Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Digital antenna systems (DAS) are becoming much more important as mobile device use expands among the world's population. However, the technology used to build DAS is relatively uncontrolled, making it difficult, in some cases, to effectively deploy solutions that optimize the network. According to a recent Cabling Installation & Maintenance report, new standards could soon emerge to resolve these issues.
In an interview with the news source, Allen Dixon, national development channel manager for a DAS construction company, explained that most antennas are proprietary in nature. Each manufacturer does things differently, though usually using a combination of fiber-optic cabling as the backbone and supporting technologies to take the wireline signal and turn that bandwidth into wireless form to support mobile users.
Dixon told Cabling Installation & Maintenance that the proprietary nature of the antennas is helpful because it allows for more customization for solutions meeting various operational requirements. However, standards bodies are increasingly working to develop frameworks for the cabling setup that will help simplify DAS deployment and enable more efficient installation processes.
"Standards bodies are taking interest in DAS. The [Telecommunications Industry Association] has inquired about a way to begin to standardize [DAS infrastructure]. BICSI is looking at DAS from the perspective of best practices," Dixon told the news source. "This is not structured cabling, but it goes into the same venues where structured cabling is installed. The basic tenet of structured cabling is: If I build the cabling infrastructure, it does not matter what plugs into it; it will work. Here, with DAS, you start at the end, with the connected devices, which are the antennas."
Dixon also explained that while DAS infrastructure and LAN systems have not interacted in the past, that could, in theory, change. If both networks use singlemode fiber for backbone, there is no technical reason that the networks could not interact into a single architecture. Separateness has been the practice because DAS are usually put in after the LAN, not for any technical reason, Cabling Installation & Maintenance reported.
The rise of mobility has created another vertical that depends heavily on fiber-optic network connectivity to function properly. As optical networks continue to expand in a variety of settings, the need for fiber-to-Ethernet media conversion tools is also likely to rise, as the fiber, whether used as backbone or in other parts of the network, has to connect to Ethernet infrastructure smoothly to ensure effective performance.
Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.