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Project to Expand Campus Cell Phone Coverage Reaches a Milestone

April 1, 2008

In early March 2008, AT&T became the first mobile carrier to sign an agreement with NextG, the vendor selected by the university to build and operate a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) throughout the Forty Acres. This agreement is a significant step in realizing expanded mobile coverage on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

Goal of the Project

The primary goal of the DAS project is to achieve more integrated, less obtrusive cellular coverage outdoors on campus, as well as vastly improve coverage inside of campus buildings. The system will support all cellular carriers and will allow upgrades to carry future wireless technologies.

The planned DAS will consist of approximately 20 nodes or microcells distributed throughout the campus. Benefits include visually unobtrusive antennas, higher bit-rate coverage, more consistent coverage across campus and within campus buildings, and lower radiation levels than macrocell towers.

Project coverage priorities include:

  • Major event locations such as the DKR Stadium (STD) (80,000 capacity) and Erwin Center (ERC) (25,000 capacity)
  • Residence halls supporting over 7,000 students
  • The Main (MAI) building supporting central campus administration
  • The Union Building (UNB)

Next Steps

Now that AT&T has signed an agreement, NextG will work with ITS and Facility Services to finalize space, power, HVAC, and fiber connectivity requirements before beginning construction on the project.

Negotiations are currently in progress with several other carriers and are expected to be finalized soon. UT Austin requires that the final design agreed upon with each carrier provide ubiquitous outdoor campus coverage for that carrier.

For more information, please contact:

Sandra Germenis, Assistant Director, Information Technology Services