Cell Phone and Mobile Device Service

Verizon/Spider Cloud DAS Service

In 2011, ComTech completed a field survey to determine locations in campus buildings that had poor reception from the major cellular carriers in Raleigh. Tests were completed for five carriers in 210 buildings. Some buildings had poor coverage throughout while in others only certain parts of the building experienced coverage issues.

To address the above, ComTech began a discussion with a company called SpiderCloud Wireless that had developed an innovative approach to solving problems with in-building cellular service. Traditionally, large enterprises like universities have deployed Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) to enhance cellular signals. These systems tend to take a long time to deploy, are expensive, and require a significant amount of infrastructure (equipment rooms, conduits, and cabling) to be installed throughout each building.

The SpiderCloud system is a radical departure from traditional DAS in that is uses the existing NCSU data network in lieu of all of the above infrastructure. Small devices called radio nodes, are installed on the walls and plugged into nearby campus data outlets. These radio nodes act as mini cell towers allowing nearby users to connect. Voice and data traffic is routed through the campus data network and eventually to the cell carrier.

NCSU and Spidercloud have partnered with Verizon to deploy a SpiderCloud DAS on campus. Installation for a pilot project in three buildings was completed in Nov. 2016. Plans are in the works to extend this service to other areas of need across campus.

Do I need to do anything? No. If you are in one of the buildings listed below and have a Verizon smartphone (2013 or newer), you should be ready to go. These are phones equipped with 4G VoLTE – called HD Voice by Verizon. To see new phones offered by Verizon with HD Voice, go to https://www.verizonwireless.com/smartphones/hd-voice/

Current Areas Covered (as of January 2017)

Williams Hall, Scott Hall, and Riddick Hall

If you have any questions about this initiative or to suggest areas with poor coverage as candidates for future deployments, please contact Ed Rogers at ComTech, 5-4073 (erroger2@ncsu.edu). Any questions regarding your phone or your Verizon service should be directed to Verizon Wireless and not to ComTech.

Cell Phone Plan Discounts

While ComTech does not offer cell phones or cell phone service plans, NC State University employees are eligible for a discount on their cell phone plan from select providers.  See Wolfperks – Electronics to learn more.

Mobile Communications Device Allowances

Procedures, form and FAQ (frequently asked questions) are available at the Office of Finance and Administration.