Experts and analysts differ on the exact size of DAS growth, but they do agree it is expanding with Social Market Way and is expected to continue for some time.
Telecompetitor cites an Enterprise Mobile Infrastructure report which forecasts 41% yearly growth through 2021. Markets and Markets research says “[t]he distributed antenna systems (DAS) market was valued at USD 6.71 Billion in 2015 and is expected to reach USD 10.78 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 6.74% between 2016 and 2022.” At Technavio, the analysts believe “the global market for distributed antenna systems (DAS) will exhibit moderate growth and will post a CAGR of almost 2% during the period of 2016 to 2020.”
DAS Complements Carrier Coverage
DAS networks function as extensions to Carriers’ macrocell environments and maintenance services to add coverage and increase capacity. When installed outside they’re called oDAS (outside distributed antenna systems). When installed inside a building, they’re called iDAS (inside distributed antenna systems) or In-Building wireless systems.
DAS networks are made up of multiple components including the Controller, distributed Remote Radio Unit and antennas. DAS networks that extend capacity are typically fed by a donor cell via fiber. The fiber feed is distributed to the Remote Radio Units that convert it to RF and distribute the coverage and capacity through the antennas in the venue. The DAS provides increased capacity to the specific areas driving the demand. In the new data intense environment, the user experience is greatly improved.
Reasons for growth
Not surprisingly, the ubiquity of smart devices is a major contributing factor to DAS growth. Smart devices, especially in densely populated areas like college campuses or congested areas like stadiums on game day, strain the limits of spectrum availability, effectively choking network capacity and crippling system-wide communications. Frustrated customers are left with a spinning icon searching for capacity but with little or no success.
But customers don’t tolerate lack of connection very well. In fact, customer demand for continuous connection anytime, anywhere is stronger than ever. RootMetrics points out that “[g]ood coverage isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Bad service means losing productivity, convenience, and even your connection with others.” And that’s not all. No matter how wide you think your coverage is, if you are not online, you’re missing out on a whole new type of audience.
“Over the next five years, mobile data is projected to increase by factor of 10” says BISCI (Building Industry Consulting Service International). Capacity challenges will continue to be an issue, further necessitating the installation and management of additional DAS networks to extend cellular networks.
For C Squared Systems, the growth of the DAS market impacts us in two very important ways. First, we’ll be busy helping our customers (DAS owners) install and commission new DAS networks to provide gap coverage for those increasingly demanding end-users. Second, we’ll be helping those same DAS owners to monitor and manage their DAS networks to ensure uninterrupted and smooth customer experience, no matter where or when users want it.