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What is a DAS?

How does a Distributed Antenna System Work?

A DAS or Distributed Antenna System comprises a network of spatially separated antennas connected to a common source, serving to enhance wireless coverage within designated areas such as buildings, stadiums, campuses, or other venues. The primary purpose of a Distributed Antenna System is to optimise cellular and wireless communications by efficiently distributing the signal from a centralised source to strategically positioned antennas throughout the target area. This approach effectively mitigates signal obstacles, ensuring superior coverage and increased capacity for mobile devices. A distributed antenna system may be deployed indoors (an iDAS) or outdoors (an oDAS).

The Distributed Antenna System is fed a cellular signal and is distributed to a network of antenna nodes that are seperated in such a way to maximise the coverage within a space. Voice and data connectivity for end-users is provided within this field by sending and receiving cellular signals on a carrier’s licensed frequencies.

iDAS, oDAS, eDAS, active DAS, passive DAS, hybrid DAS, off-air DAS, and numerous others.

Off-air

Off-air (via an antenna usualy placed on a roof) are the most common signal sources for a Distributed Antenna System.

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Off-air can connect to various operators simultaneously but performance relies on signal strength, quality and congestion. An off-air signal isn't always provided when a signal from the donor antenna is very weak or the closest tower is fairly congested.

On-Site BTS

an On-site BTS or Base Transceiver Station can also be referred to as the node B (in 3G networks) or, the base station (BS).

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(NodeB, eNodeB, gNodeB refer to the technology used inside cell phone towers to generate a cellular signal). A base transceiver station links-up to the antenna network through fiber optic cables to a telecommunications providers core network, seperated from enterprise IT infrastructure that may have been installed previously. Multiple BTS systems can be deployed to receive signals from seperate carriers with increased performance for each carrier, an extra layer of capacity can be applied to high-occupancy areas could contain hotels, stadiums, train stations, airports, or venues. BTS systems are more complex to install as providers need to run signals throuh their own dedicated cables, they require bigger space, more cooling, and consume more power resulting in higher overall operating costs.

Small Cells

Small cells are low-powered cellular radio access nodes that operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrum that have a range of 10 meters to a few kilometers.

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Recent FCC orders have provided size and elevation guidelines to help more clearly define small cell equipment.[2][3] They are "small" compared to a mobile macrocell, partly because they have a shorter range and partly because they typically handle fewer concurrent calls or sessions. As wireless carriers seek to 'densify' existing wireless networks to provide for the data capacity demands of "5G", small cells are currently viewed as a solution to allow re-using the same frequencies,[4][5][6] and as an important method of increasing cellular network capacity, quality, and resilience with a growing focus using LTE Advanced.

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