New Telus antenna at Langara College improves cellphone reception

Students can get cellular reception in the basement of the Langara Students’ Union because of the campus’ rooftop microsite.
Photo: Tricia Lo

Langara students can stop chasing cellular signals around the Vancouver campus thanks to a timely $350,000 installation on the campus’ rooftop.

Telus spokesperson Liz Sauvé explained the turnaround. “We were aware that people were experiencing slower service than what we want to be providing,” she said.

To fix the problem, she said Telus built a microsite at Langara that went live at the end of May.

The microsite is a small antenna that improves the coverage and the reception one is able to get wirelessly without putting up an extra tower.

Students have fewer reception problems

The result? Former dead zones are now signal hotspots. Science student Tom Dao says he gets full reception in the Langara Students’ Union building now. “I’m surprised. Last semester I would’ve had zero,” he said.

Students complained in past years about the inconveniences and safety issues associated with spotty cellphone reception.

“I never answered my messages and people would get worried,” said science student Kelsey Langille, who would spend late nights studying at school for her midterms.

Last semester, dietetics student Ashley Wong would have to run out into the rain to send a text. “I couldn’t get reception in the library, lecture halls or the cafe,” she said. That’s no longer an issue.

The improvement spreads across other wireless providers

Additionally, the improvements aren’t exclusive to Telus subscribers. Shivani Verma, criminal justice student, says she gets a signal on Virgin Mobile’s network everywhere she couldn’t last year.

Sauvé said, “To eliminate the need for more infrastructure, we have agreements where we roam on one another’s network.”

Reported by Tricia Lo

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