According to Aksentis, cost and an easy installation were the key considerations when choosing the solution to rectify the coverage issues in the
grocery chain’s stores. As a result, EMEGC chose to deploy CEL-FI QUATRA, a multi-carrier hybrid active DAS for 5G/4G/3G voice and data.
CEL-FI QUATRA specifically addresses the challenges of poor voice quality, dropped calls, and dead zones in large commercial facilities. Unlike analog
boosters and older passive DAS systems, QUATRA delivers a cellular signal that is up to 1000x stronger, offering a much larger coverage footprint.
QUATRA uses category cabling with Power over Ethernet, so there is no need to install additional power outlets for the internal remote antennas.
Aksentis says one CEL-FI QUATRA system was installed in each store. The Network Unit (NU) – the head end of the system – was put in a Main
Distribution Frame (MDF), or another IT cam room. Each NU supports and enhances the outdoor signals for AT&T and Verizon, and digitally
re-transmits the carrier signals with zero signal loss via category cabling to a QUATRA Coverage Unit (CU), the remote internal antenna.
“We take a look at propagation and predictions to determine the placement of the CU,” explains Aksentis. “We typically run our cables back to either
the cam room or the MDF but sometimes it might change if we have to adjust the roof penetration. If the roof penetration is directly above the cam
room or the MDF, that allows us to get a shorter, quicker run for the cabling.”
When it comes to positioning the antennas, Aksentis says his team couldn’t do the job without the CEL-FI WAVE app. Designed as the interface for
CEL-FI products, WAVE provides installers with an effortless way to quickly and easily register, configure, and manage CEL-FI devices.
“The WAVE App saves a lot of time and headaches from trying to analyze which tower you’re pointing at and moving things around and determining
if you’re actually hitting that specific carrier, different carriers, or multiple carriers. It streamlines the whole process,” he adds.
To date, CEL-FI QUATRA has been installed at 380 outlets, both existing stores and new builds, with each ranging in size from 40,000 to 50,000 ft2.
Using two to three technicians, the installations were done overnight when the stores were closed to customers. “Working closely with the customer,
EMEGC created a logistical installation plan to complete the installs When we install in existing stores, we actually do everything all in one
night,’ including the system’s wiring and, installation and commissioning. of the system,” says Aksentis.
“The data the client got back was that the majority of their customers and/or staff that work in these stores wtere able to test the signal quality
using Verizon and AT&T,” explains Aksentis. “The client wanted a system that could be put in and they’d see a benefit right away and CEL-FI