State and County fairs appear to be in our distance future as spring emerges but to the participants and organizers, preparations are in full swing. Livestock are being groomed, concerts are being planned and recipes are being perfected all for the intended purpose of creating magical moments during the fair that will be posted, streamed, tweeted or otherwise shared. Making sure the wireless networks are ready to capture and share those moments take preparation as well.
At the country’s largest fair, The Minnesota State Fair with an average daily attendance of between 100,000 to 250,000 people, a distributed antenna system or DAS was deployed in 2017. This multi-carrier DAS provided a long-term scalable solution for the operators of the State Fair, extended the reach of coverage for the licensed operators and simplified how the operators of the State Fair and the licensed operators interacted to meet wireless user needs.
Deployment of DAS like the one deployed at the Minnesota State Fair enable fairgoers to send and receive text, share pictures and video on social media and share their fair experience with friends.
- Traditionally cell carriers prepare for intense foot-traffic events by deploying Network on Wheels (NOWs) to extend cellular data coverage.
- A DAS project the scale of the Minnesota State Fair DAS install requires an unprecedented amount of planning and governing body pre-approvals before ground-breaking can even take place.
- With a hybrid indoor/outdoor DAS comes certain environmental challenges that can affect the performance of data delivery.
“Now the DAS is installed, and for 12 days in late August and early September the Minnesota State Fair will open its gates to almost 2 million visitors – roughly the population of Nebraska – and another 15,000 – 20,000 vendors, State Fair employees, and related business and administrative staff. Almost every one of them will have some form of smart phone, tablet or connected device (Or even all three) and will have the demand for text, media sharing and possibly even a phone call or two.”