Cellular Optimization : FAQ & Features

The previous pages have focused upon some technicalities around cellular signal optimization. This page will try to address some questions customers should consider before purchasing and installing a cellular repeater system.

Will the repeater system improve my indoor coverage? Yes!

The external antenna will pick up the cellular signal of any reachable cell tower. Since this antenna is much better than any cellphone or modem antenna it is capable of contacting cell towers that cellphones cannot do at all. The repeater system electronics are capable of amplifying even the weakest signals to an appropriate signal that is working for inhouse cellphones.

What are the most important features of a good cellular repeater system?

  • Amplification electronics create heat which is energy waste. A good repeater system should do automatic frequencyband switch off when there is no signal being processed. This saves both power and does not unnecessarily send energy in the operators bands.
  • When the repeater is too close to nearby cell towers it is no need to amplify the signal it should actually attenuate to bring it to an acceptable inhouse signal strength. So proximity control is essential.
  • Interference with mobile network operators cell towers is highly unacceptable. Therefore it is essential to have an oscillation protection.
  • Last but not least there must be an automatic gain control where the repeater system will automatically adapt to changed signal strengths. Mobile network operators do often maintenance at their cell towers, which are switched off at that moment. The repeater will be directed to other cell towers of the same operator, further away. To maintain the good signal quality inhouse the amplification of the repeater system has to adapt automatically to these weaker signals.

Does a repeater system makes cellphones radiate lesser signal energy?

Actually, it does. In every cellphone is also a mechanism working that senses the incoming signal strength and makes the signal strength of the outgoing signal getting stronger when the incoming signal is getting weaker. The same is true for the reverse situation. A stronger inhouse signal makes cellphones radiating less. And as a positive side effect… these will do longer with their batteries.

What sets this solution apart from other repeater brands and solutions?

There are several aspects here that apply:

  • It is designed and manufactured in Europe. Therefore it is fully optimized for the European frequency bands and signal strengths and the typical behaviour of European mobile network operators.
  • It works in a fully active design. Usually repeater networks are designed with a very strong amplifying repeater and from there propogate the indoor signals through passive couplers and splitters. All adding more attenuation (signal decrease) to the signal when going further away from the starting point (indoor connector of the repeater). This will result in none of the indoor antennas NOT performing equal to others, the most remote ones performing worst. And this is just what you tried to overcome! Our solution is providing the same signal at every connected indoor antenna.
  • The new product range allows for remote monitoring and control. This is realized by a network connection that allows for a cloud based monitoring system through which you can control and manage the individual i-repeater and i-line amplifiers individually.
  • It comes in 2 versions. One for Europe and partly Asia. Recently a US – Caribbean version has become available.
  • SNMP support for reading the status of the cellular amplifier and settings.

Below pictures will show what are actually the benefits of our repeater systems.

Standard situation: each mobile operator its signal strength is based on the proximity of its cell towers. Walls will attenuate the signal strengths.

There are 3 Mobile Operator cell towers that radiate there energy in any direction. The signal strength inside the object -a building or a ship- is attenuated by the walls (out- and inside) and the distance of the cell towers AND by the frequency bands each operator offers its specific services. This is shown by the decreasing length of the flashes (representing the signal of an MNO and the distance to the cell tower + frequency dependency.

Optimized situation: signals of each operator are amplified through a repeater and some line amplifiers to supply equal strengths.

In a repeater / line amplifier installation the cell towers signals are received through the outside (roof mounted) antenna. These are fed into the repeater which in a small environment can support up to 4 internal antennas. If the signal condition requires more internal antennas (surface size or multiple floors and walls) than additional line amplifiers are being used. This can quadruple the amount of internal antennas. Up to 3 ‘layers’ of line amplifiers can be cascaded to support up to 256 internal antennes. All antennas radiate the same signals and act as such as 1 large distributed array of antennas (DAS) system. Large installations require professional advise. Coaxial cable lengths will introduce frequency dependent cable losses and this needs to be compensated to guarantee a proper operation everywhere inside the object.

It is recommended to have an internal signal measurement site survey related to a floorplan of the object to be able to advise a solid repeater installation. Digital Deal has a lot of experience to do this on request resulting in a professional report and offer that will 100% work for your environment based on your demands.