In-building mobile connectivity
5 Min Read

How to improve mobile signal strength in your warehouse or distribution centre

Poor mobile signal can have a significant impact on warehouse and distribution centres – affecting productivity, field agents, sales and operations. But there is a solution to improve mobile signal strength in your storage facility.

For most warehouses and distribution centres across the UK, the Christmas period is one of the busiest times of year, particularly for those in retail and eCommerce. In fact, with most physical shops still closed in November, Black Friday and Cyber Monday collectively boosted sales by £6.2bn, putting an extra pressure on warehouse and distribution centre staff. And with industry revenue expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 1.8% over the next five years, it’s never been a more important time for storage centres to create more efficient operations throughout the business. Particularly after one of the most challenging years to date and many changes across the industry.

Warehouses can boost 4G signal indoors

The pandemic placed an enormous amount of strain on supply chains and the warehouse sector, with transportation delays in one part of the world causing closures or missing supplies in another. The entire sector also faced unpredictable consumer behaviour – some businesses were left with excess inventory, while others struggled to keep up with the unprecedented demand. However, the good news is that the supply chain is beginning to stabilise, allowing the industry to look forwards and consider their long-term plans with new technologies.

As demand for faster delivery increases, one technology that is taking on a new importance is inventory visibility – giving the entire supply chain real time access to what inventory is in hand at each warehouse. And with order fulfilment and inventory also playing an important role in the digital aspect, the industry is gradually experiencing a growing reliance on mobile technology and connectivity.

However, typically constructed with impenetrable steel frames, metal roofs, minimal windows and – in some cases – floor to ceiling racks, bringing a mobile signal indoors is often seen as next to impossible for the sector. These materials block penetration of mobile signal from reaching the warehouse area, plus the offices, training rooms or staff rooms within the building. But securing indoor 3G/4G coverage is essential for supporting communication of management team and staff; operational efficiency and connected customers.

Why do I need to enhance in-building mobile signal in my warehouse or distribution centre?

Over 13.5 million sq. ft of warehouse space was leased in the UK during the third quarter of 2020, up by 73% on the same period in 2019, and in the wake of COVID-19, many warehouses are continuing to look at increasing their capacity. From higher inventory and demand, plus additional space for social distancing, the sector is facing many challenges. And while this additional capacity may be spread over smaller or more local decentralised warehouses, these spaces will still need excellent communications to function at 100%.

But capacity isn’t the only thing on the increase. As of 2018, a yearly average of 188 thousand individuals were employed by warehouse and storage facilities in the UK, which is only set to rise since the recent surge in eCommerce demand and omnichannel distribution. With many of these workers now relying on voice and data services, but spread out across large areas, reliable and stable mobile connectivity is crucial for seamless operations. Preventing disruption, it can also minimise the impact on reduced productivity and stilted communication.

Inefficient mobile signal can affect your bottom line too. How? By placing barriers in front of customer and sales communication, and field sale support, resulting in dropped calls, missed opportunities or incomplete orders. While some warehouse operators still heavily rely on radios, these are not the solution – incredibly limited, staff can’t call outside of the warehouse, causing frustrations and safety issues if an accident occurs. But Cel-Fi is the solution for improving security and safety, increasing productivity and boosting your business operations.

Enhance in-building mobile signal for your business

Secure and Ofcom-compliant mobile signal booster, Cel-Fi is just one in-building mobile solution that UCtel can provide to deliver robust connectivity in your warehouse or distribution centre. Allowing field agents to efficiently contact your staff; consumers to experience excellent communications; and warehouse operations to run at full capacity. Cost effective and legal to use, it works by boosting data speeds throughout your building. And all we need is a floorplan. We can then carry out a site survey to get a thorough understanding of exactly what areas need to be covered, and provide a no-obligation indication of cost.

The best way to boost signal in a warehouse or distribution centre is by utilising existing strong outdoor signal and amplifying it within the building. Simply by assessing where your signal is strongest and weakest, UCtel can help to determine the optimal place for Cel-Fi – the smart, large-building signal booster for in-building and mobile connectivity solutions.

Experience clear and reliable mobile phone connections in your offices, operations areas and warehouse. Just give us a call on 0333 344 4417or email us on sales@uctel.co.uk to find out more.