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Hello all,


Has anyone gone to bid for service or a system that increases interior cellular coverage for voice and data services?  We’re in the process of writing a RFP and we’re struggling to find the correct technical specifications.


Any help would be appreciated.




Patrick Dugan

ITS - Interim Executive Director of Infrastructure Technology Services

Central Piedmont Community College

P.O. Box 35009

Charlotte, NC 28235


Phone: 704.330.6674


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Message from

Patrick, The key word you are looking for in your search is DAS* or distributed antenna system. We've done a number of DAS procurements including at Drew University and have an active RFI for Grand Valley State. Contact me off-list and I can put you in contact with someone at those universities if that would help. Also, ACUTA ( has a mailing list that is specifically targeted at telecom managers in higher ed and I know many of the list members have done DAS implementations. *DAS is the umbrella term for everything from dropping a carrier tower, a carrier neutral tower to a highly distributed system of bits spread into the bowels of the building and everything in between. Regards, Jon Young Senior Consultant Vantage Technology Consulting Group 978-610-3812

                We have seen increasing calls from our user base to improve/provide cellular coverage across campus, i.e. fill in any dead spots in basements, large buildings etc. where there are natural coverage gaps.

                Although we’ve installed some limited unmanaged repeater systems (Wilson Electronics) in some high visibility spaces, we haven’t really planned what sort of commitment providing ‘universal cellular coverage’ would cost or how we would manage it.  Cellular providers have expressed limited interest in improving service on our campus.  I also worry about making significant investments in repeater systems since improvements in either provider coverage or technology (like more widespread support for calls over WiFi),  could quickly render the investment moot.

Finally, since most of the equipment that is available is either unmanaged or astronomically expensive we could be over extending ourselves from both a staffing and capital perspective.


                So basically I’m curious if others are getting this sort of pressure and what responses you have had to it.



James Shuttlesworth

Ursinus College

Information Technology

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I would be really interested in this also.




Don Sullivan

Network Administrator | Office: 205.726.2111 | email:





As far as my AT&T coverage goes, AT&T provided a FemtoCell but that was just for me.  I would also be interested to see the results of this conversation. 


Jeremy L. Gibbs
Systems Administrator / Network Engineer
Utica College IITS

T: (315) 223-2383
F: (315) 792-3814

Message from

Some carriers, depending on how many lines you have will install an in-building solution for you or install a macro site.


A few of our buildings have a efemto solution installed from Sprint but, if a user walks from one building to another and is on the phone, the user will loose the call as it’s transferring the call from an efemto to another efemto or sprint’s macro site in the neighborhood.


Some carriers may be able to install for free or small charge but will commit you to a contract – ie: 3-5 years to maintain a certain number of lines, etc…  Read the contract carefully.   Some may also require you to maintain a 2 year service agreement or more per line vs a 1 year if you purchase against a state contract.


You may be able to get a carrier to install their own macro site on campus, depending on actual coverage in the area.


There may be grant money out there to pay for these installs as well. 


There are also 3rd party companies out there that can wire a bulding providing signals for all major carriers and not just one.




From: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Jeremy Gibbs
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 1:34 PM
Subject: Re: [NETMAN] Cellular Coverage


As far as my AT&T coverage goes, AT&T provided a FemtoCell but that was just for me.  I would also be interested to see the results of this conversation. 


Jeremy L. Gibbs

Systems Administrator / Network Engineer
Utica College IITS

T: (315) 223-2383

F: (315) 792-3814


There is more going into the mix as well. Technically the Wilson type repeaters are illegal without the consent of the carriers. Of course they have to find you and notify you. That said in March the FCC issued a new rule making ( that should provide a path for legit repeaters. Those repeaters will have to meet some new technical specs and I would doubt the the existing systems do. There is a grace period for old equipment.

We too have had a lot of requests to improve coverage in areas on campus and have had only limited options. I am hopeful that this new rule making will give us better options.


David Morton
Director, Mobile Communications
Service Owner: HuskyTV
University of Washington

We've got a DAS system up and running for a number of buildings on our campus. It's horrendously expensive, but it works. -- Julian Y. Koh Acting Associate Director, Telecommunications and Network Services Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) 2001 Sheridan Road #G-166 Evanston, IL 60208 847-467-5780 NUIT Web Site: PGP Public Key: ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at

Timely inquiry.  We are less than 2 weeks from opening a new Library.  It’s a 5-story building with awful mobile signal on the lowest level.  Once the building was habitable, the construction company moved in to the ground level.  They installed a repeater that used an external yagi antenna.  It increased signal greatly.  With the building about to open, the construction company is getting ready to vacate the spaces they took over .. and have removed the yagi from outside the building.  It’s painful working in the building right now.


Here are the parts they had:

Yagi Antenna 700-2500MHz, Model No SIG366

Indoor Panel Antenna 700-2500MHz Model No SIG374

Signifi Mobile Repeater SIG002DB-CP


The panel antenna was in a 20’ x 15’ room with concrete block walls.  The signal bled through well (30’ or so .. which is scary, actually).  In open, or more traditional space, you should get good coverage.  They used a 30 meter coax (If forgot to snap a photo of the specs on that).


A quick Google puts the cost at $50 + $60 + $600.  That’s not a lot to experiment with a proof of concept.


I’ve heard of carriers bringing in dedicated data feeds to provide terrestrial bandwidth to local repeaters (that they provide).   I would be more open to this than the devices that live on my network (I’m not going to pay AT$T or Verizon to use my Internet feed).  Anyone have experience here?




The Fem-to-cell solutions work great for <5 users. Anything larger would require a repeater, COW (temporary), or some sort of carrier installed equipment. From the campuses I’ve visited over the years generally carriers will install repeaters if they need to as part of a business agreement (corporate-issued phones), a very large number of customers having issues, or if the business is willing to foot the bill.


To support a large number of users sometimes carriers run dedicated feeds in to prevent placing a large number of additional users on an existing tower where it would come to the point of saturation.


As large-scale customer installed repeaters are a bit gray area, I would work with the local carriers and see what they have for suggestions. Historically the FCC made these devices illegal without carrier approval but I’ve heard this has changed over the last few months.







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