DAS, small cells and capacity crunch at the New York State Wireless Association conference
Distributed Antenna Systems, small cells and Wi-Fi offload solutions all will contribute to helping with the capacity crunch on wireless networks, attendees were told today at the New York State Wireless Association's annual conference and trade show. Nevertheless, extra spectrum in the wireless market will help ensure mobile broadband access as more and more Americans use wireless services to connect to family, friends and digital content. Taking place in Niagara Falls, N.Y., the NYSWA Trade Show and Conference is a three-day event focused on the nation's wireless infrastructure, including DAS deployments. This is the fifth year for the show. Kudos to NYSWA members, who are all volunteers. Distributed Antenna Systems, deployed outdoors and inside, bring extra capacity and coverage to the nation's wireless operators and their macrocellular networks. Speaking at a morning session today, AT&T's Teri Goodwin said the wireless service provider is now using DAS to add additional capacity -- not just coverage -- to its network. Goodwin said tablet and smart-phone customers are accessing more wireless content than ever before. Successfully deploying DAS outdoors can be as complicated as solving a Rubik's Cube puzzle, commented Crown Castle's Bob Ritter. Pole attachments, hub sites, rights-of-way issues and carrier agreements all have to be successfully managed to deploy DAS solutions. Since its acquisition of NextG Networks earlier this year, Crown is the nation's largest DAS provider and knows a few things about what makes a successful deployment. The DAS Forum was also on hand to explain the various small cells in the market today. While femtocells mainly are used for residential, in-home deployments, and microcells and picocells only address the needs of one service provider and one or two technologies or frequencies, a DAS can address a multitude of frequencies, service providers and technologies. Each small-cell solution is a tool to help bring mobile broadband access to more Americans, and largely complement one another.