Wawa Community Centre

A Small Town’s Hub for Connectivity – In-Building Cellular Solution (65,000 sq ft).

In the small town of Wawa in Northern Ontario, Canada, the 3,000 inhabitants of the town saw their local community centre as their central location for all festivities and events. The Michipicoten Community Centre is one of the nicest in the area, and serves as the venue for weddings, meetings, and parties. It also houses a gym, ice arena and curling rink in its 65,000 square-foot space.

Dilemma

Because the building was a large, metal-sided structure and also had a metal roof on the ice arena, cell phone signals within the building were problematic. With the multiple-use nature of the facility, the uptick of the building staff now using cellular phones as their sole source of communications, and the building requiring round-the- clock supervision, having cellular access became mandatory for the safety and security of staff and visitors. Several dead zones existed, and the building had generally poor cellular service overall, measuring 100db on HSPA+.

Solution

Given the size of the facility, a robust solution was required to ensure complete cellular coverage throughout the building. The community centre was aware of the need for an industrial quality system that provided maximum signal strength and coverage throughout the facility. Telecommunications specialists Northland Consultants, who was awarded the project, surveyed the building. Based on the needs, the SureCall Force5 was the chosen solution for Wawa’s community centre. Options presented by other vendors were inferior technical solutions for a similar price point. The Force5 was chosen because the community centre wanted the building to be LTE capable at the now widely available Bell 700MHz spectrum. Installing the Force5 prevented them from having to revisit the situation again in a few years when more bandwidth would be required to meet the building’s capacity.

Results

Following the installation, the signal strength was a strong five bars, with -83db signal throughout the community centre. Additionally, the Bell 4G/LTE signal strength was an outstanding -80db throughout the centre. Normal 4G/LTE signals are typically 20db higher than 3G/HSPA, so a remarkable improvement in cell phone reception was felt throughout the facility. LTE speeds on the Bell 700Mhz network are also as high as 30Mbps for download speed and 10Mbps upload speed, with latency in the 50ms range – outstanding figures for such a large facility. The community centre staff and patrons were pleased with the results – strong cellular coverage in every corner of the facility.

About Northland Consultants

Northland Consultants is a telecom consulting service that specializes in the sale and installation of SureCall cellular signal booster systems and other wireless technologies. Northland Consultants make wireless work indoors – bringing voice and internet service to poor signal locations and remote areas.

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