Ave Maria U Deploys In-Building Cellular Gear

Ave Maria University in southwestern Florida has deployed ADC's InterReach Fusion in-building wireless system to provide multi-carrier cellular service on its campus. The system currently delivers cellular services from inside a 90,000 square foot library and campus center as well as three, 40,000 square-foot dormitories. The 600-student university also plans to provide coverage in a new, 120,000 square foot dormitory beginning in 2009.

"We needed a highly scalable system that provided strong, uniform signal strength anywhere on campus," said Wally Hedman, operations manager. "The InterReach Fusion system's architecture uses active hubs and remote antenna units to extend signals over our campus fiber plant, so it will give us the easy and cost-effective scalability we need to grow."

While Hedman initially tried a cellular system based on thick coaxial cabling, he found that signal attenuation made it difficult to provide strong signals within the campus library.

The Fusion Distributed Antenna System (DAS) solution at Ave Maria currently consists of two main hubs, four expansion hubs (one in each dormitory), and about 20 remote antenna units. Using rooftop antennas on the campus library to pull off-air signals from Alltel, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon towers located two miles away, the system distributes service using single-mode fiber between buildings and thin CATV cabling in the ceilings above each building floor.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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