Posted on Mon Apr 01 2019
Cerritos Center Court is a visually striking, modern eight-story office building; strategically located in a sprawling, 125-acre mixed use campus environment in Southern California.
Surrounded by lush landscaping, public artwork, and water fountains—along with numerous retailers, a performing arts center, and over a dozen restaurants—the residents of Cerritos Center Court always enjoy many amenities within this idealized business real estate setting.
With the exception of strong, reliable cellular coverage.
For the business residents of Cerritos Center Court, dropped calls and zero bars were almost a daily occurrence. Some would simply accept this reality. Others would take matters into their own hands—attempting to remedy the situation by purchasing cellular repeaters.
But nothing seemed to work. Simone Wilson, property manager for EQ Office-Los Angeles and overseer of Cerritos Center Court, knew something needed to be done right away. The property management company knew that good cell service in their building was critical for their building’s tenants.
On the EQ Office website, visitors notice a simple, powerful motto: Find Space for Greatness.
For Simone and her team, these are more than well-chosen words. Unlike many real estate owners and brokers who talk in terms of “square footage” and “floor plans,” their focus is on the “experience”—how a business property or retail space feels, activates, and performs.
To this point, Cerritos Center Court had every imaginable amenity—including electric vehicle chargers. Such efforts had already resulted in a Silver, Wired Certified award by WiredScore.
Still, the lack of great cellular connectivity was a glaring issue in need of resolution. It wasn’t limited to the Cerritos Center Court building. Even the outside street level readings for cellular signal in this affluent, suburban city in southeast Los Angeles County were less than promising.
“Phone service in the entire building was failing and everyone in the lobby couldn’t make their calls. It didn’t represent us well. It’s not what we stand for,” Simone explains. “It even becomes a safety issue. When there’s an emergency and I can’t get through to my staff, who I know is onsite at the property, that’s a problem. Tenants would ask if they could get certain equipment on the roof. We want to keep a clean roof, but also want to serve our tenants.”
“In 2019, the expectation of people is to always be connected. To be on Facebook throughout the day. We’re tied to our phones. It’s fair to say this is a quality of life issue for our tenants. You can’t reach your child because can’t get an outside line here. We didn’t want that. Ever.”
Simone reached out to Craig Llod who was a project engineer for Revantage Corporate Services as well as an advisor to EQ Offices. He and Simone explored different options to resolve the cellular connectivity issues at Cerritos Center Court—including an active DAS solution. That idea was deemed too unrealistic.
Active DAS is extremely expensive, often costing millions of dollars. It can also be inconvenient and time-intensive to deploy. Every active DAS installation must be approved by the cell phone carriers affected. It also becomes an FCC-regulated project because the carriers own the frequencies involved.
Often, an active DAS solution can take years to deploy and get up and running.
Fortunately, Craig recalled a project he had previously been involved with in Boston, where the building had weak cell signal. But instead of deploying an active DAS solution, his contractor (KonectaUSA) installed a passive DAS solution using WilsonPro cellular amplifiers, which boost signal for all carriers and is less costly.
Craig reached out to Mike Shortridge and Dave Schlange from KonectaUSA and began putting a plan together for installing a WilsonPro cellular signal amplifier system in the office building to boost cell signal.
Designing a solution that would evenly distribute optimized cell signal coverage throughout an eight-story building like Cerritos Center Court had its challenges. Some floors, particularly the first and second floors, appeared to have almost no signal at all. But based on experience of what a WilsonPro system was capable of, in even the most difficult situations for signal enhancement, KonectaUSA knew they were more than up to the task at hand.
The main challenge was locating one specific carrier signal from the building’s location. It was a narrow signal that would filter out those of other carriers. The KonectaUSA team put in extra effort to make the necessary adjustments to get the entire spectrum of available cell signals.
In spite of this certain challenge, the project would be completed in less than a week’s time.
“The installation was very quick. It didn’t impact our tenants at all. And all the equipment was relatively small; placed in each corridor. Out of sight, so no one would interfere with it or hang decorations on it. Things like that. It was done very quickly and very effectively,” said Simone.
However, the rapid deployment of the WilsonPro system isn’t what impressed Simone most.
“Whenever there’s an issue or question, Shortridge and Schlange were willing to answer questions and even fly back out to the site. They never left us without knowing something, at least letting my engineers know how to do certain things (with the WilsonPro system.) They’ve always been more than helpful.”
Since the Cerritos Center Court installation, the response by tenants has been overwhelming.
Tenants are able to reliably make calls and conduct business. Today, the presence of solid cell coverage throughout the 168,588 sq. ft. commercial space has become a bragging right for the brokers when pitching Cerritos Center Court against its neighboring commercial properties.
“It’s a highlight on tours of the space. Prospective tenants have obviously looked around this area before and that’s one thing they will always complain about is the (lack of) phone service. You’d be surprised at how many people hang out around our building now,” say Simone.
If you and your tenants experience dropped calls, slow data and low bars in your building then WilsonPro could be the right solution for you. All WilsonPro cell signal boosters use passive DAS technology to amplifiy cellular signal into your space so everyone indoors can experience better cell signal. Contact us to learn more.