Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in conjunction with the major wireless cellular carriers embarked on an airport-wide Distributed Antenna System (DAS) upgrade in 2009 to enhance system performance and provide Long Term Evolution (LTE) data services to passengers and airport personnel. The project included providing RF services to sixteen (16) million square feet of the campus.
One of the busiest airports in the world, DFW selected M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) to design, engineer, and manage the overall system deployment for this large-scale customized telecommunications project. MSB negotiated business agreements with leading wireless equipment manufacturers and all major carriers, successfully limiting DFW Airport’s project costs. MSB also negotiated agreements with the wireless carriers to fund and implement the DAS system. With contracts secured, MSB worked with these partners to implement a DAS that provides commercial cellular service for mobile phone users and public safety personnel. MSB also managed FAA permitting, asbestos testing, security testing, and badging requirements.
The upgrade includes enhanced service to five terminals, Parking Garages, and the Hyatt Hotel. It consists of over 320 remotes, 1,920 antennas, ten miles of high-density fiber cable, 25 miles of composite fiber cable, and remote monitoring and alarm for increased reliability. In addition to the design and construction phase of the project, MSB provides ongoing maintenance and support for the network.
The upgrade to the system now provides multi-frequency, multi-technology services to passengers and DFW operations personnel and has allowed DFW to become one of the first indoor wireless systems to deploy commercially available 700 MHz, Long Term Evolution (LTE) services. The expansion enables diagnostics and maintenance as well as reduces overall life costs to the service providers. The upgrade also enhanced wireless services for DFW operations and emergency personnel, providing a reliable and robust wireless system to improve operations.
The overall result of the In-building implementation has been an increase in cellular coverage from 25% to 95% of the facility. The presence of the system has directly impacted overall passenger satisfaction at DFW while at the same time increasing airport concession revenue due to the expanded cellular coverage area. MSB was honored to receive a DFW Board Commendation Award for the project.