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December 27

How DAS Has Kept Up With The Evolution of Cellular Communications

5G is inevitable.

When exactly it will arrive and be ready for consumer use is debatable. But, we know it will arrive, and businesses should prepare for it. It is worth a look back on the progression of cellular communications, and how technologies, like a distributed antenna system (DAS), have managed to keep up with the evolving cellular industry.

Prior to the modern DAS technology of today, repeaters or bi-directional amplifiers solved coverage problems. They were utilized by delivering network access where end-users were tapping into cell services – which was (and still is) most often indoors. In the early 2000s, distributed antenna systems began transitioning from repeaters and amplifiers to fiber-optic and coax cabling. The increasing demand for coverage and capacity in large venues necessitated this change. Fiber-optic and coax cabling use splitters or couplers to connect high power base stations to antennas across the system, enabling the DAS to support the demands of increased traffic on the network.

  In the early 2000s, the increasing demand for coverage and capacity in large venues necessitated the change to to fiber-optic and coax cabling.

The third generation (3G) offered increased speed and capacity, enabled internet access and other services, and popularized the smart phone. Subsequently, 4G enabled the simultaneous transmission of voice and data, so consumers began to utilize the network to power the ways they work and live. Therefore, the industry began shifting to lower-power DAS systems, comprised of fiber and coax, or all fiber in more modern solutions. The advantage of using fiber infrastructure to connect the base hub to each remote unit is that it enables easier installation and wider bandwidth with faster speeds and higher frequencies, leading to optimal end user experience.

The Rest of the World Sees Different Speed of Evolution

It’s important to note that cellular communication trends that we know in North America are not necessarily the same trends being seen all over the world. In the early 2000s when the world was beginning to see the first advancements in “smartphones”, telecommunication equipment makers provided operators with their current macro product. The macro product was typically a high power base station whose output would then be connected to tens and sometimes hundreds of antennas passively fed via coax and splitters/couples – using no fiber in the architecture. As recently as 2012, 95% of indoor deployments outside of North America are passive systems. And although 3G is still prevalent in many countries, 4G continues to grow. The transition to fiber has begun.

DAS Today

With 5G poised to make its way on the scene, consumers’ demand for lower latency speeds will continue to increase. The expectation of reliabile in-building connectivity will makeall-fiber solutions the go-to method for deploying a strong, reliable DAS and ensuring optimal user experience. 5G is the next generation mobile standard with the promise of higher speeds and innovative applications, creating efficiencies in the ways we work and live. A Zinwave DAS supports the current demands of 4G, and is 5G ready.

Zinwave DAS: Future Ready

Since our first commercial deployment in 2008, Zinwave has delivered a high-speed, reliable DAS solution through the use of fully-fiber, end-to-end cabling. This has enabled carriers to deliver service to consumers indoors at the speeds they’ve come to expect. The last decade of wireless demand has sparked the need for better connectivity, and the next decade will continue to challenge network infrastructure. A Zinwave DAS provides optimal in-building connectivity, and will reliably power cellular coverage for decades to come.


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