SureCall Solves ‘Bungalow Problems’ for Beverly Hills Hotel

Integrator uses SureCall by Cellphone-Mate to improve signal in $14,000 bungalows but not before asking a Friends star to leave.

When projects are done at a place of business integrators are accustomed to having to move things— typically desks, tables or bookcases.

In one not-so-typical project at Beverly Hills Hotel, however, Jennifer Aniston had to be moved before Manley Solutions could do its installation.

Sort of.

Manley Solutions was tasked with making sure its $14,000 per night bungalows provide the hotel’s high-profile guests with good cellular signals, explains principal engineer Stuart Manley. “I had never seen these bungalows,” he says, despite his firm having worked on Beverly Hills Hotel projects going back five years.

“The bungalows are basically small houses. They’re inside the property surrounded by the hotel itself. They have twisting and winding paths through botanical gardens. It’s really an amazing piece of property. It’s like 5,000 square feet, has its own indoor/outdoor pool and just an amazing spread.”

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During a recent renovation to the bungalows the hotel added triple-panel glass, new stucco and a new roof. “When they did that their coverage was eliminated inside these bungalows,” Manley says.

At $14,000 per night, the hotel wants to provide its upscale guests—which Manley says include Saudi Arabian sheiks, foreign investors and celebrities—with reliable cellular service. “So [the hotel] came to us and said, ‘Well, money is no object. We need to get these buildings covered with Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and we need it as soon as you can get it in there.’ So we had to drop projects and go in there and did a site survey.”

The site survey led to Manley Solutions having to get creative in order to get signals into those little buildings, located essentially inside a building, located inside a valley with limited accessibility to coverage towers. “We knew where the towers were. We had to use specialized antennas. It took us five to six days to get one bungalow up and running. Our job was to get two of their bungalows up and running.”

That’s where Aniston enters the picture. To do the installation in that second bungalow, “It was funny,” Manley recalls. “They had to actually ask Jennifer Aniston to move out for the time that we went in.”

“Over the course of the installation we successfully got signal strength up and running,” he says, adding that Manley Solutions expects to do the additional bungalows as well.

Manley Solutions used SureCall Force5 Signal Boosters by Cellphone-Mate on the Beverly Hills project. Manley explains why he chose SureCall over several other signal booster solutions on the market:

Reviewer: Stuart Manley, principal engineer; Manley Solutions, Orange County, Calif.

Which of SureCall’s specific features or specs were instrumental in your decision to use this product versus another solution?
Force 5 equipment that’s provided by SureCall was great because it has the ability to broadcast and redistribute signals from all the major carriers in their frequency band. Without going into too much detail, it makes Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T work better and does so by manipulating the power.

So if you get a signal in and you want it to get to another area, you can up the power. You can also lower the power if it’s coming in too strong.

The Force 5 equipment is very flexible and easy to install; easy to tune and it’s easy to maintain. That’s why we like it. It’s kind of a “set it and forget” it kind of approach until the carriers changes something about their networks, and that happens in California very frequently.

So when the upgrade their towers we have to either lower or raise the power on our equipment, and that helps us with service contracts because they pay us every time we have to go out there and touch the equipment.

For what types of applications do you recommend this product to other integrators?
Any in-building enhancement.

Explain anything unique you think other installers would want to know before they install it.
Performing a quality site survey is clutch. In the systems integration business, going out and taking measurements, spending a lot of time on the site survey, identifying the path of cables, where the aesthetics are going to be—all of that is as important as the product itself. It’s so important that we actually built our own software to help us to site surveys. It’s on our Android phones. But the site survey is why we’re successful at this. Our quotes are almost dead-on every time.