The telecom analysis report is based on an interview of 16 of the world’s top 20 wireless and cable operators that operate DAS (distributed antenna systems).
Large telecom service providers and venue owners such as airports, stadiums, casinos and malls are using DAS to improve network coverage in venues where a macrocell approach does not work.
“As mobile networks migrate from 2G to 3G to LTE, DAS architectures are evolving from passive to active, in which repeaters are replaced with low-power remote radio heads connected through fiber-optic cable to the DAS hub — almost resembling C-RAN macro architectures found in places like South Korea and China,” said Stephane Teral, research director for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at IHS.
69 percent of the service providers are using both active and passive DAS. The IHS report said 88 percent use the carrier-owned DAS model, where DAS is 100 percent funded, owned and operated by the service provider.
Telecom service providers select active DAS over passive DAS due to coverage and easy upgradability. Stadiums, tunnels, outdoor metro and retail malls are the most common DAS locations. The top DAS driver is optimization of indoor coverage, while deployment cost is the number-one barrier. Axell Wireless, CommScope and TE Connectivity are some of the top DAS manufacturers.