Cel-Fi salvages mobile connectivity for McLaren Construction HQ

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The Challenge

Boost mobile signal on all mobile networks
Local mobile network degradation in Brentwood
Thick walls on building facade

The Product

Business Benefits

  • 3-day installation
  • Building has full coverage throughout
  • Local area still has mobile signal problems

Business Profile

McLaren Construction is part of the larger McLaren group of companies. Established in 2001, they operate in construction, property and development in the UK and UAE, servicing customers in the private and public sectors. Their core markets include commercial offices, mixed-use buildings, residential, retail, education, distribution and logistics, hotels and leisure. McLaren aims to exceed customer expectations, leave a positive legacy in the communities they serve, protect the environment for future generations and promote a safe and inclusive workplace.

Business Needs

When cellular masts were removed from the Brentwood area in Essex, thousands were left with virtually non-existent mobile signal coverage. Due to the network change, McLaren Construction’s offices in Brentwood were adversely affected by the abrupt loss of mobile coverage and the surrounding area was now very much in a mobile network black spot. With the office now located further away from the nearest mobile phone tower, it soon became apparent that the thick external walls that made up made of the façade of the HQ building would only make the lack of in-building mobile signal more acute.

Driven by their strong corporate values, McLaren Construction were aware that without good mobile connectivity, their ability to exceed customers’ expectations would be undermined.

The Challenge

McClaren’s 3-storey head office is located on Kings Road in Brentwood, Essex. In June 2020, cellular masts were removed from the Ewing building on which it was mounted as the building was being redeveloped. These masts were used as a base station by all four major networks to provide 2G, 3G and 4G network coverage for the Brentwood area. The removal left thousands of Brentwood businesses and residents with virtually non-existent phone signal. With the networks and the council unable to agree on a new location for the masts, the problem is due to continue for the foreseeable future.

McClaren Construction was adversely affected by the abrupt signal loss and the offices were now in a mobile blackspot. Employees and visitors across all 3 floors of the building complained of no service on mobile phones, dropped and missed calls and poor audio quality. As McClaren was now located further away from the nearest cellular tower, the thick external concrete walls were blocking what little external mobile signal there was.

The Solution

Having had first-hand experience of OFCOM licence-exempt Cel-Fi solutions through successful deployments at other project sites, the McLaren IT team contacted Frequency to enquire about a solution to improve the mobile coverage in their office despite the recent changes to the mobile networks.

Based on the urgency of the situation, Frequency was instructed to carry out a site survey after the requirements of the deployment were discussed. The site survey would examine all the external and internal factors of the building and determine whether a Cel-Fi solution would be able to resolve their HQ mobile coverage dilemma. The survey confirmed that there was little to no signal inside the building. Crucially, it identified that there was enough mobile signal for all networks on the roof and confirmed that a Cel-Fi solution with high gain antennas would be successful in resolving the mobile signal issues.

The Cel-Fi SOLO solution was the best fit and most cost-effective solution to resolve the mobile coverage issues for all networks throughout the 3-storey building. Due to the short lead times proposed, the installation was agreed and completed within 3 days.

The all network Cel-Fi SOLO solution was installed by Zonewave, an accredited Cel-Fi installer partner of Frequency.

Following installation, the building now has full mobile coverage across all floors. Staff, contractors and visitors of the building can now use their mobiles for voice and data services with confidence in all areas of the building albeit much of Brentwood is still struggling with virtually non-existent phone signal in the area.

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