Verizon was pretty much nonexistent in about 85% of the buildings. T-Mobile was good in about 30% of the buildings. Then AT&T was about 60% of all the buildings. However, it was very spotty and would disconnect.”
To kick-off the project, the BearCom team did testing to understand what cellular signal was available from outside (off-air). The tests showed there was sufficient macro signal strength to provide reliable coverage throughout the medical campus when distributed indoors. BearCom also determined which towers had the best signal using Nextivity’s CEL-FI COMPASS handheld, smart RF data collection device. COMPASS is designed to scan and measure the signal strength and quality of multiple commercial cellular bands and technologies.
CEL-FI QUATRA Chosen as the Solution
Bearcom chose to install the CEL-FI QUATRA 4000 active DAS hybrid with the CEL-FI QUATRA Fiber Hub. This solution allowed BearCom to use the existing fiber backhaul already installed at the compound, helping UTMB save considerably on cost. QUATRA could also be installed faster and at a much lower cost than a traditional distributed antenna system, according to Cisco.
CEL-FI QUATRA 4000 is a multi-carrier, active DAS hybrid for 5G/4G/3G that provides in-building cellular coverage to large commercial buildings. The CEL-FI QUATRA Fiber Hub expands cellular coverage in QUATRA 4000 deployments on multi-building campuses. The Fiber Hub is used to dis-tribute the donor signal via optical fiber from one building or location to the next. The QUATRA 4000 Network Unit (NU – the headend of the system) receives the donor signal off-air from outdoor antennas. The NU transmits the signal over fiber to the Fiber Hub with up to 100 dB gain and no signal loss. The Fiber Hub can be installed up to 1.2 miles away from the NU to provide uniform in-building cellular coverage.
“We walked to areas where they were never able to call out like the physical therapy area. We didn’t run into any location where we could not place phone calls on all carriers. So overall, everywhere we went, there was a significant improvement in coverage,”