American Tower is looking to rev-up its distributed antenna business, having signed a deal with racetrack owner International Speedway to deploy DAS networks at 12 venues across the country. International Speedway owns such venues as Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Michigan International Speedway.
The deal calls for American Tower, working with Corning Cable, to design and install DAS and other wireless infrastructure equipment as part of a heterogeneous network system. Corning will handle the design and installation of the fiber optic cable network supporting the DAS network.
DAS networks are designed to provide additional capacity and coverage for cellular networks in high-density and traffic venues that can often overload traditional cellular antennas. DAS technology can also be deployed in conjunction with small cells like microcells, femtocells, picocells and Wi-Fi as part of a heterogeneous network solution to offload spectrum-hungry data services to alleviate congestion on cellular networks.
Financial terms of the deal were not released.
The DAS market has been active for tower companies looking for ways to expand their portfolio of service offerings to carriers. American Tower rival SBA earlier this year picked up DAS assets from Mobilitie for $1.1 billion, which it then looked to spin off to partner ExteNet. A report released by Mobile Experts earlier this month predicts the DAS market could hit 2.5 million nodes sold by 2017, or nearly doubling the market’s current rate of sales.
Racing has a very close relationship with wireless as Sprint Nextel is currently the series sponsor for NASCAR, which runs events at several the venues owned and operated by International Speedway. The 10-year deal with Sprint Nextel dates back to 2004 when Nextel Communications signed a sponsorship agreement with the racing series. As part of that agreement, Sprint Nextel currently offers a number of wireless-related activities for spectators attending NASCAR events.
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