A distributed antenna system is a practical use of technology for renewable energy for remote monitoring. Our distributed antenna system definition will highlight how it works and the benefits of using this technology.
What is a Distributed Antenna System (DAS)?
A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) consists of a network of antennas, which receives and sends cellular signals. This process of sending and receiving of the signals relies on the licensed frequencies of a cellular carrier.
This mechanism helps to improve voice quality and data connectivity. It enhances the wireless coverage area and reduces overall power consumption. Besides this, the DAS system also improves the reliability of the services provided by the carrier.
Usually, DAS also uses wireless amplifiers or RF directional couplers that help to amplify and split the wireless signal coming from the direct source (distributed antennas). In addition, most of the DAS equipment uses a combination of fiber optic cabling and low loss coaxial cabling.
This system is a viable option for indoors as well as outdoor facilities. For instance, DAS provides strong coverage in commercial settings like subways, hotels, airports, roadway tunnels, hospitals, businesses and renewable energy.
After discussing the DAS system definition, let’s break it down for better understanding the basic concept behind this approach.
Breaking Down a Distributed Antenna System (DAS)
A DAS is a method of dealing with the issue of poor coverage inside the isolated spots or large building. In order to achieve the benefits of a DAS, technicians install a network of small antennas at various spots inside the building. These antennas serve to amplify the signals by acting as repeaters.
There is a central controller, which connects the small antennas to the base station of a wireless carrier. Since this system relies on the RF spectrum license, it is not possible to deploy the DAS without involving the wireless carriers.
DAS may be either passive or active. The passive DAS collects the signals from antennas and runs them throughout the leaky feeder cables. While in case of an active system, fiber cables transport the signal throughout the building. The system also boosts or amplifies the signals whenever needed.
The deployment of a DAS project is the most expensive part. This stage involves the installation of different antennas and attaching them to a coaxial cable or fiber optical connection. Furthermore, connecting the controller with various antenna modules is a daunting and labor-intensive task.
Normally, the carrier, which is offering its services in the area bears the DAS system cost. In addition, it is the responsibility of such a carrier to maintain the system for continuous performance.
However, the carrier will agree to pay for the DAS installation and maintenance cost under the following circumstance.
- Deployment falls within the network plans of a carrier
- Covers a wide range of subscribers
- Fills a noticeable gap in service
Distributed antenna system offers strong signals to the mobile devices in a similar fashion, as performed by the tower installed by a cellular network. High-rise buildings, densely populated indoor spaces, and huge public places like hospitals or airports are the feasible places for a DAS deployment.
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Benefits of Distributed Antenna System (DAS)
The distributed antenna system (DAS) offers a wide range of advantages. The presence of the antennas offer a strong reception for the voice and data signals and reduces the power consumption.
This system ensures a flawless radio or wireless coverage within a building or area, irrespective of its size. The distributed antenna system offers the best coverage for a variety of applications.
This system also works in those areas where the deployment of wireless systems is a challenge. Hence, most of the multi-floor buildings utilize this system to improve the reception of voice and data signals.
Following are the benefits of using a DAS system.
- Strong coverage
- Fewer coverage leaks
- More coverage by consuming less power
- DAS is less expensive as compared to the antennas installed by the carrier
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How Distributed Antenna System (DAS) Works
The distributed antenna system (DAS) has two major components, which serve the purpose of amplifying the signals at any given place.
- A signal source
- Distribution system
A DAS is unable to generate the cellular signal itself. On the contrary, it only transmits the signals coming from a source. This is the signal source, which in most of the cases is a cellular carrier.
A distribution system is essential to improve the performance of a DAS. This depends on the technology utilized by such a system. By identifying these two components, you can draw maximum advantage out of your DAS system.
The core network and a connection between the BTS of a carrier require a dedicated fiber connection. Installing this connection is the responsibility of a carrier. A DAS in a large building, stadium or airport requires multiple BTSes, which separately work for each carrier.
This helps the system to handle the load of thousands of users. Normally, a DAS system that connects to a BTS signal usually appears to be more expensive, as each carrier needs to run its own fiber cable.
Irrespective of the fact that what signal source a DAS system uses, its basic function is to amplify and distribute the signals.
Depending on the DAS system design, there are four basic types of technology utilized by such a system. These include active, passive, digital, and hybrid DAS systems.
Conclusion on Distributed Antenna System (DAS) Definition
The basic purpose of a distributed antenna system (DAS) is to improve the voice and data signals of a particular carrier. The wireless services that a DAS usually provides include cellular, PCS, Wi-Fi, fire, police, and other emergency services.
The distributed antenna system uses a required number of antennas to cover a particular area or building. By using this approach, the user not only receives good quality signals, but it also requires less power. The localized antennas perform well by using a small fraction of power as compared to the large antennas.
Moreover, it is viable to fix these antennas at those places where it is not feasible to install big antennas. For instance, it is possible to install a DAS at less spacious places and improve the strength of the signals released by a carrier.
The DAS approach also helps to reduce penetration or shadowing losses. This is so, as the line of sight link is always available for the end users. This suggests that the overall power usage is relatively lower.