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HetNet News: DAS expected to grow, include small cells, Wi-Fi

Research firm Mobile Experts expects to see rapid growth for distributed antenna systems, projecting that the number of DAS nodes will double between this year and 2016 and that more than half of DAS networks will include small cells and Wi-Fi by 2018.

“Multiple operators in North America are doubling or tripling their DAS spending plans,” said Joe Madden, principal analyst with Mobile Experts. “In China, DAS spending is down 20%, but in the USA it’s up 30%. There are radical changes going on, which in the end will be incredibly lucrative for DAS neutral hosts, installers, and system integrators.

“The DAS market will more than double in size over the next five years, with a dramatic increase in the combination of DAS with Wi-Fi, public safety radio, and LTE networks,” Madden added. “People wonder how small cells will find access to backhaul. In fact, the clear answer is to use a fiber-based DAS system in many public buildings.”

–Speaking of DAS growth, Extenet Systems has signed yet another deal for DAS installations. The company has been named the official arena wireless network provider of the American Hockey League, after announcing a similar arrangement with AEG last week.

Extenet will work with AHL teams and venues in improving their 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi wireless coverage; it will design, build, own and operate the DAS. The deal also includes supporting a mobile application platform called Go Beyond Live, which was developed with Wireless Fan Network for sports and entertainment facilities with applications such as mobile concessions ordering and enhanced mobile video.

“ExteNet Systems has significantly enhanced the fan experience via their advanced wireless networks at many prominent facilities,” said Chris Nikolis, executive VP of marketing and business development for the AHL. “This is a win-win for the AHL and our teams because connecting with our existing fans, attracting new fans and delivering the best in-arena experience are priorities for all 30 member clubs.”

Wilson Electronics has launched a new 4G signal booster for residential and commerical installer markets. The CI 2070 indoor booster supports all cellular carriers’ networks and LTE as well as signals for legacy networks, and is designed for providing stronger cellular coverage for up to 80,000 square feet.

“The CI 2070 is Wilson’s first 4G cellular signal booster designed specifically for the installer market,” said Blake Seese, Wilsons’ custom integrator (CI) director. “It delivers greatly enhanced voice and data coverage in buildings where it’s deployed. For our certified installers, the CI 2070 also provides a new revenue source by helping solve customers’ cellular reception problems in virtually any type of building.”

The booster is about the size of a small textbook, according to Wilson, and weighs less than three pounds. It is priced at $1,249.99.

Aptilo Networks reported a customer win in Brazil, where telcom operator Linktel has deployed Aptilo’s Service Management Platform (SMP) for its more than 2,300 Wi-Fi access points at malls, airports, beaches and retailers. The platform includes features for providing a carrier-class Wi-Fi service for enterprise, and different service levels for individual customers. Linktel has plans to use the Aptilo platform for future Wi-Fi offloading as well.



Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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