The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, MD had hundreds of antennas installed in their eight-wing “mega dorm” with nearly 5 miles of hallway space. Four other service academies plan to implement cell service enhancements for student housing specifically. The academy cited reconciliation of security and connectivity as the reason for having the cell service enhancement system installed, after 21.5 million individuals’ personal information was breached when a hacker targeted the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last summer. The distributed antenna system also contributes to education opportunities. For example, computer science students now have access to separate networks, computers, and servers for use in practice and preparation for competitions.
Employees at government agencies like NASA rely on communication between team members in the same way that police officers, firefighters, or first responders do. Their massive projects have critical deadlines. NASA’s 30,000 square-foot Satellite Services Capabilities Office (SSCO) and James Webb Space Telescope Facility had become known as “black holes” for cellular signal, which left these areas out of touch with the organization. They had a distributed antenna system installed and, after the fact, praised how affordable it was, the fact that there was no downtime required for installation, and how reliable and low-maintenance the system is. Both of their buildings with weak cell signal now have excellent data speeds and call quality, and their staff is left to explore space rather than search for cell signal.