Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2014

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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26 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 WHY WE NEED MORE FIBER A s more and more sports fans use their smartphones to follow multiple simultaneous games, fantasy football and the like, sports teams are experiencing a new problem: Cellular networks weren't designed for the volume of wireless data trafc that a stadium full of fans can generate. And if fans can't get good Internet connectivity, they may opt to stay at home. Miami's Sun Life Stadium ofers an excellent example of how wireless carriers (in this case AT&T) and sports teams (in this case the Dolphins) are working together to address this problem. AT&T now provides excellent cellular and Wi-Fi coverage throughout the stadium, thanks to a distributed antenna system (DAS) and a dense Wi-Fi network that the company installed. Te Wi-Fi system has supported as much as a terabyte (1 million megabytes) of data and 20,000 connections during a single game. Cellular connectivity is supported by a DAS that AT&T installed inside and outside the stadium. Te Sun Life Stadium DAS has nearly 250 antennas and provides the equivalent of 16 cell towers just for AT&T customers. Other carriers can use the antenna infrastructure but must install their own radio equipment. "Te distributed antenna system we built is neutral host-capable," explains Chad Townes, vice president of AT&T's Antenna Solutions Group. "It will carry all frequencies." Tat enables carriers operating in diferent spectrum bands to use the same system. AT&T likes to share its cellular antenna infrastructure because doing so helps ofset costs, Townes says. In the Sun Life Stadium, AT&T owns the distributed antenna system, but in some stadiums it sends trafc over a DAS owned by the venue, another carrier or a third party. To ofoad data from the cellular network, AT&T installed a Wi-Fi hot spot for every 20 to 30 seats. AT&T customers are logged in automatically if their wireless devices are set for Wi-Fi; customers of other carriers must go through a manual login process. Fiber Powers Connectivity At Sun Life Stadium Forty-six miles of fber optic cable support distributed antenna and Wi-Fi systems that handle as much as a million megabytes of data during a single football game. By Joan Engebretson / Broadband Communities Contribute to Why We Need More Fiber This column welcomes fresh, informative, eye-opening contributions from readers – in lengths from a paragraph to a page. To share your thoughts on why we need more fber, email BBC_Jan14.indd 26 1/27/14 1:43 PM

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