Posted on July 21, 2017

How to Improve Cellular Signal at Colleges and Universities

Dave Schlange

Estimated Reading TIme: 2 minutes

Cellular connectivity is as important on a university campus as it is on a hospital campus. Faculty and students need to connect for academic purposes, and cellular service also enhances safety on campus. Unfortunately, colleges and universities can’t always provide consistently strong cellular signal for students, faculty and staff.

Schools struggle with cellular connectivity for a few reasons, but the main culprits are infrastructure and capacity. Modern colleges and universities are usually a combination of older buildings and newer, environmentally friendly construction. Both styles can interfere with radio frequency waves coming from the nearest cell tower. Add in data-hungry students and faculty who rely on networks for connectivity and you have a recipe for bad connections.

What should you do when your university needs an improved cellular signal?

If you’re a university administrator or IT manager with a cellular connectivity problem on your hands, there are a few different ways you can go. Many schools turn to active distributed antenna systems (DAS). If your school boasts a large budget and can take the time to wait for installation, an active DAS can offer a strong solution to connectivity woes. Unfortunately, many school budgets are under pressure and an expensive and time-consuming active solution isn’t the best option.

Instead, colleges, universities and even secondary schools should consider passive DAS (also known as cell phone signal boosters) to enhance cellular connectivity on campus. Instead of creating its own cellular signal, a passive DAS solution captures existing signals from surrounding cell towers using rooftop donor antennas. It then amplifies the weak signal, and distributes it strategically inside a building or around campus. Passive DAS offers:

  • Financial savings
  • Reduced installation time
  • Carrier agnosticity

University of Minnesota Implements Passive DAS to Improve Connectivity

Connectivity became a major problem at a newly updated science building at the University of Minnesota. Despite new modern construction and facilities, the building’s connectivity left students and faculty feeling like they were stuck in the Stone Age.

The University’s IT staff called connectivity experts from Konecta USA about a solution. The team quickly identified the building as a candidate for a WilsonPro passive DAS. The team began installation by placing a donor antenna on the roof of the building and running cable to a booster inside the building.

The quick installation — and no approval requirements — meant the building’s new connectivity system could be up and running in a matter of days, rather than months. Science students soon benefited from nearly flawless connectivity achieved for a fraction of the price of a competing active DAS.

Download our Buyer’s Guide to learn more about how WilsonPro's solutions can enhance cell phone signals throughout your campus, or contact us to learn more.

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