What are indoor solutions

Investing in an indoor solution is preparing for the future

The digital revolution has brought technology into every aspect of our lives. Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality…technologies once considered science fiction have now become reality. However, none of these innovations work without connectivity.

 

The customer experience is key to success

Our lives today revolve around technology. When a user first enters an establishment, they seek a connectivity experience that supports the technology-enhanced lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. It’s unacceptable to have no connectivity, just like it’s unacceptable to have no hot water or lights at night. On the other hand, great connectivity really improves our quality of life: the more signal bars, the higher our satisfaction.

Mobile connectivity has changed the way we live and work. When you add that we spend 90% of our lives and consume 80% of our data in indoor environments, it naturally follows that we need this essential service indoors more than anywhere else. Unfortunately, the wireless carriers cannot expand cellular networks to every individual building, since they have finite capital budgets and many competing coverage priorities. This means that owners and landlords—not the mobile operators—are now tasked with keeping users connected on their premises. Survey after survey shows that users agree: connectivity is the venue owner’s responsibility.

When technology connects to life

But when it comes to providing a desired connectivity experience, indoor environments pose unique challenges. Walls block antenna signals. High user density slows data flows. Picture this: you are getting lunch at the food court of a mall near your workplace, and while you’re standing in line, you can’t text your significant other because there isn’t enough signal. In these circumstances, a normal macro coverage solution cannot handle the additional demand for data.

As a result, buildings need complementary indoor systems so that users can remain connected. The key is to invest in a solution that meets the needs of today and anticipates the use cases of tomorrow.

To address this problem, telecom engineers have developed an internal and dedicated signal distribution system that connects back to a wireless carrier’s network. If you’re thinking about Wi-Fi, think again. This cellular infrastructure is called a Distributed Antenna System (DAS).

The consumer as the center of the commercial universe

The consumer’s experience, also known as the  CX, is defined by the interactions between the consumer and the company throughout their commercial relationship. These interactions can include perception, discovery, cultivation (from the relationship), recommendation, purchase and service

In other words: are the customer’s own perceptions of how the company/brand is treated throughout its purchase process. These perceptions affect your behavior and create experiences and feelings that can ensure your loyalty.

Getting to know each customer is profoundly essential to build a close relationship that lasts from the day they make the first purchase until they become a regular customer (and more than that). No moment of interaction can be overlooked. This guarantees that the interactions that the customer will have with his business will be fluid, pleasant and with a continuous improvement, he will earn his loyalty. Otherwise, it will be directing its highest asset to the competence.

Consumption through connectivity

Imagine…

  • A broker who tours a prospective tenant around a brand-new residential tower and pulls out her iPad to demonstrate all of the unique features of the building.

  • A shopper at a mall calls her husband over video to show him a product she saw in a store window. She wants to know his opinion on whether to buy the product.

  • A fan watches his favorite team at a stadium. During halftime, he decides to buy some souvenirs for his family. He wants to make his payment via his cell phone, as he usually does not bring his wallet to the stadium.

  • A hospital patient needs an emergency procedure and must inform family members that while everything is fine, he needs them to come over for help.

  • A hotel guest wants to share his beautiful view from the rooftop pool on Instagram, and there is no Wi-Fi coverage in the area.

All of the above examples are real, and they are likely happening right now all over the world. Now, imagine two scenarios: one in which everyone can easily connect to the mobile data network and get a great signal and the other in which there is no strong signal, limiting all connectivity. In this second scenario, a customer or potential customer will not only have a negative experience, but sales may be lost, impacting your business.

What is DAS and how does it work?

DAS is a telecom infrastructure solution that connects the networks of the mobile operators to users in a building. Through a system of small antennas installed throughout the property, the solution emits a quality signal that all users can enjoy.

DAS is not a system that “repeats,” “enhances” or “boosts” signals captured externally. Quite the opposite! A true DAS is a standalone system that offers a dedicated service. It is dimensioned to guarantee the best mobile connectivity experience for the site by accounting for characteristics unique to each enterprise, such as the architectural characteristics, flow of people and user profiles.

A DAS system consists of three main components:

Signal source

These units are responsible for both the signal generation produced by operators and also the signal reception by mobile devices. Signal sources manage signal generation and reception by interfacing with each carrier’s network core through which users connect to their desired applications and websites. This signal source is the same from both voice calls and data sessions.

Interface System

In a dedicated coverage system, the signal produced from the carrier’s “head-end” needs to be applied homogeneously throughout the area that requires the coverage improvement. For example, in a mall, the signal level coming from the source must be consistent at all points in the mall so that the signal can be combined across various technologies and frequencies and multiple operators. As such, there is only one single transmission path, and from this one path the system spreads signals throughout the venue.

 

Irradiation points

This signal, which has been combined across a single distribution route, requires an irradiation point called an antenna. In cases of dedicated coverage, this antenna, which in reality is a set of micro mobile phone antennas, needs to fit in aesthetically with the surrounding environment

 
 

DAS is suitable for companies that have a great flow of people and whose consumption experience depends on connectivity.

When Wi-Fi is no longer sufficient

Wi-Fi may be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to wireless internet. It’s cheap, unregulated and fast to set up. However, Wi-Fi has its weaknesses.

First is network congestion. With hundreds of people and employees connected to a single network at the same time, this can lead to overload, slow speeds and unreliable connections. Since there is no regulation of the network, multiple Wi-Fi networks in close quarters can easily interfere with one another, further worsening the quality of the signal. Then there’s the issue of security: Wi-Fi security is notoriously vulnerable to threats, even with pesky password requirements. Wi-Fi also has no quality of service guarantees.

Since almost everyone today has a paid data plan, why not forego these strains by making better use of your mobile network? LTE has virtually zero network downtime, features robust service-level requirements, avoids any dropped calls, and is designed to accommodate seamless data sessions. LTE security is also the gold standard for encryption and user authorization, since it is based in unique SIM card identities, which means that your data stays safe no matter where you are connected.

Moreover, if there’s ever a problem with the WiFi network, the ensuing access problems could create real chaos. A good mobile network serves as an ideal backup should this occur.

The best user experience is when there are no breaks in connectivity. That is what a DAS guarantees.

What is DAS and how does it work?

DAS is a telecom infrastructure solution that connects the networks of the mobile operators to users in a building. Through a system of small antennas installed throughout the property, the solution emits a quality signal that all users can enjoy.

DAS is not a system that “repeats,” “enhances” or “boosts” signals captured externally. Quite the opposite! A true DAS is a standalone system that offers a dedicated service. It is dimensioned to guarantee the best mobile connectivity experience for the site by accounting for characteristics unique to each enterprise, such as the architectural characteristics, flow of people and user profiles.

The advantages of having a Neutral Host DAS solution

Neutral hosts’ specialty in telecommunications infrastructure has given them deep experience and subject matter expertise:

 

As they grew to meet operators’ needs and formed relationships with various suppliers, neutral hosts understand both worlds and can create the best solution for multiple parties, while giving preference to none.

 

Neutral hosts have become specialists in telecom infrastructure due to their singular focus. They deploy new technologies and processes that steadily improve the quality of what is offered to the market.

 

Neutral hosts centralize the equipment needed for carriers to serve a given area, thereby lowering overall costs.

 

Through a neutral host, a venue does not need to maintain contacts within different operators. Neutral hosts serve as intermediaries between the venue and the operator, removing operational overhead for the venue and accelerating the speed of response in case maintenance is required.

 

Centralization reduces the special requirements for the infrastructure, minimizing architectural and environmental impacts.

 

A quality expert now within reach of your business

The best neutral hosts are experts when it comes to telecommunications infrastructure. Neutral hosts in the past only offered this expertise to the wireless carriers due to market demands, but now that expertise is available other types of companies that require connectivity, since they have become a crucial piece of the end user’s connectivity experience.

In addition to offering the highest quality of telecom infrastructure engineering for your business, neutral hosts are also looking toward the future. 5G is already close to becoming a reality, so it presents a challenge that neutral hosts are as prepared as anyone to meet.

 

QMC: we are DAS experts

QMC has emerged in this environment as an American multinational wireless infrastructure company with an asset base of 2,500+ projects installed and under development.

We have demonstrated our expertise through turn-key solutions for various segments of the market. Unlike other neutral host providers, which are typically speculative in nature, we empower the enterprise to take control of their own destiny with guaranteed 5G-ready mobile connectivity after the system is installed.

How do we guarantee this connectivity, where so many others have failed? Part of the reason lies in our flexible financial model. We don’t require upfront capital from the enterprise. With QMC, enterprises can pay for the system and its long-term operational costs with a monthly fixed fee.

Another reason why we empower venues with connectivity is how we work with the rest of the wireless ecosystem. We align all designs with our carrier partners in advance, ensuring that our deployments meet their quality standards. Our full suite of capabilities allows us to plug in to projects that have already begun but are perhaps missing certain elements, such as system design, contract management, sparing programs, or long-term capital. We add value while also ensuring that our partners win. That is what “fostering growth” means to us.

Our approach enables connectivity for a wide variety of venues that typically haven’t benefited from such a solution before. We help them turn pain points into strengths. In a time of surging data demand, we give venues a chance to improve their user experience and their competitiveness.

 

The QMC experience in numbers

120+mm

Covered square feet

56mm+

Number of served people

18k+

Number of antennas

End-to-end indoor projects: your business covered at every stage

What venues are suitable for a DAS system?

The main types of venues where we operate include office,buildings,hospitals,hotels,universities,malls and airports.

DAS as a solution for your enterprise

Active DAS is ideal for large venues, such as malls, hotels, stadiums, hospitals, airports, universities and convention centers where considerable cellular capacity is required due to the high flow of people. It is an easily adaptable infrastructure for new technologies such as 5G technology and can be designed and installed for projects of any size. It also allows for remote monitoring. The active DAS system uses fiber optic cables to distribute the signal from a base station – which gathers all the signals from the operators in one place – to antennas distributed throughout the property.

CONOZCA EL

Passive DAS uses passive components (hence the name) such as coaxial cables, splitters and diplexers to distribute the signal, which originates directly from the operators’ radio equipment through the low power antennas. It does so without converting the signal from RF to optical signal as in an Active DAS. The passive system does offer lower costs in relation to an active system, but it cannot be easily upgraded to new technologies or support other adaptations, such as changes in layout and the inclusion of additional coverage areas. It also does not allow for remote monitoring and is not recommended for larger projects. Passive DAS systems work best in smaller venues where the flow of people is more limited.

CONOZCA EL

C-DAS is a centralized solution that incorporates a DAS solution within an existing QMC installation. Whether with DAS or LITE DAS, when combined with a centralized solution, significant savings can be obtained by eliminating certain CAPEX costs and reducing OPEX.

A C-DAS offers the same quality as a DAS but enjoys the economy of a centralized solution.

CONOZCA EL

See who else already has one of our dedicated indoor connectivity solutions

“QMC was the best choice to implement the DAS system to solve the communication issues that we had in our mall. Professionally done, without interference or unforeseen events, our clients now have a better connectivity experience.”

Ricardo González

Real Estate Asset Manager, Grupo Éxito

 

“We must always work to improve the quality of the guest experience. We do not want mobile signal to be the issue that makes the customer choose another destination over us. QMC helped us, through  capillarity and flexibility, to achieve this goal.”

André Corcos

Infrastructure Director at Vila Galé Group

 

“The great advantage of having QMC as a partner is the ease of having a person on call to meet the client’s every need, without bureaucracy or infinite layers of customer support, in addition to its great technical know-how.”

Daniel Galante

General Director at São Paulo Expo

 

FAQ

The implementation of a DAS project is complex, but QMC manages the project in stages so that the enterprise is impacted as little as possible. QMC’s DAS solutions mostly use fiber cabling, which is thinner and lighter and thus much easier to pass through structures. In addition, we work during off-hours so that our customers’ day-to-day activities are preserved as much as possible.

Another important point to note is that throughout the implementation, QMC will be focused on ensuring that the completed DAS structure will not be noticeable to passersby. The antennas must respect the architectural style of the venue and blend in with the surrounding environment.

 

Yes. DAS is an investment in infrastructure and, as such, needs to stand the test of time. However, QMC includes the maintenance as part of its service offering. We commit to an SLA that meets the carriers’ stringent requirements, and in the event that there is an issue, QMC offers customers a 24-hour support team. Our constant and proactive monitoring reduces the chance of technical problems that require major maintenance.

 

No. QMC builds antenna systems to distribute cellular signal through voice and data. No Wi-Fi signal is transmitted through QMC antennas. At present, the signals transmitted are 2G (for voice) and 3G and 4G (for data). Soon, 5G will also be one of the types of data signals we transmit.

Not really. Macro cellular towers are still very important in the mobile connection ecosystem, and those towers contain antennas that emit signal over long distances. However, in the case of indoor venues, the most commonly used antennas are much smaller and more discreet. They are often attached to the ceiling and are smaller than a Wi-Fi access point. QMC’s DAS projects always take into account the aesthetics of the establishment so that we can make the antennas appear as minimally intrusive as possible.

 

An indoor system is necessary to prevent users from experiencing a drop in mobile signal and data performance. The mobile tower signal encounters two problems when trying to connect to devices inside a venue:

  1. Physical barriers cause the mobile signal to lose strength
  2. The towers, like any antenna, have a cap as to how many people can be connected without losing signal strength. If there are a lot of people trying to connect to it at the same time (think of a food court in the mall at lunchtime), the tower alone will not be able to do the job.

The antenna design suggested by QMC always requires approval by the venue owner before installation. This includes the number of antennas, their location and aesthetics. QMC makes the project as flexible as possible, so long as it does not compromise the quality of the system, in order to fit in with the existing aesthetics of the establishment.

 

In most cases this will be necessary for us to run cables through the ceiling. However, the QMC team always respects the hours that the venue owner makes the facility available to us. QMC adapts to your needs to minimize the impact on everyone involved and avoid jeopardizing day-to-day operations. The result of our implementations is not visible to you or your venue guests.

 

No. Our systems are designed such that all antennas receive signal from several operators, similar to the way a 24-hour ATM works for multiple banks.

 

Operators integrate their signal source equipment into the system built by QMC (usually in a specific head-end room within each project). All the operators need to do is connect a cable into our network and from that moment on the signal is released throughout the establishment.

 

QMC specializes in the infrastructure market: we build infrastructure in 5 countries and we have partnerships with all major local operators. All of our systems are built to accommodate all operators, which means that it is not necessary to have separate deployments for each operator or to juggle multiple parties (often with competing interests).

QMC interfaces with operators when necessary (not when constantly) and is responsible for all necessary maintenance. Imagine having a problem on the network and having to call all operators to figure out where the problem is. By working with QMC, you can focus on your core business and do not have to manage the entire relationship with the operators. This is all in addition to receiving dedicated customer service from QMC.

QMC is fully responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the room in which our equipment is installed.

 

The short answer is no – in most cases the antenna has its own signal, not a repeater.

 

QMC does not collect data from any consumer. We are a company that builds infrastructure – the bridge between establishments and operators. We do not have access to any data from users’ mobile phones and we do not have the capabilities to collect data from consumers.

 

No. QMC only emits signal by building systems that connect to the systems of mobile operators. Information security is a responsibility that rests with the operators.