With Cel-Fi Quatra, lone worker devices are reliably connected to provide the right kind of help to care home staff as and when they need it.
Clarence Park Village provide their care home staff with lone worker devices to ensure that they can call for assistance and be located when a situation requires it. However, poor mobile connectivity inside the building rendered the devices unreliable. Frequency Telecom and ZoneWave deployed an Ofcom-compliant Cel-Fi Quatra mobile signal solution to provide reliable EE mobile coverage throughout the building and keep the emergency devices connected.
Clarence Park Village – Extra Care Facility
Clarence Park Village is an ‘Extra Care’ retirement village located in the foothills of the Malvern Hills. The Village offers people aged 55+ the opportunity to live an independent, active lifestyle in their own homes, with access to quality support and additional care as their needs change over time.
The 3-storey, 150,000 ft² building contains 101 spacious apartments and a range of on-site services, including a health and beauty salon, gym, library, craft room and greenhouse, along with eateries including a coffee shop, restaurant, and bar.
For those residents who require support, the care team aims to help them retain as much independence, for as long as possible. Care is tailored to the unique requirements of the individual, provided within the comfort and privacy of their own apartment.
- Reliable mobile connectivity for lone worker equipment
- Provide mobile signal solution in all communal areas, corridors and walkways
- Energy efficient construction materials prevent mobile signal in the building.
- 150,000 ft2 building on 3 levels
- Cel-Fi QUATRA solution was deployed in 4 days
- Licence-exempt, mobile network approved
- Lone worker devices operate optimally
Cel-Fi products are licence-exempt and fully comply with Ofcom’s UK Interface requirement 2102 (IR2102) (UK) and ComReg S.I.No.283 of 2018 (Ireland)
The Challenge To Provide Indoor Mobile Coverage Inside Clarence Park Village
To provide 24/7 care, staff are equipped with a mobile phone and a lone worker safety device to ensure that they are always contactable. The slim and ultra-light SOS ID Badge alarm, which doubles up as an identity card holder, has a panic button and GPS location tracking which can quickly pinpoint their location in the event of an emergency. The device can be clipped onto their uniform or carried around their neck with a lanyard.
Good mobile coverage throughout the building is imperative to ensure that the Village can keep their staff and residents connected and to provide the care services they need. The lone worker safety device also requires a sim card and good mobile connectivity to operate.
However, mobile connectivity inside the building, particularly on the corporate network, was poor. The hills and topography of the surrounding area coupled with the building’s structure and use of energy efficient materials prevented mobile signal from penetrating into the internal spaces of Clarence Park Village. Given the size of the Village, the lack of in-building mobile coverage was a risk to staff safety and wellbeing in the case of an emergency.
To mitigate the risk and to ensure staff would have the mobile coverage needed to assist them in providing services to residents, Clarence Park Village set out to find a solution.
The Solution To Resolve Indoor Mobile Connectivity At Clarence Park Village
Frequency Telecom, master distributors of Cel-Fi products in the UK and Ireland, were introduced to Platform Housing Ltd, who work in partnership with Clarence Park Village, to discuss a viable solution for improving the poor mobile coverage. The requirement was to develop a solution that included all communal areas, corridors and walkways within the 150,000 ft² building.
From reviewing floor plans and with an understanding of the requirements, Cel-Fi Quatra was presented as a viable option, subject to a site survey. A site survey is always recommended prior to installation, to check the external macro network conditions and to design the most cost-effective method of deploying of a successful solution.
ZoneWave, one of Frequency’s enlisted Cel-Fi certified installation partners, was commissioned to perform the site survey. The survey results showed that due to the quality and strength of the mobile signal outside the building, in addition to the size and layout of the building itself, Cel-Fi Quatra would be the only solution capable of delivering the level of mobile coverage required throughout.
Cel-Fi Quatra is an active DAS hybrid solution that delivers uniform in-building mobile coverage. This smart signal solution specifically addresses the challenges of poor voice quality, dropped calls, and areas of no mobile reception in large buildings. Unlike analog boosters and passive DAS systems, Quatra delivers a mobile signal that is up to 1000x stronger, offering a much larger coverage footprint. It also uses category cabling with Power over Ethernet (PoE), so there is no need to install additional power outlets for the internal remote antennas.
The Cel-Fi Quatra solution that was deployed consisted of:
- 3 Network Units (NUs)
- 12 Coverage Units (CUs)
- a MIMO donor antenna inside the roof vent housing
The survey also identified suitable cable routes from the roof down into the building and the use of existing cable trays and trunking to minimise disruption.
The CUs were distributed across the 3-levels of the care home to transmit the amplified mobile signal throughout the building. The installation of the solution was completed in 4 days.
Following installation, staff at Clarence Park Village have reported that their mobiles and the lone worker devices are now working much more effectively when they need to call for additional assistance. Much improved mobile connectivity within the building has given them the confidence that they can be tracked and located immediately should they need to raise the alarm.
Better connectivity will have lasting benefits across the care sector. Not only will care providers will be able to connect patients and residents with other health care professionals, families and loved ones, but it will also get care homes ready for the roll out of the Emergency Services Network (ESN) which runs over the 4G network.