June 25, 2015 — Radio network ownership is diverging into three separate categories: carrier-owned macrocells, third-party DAS providers and enterprises. Even as ownership diversifies, DAS and small cell solutions are consolidating and that is seen especially in the enterprise market, Boris Golubovic, director, product management, TE Connectivity, told AGL Small Cell Link.
It was that third network ownership segment, enterprises, that received a lot of attention at the DAS & Small Cells Congress, held in June in New Orleans. Golubovic spoke on the panel “Comparing DAS and Small Cells – Evaluating Strengths and Capabilities to Determine Which Best Meets Your Needs.”
Because of convergence in the industry, terms such as “DAS” and “small cell” are just confusing the issue, Golubovic said. A small cell may drive an indoor active DAS, and a multi-operator outdoor active DAS may be driven by a small cell, a baseband unit (BBU) or a Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI)-based baseband unit (BBU).
“We should concentrate on the application and the problem that we are solving and come up with new descriptive words,” he said. “These systems have evolved over time. Usually they were classic DAS systems, but today we refer to them as DiSC systems, distributed small cell.”
For a company to purchase an in-building wireless system, the enterprise wireless solution must be easy to install, requiring electricians or the company’s computer IT personnel, in order to make them cost-effective for the enterprise.
“It should be a plug-and-play system,” Golubovic said. “It is about getting a package to a customer in an enterprise, doing an easy cable pull and quickly connecting it to a small cell to get coverage.”
What’s needed is a low-cost solution for delivering wireless coverage within a small to moderately sized facility, he said.
“Operators need to become comfortable with providing an affordable RF source to the installer community, so it can be installed on the operator’s behalf without significant supervision or approval on a case-by-case basis,”Golubovic said. “The base station is really the most costly part of the system.”