DAS is becoming an essential business solution for enterprise customers, according to an expert panel representing many parts of the wireless industry at the Carolinas Wireless Association event held in Raleigh on Thursday. Moderated by Chris Hare, CEO of nTete Group, the panel included representatives from AT&T, Extenet, TE Connectivity, RidgeLink (Electric coop), and Connectivity Wireless Solutions. The discussion, with more than 150 industry professionals in attendance, focused on why DAS is important, the trends driving DAS growth, and how the evolution to 4G will impact DAS deployments. Summarizing a common theme of the evening, Greg Jacobs, President of Connectivity Wireless, said there has been a real shift in how enterprise views wireless service. “While 10 years ago it was a nice to have, now it is a business solution, a must have.”
Offering the operator perspective, AT&T panelist Michelle Rhodes confirmed that DAS is typically brought in to prevent voice quality from suffering due to capacity issues caused by higher demand for mobile data. The panel also noted that carriers need DAS to offload traffic.
The panel was followed by a keynote presentation by Laurent Therivel, VPGM of the Carolinas Mobility and Consumer Markets for AT&T. Therivel expects that soon 75% of AT&T’s revenue will come from products that have only started to emerge in the last 2-3 years, including wireless data and IP applications and services. Therivel talked about how LTE’s ability to deliver diverse content types, combined with lower and lower price points for devices, has created unprecedented challenges and expectations for the industry including ubiquity of service, and mobile device brand affinity, which he said is new to the industry.
The Carolinas Wireless Association holds several events per year to serve its 568 members.