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Errors to avoid when deploying distributed antenna systems and small cells

Kelley Carr, Senior VP of Enterprise DAS Solutions, Goodman Networks | Feb. 7, 2014
Successfully extending cellular coverage inside buildings requires careful analysis. Here's how to avoid the traps.

All systems being implemented today need to account for future considerations such as the increased bandwidth needs and device compatibility requirements driven by recent developments, such as consumption and use of video and widespread adoption of BYOD in the workplace.

Error No. 4: Failing to Communicate
While disruption of normal day-to-day business activities can be minimized, some will be inevitable and can have more than a minor effect on workflow. It is not unusual for the entire process to take 12-18 months from early planning, funding and carrier approvals, to construction and optimization. Implementing a communications plan for the project is recommended to help manage expectations, keep internal staff apprised of any changes in the timeline, and to assist in working with project leads to devise plans to make sure business operations are undisturbed.

Error No. 5: Placing Too Much Emphasis on Upfront Cost
Enterprises often underestimate or have unrealistic expectations about what a system will and should cost. This flawed thinking includes expecting that someone else (typically the carrier) should absorb the cost, underestimating the cost of the infrastructure to support the new system and, in general, failing to appreciate the cost of this major undertaking.

Cost is certainly something that cannot be ignored, but enterprises should also avoid the pitfalls of being "penny-wise and pound foolish" as it relates to the success of the implementation.  Before making decisions that may doom the project from the start, enterprises should work with an experienced systems integrator to conduct a budgetary analysis early in the planning process so that they can understand the areas of investment that are most critical for success.

Error No. 6: Neglecting to Consider Post-Deployment Validation, Maintenance and Support
Just because the contractors have left the building doesn't mean the installation is complete. Proper testing, analysis and verification is critical to ensure an enterprise is getting what it needed, and more importantly, what it paid for.  

Enterprises also need to understand what ongoing maintenance will be needed for the system going forward to ensure it remains compatible with our constantly-evolving connected world.   Enterprises also need to ensure that there is a clear understanding of ownership and action in the event of an outage or service need to ensure the least amount of impact to the enterprise's business operations.

A foolproof guide on implementing in-building wireless solutions doesn't exist, but having some foresight and asking the right questions will go a long way to minimize the risk of a deficient wireless network holding back business operations.

 

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