Axell Wireless, the wireless coverage solutions provider, launched an enhancement to its OMU II (Optical Master Unit II) based DAS systems at Mobile World Congress 2013 that will enable any industry standard Wi-Fi access point to share the same backhaul cabling infrastructure.
The company noted that historically DAS systems have distributed coverage and capacity solutions for in-building applications for every major wireless technology including GSM, UMTS, WCDMA, LTE, P25 and TETRA over a common fibre optic cabling infrastructure.
However, Wi-Fi vendors have traditionally separately installed access points (APs) to provide Wi-Fi coverage throughout a building with all their IP backhauls connected via a totally separate cabling system consisting of cat 5 & 6 cable in addition to fibre optic connections.
Cost duplication avoided
This results in a huge amount of additional cost duplication for the deployment owner whether they are a business or government enterprise or a mobile operator using Wi-Fi offload to cope with peak traffic levels.
In addition, Wi-Fi and DAS systems have been historically procured through totally separate channels making co-ordination, RF design and project management of an overall in-building solution more complex, time consuming and costly. It also means the customer or end user has no one focal point to go to when confronted with RF interferences in the building.
How the combined system works
Axell’s new Wi-Fi enabled DAS allows building owners and mobile operators to plug in access points either directly into an Axell MBF remote via an RG45 socket or via a standard Ethernet switch which, in turn, serves several access points for a particular area.
Wi-Fi traffic is then carried over the Axell DAS fibre connections completely seamlessly and without interference from any traditional wireless technologies such as GSM, WCDMA or LTE. At the DAS hub or Optical Master Unit (typically located in computer rooms or data centres) Axell’s solution splits the Wi-Fi IP backhaul traffic from the cellular traffic and re-routes it to any standard Ethernet switch and onwards to an internet or high-speed backhaul service.
Vendor neutral solution
Axell’s Wi-Fi enabled DAS systems work with all major Wi-Fi access points and associated switch technology. The system is easy to install, flexible and can scale to cope with the most demanding of environments. Both Axell DAS and Wi-Fi vendors’ network management tools remain unaffected and perform in exactly the same manner as when in standalone mode.
Through joint sales and marketing arrangements with Wi-Fi vendors and its systems integration partners, Axell expects to be able to offer both enterprises and mobile operators a one-stop shop solution for all their in-building wireless coverage needs thus reducing costs, mitigating RF interferences and simplifying project management complexity for many installations.
Small cell and CCTV options
Although Axell’s Wi-Fi enabled DAS was primarily designed to serve Wi-Fi installations running alongside a DAS solution, it may also provide IP backhaul infrastructure for other devices needing IP backhaul support, including for example small cells or devices such as surveillance cameras which are now installed in many public venues.
Ian Brown, CEO, Axell Wireless (pictured) commented: ‘For more than forty years Axell has been at the forefront of the development of wireless coverage solutions. Our Wi-Fi enabled DAS solutions are a natural response to demand for coverage solutions that address the full range of wireless connection options but which also reduce the complexity of installation and operation. We’ve overcome some complex technical barriers to deliver a comprehensive solution that has applications in markets around the world.’