17 August 2023
Mastering Seamless Connectivity: Your Guide to IBC, DAS, and Repeaters
Cellular mobile in-building coverage (IBC) refers to the ability of mobile devices to obtain a reliable and strong cellular signal within various buildings. This is particularly important in modern urban environments, where large buildings and other structures can interfere with, block and impede the penetration of cellular signals.
To improve in-building coverage (IBC), cellular infrastructure providers may deploy a variety of technologies, such as distributed antenna systems (DAS), repeaters, and even Wi-Fi calling.
DAS are still the technology of choice in large, often densely populated CBD and high-rise buildings. These DAS systems operate by connecting to specifically installed operator base stations that are typically delivered internally to provide a localised signal to nearby devices through the DAS. DAS are networks of small antennas distributed throughout the interior of a building, positioned to work in an interlinked manner to provide continuous and reliable internal coverage.
Wi-Fi calling is an alternate technology that can provide in-building coverage. Smartphones can access Wi-Fi and frequently enabling that access and choosing the appropriate settings in the smartphone enables the user to access Wi-Fi as if it is another ‘coverage layer’ for their data and to make and receive calls. In areas where traditional cellular signals may be weak or non-existent, Wi-Fi calling can be an effective and low-cost way for mobile devices to place calls and send texts over Wi-Fi networks.
Overall, cellular mobile in-building coverage is an important consideration for both cellular providers and end-users, as it can greatly impact the ability of mobile devices to function reliably indoors. As such, many cellular providers are investing heavily in technologies to improve in-building coverage, in order to provide their customers with a more consistent and reliable experience.
A mobile repeater is a device that boosts the signal of a cellular network in areas with poor signal quality. It does so by capturing the existing signal from a nearby cell tower, amplifying it, and re-transmitting it to a wider area.
A cellular donor signal refers to the existing signal from a cellular network that is used as a source signal for a mobile repeater. The cellular donor signal is essential for the functioning of a mobile repeater because it provides the initial signal that the repeater amplifies and re-broadcasts. The repeater needs a strong enough donor signal to be able to amplify and re-transmit it effectively. If the donor signal is too weak or unstable, the repeater may not be able to improve the signal quality sufficiently.
To establish a mobile repeater, Progility Technologies has the capability to locate an appropriate area with a sufficiently strong donor signal. This involves utilising specialised equipment to assess signal strength and quality across multiple bands at the chosen site. Once a suitable source is pinpointed, an interior survey is conducted, followed by the design and installation of the mobile repeater. This repeater, along with its compact DAS (distributed antenna system), then amplifies and redistributes the signal within the interior space.
In summary, a cellular donor signal is the existing signal from a cellular network that a mobile repeater uses as a source signal. The strength and stability of the donor signal are critical factors in the effectiveness of a mobile repeater.