Cel-Fi QUATRA Covers Leading Food Retailers Distribution Centre

June 8th, 2021

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

The Challenge

One of the fastest growing supermarket brands in the UK was building a new 70,000m2 Regional Distribution Centre in Peterborough. Like other modern warehouse structures the metal clad building acts as a Faraday Cage to mobile signals. The building itself has a single level office on the 3rd floor of the building, consisting of administrative areas, meeting rooms, training rooms and a canteen.

All existing cable tray was located at high level above suspended ceiling throughout, making cable installation challenging in many areas. There were also a number of fire-stopped partitions that needed penetrating, which posed another challenge. Due to the Grenfell disaster aftermath and new regulations, it was important that all of these penetrations were identified so that they could be re fire- stopped by an accredited company to ensure they complied with the new regulations.

Staff often take calls on their work mobiles in the main offices and move into meeting rooms to continue the calls. Unreliable services can be disruptive as it results in staff having to leave their work areas to find signal near a window as well as numerous dropped calls, which reduce productivity.

The Solution

Pan RF designs and deploys in-building public cellular mobile connectivity and private mobile radio (PMR) coverage solutions, providing the seamless coverage business demands, offering network solutions to support the IoT and realizing the commercial potential and environmental benefits this offers.

Pan RF visited the site and conducted a Live Coverage Test (LCT) survey to establish the current level of EE mobile coverage internally and externally at the site.

Following the survey, a full report was produced where a Nextivity Cel-Fi Quatra Solution was proposed to provide voice and data services on the EE network.

The benefit of deploying a Nextivity Cel-Fi Quatra Solution is that there is no need for the customer to seek approval from EE as it is licence-exempt. The other benefit of this solution is that it is very cost effective and can be deployed in a very short timescale.

Following approval of the proposal, an RF design was carried out using the iBwave Radio Propagation planning tool. Coverage predictions defined the number and location of the active antenna Coverage Units (CUs) and how many Network Units (NUs) would be required. External EE coverage is to be picked up on the MIMO donor antenna mounted at the highest point of the roof, ensuring clear line of site to the nearest EE macro site. Coaxial cabling then feeds the Cel- Fi Quatra NUs which amplify the signal before distributing the coverage via CAT- 6A cabling to the Cel-Fi Quatra CUs.

Following installation of the system, the Cel-Fi Quatra Solution was commissioned using the Cel-Fi Wave Portal. Speed tests and walk tests were carried out using TEMs pocket software to provide further evidence of the improvement of coverage levels within the 3rd Floor Office and Ground Floor Goods Out areas.

The Results

Before the Cel-Fi QUATRA solution was deployed very poor user experience was reported, with calls not connecting or often dropped, once connected There was also a very poor data service with both download and upload speeds particularly bad.

After the Cel-Fi QUATRA solution was deployed excellent user experience was reported. Calls were received and initiated without any issues and data performance significantly outperformed the existing Wi-Fi and other Carrier/MNOs, improving day to day productivity.

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