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CEL-FI Covers Leading Food Retailers Distribution Centre


  • One of the UK’s leading food retailers opening a new 70,000m2 Regional Distribution Centre in Peterborough.
  • Building materials blocked penetration of cellular signals from reaching 3rd floor offices and ground floor goods out areas.
  • Challenging cable routes due to high level cable tray above suspended ceiling and fire-stopped partitioning along across installation routes.
  • Needed coverage issues resolved so that voice and data services through network provider EE were reliable prior to becoming operational in August 2020.


  • CEL-FI QUATRA 1000/2000 (3 Network Units and 9 Coverage Units)


  • Immediate results in improvement to voice calls and data services within 3rd Floor Offices and Ground Floor Goods Out areas
  • Legally compliant, cost effective solution that was deployed in a very short timescale.
  • Improvement reported by end users

The Challenge

One of the fastest growing supermarket brands in the UK was building a new 70,000m2 Regional Distribution Centre in Peterborough. Like other modern warehouse structures the metal clad building acts as a Faraday Cage to mobile signals. The building itself has a single level office on the 3rd floor of the building, consisting of administrative areas, meeting rooms, training rooms and a canteen. The goods out area protrudes from the main building and comprises an office space and driver check-in desks on the ground floor.
All existing cable tray was located at high level above suspended ceiling throughout, making cable installation challenging in many areas. There were also a number of fire-stopped partitions that needed penetrating, which posed another challenge. Due to the Grenfell disaster aftermath and new regulations, it was important that all of these penetrations were identified so that they could be re fire- stopped by an accredited company to ensure they complied with the new regulations.
It was crucial that continuous, stable, mobile connectivity was present prior to the site becoming operational in August 2020 as many of the tasks undertaken by staff rely on voice and data services due to a limited number of desk phones. Staff often take calls on their work mobiles in the main offices and move into meeting rooms to continue the calls. Unreliable services can be disruptive as it results in staff having to leave their work areas to find signal near a window as well as numerous dropped calls, which reduce productivity.

The Solution

Pan RF visited the site and conducted a Live Coverage Test (LCT) survey to establish the current level of EE mobile coverage internally and externally at the site. The outcome of the survey confirmed that there was limited useable EE mobile coverage penetrating the building in the 3rd Floor Offices and Goods Out areas, which were the areas highlighted as being within scope by the customer.
Following the survey, a full report was produced where a Nextivity CEL-FI Quatra Solution was proposed to provide voice and data services on the EE network. The benefit of deploying a Nextivity CEL-FI Quatra Solution is that there is no need for the customer to seek approval from EE as it is licence-exempt. The other benefit of this solution is that it is very cost effective and can be deployed in a very short timescale.
Following approval of the proposal, an RF design was carried out using the iBwave Radio Propagation planning tool. Coverage predictions defined the number and location of the active antenna Coverage Units (CUs) and how many Network Units (NUs) would be required. External EE coverage is to be picked up on the MIMO donor antenna mounted at the highest point of the roof, ensuring clear line of site to the nearest EE macro site. Coaxial cabling then feeds the Cel- Fi Quatra NUs which amplify the signal before distributing the coverage via CAT- 6A cabling to the CEL-FI Quatra CUs.
Following installation of the system, the CEL-FI Quatra Solution was commissioned using the CEL-FI Wave Portal. Speed tests and walk tests were carried out using TEMs pocket software to provide further evidence of the improvement of coverage levels within the 3rd Floor Office and Ground Floor Goods Out areas.

The Results

Before the CEL-FI QUATRA solution was deployed very poor user experience was reported, with calls not connecting or often dropped, once connected There was also a very poor data service with both download and upload speeds particularly bad.
After the CEL-FI QUATRA solution was deployed excellent user experience was reported. Calls were received and initiated without any issues and data performance significantly outperformed the existing Wi-Fi and other Carrier/MNOs, improving day to day productivity.

About Pan RF

Pan RF designs and deploys in-building public cellular mobile connectivity and private mobile radio (PMR) coverage solutions, providing the seamless coverage business demands, offering network solutions to support the IoT and realizing the commercial potential and environmental benefits this offers.
Pan RF has delivered bespoke coverage solutions to clients across a wide range of sectors, creating connectivity-positive environments by designing and integrating distributed antenna systems (DAS) tailored to clients’ specific requirements.
As specialist systems engineers and neutral hosts, Pan RF works with building owners, managers and tenants to ensure total mobile coverage for end users, bolstering the attractiveness and revenue potential of building owners’ assets with future-ready network coverage solutions.
  • High-quality solution for the middleprise
  • Supports multi-carrier 3G/4G/LTE voice and data
  • Carrier-approved and unconditionally network safe
  • Can be monitored and managed using CEL-FI WAVE

Contact us today to help with your Cellular Coverage Problems

This CEL-FI installation was undertaken by our partners, in which CEL-FI has a global footprint in almost 100 countries. For a referral to a local expert in your area, please contact us via phone or email.