Blog Post

How to boost mobile signals in green buildings

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As we move toward greener, smart buildings in our Cities, we must find a way to solve the physics problem to improve in-building mobile signals. In our ever-on, always-connected world, green building materials interfere with RF (radio frequency) transmitting to building antennas and block mobile calls.

What are the top RF issues when building greener, smarter commercial buildings?

Smart buildings that use technology to efficiently use resources also use greener materials. However, along with the apparent benefits of this natural progression in the construction industry, the downside is its effect on the RF transmissions that enable us to receive strong mobile signals to our devices, no matter where we are within these new smart buildings.

What are the main culprits for disrupting RF transmissions?

With climate change mitigation moving to the top of the business agenda, working out of a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) or the growing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification will become increasingly important.

Many materials used in BREEAM or LEED-certified construction or renovation projects block RF (radio frequency) signals, so mobile phone reception can vanish when you walk into your building. Here are the worst culprits:

Low-E Glass

Low-emissivity glass (or Low-E glass as commonly referred to) is a type of energy-efficient glass designed to prevent heat from escaping through windows. It is one of the most RF-blocking materials as tinted and Low-E glass creates a barrier against the UK without obstructing light, but it also diminishes your mobile signal by as much as 40dB.


Concrete is a sustainable and popular building material, particularly in high-rise buildings. It provides energy efficiency, a long-life cycle, lower life-cycle costs and resilience following natural and artificial disasters. But, unfortunately, a 6-inch layer of concrete can cut your mobile signal by 20 dB.


Steel is amongst some materials certified under the green buildings rating systems. However, steel beams block RF by as much as 50dB, which creates unacceptable mobile signal issues.
When you combine these sustainable construction materials and other building products such as drywall, fibreglass and wood, you can understand why our modern green and smart buildings are suffering from mobile connection issues.

Doesn’t 5G resolve the problem of poor mobile signals in green buildings?

The 5th generation mobile network is the new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. 5G enables a new kind of network designed to connect virtually everyone, including machines, objects, and devices.

Surely 5G can solve the problem of poor connectivity within buildings, being a more advanced technology? Unfortunately, the opposite is the reality. 5G has become the construction industry’s burden, as although it provides low latency/high-speed service, enabling super-fast data transmission, it cannot penetrate these building materials. As 70% of mobile devices are used inside a building, this creates a severe issue for the building industry.

How can you guarantee an excellent mobile signal throughout a building?

With sustainability and connectivity improvements, such as the introduction of 5G not aligning, it tasks building owners and tenants with finding a solution.

Simpli-Fi has partnered with Nextivity to offer cost-effective, quick-to-install signal boosters that provide a stable and reliable mobile connection for voice and data. The Nextivity CEL-FI solution consists of three units: a reception antenna, a signal booster, and an internal rebroadcast antenna. The external antenna will collect the best mobile signal from outside and transmit it to a mobile signal booster unit, strengthening the signal and retransmitting it internally.

  • The Nextivity CEL-FI cellular coverage solution offers the only range of repeater solutions compliant with Ofcom’s new licence-exempt requirements (IR2102) and legal to use in the UK.
  • CEL-FI systems works to strengthen poor mobile signal coverage by up to four times, offering a massive 100dB gain (GO X, QUATRA units) which is 1000 x more robust than traditional boosters.
  • The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is comparable to that of a smartphone, making them equally harmless to human health and the environment.
  • They boost the 3G / 4G / 5G signal at the same time.
  • CEL-FI cellular coverage solutions enhance the mobile signal in indoor areas from as little as 80 m² / 1,000 ft² up to 4,750 m² / 50,000 ft². In addition, multiple units can easily be combined to cover larger areas.
  • Boosting mobile signal in the way CEL-FI units operate, apart from reduced dropped calls, also means improved voice clarity and streaming, faster downloads, and improved battery life for the devices benefiting from them.

Why choose Simpli-Fi for your mobile signal-boosting solution?

1. Consultation and surveys

Our expert project managers and engineers will consult with your team, survey your premises and design the best mobile signal-boosting solution for your requirements.

2. Expert installation

From installation to ongoing support, our team of engineers offers UK-wide coverage, whatever the site location, delivering expert, reliable service to keep you connected.

3. Ongoing support

Once installed, we will provide ongoing managed services and digital performance monitoring and apply automatic updates to support any network changes in your area.

Book your FREE site survey to discover how to improve your in-building mobile signal.

Book Now.

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As founder of Simpli-Fi, Gary's knowledge of cutting-edge networks and technology solutions is second to none. Gary has worked on countless projects over the years, from straightforward connectivity projects to complex, large-scale networking projects across multiple buildings.

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