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4G DAS Enters the Arena

Each of the four carriers brought onto the DAS at the Barclays Center, home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, this season brought its “A game.”  The LTE equipment of MetroPCS, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint deployed on the ExteNet system make it the first arena to provide wall-to-wall 4G wireless.

“The trend line going forward, we think, will be all 4G technology deployments, certainly in sports and entertainment,” said Ross Manire, president and CEO, ExteNet. “We need the capacity and bandwidth that 4G provides you in these venues.”

“And there certainly are a lot more applications that are being deployed in these venues, as well, to try to keep fans in the seats. Having that communications infrastructure in place to support those applications is going to be critical,” he added.

ExteNet, too, had to bring it’s A game, constructing its DAS at the same time as the arena was being built, coordinating its own build process with the venue’s build process, as well as with each carrier’s deployment.

“The major challenge was the management and coordination of the build with all of the trades that were building the facility,” Manire said. “We had to stay closely coordinated with the overall construction, number one, and, number two, by adding all the carriers on at one time, it put a real premium on our ability to optimize the network for all four carriers at the same time to ensure they were getting good performance for their individual platform and for their customer base.”

ExteNet has not moved forward yet on its plans for integration of its outdoor systems and its indoor systems in multi-venue architecture in the Brooklyn, because it is still evaluating its customers’ needs in the surrounding areas. But it is working on a dynamic network architecture in nearby Manhattan, where it has an extensive fiber plant that is located near a number of buildings and venues.

“Our goal is to integrate them so there is a common hub infrastructure supporting both the indoor and outdoor networks,” Manire said. Completion of that network is scheduled for early 2014