Pricing varies depending on supplier, as there are many variables. The builder or electrical contractor may provide drawings of the DAS system project plan to different suppliers and request quotes. Each supplier may come back with a different solution for the project.
There are many ways for the drawings and project information to be interpreted, and there is no specific way to set up an IBC/DAS design as long as the project is compliant. Some suppliers may quote 60 antennas, while others can create the same level of coverage with 50. There is nothing wrong with having more or less antennas, as long as it meets the coverage objectives.
Solutions for DAS projects vary. One supplier may quote for an active design and another will quote for a passive design, and this may contribute to the different costs. Active designs have more elements and therefore will cost more to implement. However, it may be important to include active elements in the design. For example, the building site could be quite large, and the DAS may need a power boost from the active elements. In other cases, the DAS designer may design a DBS solution, which may bring the cost down, even in a large building site. The other variable is the lead carrier, different carriers have different approved lists for material to be used on their DAS. For example, different carriers have different suppliers which also impacts the cost and therefore solution design.
Each carrier will have their own DAS requirements, although the MCF2018 specifications is an overarching document, each carrier does have their own specific requirements when it comes to DAS. If there is a lead carrier who is involved with the early stages of the DAS project, they may have additional requirements that need to be implemented early in the project. This causes variables between carriers and pricing.
It is important that builders and electrical contractors provide detailed drawings for their RFQ’s for their DAS project. Design teams require Reflected Ceiling Plans (RCP’s), General Arrangement Plans, cabling paths, as it is important to know where cables can be run, the location of the risers, size of the room and the location of the DAS room. If the project begins without knowing exactly where the DAS room will be located, it is still vital to understand the locations of the cable trays, therefore containment drawings are also necessary. It is better to provide as much information as possible when preparing an RFQ pack for the DAS suppliers, this will ensure quality designs and the best possible solution for the DAS project.