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Case Study:

Mission Cancer: Small Cell Hybrid DAS in a Southern California Hospital

RSRF built a small cell hybrid DAS system to bring five bars of signal on AT&T and Verizon to a new hospital building.

Building Size
100,000 sq. ft.
System Type
Cellular DAS
AT&T, Verizon
Mission Viejo, California
Building Type
DAS Vendor
Samsung, CommScope
Small Cell Hybrid DAS

1. The Problem

As Mission Hospital built a state-of-the-art cancer center, they needed to future-proof the new building's cell signal

Mission Hospital is a large hospital in Mission Viejo, California. With multiple buildings on the hospital campus, they wanted to focus on the cellular signal at their cancer center that was under construction. Although they did not have an existing signal problem, they had the budget and the foresight to take a proactive approach and make sure they didn’t face any bandwidth or signal connection issues in the future. 

The new building housed exam rooms, a pharmacy, a chemotherapy area with infusion statements, and imaging machinery for MRIs, CT scans, CAT scans, and X-Ray. The new building faced many signal issues typical to hospital facilities: for example, many of their machines - like their MRI and X-ray machines - are usually in heavily insulated rooms.

The new cancer center needed signal both to support the doctors and nursing staff and to serve the patients and their families, who were generally in the building for long periods of time.

Our Process

Simple, from start to finish

1. Initial Budgetary Estimate
< 1 week
2. Design & On-Site Visit
1 to 3 weeks
3. Final Proposal
1 week
4. DAS Deployment
4-12 weeks upon approval

2. The Solution

A local solution, custom to their needs

RSRF began by consulting with the IT and construction management teams, learning about their coverage issue. Almost all the hospital staff used either AT&T or Verizon. After getting a set of floor plans and discussing their priorities, budget, and goals, we were able to schedule an initial site survey and provide a preliminary pricing estimate for their approval. 

Mission Hospital were looking specifically for improved service with major carriers AT&T and Verizon, and they needed solutions that were robust enough to provide 5-bar service throughout the 100,000 sq ft facility. 

Ultimately, we decided to install a small cell hybrid solution, utilizing small cells to improve AT&T and Verizon signal, and an off-air solution for Sprint and T-Mobile.

Small cells could provide robust, stable performance in the building right off the bat. Small cells essentially act like small cell towers (they are smaller than a laptop) with a radio chip inside that produces the AT&T or Verizon signal. The building would get its signal directly from these devices instead of from outside, as is the case with an off-air solution. 

Overall, off-air solutions can be less expensive and easier to install than small cell solutions. That said, they rely completely on the surrounding environment, so they could require more ongoing maintenance and updates as time goes on and conditions change. 

In this case, off-air signal was an option to enhance Sprint and T-Mobile service because the new cancer center is located on a hill, and the main hospital and parking structures are higher up on the peak. The Sprint and T-Mobile cell tower, on the other hand, is situated down the hill. This clear line of sight and lack of obstruction made an off-air solution viable. 

This was a flexible, future-proof solution for the new building.

3. The Results

A reliable solution that will work well for years to come

RSRF was able to provide unique, specific solutions based on the hospital’s budget, environment, and requirements for each cell carrier. This flexibility ensured that Mission Hospital would have the most effective solution for their needs.

Because this was a local project, there was more flexibility when it came to the installation. 

The RSRF team coordinated directly with the hospital’s general contractor and its engineering project management team. Our construction manager was also able to come and go repeatedly without charging for multiple visits. 

This flexibility allowed us to proceed from site survey to installation very quickly.

We worked primarily on the first, second, and fourth floors of the building. The third floor wasn’t (and still is not) built out, so we had to work around that space. 

The RSRF solution works well, provides stable coverage, and will work for years to come. The RSRF team will remain available to the hospital for potential expansions - perhaps to work on their third floor once it is complete - and to provide ongoing maintenance of the off-air solution.

How we're different

A partner you can trust: from quote to close-out
Vendor and Technology Neutral

We believe that no one DAS technology is right for every application. There are no silver bullets.

Instead, we carefully select the right technology for the specific signal conditions and requirements of your building.

A Deep Expertise in DAS Technology

DAS is the only thing we do.

We act as your domain expert and advocates. We help you get your questions answered, and guide you to the best solution for your unique needs.

Careful Planning, Regular Communication

Projects succeed when they’re planned carefully. We take our client’s trust seriously, ensuring that projects are delivered on time and on budget.

At every stage, we’ll keep every stakeholder, including you, in the loop. You’ll never wonder what’s happening next.
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