The largest hospital in the Netherlands, Erasmus MC Hospital, has chosen DAS technology developed by Zinwave, a Cambridge UK company, for its in-building TETRA and cellular network requirements.The DAS (distributed antenna system) has been installed and commissioned by Radio Access BV, Zinwave’s Benelux partner.
Erasmus Hospital is situated in the centre of Rotterdam and occupies a total area of 365 000 m². It employs over 13,000 personnel, has more than 1,320 beds, and treats on average over 500 000 patients annually. It is also a level 1 trauma and disaster centre.
The hospital took the decision to improve its TETRA network after being chosen as a special coverage location point for the emergency services by the Mayor of Rotterdam.
Onsite tests carried out as a result of this appointment had revealed that existing coverage was not sufficient to support the services required.
The hospital went out to tender for the provision of an in-building DAS to maximise TETRA frequencies and took the opportunity to also improve its cellular frequencies, so it could offer “anytime” connectivity to patients and staff.
The project was divided into several phases and work on phase one began in August 2011.
Zinwave’s DAS (known as the Zinwave 3000) was chosen because of its ability to support multiple services and multiple frequencies, including the emerging LTE and MIMO, from a single hardware layer, making it completely future-proof.
In addition, Radio Access was able to install and commission the system utilising the hospital’s existing cabling infrastructure, which simplified the overall implementation process, resulting is significant cost savings for the hospital.
Not only is the Zinwave 3000 frequency-agnostic, rigorous tests carried out by the hospital itself to determine radiation and interference levels concluded that emissions were minimal, confirming that Zinwave’s DAS poses no risk to hospital equipment or patient safety.
Erasmus Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the Netherlands to openly provide patients, visitors and staff with unrestricted mobile usage irrespective of the department.
Antoine Van Kempen of the hospital said: “Everyone knows that using cell phones in hospitals can seriously affect equipment performance and patient safety.
“In order to alleviate our worries we decided to test the DAS to determine radiation and interference levels. On both accounts, the emissions were almost non-existent and meant that cell phones could be used throughout the hospital without posing any risks.”
Zinwave’s DAS comprises 16 primary hubs which interface with the TETRA and private network base stations, 100 secondary hubs, for the distribution of emergency and private services, and 514 remote units that are located throughout the hospital, including the ICU and OR units. The installation covers an area in excess of 90 000 sqm.
Colin Abrey, president of international sales, Zinwave said: “Safety is always a primary concern in healthcare and we are really pleased that our system passed the tests it was subjected to.
“Erasmus Hospital will be able to lead the way in the provision of unrestricted connectivity and furthermore, it will be able to introduce a whole range of new services when LTE and MIMO frequencies become mainstream without needing any additional hardware.
Phase one of the project has now been completed and Erasmus Hospital has already confirmed its requirements to proceed with phase two, which is due to start in October 2012.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Erasmus Hospital