We’ve always been proud of our distributed antenna system (DAS). Our DAS is a simple solution that lets organizations and building owners significantly improve their indoor cellular signals through a single hardware layer, which is crucial given the rapidly increasing use of smartphones and other mobile devices across all businesses. More and more business is being done over the air, so reliable and fast in-building connectivity is key.
Our DAS uses fiber throughout the system, making installation and maintenance easier and less expensive than those solutions that still rely on coaxial cables, the hardware system itself is a simple design that consists of only four components – a hub, service and optical modules, and a remote unit – and it’s a future-proof solution: It can support all frequencies from 150MHz to 2700MHz, and organizations can add more carriers or more frequencies without having to make any modifications to the hardware. It’s an easy-to-install, easy-to-run, flexible offering that gives organizations exactly what they need: reliable cellular connectivity throughout the building, whether that building is a high-rise office building in town, an airport on the outskirts, a sports stadium or a hospital.
However, as with all DAS solutions, there has been a rub, a challenge that has slowed down the time to market for a DAS deployment. While the DAS solution is provided by an OEM, access to the radio frequency (RF) base stations and radio equipment that bring the wireless cellular signals to the DAS solutions has been directly available only through the wireless operators, and these operators would not always commit to installing an RF base station without a specific number of pre-existing connections already being in the building. That meant that even though the DAS itself is easy to install and get running, companies faced a lengthy approval process if a base station was needed; this process increased the amount of time needed to get the DAS solution actually deployed. It could lead to frustration among both the DAS OEM and the end users.
However, that’s about to change. In late October we announced an agreement with Cheytec Telecommunications that will enable us to license the RF base station and radio equipment needed to bring the wireless signals into the building, effectively enabling us to offer a complete end-to-end solution and to streamline the process. The radio hardware that we’ll be licensing through Cheytec is commercial-grade, of the same high quality that is provided by the top two base station OEMs and that is now used by all four of the major Tier 1 U.S. mobile operators.
It makes us the first DAS provider to be able to include the radio equipment with a DAS solution. The partnership with Cheytec is not only significant for Zinwave but, more importantly, for our customers. Providing reliable in-building cellular coverage is a way for organizations and building owners to not only address the growing needs of an increasingly mobile workforce, but also a way to ensure that businesses can attract and retain talented employees and that landlords can bring and keep tenants in their buildings. Solid cellular connectivity and the ability to bring in coverage from the operator of their choice becomes a selling point. And, it’s a good for mobile operators whose networks will get additional coverage and capacity at a minimal cost.
This isn’t something we plan to launch in the future. We are set to go, ready to roll out the offering immediately, and we plan on starting with our own headquarters here in Dallas.