A distributed antenna system, also called DAS, is a complex network of geographically distant antenna nodes linked to a central hub through a transport medium that provides mobile wireless service over a designated area. The central hub can be installed in a number of ways including fixed, moveable, and detachable. DAS antennas are usually in or above the building clutter, and most node installations are quite compact. It uses a low power radio frequency and has the ability to distinguish between neighbor cells. As a result, it is an ideal system for areas where cell phone reception or other wireless services would be impractical. For many, it is an answer to the challenges associated with fixed, centrally located, single-point operations.

The advantages to a distributed antenna system include: it can provide coverage over greater distances, it can increase signal strength, and it provides a cost savings over a traditional cell site. It can also allow users to take advantage of cellular technology to bolster their personal communications and improve mobility. It can increase a household’s ability to retain its current communications service and avoid expensive re-locations to another residence or office. With these and other benefits in mind, it is easy to see why a DAS is an attractive option for households and businesses looking to expand their existing coverage or to implement new mobile service into their existing service.

DAS systems utilize the latest technology advances and flexible design solutions to handle the challenge of large cell sites with a compact, mobile infrastructure. It can integrate seamlessly with small cells to increase coverage or reduce noise and power drain. With the use of a switching device or a software program, operators can easily move antennas from one place to another and still manage to optimize power usage. It allows for the relocation of antennas from a centralized location to multiple dispersed points. The flexible designs available for distributed antenna system applications can accommodate growth and accommodate growing traffic patterns.

A distributed antenna system allows for the easy positioning of antennas in an area that would otherwise not be suitable for the insertion of a conventional cellular tower. For instance, in an area where there is typically poor reception, an operator can use a DAS to effectively increase the cellular signal source to the area. With the use of a smaller dish or compact modem, an operator can position a cellular signal source directly over an area which would otherwise not be suitable, such as in an industrial area.

DAS systems utilize the latest technology advances to handle the challenge of large cell sites with a compact, mobile infrastructure. It allows for the easy positioning of antennas in an area which would otherwise not be suitable for the insertion of a conventional cellular tower. For instance, in an area where there is typically poor reception, an operator can use a DAS to effectively increase the cellular signal source to the area. With the use of a smaller dish or compact modem, an operator can position a cellular signal source directly over an area which would otherwise not be suitable, such as in an industrial area. For instance, in an industrial area where there is typically poor reception, an operator can use a DAS to effectively increase the cellular signal source to the area.

In order for distributed antenna systems to work effectively, it is important to determine whether the cell sites being used are static or mobile. A static site will generally not have an option for wireless transmission of data. For this reason, a mobile site will have an option to add on wireless services. Off-air links generally have a shorter range than cellular links.

Some of the advantages of DAS are that they provide a cost-effective solution for increasing cellular signal strengths. Some of the disadvantages are that the system is only able to handle certain transmission bandwidths. In order for the system to operate at its optimal capacity, an owner will need to make sure that the cell sites being used are capable of transmitting both voice and data at the same frequency. Furthermore, DAS requires a physical connection to the transmitters. This connection can often be achieved using copper wiring or another readily available medium.

Distributed antenna systems which utilize a passive solution are able to maintain their strength at all times without any mechanical support. These systems are ideal for temporary operations. The drawback of a passive system is the amount of time a signal source has to remain within line of sight. On the other hand, a hybrid system employs a mechanical support to help maintain the signal source’s integrity. In some instances, the mechanical support can also be employed to prevent interference from other wireless devices, which could result in a reduced level of performance.