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Improving the indoor Vodafone network coverage for the music company in London

The Challenge

An international music company was looking to improve indoor mobile coverage. Vodafone coverage was required in the company’s new 2nd-floor London office.  The office building is on nine floors, and no signal was  available on the 2nd floor.

The Solution

UCtel proposed the use of the Cel-Fi QUATRA 1000 system. Cel-Fi QUATRA is a distributed antenna system (DAS) hybrid solution that combines the strength of passive and active DAS technologies to deliver a high-quality mobile signal in buildings. Cel-Fi QUATRA delivers a mobile signal up to 1000x stronger than analogue, utilizing CAT 5e/6 cabling for RF and power over ethernet, with no signal attenuation right to the perimeter of the building. 

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The Cel-Fi QUATRA solution consists of a donor antenna that is installed on the roof or outdoors where the mobile signal is strongest, a network unit (NU) that amplifies and digitizes the mobile signal, and a network of coverage units (CU’s) that are placed around the building to rebroadcast the boosted signal and passive DAS segments to distribute the signal around the building.

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Cat5e/6 structured cabling runs between NUs and CUs and prevents signal loss at the CUs. By leveraging power over Ethernet (PoE), CU’s can be installed anywhere in the building as they do not need to be near a power outlet. 

Cel-Fi QUATRA features: 

  • Multiple channels with bandwidths of 3.84/5/10/15/20 MHz per channel 
  • Peaceful coexistence with adjacent Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz), femtocells and cellular devices
  •  Automatic Gain Control (AGC) based on fast real-time echo-cancellation 
  •  Dynamic gain control always ensures maximum gain — best coverage — in ever-changing RF environments, without user intervention 
  •  Enterprise-class, carrier-grade, small footprint active DAS 

The Installation

  • Donor Antenna Location

An additional 1.5m pole was installed onto an existing structure on top of the office block roof to allow us to obtain the best external signal. A Cel-Fi MIMO antenna was installed on this additional mount to maximize data throughput. Two LMR 400 coaxial cables were fed down the riser to the company’s office on the second floor.

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  • Network Unit (NU) locations

One network unit was installed within the second-floor riser to boost the Vodafone network. 

  • Coverage Unit (CU) locations 

Four coverage units were installed across the company’s second-floor office.

All coverage units were mounted onto existing cable trays. These locations were deemed most suitable due to the open-plan nature of the office space.

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The Results

Following the installation, the signal is now available in all required office areas. UCtel may return to provide support for additional networks. 

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