Before implementing CEL-FI QUATRA throughout all eight floors, Atlantic Technology Group met with the client and agreed to set up one floor as a proof of concept using one QUATRA Network Unit (NU), which is the head end of the system, and three remote internal antennas, known as Coverage Units (CU). Based on the initial results, the newspaper agreed to expand the installation to all eight floors.
Since the building is leased, Atlantic Technology Group also reviewed the site survey with the building owner and got their approval for antenna placement on top of the building. “The nice thing about the Nextivity solution is that the antennas are very non-obtrusive. They’re relatively small in size, not these big satellite antennas. Building owners are typically pleased with the size,” says Harrington.
Washington D.C. is a very congested environment with a lot of interference from other cellular traffic. “In the heart of DC, no matter where you are, inside buildings the signal doesn’t always give you a good signal to noise ratio,” explains Harrington. “It was pretty bad on the roof, and we had to move the antennas many times to get the best signal.”
Harrington explained how they used the installation tools provided with CEL-FI QUATRA to determine the best positioning of the antennas. “We used the CEL-FI MIMO antennas, with data and voice on separate ports, and moved the antennas many times to get the best signal. We used Nextivity’s AntennaBoost solution to determine the best direction. Then we went into the individual NUs with CEL-FI WAVE to see the Signal to Noise ratio and looked at the RSRQ and RSRP, RSSI and SINR to see the gain we were getting. In the end, we had to point the external roof antennas down to get out of the noise area.”
Hard ceilings in the building were another issue encountered by Atlantic Technology Group. This was resolved by putting the CEL-FI QUATRA CUs in strategic locations, such as lights and access panels. Harrington explains that because QUATRA utilizes Power over Ethernet (PoE) and RF over Ethernet, there was a lot of flexibility on where the coverage units could be placed.
“With PoE it is easier because you don’t have to find a source to light up your coverage unit. Not too many companies have power sources in the ceiling. You would either have to get an electrician out to put in power or put in power cables hanging from the ceiling, which wouldn’t work,” says Harrington. “The client also really liked the way the coverage units look. They look like access points, so blend in well with their existing infrastructure.”