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  • Writer's pictureWolfgang Waldner

Signalextention (part 1)

If the remote area is outside of a metropolitan area, you may be able to receive the signal from a remote cell phone station. In order to increase the signal strength, a directional antenna can be installed at an exposed point from which the operator can see a “cell phone mast”.

A directional antenna bundles the radio waves in a preferred direction and thus leads to a "signal gain".

If there is no direct line of sight, a receiving location with sufficient signal strength should be selected.

Analog repeaters are bidirectional amplifiers. That means they amplify the signal in the direction of the cell phone and in the direction of the base station.

While anyone can install such devices for the WLAN or DECT area, strictly speaking, such mobile radio repeaters may only be operated by the mobile network operators themselves, on their frequencies. It is also possible to obtain approval from mobile network operators to operate professional "signal extenders", for example to supply railroad tunnels.

Although such "signal extenders" are freely available to everyone, the operator of the devices can be prosecuted if the cellular network is disrupted - this can be expensive.

A "signal extender" has the disadvantages mentioned, but also important advantages: On the one hand, several devices can be connected to it (which can be of interest to a user group) and, on the other hand, the transmitted signal can be bundled and illuminate a supply area via a directional antenna.

The radio horizon extends (depending on the frequency) somewhat beyond the optical horizon. Nevertheless, a line of sight guarantees better signal quality.

If there is no line of sight, but the signal strength is sufficient, it must be expected that this will change depending on the weather. This does not have to be a problem as long as sufficient signal quality is still available when it is raining or snowing. Trees, bushes and other vegetation represent an obstacle that also leads to weather-dependent signal attenuation.

I would like to remind you that isolated devices in areas exposed to the landscape are at risk of lightning.


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