Case Study

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service

Mobile Connectivity Improvement Project

NIFRS Learning & Development Centre, Cookstown

NIFRS’ new Learning and Development Centre is revolutionising how Firefighters are trained.

Phase 1, which includes a real-life tactical Firefighting facility, opened in September 2019 and a planning application for Phase 2 was submitted in December 2020.

The new Learning and Development Centre allows Firefighters to train in “real life” scenarios, imitating the hazards they face while protecting the community. This transforms the learning experience, therefore improving public safety.

The unique 6-storey structure has more than 30 compartments, providing realistic operational scenarios using real fires, as well as welfare and classroom facilities.

Phase 2 will allow Firefighters to complete realistic training in a simulated environment where hazards and scenarios can be safely recreated. Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2022 and to be completed in April 2024.

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Image credit: NIFRS

£ 1 m
fire stations
people protected
2 m

The Challenge

During the Phase 1 construction of the site, the project team reported that mobile coverage for their corporate network, O2, was very poor.

This led to a number of operational challenges, including communication with stakeholders, the local authorities and the community. With little to no mobile coverage, health and safety at the facility was also a concern. 

NIFRS initially tasked Boost Pro Systems with conducting an all-network coverage survey, with insight provided as to what the internal coverage was expected to be in the yet to be constructed buildings, as well as recommendations and budgets for the optimal solution.

‘Boost Pro recently installed the mobile repeater system into the NIFRS Tactical Support Building (TSB) at our LDC Cookstown site to improve mobile phone coverage inside the building. With the installation of the Boost Pro system, the mobile signal for corporate mobile phones on the O2 network has been greatly improved.’

Capital Build and Asset Co-ordinator, NIFRS

The Solution

Following a detailed survey and consultation period, the Boost Pro technical team designed a solution suitable for the facility. As the Tactical Building was a priority for mobile signal, the system was installed there. 

Due to the weak external signal, we installed a Boost Pro DAS Commercial Signal Repeater, using a single Wideband Directional Antenna and two Wideband Indoor Omni Antennae for full 4G coverage on O2.

This project leverages our licence-exempt Passive DAS Commercial Signal Repeater. This product benefits from:

✓ 3G / 4G / LTE Voice and Data
✓ Multi-Carrier Support with Carrier Switching
✓ Indoor / Outdoor NEMA 4 Rated
✓ Network Safe

The Results

All targeted areas of the facility now receive full O2 LTE voice and data coverage.

Employees can now easily communicate with all stakeholders, including other fire stations, local authorities, other emergency services and the community.

The team now benefits from health and safety, productivity and operational advantages of being able to use mobile devices on the move within the Tactical Building.

Our mobile repeater products are licence-exempt and fully meets the regulatory requirements in the UK (Ofcom SI 2018/399) and Ireland (ComReg S.I.No.283 of 2018)

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Boost Pro Systems

Formed in 2014, Boost Pro Systems is the industry leader in solving the problem of dropped calls, poor voice quality and low data throughput caused by weak cellular signal.

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