Mobile Internet – How to Choose a Modem, Antenna and Connector?

Wireless Internet access via cellular networks is an increasingly popular service. The growing popularity of this service among subscribers is the result of mobility, higher revenue and lower prices. The absolute highlight is LTE technology, which allows you to obtain data rates similar to landline/cable or wireless networks.
When the LTE includes relatively low frequency range (in the 800 MHz range), the service’s popularity will increase even more. The use of this band will allow to cover with the sign of non urbanized zones LTE.
Depending on the cellular operator and the transmitter, Internet access may be based on different technologies. This article is an outline on the subject, with particular emphasis on the more future-oriented access method – LTE technology. The article focuses primarily on practical issues and appropriate selection of components and devices suitable for particular applications.Mobile Internet - How to Choose a Modem, Antenna and Connector?
Content

  • Mobile access technologies and data transfer rates
  • Technologies/bands used by operators of large cellular infrastructure in Poland
  • Contacts to cellular operators in Poland
  • Selection of devices, antennas and accessories
  • LTE
  • Modems and connectors
  • Antennas – How to Choose the Best?
  • UMTS (3G), HSPA +
  • Modems and connectors
  • Antennas for 2100 MHz
  • Antennas for 900 MHz
  • Antennas for 900 MHz and 2100 MHz
  • GPRS, EDGE
  • Modems and connectors
  • Antennas – base station <4 km
  • Antennas – base station> 4 km
  • CDMA
  • Antennas – How to Choose One?
  • Home

The following table lists the most popular wireless internet access technologies used in the mobile operator infrastructure in Poland and their maximum rates of data transfer.
Each technology can use different frequency ranges, which is critical for selecting an appropriate antenna.
Technologies/bands used by large cellular infrastructure operators in Poland
Information on the location of the nearest base station and transmission parameters (band) can usually be obtained from the carrier’s customer service.
Contacts to cellular operators in Poland are available in the Polish version.
If a mobile device (modem) is far from the base station or is “shadowed” by some obstacles, communication can be improved by connecting an appropriate antenna. In addition to the antenna, it is usually necessary to purchase the appropriate adapter, which fits an antenna antenna input (s) of the modem and the original antenna connector (s).
LTE standard
Currently, the fastest standard of data transmission in cellular networks is LTE (Long Term Evolution). In general, LTE mobile network technology can enable download speeds up to 326 Mbps and upload speeds up to 86 Mbps (with a channel width of 20 MHz, 64QAM and MIMO 4 × 4).
LTE is flexible, both in terms of the frequency range and bandwidth of the transmission channel. LTE networks can operate in 700 MHz frequency bands (non-urbanized areas – longer range) to 2.6 GHz (metropolitan areas – higher capacity) . An important element of LTE is Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology increasing transmission efficiency by employing multiple antennas at both ends of the transmission chains.
As mentioned earlier, LTE can operate over a wide frequency range. In Poland, the frequency bands currently used are 1800 MHz and 2500 MHz. The next step will be the 800 MHz band launched thanks to the so-called digital dividend.
Depending on the modem, the user must use an appropriate antenna adapter, for example:
LTE Antennas
By selecting an external antenna, the user must know if the modem is compatible with MIMO technology (has two antenna connectors). These modems require adequate MIMO antennas to maintain the highest data rates possible. When the user wishes to use a standard antenna, it must be connected to the connector labeled “Tx / Rx.”Mobile Internet - How to Choose a Modem, Antenna and Connector? 1

  • LTE MIMO 2 × 2 Antenna

LTE standard antennas
UMTS (3G), HSPA +
UMTS allows users to make voice calls, video calls, send text messages and exchange data. HSDPA and HSUPA protocols are parts of the UMTS standard with maximum data transfer rate of 21.6 Mbps (download) and 5.76 Mbps (upload).
HSPA + standard wireless broadband set by the 3GPP consortium allows mobile Internet access at speeds of up to 42 Mbps (download) and 11 Mbps (upload).
Antenna adapters for popular modems.
UMTS (3G), HSPA + antennas for band 2100 MHz
Before choosing an antenna, it is necessary to know that the service bandwidth of the service is 2100 MHz. There are broadband antennas for 900 MHz and 2100 MHz, but they usually have lower energetic gain. Another issue is the application of MIMO technology in the modem.
One of the criteria for selecting an antenna is the distance from the base station.

  • Distance to base station more than 3 km

Distance to base station more than 3 km
UMTS (3G), HSPA + 900 MHz antennas

  • Distance to base station more than 4 km

Distance to base station more than 4 km
UMTS (3G), HSPA + antennas for the bands 900 MHz and 2100 MHz (broadband)

  • MIMO antenna (distance to base station plus 3 km)

Indoor antennas – distance to base station 1-2 km
Distance to base station more than 3 km
Distance to base station more than 3 km
GPRS, EDGE
GPRS is an older technology allowing the transmission of data packets in GSM networks. Maximum download speed is 115 kbps (in practice, 30-80 kbps).
EDGE, also known as Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS) offers data rates up to 400 kpbs and can be used for any packet switching application such as an Internet connection. GPRS and EDGE technologies are often the only forms of Internet access in rural areas.
Depending on the modem, the user must use an appropriate antenna adapter, for example:
GPRS and EDGE Antennas (900 MHz)

  • Distance to base station more than 4 km
  • Distance to base station more than 4 km

CDMA
CDMA is a transmission method with multiple access – multiple transmitters can transmit the information at the same time through a single communication channel.This allows multiple users to share the same frequency range.Spectral scattering technology and a special coding scheme eliminate undue interference between users.CDMA networks are built where the deployment of 3G networks in the 2100 MHz band is not profitable, but 2G (GSM) networks do not meet expectations of ezinesports.
One advantage of CDMA is a relatively low bandwidth (450 MHz), which generally results in a longer range.
CDMA Antennas

  • Distance to base station more than 3 km
  • Distance to base station more than 3 kmMobile Internet - How to Choose a Modem, Antenna and Connector? 2

Home

  • When should I use an external/external antenna?

An outdoor/outdoor antenna should be used when the signal strength indicator on your cell phone or modem indicates a low level (less than -85 dBm, usually less than 3 bars on a 5 bar scale).This information is provided by almost all smartphones.Another reason for using an outdoor/outdoor antenna is in a situation where the signal level is highly unstable.

  • How to choose an external/outdoor antenna?

In order to select a suitable outdoor/outdoor antenna, you must:

      • Contact your service provider for information on:
        • the type of cellular service available in the area (GPRS, EDGE, CDMA, 3G, HSPA +, LTE) and the operating band (s) – (450, 900, 1800, 2100 MHz);
        • The location of the nearest base station.
      • Check the appropriate antenna connector type (the corresponding table is shown above in the article).
      • Select the external/external antenna based on the information provided in this article.
  • Is there any difference between antennas for different operators?

Antennas are devices that convert electromagnetic waves into electrical signals and vice versa.If an operator provides services in a band supported by some antenna (information on the frequency range (s) of the antenna is given in its datasheet), then the antenna will also improve the operation of the modem for services available in the same band (s) from other operators.

  • What types of cables and connectors are used in these applications?

Antennas used to improve cellular connection have the characteristic impedance of 50 ohms, so each element of the radio path, must have the same impedance (coaxial TV cables, are not suitable due to impedance of 75 ohm). An example of an appropriate cable is Tri-Lan 240 E1171.
Antenna connections are usually terminated with FME connectors and must be connected to the modem through suitable adapters.

  • How to adjust the antenna?

The antenna should be facing the transmitter closest to the operator.During antenna setup the installer should look for the signal strength indicator on the computer connected to the modem.

  • Can I use a long cable?

Due to loss of signal, long cables should be avoided.In cases where there is a need for a longer antenna cable, the user must select an antenna with high gain.Mobile Internet - How to Choose a Modem, Antenna and Connector? 3

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