Eyewear manufacturer expands coverage

Summary

Challenge
• Global eyewear manufacturer required cellular coverage for employees in one of its manufacturing facilities
• The fully insulated facility is comprised of aluminum siding and features indoor metal partitions, blocking signal
• Existing small cells only provided partial coverage, and the customer needed another solution quickly

Solution
• Cel-Fi QUATRA

Results
• Impressed customers with the quality of the connection
• Quick installation

The Challenge

This global eyewear manufacturer required coverage for its three-storey, 250,000 square foot manufacturing facility to enable employee communication. With the exception of some cubicles around the perimeter for managers, there are no set workplaces or offices, which means cell phones are the main communication tool for most employees. However, the facility is completely insulated and sided with aluminum, with virtually no windows, making it difficult for signal to penetrate the building. Inside, metal objects such as machinery and storage racks further prevented signal propagation.

In some cases, metal wall partitions were used specifically to block signal to prevent interference between machines. The company also has a white room – a highly sterile and controlled area with set temperature, humidity, and pressure levels – which is used to assemble eyewear.

The Solution

As a large corporate client of one of the major carriers in the U.S., the company had already deployed a series of small cells. Unfortunately, they only provided partial coverage – as soon as employees stepped beyond the coverage bubble, they were unable to connect to their phones.

Growing increasingly frustrated, the company turned to Winncom, a worldwide distributor of wireless and wired broadband equipment and services. Founded in 1996, Winncom identifies, designs, and implements reliable, cost-effective solutions available on the market, providing services ranging from pre-sale consulting to post-sale engineering support.

Customers benefit from Winncom’s experience as well as its vast array of engineering resources, who serve as experts to Winncom’s extensive network of more than 10,000 resellers in 90 markets worldwide.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to provide value to customers, which is why, after more than two decades in business, Winncom offers everything from site survey and initial designs to equipment quotes and installation supervision,” says Igor Kurochin, vice president of marketing at Winncom. “Unlike typical box distributors, we have invested heavily in our people. As a result, we have multiple engineers who are iBwave Level 3-certified and are well versed in in-building wireless network planning and management techniques.”

iBwave is the standard for in-building software and training. Its software solutions are commonly used to plan, design, and deploy wireless network projects of all sizes, comprised of many different technologies. iBwave offers a certification program for those in the in-building industry. Winncom’s extensive investment in iBwave also gives its partners access to more, and different, business opportunities.

Winncom regularly works with leading industry manufacturers, like Nextivity, and stays informed of the latest in-building coverage technologies and innovations. That’s why the team recommended the Cel-Fi QUATRA active DAS hybrid from Nextivity.

“Cel-Fi QUATRA is more cost effective because we need less equipment and less labor, and it’s easier and faster to deploy,” explains Komil Shamgunov, a senior system engineer at Winncom. “The customer wanted a solution that could be up and running within a month, and didn’t want to be tied up in conversations with its carrier for months. Cel-Fi QUATRA was the obvious choice.”

Following a site survey and deployment design, the Winncom team oversaw the installation of 23 Cel-Fi QUATRA Coverage Units (CUs) and six Network Units (NUs) by two installers from a partner company. NUs were placed on the second floor in IT closets along the perimeter of the building, and connected to six Cel-Fi Wideband Directional Antennas, which served as donor antennas, on the roof. Using iBwave, they determined the best placement of the CUs in various locations around the building, including one right outside the white room.

The entire installation was complete within eight days.

The Results

Prior to the installation of Cel-Fi QUATRA, signal strength registered in the range of -130 and -135 dBm. Afterwards, it was -95 dBm. How did the significant gain in signal manifest itself to employees?

“The easiest way to test signal is to stream something online,” says Shamgunov. “If you can watch a video without any buffering or disruption, it’s as good an indication as any that you have sufficient signal strength in the building.”

Not only was the customer impressed at the quality of the connection – they even had coverage in the white room – but also how quickly Cel-Fi QUATRA was installed. This comes as no surprise to Winncom, which completes between 30 and 40 QUATRA designs each month.

“Cel-Fi QUATRA is, hands down, the best solution for any enterprise struggling with cell phone coverage indoors,” says Kurochin. “We recommend it to all of our partners, who are embracing it. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Nextivity and together, taking in-building coverage to the next level.”

  • Boosts FirstNet Bands 12 and 14
  • 4G / LTE Voice and Data
  • Up to 15,000 ft2 (1,500 m2) of Coverage
  • Indoor / Outdoor NEMA 4 Rated

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.

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