CASE STUDY: Boosting the Cell Signal at Saginaw County Jail


Every aspect of the new $38.8 million Saginaw County Jail in Saginaw, Michigan was designed for inmate and officer security.

From the innovative and centrally located officer command center layout to fewer bars and more doors, Sheriff William Federspiel and his team succeeded in building a state-of-the-art adult detention center. The new facility was designed for up to 511 inmates and 43 officers, with direct-observation officer workspaces located in the center of the jail.

However, the thick concrete walls of the new 96,000-square-foot jail made cellular communication absolutely impossible for officers located in the basement and first floor command centers of the facility.



Fairchild Communication Systems, Inc. dispatched experienced DAS (Distributed Antenna System) Sales Director Matt Ranft to conduct a thorough site survey.

Matt met with Lieutenant Ebony Rasco at the Saginaw County Jail for an in-depth understanding of their issues and challenges. After gathering cell signal readings from the jail’s rooftop and multilevel command centers, Matt’s team coordinated with SureCall to design a passive distributed antenna system that boosts the cellular signal for AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon service carriers.

The design called for three SureCall Force5 2.0 Signal boosters, 12 ultra-thin dome antennas and plenum fire-rated cable throughout. The Fairchild Communication Systems, Inc. team was undaunted by the unique and compounded challenges of deploying the cellular booster system inside an active adult detention facility during a pandemic. Proper health and safety precautions were implemented by the Fairchild Communication Systems, Inc. team and on-site staff and the DAS installation was a flawless success.

Upon final site survey with Lt. Rasco, Fairchild Communications, Inc. was able to report 100% cellular coverage of the targeted officer command centers and throughout the Saginaw County Adult Inmate Detention Center.

No matter the obstacles or challenges presented by unique facilities with operational needs hindering cell signal availability, Fairchild Communication Systems, Inc., can design a solution to keep your team connected and effectively communicating. Reach out today to learn more about what’s possible and get started with a free on-site survey.