How to amplify the mobile signal in a large shopping centre, with several floors and underground parking?

21 Apr 2021

Large shopping centres are designed to accommodate thousands of people, and on special dates or times of the year it seems that everyone is doing their shopping on the same day. But could these large shopping centres exist without adequate mobile coverage for their customers, and is it possible to make phone calls or use the internet even three floors below ground level in the car park?

Mobile coverage problems in large shopping centres

Ensuring that such a large number of people can get mobile coverage inside such a large building is no easy task. If it is an old building, then it will probably have been built with large stone walls. If it is very modern, then they will have used modern, energy-saving materials in its construction. This poses the following problems:

  • Stone or reinforced concrete walls seriously block the mobile signal.
  • Large windows have a metal coating that makes it difficult for the mobile signal to penetrate.
  • Modern insulation includes aluminium sheeting, which prevents the mobile signal from transmitting freely.
  • Metal roofs block the mobile signal almost as much as they block the rain.

Added to this, the cost of land means that these large shopping centres are often built in peripheral areas, somewhat distant from the operators’ phone towers that cover the city centre. It may even be hard to get a decent signal outside the centre, let alone inside.

The good news is that, even if the mobile signal is weak, it can be amplified and distributed.

If you can receive a reasonable mobile signal outside (on the roof, for example) then an antenna can pick it up and channel it inside the building via coaxial cable. Then, once the signal is inside, it can be amplified and distributed.

Stelladoradus iRepeater (iR6) can receive this mobile signal and provide a sufficient level of amplification for it to be transported to the different areas that require mobile coverage (such as the different floors of the building). It amplifies ALL operators and ALL mobile frequencies (700-2600MHz) and standards(GSM,3G,4G,5G) at the same time.

If this distance exceeds 30 metres (as is often the case in these large shopping centres), then we will also use the Stelladoradus i-lineamplifier (iL6). The iL6 provides additional amplification to feed four panel antennas, which will be spread around the centre in order to distribute the signal. Using splitters, we can install as many iL6’s line amplifiers as necessary, to cover even the biggest shopping centers.

Besides its primary function of boosting mobile signal throughout your building, the iR6 has many other additional functions. You can control it remotely over the internet, monitor its performance, turn on/off bands, attenuate bands, reboot the device, plus much more. You can view all your repeaters/lineamps inside your building on the online dashboard, where you can see the “health” of all your devices and be warned of any issues.

Stelladoradus repeaters are designed and manufactured in Ireland. They comply with all European regulations so you can be assured that your system operates “safely” on the operators network.

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