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February 27

Virtual Networks and the Need for Wideband DAS

We predicted there would be a lot of buzz around 5G technologies at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and as Day 2 of the show wraps up we have not been disappointed. But even with all of the technology demonstrations of 5G NR and millimeter wave technology, it’s easy to forget how much work still needs to be done before 5G goes mainstream.

 That’s why it’s important to remember all the advances we still have to look forward to with 4G LTE technology. After all, the LTE stands for “long term evolution.” Now that most of the 4G networks in the US have been built out, we’re getting to the fun part where we get to see LTE updates roll out and improve our networks for years to come.

 AT&T, for example, announced this year that they’re going to continue investing in their current network structure with technologies like virtualization and carrier aggregation. The interesting thing about these upgrades is they’re all done on software. You can imagine that LTE carriers are relieved to be able to continue configuring and upgrading their network without the need for additional hardware investment.

 It’s a lot like Zinwave’s UNItivity distributed antenna system (DAS). UNItivity enables indoor cellular wireless by bringing a cellular signal into a building and distributing it to the occupants over a fiber-connected network of access points.

 What’s really special about UNItivity, and what sets it apart from the competition, is its full-spectrum, future-ready wideband technology, which allows it to operate on all common carrier frequencies, public safety frequencies, and higher frequencies like CBRS.

 As carriers continue to build out their networks, UNItivity stands ready to adapt to changes in carrier configurations. While a competitor may set their customers up with a configuration for specific carriers on specific frequencies, they will likely have to purchase additional equipment in the future to accommodate changing frequencies and technologies as LTE and 5G evolve.

 Zinwave, on the other hand, can reconfigure the DAS (on-site or remotely with the recently announced Network Management Service) via software updates as new frequencies are introduced, all on a single hardware layer. Because if the wireless carriers can upgrade their networks through simple software updates, shouldn’t you be able to do the same with your DAS?

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