The new Cardinal Stadium debuted in August to a sold-out crowd, many of whom made calls on their cell phones to friends and family at some point during the game. Thanks to SRP Telecom (Booth 515), the vast majority of those calls went through successfully.
Wireless phone coverage in Westgate and the area surrounding the Cardinal Stadium and Glendale Arena in Arizona was generally spotty up until only a few weeks ago. Dead spots and weak signals predominated, and a major sporting event would have overwhelmed capacity.
SRP Telecom helped NewPath Networks increase wireless coverage in and around the stadium, which was done using an innovative antenna technology the first of its kind in the state.
NewPath deployed a Distributed Antenna System (DAS), which uses small cellular antennas that have a more precision-guided signal than a traditional cell tower. The array of small antennas delivers a more consistent and concentrated signal that avoids obstructions more effectively.
Eight antenna nodes were installed in the Westgate area on power poles and street lights that are connected to SRP fiber-optic cable routed from a nearby SRP electrical substation. A secondary DAS also was built within the stadium.
Each wireless carrier using the system might have had to build as many as three full cell sites to provide the same coverage quality, said Allen Garrison, SRP Telecom wireless manager.
DAS also helps to reduce the need to put up large cell sites, a practice that often is frowned upon by city officials and the public. The smaller antennas are basically unnoticeable, can be sited on already existing infrastructure, and do not require bulky coaxial cable to transmit signals.
DAS promotes wireless service with minimal visual impact, said Michael Sherman, SRP Telecom manager. The antennas blend in and are not readily noticeable unless youre looking for them. This technology supports the City of Glendales objectives for siting wireless facilities and is sensitive to citizens of the area.
Carriers already signed on to lease capacity from the DAS include Cingular and T-Mobile. NewPath expects others to sign on shortly.
This was our most complex project so far, said NewPath President Mike Kavanaugh. Im certain that we wouldnt have been able to pull this off, at least at this scope, without the unique single source that SRP Telecom offers.
SRP Telecom is assisting NewPath to assess other locations around the Valley, particularly in high wireless service demand areas like downtown Tempe, downtown Scottsdale and at Williams Gateway Airport.
SRP Telecom was created in 1996 when company officials decided to allow third parties to utilize its excess fiber-optic capacity, which is used primarily for providing high-speed communications for its electric and water operations, as well as enable wireless facilities. The proceeds from this business flow back to SRP offsetting operating costs, which helps keep SRPs electric and water rates low.
NewPath Networks is a wireless infrastructure company that designs, develops and operates fiber-fed wireless carrier networks to improve signal strength and network capacity.
NewPath Networks www.newpathnetworks.net
SRP Telecom www.srpnet.com