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While 5G is being rolled out gradually – as of December 1, nearly 31,000 5G sites were operational Authorized by the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) in mainland France, of which about 21,000 have been declared technically operational – some areas are still weak or poorly covered by the network today. For those affected, using a 4G/5G booster may help resolve these connectivity issues.
As its name suggests, the purpose of a 4G/5G amplifier (or repeater) is to boost the mobile network signal to allow for better reception; Concretely, it captures the emitted signal and multiplies it. The device obviously requires the presence of the signal and is therefore useless in the white area. This device consists of a receiving antenna – placed where the signal is maximum, directed towards the nearest cell tower – an amplifier and an internal antenna, which will transmit the amplified signal.
Before acquiring an amplifier, it is important to know the frequencies that its operator uses. In France, 5G is currently deployed on several frequency bands: those used for 2G, 3G and 4G networks (the “low” bands) – at 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz and 2.6 GHz – and two new bands, at 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz. Low frequencies have a wider range and better pass through obstacles, while higher frequencies can handle more traffic.
Exercise requires operators permission
4G / 5G amplifiers can be easily found on the Internet. Note that although the use of such a device is illegal, it requires permission from the operator(s) concerned. The use of an amplifier without this agreement is a crime, and is subject to a criminal penalty of up to six months in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros. A poorly configured amplifier can disturb surrounding frequencies, like a network jammer; However, the relay antennas are capable of detecting this type of interference and the operator immediately transmits it to ANFR.
ANFR Reports It is frequently requested (approximately 150 interventions annually) to resolve interference in mobile networks caused by unlicensed installed repeaters. The agency also states that as radio equipment, the amplifier must comply with the European Directive 2014/53/EU of April 16, 2014, known as RED, and therefore bear the CE marking. i.e. that Cartoradio.fr . website ANFR – which lists all antennas emitting more than 5 watts advertised on French soil – allows you to know which operators operate the various authorized locations, as well as the location and direction of the closest relay antenna in your geographical area as an option.
For people who are more curious and do it yourself, know that there are still online tutorials for making your own. Homemade 4G amplifier, which we can attempt to reproduce only out of simple scientific curiosity and for very short use. The link shown, which suggests making a speaker using two cans of coffee, is inspired by a Suggested video by popular science, intended for GSM type (2G) phone holders; So the communication part has to be adapted to current smartphones, but the procedure remains valid.
Choose your loudspeaker
If you want to find out what mobile signal strength your phone receives, you can refer to the settings of the latter: for an Android smartphone, go to the section About Phone > Status > Network (The signal strength is indicated in decibels); for iPhone, The procedure is a little different. This is a negative number and the closer to zero the better the 4G/5G connection. Typically, a signal around -40 dBm is excellent, while a signal near -120 dBm is very poor.
The choice of amplifier will be directed mainly by the type of network and the frequencies one would like to amplify. Note that each model can extend one or more frequency signals (this is referred to as a dual-band, tri-band, four-band amplifier, etc.). Obviously, prices vary according to these capacities (count 150 to 200 euros as a minimum for a good subwoofer).
The choice of the signal receiving antenna, which should be installed on the roof or on the facade of the building in question, is also important: in urban areas, experts recommend using an omnidirectional antenna (there are generally more antennas, so the signal can come from several directions); In rural areas, on the other hand, a unidirectional antenna may be more effective, provided it is oriented in the directional range. Ideally, the coaxial cable connecting the receiving antenna to the amplifier should be as short as possible (in order to reduce losses); You should also be careful not to twist or twist this cable to ensure the best possible reception.
Although expensive and strictly regulated, the use of 4G/5G subwoofer can be a good solution for people in areas with poor network coverage. Note that its use allows, moreover, to reduce the power of the waves emitted by the phones (which is on average 250 mW maximum at 900 MHz): the signal strength emitted by the amplifier is 10 mW to the maximum and its proximity requires much less power to connect to it .