Learn Advance Wireless Network Solutions

Changes in wireless market create opportnities for new trends, new technologies, new vendors. How do you find time to stay up to date and, what’s more important, to separate hype from truth?

At Linkwave we believe in the power of knowledge; we love to learn and we love sharing what we know. Working with an educated customer helps us be confident that in the end we are providing the right solution.

From covering the basics of DAS to to the latest trends in the wireless market – we hope that you will find information in our Learning section useful and applicable to what matters to you.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Indoor Solutions 101

Learn about the various indoor solutions available, and how Linkwave can assist your implementation of a tailored solution.

Evolution of wireless communications brought the change to the landscape of and relationships within the industry. In the past it was not uncommon for wireless operators to provide [in-building] wireless solutions as part of service offering, but today everything has changed.

Not only operators do not have resources to provide indoor coverage solution for all venues that need it, but with shift away from long term contracts it simply no longer makes financial sense for operators to invest in a single operator in-building solution.

It is a new reality that end users – be it commercial real estate, hotel, small business office or place of residence – become responsible for providing indoor cellular solution just like they do for other life essential utilities.

DAS, Small Cells, Repeaters, BDAs, boosters, Wi-Fi… It is good to have a choice, but is it? Internet search for “indoor coverage enhancement”, “DAS” or “Wireless Solution” will return hundreds of pages majority of which are paid commercial ads for various wireless products or technical solutions. DAS equipment vendors all guarantee that they offer the absolute best; booster manufacturers make believe that installing signal booster is simple and legal; installers claim to have experience and knowledge to be service integrator for your next project.

Linkwave Wireless Solutions is an approved by National Wireless Service Providers service integrator and we are certified by the association of Professional Engineers of Ontario – after multitude of successful projects, many of which were with government organizations, we have earned the right to claim that we do things right while maintaining highest level of engineering ethics .

To help you find the right solution, the one that fits your budget, the one that is legal and approved by service providers we have created this Indoor Solutions-101 guide. As with everything else we do, we put you, our client, first. We will not just provide the information we think you should know – we’d rather answer questions YOU have about Indoor wireless Solutions and everything that matters to you.

If there is anything you feel we did not address on these pages, please let us know through the form at the bottom of the page allows you to submit questions. We thank you in advance for your feedback.


Although acronym DAS – Distributed Antenna System – has been around for a while, and you must have come across it at least a dozen times, we feel there are very few sources that provide a comprehensive overview versus just technical aspect of DAS.

Although concept of DAS has not changed that much, as wireless technologies evolved, so did DAS. Originally DAS was motivated by signal degradation inside structures: buildings, tunnels, underground parking garages. Inside such structures cellular services users often experience choppy reception (or none at all), dropped calls and low download speeds.

Certain building materials and distance from cell phone towers are the main reasons for poor transmission quality. With advance of wireless technologies, coverage has become a secondary reason for DAS considerations.

While, certainly, there are still many areas with just plain coverage issues (underground parking garages, on upper floors of high rise residential or commercial towers, many buildings and tunnels) capacity is becoming the number one reason wireless operators and venue owners choose to invest in DAS. We will cover reasons for DAS in more depth later, for now let’s discuss different types of signal enhancement solutions to help DAS and try to help you understand what will be applicable for one or another type of situation.

To better explain different types of DAS we will break down DAS into two main components: signal source and distribution network. Distributed Antenna Systems consists of a signal source and RF Distribution network – a network of spatially separated antennas connected via interconnected passive and active components (we will explain passive or active later). The purpose of DAS is to enhance in-building wireless signal quality.

While we pride ourselves for attention to detail, we certainly do not intend to make this a thorough DAS technical textbook. The purpose of this guide is to introduce and explain a general concept of DAS. Some components of DAS are omitted on purpose not to make the text of this guide overloaded with technical explanations

RF signal source

  • Dedicated – wireless operator’s signal source – BTS (Base Transceiver Station) – is connected directly to DAS.
  • Off-air – BDAs (bi-directional amplifiers), repeaters.

RF Distribution Network

  • Active components
    • Head-end units
    • Remote Radio units
    • Fiber distribution network
  • Passive components
    • Coaxial cable
    • Combiners, splitters, POIs (Points of Interface)
    • Antennas (donor and indoor/mobile)

An active component is a device that requires to be powered. Remote Radio units of DAS, many components of Head-End interface are active, hence the name for Active DAS.

Components that operate without power source are passive components. In Passive DAS signal source (be it repeater, BDA, or BTS) is connected directly to passive components (cable, splitters, antennas) while Active DAS will have active components between signal source and network of passive components.

Diagrams of Passive and Active DAS are shown in pictures 1 and 2 respectively.

Typical Passive DAS Components
Typical Active DAS Components

Note: So called “hybrid” solutions – some combination of Passive and Active DAS or designs that do not clearly fit a description of either Passive or Active DAS – also exist. If you are interested to learn more, we would be happy to explain or send you some additional materials.

Making a a choice between active and passive system if not always simple. While intuitively one may think that cost considerations will tip the scales in favour of a passive system – active components come at a cost – not everything is all that “black and white” as many erroneously think.

Availability of space, negotiations with the landlord, neutrality and future friendliness of DAS and even cost – are just a few of the categories that will leave room for both Active and Passive DAS for years to come. We go into details providing arguments for one or another solution in FAQ section.

We invite you to contact us with any additional questions you might have or help you make the right decision about your particular case.


We do not want to waste your valuable time with the information about boosters you already know or you can find on Wikipedia or hundreds of other sites.

Our objective is to educate and to help our customers make the right decision, so this introductory, “101 level” of information pages is meant to explain things that will help you make the right decision when choosing a solution for solving your wireless coverage problems, the information you will not find on many other sites, certainly not the ones that try to sell boosters which may NOT be the right solutions for you or which may even be illegal.

The definition of signal boosters, the explanation of their purpose and principle of operation can be limited to a single paragraph.

Indoor cellular signal boosters enhance cell signals in “dead zones” by bringing wireless signal from where it is available (typically from the roof or other areas of the building) to the booster(amplifier) , amplifying it, then rebroadcasting it through desired coverage area. Words “booster”, “repeater”, “BDA” (bi-directional amplifiers) are often used interchangeably with an exception that “booster” is often applied to a device intended for a small area (small office, single residential dwelling, car, etc).

What is more important to understand is HOW the boosters should be installed and configured, so that they can help solve problems within a coverage dead zone instead of creating problems. We all know that even a good tool can be become dangerous in the wrong hands.

If you are searching for or are being offered a booster, the first and the most important thing to understand is that the OWNER of the booster MUST obtain an approval of the wireless service operator(-s) whose signal the booster will be amplifying before putting the booster on air (before turning it on).

Why are you required to obtain an approval? Because the FREQUENCIES used by wireless services operators are LICENSED. Be it a cellular, a public safety or a private radio system operator, the frequencies operators use to transmit their signals have been assigned to them and licensed for their use by a government organization responsible for frequency spectrum allocation. So, before an operator can allow someone to potentially interfere with their network operations, they must make sure that the proposed booster system is designed in accordance with solid Radio Systems Design principles.

Note, that the responsibility to coordinate the approval is with the building owner, not the equipment seller. You can find numerous boosters sold on the market by non technically oriented retailers.

So, the most important conclusion from this, hopefully, useful for your “Boosters 101” page is that if someone is trying to offer you a booster without coordinating an approval of the system with wireless operators, you may want to get a second opinion or consult with Wireless System design experts like Linkwave Wireless.

We can help you avoid making mistakes of the customers who were ordered to shut down the booster systems that were installed illegally and help you waste your time, money and resources by doing things right the first time.


Something is troubling you, but you don’t know where to begin to diagnose the issue, or more importantly, how to solve it. You’ve come to the right place. You have questions, we have answers.

See below for some frequently asked questions we have answers for. If you’ve found the answer you have been searching for, the next step is to contact us.


We can design and implement a distributed antenna system (DAS) that will provide optimal coverage throughout your building.
No problem! Coverage systems can be designed for a single or multiple carriers.
Yes, coverage can be provided to buildings of any size. Linkwave has designed systems from single office floors to large malls, airports and whole buildings!
This can be an easy fix. We have systems that are cost-effective to cover small areas.
Coverage systems can be installed to cover parking lots, elevators, or any areas required.
Yes, our coverage systems can provide both cellular and public safety coverage over a signal infrastructure.

Coverage systems should be designed to provide optimal coverage in the building and not cause any “noise” or interference on cellular carrier networks. Cellular carriers (Bell, Telus, Rogers, Freedom, etc.) pay billions of dollars for the rights to the RF spectrum on which they build their networks on.

Any rebroadcast of their signals must be done with the permission of the carrier as well as a technically-vetted design. Rogue cellular boosters violate these rules and are subject to punishment by the license holder and the government.

Yes, in fact, for most large systems, a written agreement will need to be executed to rebroadcast licensed frequencies on your system. For smaller systems, we have solutions that are carrier pre-approved.
Linkwave can help you with this. Please contact us for a consultation.
This can vary depending on the size and type of the building, which carriers will be involved, etc. Please contact us for a consultation.
We do recommend annual checkups as the cellular environment near your building may have changed, causing degraded performance. Linkwave can help to support and maintain your system.

5G is the next generation of cellular technology that will offer faster speeds amongst other improvements. While there may be no immediate 5G advantage for your particular application, it may be recommended to include a 5G upgrade in your DAS plans as, historically, new technologies eventually phase out older ones.

One of our consultants will be happy to discuss your particular needs and requirements and propose the most suitable solution for your needs.


If you are investing in our wireless network, you want to make sure that you have a wireless solution that will deliver the coverage, capacity and security your company needs.

Professional surveys will provide you with clear and concise information regarding your wi-fi network. By performing a Wi-Fi site survey before deployment, you can ensure that you’re deploying the right number of access points un the right locations to keep your costs down.

We will help you identify what type of survey you need (passive or active) and we will help you understand what needs to be done for your wireless network to meet your requirements.

Only a Wi-Fi survey and proper channel/frequency planning can help identify and resolve issues related to channel conflicts and interference. Wireless site survey software can reveal rogue access points set up by malicious hackers to steal personal information from unsuspecting users. It can also help you limit the reach of your wireless network to ensure that it doesn’t leave your building and allow someone who you can’t even see to breach it.

There could be multiple reasons: poor coverage, insufficient capacity, interference, etc.

Productive wi-fi site surveys can uncover areas where your coverage, speed, security and other settings can be improved to increase the quality f your wireless connectivity. Having a productive wireless connection plays a major role in your company’s productivity. Because of the rapid rate that wireless surveys and deployment are advancing, there will always be room for improvement.

Without professional design tools and years of experience, designing a wireless network can become a waste of time and money.

Our design process starts with a detailed questionnaire that helps us understand customers’ needs for coverage and capacity. We then use our knowledge and experience to manipulate multiple RF design coverage parameters (SNIR, RSSI, co-channel interference, sector overlap, coverage overlap, etc.) to help you investment in the network make your team more productive and successful.

Yes. The professional design tools we use (Ekahau, iBwave) can model the buildings and do predictive analysis based on just the floor plans.

Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation wireless networking protocol It is synonymous with the 802.11ax protocol developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Wi-Fi 6 offers several improvements that aggregate to offer a significant upgrade over the previous generations. There are many references on the web with details technical content about the improvements Wi-Fi 6 introduces, but do you need to spend hours trying to learn something that is not your area of expertise? Linkwave’s professionals will help you understand in a clear, concise manner the importance of upgrading your network.

Wi-Fi 6E is related to the new spectrum in 6GHz that already has been or is expected to be made available for Wi-Fi. This new spectrum is not available in all countries yet; it is not yet available in Canada.

It depends on your existing network infrastructure and your plans. Identifying your infrastructure upgrade needs is part of Linkwave’s extensive Customer Questionnaire that helps us gather as much information as possible.

Public Safety

Have Linkwave conduct an in-building RF signal measurement survey to determine your building’s compliance with any and all relevant by-laws.
Engage Linkwave’s professionals to plan, design and implement an in-building public safety radio system.

The following are the stakeholders in the permit approvals:

  • Building owner
  • Municipality
  • E-Comm
  • Linkwave Wireless
  • Fire department
Yes, a P.Eng. is required to vet the design and certify all test and compliance measurements.

A recognized organization that can monitor and action unexpected outages is responsible for the implemented system. Linkwave can provide the required monitoring and maintenance capabilities to meet the by-law criteria.

For an extensive list of by-law authority links, please see the Public Safety section.

Next Steps

If the above has answered your questions, or if it has created any new questions, please do not hesitate to contact us to speak with a professional who can get you started on realizing the benefits of designing and implementing an in-building system that is both productive and compliant.

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