DAS – The Original Precursor to C-RAN

I was a speaker at the NEDAS Summit in New York in early April, which lead me to reflect on how DAS systems are the original precursors to today’s C-RAN solutions.

What is DAS?

DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) can be considered the first iteration on the evolutionary road to C-RAN (Centralized RAN). As the name suggests, the antennas are distributed over a wide area, typically different stories of a building. A DAS solution provides improved carrier coverage, something that is becoming increasingly harder to achieve indoor due to ever-improving building and insulation standards. Additionally, as there are more antennas, they can broadcast at lower power.

The DAS is connected to the radio equipment, the Baseband Unit (BBU). As each part of a DAS is essentially the same cell, handover issues are reduced or eliminated as no handovers are required when moving between common DAS areas.

DAS can be used outdoors, but the typical use cases are in dense, high-value public buildings such as stadiums, metro systems, concert venues, campuses, enterprises, etc.

Multi-host DAS solutions

Nowadays, it is quite common to have multi-host DAS solutions that can carry multiple carriers, making the business case to invest in hosting a DAS solution more compelling.

The DAS itself is remote from the BBU. That separation could be 50-100 meters, or even up to 4 to 5 kilometers. That BBU can be located with other BBUs, so essentially DAS is the original precursor to C-RAN. The crucial difference is that for DAS, the BBUs are uncoordinated. The primary advantage of C-RAN is to allow power and transmission management of multiple BBUs simultaneously to decease the total amount of radiated power in the network, thus improving signal quality. The Far East is leading the way, with both China Mobile and KDDI of Japan showing substantial improvements in cell throughput with C-RAN, particularly at the cell edge. China Mobile has indicated increases in throughput from 80- 300%.

Going forward, enterprise owners of DAS solutions are looking to improve customer satisfaction while increasing revenue while operators deploying C-RAN are requiring real-time visibility of subscriber location, service quality, and application usage.

More on radio access network technology

Empirix Enters into OSSii Agreement with Ericsson

Empirix will offer unprecedented end-to-end coverage of the radio access network (RAN) with its powerful RAN Vision solution. This OSSii agreement augments Empirix’s set of available data sources; extends monitoring coverage to additional network elements that can be monitored (such as eNodesBs, PCRFs, and HSS); and provides a robust, holistic view to customers.

Gaining an Insight into VoLTE Customer Experience via Analytics
VoLTE Customer Experience

Service providers are demanding more from their customer experience and service assurance solutions because they have a keen awareness of the richness and value of the information that flows across their networks. Reliably and accurately extracted, this information can be used to help manage not just the network, but also the services offered and the devices deployed. Insights can be also be gained around the performance of providers’ vendors and—most significantly—the experiences and value of their customers.

RAN Vision Solution Wins TMC 2015 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award

One of TMC’s most coveted honors, the Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award recognizes exceptional products and services brought to market or greatly improved upon in the past year that facilitate voice, data, and video communications. Of the winners of this year’s awards, Rich Tehrani, CEO of TMC said, “True leaders within their industries, these honorees represent the best-of-the-best products and solutions available on the market today.”

Why RAN is Screaming Hot in 2015

2015 is bringing significant changes to the radio access network (RAN) environment as the insatiable demand for mobile data continues to accelerate. These pressures are forcing operators to rethink their…