High-tech electric vehicle (EV) charging stations add a certain appeal to retail, commercial, and residential properties. On top of the allure they offer to the growing number of EV drivers, EV charging stations can be practical, offering capabilities for remotely monitoring and payment processing. But many of these stations require cellular connectivity to operate and the locations where they are installed can oftentimes be problematic.
Take the example of a large national U.S. builder that needed reliable cellular coverage throughout a 20,000-square-foot parking garage in the lower and sub-ground levels of a multi-use building with retail spaces and apartments. The building’s construction materials and urban environment, as well as an underground location, were obstructing cellular signals in the parking garage where six EV charging stations were installed. Another six stations were also going to be installed for customers of the retail stores located on the ground level of the building. Safety was a concern for residents and customers while in the garage.
An in-building installation and service provider was hired to bring reliable cellular coverage into the parking structure for the EV charging stations. The service provider designed a solution that features Cel-Fi QUATRA, an active DAS hybrid that delivers uniform in-building coverage for 3G/4G/5G, to cost-effectively bring cellular coverage from all major carriers to the EV charging stations and into the parking garage.
Cel-Fi QUATRA specifically addresses the challenges of poor voice quality, dropped calls, and dead zones in large commercial facilities. Unlike analog boosters and older 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.
According to the installation team, one Cel-Fi QUATRA Network Unit (NU) – the head end of the system – was installed on the 10th floor MDF closet of the building. Four directional antennas – one for each carrier – were installed on the roof and coax cable was run from the rooftop down to the NU on 10th floor. The NU supports and enhances the outdoor signal, and digitally re-transmits the carrier signal with zero signal loss via CAT5 cabling to four QUATRA Coverage Units (CUs), the intelligent internal antennas of the system, including one CU that was installed on the ground parking level. The installation team then extended coverage by running coax from the CUs to passive antennas installed on the first and second floors.
Within one week, a team of two technicians was able to install Cel-Fi QUATRA along with the cabling, to provide cellular connectivity for the EV charging stations and improve cellular coverage for all major carriers in the parking structure for general communications and safety of residents and retail customers.
The market for in-building cellular coverage solutions continues to heat up and Cel-Fi QUATRA can help you maximize the opportunities, according to this installer. “We’re definitely starting to see more of the demand for cellular connectivity for EV parking stations. Cel-Fi QUATRA enables us to effectively address this growing market opportunity by providing a solution that meets clients’ needs today and tomorrow.”