Prepare for a Wireless World With Distributed Antenna Systems in Higher Education

Capacity and coverage issues are prevalent on most campuses. Use distributed antenna systems (DAS) to help deliver wireless services to the end users that need them.


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Your Challenge

  • Limited mobile capacity and coverage are a growing concern at higher education organizations. Distributed antenna systems (DAS) are becoming a widely accepted technology for increasing mobile wireless capabilities. However, the steps for implementing a DAS project are complex and unclear.
  • Implementing DAS is not a small project. Determining IT’s role and gaining stakeholder buy-in will require a strong argument for DAS. 

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Mobile wireless capacity and coverage are insufficient. Changing end-user habits and evolving technology are causing wireless issues.
  • It is IT’s job to get the ball rolling. IT should take the lead in exploring the potential of DAS at your organization.
  • DAS is more about relationships than technology. Don’t expect systems integrators or carriers to do all the heavy lifting; IT needs to collaborate at every stage.

Impact and Result

  • Understand the key drivers and components behind a DAS solution.
  • Use Info-Tech’s DAS Business Proposal template to provide a convincing argument to stakeholders for implementing DAS at your organization.
  • Use Info-Tech’s DAS RFP Template and DAS RFP Sample to solicit and evaluate responses from vendors interested in working with your organization to implement DAS.
  • Understand IT’s role before, during, and after the implementation of a DAS solution. 


  • The Midwestern Higher Education Compact Technologies Committee DAS Working Group worked closely with Info-Tech in the creation of this blueprint.
  • Matt Thompson, VP of Sales – Americas, Axell Wireless
  • Patrick Lau, Director of Business Development, Distributed Coverage & Capacity Solutions, Commscope
  • Kristine Boike, CIO and Dean of Academic and Technology Services, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
  • Harold Barnes, Director IT Services, Illinois Valley Community College
  • Jerry Krawczyk, Director of Telecommunications, Penn State University
  • Dave Beyerle, Communications Engineer, Penn State University
  • John Helms, Director of Telecommunications, Auburn University
  • Jeff Carpenter, Manager of Planning and Engineering, Michigan State University
  • Michele Norin, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO, The University of Arizona
  • Matt George, Director, Video & Information Technology, The University of Arizona
  • Joseph Collins, Educational Technical Services Manager, North Hennepin Community College

Several organizations contributed information to assist with the development of this solution set. Due to the sensitivity of the information, these contributors requested confidentiality.

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Get to Action

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out how to select and implement a DAS solution, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

  1. Understand the role of distributed antenna systems in higher education

    Determine if DAS is right for you.

  2. Gain stakeholder approval through a DAS business proposal

    Create the demand for a campus-wide DAS solution.

  3. Develop and refine a DAS RFP

    Begin soliciting responses from potential vendors.

  4. Work with key parties involved to ensure the DAS project is successful

    Better prepare for a DAS implementation.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Understand the role of DAS

  • Call #1: Understand the drivers behind mobile wireless technology and usage habits.

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Gain stakeholder approval

  • Call #1: Walk through the key components required for gaining stakeholder approval.

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Develop and refine a DAS RFP

  • Call #1: Review the structure of a typical DAS RFP.

  • Call #2: Develop a DAS RFP tailored to your organization’s needs.

  • Guided Implementation #4 - Build relationships

  • Call #1: Finalize the DAS RFP.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Understand the Role of Distributed Antenna Systems in Higher Education

The Purpose

  • Understand how the changing mobile wireless landscape is affecting higher education.
  • Understand IT’s role in a DAS implementation for higher education. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Determine how DAS can be used in your organization.
  • Determine IT’s role in a DAS implementation. 

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Understand DAS and decide on implementation.
  • Go/No-Go Decision for DAS

Module 2: Gain Stakeholder Approval Through a DAS Business Proposal

The Purpose

  • Develop a business proposal with key drivers behind a DAS implementation for your higher education institution.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Gain stakeholder approval for moving forward with developing an RFP and implementing DAS in your organization.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Develop a DAS Business Proposal that highlights key information required for gaining stakeholder approval.
  • A completed DAS Business Proposal which can be used to gain stakeholder approval.

Module 3: Develop and Refine a DAS RFP

The Purpose

  • Understand the components behind a complete RFP for soliciting potential DAS vendors.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand best practices when developing an RFP for DAS.
  • Have a better understanding of the components in a DAS RFP.
  • Understand best practices for scoring DAS RFP responses.  

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Develop and refine a DAS RFP.
  • A completed DAS RFP.

Module 4: Work With Key Parties Involved to Ensure the DAS Project is Successful

The Purpose

  • Understand next steps for implementing DAS after a vendor is selected to implement the solution. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Have a strong understanding for what to expect before beginning a DAS implementation. 

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Understand IT’s role in DAS.
  • A plan for involving the right parties in a DAS implementation and managing relationships.

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