A Brief Look at How a Cellular Signal Booster Works

Signal booster antenna mounted on a home.

Antennas, both internal and external, are the most important components of a signal booster system. The antennas are needed for capturing the cell signal from the cell tower and for rebroadcasting the amplified cell signal. 

External Antenna

The external antennas of the cellular repeater are of two types; omnidirectional and unidirectional.

Omnidirectional antennas are capable of receiving cell signals in a 360-degree radius. These types of antennas are used mainly in areas where there are a lot of cell towers. It is the best choice for boosting cell signals of multiple network carriers. If your outside signal strength is moderate to strong, then you must choose an omnidirectional antenna. 

Unidirectional antennas are used when the outside signal strength is very weak. These antennas are more powerful than omnidirectional antennas and can only capture cell signals from a single direction. It is the most recommended antenna for a cellular repeater if the distance from the cell tower is the main reason for the poor cell reception.

There are two types of unidirectional antennas; yagi and log periodic. The Yagi antennas are three times more powerful than omnidirectional antennas. They can pull cell signals from really far away while giving higher gain to the cell signal. Log periodic antennas are way more powerful than yagi antennas and are able to pull all types of cell signals, including 4G, 4G LTE, 5G, etc.

Internal Antenna

Like external antennas, internal antennas are also of different types. They are a whip, dome, and panel.

Whip antennas are mainly used in vehicles because they work well in small spaces. Among the other internal antennas, the whip antenna is the easiest one to install. 

The best-suited antennas for square-shaped or single-story buildings are the dome antennas. They are installed on the ceiling and distribute the boosted cell signals to all directions equally.

Panel antennas are mainly used in multi-story buildings. They are installed on the wall and distribute the boosted cell signals in a beam pattern.

Antenna Separation

When you install the internal and external antennas, make sure that they have enough distance between them. If the antennas are placed in proximity, it will affect the performance of the signal booster. When the antennas are close to each other, it will create a problem called oscillation. It occurs when the external antenna captures the signals coming from the internal antenna. Therefore, you need to make sure that the inside antenna and the external antenna have enough horizontal and vertical distance between them.