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Mobile Phone Reception in a House

Posted on 2014-09-25
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Last Modified: 2014-10-13
I have a client who has really bad mobile phone reception inside their house.  They have a 2 stroey house and there is little or no reception in 99% of the house.  They are in the middle of a metropolitan area.

If they go outside they get good coverage, but as soon as they go inside they lose all service.

I can see there are some devices on the market where you can install them in your house and boost the mobile signal inside the house.

Does anyone have any experience in using them and can recommend any over others.

I am in Western Australia.  The client has Telstra and Optus service mobiles in the house.
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Question by:mbelletty
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viki2000 earned 167 total points
ID: 40343586
Few months ago I installed such device/ GSM amplifier/booster/repeater.
I am in Europe, Germany.
I bough a Chinese one:
http://www.ebay.de/itm/GSM-3G-900MHz-2100MHz-70dB-Handy-Signal-Booster-Repeater-Verstarker-UMST-D1-D2-/181435906543?pt=DE_Handy_PDA_Signalverst%C3%A4rker&hash=item2a3e6c39ef

In Australia you may find it here:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GSM-3G-900MHz-WCDMA-2100MHz-Mobile-Phone-Signal-Booster-Repeater-Amplifier-Kit-/291145150951?pt=AU_MobilePhoneAccessories&hash=item43c99a71e7

For me works fine, unexpected well.

I had only 1 bar and only sometimes in the best case I had 2 bars in front of the house or in the attic.
Inside the house was no siganl at all, unless I was at the fisrt floor very close to the window. Then I got 1 bar. Outside of the window, I got sometimes 2 bars.
Well, I installed the system and I got 5 bars in front of the inner antenna, 3-4 bars in the room where the inner antenna is and 3G Internet.
The outside antenna I actually installed in the attic, where nobody lives in our house, and I had some glass tiles (20x30cm) on the roof to get some light from outside. In front of the one of the tiles I found 2 bars signal measured with the mobile phone.

When you order such system you have know the frequency used by GSM communication and if you need also mobile Internet/data. If you need also mobile Internet then you should buy a repeater/booster also for that, which means 3G or/and 4G.
In my case was enough 3G, because 4G is available only in big cities for the moment and the house was at village. And I knew that 4G is under development, not all the places have good coverage. Then I checked my GSM provider to see the frequencies used for voice. I found for example that uses 900MHz and 1800MHz for voice and 2100MHz for 3G. Then I bought a GSM 3G repeater/amplifier/booster, whatever you call it, for 900MHz and 2100MHz. The 1800MHz was not amplified.
Important to know few things:
- the outside antenna must be placed where you get the maximum signal, somewhere high, without obstacles in front.
- the inside antenna may be round, then you put it on ceiling and you get the same signal in all directions in the room. Or it may be as a panel, rectangular. Then you get the maximum signal inside the room only directional, in front of the panel as a corridor. Of course there is signal  also in the other regions of the room, but not so strong, maybe 1-2 bars less.
- In my case I ordered a round inner antenna and I received a panel one, by mistake, and I had no time to send it back and ask the round one. Anyway, I installed it and works well.
- Important is also when you mount the inner antenna to be  at different vertical plane, and if its panel as mine, then should be oriented in such way to avoid the resonance with the outside antenna. You will get a user manual where these are shown and explained.
- In case the outside signal is weak, then you may use instead of small outside antenna, a YAGI type which has a higher gain in dB. In my case was not necessary.
- When you install the inside antenna(s), keep in mind that you may need for each room one. The signals are strongly attenuated by walls (brick walls in Europe) from one room to another. In my case I have doors with glasses between rooms and a lobby. The panel antenna is mounted in lobby and the inside GSM signal is still 3 bars inside the rooms going though the glass of the doors. In front of the panel antenna I get 5 bars.

To check the coverage signal for different regions I used:
http://opensignal.com/

Then for your case Telstra and Optus, you may see the frequencies here:
http://www.mobilenetworkguide.com.au/australian_mobile_phone_frequencies.html

These amplifiers and antennas are more expensive if you want dual band, meaning voice and data as in my case. Then if is 4G is more expensive than 3G, which is good enough in my case, up to 21Mbs.
If you need only voice for GSM, then is the cheapest option.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 167 total points
ID: 40345525
bad reception inhouse, is often due to the construction, using armed concrete in walls  / and  / or floors
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Assisted Solution

by:nickg5
nickg5 earned 166 total points
ID: 40361502
Look down at the suggestions in Method 2 of 3: Taking Easy Action

http://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Cell-Phone-Reception
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