Marko Koskenoja - Telecommunications / IoT Consultant
- Northern Ontario Account Executive & Regional WiFi Advisor with Shaw Communications
- Sales/Key Account Manager with Ontera (Ontario Northland), a provincial government telecommunications service provider covering most of North-Eastern Ontario
- Global Account Manager with AT&T Canada's Global Accounts Group-managing the accounts and relationships of multi-national clients in the financial services sector
- A co-founder and partner of On-Line Services Canada Ltd., a voice messaging network start-up
- Wrote the business plan, secured venture capital, and then launched a national services company
- Operated and grew the business to two million dollars in annual sales and then sold it to a company that AT&T later purchased
- Investors include Kevin O’Leary of Dragon's Den fame and Michael Nobrega-Chairman of OMERS Pension Fund
- 4G/LTE Cellular Internet Products and Services
- Voice, Data and Mobile Internet
- M2M applications and devices
- Office, Home and Vehicle
- In-Building Cellular Repeaters and Boosters
- Fiber Data Networks
- IP Telephony
- Project management, government funding applications and strategic planning
- Well defined negotiation and mediation skills
A Small Town’s Hub for Connectivity – In-Building Cellular Solution (65,000 sq ft)
In the small town of Wawa in Northern Ontario, Canada, the 3,000 inhabitants of the town saw their local community centre as their central location for all festivities and events. The Michipicoten Community Centre is one of the nicest in the area, and serves as the venue for weddings, meetings, and parties. It also houses a gym, ice arena and curling rink in its 65,000 square-foot space.
Because the building was a large, metal-sided structure and also had a metal roof on the ice arena, cell phone signals within the building were problematic. With the multiple-use nature of the facility, the uptick of the building staff now using cellular phones as their sole source of communications, and the building requiring round-the- clock supervision, having cellular access became mandatory for the safety and security of staff and visitors. Several dead zones existed, and the building had generally poor cellular service overall, measuring 100db on HSPA+.
Given the size of the facility, a robust solution was required to ensure complete cellular coverage throughout the building. The community centre was aware of the need for an industrial quality system that provided maximum signal strength and coverage throughout the facility. Telecommunications specialists Northland Consultants, who was awarded the project, surveyed the building. Based on the needs, the SureCall Force5 was the chosen solution for Wawa’s community centre. Options presented by other vendors were inferior technical solutions for a similar price point. The Force5 was chosen because the community centre wanted the building to be LTE capable at the now widely available Bell 700MHz spectrum. Installing the Force5 prevented them from having to revisit the situation again in a few years when more bandwidth would be required to meet the building’s capacity.
Following the installation, the signal strength was a strong five bars, with -83db signal throughout the community centre. Additionally, the Bell 4G/LTE signal strength was an outstanding -80db throughout the centre. Normal 4G/LTE signals are typically 20db higher than 3G/HSPA, so a remarkable improvement in cell phone reception was felt throughout the facility. LTE speeds on the Bell 700Mhz network are also as high as 30Mbps for download speed and 10Mbps upload speed, with latency in the 50ms range – outstanding figures for such a large facility. The community centre staff and patrons were pleased with the results – strong cellular coverage in every corner of the facility.
Northland Consultants brings cellular service to remote regions
Northland Consultants in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada is a Cel-Fi reseller servicing the Northern Ontario market. Like other remote parts of the world, there are many areas of low population density with no access fibre, cable or DSL services. Where cellular service is available, customers experience more than their fair share of cellular dead zones. Even when a building is relatively close to a cellular tower, the terrain can make it difficult for home owners and offices to get decent coverage, says owner Marko Koskenoja.
“To get internet service at home, people are using cellular devices such as Bell Turbo Hubs,” he explains. “But there are issues around antenna arrays, topography and trees. If an antenna doesn’t point to where you work, live or drive, you can’t get a clear signal.”
There is one more unique problem that the antenna arrays bring to communities and homes near the US border. Signals from providers such as AT&T and Verizon can interfere with the service customers are receiving from their local carrier. This not only adds to signal delays, it has been known to bring high roaming bills from US providers (and vice versa).
Here’s a case in point. One couple’s home was 2.5 kilometers from a cell tower, and could not get a decent signal. The wife relied heavily on the Internet for her genealogy website and magazine so they used a Bell Turbo Hub, although speeds were slow. Even their iPhones barely worked indoors or outside their house.
Northland installed a cellular antenna outside their home and added a Cel-Fi system inside. Now the couple have cellular coverage throughout the house, into the garage as well as the driveway and much faster Internet speeds with their Turbo Hub. They’re amazed because they have five bars on their iPhone for the first time. And because of the cellular coverage area, customers don’t have to worry about intrusions and roaming charges from US cellular providers.
Koskenoja says he has seen customers with tears in their eyes once he has completed a Cel-Fi installation. “They’re thrilled because they can finally use Skype to connect with their grandchildren and other family members.”
Do you have questions about improving cellular coverage in remote regions? Contact Northland Consultants at (705) 541-8490.