What is a mobile signal booster and what is it for?
A mobile signal booster It is a device made up of several components, which will be connected directly to the operator’s antenna and will repeat the signal received within our home, with the aim that we can achieve the maximum possible coverage and the best possible signal quality. This type of amplifiers for mobile networks must be located outside our home, at least the external antenna, to achieve the best possible reception of our operator’s antenna. It is useless to place an amplifier inside our home, because the coverage received is very low and we will hardly notice an improvement in the user experience.
A mobile signal booster is made up of different componentsAll of them are completely necessary for the proper functioning of the device and that we can get better mobile coverage to make calls, and also to be able to connect to the Internet via 4G without having problems. These components are as follows:
- Outdoor antenna: This antenna is usually directional or omnidirectional, this antenna should be located outside our home, either on the roof or facade, in order to receive the best possible signal from the antenna of the operator that serves our area. It takes the signal that comes from the telephone antenna, and sends it through an antenna cable to the signal amplifier.
- Signal amplifier: this is the most important device of the installation, its objective is to amplify, stabilize and distribute the signal throughout our home using an indoor antenna. Before buying a signal amplifier we must take into account in which frequency bands it can work, not all amplifiers can work in all the bands that operators use, it is advisable to use band 8 (900MHz) and band 20 (800MHz) which are the ones that work best indoors and are the most common for 4G networks outside cities. It is also very important in which frequency bands we have coverage with our operator, it is possible that precisely in our location we do not have 4G coverage in the 800MHz band, but we do have in another band. For this reason, it is necessary to know in which frequency band we are currently connecting.
- Indoor antenna: this antenna is connected to the signal amplifier, its objective is to provide mobile coverage within our own home, that is, our mobile will connect to this indoor antenna, which in turn is connected to the signal amplifier, and this to the operator antenna thanks to the outdoor antenna.
- Antenna cable: the amplifier must be connected to the antennas (exterior and interior antennas) through antenna cable, this component is critical, it must be a quality cable and not too long, so as not to lose signal due to the antenna cable itself.
Once we know what a mobile signal amplifier is and its components, we are going to see the frequency bands that we need to amplify.
What mobile frequency bands am I using?
Generally the mobile coverage boosters They work with one or several frequency bands, before buying any amplifier it is advisable to see what frequency band we are currently using in our home with our smartphone. Depending on the areas and the mobile operator, we may not have coverage with band 20 (800MHz) but with band 1 (2,100Mhz), for this reason it is very important to look at the frequency band where we have coverage in our home. The main frequency bands are as follows:
- 20 or 800MHz band: it provides 4G connectivity in towns and small cities, it is a low frequency so it has a very good penetration in interior spaces.
- Band 3 or 1,800MHz: provides 4G connectivity in cities and towns with many inhabitants.
- Band 1 or 2,100MHz: This band is also used for 4G networks in large cities.
Another widely used band is the 900MHz band 8, although it is generally used for 3G connectivity outside the cities, this band also has very good penetration and is capable of covering large areas with the same mobile phone antenna.
To find out the frequency band used, we can download the free app for Android «Network Cell Info Lite«, Which will indicate the signal received by the antenna, the frequency band used and much more advanced information from our operator. Next, you can see Pepephone’s 4G coverage, which uses band 1, that is, the 2,100MHz band that Yoigo uses regularly in large populations.
Once we know the frequency band used by our operator in our area, we need to know the signal we have in the area where we are going to place the outdoor antenna, the best thing to do would be to place it in high areas or on rooftops, it could also be good idea to put it on the mast of the TV antenna if you have it in your house. Now we are going to see what mobile signal booster we need.
What mobile signal booster do I need?
Once we know the frequency band at which the WiFi signal amplifier that we are going to buy should work, we need to know the power that we will need in said amplifier to obtain good coverage. Power is another very important factor when buying one device or another. We generally find two cases:
- Good mobile coverage outside the home, but bad inside the home. This is usually due to the thickness of the facades and the construction materials, in these cases you will not need an amplifier that is too powerful because you do have good mobile coverage outside.
- Bad mobile coverage indoors and outdoors. In this case, you will need a powerful amplifier, because even outside the home without walls in between you get good coverage. In these cases it is because the telephone antenna is too far away or there are obstacles such as buildings.
If you are in the first case, where you do have mobile coverage outside the home, one of the most recommended models is the Vectronic Sirius.
Vectronics Sirius Amplifier
East mobile signal booster It is one of the best value for money, has a power of 65dBi and is compatible with voice, 3G and 4G networks. This model is ideal for rural environments where we do have good outdoor coverage, but inside our house we have no or very low coverage. Thanks to this device we will be able to amplify the mobile signal inside due to its internal antenna, which will give us the possibility of making very clear calls and a very good speed in mobile broadband. This model is capable of amplifying the signal of the 800MHz and 900MHz band, therefore, it is ideal for rural environments where we have these two frequency bands in use.
This amplifier is oriented for environments where we have good coverage outside the home, because it does not have too much power, but we need to distribute it inside our home. We must bear in mind that the distance between the external antenna and the amplifier should not be more than 10 meters, the more distance, the more signal loss we will have due to the antenna cable itself and also due to external interferences.
Vectronics Amadeus Amplifier
Another very interesting model of higher quality and power is the Vectronics Amadeus, a coverage amplifier that supports all frequency bands: 700Mhz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1,800MHz, 2,100MHz and 2,600MHz, therefore, it will allow you to amplify any of these bands (depending on the model it supports 2, 3, 4 or 5 frequencies). This model is more powerful than the previous one, provides a power of up to 75dBi and is compatible with 2G / 3G / 4G / 5G networks and also for voice.
It is one of the best options for rural and urban environments where we have little coverage both indoors and outdoors and we need a high quality product. This amplifier has great versatility as it is compatible with all frequency bands, in addition, it has an excellent value for money.
Depending on your needs and budget, you should choose one amplifier or another, for this reason it is so important to determine the frequency band that our operator uses in our area, so as not to have to buy more expensive amplifiers that have to support all frequency bands. . To find out the antenna bands closest to your home, you can use any of the maps available on the Internet by searching Google for “telephone antennas map”. These maps show the telecommunications towers of the different operators and the bands with which they work.
What antennas do I need?
In order to amplify the mobile signal, you need two antennas, an outdoor antenna and one or more indoor antennas to provide coverage for the smartphone. Currently we can buy two types of outdoor antennas:
- Omnidirectional antennas: they are capable of capturing and emitting signal in all directions with a horizontal radiation of 360º, this antenna is ideal for capturing mobile phone signals from different towers regardless of where they are located. If the signal you receive in outdoor environments is good, this antenna model is ideal for you, it will provide good performance and installation is very easy.
- Directional antennas: they will provide you with a better performance, because their signal is focused in only one direction, the negative part is their installation, you will have to orient them very exactly to connect to the mobile phone antenna. If the signal you receive in outdoor environments is bad, this antenna model is ideal for you, even if the installation is somewhat more complicated.
There are also different indoor antennas that we can install in our home so that the smartphone connects directly to it, in this way, we will receive better coverage. Currently we can buy three different types of indoor antennas:
- Omnidirectional indoor antennas (elbow): these antennas are like those of WiFi routers with external antennas, they can be placed in the same room where you want to have coverage. They are usually the most used.
- Roof antenna: they are placed on the ceiling, it is recommended that the ceiling be made of plasterboard or similar because we will have to pass the antenna cable there, they serve to provide coverage to one or more rooms within the same floor (if your house has several floors, the coverage above this antenna will not be ideal).
- Wall antenna: It is like a WiFi access point located on the wall, they look the same. They are ideal for providing good coverage to various rooms.
As you have seen, we must take many things into account to buy the perfect mobile signal booster for us without going too far from the budget.
Once we have chosen all the components of our installation, we will have to install them ourselves, although it is not too complicated because the configuration of these devices is very simple.