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Stella Doradus
Case Studies

Freetown Airport, Sierra Leone


In 2023, a new airport was built with a state-of-the-art facility spanning over 14,000 square meters. The airport was designed to accommodate over one million passengers per year.

The Challenge

As with many modern buildings, the steel and concrete structure of the airport, along with its triple-glazed windows, completely blocked all mobile signals from entering. When staff and passengers entered the building, they could not use their mobile phones. The buildings that required an immediate signal enhancement solution as the airport launched operations were the Cargo Building, the Administration Building, and the New Terminal.

Because the Airport is a high-traffic area for mobile operators, it was of interest to the operators to ensure a ubiquitous network for their users. One of the operators (Orange Sierra Leone) was therefore keen to improve their coverage. To address this issue, the management of Orange in Sierra Leone reached out to Mobile Network Boosters Limited, a trusted installation company of Stella Doradus equipment that specializes in connectivity issues. The company provided professional advice on how to improve mobile signal reception within the airport and adjacent buildings.

The objective

With over one million passengers passing through the airport and spending many hours in the terminal, it was essential that the staff and passengers could make phone calls and have high-speed data throughout the offices and floor area. Mobile signal was required for passengers to work in the VIP lounge, browse the internet for entertainment, and make essential phone calls while waiting for flights. It was also necessary at the cashiers’ desks that payments could be taken swiftly at payment terminals.

To solve the airport’s connectivity problems, Mobile Network Boosters Limited installed Stella Doradus’ iR6 repeater system which fulfilled all of the management’s requirements, including:

  • Amplifies the signal from all operators. This was essential because of the large number of transient visitors, all with different operators.
  • Amplifies 5G, 4G, 3G. As the operators upgrade their networks, the airport will automatically benefit from these upgrades.
  • Number of simultaneous users unlimited .
  • The repeaters can be remotely monitored.

The solution

Important aspects of this installation:

With the new sleek interior, it was important that all antennas were discreetly installed.

  1. Ceiling mount omni antennas were installed in the Administration Building and at the offices in the Cargo Building because the ceilings were approximately 4 meters high. The antennas were also installed at the cashiers’ desks and baggage check-in at the New Terminal. Another area where these antennas were installed out of sight was at the baggage claim area carousel.
  2. iRepeaters were chosen so that the installation could be remotely monitored and managed, ensuring the signal was constantly optimized.

The TestTool was used to test the signal in all areas before, during and after installation.

The equipment used:

New Terminal: 4,582sqm

  • 4x external Yagi antennas
  • 4x iR6 repeaters 
  • 14x line amplifiers: SD-LA-VLGDW-4
  • 84x antennas:  Panel and Omni antennas
  • Cable SD400.

Admin Building: 908sqm

  • 1x external Yagi antenna.
  • 1x iR6 Repeater.
  • 4x Line Amplifiers: SD-LA-VLGDW-4
  • 26x Omni antennas.

Cargo Building: 2,395sqm

  • 1x external Yagi antenna
  • 1x iR6 repeater
  • 3x Line Amplifiers SD-LA-VLGDW-4
  • 13x Internal Panel and Omni antennas     

Installation time: Late night work. Six weeks. 4 men.

The result

The management are delighted with the ease and the high standard of the installation. With minimal disruption to the running of the airport, full mobile signal is now available throughout the airport and administration offices. They are particularly pleased that the airport will automatically benefit from future upgrades that operators make to their network. When the operators introduce 5G to the area, the building will be covered.

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