The Challenges of DAS Deployment

MattMelester_160x160 Matt Melester April 17, 2013

We are on the verge of major growth in the deployment of distributed antenna systems (DAS). A 2012 Mobile Experts report claims that DAS market players will ship 2.5 million DAS nodes in 2017, nearly doubling the current rate of sales.

The challenges of DAS deploymentThat is a big increase, but one that sounds accurate to me. DAS is already a well-proven solution for extending wireless coverage and adding capacity in high traffic areas such as airports, stadiums and subway systems. Soon DAS solutions will be deployed in more healthcare, university and multi tenant building settings and utilized more regularly in dense urban environments for offloading capacity from the macro network.

But one aspect of DAS remains a challenge to operators—deployment. Distributed antenna systems are notoriously difficult to test, optimize and maintain during and after installation. The complexity of DAS typically leads to longer time-to-market, while requiring advanced (and expensive) engineering skills for installers. Every stage of DAS deployment can see extra expenses and delayed returns on investment. But as the report claims, and we agree, operators will continue to utilize DAS out of the pressing need to free up capacity for the continued surge in mobile data traffic.

There are two DAS events coming up where we will be discussing the challenges of DAS deployment and what CommScope is doing to help solve them. The first is DAS in Action: New Orleans, appropriately taking place in New Orleans on April 22–23. I will participate in a panel titled “How to get a DAS from A to Z,” where I will cover specific technical challenges in DAS deployment.

The second event is the DAS & Small Cells Congress, occurring April 29–May 1 in Las Vegas. CommScope’s Patrick Lau and Brian Domingo will help lead Workshop B on April 29 from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., titled “Planning, Architecting, Designing, and Testing a DAS and Small Cell Network.” They will speak extensively about how to successfully deploy DAS and small cell technologies in both outdoor and indoor venues, including evaluating system architecture options to reduce complexity and cost.

At these events, we will promote best practices when it comes to deploying DAS. Have you experienced any problems with DAS deployment? Leave me a comment about what challenges you have faced and any questions you may have.

About the Author


Matt Melester

Matt Melester is senior vice president office of the CTO at CommScope. He and his team are responsible for the technology strategy for CommScope’s Outdoor Wireless Networks and Venue and Campus Networks segments for use in service provider and business enterprise networks around the world. Prior to his role in the CTO office, Matt led the Distributed Coverage and Capacity Solutions team that focused on distributed antenna systems and in-building small cell solutions, including successfully enhancing wireless coverage and capacity at numerous high-profile locations and events. Matt has over 35 years of experience in the telecommunications industry at CommScope, Andrew Corporation, Chrysler Technologies Airborne Systems and Texas Instruments. He has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky.