White Papers

Signal Boosters in the Het-Net: Economically extending coverage

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Pages: 18

A variety of factors can inhibit cellular signal coverage inside a building, from a poorly located cell site to the type of building materials used. For example, energy efficient windows and radiant barriers in the roof are ideal for reducing the energy needs of a building, but are also notorious for blocking cell signals. As a result, many people find that coverage inside of buildings, from homes to offices and hotels, can be lacking with dead spots and poor signal in multiple locations.

Mobile operators today use cells in various types and sizes, known collectively as a ‘heterogeneous network’ or Het-net. Definitions vary as to what is (and is not) a small cell, but iGR uses a very simple classification: a small cell covers a local area and uses radio equipment that is not mounted on a cell tower. This definition includes signal boosters.

A signal booster is a type of small cell that takes an existing cellular signal and rebroadcasts it inside a building or in a local area. Since a signal booster simply utilizes the available signal and retransmits it in a given area, it does not directly add capacity to the network.

This white paper defines signal boosters and discusses how they can be effectively used within a Het-net.