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Case Study:

BlueBird Bio: Small Cell Passive DAS in Med-Tech Facility in North Carolina

New production facility for personal genomics company equipped with Small Cell Passive DAS ahead of opening

Building Size
85,000 sq. ft.
System Type
Cellular DAS
AT&T, Verizon
Durham, North Carolina
Building Type
Corporate, Office
Corporate Space, Manufacturing, Medical
DAS Vendor
Small Cell Passive DAS

1. The Problem

BlueBird Bio's Durham North Carolina facility is a mixed office, laboratory, and warehouse space facility built out with materials that attenuated signal transmission. Improving coverage for offices, clean rooms, and laboratories on the first and second floors was a priority.

BlueBird Bio NC DAS System

BlueBird Bio pushes hard on gene therapy because they believe it delivers the chance for people with severe genetic diseases and cancer to live fully, regardless of what’s written in their DNA. Their goal is to recode the science, the system – and even the status quo – for life.

With that philosophy driving them every day, they weren't willing to settle for less than optimal cellular voice and data coverage for their team. After using RSRF to improve coverage in their corporate headquarters in Cambridge, MA, they requested a review of their facility in Durham, NC.

The issue ultimately came down to the building layout and the materials used in construction.

● Signal readings revealed inconsistencies in cellular coverage throughout the building.

● Labs, freezer rooms, clean rooms, and sanitizing rooms have stainless steel tiles on the walls and metal doors, all of which block cellular signal transmission.

● In addition, there were more walls made of dense materials than a traditional office environment.

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 small cell passive DAS system powered by AT&T and Verizon small cells.

BlueBird Bio DAS Head-End

RSRF's evaluation began with a consultation and site review, including a review of planned build outs. After discussing goals, priorities, and budget, a preliminary plan was created to address the areas of key concern.

Given the number of rooms, metal doors installed, and walls covered with stainless steel tiling, it was recommended that BlueBird Bio use 1.5x the standard number of antennas recommended per square foot. This allowed the signal from the donor antenna to propagate effectively.

The DAS head-end small cells, point of interface equipment, and remote radio units were selected based on their ability to extend the signal in the facility. The extra antennas are the reason that this small cell passive DAS solution delivers full-bar coverage throughout the facility.

3. The Results

A robust solution that enhances coverage today and can meet the demands of future smart building technology

RSRF Engineer Installing DAS Antenna

Powering the passive DAS with small cell equipment dramatically improves performance while minimizing costs. This was especially important in this implementation where extra antennas were needed to ensure optimal signal propagation.

After installation, RSRF tested the performance of system to ensure optimal operation of the installed system. Testing included verification of signal output at indoor antennas, verification of coverage and signal quality, testing of handover zones between small cells (where applicable), verification of backhaul bandwidth utilization, and balancing of signal levels before amplifiers and floors (where applicable).

In addition, RSRF provides an ongoing complete 24/7 remote monitoring service. This ensures that the coverage throughout the BlueBird Bio facility remains at optimal levels.

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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