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Achieving strong mobile coverage across all four UK networks at a large factory with an indoor area of 47,000 sqm.


UCtel improved the mobile signal of all four UK networks within a large factory in Sunderland, positively impacting the productivity and satisfaction level of 1,300 employees. The site contains the factory and offices for the central hub of European operations. The building covers an area of 47,000 sqm, with the areas requiring signal improvement up to 300 m apart. UCtel recommended using a solution based on Cel-Fi QUATRA 4000e to boost the signal indoors. 

We are very happy with the solution provided by UCtel. We had virtually no mobile coverage within the building at all and the solution has significantly improved this. Andrew Furness Controller – Information Systems

The Challenge

Unipres is a global manufacturer of press-formed automotive components. This plant in Sunderland, UK, is the focal point for its European operations and employs 1300 staff.

The mobile signal outside the factory is good. Yet the signal in the offices and breakout areas was poor to non-existent. It was affecting productivity and employee satisfaction.

Unipres needed all four UK networks to be available in the offices and breakout areas in various locations at the centre and around the edge of the building. Therefore some of the cable runs were around 300m long.

Unipres pic 1 1

The Solution

To boost all four UK networks UCtel proposed a solution based on Cel-Fi QUATRA 4000e.

Cel-Fi QUATRA is a distributed antenna system (DAS) hybrid solution that combines the strength of passive and active DAS technologies.

 It delivers a high-quality mobile signal in buildings. Cel-Fi QUATRA delivers a mobile signal up to 1000 times stronger than a pure analogue solution. It utilises CAT 5e/6 cabling for RF and power over ethernet. It carries no signal attenuation up to the transmitters within the perimeter of the building.

QUATRA 4000e was used due to the use of Cat5e/6 structured cabling runs between Network Units and Coverage Units, which prevents loss of signal over long distances. By leveraging power over Ethernet (PoE), Coverage Units can be installed anywhere in the building as they do not need to be near a power outlet. UCtel used range extenders to reach the furthest areas.

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;
Unipres pic 2

The Installation

UCtel performed a pre-installation survey to measure the signals in the building and to design a suitable solution. The survey identified a suitable location for the donor antennas on the roof in the centre of the building which could also be close to the Network Units.

Unipres pic 3

To connect the Coverage Units to the Network Unit CAT 6 cabling was installed throughout the building by Unipres’ cabling contractor. Also, UCtel used QUATRA 4000e range extenders to allow the Coverage Units to be up to 300m away from the Network Unit.

UCtel installed coaxial cabling and passive Omni antennas in the areas of passive DAS where additional coverage was required.

The Results

The factory’s offices and breakout areas now have full mobile coverage. All four UK networks have a stable signal, which positively results  in employee productivity and satisfaction. 

UСtel used a distributed antenna system hybrid solution Cel-Fi QUATRA 4000e to deliver a high-quality mobile signal within the buildings. The solution is monitored and supported via a managed service from UCtel ensuring  that coverage is maintained and any incidents or changes are quickly addressed.

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