For greenfield projects where DAS is installed in new buildings, the DAS system is included in the electrical and communications package, and the telecommunications carriers ie. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, do expect the builders to pay for the DAS system.
The reason for this is mobile coverage is seen as an essential service, so people expect to have coverage regardless of location.
As mobile coverage is treated as an essential service, like other utility services. For example, utility such as water and electricity services will organise the connection, but do not pay for the plumbing or wiring of a building. It is up to the building developers or building owners to pay for the equipment needed so the connection can be made. Once the building is ready to be connected, carriers will then make the connection to the network which will then provide signal coverage within the building.
The pricing is dependent on the size of the project, room requirements, equipment requirements and Connection Fee.
As the equipment and base stations reside on site, the carriers would like to have the building owners or developers pay for the equipment. The equipment only provides signal to the building and not anywhere outside the building, the carrier is only providing a service and therefore, from the carrier’s perspective it does not make sense for the carrier to pay for the cost of the equipment.
However, occasionally part of the base station equipment cost is included in the Connection Fee carriers charge for the connection. This fee is negotiated between the carrier and the building owner or developer.
The Connection Fee is there for the same reason you would pay a connection fee to connect your water or electricity. The connection has associated costs such as, requiring a technician onsite, carrier equipment and other network related costs. Typically, the invoice from the carrier will not be itemised, so knowing exactly what the Connection Fee covers, can be confusing. Generally, this fee varies depending on carrier and project size and will include the costs of the carrier equipment.