There is no doubt that people have a deep-rooted desire to stay connected. They want the ability to access information at all times, no matter where they are. With a rising global population and 6 billion mobile subscriptions (according to U.N. Telecom Agency Report), cell phones drove the past growth of wireless systems. In order to meet the needs of the population, major strides in telecommunication infrastructure had to be made.
Just as cell phones were responsible for the growth of wireless systems, wireless data applications are responsible for fueling its future growth. These applications have transformed the value of the Internet, making it a global resource hub. This has provided variations of services and applications that drive individual and commercial behavior (email, social networking, etc…). The growth of the global wireless sector shows a similar trend in Internet usage. Currently 3 billion people access the Internet, 600 million of which have access to broadband and high-speed Internet connections. Higher speed connections have paved the way for multimedia applications such as Voice over IP, video conferencing and large file sharing.
Users have grown accustomed to high-speed connections and expect to have the same level of wireless coverage whether they are at home, at work or on the go. In order to deal with capacity issues and eliminate poor coverage, Distributed Antenna Systems were developed to enhance mobile broadband and Wi-Fi coverage over large areas.
For those unfamiliar, A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) is a network of spatially separated antenna nodes connected to a common source via a transport medium that provides wireless service within a geographic area or structure. Through the concept of ‘division of labor’, a DAS enhances wireless reception by decentralizing wireless signals. Rather than utilizing one single tower, a distributed antenna system makes use of a series of smaller antennas to provide coverage within a concentrated area. This ensures that wireless signals reach their intended users at their intended strength.
Structural materials can weaken the ability for a wireless signal to penetrate a large building. Similarly, venues that see heavy concentrations of traffic, such as stadiums or campuses, will often experience dropped calls and slow data connection speeds, greatly hindering wireless communication. This is in part due to cell towers being over-loaded. As the number of mobile devices per user continues to grow and networks reach capacity, DAS networks are still the most viable solution to improving indoor wireless coverage and outdoor wireless coverage.