When cable internet appeared, both wireless distributed antenna systems (DAS) got an incredible boost. All fiber DAS options are the next big step in the right direction. Fiber optic networks are the fastest and least expensive option in the long term and going with an all fiber DAS simply makes sense if you’re having trouble with your DAS and looking for upgrade options. As 5GHz bandwidth becomes more prominent, coax cables are going to have more and more problems. And with the introduction of 802.11ac Wave 2 as well as an increase in the popularity of LTE networks, we’re going to see more and more 5GHz devices.
The Problem with Copper
Copper coax cables struggle with higher frequencies. Getting the signal back to the base station becomes a challenge and coax systems experience more and more losses. In addition, MIMO antennas, which allow for separate streams in one frequency and are gaining popularity, don’t play well with coax DAS. An additional cable is required for each additional stream that the MIMO antennas can handle. If you’re putting a half in cable in, you might as well make the switch to fiber.
Does Anyone Dislike Fiber?
The clear answer is ‘no’ and with emphasis. Any complaints about fiber’s costs can be mitigated with the clear long term benefits as well as the overall comparable cost of an installation. If you’re installing cable, just use optical fiber. It’s a no-brainer. But if you’ve got a coax system already, switching to fiber may seem like a big hassle and expense. What do you get once it’s done? A clearly superior system.
More systems rely on MIMO antennas, higher frequencies are more and more common, and the sheer number of devices being used on any indoor system can be staggering. Consider the fact that everyone’s got at least two devices, if not three or more. And video conferencing, white board sessions, and other shared remote meeting tools are simply more effective and efficient if your system has the bandwidth to deal with multiple streams and tons of devices.
And if the wireless system isn’t enough with an all fiber DAS, you always have the option of plugging ethernet into the system at each hook up point. These can be used to extend the DAS if necessary.
An all fiber DAS is the right choice for new installations. And today’s businesses are going to find that anything less is going to be outdated very soon.