How to Prepare for DAS Spectrum Range Changes


As any hotel owner or operator knows, the customer always comes first. One of the must-have features guests demand these days is reliable connectivity to the Internet from anywhere in a hotel.

Guaranteeing guests high-quality indoor wireless connectivity can provide a competitive advantage for a hotel, especially as the playing field continues to expand during the current hotel construction boom. One increasingly popular solution to achieve optimal indoor connectivity is by installing a distributed antenna system (DAS).

A DAS provides indoor cellular wireless connectivity by pulling a signal into the building through a small cell or RF base station. That signal is then routed from a central hub to a series of remote access points through an interior cable network.

Because DAS is a mobile operator-approved and -supported cellular signal that’s being brought into the building, users receive a certain level of service, as opposed to unguaranteed performance of voice-over-Wi-Fi, for example. Calls can seamlessly hand off from the outside network to the inside network as users move from outside to inside the building.

But just as trends in hotel design and features change quickly, so, too, does the wireless industry. Hoteliers looking to invest in a DAS must be prepared for the sometimes-unpredictable industry trajectory. This article from Zinwave, discusses what hoteliers can do to help prepare themselves for the future as they invest in DAS.

Being Future-Ready

One of the top considerations for a hotel operator while researching DAS solutions should be, “What will the wireless spectrum look like in a year?”

The answer can change in the blink of an eye. For example, T-Mobile surprised the wireless industry this April with its $8 billion purchase of a majority of building-penetrable 600MHz spectrum from the Federal Communications Commission. Neither Apple’s iPhone X, nor any announced Android devices utilizing Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon SOC had time to incorporate 600MHz support before the launch, but it is expected to come in near future iterations.

Soon enough, hotel guests’ devices will require hardware capable of supporting the 600MHz spectrum. Already, 77 percent of hospitality workers experience poor indoor coverage – meaning it’s not only affecting guests, but employees as well.

Because of wireless industry shakeups like these, it’s critical that hotels invest in a DAS option that can easily add new frequency spectrum – but not every DAS is created equal.

Finding a Future-Ready DAS

A future-ready DAS is defined by the following attributes:

  • It uses a “one-and-done” approach to hardware installation, where the single original hardware layer supports all current carriers and frequency bands as well as future connectivity requirements without additional hardware or expensive upgrades.
  • The platform is full spectrum, and can access the most utilized cellular and public safety signals and all frequencies between 150MHz and 2700MHz.
  • It supports technologies that require stable and reliable cellular connectivity, including 5G, devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.

While a future-ready DAS mitigates the cost of the system, a new business model called Cellular-as-a-Service (CaaS) can help cut costs even more. With CaaS, a DAS vendor offers its service on a monthly, per-square-foot basis, including deployment and ongoing system monitoring and maintenance. CaaS removes concern about upfront and recurring downstream costs — a sticking point for hotels that want an easily scalable, mobile solution.

Hotel owners and operators want the best for their guests, and that means providing the most reliable platform for superior cellular connectivity. With a future-ready DAS, financed with a CaaS model, hoteliers will be ready for both unexpected changes in the wireless industry and tomorrow’s travel trends.

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