Guidelines on improving mobile network coverage

If you are having problems with the quality of the connection, something as simple as an affordable desk antenna may be the solution. In case this does not help, you may consider buying an outdoor antenna.

You can multiply the transmission speed of a poorly functioning broadband connection with a desk antenna. An outdoor antenna will be even more effective. These solutions may enable the use of a broadband connection even in indoor facilities where there is no GSM or mobile broadband coverage available.

An additional antenna may often help in areas where the operator does not guarantee coverage without an additional antenna. In areas like this, there is necessarily no mobile broadband connection for mobile phones indoors and the reception outdoors may be poor as well, one bar at the most. According to user experiences, for example outdoor antennas have helped to achieve both good reception indoors and a transmission speed of several megabytes per second.

Remember to ask your operator about the mobile coverage in your address first. Even with an effective directional antenna, the possibilities to increase the network coverage are limited. In case the area with better reception is situated several kilometres from the site where you want to use the connection, check with your operator whether an additional antenna will improve the reception sufficiently.

Coverage maps for mobile networks typically describe how the service functions outdoors. House structures, such as walls and energy efficient windows, decrease reception indoors. It should also be noted that coverage maps are based on calculations. This is why the effects of all natural obstacles, such as large rocks between the base station and a house, cannot be taken into account.

If the connection is poor when using a mobile phone

1: Poor mobile connection

You cannot connect an additional antenna directly to all mobile phones and USB modems. However, the use of an additional antenna will be possible if you buy an inductive coupler (for about 20 euros) and attach the coupler to your mobile phone with a velcro strap.

In addition, you will need a desk antenna which will be attached to the coupler. The coupler will always weaken the signal which is why it can be mainly used with antennas which are more effective and have a higher amplification.

For long-term use, you may consider buying a desk GSM phone and a desk or outdoor antenna. These solutions may guarantee a better functionality for your mobile phone than an inductive coupler.

A desk GSM phone will typically cost slightly more than 100 euros. Some phones support fast mobile broadband data connections as well. Remember to check beforehand that it is possible to attach a desk or outdoor antenna to the desk GSM phone you intend to buy. Note that a desk GSM needs electricity to function.

 

2: There is no reception (no signal)

If there is no reception, you may still be able to use a desk GSM phone and a desk or outdoor antenna or a phone and a subscription with support for using WiFi. A repeater that is used to strengthen the signal is an active part of the operator network, and must not be installed without permission

If the connection is poor when using a USB modem

1: Poor mobile connection

You can improve the quality of the connection with affordable desk antenna solutions. A laptop antenna attachable to the antenna connection of a USB modem and your laptop screen may be sufficient to improve the reception. Some USB modems are sold with a laptop antenna. Laptop antennas cost about 30 euros when bought separately.

You cannot connect an additional antenna directly to all USB modems. However, the use of an additional antenna will be possible if you buy an inductive coupler (for about 20 euros) and attach the coupler to your USB modem with a velcro strap. In addition, you will need a desk antenna which will be attached to the coupler. The coupler will always weaken the signal which is why it can be mainly used with antennas which are more effective and have a higher amplification.

You may also buy a new USB modem. Alternatively, you can buy a router to which a desk or outdoor antenna can be attached.

2: There is no reception (no signal)

If your mobile broadband connection does not function without a desk antenna or functions poorly even with one, you may consider buying an outdoor antenna. If you are having difficulties in making mobile calls without interruption, an outdoor antenna may help here has well.

If the connection is poor when using a router

1: Poor or slow mobile or broadband connection

You can use the router to improve the mobile network coverage by placing the router at a site where the reception is strongest. If this does not enhance the reception and the quality of the internet connection, you may buy affordable desk antennas to improve the functionality of the network.

The most inexpensive routers require a separate USB modem whereas a SIM card is sufficient for the more expensive devices. Remember to check the compatibility of your USB modem and the router before you buy the router. The prices of the least expensive models start from 40 euros. Models functioning without a separate USB modem cost about 150-300 euros. Routers are sold by operators and stores specialised in information technology.

2: There is no reception (no signal)

If your mobile broadband connection does not function without a desk antenna or functions poorly even with one, you may consider buying an outdoor antenna. If you are having difficulties in making mobile calls without interruption, an outdoor antenna may help here as well. A router is a WLAN base station which enables the use of mobile connections in the whole coverage area of the WLAN.