Converting the Cellular Infrastracture to a neutral host DAS
New York, New York
52 Floor High-Rise
3 Lower levels
47K’ ½” Coaxial Cable
240 Strands Single Mode Fiber
The goal of this project was to convert the cellular infrastructure of this prominent New York City hotel from being a building without any internal network coverage to a neutral host distributed antenna system (DAS), allowing for fast and reliable cellular coverage. The project was to be completed in time for the swarms of guests and NFL employees that the hotel would accommodate during Super Bowl XLVIII. Powered by TE’s FlexWave™ Prism DAS technology, the superior wireless coverage of this system is transported digitally over a fiber optic backbone. The centralized distributed architecture of this DAS allows service providers to cost-effectively increase coverage and capacity in this architecturally challenging environment.
There were two principal challenges to the completion of this ambitious project. The first challenge involved the aggressively paced 10-week timeline for an undertaking that would have traditionally taken more than twice that time to complete. Being an illustrious hotel located on the fringe of Times Square, the work that was to be performed in public areas was subject to major scheduling limitations. In addition to the time restrictions, the work was to be completed by ONE highly experienced group of technicians.
The second major challenge of this momentous endeavor involved the relative inaccessibility of the existing building infrastructure. The building was completed in 1962 in preparation for the legion of tourists that were projected to invade the city for the 1964 New York World’s Fair and, like most high- rises of the pre-tech era, the need to accommodate future infrastructure expansions and additions seems to have been of little architectural importance; pathways and spaces were limited, to say the least.
In addition to the DAS installation, the NFL requested a last minute installation of a series of custom-mounted wireless access points (WAPs) to provide wireless Ethernet coverage to their staff during the Super Bowl while also remaining aesthetically incognito. There was an extremely limited timeframe for the installation of these WAPs and it just so happened to be during the final commissioning of the DAS, a week before the big game.
In order to successfully accomplish the work by the deadline, the group of technicians was split into three highly efficient teams, two of which would work in parallel to complete the rough cabling while the third, smaller team would work to complete the more technical tasks (e.g. the head end build-out and Prism equipment installation). Due to the limitations put on work hours, the guest floor installations were conducted during the day, a time when most guests were likely out enjoying the city’s sights and therefore they were less likely to be burdened by the work. When that small window of opportunity would close, the teams would shift their focus and work to complete the tasks that were outside the realm of the public’s immediate perception. This schedule was designed to ensure that a small number of technicians were able to perform the highest volume of work possible in a given period of time.
In order to accommodate the lack of spatial availability that was so badly needed for the sizable nature of the Prism Remote Units and ½” cabling, the original design had to be frequently modified. These impromptu modifications weren’t of such severe detriment to the design so as to significantly delay the workflow, and were easily accomplished.
Due to the fact that the WAPs needed to be installed and commissioned in one day, and that day just so happened to be a critical day during the final commissioning of the DAS, the face value of the timing seemed somewhat problematic. However, due to the admirable ingenuity of our technicians, we were able to plan and execute the WAP installation with relative ease and efficiency; it couldn’t have gone smoother and the NFL couldn’t have been happier with the added coverage.
The result of this ambitious cabling feat was none other than complete and utter success, followed immediately by a devastating defeat of the Denver Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks; a game that was talked about intensely throughout the hotel via full bars… of 4G cellular service.