What Is DAS? And How It Makes Your Building Better for Business

Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), allow us to take it for granted that our cell phones and mobile devices will work inside of buildings without interference or dropped calls. This is not as easy as it sounds because building materials such as concrete, metal walls, and energy-efficient glass can block cell phone signals and reduce coverage. Since more than 80 percent of cell phone calls are made indoors, DAS is vitally important.

DAS Keeps Your Mobile Devices Mobile

Without a system to strengthen cell signals inside buildings, tenants have been driven to the extremes of gathering at windows, pacing just outside of doorways, and taping X’s on the floor so they can find reception to make cell phone calls. A robust DAS is a key component of creating a workspace that supports the mobile tools we depend on.

For example, a national organization leased two upper floors of a prestigious high-rise building. Shortly afterward, an executive found that the cell phone calls he took in this beautiful office space continually dropped. The company quickly changed its leasing policy to require strong cell phone signals and not only stunning views when evaluating office space.

Another company had just relocated to a beautiful multi-story office building with the latest amenities only to discover that the cell signal was all but nonexistent throughout the building.  Due to COVID-19 their entire workforce was returning from working at home where they had become dependent on using their mobile devices.  The lack of a DAS made what should have been an exciting transition for employees an unproductive and frustrating letdown.  

What is a DAS? And How It Works

DAS eliminates coverage problems by using a small network of antennas throughout the building that are interconnected to the cell source.  This eliminates dropped calls, enhances cell phone coverage, increases data speeds, and seamlessly hands off calls to or from the outside network as users move around the building.

If you’re wondering how DAS works, think of a lawn sprinkler system. In this simplified analogy, the cellular radio frequency (RF) that connects your device to the carrier’s network (AT&T/T-Mobile/Verizon) is like the water. The DAS is made up of coaxial and fiber-optic cables, antennas, and equipment that deliver the signal throughout the building, similar to underground pipes and sprinklers that disburse water over a lawn.

However, you can’t just assemble a DAS and start distributing a carrier’s signal, even if it’s within your own building, without the carrier’s permission. Federal law states that you must obtain the carrier’s consent.  This requires planning, coordination, and approval for any DAS equipment you install.

How Hunt Can Help

Equipping your building with a DAS system can be tricky. But we find that education makes the process easier to understand. That’s why Hunt Electric takes the time to meet with our client’s teams and present a technology overview to answer questions and create a foundational understanding of DAS. We cover key points of the public safety code and how it affects you, explain how your phones interact with the network and why calls drop, take the time to walk you through the different types of DAS, and answer any other questions you might have.

We will also update you on the latest improvements in cellular technology such as 5G networks and privately owned LTE systems. We can help you navigate all of the acronyms and buzz words to help educate you about opportunities available today. 

Contact us to learn more about how DAS can work for you at salesSL@huntelectric.com.