Cel-Fi QUATRA RED Public Safety Communications Sees Major Advancements for Manufacturing

November 1st, 2021

The Challenge

State-of-the-art manufacturing facilities were under construction in an area outside Tucson, Arizona that was previously farmland. One building was 200,000 square feet and a second building was 600,000 square feet. As the facilities were built with steel, they were essentially giant Faraday cages which, combined with the remote location, meant public safety and commercial cellular signals could not penetrate into the two buildings.

During the inspection of the facilities for a Certificate of Occupancy, the fire marshal noted an Emergency Responder Radio Communication System (ERCES) was required to meet public safety regulatory requirements due to the size and construction of the buildings. It was also apparent during construction that poor cellular reception throughout the facilities would require a cellular amplification solution.

The Solution

Addressing Public Safety with Cel-Fi QUATRA RED

To comply with the AHJ’s requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy, Powernet chose to install Cel-Fi QUATRA RED Class A 700MHz/800MHz channelized Emergency ERCES Smart Signal Booster. It is the first ERRCS that is able to boost both LMR and FirstNet signals.

The Cel-Fi QUATRA product family uses proprietary Cel-Fi smart booster technology that is approved for use by more than 200 carriers around the world. When QUATRA RED is installed, the technology intelligently delivers the same strong signal to all emergency responders inside the facility regardless of where they are located in relation to the system head-end or macro high site.

Getting a Cellular Signal Inside with Cel-Fi QUATRA 4000

Cel-Fi QUATRA 4000 active DAS hybrid specifically addresses the challenges of poor voice quality, dropped calls, and dead zones in large commercial buildings. Unlike analog boosters and bi-directional amplifier (BDA) passive systems, QUATRA delivers a cellular signal that is up to 1000x stronger for all major carriers simultaneously, offering a much larger coverage footprint.

When Cel-Fi QUATRA RED and Cel-Fi QUATRA 4000 are installed in the same facilities to address both public safety and commercial cellular coverage, this problem is avoided. Cel-Fi products are guaranteed unconditionally network safe, with no interference on the macro or other networks.

Cel-Fi QUATRA has a Network Unit (NU) that is the head-end of the system, and Coverage Units (CUs) that are the remote RF units to connect external antennas and distribute the cellular signal throughout the buildings. Powernet installed three NUs and 15 CUs in the 600,000 square foot building, and one NU and five CUs in the 200,000 square foot building.

The Results

Cel-Fi QUATRA RED passed the inspection needed for the Certificate of Occupancy on the initial AHJ inspection test, which was largely why QUATRA RED was chosen for this time sensitive project.

Cel-Fi QUATRA 4000 delivered strong cellular reception throughout the facilities, providing 99% coverage where previously there was only 5% of the building with usable signal, according to Morales. When asked for feedback on the system, executives from the manufacturing facility said, “Don’t turn them off!”

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