We’ve heard a lot about small cell solutions in recent years, but the fact remains that another kind of in-building solution – based on a technology known as distributed antenna system – has become a popular way for businesses and service providers to expand wireless coverage in venues such as high rise dwellings and offices, hospitals, malls and sports arenas.
The global DAS market is poised to experience a compound annual growth rate of 2.4 percent from 2015 to 2020, when it is expected to exceed $2.2 billion, according to Stephane Teral, senior research director of mobile infrastructure and carrier economics for IHS Markit. These solutions are purchased both by cellular service providers, and by large businesses and other organizations. The drivers of DAS deployment, Teral notes in an April brief, are a desire for greater adaptability, capacity, coverage, data support, interference mitigation, scalability and spectrum efficiency.
Typical DAS solutions consist of an existing macro base station that sits somewhere within the venue; that connects to a DAS hub that propagates and/or converts, processes, or controls the communication signals transmitted and received through the DAS nodes, each including at least one antenna for the transmission and reception of a wireless service provider’s RF signals and one remote radio head; and on-site fiber is used to distribute signals to remote radios heads throughout the defined area.
Power supplies are also an important component to consider when deploying a DAS solution, given people have become so accustomed to being able to use their mobile phones anywhere and at any time – even in the event of a power outage. Obviously, outages can create inconvenience; more importantly, however, the inability to use your phone can even result in safety issues and lost revenues.
And that’s a real concern, as data from JD Power & Associates illustrates. The firm reports that business customers have an average of 5.7 outages annually. An average of 1.1 of those outages last more than an hour, and the average extended outage lasts 7.9 hours.
That’s why Minuteman Power Technologies outfits organizations with DAS deployments with UPS solutions and external battery packs. The company, which was the first in the industry to offer a UPS with an external battery pack at 3kVA and below, offers the Endeavor and EnterprisePlus lines of UPSs. The former is a family of on-line UPS solutions; the latter is a suite of line-interactive UPS offerings.
Both feature extended runtime options via the use of external battery packs, and multiple battery packs can be employed in deployment environments. XL packs are Minuteman’s standard size packs, and its EXL packs offer three to five times the battery capacity of the XLs.
SizeMyUPS.com is a tool that Minuteman offers to help organizations determine which UPS to use, and how many battery packs are needed, to address their long runtime requirements. The tool first calculates the total load/power consumption requirements of the specific DAS system. Then it requests and ingests other parameters of the deployment, does the deciphering and prescribes the ideal solution. Minuteman has sold solutions with requirements ranging from two to six to eight to 24 hours of DAS system backup.