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Talking HetNet in the Big Easy

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Talking HetNet in the Big Easy

Amna Chishty
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Talking HetNet in the Big Easy

It was a big week for the DAS industry! The DAS Forum hosted its annual DAS in Action conference and tradeshow – and this year it was in New Orleans. The biggest news is that we will now be referring to the DAS Forum as the HetNet Forum. The press release announcing this change explains the name change as a reflection of the group’s “increasingly diverse membership and its focus on advancing the variety of small cell solutions—distributed antenna systems (DAS), microcells, picocells, Wi-Fi and remote radio units—that use licensed and unlicensed spectrum to link to the macrocellular network.”

iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas

And there you have one of the main discussion themes of the week. The topic got particularly heated during the Innovation Roadmap panel, that Mario Bouchard, iBwave’s President and CEO had the pleasure to be a part of.

iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas

Mario stirred the fire with his bold statements on how our industry is not actually advancing nearly as quickly as we’d like to think it is. Here’s a video recording of the panel.

(video courtesy of RCR Wireless

The show featured many other interesting panel topics such as the Evolution of Public Safety and In-Building Coverage, Wading through the Small Cell Hype and the Wi-Fi Factor, to name a few. Jeff Mucci, from RCR Wireless caught up with Mario Bouchard shortly after the Wi-Fi Factor panel discussion, and here’s what he had to say about it:

We also had some fun too! Day 1 featured a tour of the French Quarter‘s new DAS network which highlighted some interesting and particular challenges. Crown Castle, the company that was responsible for the design and deployment needed to ensure much-needed wireless coverage and capacity to this densely visited area but also had to adhere to the area’s strict aesthetic rules in order to maintain the historic charm of this picturesque neighborhood. There are now a total of 27 Crown Castle o-DAS nodes in the French Quarter. Each one of them has a single cross-pole antenna which give two operators their own dedicated port on the antenna. The DAS equipment used in these nodes is the CommScope ION-M remote. The images below show how Crown Castle overcame these challenges by making the DAS equipment look like old fashioned lamp posts.

iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas

Our team also took the opportunity to snap some photos of the unique and world famous architecture here.

iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas

Next thing you know, it’s just another evening in the Big Easy.

iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas
iBwave User Group 2013 in Las Vegas

Thanks to the newly baptized HetNet Forum for a great event – hope to see you next week in Las Vegas for the DAS Congress and iBwave’s annual Vegas party!

Amna Chishty
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