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Michigan State Upgrades ADC Distributed Antenna Systems

Michigan State University in East Lansing has deployed an antenna system from ADC to support current mobile voice and data traffic and enable an easy transition to long-term evolution (LTE) or "3.9G" services support. The university's 5,200-acre campus, which has 553 buildings, is surrounded by macro cell towers; but those don't provide adequate service for the dense user population; nor do they fully penetrate campus facilities.

ADC's outdoor distributed antenna systems (DAS) have been implemented at Michigan State since 2004. The latest upgrade, handled by Verizon Wireless, replaced existing ADC products with FlexWave Prism. Prism accommodates multiple frequency bands or service providers--MetroPCS, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon all do business on campus--and supports LTE upgrades. As with the university's previous antenna deployments, this one taps into a 60-mile existing fiber optic network owned by Michigan State.

"Outdoor DAS is really the most efficient way to cover buildings and outdoor spaces at a large and densely-populated campus like ours," said Jeff Carpenter, planning and engineering supervisor for telecommunication systems at Michigan State. "We like DAS because the products use a small amount of fiber, so we don't have to allocate a lot of dark fiber resources, and their electronics are also small and low-power, so we can easily accommodate discrete systems from multiple carriers in our limited equipment rooms. We've really seen a drop in service complaints as each carrier's system has been installed."

The recent FlexWave Prism deployment includes 15 mast- and building-mounted DAS remote units. These are deployed in rooftop mechanical equipment spaces on each building.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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