February 24, 2017

Tips for DAS Installations for Stadiums

The more things change…the more things change

Imagine you just spent several months, installing a new DAS in a stadium, testing, troubleshooting, mitigating macro interference and establishing peak wireless performance for a carrier’s users. Then prior to the first game of the year, which will be the real test run for the system, the stadium ownership announces a new corporate sponsor and unveils millions of dollars of new signage, video screens and other stadium upgrades. These ‘upgrades’ can actually be considered downgrades as it relates to wireless performance.

Stadiums’ roofs and upper levels are not only primary locations for new corporate signage and video screens but they are also ideal locations for both macro and DAS antennas as they can provide unimpeded coverage to parking lots and the stadium bowls for RF signal propagation.

Commissioning a new DAS system is challenging enough, there is a lot of coordination required between DAS OEM, Carrier, Integrator and Base Radio OEM.  Massive stadium upgrades introduce new challenges mainly due to the fact that these upgrades are kept under wraps so that teams can announce them with great fanfare.  For example, a new sign placed in front of rooftop macro antennas, can cause RF signals intended for the parking lot to reflect back into the stadium, causing interference with the DAS.

In these situations, ADRF engineering teams have partnered with carriers, where our ADX and ADXV DAS systems are installed, to quickly troubleshoot and return DAS performance back to peak levels.  Our advice is to monitor the environment that your DAS systems are in (i.e. stadium upgrades, airport expansion, hotel improvements).  All of these infrastructure changes can raise havoc with wireless system performance, however, this practice will pay dividends when it comes to providing users a great wireless experience.

According to Mobile Sports Report, wireless carriers are upgrading DAS or “migrating” to new systems at major stadiums and they are seeing increased data throughput every year. We expect to see carriers investing in their DAS and Small Cells preparing themselves for 5G next few years.

To learn more about ADRF’s stadium installations, click here.