DAS Mateo! Spotted in the Wild, a DAS Antenna From… AT&T?

January 14, 2012

A little weekend geekspotting: Driving down the road near my house Friday, what did I see but a DAS antenna staring down at me! Seriously, we have previously reported AT&T’s moves to put DAS — Distributed Antenna System, or smaller cell antennas — in and around Palo Alto, and then we saw one at an AT&T workyard near here. But this one is apparently live and in the public wild, theoretically improving local cell reception.

Anyone know if AT&T is working with San Mateo to put these puppies in? If you didn’t know what you were looking for I am not sure you’d notice this one, a single antenna plopped right on top of a light pole.

AT&T: DAS is a Go in Palo Alto

September 22, 2011

Remember our series of stories on AT&T’s plans to build a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) network to beef up cell coverage in the Silicon Valley town of Palo Alto? According to Ma Bell’s chief technology officer John Donovan, that plan has recently received approval from the city council, which means that AT&T will likely start putting up some of the small antennas perhaps as early as in a month or so.

“We’ve got a bunch of designs [for antenna deployment] to finalize, but construction [of the network] should start early next month,” said Donovan, when we asked him about the DAS project when he was in town last week for the opening of AT&T’s Foundry innovation center in Palo Alto. Donovan, who is overseeing a big strategic move toward more DAS deployments by AT&T this year, lauded his team for cutting through red tape and getting the Palo Alto plan from idea to reality in less than 2 years.

If you are unfamiliar with DAS it may be because it has traditionally been used to improve cell signals inside buildings — say large office buildings or big sheltered spaces like hotels, convention centers or casinos — where people want to use their mobile devices but may be hindered by walls and ceilings. But with some new outside antenna designs (like AT&T’s test model that we photographed in San Mateo earlier this year) providers like AT&T are looking into building outdoor DAS networks to supplement areas where cell coverage is poor, like the leafy residential neighborhoods of Palo Alto.

AT&T’s DAS Antenna: Caught In the Wild

May 3, 2011

You need to be sufficiently geeky and somewhat of a wireless nerd to know an outdoor DAS (distributed antenna system) antenna when you see one. But we were pretty sure that we had seen one of the antennas AT&T is proposing to use in Palo Alto, sitting atop a utility pole here in Sidecut Reports’ home turf of San Mateo. A call to AT&T’s local PR folks confirmed the DAS device, and they were nice enough to let us in to the local AT&T work yard (where the trucks roll from) to take some pictures of the experimental DAS antenna “in the wild.”

Outdoor DAS antenna, AT&T work yard, San Mateo, Calif. Credit: Sidecut Reports.

Read the rest of this entry »