Surviving the Data Tsunami Indoors

Phillip Sorrells - 11-5-13--thumb Philip Sorrells April 16, 2014

As the leader in distributed antenna systems (DAS), CommScope has visibility into what’s going on in all areas of the wireless RF path, especially indoors. Sharing our view on in-building wireless is what we try to accomplish in the Wrestling with the Data Tsunami Indoors” infographic that I blogged about recently. That infographic generated some interest from RCR Wireless, who recorded a 20-minute video interview with me where we dug a little deeper into the details.

CommScope’s experience in the field confirms two points made by RCR’s Martha DeGrasse in her recent DAS article:

  • There is increased demand for DAS and other “small cell” solutions
  • There is a lack of RF engineers who know how to deploy them

I touch on these points in the RCR video as well as broader trends and drivers.

When discussing in-building wireless solutions, we must consider three important numbers--1.5, 30 billion and 2. The rate of wireless data consumption doubles about every 1.5 years. That’s the data tsunami. Additionally there are 30 billion square meters of commercial real estate globally. But only about two percent of it has a dedicated in-building wireless solution for licensed spectrum.

As a former RF engineer, those three numbers stand out as a huge opportunity for placing sites to densify the cellular network; however, we must consider who is managing technology and communications inside commercial buildings. That would be IT professionals. The RF installers typically handled the outdoor macro network. There is a subgroup that specializes in DAS, but there is not enough of them to support the full data tsunami indoors. That’s why solutions that simplify design, installation and maintenance for in-building wireless systems need to be tailored to the realities of who will be doing the work.

Check out Martha’s article and my video for more details. What do you think? Is the industry lacking in RF engineers? When it comes to deploying in-building wireless systems in enterprises, how do we solve this issue?

About the Author

Phillip Sorrells - 11-5-13--thumb

Philip Sorrells

Philip Sorrells is vice president of strategic marketing for CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. He is responsible for marketing strategy, linking key trends in the industry into marketing strategies for telecommunications networks.  Mr. Sorrells has 20 years of experience in the telecom industry with Allen Telecom, Andrew Corporation and CommScope, having spent 10 years prior with Texas Instruments. He has led the wireless industry in adopting many antenna system innovations—including remote electrical tilt (RET) technology for network optimization—and pioneering the concept of “agile networks,” which formed the basis for current initiatives in self-organizing networks. Mr. Sorrells has three patents related to antenna systems and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Texas Tech University.