Connectivity in the food service industry

Creating mobile signal in the food service industry
Creating mobile signal in the food service industry

NET CS have  delivered a solution to a top restaurant chain that first opened in London in 2010.  This particular restaurant gained a Michelin star less than a year after opening, which it has retained ever since.

The restaurant has been included with some of the best in the world and it offers guests a world-class culinary experience. In their central London location they suffered from poor mobile service as they rely wholly on the signal that is provided from external radio sites. As with many of these types of locations these signals struggle to penetrate into the restaurant and this problem is made worse by the fact that half of the restaurant is located underground. The restaurant owners were concerned that its customers and VIP’s would not be happy without the ability to use their phones during their visits.

A public survey has suggested that over a fifth of people say that they have been “forced to leave the table” because they thought getting a signal more important than staying with the person they were dining with. 

Challenges and Considerations

Budget and aesthetics, were key to the client.  The proposed solution had to be appropriate in terms of costs to make it affordable for them.  They also were adamant that the infrastructure was installed out of view, and if it had to be visible that the impact was minimal, which presented some challenges.

Working times also had to fit in with the needs of the client, which meant this could only happen overnight, from 2am to 10am.

The Solution – Small cells

Small Cells were the chosen solution here, due to the capacity requirements and budget constraints of the client/project. The key for this solution to them was to have multi operator coverage throughout their restaurant, so NET CS proposed a multi operator small cell solution.

High Level Description

Multi Operator Small cells are low-powered cellular radio access nodes that operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrums and have a range of 10 meters to a few kilometres. These were selected, delivered, and managed by NET CS with direct connections back to the MNO cores.

Key Installation Details

  • 4 x Small Cells for each MNO proposed to provide coverage and capacity to the customer’s premises.
  • The units are installed out of sight above the ceiling grid as much as feasibly possible.
  • Any visible Small Cells are colour matched to the required surroundings.
  • All cables where visible are also colour matched to the surrounding.

The Results

NET CS were excited to have worked with this Restaurant Chain, ensuring that their patrons were able to experience the level of service they expected.

Whilst the purist will say that it’s all about the food they serve, and at this venue this was never in question. Modern diners are after the whole experience and a key part of this is being able to make calls or access social media during their food experience. So, through our solution we have enabled this to happen, ensuring many posts of the chefs great dishes will make peoples mouth water as they scroll through their social media feeds….

Mobile Network Operator Deployments

In-Building DAS for an Online Grocery Giant’s Warehouse

NET CS are trusted by Mobile Network Operator’s to extend their networks and deliver connectivity to their largest and most important clients.  As their go to experts in In-Building DAS solutions, NET CS were engaged to assist with a large corporate international online grocer and technology company.

The client required a great service throughout their new facility, constructed with building materials that blocked cellular signals from reaching the warehouse space and offices.

Challenges and Considerations

This online grocer had just built a brand-new state of the art distribution centre located in England. A 36 acre site in which they quickly realised that they needed to address the poor cellular coverage to allow their staff to work safely and efficiently.

Like many other distribution centres, this building was constructed primarily with steel beams and metal cladding on the outside. Combined with a metal roof, a minimal number of windows located in the few existing offices and so getting a cellular signal inside was next to impossible.

The Solution - In-Building Mobile Coverage

This online grocer contacted its mobile provider and asked them for assistance. The operator contacted their partner NET CS to evaluate the situation.

NET was asked by the Mobile Network Operator to provide a design for an RF system to adequately cover the facility.

Knowing the challenges of these types of building and having delivered numerous solutions into similar environments, NET CS was able to quickly recommend an appropriate solution. We completed a survey and detailed design for a DAS solution to cover the requested areas.

DAS for the Warehouse Environment

DAS stands for Distributed Antenna System and is a point-to-multipoint solution, enabling high numbers of subscribers to be connected to services at the same time. A DAS creates a number of dedicated cells, that deliver service to a building, via a single shared infrastructure, capable of supporting cellular, Wi-Fi and mission critical services.

A DAS is the great choice here, as it is a robust and cost-effective solution, that can deliver dedicated MNO services to its coverage cell.

The system was designed with Nokia and Ericsson equipment that provided 3G and 4G signals through a DAS with strategically located antennas.

The solution was a hybrid/active passive coaxial antenna system consisting of 45 omni directional antennas and 1 directional panel antenna, which provided coverage and capacity to 95% of the target area of the client’s demise. The system has been designed in accordance with strict mobile network operator control documents.

The Results

This online retail giant now enjoys ubiquitous 3G and 4G connectivity throughout their facility provided through the solution NET CS designed and deployed. Cellular connectivity in a warehouse environment, allows staff to connect with their co-workers or agents in real time. More robust connectivity increases productivity and improves security and safety of the staff.