WIA’s HetNet Forum Addresses Connectivity Needs


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The Wireless Infrastructure Association’s (WIA) HetNet Forum released a new report detailing the current state of two leading in-building technologies – small cells and distributed antenna networks (DAS) – to address the demand for mobile voice and data connectivity. The document is titled: “DAS and Small Cells Evolve to Meet Today’s and Tomorrow’s Future Connectivity Needs.” HetNet Forum members Advanced RF Technologies, Boingo, CommScope and ZenFi Networks produced the whitepaper to focus on how DAS and small cells are deployed, the role of spectrum in future deployments, and what 5G technology means for DAS and other small cells.

“As wireless operators race to keep up with ever-rising demand for wireless data, in-building wireless solutions are assuming an increasingly important role within the broader network,” said WIA President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “This whitepaper effectively lays out how technology advances increasingly blur the lines between the capabilities of DAS and other small cells and examines how the technologies can work symbiotically to build out America’s next-generation wireless networks.” 

The report’s subject-matter experts explore the similarities and differences between DAS and small cells, as well as how new architectures are combining both technologies for greater benefit and typical use cases for each technology. Also covered is the potential impact of new spectrum on in-building systems, particularly 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service frequencies; and the essential role of fiber and the wired backbone to transport DAS and small cell data.

“Heterogeneous networks that incorporate macro cells, small cells, distributed antenna systems, and fiber are on in-building systems essential to the successful deployment of 5G networks,” said WIA Executive Director of Member Services Tracy Ford. “In the six years since the HetNet Forum originally addressed the role of small cells and DAS in wireless networks, technology has evolved, and new spectrum opportunities have emerged that have changed how these products are deployed.” She called the updated paper, written by HetNet Forum members who work with these technologies every day, a must read for anyone involved with building next-generation wireless networks and delivering ubiquitous connectivity.

August 30, 2019   

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