CEL-FI GO Smart Signal Booster Keeps Tugboat Connected on Mississippi River



  • A Mississippi River tugboat suffered from poor cellular connectivity in the captain’s wheelhouse and living quarters.
  • Dense, metal walls and the living quarters’ tucked away location resulted in limited cellular reception across the boat.
  • With other types of antennas installed on the boat, the cellular system could not interfere with existing communication systems.
  • The captain and crew needed strong voice and data cellular coverage for work-related and personal communication.


  • CEL-FI GO Smart Signal Booster


  • Whether at port or navigating the Mississippi, the CEL-FI system provides up to 100dB gain for strong, end-to-end cellular connectivity.
  • Those on board utilize reliable cellular reception for enhanced business communication as well as personal calls.
  • Fast and efficient installation that took less than two hours.
  • The vessel management company was so pleased with the system’s performance it outfitted its fleet of tugboats with CEL-FI solutions.

The Challenge

A global industry infrastructure and supply chain services company provides an extensive range of marine transportation offerings. Among those marine services, the company operates a fleet of tugboats that transport cargo up and down the Mississippi River. Designed to withstand harsh weather conditions during long cargo runs, the vessels are constructed with thick, metal walls and feature several facilities, including the captain’s wheelhouse and below living quarters. In addition to traveling to remote destinations where cellular coverage is spotty, the tugboat’s sturdy structure prevented cellular signals from penetrating the vessel, resulting in poor cellular reception for everybody on board. The captain and crew not only experienced issues with business-critical communication, but also struggled making personal calls. To solve this problem, the vessel management company required a top-notch cellular solution that significantly boosted the cellular reception across the boat.

The Solution

Providing the tugboat with reliable, front-to-back cellular reception, the company selected the CEL-FI GO Smart Signal Booster and its industry-leading signal gain. By boosting cellular signal up to 100dB, the tugboat is now equipped with strong cellular reception wherever it goes. Beyond enhanced cellular connectivity, GO provided the tugboat company a cost-effective solution that was easy to install. The outdoor omni marine donor antenna was mounted atop the boat, while the GO unit and a wideband panel sever antenna were installed inside the captain’s wheelhouse. For added coverage and best-possible performance throughout the entire vessel, the system also includes a splitter and second sever antenna down below in the living quarters. Once the installation was completed and the device was plugged in, GO boosted the cellular signal within minutes. Plus, the system is NEMA 4-rated for water, dust, and dirt resistance and designed to self-organize and not interfere with other wireless products or transmission signals.

The Results

CEL-FI GO enabled the crew to have strong reception at port or on the move. With just one CEL-FI GO unit and three antennas—one donor and two server antennas—the system offers a wide coverage area and took less than two hours to install. The crew was able to receive great cellular coverage for business communication about scheduling, coordinating, and finalizing operational logistics. They also had the added benefit of receiving personal calls and leveraging apps that require data usage. The tugboat company was so impressed with the performance of the system it decided to purchase additional CEL-FI solutions to equip the rest of its fleet with the same cellular connectivity.

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.