How Do Distributed Antenna Systems Work?

What is a Distributed Antenna System?

A Distributed Antenna System is a network consisting of spatially separate antenna nodes that are connected via a transport medium to a common source. This provides wireless service in a geographical area or structure.

DAS systems improve coverage and capacity where traditional cellular infrastructure is unable to reach, such as in-building environments or on campus. DAS systems provide better indoor coverage, enhanced signal strength, and increased capacity by deploying multiple antennas throughout the coverage area.

DAS systems have become more popular in recent years as a way to improve wireless coverage and capacity within buildings and other structures. DAS systems can be used in areas with high density, where traditional cellular infrastructure is difficult to reach, such as office buildings, stadiums, underground locations, and hotels.

How Distributed Antennas Work

Traditional antennas only emit radiofrequency signals (RF) in one direction. This can be problematic if there is an obstruction in the path or if it has to travel a long distance. Distributed Antenna Systems can help. DAS is made up of many antennas spread over a wide area. The antennas connect to a central hub using coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, or other means.

The central hub distributes the signal to all the antennas of the system. The central hub ensures there is no signal loss and that all users in the building can receive a powerful signal.

Active DAS and Passive DAS are the two main types of DAS. Active DAS systems use base station repeaters in a network to amplify and distribute the signal coming from the base station. Passive DAS uses network fiber optic cables and coaxial cables to distribute the signal of the cellular base station.

DAS systems are deployed in different ways depending on the coverage area and requirements. Multi-carrier DAS systems use multiple carrier frequencies, while single-carrier DAS systems only use one carrier frequency. Wideband DAS systems use a broad band of frequencies, while narrowband DAS systems use a narrower range of frequencies.

DAS systems are available as standalone systems or can be integrated with other wireless technologies such as WiFi and LTE. DAS systems can be used with small cells to increase coverage and capacity at specific locations.

The benefits of a distributed antenna system

Distributed Antenna Systems have many advantages over traditional antenna systems. These include improved coverage, reliability, and capacity. It is also less likely that they will experience service interruptions because of weather conditions or other variables. A DAS has many advantages.

  1. Better coverage: A DAS provides better coverage by distributing the signals over multiple antennas. This is especially true in large areas or hard-to-cover regions.
  2. Capacity increase: By adding more antennas and using intelligent algorithms to schedule transmissions for different channels, a DAS can also boost its capacity. This is especially useful in areas with high traffic where a single, small antenna can quickly become overwhelmed.
  3. Less interference: Spreading the signal across multiple antennas can reduce interference caused by other devices and systems that use the same frequency band.
  4. Flexibility: A DAS is more flexible because it can be easily reconfigured to add or remove antennas when needed.
  5. Scalability: DAS can easily be expanded to accommodate future growth.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in Tunnel communication system and electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging, and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.