A medical center in the Pacific Northwest recently sought to upgrade and expand coverage of its distributed antenna system (DAS). The existing one was a single-host system providing service in some areas of the campus and supporting the public safety frequency. The medical center uses a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy for cellular mobile devices used by employees, which affords employees flexibility and personalization of their mobile device choices while reducing costs for procuring and managing mobile devices.

Because the existing DAS system only supported one mobile service provider (MSP), the hospital’s consulting firm conducted an assessment to determine whether the existing system and infrastructure could support other MSPs to more effectively support the BYOD policy and whether signal coverage could be expanded across the campus. The assessment of the existing single-host DAS system determined it was forward compatible and capable of being expanded to a campuswide DAS to host multiple MSPs.

MSPs are in the process of updating their frequency allocations and their high-bandwidth services. This created a unique opportunity for the medical center to approach carriers likely eager to sign up large customers. This was a key element for the medical center to consider as they scheduled the next phases of this project and talked further with the MSPs to determine the exact scope and schedule for the DAS upgrade and expansion.

Tom Leonidas, P.E., is president and CEO of Wood Harbinger, Bellevue, Wash., and Duane John is a radio frequency and DAS specialist at Spec-X Global, Hilliard, Ohio. They can be reached at tleonidas@woodharbinger.com and Djohn9163@hotmail.com.