Imagine a world with no cell service, a world filled with dropped phone calls and unreceived text messages. This is a world residents of Wolf Ridge were a part of — until recently.
Verizon Wireless worked with University Housing to provide Wolf Ridge apartments with a Distributed Antenna System (DAS). The system distributes the signal to all six apartment buildings. Now, residents can use their phones in their apartments without interruption or the threat of dropped calls and missed messages.
The DAS provides improved cell reception and data service for residents, visitors, and staff members. Verizon customers will see the greatest improvement in cell service. Verizon also has the option to negotiate with other providers to share the DAS, but has yet to set a timeline for further negotiations with other vendors.
“If you stand in one of the resident hallways at Wolf Ridge and look at the ceiling down the hallways, you notice white domes evenly spaced down the hallway ceiling,” said Lisa Miles, IT Manager for Campus Life. “Those are the antennas that disperse the cell singles.”
Visible or not, residents noticed the transformation in cell signal immediately. The DAS made it more convenient for residents to enjoy cell service. They no longer have “to go outside to have a good, quality conversation,” said Alyssa McPike, a resident adviser (RA) at Wolf Ridge.
According to Miles, the need for the DAS system came about shortly after the construction of the apartments were complete.
“Staff, residents, and visitors had issues with cell reception when they were inside the buildings,” she said. “We determined that the construction materials used during construction were inhibiting the cell signals to enter the buildings.”
To install a DAS, Campus Life negotiated a contract with Verizon and developed engineering diagrams for antenna and cabling installations. They also ran fiber optic cables between the six buildings to transfer cell signals through the buildings, which involved coordination with several off-campus vendors, Communication Technologies and University Housing.
Once the design was complete, construction began in November. Miles said contractors worked throughout November and December to install the DAS so that it could be online by January 2016.
For more information about Wolf Ridge Apartments, visit their website.