Enjoying better Verizon Wireless cell service on North Campus? A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) was recently installed by Verizon Wireless at UB, increasing service by 2 to 5 bars in many locations.
This multi-phase project has been a long time coming. Initial discussions about the DAS began in 2004, but it didn’t seem a necessity until the iPhone’s launch in 2007. “Suddenly, demand for bandwidth increased, and Verizon Wireless saw an opportunity to increase service coverage on the UB North Campus,” said Tony Casciano, UB Network Engineer. Tony continues to work closely with Julia Macmurray, Project Manager, and Matt Marino, Telecommunications Engineer, on the DAS implementation.
With UB the size of a small city, it was a challenge determining where to begin. Signal testing by Verizon Wireless and feedback from student IT surveys pointed to Ellicott Complex and Governors Hall having very weak connectivity, so they were early targets. “We launched the first phase of the DAS system in September 2012,” Tony said. “Just a month later, the Student IT Experience Survey was conducted and we’ve already seen a significant decrease in the number of complaints about these locations.”
Knox Hall and the Student Union, two areas described as lacking signal strength in the IT survey, are next for the DAS focus. “We hope to complete installation by this summer,” Tony added. Additional phases are still being planned based on further signal testing by Verizon Wireless and UBIT survey results.
Verizon Wireless designed, installed, and funded the cost of the DAS system, which is neutral and open to other providers on a lease basis. So far, only AT&T has expressed interest in adding their equipment to the DAS, but hasn’t moved forward yet. “Verizon Wireless sees the future in mobile technology, especially in higher education, and have decided to invest in UB to improve their customers’ experience,” Tony added.
Verizon Wireless customers who experience signal issues in Ellicott Complex or Governors Hall should continue to work with Verizon Wireless customer service directly. If the DAS experiences an outage, alerts will be available under the UBIT Services Dashboard.
VITEC Solutions services both personal and department-owned computers and iProduct devices; visit their drop-off depot in the Lockwood 2nd Floor Cybrary or call 800-333-1075. You can also request office pick-up for UB-owned equipment.
iPhone usage by students is up in every UB school. Students in the School of Nursing reported the biggest increase this year- their iPhone usage jumped from 18.6% in 2011 to 45.9% in 2012. Verizon Wireless is currently the carrier of choice of students at UB, with 39% using their service.
In 2012, more students reported connecting to Wi-Fi through UB Secure. 74% reported securely connecting vs. 67% in 2011.
Computing and Information Technology at UB is more than 40 years old. Here’s a look back at the Interface newsletter from March 1980. (Please note: this PDF file includes perturbations natural to the duplication process at the time.)