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QUATRA connects campus apartments

CEL-FI QUATRA connects cellular power users at campus area apartments



  • A student apartment complex near Arizona State University had a high turnover rate because of poor indoor coverage
  • Construction material made it impossible for cellular signals to penetrate the buildings



  • QUATRA CU’s 100 ft radius allows for bigger bubbles and therefore saved money on the design
  • It took 3 days to complete the installation with a 5-man team
  • Owners were so pleased they scheduled more installations for the complex

The Challenge

The lack of indoor coverage was resulting in a high tenant turnover rate of the largely millennial renters. Those who did stay were not shy about voicing their displeasure—including online. With its reputation at stake, the compound owners called in Illuminati Labs to provide indoor coverage for all four major carriers.
“This demographic has grown up in a digital world. Their cell phones are their lifeline, so they need good coverage,” explains Adam Rubey, co-founder of Illuminati Labs. “If we failed to provide that, they would continue to look for alternative living arrangements and posting negative reviews about the building.”
An initial assessment of the first 162,000 square feet 4-story building uncovered several challenges. The “hard lid” ceilings in the hallways meant that the team could not simply lift the tiles to access the grid, making cabling more difficult. The aesthetics of the building limited Illuminati’s ability to place units in certain places. And since the building was occupied, the team was only able to work within certain timeframes during the day.

The Solution

Illuminati Labs decided to install CEL-FI QUATRA, an active DAS hybrid that delivers uniform, in-building cellular coverage and specifically addresses the challenges of poor voice quality, dropped calls, and dead zones in buildings from up to 10,000 to 500,000 sq. ft.
In the first building, a total of two CEL-FI QUATRA Network Units (NUs), the headends of the system, and eight Coverage Units (CUs), the remote units that distribute the signal, were installed in each of the hallways to provide residents with 4G service for all four major carriers throughout the building (chart on next page).
“In apartments, the owners don’t want any of the equipment inside the individual units where behind closed doors they could be touched by occupants, so having the equipment out in a common area prevents this,” explains Rubey. “QUATRA CUs will cover a 100-foot radius where everyone else on the market covers a 50-foot radius. This gives you more of a coverage bubble that goes up and down floors as well as just on that individual floor. We were able to use half as many units and stagger and spread them out in the hallways to get great coverage throughout the building and save them money in the design.”
As the building had unique details on the ceilings, such as up-lighting and cove-lighting, the owners also had aesthetic concerns in retrofitting the building with cabling and devices. “They didn’t want to see these devices, so having half as many was a positive. But most importantly, QUATRA uses category cabling and it’s so much easier to run the cable down to a coverage unit as opposed to an RG-11 garden hose that doesn’t bend, doesn’t turn, and it’s big and bright blue. It’s hard to hide that huge RG-11 garden hose down a hallway,” says Rubey.

Illuminati Labs

  • Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado
  • 12 employees
  • Offers cell phone signal boosters to clients in the hospitality, real estate, healthcare, education, and other industries
  • Aims to provide rooftop-quality cell coverage from the penthouse to below ground
  • Marquis clients include the Marriott, Hilton, and Hampton Inn brands

The Results

It took Illuminati’s five-man team three days to complete the installation of the first building. The owners were so pleased with the results, Illuminati has already installed CEL-FI QUATRA in the second apartment building in the complex, and the other four buildings are scheduled for installation over the next 18 months.
“Having a strong cellular connection inside a building is no longer optional, especially for millennials,” says Rubey. “With CEL-FI QUATRA, it’s easy to make always-on connectivity a reality for those who need it most.”
  • 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.