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Installing a Mobile Phone Booster

Mobile phone boosters often referred to as Cellular Repeaters are in common usage all around the world. Different countries have conditions and restrictions on the use of such devices as they connect to privately or government owned carrier networks.

In Australia, it is illegal to operate a mobile phone booster without the carrier’s approval. Heavy penalties apply. Currently, there is only one brand available for Telstra, Optus and Vodafone that has such approval and therefore, you should make sure the device you purchase is a Cel-Fi Smart Repeater. The models available are designed for each specific carrier and tightly integrated into the network carrier once installed.

The first thing a prospective user needs to understand is that a mobile phone booster can only produce a result in an area where some signal exists. If there is no signal at all, then it won’t work. In other words, a Mobile Phone Booster is a repeater and as the name implies - it repeats (and boosts). The easiest way to determine if a mobile phone booster will work at your location is to check the signal strength on a mobile phone at that particular location. There are many apps you can download or just simply look at the number of bars. If you can see one solid bar then the repeater will work. A typical scenario would be that outside a house your mobile phone shows 1-2 bars, however, inside you get no signal. A repeater is ideal for this situation.

Before we go any further, you should know a little more about mobile Phone Repeaters. Typically a Mobile Phone Repeater comprises of an input antenna, an amplifier module and a coverage antenna. The input antenna communicates with the Cell Phone Tower and is usually mounted on the roof. The input antenna is connected by cable to the amplifier module. A second antenna is used to broadcast the boosted signal and usually mounted in the ceiling or wall. This antenna is also connected by cable to the amplifier module. See diagram below.



Now getting back to the typical scenario of a house with weak or no signal inside. To determine if a Mobile Phone Repeater is suitable for your situation, check to see if you get 1 solid bar outside the house and in particular, on the roof where the input antenna will be mounted. We have seen many cases where at ground level the signal is intermittent, one bar or no bars; however, on the roof at the input antenna elevation, the signal is 1-2 bars.

Once you have determined the input signal will be adequate, you can purchase your repeater with confidence that you will soon be enjoying mobile phone service in your house be it for home business or home office use, personal use and piece of mind that you are connected in case of an emergency.

Once you have selected and purchased a mobile phone repeater you need to install the antennas and other components. This can be done quite easily if you can use a ladder, some basic tools and run coaxial cables in a house. Alternatively, you should purchase the repeater with installation included so a properly qualified technician will perform the installation.
The rest of the guide assumes you will be installing the repeater yourself and have the necessary skills to do so.

Your Cel-Fi repeater should be purchased as a kit including antennas and cables. Keep in mind that typically the kit will come with all the components required however, check things like cable lengths required for your intended installation setup and order extra cables if required. Also, select the correct kit in terms of the type of input antenna. Use this as a guide:

·    Metro Kit – for town, city and suburb areas (OMNI antenna)
·    Building Kit – for areas where outside signal is weak (LPDA directional antenna)
·    Building Edge Kit – for marginal areas i.e. on the edge of the network (high gain YAGI directional antenna)

Installation Steps

1.    Read and understand the Stationary Quick Start Guide and any installation instruction in the box. Installation should be carried out strictly in accordance with the Cel-Fi GO Stationary Quick Start Guide
2.    Mount the input antenna on the roof using a pole, such as a fascia pole. Use qualified trades person such as a TV antenna installer or electrician if you do have the necessary skills for this task.
3.    Run input cable (usually the thicker cable) from the antenna to the repeater module. Repeater can be located in a cupboard where 240V power is available.
4.    Choose a central location of the area you wish to cover and install the coverage antenna. Run the output cable back to the amplifier module.
5.    Load up the Wave App as per instruction included with Cel-Fi and power up the amplifier.
6.    Follow the app instruction to complete the installation.

Click here to see a full range of Ce-Fi Smart Repeaters or contact us for further information