April 14, 2016 — SCE Site Development has launched a DAS division to serve the in-building wireless market. The turnkey wireless construction and professional services provider, which specializes in site acquisition services, as well as power plant installation, was drawn by the promise of increasing opportunities in providing coverage and capacity in buildings, according to Sam Sacco, director of professional and construction services at SCE.
“With the new building designs and window coatings that block RF, there are capacity and coverage issues that can’t be addressed by macrocells,” Sacco said. “Building owners are beginning to realize they need the additional coverage and capacity to keep their tenants from a carrier perspective. In retail, commercial and even residential space, people are walking out if they check their phones and see they don’t have coverage.”
DAS deployment complements the turnkey wireless project management skills, from site acquisition to integration, of SCE. The DAS in-house team will handle the DAS project lifecycle from site survey, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance, according to Sacco.
“We have the people with the skillsets and the tools to do this type of work,” he said. “We made the investments in hardware and software to give us even more capability in DAS. We recently added iBwave software, so we can do all the design in-house. PCTEL test hardware allows us to benchmark, troubleshoot and analyze existing coverage. It just made sense from a services standpoint. We were already doing that type of work. We are leveraging our capabilities.”
SCE brought in Marie Quizon to lead the DAS Division as project manager. She came to SCE from Communication Technology Services, a communications infrastructure service company that serves building owners and managers, enterprise customers and service providers. She has six years of experience working with DAS integrators. Before that she worked with Micros, now owned Oracle, project managing the deployment of point of sale systems in the hospitality industry.
In particular, SCE’s DAS Division plans to take advantage of opportunities in new building construction and building retrofits. Additionally, municipal building codes are requiring new construction to have certain levels of public safety coverage will provide more deployments, according to Quizon.
“Public safety and DAS go hand-in-hand,” Quizon said. “DAS allows strong cellular and Wi-Fi coverage in structures where crowded conditions and heavy demand for signals have created troublesome connections in the past. Think about firefighters needing to be able to communicate in a stairwell or, if an emergency happens, underground on the New York subway. Having a DAS in place ensures first responders can do their job.”