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ML-CSA 4500 4G Cell Signal Amplifier
19 February 2018

Cell Signal Terms You Need to Know!

If you are new to buying or installing cell signal boosters, the terminology can be a bit confusing. Here are the definitions for the most popular cell signal terms terms that you will encounter.

  • Radio Frequency (RF)

    The signal wave frequency used to transmit cellular, AM and FM radio, and Wi-Fi signals.

  • Gain

    The higher the gain, measured as a positive number, the more a signal is amplified. Boosters, indoor antennas, and outdoor antennas each produce gain to create a combined, total gain value.

  • Loss

    The lower the negative number, the more loss will occur. Loss works against gain and, for example, if you have an overall 25 dB of gain and -5 dB of loss it would result in an overall gain of 22 dB. This is addressed in our complimentary design services.

  • Decibel (dB)

    The unit of measurement used to indicate cellular signal strength. Written in negative numbers, the further the number is from 0, the weaker the signal, with -50 dB being a perfect cellular signal.

  • Active DAS (Distributed Antenna System)

    Active DAS is a distributed antenna system that uses fiber optic cables and requires the system generate a cellular signal, rather than amplifying an existing signal outside of the building.

  • Passive DAS (Distributed Antenna System)

    Passive DAS is a distributed antenna system that uses a bi-directional amplifier (or signal booster) and does not require fiber optic cables. These systems take the signal outside of the building and amplify that signal indoors.

  • Dual In-Line Package (DIP) Switch

    DIP switches refer to the individual switches on a booster that are used to manually adjust uplink and downlink attenuation.

  • Wideband

    Also known as carrier neutral or carrier agnostic, this is the term used to define a booster, repeater, or amplifier that covers all bands of the RF spectrum. A wideband booster will support coverage for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and all other carriers.

  • Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI)

    RSSI is the measure of RF signal strength that a building is receiving from an access point, like a cellular tower.

  • Donor Signal

    The signal that the booster is boosting, repeating, or amplifying. This is typically the signal being received from the cellular tower.

  • Broadcast Signal

    The signal that is generated by the booster and distributed to the inside of a building or vehicle.

  • RF Band

    Produced by cell towers, these sub-sections of the RF spectrum include cellular, PCS, AWS, and LTE.

  • Attenuation

    Reduction in the signal strength of a signal either through natural or forced means. You may want to attenuate a booster if a donor signal is too strong or too weak by adjusting the dip switches.

  • Oscillation

    Also called feedback, this occurs when the outdoor and indoor antennas are installed too close together. This causes the booster to rebroadcast one set of signals between the two antenna, progressively getting louder and louder until the booster enters sleep mode. Oscillation can be resolved by creating distance between the antennas.

    Multi-Link offers “Plug & Play” Cell Signal Amplifiers for M2M, Mobile, Home & Office Building applications for 3G & 4G users on all carrier networks. FCC certified for new regulations and technical standards. Easy to install, all amplifiers come with complete installation kit.

    Click here for more info: https://multi-link.net/product/cell-signal-amplifiers/ (Internal Link)

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