At the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, faculty and staff rely heavily on their cell phones — but indoor cell coverage has been a challenge.
"The University of New Mexico has many older buildings made with a lot of concrete and rebar, where we were not getting reception," said facilities manager Jeff Kleeman. "We also have a lot of subterranean areas, and reception there was non-existent."
Kleeman and his team talked to representatives from all four major cell carriers. The carrier reps said they could put antennas on top of some of the buildings but that would probably not help — the signals would still not reach inside the buildings. They said the concrete, steel and building materials used to make buildings LEED [Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design] certified would effectively block the signal.
"As for the subterranean areas of the buildings," Kleeman recalled, "well, forget about it. The carriers said we had to grab that signal outside the building and bring it inside."
Kleeman concluded that carriers are mostly interested in spreading their signals over large geographic areas. "I guess their business model does not include developing in-building solutions."
That's when Kleeman and his team called on Repeater Store, a SureCall installer. "We put antennas on the roof to grab the outside signals, connected them to the boosters, then connected inside antennas to the boosters and placed them in the areas where coverage was needed."
The result: "Exactly what we had hoped for," said Kleeman.