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Choosing a Signal Booster/Repeater for proprietary devices

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by KevinJones, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. KevinJones

    KevinJones New Member

    Mar 6, 2020
    Likes Received:
    United States
    My Phone:
    iPhone 6
    Wireless Provider(s):
    I have been shopping for signal boosters/repeaters on the lower end (cheap to mid-priced.) There is a plethora of specs given on products in order to help choose the correct device that sometimes seem conflicting, overlapping, possibly redundant or just confusing. I often see specs given as:

    (Note, I am in North America)

    Frequencies (850 MHz etc)
    Bands (2, 5, 12, 13, etc)
    Carriers (Verizon, AT&T etc)
    Generations (3G, 4G etc)
    Acronyms which describe either channel access methods or technology protocols (GSM, CDMA, LTE etc)

    Unfortunately I am not supporting a cell phone where I could just call up my provider and have them tell me the technology or acronym description to look for. The devices I am trying to support are proprietary secure tracking devices and it is difficult to get information such as acronym designations, frequencies, or bands for them. The only information I have on them is the carrier (either Verizon or AT&T) and they are 3G.

    In order to try and simplify things, I am wondering if repeaters/boosters are strictly repeating radio waves, agnostic to:
    acronym designations?

    In other words, if I know the frequency (or band) I need, carrier and generation, and I find a unit that supports that, do I need to concern myself with acronym designations?

    Or taking it a step further, if I know the frequency (or band) I need, and I find a unit that supports those frequencies, do I even need to concern myself with carrier, generation, and acronym designations?

    Or does the technology and encoding protocol also need to be supported by the booster/repeater as well?

    I have tried contacting booster/repeater vendors, but have not had any luck in getting any information at all on this.

    I have researched the various acronym designations as best I could, indicating channel access methods and/or technology. While they all seem to indicate a technology, it seems they also may or may not to be an indicator of either frequency or generation. I have attempted to distill the information for designations below, based on North America standards:

    PCS - F: 1900 MHz; Generation: ?
    GPRS - F: 850 MHz; Generation: 2G, 3G, ?
    GSM - F: 850, 1900 MHz; Generation: 2G, ?
    EDGE - F: ?; Generation: "pre-3G"
    CDMA - (Channel access method) F ?; Generation: 3G, ?
    LTE - Usually refers to "bands" which can cover a plethora of frequencies, seemingly applies only to 4G?
    DCS - Seemingly a generalized parent protocol covering various frequencies and technologies

    If someone could help me to sort this out, it would be much appreciated. As stated I don't have the luxury to be able to just call up my provider and have them tell me the technology or acronym description to look for. So I am trying to get a general understanding of what are actually the pertinent factors which apply to the devices themselves.
  2. palandri

    palandri Former Palm Guy
    Senior Member

    Nov 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    My Phone:
    Pixel 4
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Project Fi
    I would think the company providing your proprietary secure tracking devices should be able to tell you what frequency or acronym designation to look for.

    That's about all I can thing of.
  3. COtech

    COtech Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Memphis, TN
    My Phone:
    Sam. Galaxy SII Skyrocket
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T Mobility
    These devices have been around a long time, back to the AMPS, TDMA, and CDMA days of 800 and 1900 MHz. For them to work with all these different modulations (similar to AM and FM differences), they have to operate as linear translators. What comes in one frequency, goes out the same on the other.

    GPRS was the first data transmission with GSM phones (1900 MHz only, in the USA). It was improved as EDGE, both 2G.
    LTE is a data transmission, a modulation that can be on any band.
    DCS was the second GSM band in Europe and elsewhere in the world, at 1800 MHz. (900 MHz was the first.) (1900 MHz in US is PCS.)

    You'll need to study your phone's engineering screens to find out the band in use, or study your carrier's frequency licenses to choose your booster and its antennas (one to connect to the cell site and one to connect to your device). (Isolation between the antennas is required to avoid feedback.)
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    palandri likes this.
  4. Orval Fenton

    Orval Fenton New Member

    Jul 23, 2020
    Likes Received:
    There's a cell signal booster that works very well for me at the cost of $200: signalbooster

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