Antenna Diversity - How to improve your wireless signal

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Friday, 05 July 2013

 Antenna Diversity - How to improve your wireless signal



Many USB modems, hotspots, and embedded modems have multiple antenna ports. When looking at an antenna solution to improve wireless reception and performance, most people purchase a single antenna. Then if their signal is still weak they purchase an amplifier as well. But there is another solution. 3Gstore took a look at antenna diversity to see how it can help you with your signal.

In a diversity setup, if a single antenna isn’t receiving a strong signal there is still a second antenna providing reception. The second antenna is typically referred to as a MiMo (multiple-input and multiple-output), or a diversity antenna.This is useful where there is a lot of wireless interference or in places where there is no clear line of sight to a cell tower (apartment complexes, townhomes, office buildings, etc.).  A diversity antenna can help increase upload and download speeds, but speed isn’t everything if you can’t use it. Diversity is more about reliability and achieving a stable connection first, rather than speed.We tested a diversity antenna in the 3Gstore warehouse, with excellent results.

Our test location is an office where cell reception is quite poor due to a metal roof. The room also has significant wireless interferences as well. The device we tested was a Pantech UML290 modem, hooked to a Cradlepoint MBR95 router providing wireless connectivity to the office. The antennas we used were 6” Booster antennas, but this test applies to any antenna, or antenna and amplifier combination. Even more robust embedded routers that have two cellular antennas out of the box like the ARC MBR1400, Max BR1, and Cloudgate, can benefit from larger exterior antennas as well.

(Antenna diversity to improve wireless reception and reliability)

As you can see from the above video, the results were staggering. Starting with no antenna, there wasn’t any cellular reception to our UML290 modem. A single antenna gave us a usable signal, but wasn’t enough to cut through the radio frequency interference. With a second antenna we were able to capture a larger portion of the tower, and get the full speeds available in our area!

Contact the experts at 3Gstore or do a Site Survey at home to find out if an antenna or amplifier can help  improve your wireless signal!

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Last Updated ( Friday, 05 July 2013 )
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