Cobham Delivers Cellular and Public Safety Coverage Solution to America’s Largest High School

Cobham Wireless has joined forces with a number of organizations, as well as local first responders, to provide Evanston Township High School (ETHS) in Illinois, USA with a 4G cellular and public safety communications solution. This is based on Cobham Wireless' intelligent digital Distributed Antenna System (idDAS).

Improving cellular and public safety coverage in ETHS - the largest high school in America under one roof - ensures staff and students are able to communicate rapidly and reliably with Evanston’s police and fire departments in emergency situations, as well as providing a high quality of service to AT&T subscribers.

The system provides reliable, high quality AT&T in-building coverage, for ETHS’s 4,000+ students and staff. It also improves both public safety communications and ETHS’s 50 member safety team, which uses AT&T’s ‘Push to Talk’ service.

Cobham Wireless worked closely with Radvisory 5G, as well as RFS, Galtronics, Graybar, Chicago Communications, and Fullerton Engineering, to design and deploy the coverage system, which connects to AT&T’s nearby cell tower. All parties contributed equipment and services, with AT&T donating a significant amount of testing and engineering time, so that the system, and subsequent 5 year maintenance, was fully financed at no cost to the school.

The success of the project sets a benchmark for the upcoming critical public safety broadband network rollout, awarded to AT&T in March 2017 by FirstNet. The idDAS system at ETHS can be easily upgraded to support FirstNet Public Safety LTE, as well as other future band deployments by operators. It currently supports the legacy VHF and UHF public safety systems.

The CPRI-based idDAS digital system features a patented CPRI router that enables digitized RF packets to be sent to any point within the system. It features market leading Uplink Dynamic Range which reduces noise and interference, and maximizes bandwidth and throughput. Power sharing on a per-channel, per remote basis, can be easily controlled via software. Each operator has full control over their allocated power for each of their sectors through the GUI. With the automated commissioning features, deployment time is greatly reduced when compared to a standard analog system with significant savings in labor costs. The system offers great flexibility as future sectors or remote units can be added without any changes to the existing hardwiring of the system, and up to four remote units can be cascaded. New remote unit expansions can be done via cascading fiber off existing remote units to remove the need of costly fiber runs to existing buildings. Being digital, the system works with any kind of pre-existing fiber within a building, which again saves cost.