To put into perspective just how fast data traffic is growing, AT&T senior manager Jim Parker told participants at the recent DAS in Action event that data usage on his company’s network soared 8,000 percent in just four years. Parker was one of several panelists who met in Atlanta to discuss the evolution of distributed antenna systems and share perspectives on their role in supporting demands for greater capacity and in-building coverage.

The DAS is emerging as a key piece of the heterogeneous network (HetNet), along with lower-powered radio access nodes, or small cells. Ian Gillott, founder and president of marketing consultancy iGR, compares the complex and interconnected parts of the HetNet to a tiered wedding cake with macrocells serving as the base. DAS and small cell solutions build out and complete the structure.

With industry players from across the wireless ecosystem attending this year’s conference, and an 80 percent increase in turnout over the previous year, there’s no denying the DAS appeal. The case studies and tours of Turner Field and the Georgia Aquarium helped bring the technology to life. Beach Clark, vice president of Information Technology with the Georgia Aquarium, shared a little-known story that inspired his organization’s DAS implementation.

The chief financial officer and another executive with the Aquarium were working late one evening and touring the facility. This was while it was still undergoing construction and the alarm system wasn’t yet functional. As they entered a stairwell, they quickly realized all of the doors to exit the stairwell were locked. To make matters worse, there was no light and no cell phone coverage. Suffice it to say, they had no choice but to spend the entire night trapped inside. I think that’s pretty good motivation for installing a DAS, don’t you?

Take a look at some of our footage from the event and coverage from the editorial team at RCR Wireless.  The next DAS in Action is set for Oct. 1 in Orlando. What do you see unfolding in the DAS arena in the months leading up to that?

Listen to what Ian Gillott had to say about the next big vertical or venue he predicts we’ll all be talking about next. He also addressed the industry’s sea change in its view of Wi-Fi offload during a conversation with Patrick Lau, director of business development for CommScope’s North America Region.

We also caught up with Tracy Ford, executive director of the DAS Forum at PCIA.

See the tour of Turner Field led by Branon Martin, account manager, RF Applications for CommScope’s Southeast Region.

Watch the small cells panel presentation moderated by Ian Gillott and featuring Matt Melester, senior vice president and general manager of CommScope’s Distributed Capacity and Coverage Solutions.

Hear Matt Melester talk to RCR Wireless’ Jeff Mucci about CommScope’s new DAS solution, the Integrated Point of Interface, and get Matt’s view on self optimizing radios. Will the latter live up to its promise?

About the Author

Rick Aspan

Rick Aspan, APR, is vice president of Corporate Communications at CommScope. A former journalist, he has more than 25 years of experience in corporate communications functions in the telecom, internet and networking industries at companies such as MCI, Ameritech and Tellabs.

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