Cel-Fi QUATRA Cellular for underground parking garage

April 28th, 2021

Alliance Corporation is proud to be a Value-Added Distributor for Cel-Fi products in North America. This is a repost from a Cel-Fi by Nextivity Case Study.

The Challenge

Fountain Place is an architectural landmark in Dallas. The iconic skyscraper, which features 1.2 million square feet of office space, is surrounded by nearly 200 fountains and gardens that attract locals and visitors alike. However, the active DAS solution proved to be a bigger roadblock than the problem itself: after three years, the system was still not built, and would only provide coverage for two carriers.

Because Mullenix was in need of a cost-effective solution without further delays, he changed gears and called Bob Merola, Chief Technology Officer at Wytec International, a wireless integrator based in San Antonio, Texas, and asked if he could do something.

“I told him we could. We recommended Cel-Fi QUATRA active DAS hybrid because it offers all the benefits of an active DAS, but at a much more attractive price point,” says Merola. “It also delivers 1000 times the signal gain of a BDA passive DAS (booster) and can provide coverage for all four major carriers. QUATRA is simply a far superior technology to other solutions available today for the middleprise space.”

The Solution

To begin, Merola and his team determined the configuration of the Cel-Fi QUATRA using iBwave. “We were able to save them more than half of what they were going to spend on the active DAS solution,” he says. “But we actually increased to all four carriers, rather than just two that were planned with the active DAS, and we installed everything in conduit, so in a straight comparison, it was a lot less than half.”

Wytec mounted four donor antennas outside on the elevator shaft of a 10-story above-ground parking structure adjacent to Fountain Place. The team then ran the cables in conduit down into the basement, where the mechanical room was located. Twelve NUs (Network Units that are the headend units of the QUATRA system) were placed in two racks in the underground mechanical room.

The Results

“On projects like this, it’s more typical to see people hauling big cables and heavy equipment around. Your headends are usually the size of a data center,” says Merola.

“With Cel-Fi QUATRA everything is compact. It fits very well into a small closet. The antennas are small. The ethernet cabling is small and faster to install. Overall, QUATRA is a great fit from a budgetary, functionality, and technology perspective.”

All three levels of the below-ground parking garage at Fountain Place now receive reliable, high-quality cellular signal. Mullenix says, “It went from not being able to hold a phone call to being able to make a phone call. We went from having nothing to having a signal.”

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