CEL-FI Brings Signal to Large Disti Center


• Logistics company opened a new distribution center covering 650,000 square feet
• Rural location and building materials blocked cellular signals from entering the large building, hindering employee productivity
• Coverage problems in strategic areas of the building had to be addressed to maximize ROI


• Very low cost per square foot
• Quick 2-day install
• Significant cellular coverage improvements

The Challenge

A North Carolina-based logistics company opened up a new 650,000 sq. ft. distribution center in Arizona. Approximately 100 employees work out of this facility and are spread out throughout the warehouse and front office space. While inside the facility, employees were having trouble making and receiving cellular calls due to the signal being blocked from penetrating the building. Being unable to reach an employee by cell phone, a manager would have to walk over to the employee’s location in the warehouse or office. This would consume as much as 20 minutes to deliver an important communication or get the answer to a question, instead of a 20-to-30 second phone call.

The company wanted to address the cellular coverage issues at the lowest cost possible. Based on its past experience working with VAST Signal Booster Solutions, the logistics provider asked the Winston-Salem, NC-based systems integrator to design a solution to bring a strong cellular signal inside the building while keeping costs down.

“Coverage issues were caused by a number of factors, including the exterior construction of the building which was a reinforced 12-inch thick concrete slab. The building is also located on the edge of a suburban area bordering a rural area. So, they were starting off with a weaker signal outside,” explains Steve Klingensmith, President of VAST Signal Boosters. “With fewer towers in that area and material obstructions, strong signals were prevented from coming into the building.”

The Solution

VAST Signal Booster Solutions conducted an extensive in-building walk test through the entire warehouse and office space. This showed the areas of strong and weak coverage, which areas of the building needed to be boosted, and how much equipment was needed. “The best way to determine your cell phone signal strength is to check your RAW signal strength. That’s why the walk test was extremely important. The client knew that they were getting just what they needed,” adds Klingensmith.

After assessing the logistic provider’s coverage challenges, VAST Signal Booster Solutions installed CEL-FI QUATRA 2000, an active DAS hybrid that delivers uniform in-building cellular coverage. It specifically addresses the challenges of poor voice quality, dropped calls, and dead zones in large commercial buildings. Unlike analog boosters and 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.

“With its active DAS hybrid technology and up to 100dB max gain per band, CEL-FI QUATRA lets us install large buildings with complicated interior design elements, like this warehouse, with peace of mind,” says Klingensmith.

Maximizing coverage to deliver outstanding ROI

To keep costs down, the logistics company chose four distinct areas where coverage was needed: the 8,000 sq. ft. front office where the executive staff is located; a receiving area on the north side of the building; a shipping area on the south side; and, another area where shipping and receiving personnel and others work on the floor.

VAST Signal Booster Solutions installed one CEL-FI QUATRA 2000 Network Unit (NU) – the head end of the system – in one of the high priority areas. The NU enhances the outdoor signal and digitally re-transmits it with zero signal loss via Cat 6 cables to four QUATRA Coverage Units (CUs) – which are the remote internal antennas. The CUs were strategically located on each floor of the building to boost Verizon and AT&T signals within each of the high priority areas. Two QUATRA 2000 Range Extenders were also installed.

The Results

The installation took two days and a team of three people to complete. Once everything was operational and commissioned, VAST Signal Booster Solutions went back and did another in-building walk test. Within the four areas, significant improvements for both Verizon and AT&T were seen, with bleed over coverage extending well beyond the immediate area where the CUs are installed.

“We were thrilled with the coverage propagation that we were able to get from just those four locations,” says Klingensmith. “We covered about 400,000 square feet of the facility so they got extreme value for their money. It came in at a very low cost per square foot.”

  • 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.