Cohham deploys ‘world’s first’ distributed antenna system network

Cobham Wireless launches its distributed antenna system network in Berlin, supporting a number of indoor and outdoor smart city and IoT applications.

This milestone provides the blueprint for future smart city connectivity technologies this coupled with idDAS (intelligent digital DAS) technology and C-RAN (Cloud/Centralised Radio Access Network) deployment model, capacity can be shared across city venues in a cost effective way.

“The majority of mobile connections in urban areas happen indoors, and as smart city concepts and technologies develop, venues will have to support a growing number of IoT devices and applications, as well as robust, reliable public safety networks,” said Rami Hasarchi, vice president of coverage at Cobham Wireless.

Cobham Wireless’ idDAS solution offers scalable high-capacity coverage three specific locations in Berlin, the Berlin Fan Mile, the Sony Center in Potsdamer Platz and the Steigenberger Hotel, although the company says it has plans to extend the coverage throughout 2018 to a number of additional businesses and venues.

“The idDAS C-RAN architecture enables venue owners to adopt a neutral-host model – which has already gained popularity in Germany – supporting multiple operators, technologies and applications, and enabling venues to provide comprehensive, high-capacity coverage, even in the most challenging of environments,” added Hasarchi.

The project was launched in 2015 in partnership with Vodafone and Telefónica. The project was to deploy idDAS, to provide 3G and 4G cellular coverage for a New Year’s Eve event, on Berlin’s Fan Mile. Using the base station hotel 25km away from the Fan Mile site, Cobham were able to connect additional sites to that remote cloud at a fraction of the cost and time.

Cobham say that the system reduces the money and time for any operator using this architecture and can incorporate new operators as it is developed.

“The ongoing idDAS project in Berlin is a landmark in the development of smart cities, providing a practical, green, affordable, and sustainable solution, and serves as an example for other urban cities to follow,” continued Hasarchi. “This kind of network architecture will be recognised as the only viable way of supporting the connectivity requirements of smart cities; including cellular, public safety, last mile IP backhaul for WiFi services and surveillance cameras, and IoT devices.”

Using the C-RAN network means that base station equipment can be located at a remote site outside the city, reducing onsite rental and maintenance requirements. In addition, allow network capacity to be cost-effectively distributed to different sectors of the connected building or areas across Berlin.