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Southern Adventist U Deploys Mobile Phones in Student Housing

Southern Adventist University, a 2,500-student school in southern Tennessee, has deployed ADC's InterReach Fusion in-building cellular system to improve connectivity in student housing and enable the decommissioning of wired telephone service for students.

For the past four years, the university had studied using in-building cellular systems to eliminate coverage issues inside student housing as well as to improve emergency communications and enable the elimination of wired telephone service in those areas.

"We chose the InterReach Fusion system because it could support all major carriers with one set of electronics, because it leveraged our existing fiber connections between buildings on campus, and because it was the easiest system for us to install with our own staff," said Doru Mihaescu, associate director of IS. "It has performed flawlessly so far, and the ADC engineering team has been incredibly responsive."

Deployment of the system began over the summer of 2008. Currently, two dormitories are covered, with a third building slated for coverage by the end of January 2009. This deployment will enable the university to discontinue wireline telephone service in student dorm rooms during the summer of 2009. Since students will rely on their own cell phones for voice connectivity, the university will save on the costs associated with operating and supporting the wired telephone system.

The Fusion system at the campus includes a main hub, eight expansion hubs, and 45 remote antenna units. Signals are pulled from the macro area network using rooftop antennas on the university's data and telephony center, and are routed to the main hub inside the building. From there, signals are distributed via fiber to the dorms. Deployment of the thin coaxial distribution cabling has been handled by the university's own maintenance staff.

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