Fiber gives flexibility to 600-antenna DAS system
The San Diego Convention Center, with some 615,000-square-feet of exhibition space and 204,00-square-feet of meeting, is high-end, waterfront real estate that boasts an approximately 75% occupancy rate. As such, Karen Totaro, facility senior vice president and general manager, keeping clients and their guests connected was the priority in a recently-completed distribute antenna system (DAS) upgrade.
“One of our biggest challenges at the time, as you can see when you walk around the building, is we have a lot of concrete everywhere, Totaro said during a session at the recent Optical Networking and Communication Conference and Exhibition. “We were getting dropped calls. You need to be able to communicate throughout the whole time you’re here. That was one of the first big ‘ah-ha’ moments where we realized this is definitely something we want to address.”
In addition to solving for ongoing problem, Totaro said a parallel goal of the DAS investment was to deploy a solution that can keep pace with the rapid evolution of cellular technologies. With high demand for the venue, she said, “We have very small windows to enhance our building, to work on projects. We also wanted the expertise of our carriers that were involved…getting the cellular carriers was critical.”
Smart City Networks Vice President of Technology David Langford said the company selected the Corning ONE Wireless Platform, which takes a fiber-deep approach to provide flexible capacity in a scalable, cost-effective way, as well as “accept new technologies and be able to grow without having to rip-and-replace the network.”
The deployment, two years in the making, involves some 600 antennas and 30 miles fiber optic cable, according to Bryce Bregen of system integrator Connectivity Wireless. “These are long-term projects. We work on these for multiple years both from a design perspective, then work directly with the carriers to enhance their service. We did this throughout a process of continuing to see technology change. We continue to look at fiber-to-the-edge as the solution because technology will continue to change and making those adaptions are very easy through the process once you have the complete system installed.”