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Mobile Phone Antenna
Connecting an external antenna to your mobile phone, iPhone or mobile data device and placing it outdoors is the most cost effective way to improve mobile signal. Often the signal outdoors or on the roof of a building is far great than indoors. An external antenna will also help to boost the signal.
How to Choose a Mobile Phone Antenna
Antennas come in all shapes and sizes and it can be confusing which one to choose.
Omni-Directional Antenna – Ideal for when the signal is ok outdoors, but poor indoors. Also suited to mobile application in vehicles or on boats where they are constantly moving. These antenna are usually lower in gain, but will receive a signal from 360 degrees. They are usually easier to mount and lower in price.
Mobile Phone Repeater
If you don’t want to be tied to an antenna, then a mobile repeater is the ideal solution. The signal can also be shared by multiple mobile devices including mobile phones, mobile tablets and mobile data devices. Cel-Fi is currently available for Telstra NextG and Optus 3G.
The Cel-Fi Smart Repeater is the only widely approved and legal consumer repeater in Australia. It consists of a Window Unit to boost the mobile signal from outdoors and a Coverage Unit to disburse the mobile signal indoors. The units are connected by a wireless link and both need to be plugged into power. The mobile signal is wirelessly disbursed throughout the building for around 25 users.
Similar to a mobile phone repeater, these devices are however not powered. An indoor antenna is connected directly to an outdoor antenna using low loss cable. Signal is then disbursed by the indoor antenna.
Passive Repeaters are often very hard to get working well, the input signal must be greater than the loss in the cable between the two antennas. The output signal range is also very limited.
Available from Optus and Vodafone, these devices require an ADSL connection. They create a mini mobile network indoors and send phone calls via data through the ADSL internet connection.
The biggest downfall is customers must have a decent internet connection that is consistently decent otherwise the call may drop of be poor quality. If a user moves from indoors to outdoors the call may also drop. The system can only be used by registered mobile phones on the account.