The deployment of Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) nodes in mobile networks is expected to grow more than three times between now and 2018, driven largely by indoor coverage optimization, according to market research firm, IHS. DAS is used by large service providers and venue owners -- airports, stadiums, casinos, malls and the like -- to improve network coverage in venues where a macrocell approach does not work. In its recent DAS study, IHS found that 88 percent of respondents are using the carrier-owned DAS model, where DAS is 100 percent funded, owned and operated by the service provider.
"When asked about the types of DAS nodes they are deploying, 69 percent of the service providers taking part in our DAS study indicated they are using both active and passive DAS," said Stéphane Téral, research director for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at IHSsaid. "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 today's C-RAN macro architectures found in places like South Korea and China."
IHS said that coverage and easy upgradability of active DAS saw LTE networks preferring these over passive DAS.