4G signal boosters in the UK and how to select them

In a house, office, or country cottage, you may encounter unpleasant problems, like it is impossible to get through to you and the Internet on your smartphone is slow. Cellular signals can really be strengthened with a booster. Yet, there are a lot of models, and all have different characteristics, depending on the purpose.  

So, keep on reading, as today we will tell you how to choose a Vodafone 4g signal booster in the UK, which one is better for the countryside, apartment, and office space, and how they differ. Let’s start!

Signal boosters for apartments

Within the city, there are usually many closely spaced base stations of leading operators that support all modern communication standards. As an exception, we can mention sparsely populated areas, a distance of more than 20 km from a major city, or newly built-up micro districts. If the incoming signal on the street is acceptable, a repeater of low or medium power will amplify it directly in the apartment.

What else to consider?  

What to consider when choosing:  

  1. Room area. Most amplifiers have a coverage of 150-200 m2, which is quite enough for an apartment. Do not take devices with too short a range, as there must be a power reserve. Also, pay attention to the fact that the larger the object, the more internal antennas you will need. Optimal for a spacious room with 2-3 antennas, use a splitter to separate and distribute the signal.
  2. Frequency range. A smartphone in a city apartment will always connect to the highest frequencies, up to 2100 or 2600 MHz. Therefore, it is best to take a multi-band repeater with support for all communication standards, especially 4G. This is voice communication and high-speed Internet in one bottle.
  3. Gain. For a standard apartment, a communication amplifier with a KU of 60-65 dB is suitable. A device with an indicator below 60 will be useful if the tower is very close and there are no “dead zones” of the GSM signal on the way (high-rise buildings, bridges, industrial workshops, or forest plantations). 

The option of automatic adjustment is also required. If the received signal from the BS is too strong, self-excitation (oscillation) of the internal antennas and the repeater may occur. With the AGC function, the repeater will automatically adjust the signal to the desired level.

  1. Power. Depends on the footage of the apartment and the radius of action. In a small-sized dwelling (up to 50 m2), a repeater with a power of 10-15 can easily cope with its tasks, and in a larger area, it is more reasonable to consider an amplifier with an indicator of 20 dBm or more.

In order for the amplification system to function effectively, UCtel experts recommend installing an external antenna as high as possible. For example, you can install it on a roof or a television mast.

Signal boosters for offices

The choice of an amplifier for an office depends on many factors: the number of stories of the building, the materials from which the facade is made, the area of ​​​​the room, the presence of internal partitions, the number of employees, etc. 

If the office is located outside the city (for example, in a village), then the nearest cell tower may be far away, and the reception will be poor. In the center of a large settlement, there may also be problems with the network, as there is a high density of BS. 

What else to consider?  

Therefore, when selecting a repeater for the work area, take into account the following factors:

  1. Gain (from 75 dB). In spacious offices and workshops, you can install “industrial” repeaters with a peak KU of 90 dB. 
  2. The output power should be not less than 20 dBm. 
  3. Frequency range. For productive office work, you will most likely need high-speed Internet, so it is better to buy a multi-band repeater. 
  4. The number of indoor antennas. In a small office (up to 100 m2), one or two are enough. If the area is much larger, several transmitters will be needed. To find out the exact number, ask for the help of a specialist.

Signal boosters for the countryside

Outside the city, reception may be hindered by uneven terrain, hills, ravines, and weather conditions. In rain and thunderstorms, the quality of communication is noticeably reduced.  

Also, find out what frequencies the operators work on. Often, in remote areas, only the cellular network (GSM) and 3G Internet are accepted. Therefore, it is optimal to take single- or dual-band amplifiers. The most popular frequencies in rural areas are 900-1800 MHz. A cell tower located outside the city rarely operates at high frequencies.

What else to consider?  

  1. Gain. For a suburban repeater, an indicator of at least 70 dB is optimal. This is enough if the existing signal is good, for example, a cottage in the suburbs and less than 10 km from the city. If the BS is very far away and the connection almost does not catch in the area around the house, it is better to take a device with a value of 70 dB.
  2. Power level. For a large house with an attic or a full second floor, you will need an amplifier of at least 20 dBm. This is because the received signal will have to be distributed at different heights, taking into account overlaps. 
  3. The materials from which the house is built. Log cabins do not transmit a cellular signal well, so it would be more logical to place the receiving device on the roof, or where the most confident reception is.

Summing it up

It is important not only to choose a repeater for its intended purpose but also to install it correctly. It looks simple at first glance, but installation, cabling, and fine-tuning require at least basic engineering skills. Otherwise, the amplifier will not work, or it will create serious interference in the operation of the base station, and this is already a violation of the law. 

Selecting the best signal booster and installing it can be effectively done by UCtel specialists. In the company, communication improvement is carried out in a complex way: from measurements to installation of equipment and subsequent maintenance. Thank you for your attention!

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