DAS vendors look to VRAN to enable the enterprise

March 2, 2017

Virtualizing the radio access network with software is a way to make distributed antenna systems more affordable for enterprises that are desperate for better wireless service but can’t afford a full-fledged DAS. One advantage of a virtualized solution is the ability to deliver a specific amount of wireless signal and capacity for buildings that are between 100,000 and 500,000 square feet, the so-called “middleprise.”

“Today’s middleprise solutions are complicated, built on poor economic models and provide no clear return on investment,” said Solid Americas’ president Ken Sandfeld. “Building owners need high quality and ubiquitous coverage in their buildings for all wireless operators to satisfy occupants’ ever-increasing wireless demands.”

Solid’s answer to this problem is a three-part solution called Genesis RAX. It includes hardware technology, a cloud-based platform and a new innovation the company calls a capacity exchange application. The company said the multiband VRAN signal source solution will enable enterprise customers to cost-effectively operate their own in-building networks with connections to multiple mobile networks.

“Wireless service providers are looking to expand their in-building capacity and coverage, but are constrained by the capex investments required,” said Sandfeld. “The Genesis platform helps rebalance the building owner/wireless service provider relationship by enabling a model where capacity and coverage supply meets capacity demand for the middleprise.”

Dali Wireless and Corning are both working with Altiostar for VRAN solutions. The Altiostar solution is said to connect the baseband to the head-end equipment over an Ethernet, fiber or wireless connection. The company’s platform supports network function virtualization and mobile edge computing, two capabilities expected to be crucial as networks migrate to “5G.” Altiostar and Dali demonstrated their solution at Mobile World Congress 2017.

“We are showing an evolution of digital DAS to true VRAN with Altiostar and ASOCS,” said Gary Spedaliere, VP of technology and market development at Dali. “One RAN core in another building. … The other one is in another country.”

Corning said it has combined Altiostar’s virtualized radio access network solution with its Corning Optical Network Evolution product. The Corning ONE solution is designed to replace aggregation electronics and associated copper cables with passive optical splitters and single-mode fibers to support cellular, Wi-Fi and Ethernet for the enterprise.

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