Cellular Signal Booster

Why Cellphone Coverage is Poor in Places and How a Cellular Signal Booster Can Solve the Problem

Living in Africa, you are bound to have experienced some sort of cellular signal problem, such as dropped calls and an unreliable signal. Adding more towers to improve coverage will not adequately address the problem, because settlements with thousands of houses and buildings pop up overnight, causing endless headaches to radio planners. This is the main reason Africa is now also moving to 4G LTE on the newer frequency spectrum negotiated with ICASA. This could enable service providers to provide better coverage to subscribers from the same network infrastructure.

What about people experiencing poor cellular connectivity issues right now? Consider a cellular signal booster. But first, approach your service provider, as it is their mandate and responsibility to provide cellular coverage everywhere as per their advertising claims. They often provide signal boosters free of charge to get their subscribers connected. However, they do not offer this service to all areas due to budget and time constraints. In that case, approach a company like SSE LinkWorld. We will visit the site to test the signal strength, and suggest a solution.

Different frequency spectrums provide different formats, like GSM-900, DCS-1800, and WCDMA 2100. Four network providers provide connectivity over these frequencies and they are free to decide which frequencies they cover, like 2G, 3G, or 4G LTE. A signal booster bought over the Internet is virtually guaranteed to disappoint. You do not just want to amplify a signal – you want to amplify the correct signal from the correct service provider. Cellular signal boosters are mainly used in remote areas where communication is essential and terrain and distance conspire to cause poor reception; however, they can be used in private homes, offices, commercial buildings, shopping malls, basements, mines, and in tunnels to enhance the signal.

Causes of Poor Cell Signal

Is the distance from the closest cellular service provider’s tower always to blame? Cellular service providers have a network of strategically located towers. If the antenna structure on the base transceiver station (BTS) only provide GSM-900, the only way to get WCDMA 2100 could be to change service providers. The wrong cellular signal booster will be ineffectual; it can only enhance the signal it was designed to enhance. The antennas on a BTS can electronically alter their direction without the need for manual manipulation. You could be receiving a poor (or no) signal, even if you are just 500 m from a BTS, which will require a signal booster. The cellular service providers own the network infrastructure, and they will always direct the signal towards population concentrations to reach as many people as possible, which is not necessarily where you live. Being further away from the BTS compounds the problem. An SSE LinkWorld installation that is located around 40 km from a BTS provides an extended GSM-900 service, using an 18-m mast to allow for the Fresnel Effect (the curvature of the earth), ensuring adequate coverage despite obstacles like trees.

The biggest misconception is that all cellphone signals are of the same. As explained, there are three frequency spectrums. GSM-900, thanks to its larger frequency curve, can travel further and better penetrate structures and buildings. The typical reception distance from a BTS with line of sight (LoS) is around 16 km without additional boosting (amplification by cellular repeater). DCS-1800 – which is still UHF, but very close to microwave – has an expected reception distance of around 7 km from a BTS with LoS without additional boosting. WCDMA 2100, which is microwave, has an expected reception distance of around 3 km from a BTS with LoS without additional boosting. Clearly, the higher the frequency, the shorter the distance it travels and the poorer its penetration of structures. An additional problem is interference. Oscillation and noise on the network causes interference that hampers data transfer. In terms of cellular data transmission, a clearer signal is preferred over a stronger one.


The Solution Provided by Cellular Signal Boosters
A cellular signal booster that amplifies the wrong signal will have no effect, or make the signal worse. A qualified installer with the correct equipment must perform a field test with all the available network SIM cards to establish what signal is available at a height of six to ten metres above the ground. No mobile app is adequate for this job. Signal boosters are designed to help overcome obstructions and amplify weak signals so that a tower’s reach is extended. An outdoor antenna is typically mounted in the air where the installer has established there is good reception, and is then amplified. Normally, if done by an installer, adequate indoor coverage of the home is possible. With additional outdoor antennas, limited outdoor coverage can also be achieved. Solutions to mines and lodges will follow the same route. The installer will use larger antenna systems and cellular repeaters.


If you want to permanently solve your cell reception problems, it is important to use the right cellular signal booster, which you can get at SSE LinkWorld. Simply contact us via email or telephone for more product information, options, and advice.

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