DAS a Key Component at Political Conventions


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.

“You have thousands of delegates, media and security there. The one thing that nobody wants is any issues with data throughput and getting it out of the building,” John Spindler director, product management, In-Building DAS, TE Connectivity, told DAS Bulletin. “In terms of sheer size of equipment requirements, it is very significant. These systems tend to be engineered for more capacity than the predicted capacity requirement.”

Since the conventions take place at multiple sites, TE Connectivity has more than one customer. Who the customer is depends on the venue.

At the Time Warner Cable Arena, site of the main DNC proceedings, TE Connectivity was hired by a third-party neutral-host DAS provider to deploy a system using InterReach Spectrum products.

TE Connectivity will provide DAS at two other DNC locations. An individual carrier hired it to deploy a FlexWave Prism and InterReach Fusion system at Charlotte Motor Speedway, site of an event prior to the official opening of the convention. The vendor was also hired by a carrier for a system at Bank of America Stadium, site of President Obama’s acceptance speech, which will use FlexWave Prism and InterReach Fusion products.

At the Republican National Convention, TE Connectivity will provide an InterReach Spectrum at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, site of the main convention proceedings.

Trust and Tight Deadlines

These venues take a significant amount of work and planning upfront so that the vendor can understand the capacity requirements and go about meeting them. The customer presents a vendor with multiple deadlines. There is the design completion deadline, second is the equipment shipment deadline and then there is a deployment/commissioning deadline. The customer has to have confidence that those deadlines will be met.

“In these types of events, it is all about meeting capacity demands and the ability to deploy the network in the time required,” Spindler said. “It’s also important to have the confidence from the customer that we can perform to the requirements for these types of venues.”

With events like a political convention, security is of utmost concern. Therefore, access to the venue is limited several weeks before the event. The deadlines for system deployment and commissioning are not allowed to slide.

“We love the challenge,” Spindler said. “TE Connectivity’s history with high-profile events undoubtedly helps it gain this confidence.”

TE Connectivity also delivered mobile services at the 2008 Democratic and Republican national conventions, back when Twitter was in its infancy, the iPhone had barely been out a year and no one had hear of something called an iPad.

“We are going to need more capacity this time,” Spindler said.

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