as well as to easily maintain them,” Adelson said. “From the building owner’s point of view, not having the head-end within their facility allows them to lease out the space the headend would have inhabited.”
Era features a new family of access points that are available in a range of power levels, with copper and fiber connectivity and outdoor and plenum ratings, to serve a wide variety of venue types. It supports interleaved MIMO (multiple input/multiple output).
For more information on the Era, CLICK HERE
Zinwave has enhanced the energy efficiency of the UNItivity solutions’ hardware. Depending on the scope and complexity of the DAS configuration, an enterprise may see up to 17 percent energy savings.
Another update to UNItivity 5000 is the redesign of the secondary hub that adds 80 percent space savings in the IT closet. The streamlined design also integrates the power supply unit into the hub itself, which aids IT staff in procuring an external power supply while providing additional space savings.
“We are driving toward simplicity, improving aesthetics, lower total cost of ownership,” said Slavko Djukic, Zinwave Chief Technology Officer. “When you look at the total cost of ownership model including power usage and space usage, we believe we have made some significant improvements.”
For more information about the UNItivity 5000, CLICK HERE
JMA Wireless has virtualized 100 percent of its RAN with software with the XRAN Adaptive Baseband, which provides all of the RAN functions necessary for LTE mobile and IoT connectivity.
“Full virtualization of the entire stack has been elusive due to the complexity of the technology,” said Joe Madden, president of Mobile Experts. “XRAN has delivered full virtualization and gives operators a more flexible, low-cost platform they can control. This opens the door for MNOs and enterprises – providing an opportunity for enterprises to invest in solutions to provide coverage for their venues.”
The XRAN software platform integrates with the TEKO RF Distribution platform via high capacity digital fiber connectivity, eliminating layers of analog equipment and cabling and reducing the footprint, power and cooling requirements.
“Cost, simplicity, footprint, power, and cooling changes dramatically with XRAN,” said Todd Landry, VP of product and market strategy at JMA Wireless. “XRAN is designed from its inception to close the gap between rapidly growing in-building mobile connectivity demands and today’s complex, proprietary hardware solutions unable to evolve and adapt for multi-operator services.”
For more information about XRAN, CLICK HERE
Cobham Wireless as designed the next generation of the intelligent digital DAS (idDAS) with a direct connection to the network core and virtualized capabilities. The latest idDAS supports both C-RAN architectures and vRAN architectures, replacing baseband units with commercial off-the-shelf technology and virtualized software.
“Operators are facing a capacity challenge, and with more people using high-bandwidth services and the number of IoT applications growing, this will only increase,” said Rami Hasarchi, VP Coverage, Cobham Wireless. “Virtualising the RAN for in-building coverage offers the ideal solution to this problem, maximizing spectrum efficiency and end-user experience, while vastly reducing running costs.”
For more information about the idDAS CLICKE HERE
Initially, four residential and/or mixed-use developments with 15 buildings have been constructed to accommodate this Aarhus’ rapid growth. To ensure robust cellular connectivity in these new structures, the RAN host worked with system integrator, KM Telecom, to deploy the C-DAS solution, an iteration of the industry leading TEKO DAS platform from JMA Wireless.
The Aarhus deployment includes four residential zones. Together they cover almost 240,000 sqm. Within these developments there are residential, office and retail space, all requiring reliable cellular coverage. With the C-DAS platform, the central processing equipment is in a lower cost offsite base transceiver station hotel located in central Aarhus, saving up to 85 percent of valuable onsite real estate for revenue generating tenants, not housing technical equipment. Furthermore, the C-DAS can easily move capacity into different areas as necessary. The capacity used for businesses during the week can be reallocated to residences on the week-ends or in the evenings when people are at home.
The mixed-use development in Aarhus provides many amenities such as underground parking, expansive recreational areas and robust wireless communications.
During the initial phase of this project, a six-person team deployed two sectors, supporting the mobile operators, TDC, Telia and Telenor, and the 2100 UMTS band.
Inside the buildings, only low and high-power UMTS remote units (RUs) were deployed. However, with the installation of point-to-point links, cellular coverage and capacity are available to locations up to 20 kilometers away, even to Island 4 Aarhus, a manmade island with a variety of residences.
Industry expert, Morten Tolstrup, will deliver an in-depth analysis on DAS vs. small cells
Munich, Germany – November 30, 2016 — JMA Wireless, a global leader of wireless communications solutions, is a Gold Sponsor, exhibiter and presenter at the DAS & Small Cells Congress Europe, which is being held November 30 – December 2 at the Sheraton Arabellapark Hotel in Munich, Germany. Mobile operators, system integrators, neutral host providers, building owners, and OEMs attend this key industry event, which focuses on the latest techniques for designing and deploying in-building wireless coverage and capacity solutions.
”JMA Wireless continues to grow its presence around the globe with game changing solutions,” said Todd Landry, Corporate Vice President of Product and Market Strategy at JMA Wireless. “For example we offer antennas with Fast Roll-off technology, which increases throughput by eliminating overlap between adjacent sectors. This technology was a huge success at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark this past summer, providing robust mobile communications for thousands of concert goers.”
At the DAS & Small Cells Congress Europe, Morten Tolstrup, Business Development Director at JMA Wireless, industry expert and author of the book, Indoor Radio Planning, will be presenting on Thursday, December 1, at 11:50 AM during the session titled “Small Cells vs. DAS Performance”. The presentation includes an in-depth technical and performance analysis of the two solutions.
In addition, JMA Wireless is exhibiting its small cells, laser welded jumpers, world renowned compression connectors, and the FUZE™ platform, which converges DAS and Wi-Fi delivery while leveraging Digital Electricity™ to produce a fully integrated offering. Furthermore, its DAS portfolio, including the popular multi-band, multi-carrier Teko DAS platform, E-DAS (enterprise DAS) and C-DAS (centralized DAS) offerings are on display.
EDITORS’ NOTE — This is one is a one in an occasional series where AGL eDigest is chronically how the OEMs are approaching the burgeoning enterprise market with DAS and Small Cells.
DAS has been deemed too expensive for the enterprise space, which has led to a great amount of buzz surrounding small cells with their simplicity of deployment using cutting edge self optimizing network technology. Many of the DAS deployments we hear about harness macrocellular power to serve 10s of thousands of game day fans in massive arenas and stadiums, as well as acres of parking lots.
Those systems are simply not designed to serve most enterprises, while small cells seem to be a better match for enterprises. JMA Wireless is defying this perception by tailoring its DAS technology to make it simpler and more economical to fit the needs of businesses and office buildings.
JMA’s Teko E-DAS (enterprise DAS) is designed with a low-power interface option enabling it to combine one or more enterprise-oriented femto or micro cell devices. These devices provide suitable capacity (active LTE users) and when used with the Teko DAS, the enterprise can centralize everything and provide multiple operator solutions over a single infrastructure. One of the real drivers behind JMA’s E-DAS approach is the hurdle to get a more traditional BTS hotel deployed on enterprise premises, which is very high.
“You have to go to the carrier, get them to approve the budget dollars to do the site acquisition, purchase and deploy the BTS equipment,” said Todd Landry, corporate vice president of product and market strategy at JMA. “It’s costly and logistics around it are fairly painful.” And besides, he notes, the typical enterprise doesn’t need that scale of equipment.
Samsung’s eFemto, which is used by Verizon and Nokia/Alcatel Lucent’s microcell, which is used by AT&T, offer plenty of capacity, serving 48 and 128 active users, respectively. They have low RF power output at around 250 milliwatts, which can feed directly into the Teko E-DAS interface. Because the solution is modular you can scale up to cover the number of active users at the enterprise and you can combine the different mobile operators and bands you need.
JMA’s E-DAS webinars and roadshows illustrate how to calculate capacity needs for an enterprise by using building occupancy loading specified by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency). You can adjust based on surveys within a given building to provide appropriate coverage and capacity for different mobile user communities. The JMA targets for this solution range from a 50,000 square foot building up to one million square foot buildings, where for example as few as a couple femto cells up to as many as 18 can be combined to create a solution for a building.
“Because you can rack them and stack them and use just what you need, you have plenty of flexibility. Enterprises only have a certain number of active users anyway. Why oversubscribe it?” Landry said. “The beauty is you can order these things and deploy them fairly easily, if you are an integrator or a neutral host.”
Backhaul Over Existing Internet
Unlike the traditional BTS approach using a separate terrestrial WAN circuit for backhaul, femtos and microcells typically use the Internet to securely connect back into the carrier’s network. The IT department can easily allocate a certain number of megabytes to ensure adequate performance over the existing Internet connection. Moreover, the solution does not require the use of dark fiber connections like that of a CRAN approach, where metro dark fiber leases can cost as high as $2,000 per month – significantly reducing the operation costs to deliver a solution.
“The E-DAS approach opens a new market for ISPs that currently deliver backhaul Internet to thousands of buildings,” Landry said. “Operators and Neutral Hosts can leverage these ISP networks to deliver high quality IP backhaul over an existing network more quickly and at significantly lower costs.”
The ‘New’ DAS Versus Small Cells
Landry said the hype surrounding small cells has been a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison. Price comparisons for example have not included all the equipment needed for small cell deployments and DAS price references are often over played.
“Small cells are a good solution for the right problem, but there are many landmines not obvious in much of the marketing,” he said. “For example, typically separate cables must be pulled, devices need POE-based power, the weight of some radios requires support cables above the ceiling, and you have to deploy hundreds of them for multiple operators, often all different styles from different vendors.”
In probably the biggest difference, small cells are one or two bands and single carrier. JMA Wireless’ Teko E-DAS is a single infrastructure that can support all carriers and all bands, typical of what an enterprise needs. More importantly, when compared apples-to-apples the JMA Wireless E-DAS prices out at below 40 cents per square foot versus small cell solutions that range from 60 cents to more than $1 per square foot based on a single carrier solution. In a two-carrier scenario the JMA E-DAS system increased by some 10-15 percent while the small cell scenario all double the cost, and its goes up significantly for each carrier, according to JMA Wireless’ statistics.
“The flexibility of our approach allows the enterprise to include multiple carriers into the facility over a common infrastructure, whereas traditional small cell approaches are dedicated to a single carrier, which makes a big difference from the cost standpoint,” Landry said.
Wireless is at the forefront as San Francisco and Levis Stadium gear up for Super Bowl 50. Only a year after deploying the DAS at the brand new Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers, DAS Group Professionals (DGP) has completely re-deployed the system doubling the capacity.
The renovation of the not-quite-1-year-old Levi’s Stadium DAS was all done in the name of Super Bowl 50, set for February 2016. The massive wireless data flow at Super Bowl XLIX last February got the major wireless carriers working early to ensure that this year’s Super Bowl will have enough cellular capacity, according to DGP president Steve Dutto.
Verizon expanded its coverage from 60 to 80 sectors, while AT&T increased from 45 to 54 sectors. DGP increased its coverage zones in the main seating bowl from 23 to 40. The number of remote units grew from 330 to 450.
Antennas provided by JMA Wireless were increased from 250 to 400, including under-seat deployments, plus more than 20 new antenna placements in the parking lot.
How is the new system performing? Well, during the first-ever Monday Night Football game at Levi’s Stadium, the Wi-Fi network saw 2.87 terabytes of data, with an additional 874 GB traversing the AT&T cellular DAS network during the Niners’ 20-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.