Lake Navarino Holiday Park is around an hour and half’s drive south of Perth. It’s in an idyllic location on the shores of Lake Navarino, a lake created by the Waroona Dam, which was built in the 1950s to provide irrigation for the local farmland. The holiday park offers cabins and camping sites, and also retains the original cottages that were built for the engineers who worked on the dam, which are now available as accommodation. However, the beautiful but remote location of the Holiday Park caused the new owners mobile connection problems they were determined to overcome.
“We couldn’t get a decent mobile signal for our EFTPOS machine.” explained Managing Director Debbie Lee. “And that’s a big problem as many of our guests want to pay with a card.” The lack of a strong and reliable mobile signal prompted site owner Paul to see if he could find a solution, which he did in the form of a Cel-Fi Smart Repeater.
The Cel-Fi comprises of two small units, one a ‘window unit’ which receives the existing signal, and the second the ‘repeater unit’ which effectively rebroadcasts the signal, and ‘boosts’ it enough for the EFTPOS machine to work properly. The Cel-Fi can also be hooked up to an aerial to improve a weak signal, and this is what they did at Lake Navarino.
The Cel-Fi impact was instantaneous allowing immediate improvement in work processes. “Once we installed the Cel-Fi, our signal went from one bar to four, so now we don’t have a problem at all, and of course as well as the EFTPOS machine it gives us a great signal for our mobile phones.” said Debbie.
A Cel-Fi Smart Repeater is a mobile phone repeater designed to complement an existing mobile network and not interfere with its operation. The Cel-Fi can take a weak signal (just one bar is enough) and boost it across a 600m2+ area. The device is actually two units, each about 20cm tall: one that sits in a spot where the mobile signal is strongest, and the other sits a short distance away from the receiving unit. The receiving unit ‘grabs’ the phone signal from outside and the coverage unit boosts and rebroadcasts it. If needed, an external antenna can also be fitted to further boost the signal.
Cel-Fi is currently the only retail legally approved smart repeater. In the vast majority of cases, it is a weak signal that causes problems like drop outs on phones and EFTPOS machines, not complete lack of signal. Even though many Cel-Fi customers are based in remote locations like Lake Navarino, others who live in areas with a strong signal, but where the smallest thing – like living at the bottom of a hill or working out of a basement office – means they don’t get a good enough signal to use their phones. Cel-Fi fixes this problem in most cases.
Note: Cel-Fi is the only consumer mobile phone repeater that has been approved by all mobile carriers in Australia. Currently approved for use on the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone mobile networks, Cel-Fi is a mobile enhancement device called a Smart Repeater. There are other companies selling non-compliant consumer repeaters that appear to be from Australia. Buying non Cel-Fi repeaters from them may result in large fines and loss of the equipment. Refer to the Government website www.acma.gov.au for more information.