RLS-CMC, Inc.: A Unanimous Choice for DAS and Small Cell

Michael Burke, VP of Real Estate & Business Development, Kevin J. Chase, VP of Procurement and Jasmine Sanchez, Marketing Director & Operations Manager , RLS-CMC, IncMichael Burke, VP of Real Estate & Business Development, Jasmine Sanchez, Marketing Director & Operations Manager and Kevin J. Chase, VP of Procurement I arrived half an hour early at a famous Chicago restaurant for an interview with Michael Burke, VP of Real Estate and Business Development of RLS-CMC, Inc. Spending some time at the restaurant I found myself drawn toward my favorite pastime, Netflix. When he arrived, with the company’s Marketing Director and Operations Manager Jasmine Sanchez, and VP of Procurement, Kevin J. Chase, all I kept talking about was the bad Wi-Fi. To that, he replied, “I think the hotel doesn’t have a DAS.” Weak network connectivity due to insufficient bandwidth is still a long-standing predicament, especially at crowded places such as sports stadiums, concerts, hospitals, and restaurants. “It’s a pervasive problem!” Burke smiles. Populous venues often witness high network usage, which result in weak network strength and lagging internet connections. “The most prevailing challenge we hear from our potential clients is the lack of connectivity within their venues,” continues Burke.

Elaborating the importance of a distributed antennae system, Sanchez explained to me how DAS can improve connectivity and provide stronger internet coverage over a concentrated area. It can also enhance wireless reception capacity, while transmitting data across all major wireless carriers. The technical importance of DAS can be better understood from an installation RLS-CMC undertook a few years ago. One of their clients who owned a commercial building constructed in the 80s approached them with the same problem of network connectivity and coverage. Providing network coverage for this very populated venue with tenants, visitors, and employees, was challenging. Moreover, the two octagonal shaped towers were 589,000 square feet wide. “We successfully designed, deployed and implemented a DAS with 184 antennas spread out over the vast floor area thereby provided enough coverage,” asserts Sanchez.

Toward a Better Internet

In order to mitigate such network connectivity challenges, RLS-CMC offers services pertaining to 5G connectivity through a cost-effective and high-quality distributed antenna system (DAS). The company specializes in the delivery of large-scale indoor and outdoor DAS as well as small cell networks. In the construction management sector, RLS-CMC is a leader in the indoor and outdoor DAS/Small Cell network installation. “Our expert engineering consultants are capable of creating constructability solutions that maximize value for clients,” says Sanchez. “RLS’ outdoor sector, often juggles roughly 500 small cell sites at a time, at various stages, from site survey through construction phase.”

We streamline the delivery of our projects by completing everything in-house and leveraging our expertise in construction processes and project management


The firm makes use of skilled professionals who are experts in telecom, electrical engineering, construction, finance, and marketing. RLS-CMC is also certified by all major equipment manufacturers, which is a prerequisite when it comes to deploying, operating, installing or testing equipment used in this niche sector. The company owns all the necessary certifications that endorse their capability in catering to the requirements of their clients. The key differentiator for RLS-CMC is its modus operandi of managing wireless network projects for clients. “We act in a role similar to a general contractor but perform most of the project dependencies such as electrical engineering in-house, which other companies outsource,” states Chase. The firm’s offering is coupled with the two most crucial prerequisites in wireless network deployment: electrical and general construction. Being a licensed general contractor, RLS-CMC has the unique ability to manage other trades and activities such as carpentry, mechanical, plumbing, and public safety, which help in completing projects on time. In addition, RLS-CMC ensures that the original contract remains unaltered, avoiding change orders at all costs.

"Our team of experts is capable of creating constructability solutions that maximize value for our clients"

The company realizes that the race to 5G has just begun. Besides that, industry experts predict a growth between 20 million and 100 million for 5G connectivity by the end of 2021. RLS-CMC was the first company to turn up a 5G site in the country for their carrier clientele. They are prepared to embrace this technology revolution and leverage the opportunity. When it comes to powering 5G connections, RLS-CMC understands the expectations of their clients and for that reason; they are committed to deploying faster, especially for their carrier clientele. “Rolling out DAS quickly is our mantra in today’s dynamic world and we strive to power the transformation to 5G connectivity,” states Chase. RLS-CMC is excited to contribute to the advancement of connected devices creating a “smart society,” with products at lower costs and less battery consumption, lower latency, and improved support of device-to-device communication.

Soup to Nuts Approach

RLS-CMC’s soup-to-nuts approach incorporates every aspect of the DAS projects, thereby making them one of the best firms in the distributed antenna system sector. RLS-CMC provides a complete wireless infrastructure solution that includes project pre-construction services, design services, project management services, and in-house testing and commissioning. The company has devised a template for DAS and small cell projects, depending on the various needs of its clients and the type of systems they install.
This allows RLS-CMC to expedite the DAS projects from start to finish, quickly and effectively. RLS-CMC makes the most of its partnerships with various companies ranging from network carriers to neutral hosts, subcontractors, and equipment manufacturers to effortlessly deploy DAS projects. “RLS-CMC understands clients’ needs, analyzes them, and then provides DAS solutions that best suit their requirements,” mentions Sanchez. She elaborates, “We streamline the delivery of their projects leveraging our domain expertise in managing construction processes and project management.”

The firm also assists venue owners in getting the right funding for the DAS project, as well as helping them maintain the network post installation, thereby bridging several dependencies that are associated with DAS initiatives. RLS-CMC has been raising the bar for wireless design and construction integrity for over fifteen years.

“The commitment, as well as integrity that we give, allows us to successfully deliver large scale projects on venues such as hotels, hospitals, and major casinos across the country. To date, RLS has completed every project on-time and on-budget,” states Burke. This is well translated to every project they undertake. One of their recent installations at the Paris Las Vegas Resort guest rooms and suites tower is a fitting example to their approach. As Construction Manager and Owner’s Representative (CMOR) for the IDAS installation, RLS-CMC provided pre-construction, design, engineering, and management services to the hotel and installed approximately 500 antennas covering 29 floors of the building. The real challenge was yet to come. In addition to the DAS, the system required battery backup for all equipment with a minimal amount of equipment space. The company’s engineering wing designed and implemented a centralized UPS to power the same. Moreover, RLS-CMC provided their consulting services to construct a 1,000 square foot Head End in the parking garage that monitors the hotel’s DAS.

Further, in terms of its service offerings, RLS-CMC’s flexibility adheres to a wide range of client requirements. “Every client comes up with a new challenge,” mentions Sanchez. As such, the requirements of career clients are different from those of enterprise customers. This is where the company’s expertise and experience come to action. Soon after they commit to a project, the firm’s experts study the customer’s overall project topography in order to familiarize with the working environment. “This approach helps us a lot during the designing as well as the deployment of infrastructure,” adds Chase. What steers them ahead is their years of experience. That allows them to complete any complex and time-consuming projects under a stipulated time frame with utmost accuracy. Their proprietary scheduling system allows them to complete a project faster than the competition. Not to mention the company’s attention to quality, as well as security, which are both essential facets to its success.

Citing the company’s future, Chase says that they are focusing on evolving from its current offering of outdoor and in-building DAS services to improve network coverage for its enterprise customers. In the next few months ahead, the firm is committed to scaling its business by adding more functions that include future technologies such as CBRS and private LTE for helping its customers address their network issues.
- Catalina Joseph
    July 22, 2019