Racing With a Reliable Mobile Coverage Solution At the 2021 Dakar Rally
Cel-Fi GO M provides essential mobile connectivity to the BRX Bahrain Raid Xtreme team in their pursuit of victory at the 2021 Dakar Rally.
Every year the Dakar Rally captures the hearts and minds of motorsport enthusiasts around the world. Amateur and professional teams enter with modified off-road vehicles to race across 4,700 miles of gruelling inhospitable terrains like sand dunes, mud, grass, and rocks over the course of 14 days. This epic endurance race, considered one of the most dangerous in the world, competes for guts and glory, and provide participants with the ultimate in adventure racing.
The 43rd Dakar Rally takes place from 3rd – 15th January 2021 and starts and ends in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 295 teams entered the race across all racing categories. One of these teams is BRX Bahrain Raid Xtreme.
The BRX Bahrain Raid Xtreme team consists of British motorsport and technology company Prodrive and is backed by Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund. The team is competing for the coveted top spot in the all-new, custom-designed Prodrive BRX T1 ‘Hunter’, a purpose-built car intended for off-road events.
- Reliable mobile connectivity between vehicles
- Remote management of mobile booster
- Network switching
- 1 x Cel-Fi GO M mobile signal booster
- 1 x Trucker Antenna
- 1 x Patch Antenna
- Switch between mobile networks
- Withstand harsh conditions including dust and water exposure
- Maintain 4G signal while on the move
- Quick installation
The BRX support team will follow in an HGV race office and two management cars. The race office carries the control centre and communication hub from where the core support team have an overview of the entire event. Good connectivity is critical to ensure that there is always reliable two-way communication available which will ensure that support can be carried out timeously and effectively.
The race office was fitted out at Prodrive’s HQ in Banbury, Oxford. Technologies and systems were put through extensive stress tests to ensure that they would perform optimally in the challenging terrain and climate. During these trials, it was discovered that there was very little mobile signal available inside the race office resulting in the inability of the team to communicate on their mobile devices whilst inside. The lack of mobile signal was the cause of great concern as the team extensively rely on their mobile devices to stay in touch with the other support vehicles and race control. This could ultimately affect the team’s chance of success at the rally.
To mitigate this, IT and Telecom’s company, Activ Technology Ltd, looked for a solution to the problem. As an existing reseller of Frequency Telecom, Activ Technology contacted Frequency to find out whether they could assist with a legal, robust and reliable in-vehicle mobile signal booster solution which could easily be configured to enhance mobile signal in the UK, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. As the master distributor of Cel-Fi products in the UK, Frequency is widely regarded as the experts in providing in-building and in-vehicle mobile signal booster solutions.
After several consultative sessions involving Activ Technology, Frequency and Nextivity, it was determined that the cause of the problem was down to the materials used in the build of the race office, preventing mobile signal from penetrating the body of the vehicle. The Cel-Fi GO M in-vehicle signal booster was agreed to be the optimal solution to overcome the signal issues within the race office.
But how does it work? Cel-Fi GO M uses smart technology to amplify the frequency bands from the mobile network provider via reception antennas. Nextivity has engineered the award winning Intelliboost® chipset which sits at the heart of the Cel-Fi booster. Effectively, it picks up mobile signal from outside of the vehicle using donor antennas, brings it inside the vehicle to where the GO M booster does its magic, by boosting and enhancing the mobile signal, and then sending it around the inside of the vehicle via small server antennas. Cel-Fi GO M automatically adapts to the moving environment to optimise mobile coverage while improving voice quality and data speeds.
Cel-Fi GO M is managed via the WAVE portal which allows users to switch networks and provides a dashboard to view to the status of the mobile signal environment. For the Prodrive team, this meant that they would be able to switch between the different mobile networks and manage the solution from the control centre within the race office.
Frequency advised Activ Technology to provide Prodrive with the solution comprising of 1 x Trucker Antenna as the donor antenna, 1 x Cel-Fi GO M signal booster and 1 x Patch Antenna as the server antenna.
The Cel-Fi GO M solution was installed in the race office at the Banbury HQ and configured to the corporate network. The deployment was a success. From near to no signal in the race office previously, the team were able to benefit from 5 bars of mobile coverage within the race office vehicle when the booster was active. Mobile phone calls and text messages made to and from the race office were now much more reliable and allowed the team to communicate more effectively with all team members.
The rally cars and support vehicles were then transported from the UK to the UAE in November 2020 for further trials. While there, the Cel-Fi GO M booster was configured to one of the local networks and used to enhance the mobile coverage within the race office while stationed in the UAE. Once the team moved on to Saudi Arabia, the Cel-Fi GO M booster was configured to a local network and is currently providing essential mobile connectivity to the BRX Bahrain Rally Xtreme team in their pursuit of victory!
We are proud to have supplied this fantastic team and wish them all the best in this ruthless endurance event.
Follow their progress on their Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/prodrive.
All images are the property of Prodrive, accessed and shared with permission on 11 January 2021, https://twitter.com/prodrive.
Activ Technology provides managed IT and telephony services to SME and education partners. They support their customers with IT, mobiles, telecoms infrastructures and day-to-day requirements. From inception, they believe that one size does not fit all and create bespoke solutions for all the businesses they work with to help them get the most out of their technology. Activ are a local company dedicated to delivering friendly and class-leading service.
Prodrive is a world-leading motorsport and advanced technology business. Their business and culture is founded in motorsport but also help businesses in the automotive, aerospace, marine and other sectors create innovative engineering solutions which realise their ambitions. The talented team is constantly pushing and exploring the boundaries to turn their customers’ ideas into reality. They thrive on a challenge and believe that what they can achieve is unlimited.
Established in 2002, Frequency employs over 60 people, across the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. Frequency Telecom is the master distributor of Nextivity’s Cel-Fi range of mobile signal boosters in the UK and Ireland. Cel-Fi products are licence-exempt and fully meets the regulatory requirements in the UK (Ofcom SI 2018/399) and Ireland (ComReg S.I.No.283 of 2018).
Headquartered in San Diego, Nextivity Inc. develops the award-winning line of Cel-Fi products that optimize cellular coverage in homes, office and enterprise buildings. Cel-Fi products are self-configuring and leverage the advanced signal-processing and radio design of Nextivity’s IntelliBoost chipset to deliver the industry’s highest gain at the lowest cost per square foot. The Cel-Fi commitment is to protect the operator’s network, deliver the best in-building mobile performance, and be the easiest solution to install.