Passive DAS are fairly simple solutions which by definition distribute signals without the use of devices that require AC or DC power. Most passive DAS utilize a bi-directional amplifier (BDA), small cell or base station transceiver (BTS) to supply the source signal to a distribution network of coaxial cable, power splitters, couplers and antennas. Passive DAS are ideal in small or medium applications with the appropriate signal source.


Active DAS are able to distribute signals over larger distances. They are able to do this because they use a hybrid network of powered components such as signal converters and amplifiers to deliver signals to remote units which supply a passive network of coaxial cable and antennas. Active DAS are most commonly used in medium and large applications.


Distributed Small Cells or Distributed Radio Systems distribute signals using components which integrate the network operators’ signal source and antenna into one unit. Each integrated unit is connected via structured cabling or fiber optic cabling to a master unit which is connected directly to the network operator(s) network(s). Each integrated unit uses self-optimizing network (SON) algorithms to optimize coverage, capacity and performance of the system. Distributed Small Cells are scalable and can be used in small, medium and large applications.


Picocells are standalone units that connect to the network operator network via a broadband internet connection. Multiple units can be deployed within the same building however each unit is deployed independently. Each unit is limited to serving only one network operator. Picocells are suitable for small applications.