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.