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"Small Cells" Versus "DAS"?


Trip
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I wound up not doing the nTelos research I was supposed to be doing this weekend because, instead, I was digging through a new set of Fairfax County records I discovered by accident on Friday.  I found at least four different installations that appear to be small cells, one of which was filed for way back in 2005.  All four are designed for AT&T it seems, but at least one of them was shared with Nextel (no clue if it's been converted for Sprint).

 

My question is that in the filings, the four are all referred to as "DAS", but when I looked at them on Google Street View, they looked like what I've seen described with pictures as small cells.  I know what a DAS is, but in my head, imagined it as something used indoors as opposed to outdoors.  What is the difference between the two; is it strictly logical, is there a physical difference, or are they the same thing by two different names?

 

(I'm also impressed with the size of the deployments.  One of them has at least 27 antennas.)

 

- Trip

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I wound up not doing the nTelos research I was supposed to be doing this weekend because, instead, I was digging through a new set of Fairfax County records I discovered by accident on Friday.  I found at least four different installations that appear to be small cells, one of which was filed for way back in 2005.  All four are designed for AT&T it seems, but at least one of them was shared with Nextel (no clue if it's been converted for Sprint).

 

My question is that in the filings, the four are all referred to as "DAS", but when I looked at them on Google Street View, they looked like what I've seen described with pictures as small cells.  I know what a DAS is, but in my head, imagined it as something used indoors as opposed to outdoors.  What is the difference between the two; is it strictly logical, is there a physical difference, or are they the same thing by two different names?

 

(I'm also impressed with the size of the deployments.  One of them has at least 27 antennas.)

 

- Trip

 

Outdoor DAS = small cell

 

Small cell =/= (indoor / outdoor) DAS

 

A modern DAS is connected from each node via fiber with RF signals riding within the fiber to the antenna which broadcasts it. 

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I wound up not doing the nTelos research I was supposed to be doing this weekend because, instead, I was digging through a new set of Fairfax County records I discovered by accident on Friday. I found at least four different installations that appear to be small cells, one of which was filed for way back in 2005. All four are designed for AT&T it seems, but at least one of them was shared with Nextel (no clue if it's been converted for Sprint).

 

My question is that in the filings, the four are all referred to as "DAS", but when I looked at them on Google Street View, they looked like what I've seen described with pictures as small cells. I know what a DAS is, but in my head, imagined it as something used indoors as opposed to outdoors. What is the difference between the two; is it strictly logical, is there a physical difference, or are they the same thing by two different names?

 

(I'm also impressed with the size of the deployments. One of them has at least 27 antennas.)

 

- Trip

Outdoor DAS installations look a lot like small cells. Here are pictures of a Crown Castle ODAS install in SF that Sprint is on https://goo.gl/photos/T7pV37px7DpmWpFg6. The pictures at the end of the poles with RRUs are not broadcasting a Sprint signal, but the ones without RRUs are. I think the latter are just Verizon "small cells", which were also built by Crown Castle in SF.

 

From Street View images it appears to have been installed in 2011 or 2012 (if memory serves).

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P

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Outdoor DAS installations look a lot like small cells. Here are pictures of a Crown Castle ODAS install in SF that Sprint is on https://goo.gl/photos/T7pV37px7DpmWpFg6. The pictures at the end of the poles with RRUs are not broadcasting a Sprint signal, but the ones without RRUs are. I think the latter are just Verizon "small cells", which were also built by Crown Castle in SF.

 

From Street View images it appears to have been installed in 2011 or 2012 (if memory serves).

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P

https://goo.gl/photos/n6dmTpb6Emcu8nrw8

Link to an album documenting a newer set of systems featuring Ericsson RRUs instead of Nokia. Click the "i" button on individual pictures to see descriptions. The pictures come from one of three independent ODAS systems all installed over the past few months here in Charlotte. Construction is ongoing for at least two of the three. All three feature a combination of metal and wood pole installations, and one of them includes some sites with base station cabinets instead of pole-mounted cabinets/RRUs. I have nice big detail photos of the antennas used on page 3 of the Charlotte premier thread; see link in my signature. The nodes I know of are also on the main map on page 1.

 

Construction is very fast. The first I became aware of has eight nodes and I'm fairly certain construction was done in under four months.

 

Not sure which carrier they're for (it's Crown so they're probably pseudo-agnostic) but I'm pretty sure they were built specifically with Verizon's AWS in mind given that the most basic installs include an RRUS11B4 and Verizon loves to talk about how much they're focusing on small cells.

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https://goo.gl/photos/n6dmTpb6Emcu8nrw8

Link to an album documenting a newer set of systems featuring Ericsson RRUs instead of Nokia. Click the "i" button on individual pictures to see descriptions. The pictures come from one of three independent ODAS systems all installed over the past few months here in Charlotte. Construction is ongoing for at least two of the three. All three feature a combination of metal and wood pole installations, and one of them includes some sites with base station cabinets instead of pole-mounted cabinets/RRUs. I have nice big detail photos of the antennas used on page 3 of the Charlotte premier thread; see link in my signature. The nodes I know of are also on the main map on page 1.

 

Construction is very fast. The first I became aware of has eight nodes and I'm fairly certain construction was done in under four months.

 

Not sure which carrier they're for (it's Crown so they're probably pseudo-agnostic) but I'm pretty sure they were built specifically with Verizon's AWS in mind given that the most basic installs include an RRUS11B4 and Verizon loves to talk about how much they're focusing on small cells.

 

In the old days, MetroPCS had a lot of macro DAS that had not base station associated with it, just the equivalent of ground mounted RF and amplifier units. Since Metro did not have that many customers they wanted to cover as many square miles as cheaply as possible by extending the range of an expensive base station. Verizon used to use smaller range indoor DAS in big package stores. 

 

Current day DAS are pretty much small cells with limited range.

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Another question (and it may be stupid but I think it belongs here), are Pico cells the same as a Small cell?

I think of a pico cell as being something like an airave, which covers a smaller area. But I suppose it could be considered a type of small cell.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P

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I think of a pico cell as being something like an airave, which covers a smaller area. But I suppose it could be considered a type of small cell.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P

 

There are one or two pico sites that have been accepted and labeled as such and there is at least one small cell site on the map too. I figure they might be synonyms but I am not sure.

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