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About Mobile Broadband Antennas

  • What are Patch Cable and Passive Couplers ?

    What are Patch Cable and Passive Couplers ?
    • What is a Patch Cable ?

      Patch Cable Direct Connect

      If your phone has an antenna socket (port) to plug in an external antenna then this is the best way to improve your phones reception. Likewise, many 3g/4G modems have an antenna socket for an external antenna.HUAWEI crc9 patch cable You can still use a passive cradle in situations, such as motor vehicles, where the phone will be moved often.

      Mobile phone external-antenna connectors can differ for every make and model. Each of the patch leads (patch cables) have been tailored to suit and tested with particular mobile phones.

       


      Does my phone have an external antenna connection?

       

      Most smart-phones like the iPhone, have no antenna connection and require a passive patch cable or cradle. By using a Bluetooth earpiece or hands-free system, your phone can stay connected to the external antenna or mounted in its cradle while allowing you to move about while making calls.
      With increased number of cell-towers covering more area than ever before, mobile phone manufacturers are not including a direct antenna connection socket in the design of their phone. This is unfortunate for Australian customers given the nature of wide-brown-land where cell towers can be few and far-between in many rural locations.
      Some handsets like the Samsung smartphones incorporate a test port for antenna connection during servicing and we have patch leads available to connect to these. These test ports are accessed by removing the rear battery cover, requiring a hole to be drilled for the patch lead connection.
      Patch leads which physically plug into the phone or modem will greatly out-perform a passive patch adapter or passive cradle, as the signal loss by direct connection to the mobile phone handset antenna is much less.

      Many Telstra-ZTE phones have a socket specifically designed for connection of an external antennas.



      Which should I use?

      1. Patch Cables - Direct Connect

      Patch Cable Direct Connect If your phone has an antenna socket (port) to plug in an external antenna then this is the best way to improve your phones reception. You can still use a passive cradle in situations, such as motor vehicles, where the phone will be moved often.

      3G & 4G Modems come with a number of different Antenna Socket types.
      Sierra Wireless modems generally use TS9 or SMA female, ZTE Phones use a variety of phone-specific connector types and ZTE Modems, with a few exceptions have TS9 sockets.
      Huawei mostly has CRC9 type connectors.
      Older Netcomm Router/Modems used SMA connectors with some of the newer models using a connector similar to the MS-147 standard.


      2. Phone Cradles - Passive Connection

      Patch Cable Direct Connect

      If your phone doesn't have an external antenna port then you have no choice but to use a passive coupler to improve reception.
      A cradle is the best passive option, either specifically designed for a particular phone or of universal type suitable for use with many phone models.

      Instead of a direct connector, they couple the GSM/3G/4G phone signal by electromagnetic induction allowing the signal to travel from the cradle pad to the phones internal antenna.

      Signal loss in this type of connection will be about 2-4dB for a universal cradle and about 3dB for model specific cradles.


      3. Passive Patch Pad - Passive Connection

      Patch Cable Direct Connect

      If your phone doesn't have an antenna port and no cradle is available for it, you can still improve signal by using a passive pad type patch lead.
      Like the cradles, a passive-pad type patch lead has a small pad containing a coil of wire and uses the principle of electromagnetic induction to bridge the incoming signal from the pad to the phones internal antenna.

      Signal loss using a universal passive patch lead is about 2-4dB. The actual performance will depend on where the phones internal antenna is located and how closely the patch adapter is coupled once installed on the phone. Given the ever-changing technology and low cost of high spec modems these days, we dont recommend using a Passive Coupler with a modem. Better to update your modem instead.


      How well do passive patch leads and cradles work?

        Placed correctly, you can minimize the signal lost during induction. Expect the equivalent of one bar signal loss by using a passive patch lead over a direct connection. As a rule of thumb, 1 bar of signal indication relates to about 3dB of signal strength. Thus, a 6dBi antenna coupled using a passive lead would give about the same signal improvement as a 3dBi antenna when using a direct antenna connection cable.
      Despite this loss, much signal quality improvement can be gained even from a passively coupled 4dBi or 6dBi antenna by having the antenna mounted externally to the building or vehicle. As a guideline, use an antenna of at least 5dBi gain when using a passive patch lead to overcome this system loss. The passive patch pad must be as close as possible to the phones internal antenna to achieve best results.
      The longest side of the pad should be placed lengthways along side the phones antenna. Each model of mobile phone will have its internal antenna located differently. We recommend you do some web research for a technical manual or youtube example of where to locate the pad. You can also locate the best position by trial and error. When testing signal strength, be sure to allow time for the signal strength meter to update, or refresh the connection by turning airport mode off then on again.


      How much signal is lost in the Patch Cable, Passive Coupler or Cradle?

         Type
       Coax Cable
      Loss @ 900MHz
        Mobile Phone/Modem Patch Cable
       RG-174
       ~ 1.9 dB*
        TS9 and CRC9 Modem Patch Cables
       LMR100A (CLF100A)
       ~ 0.95 dB*
        Passive Coupler Type Patch Lead  RG-174 3-4 dB**
        Universal Passive type Cradle  RG-174 3-4 dB**
        Model Specific Phone Cradle with Passive Coupler no coax 3 dB**
      * Based on estimates for connector loss, cable loss and connector quality. ** Varies with device model and mounting position.


      RG174 vs LMR100 for patch leads

      About Patch Cables and Passive Couplers FAQ page

  • My modem has two antenna connections, do i need to connect both?

    My modem has two antenna connections, do i need to connect both?
    • Why are there two antenna sockets on my modem?    

      2 into 1 Patch Lead

      If connecting a Single Antenna System to a 3G or 4G modem you only need 1 (one) Patch Lead.
      Plug the single antenna lead into the modems MMAIN Antenna Port, often marked #1.

      If your antenna system and modem have two coax cables, both should be plugged into the modem. It does not matter which cable is connected to which modem port when using a MiMo antenna system as the modem will automatically take care of the connection.

      Most modern 4G capable modems with external antenna connections have two antenna sockets.
      Two antenna ports are required to take advantage of the highest available data speed when
      connecting in 4G MiMo
      (Multiple Input Multiple Output) mode to the Cell Tower. Australian Telco's Telstra, Vodafone and Optus use X-polarised MiMo antennas consisting of 2x internal antennas with 2x coax cable connecting them. One mimo antenna consists of twointernal antennas, one polarised at -45° and the other at +45° from vertical.
       
      4G in MIMO mode
      Requires an X-polarized MIMO antenna and two patch leads to connect each "side" of the MiMo Antenna.


      3G in Antenna Diversity Mode.
      Some 3G modems have antenna ports allowing these to use Antenna Diversity Mode. Fitting a Dual-Channel, X-polarized antenna system can help to better stay connected to 3G services is situations where the 3G signal is weak due to distance from the tower, rough terrain and/or the signal path is over water.

       

      Never Usue 2 into 1 Patch Leads

       
      Do you have 2-into-1 Patch Leads?
      No, we don't sell theses because we don't want to be responsible for damaging your modem.
      These 2-into-1 adapter cables are a gimmick that do nothing to improve your connection speed.
      In most cases the 3G/4G signal will actually be reduced by 3-6db due to Impedance mismatch and RF section AGC overload. Since the transmitters of each port will be outputting into each other and directly into the receiver of the other, these can even damage your modem because. More info below...

       

      Dual antenna for 4G Why not use 2-into-1 Patch Leads?
      The transmitter of each modem radio is transmitting into the transceiver of the other radio. This can burn-out the transmitter and overload the RF input of the receiver. The impedance of the load to the antenna system becomes halved. These modems are designed to drive a 50ohm load. By paralleling the antenna sockets, the modem and antenna will be seeing a 25ohm load, which causes very high SWR and resultant antenna mismatch.
      If that's not enough reason to avoid these, there's also the fact that the modem is still "seeing" just one antenna:
       - 4G service will still only be operate in the slower SISO mode.
       - 3G will not take advantage of the Antenna Diversity mode.
       

       

      Two Antenna Sockets FAQ page

  • Do I need one antenna, two antennas or a MIMO antenna ?

    Do I need one antenna, two antennas or a MIMO antenna ?
    • Dual antenna for 3G DC-HSPA+

      Using Dual Antenna Systems with 3G and nextG services

      For all 3G services, you can install just one antenna to improve the connection.
      Regardless of your modem's 3G/nextG capability a single antenna, mounted vertically polarized will connect to all 3G services. If your modem has two antenna sockets, just plug the antenna system into the MAIN antenna socket (Port 1). Older 3G and nextG services cannot make use of a dual antenna system. With a single antenna the modems will run in UMTS/HSPA WCDMA mode as available from the cell tower.

      Advantage of using a Dual, X-pol antenna system for 3G

      • More stable connectivity in areas of low signal strength and/or where the signal varies with environmental conditions throughout the day and seasons. Especially helpful where the signal path is obstructed by buildings or mountainous terrain.
      • Also effective at reducing the effects of dual signal paths over water as the tide rises and falls.
      • The modem will utilize Antenna Diversity mode, picking the best antenna signal automatically as the signal strength and polarity changes with conditions.

      Dual antenna for 3G DC-HSPA+


      Using Dual Antenna Systems with 4G LTE services

      Likewise, a single antenna used for 4G LTE will connect to 4G services in "single input single output" (SISO) mode, as available from the cell tower. Many 4G LTE services in Australia are MIMO enabled. However our site research over the years has revealed many single channel (SISO) Telstra 4G LTE services. Using a MIMO type antenna for 4G LTE will provide the ability to access the higher speed 4G service only if the tower is MIMO capable.

      Advantage of using a Dual, X-pol (MIMO) antenna system for 4G

      • Faster speed when the 4G service is MIMO enabled. (other factors may limit the real-world speed)
      • More stable connectivity even in SISO mode in areas of low signal strength and/or where the signal varies with environmental conditions throughout the day and seasons.
      • Also effective at reducing the effects of dual signal paths over water as the tide rises and falls.
       
      MIMO = "Multiple Input Multiple Output"  
      SISO = "Single Input Single Output"  
      DC = "Dual Carrier"  
      AD = "Antenna Diversity"  
             

      To connect at full speed to 4G LTE services in MIMO mode, you'll need a X-polarized MIMO antenna system:   
      Dual 16dBi 4G LTE 1800MHz MIMO X-Pol Yagi Antenna

       

       

      MIMO SISO antennas FAQ page

  • What connection is fitted to coax cables and patch leads ?

    What connection is fitted to coax cables and patch leads ?
    • Patch Cable Direct Connect

      Our antennas and antenna coax are fitted with SMA type connectors which for some time has been the industry standard for fixed-wireless router/modems. FME connectors are also used as the final antenna connection which suits common Mobile Phone and Modem Patch Leads. We supply our coax with an FME female as the final termination.
      Many 3G Router/Modems have SMA connectors. Adapters to connect to these are also available.

      TS9 to FME male Patch Lead

      The example to the left is a TS9 type patch cable required for most ZTE and Sierra Wireless modems.
      Our patch cables are supplied with an FME male connection.

      Some Patch Cables may be supplied with an SMA female connector with an SMA to FME male adapter.

      SMA to SMA male Patch Lead with FME male adapter

      This example is a SMA male type patch cable required for Smart Antenna and many Netcomm and other router/modems.
      The patch cables are supplied with two SMA male connectors and an FME male adapter.

      Some Patch Cables may be supplied with an SMA female connector with an SMA to FME male adapter.

       


      Most of our antennas come with an SMA male connector. This allows direct connection to our antenna coax cables or router.
      Antenna Kit SMA male Magnetic Base and Vehicle antennas normally have FME female connectors since they are intended for mobile installations were no additional coax is required.

       

       


       

       

      To fit our antennas to OEM coax cables that have N-Type connectors, you'll need to use a N-female to SMA female Adapter.

       

       
      Our antenna cables (LMR400 shown) come with SMA female connectors each end. This allows direct connection to our antennas and to a wllplate insert cables or router.  LL400 LMR400 sma female to sma female Where the kits are ordered with only one coax cable, and FME final termination, a FME female adapter may be supplied as required. LMR240 and LMR400 coax SMA-female to SMA-female with FME female adapter  

      Wallplate inserts are available for SMA cable connectors.

      Shown at left is LMR400 fitted to a standard Clipsal Wallplate insert.

       

       
               
         

       

      Antenna Connectors FAQ page

  • Do I mount theses antennas Vertically Polarized, Horizontal or on a slant ?

    Do I mount theses antennas Vertically Polarized, Horizontal or on a slant ?
    • You may have noticed forum discussions and websites with yagi's mounted horizontally or on an angle to improve reception.
      Which way is best?

      Vertical Polarization (V-Pol)

      Older 3G and nextG services in Australia and NZ used single-channel, vertically polarized RF antenna systems.

      Horizontal Polarization (H-Pol)

      This is a standard used in Europe and Asia. Not used in AU or NZ.

      Slant Polarization (S-Pol)

      Newer 3G services have their antennas "Slant-Pol" for WCDMA, HSPA and DC-HSPA+ Dual-Channel services.
      4G LTE services use a Slant-pol antenna system for SISO capable systems.

      Cross Polarization (X-Pol)

      4G LTE services use a X-pol antenna system.

       

      Which Polarization should you mount my antenna kit?

      Single Antenna Systems for 3G or nextG  : Vertical
      Single Antenna Systems for 4G                 : Vertical
      Dual Antenna Systems for 3G : +45deg and -45deg using separate antenna connections for each antenna.
      Dual Antenna Systems for 4G : +45deg and -45deg using separate antenna connections for each antenna.


      Exceptions to the rule

      If you have Line of Sight to the tower a single antenna system will connect best with a V-pol antenna.
      However if the signal path is obscured, then best results may be achieved by mounting the single antenna system antenna at +45 or -45 degrees from vertical.
      However, the problem with doing this is that as environmental conditions change with the seasons, the polarity of the reflected or refracted signal may also change. In these cases, if your 3G modem has two antenna sockets, it is best to use a Dual X-pol antenna as your modem will select the best 3G signal from one antenna or the other using its Antenna Diversity.

       

      Antenna Polarization FAQ page

  • Which antenna do I need?

    Which antenna do I need?
    • About YAGI Antennas:
      16dBi is the highest practical gain achievable with a Yagi Antenna designed to cover the bandwidth used by 3G and 4G services.
      To get such high gain, the antenna can only cover one 3G or 4G band.
      Thus you will see that our 16dBi Yagi antennas cover only Telstra 850MHz OR Optus 900MHz.
      Our lower gain 14dBi 824-960MHz Yagi Antenna covers both 850MHz and 900MHz.
      (ie more bands covered, thus lower gain.)

      About LPDA antennas
      12dBi is the maximum achievable with a Log Periodic antenna at these frequencies
      These can cover a number of bands. By nature being Wide-Band but Lower Gain.
      Our 11dBi 700-2700MHz nextG 3G 4G LTE Wifi Radome LPDA Antenna  covers current and future 3G and 4G Bands.

      3G Bands
       Telstra
       - Rural Telstra nextG, this will be the 850MHz Band, from 824 to 890MHz.
       - For Metro Telstra, this will also be the 2100MHz band covering 1920 to 2170MHz

       Optus
       - Optus 3G uses  the 900MHz Band, from 880 to 960MHz and the 2100MHz band covering 1920 to 2170MHz
          Your modem or phone can connect to only ONE band at a time.

      Vodafone
       - use 2100, 850 and 900Mhz bands.

      4G Bands
      Telstra and Optus 4G services use the 1800MHz Band.
      Our 16dBi 4G LTE 1800MHz Yagi Antenna covers only the 1800MHz Band. However, as said above,
      our lower gain 11dBi 700-2700MHz nextG 3G 4G LTE Wifi Radome LPDA Antenna  covers current and future 3G and 4G Bands.

      More information on our Australian 4G Bands FAQ page.

      Which antenna should you get?

      Rural, Marginal and Low signal outside the building:
      If you are struggling to get enough signal for 3G/nextG, you will need the Highest Gain antenna with the Low-Loss LMR400 Coax Cable option.
      As linked to above.

      3G Medium/Good Signal Areas:
      If you get good signal (>= 3/5bars) outside or up on the roof of the building, you can go for a lowert gain, wider band antenna.
      For 3G the 14dBi 824-960MHz 3G nextG Yagi Antenna or in Metro areas where the service uses 2100MHz the 16dBi 2100MHz nextG 3G Yagi Antenna will be needed.

      3G Medium/Good Signal Areas:
      If your modem sometimes shows 4G then installing a 16dBi 4G LTE 1800MHz Yagi Antenna will be best.

      Cover 3G and 4G
      If you wish to ensure you can drop back to 3G if the 4G service is not suiting your needs,
      our 11dBi 700-2700MHz nextG 3G 4G LTE Wifi Radome LPDA Antenna  is your only option.

      3G DC-HSPA+ services
      Telstra and Vodafone also have the faster Dual-Channel 3G services.
      Your modem can connect to these with the single antenna system. However DC-HSPA+ services us X-Pol antennas where each TX and RX channels are at +45 and -45 degrees separation. Because the two channels are on different frequencies, you only need one antenna mounted vertically polarized, under normal conditions.
      However slightly better signal strength can be achieved in many cases by using the Dual 16dBi - 3G+ NextG DC-HSPA+ Slant-Pol Yagi Antenna attached to your DC-HSPA+ capable modem (these have 2 antenna sockets). This is beause your antennas will be polarized in in the same manner as the antennas on the tower.

      4G LTE  MIMO services
      Your modem can connect to these with the single antenna system,
      but to allow your 4G MIMO capable modem (these have 2 antenna sockets) to achieve the fastest speeds on 4G,
      the Dual 16dBi 4G LTE 1800MHz MIMO X-Pol Yagi Antenna will be needed.

      So if you go for the widerband/lower gain antenna, just keep in mind that lower gain means lower signal strength and quality.

      Which direction to point the antenna...
      To locate cell towers near you, feel free to follow our Online Guide.

      Which Antenna FAQ page

  • Campervan, Caravan and Vehicle Antennas

    Campervan, Caravan and Vehicle Antennas
    • Caravan and Camper 3G and 4G Antennas.

      Picking the best 3G or 4G antenna for use on a Camper or Caravan is often a very subjective task.
      It usually comes down to a compromise between convenience and performance. Another factor to consider is whether Speed or Connectivity is most important.
      Rural 3G services use a low frequency , thus travel further than the current 4G 1800MHz service.
      In marginal areas, the highest gain 3G antenna is needed to connect to 3G 850 or 900MHz.
      To get 4G in marginal areas, you'll need the highest gain 4G antenna.
      Unfortunately, the higher the antenna gain, the less bands it can cover. So a 16dBi 4G Yagi antenna will cover only 4G and a 16dBi Yagi antenna for 3G will cover only the 850, 900 or 2100MHz 3G band. The 11dBi Log-Periodic antenna you'll see on our website covers all bands, but is a lower gain.
      Some times you may be camped at a location for only a day or two, other times you may have set up base for weeks or even months.
      The type of antenna you install can also depend upon your willingness to erect an antenna each time you relocate.

      There are basically two types of antennas for 3G/4G: Directional and Omnidirectional

      Directional Antennas - Yagi or Log-Periodic (LPDA)
      Advantages
       - Higher Gain.
       - Reduced Interference.
       - Allows pinpointing a particular cell tower.

      Disadvantages
       - Normally need to be removed/disassembled for traveling.
       - Take up space when packed.
       - Need to be aimed at the cell tower.

      Omnidirectional Antennas - Fibreglass "broomstick" and Magnetic base whips
      Advantages
      - Can be permanently mounted on vehicle for traveling.
      - No need to aim, will pickup signal in all directions.

      Disadvantages
      - Lower Gain.
      - Unwanted RF noise and interference will also be received.
      - No control over which cell tower the device will connect to.

      Best Convenience - Install an omnidirectional antenna.
      These are available with a detachable base should you need to quickly remove it. Our 7.5dBi Fibreglass Spring Base Vehicle Antenna: http://onwireless.com.au/high-gain-omni .... .html

      Best Performance - Install a 16dBi Yagi directional antenna.
      These are two-piece and pack away to a length of 960mm.
      You'll need to mount and aim the antenna system each time you relocate.
      Telstra: http://onwireless.com.au/16dbi-850mhz-yagi .. .html
      Optus: http://onwireless.com.au/16dbi-900mhz-yagi .. .html
      Telstra, Optus & Vodafone: http://onwireless.com.au/14dbi-824-960mhz .. .html

      Many "nomads" choose to have both. The omni for general use and have the yagi available for weak signal areas and/or long stays.

      For more info on this topic please browse to our online Directional and Omnidirectional FAQ page.

      Using Dual Omnidirectional Antennas
      By installing two Omnidirectional antennas,your modem will be able to operate in Antenna Diversity (AD) mode when connected to 3G. The modem will select the antenna with the best signal providing a more reliable connection when mobile and stationary in low signal areas. Maximum download speed is not effected but speed improvements can be had simply because the modem will have a more reliable connection.

      For 4G services, two antennas allow the modem to connect to the cell towers in MiMo mode, doubling the speed capability.

      Caravan and Camper Antenna FAQ page

  • Final signal strength estimator

    Final signal strength estimator
    • The type and length of coax cable fitted to an antenna system will determine the amount of signal lost in the process of coupling the antenna to your modem or phone. Use the estimator below to calculate the expected signal strength your modem will see.

      Signal Strength Estimator FAQ page

  • About Coax Cables

    About Coax Cables
    • LMR series Antenna Coax
      50Ω Low Loss - Double Shielded

      Suited to Mobile, Vehicle and Fixed-Wireless installations such as Cars, Trucks, Motor-homes, Office buildings and Homes. 
      When ordered with our antenna kits, we ensure that the whole thing fits together and will include gender-bender where required.

      Double shielded by one layer of Aluminium foil and one close-knit
      copper braid make for a low-loss coax. Its low signal attenuation figures make it well suited for use at Cell Phone frequencies. Other equivalent prefixes include CLF, KMR.

         

      RG58 LMR195 LMR240 LMR400
      Impedance: 50Ω
      Outer Diameter: 4.95mm 4.95mm
      6.2mm
      10.3mm
      Inner Conductor: 0.94mm
      Copper
      0.94mm
      Solid copper
      1.2mm
      Copper over steel
       0.94mm
      Copper over aluminium
      Outer Sheild: 70% Braid Bonded Aluminum Foil + 95% Tinned Copper Braid
      Dielectric: Solid PE Physical Foam Polyethylene
      Pros: cheap Low loss
      Flexible
      Very low loss Super low loss
      Cons: Hi loss
      over long runs
        more rigid more rigid
      Application: Mobile and Vehicle installations of less than 1m Mobile, Vehicle and Fixed wireless installations of 5-10m in moderate signal areas.
      Fixed wireless installations <10m in moderate,
      <5m in low signal areas.
      Fixed wireless installations <20m in moderate,
      <10m in low signal areas.
               
       Signal Loss over 10m cable length  (dB) 
        RG58 LMR195 LMR240 LMR400
      850 MHz 5.7 3.5 2.4 1.25
      900 MHz 5.8 3.65 2.48 1.28
      1800 MHz no rated
      for use
      above 1000MHz
       
      5.24 3.6 1.93
      2100 MHz 5.5 3.8 2.0
      2400 (WiFi) 6.1 4.1 2.2
       

      Coax Cable Loss ComparisonCoax Cable Construction RG58 LMR240

       

      LMR series

      The LMR series coax cables are made with low loss Dielectrics (2) and Double shielded with Aluminium Foil (3) and 95% Tinned Copper Braid (3). The outer plastic cover can vary from soft plastic to hard uv rated PVC.
      This makes for a very low loss cable suitable for long runs at the microwave frequencies used for 3G and 4G mobile phone services. All our antenna kits are supplied with LMR195,240 or LM400 as required. Many of our Patch Leads use LMR100A rather than the more lossy RG174 commonly available.

      RG58

      In general, RG series coax such as the common 50 ohm RG85U uses a more lossy Dielectric (2) and only 70% single layer outer shield (3). These cables are not rated for use above 1GHz and are not suitable for use with cell phone antenna systems at cable lengths over about 1-2m. RG174 is used for most Patch Leads for its flexibility. RG174 is more lossy than the LMR100 coax we fit to our Patch Leads. This can make a difference at higher cell phone frequencies.

       

      RG6 and RG11 (75ohm)

      TV and Satellite antenna systems use 75ohm RG6 and the less common lower loss RG11 coax cables. These are high quality coax cables but unfortunately not suitable for mobile phone and wireless internet antenna systems.

      • The N, SMA and FME type connectors used for 3G/4G antennas are not compatible with the RG6/11 coax.
      • RG6/11 coax is 75ohm which will cause a high SWR if attached to the 50ohm Modem and 3g/4G antenna system.
      • This impedance mismatch can cause damage to modems due to the high level of reflected power at the 50ohm/75ohm junctions.
      • Poor performance, depending on the real-world antenna impedance may result.
      Thus we do not guarantee the performance of our antenna systems when used with the incorrect coax cable.
       

       

      About Coax Cables FAQ page

  • Directional vs Omni-directional-antennas

    Directional vs Omni-directional-antennas
    • Fixed Wireless Installations
        Homes, Office and Semi-Mobile     
      Directional - Yagi, Panel and LPDA antennas

      Omnidirectional antennas achieve higher gain by flattening out the "dohnut".

         
        Advantages
        - Higher gain, providing more "bars" of signal.
        - Less interference from the side and from behind the antenna.
        - Better Signal-to-Noise Ratio providing better Signal Quality for the
          same Signal Strength of omnidirectional antennas.
        - Possible to connect to more distant, lower signal cell towers that may
          have less traffic load than your closest tower.
        Disadvantages
        - Must be aimed at the cell tower.
        - Not suitable for Mobile Installations.
        Recommended Antenna Gain
      Marginal Signal Areas:
      16dBi Single Band Yagi.
      Medium/High Signal Areas: 9-14dBi  Multi-band or Dual Band Yagi

       
      Mobile Installations
      Mobile Homes, Caravans and Motor Vehicles
           Omni-directional - (Broomstick and Whip) antennas

      best gain for 3g mobile antennasIf you're constantly on the move you need an antenna that can connect to cell towers in any direction.
      Vehicle speed, terrain changes and boat angle/movement effect the angle of the antenna, causing reliability issues with higher gain antennas.

       
        Advantages
        - No need to aim at the cell tower.
        - Ideal for Mobile Installations.
        Disadvantages
        - Lower gain, providing less signal.
        - Wanted and unwanted signals collected equally from all directions.
        - possible to connect to more distant, lower signal cell towers that may
          have less traffic load than your closest tower.
        Recommended Antenna Gain
      Mobile Homes and Caravans: 7-9dBi All-Band Omnidirectional.
      Road Vehicle, Metro Areas:
      3-7dBi All-Band Omnidirectional.
      Road Vehicle, Country Areas:
      7-9dBi All-Band Omnidirectional.
      Off Road Vehicle, 4WD: 3-7dBi All-Band Omnidirectional.
      Marine, Boats and Yachts:
      3-5dBi Single/Dual Band Omnidirectional.

      There are several scenarios for Motor-Homes, Caravans and Campers.

      A. When you are located for long periods (months) in the same location, moving camp only occasionally:
      Directional antenna will be best as this can be treated as a Fixed Wireless installation.

      B. When you are shifting location only about a week or so.
      These situations call for something that is high gain to give you the best signal in remote locations, and omnidirectional, giving the flexibility to just plug your phone/modem in and get connected. Unfortunately, no such antenna exists. To achive say 16dBi gain, you need a directional antenna, and an omni-directional antenna is limited o 7 or 9dBi.

      Here we recommend installing both a permanently mounted 7.5 dBi Fibreglass whip and also have available a 16dBi Yagi and pole for situations where the Omni just does not quite give you enough signal when in remote areas.
      http://onwireless.com.au/16dbi-850mhz-3g-yagi-antenna-for-hspa-wireless-broadband-fme.html

      C. When your constantly traveling, only staying at a a location for one or two nights.
      Unless you are preferred to setup a pole and mount the Yagi / LPDA directional antenna every night, you need and the convenience to just plug your phone/modem in and get connected.
      Here the best option is a permanently mounted Omni diretional antenna like our 7.5 dBi Fibreglass whip.:
      http://onwireless.com.au/7dbi-850-900-nextg-3g-gsm-3dbi-1800-2100-4g-lte-spring-base-fibreglass-vehicle-antenna-fme.html

         
      Marine Installations
      Boats and Yachts
          Omni-directional - "Broomstick" Antennas with Stainless Bases

      marine antenna beamwidth

      The difficulty with marine installations is that the best antenna for calm water is different to that for rough seas.

      Two antenna-systems will allow your modem to connect to MIMO towers in 4G mode, DC-HSPA+ towers in 3G/DC mode and Antenna Diversity mode in UMTS/WCDMA mode.

       

         
         A 850/900MHz 3G signal will travel further out to sea than 4G LTE 1800MHz.
      The effect of the curvature of the earth takes effect at about 30km depending on the height of the cell tower antennas. The higher your antenna is, the farther the signal can reach.
        The angle of the antenna and azimuth of the boat is constantly changing and can be quite acute in rough seas.
      The lower gain , top-loaded 3dBi marine whips are best.
      And with two antennas to suit 4G and 3G modems with the two antenna ports your modem will help stay connected in rough waters. If you only want to support in calmer waters then the higher gain marine/vehicle antenna will do well.
        Recommended Marine Antenna for various devices
      Mobile Phone:  3-6dBi 850/900 Capable Omnidirectional.
      4G, 3G and nextG modems with a single antenna socket:
      3-6dBi 850/900 Capable Omnidirectional.
      4G, 3G and nextG modems with a dual antenna socket:

      1x 3dBi 1.8m Omnidirectional - Port 1 (main)
      1x 6-7.5dBi Omnidirectional  -  Port 2 (aux)

       

      Directional and Omnidirectional FAQ page

  • How does signal strength translate to download an upload speeds ?

    How does signal strength translate to download an upload speeds ?
    • Signal Strength vs Signal Quality

      • Signal Strength: how many "bars" or "dBm" are showing on your device.
      • Signal Quality:   how "clean" the signal is.

      Improving signal strength to your device is normally the best way to get a better connection to your 3G or 4G service.
      Generally speeking, Improved Signal Strength =  Increased Data Transfer Speed.
      In reality, things are a little more complicated than that. Installing an antenna system can definitely solve the signal quality problem, after that its up to a whole bunch of other factors, mostly on the telco side....

      Think of these antenna kits as being a device that removes one of the "weak links in the chain".
      Installing a high-gain directional antenna improves the signal strength and the signal quality.
      This increase in the signal strength and signal-to-noise ratio is achieved by collecting more of the intended signal from the tower and less interference from neighboring cell towers, other transmitters and background RF interference.

      Connection Quality

      • Speed of data transfer: is it fast, smooth and consistant?
      • Stability: does the modem stay connected, without dropping out or downloads stalling?

      Although there tends to be relationship between signal strength and signal quality, signal quality and connection quality are more closely related.
      With good Signal Quality:

      • Modem will spend less time performing error checking and error correction tasks.
      • Modem will not repeat downloads of data packets when it cannot correct errors.
      • Thus the modem will have more time available to download/upload data.
      • During Peak-Load times your Modem/Phone will be allowed to stay connected to the cell tower while customers with lower quality connections will be dropped or speed limited. The cell tower decides this automatically based on a complex algorithm mostly influenced by the quality of the connection.
      • The transmit power of your modem will be lower, using less power and running cooler.

      RE: Other Factors affecting Connection Speed

      There are  other factors that we have little control over.
      These are to do with the quality of the service provided by your Mobile Broadband/Mobile Phone company, including but not limited to:

       - Backhaul: How fast can the data get to/from the Cell Tower by the Telco's own microwave, fibre links..
       - How many licenses (data pathways) does the Cell Tower have installed.
       - How many customers (aka subscribers) are tying to use the service in peak and off-Peak time periods.
       - Optus and Telstra resellers may not be allocated a teir-1 priority service. Thus customers of reseller may not get the same speed and connection quality as a customer of the originating telco.
       - The type of Plan you have.
       - The specifications and quality of the modem/phone you have.
       - Your location to the tower and how many other connection sources are available for your modem to connect to.
       - Using a 4G MIMO antenna with a 4G MIMO modem (2 antenna ports) allows your modem to operate in MIMO mode if the Cell tower is MIMO enabled.
         Not all towers are 4G MIMO so using a    MIMO antenna does not always guaranty higher speeds. You will get higher DL speeds only if the Cell Tower is capable of doing so.

      Conclusion

      Q: So.. how does signal strength translate to download an upload speeds?
      A: As a general rule, notwithstanding the other factors involved:
      Improved Signal Strength => Improved Signal Quality => Improves Connection Quality => Increased Data Transfer Speed

      Exceptions to the Rule

      Q1: What situations would show no or only little improvement after installing a hi-gain antenna.?
      A: Not many, but there are odd occasions where things dont work out. Notwithstanding the telco side issues listed above.

      • Sometimes, when the signal path from your location to the tower is over water. The signal reflected off the waters surface can interfere with the direct signal causing much lower signal strength and unstable connection.
      • When you just dont have enough signal no matter what antenna you use.
      • Where you dont have a strong signal from the direction of the tower, the signal your modem is seeing is an (possibly ever-changing) combination of reflected, refracted, diffracted and direct signal from one or a number of cell towers.
      • Where your signal quality is already good, improving the signal strength may make no difference to download speed.

      Q2: I have good signal strength but my modem still drops out and the data transfer speed is too slow, what gives?
      A:  Normally this problem is due to Poor Signal Quality for the reasons outlined above. Our customers report this issue constantly and most often in the following situation:

      • Modem is being used inside a building (of course it is) without an external antenna.
      • A number of towers are available for the modem to connect to at your location.

      For these reasons the signal your modem is seeing is an (possibly ever-changing) combination of reflected, refracted, diffracted and direct signal from one or a number of cell towers. The modem may be constantly dis-connecting and reconnecting to different towers or even different services and/or bands on the same tower, posibly not ever connecting to any service properly. The strong signal is also contains a lot of interfere. Thus the Signal Qualiy is poor

      Here the aim of installing a high-gain directional antenna is to fix the signal quality issue rather than signal strength.

      Signal Quality and Strength FAQ page

  • What is the maximum range of these antennas ?

    What is the maximum range of these antennas ?
    • Factors that Determine Antenna Range.

      With 3G and 4G antenna systems, there are many factors that determine the distance that your location can be from the tower to be able to get enough signal to achieve a good connection:

      Line of Sight (LOS)
      - Obstructed path from Your Antenna Position to the antennas on the Cell Tower.
         These include hills, mountains, forest, scrub, buildings etc. This is called Line-of-sight  .
      - Any obstructions will cause signal degradation and the higher frequencies are most effected.
      - The lower frequency 3G bands of 850 and 900 can
      refract (bend) around obstacles to some extent,
         often enough to get quality signal to your location.
      - The higher frequency 3G bands of 2100 and 4G 1800  generally require direct line-of-sight.
         Exceptions to this are if you are very close to the cell tower or the signal is reflected of an obstacle.

      - The bigger the obstacles, and more obstacles there are in the path, the less signal you are likely to see at your location.
      - Bodies of water also cause problems that may reduce the signal strength.
      - Atmospheric conditions such as "solar radiation" when the sun is in the direct path of the antenna alignment to the tower.
         This electromagnetic "noise" can cause connection drop-outs.
      - The curvature of the earth creates an obstacle to the signal path over distances greater than about 26-30km.
         Most effect when over, and least influence when the cell tower and your location are at high altitude with a valley in-between.

      In practice the maximum distance could be around 75km for 3G 850MHz and about 40-50km for 4G 1800MHz.
      To properly assess the signal you can expect at your location, please follow our Find Cell Towers Guide.

      Cell Tower Maximum Range.
      The Mobile Phone Cell Towers themselves have a maximum range built into the software configured by the service provider.
      This is the maximum time it takes for the handset to respond to a request from the cell tower, beyond which the tower will reject a connection.

      The intention of this is to restrict the tower from being oversubscribed.
      Rural towers may be set to a "Service Window" of 135km to 160km.
      Metro towers may be set with a service area as low as 30km.

      Handset Power
      Whilst the cell tower power may be 20W or even over 100W, your Phone or MBB will only transmit at 3W or 34dBm maximum.
      An 11dBi antenna, being a lower gain having to cover many bands, will not have the range as a 16dBi Yagi antenna that targets a single band.

      Other factors
      Getting a strong signal and solid connection to the cell tower is only half the battle.
      We cover this topic here:  Signal Quality and Strength FAQ page


      Maximum Range FAQ page


  • Troubleshooting Guide

    Troubleshooting Guide
    • Troubleshooting Guide
      The most common problems experienced by our customers are that either the antenna has been pointed in the wrong direction, is the wrong antenna for the task or there is just no service available.


      1. Check that the antenna you have is designed for use on the same band that your modem is using to connect.

      This will be less of an issue with multi-band antennas, but for the very high gain Yagi Antennas, you may find that the tower is using a band not supported by the antenna. Check your antenna specs against the charts shown here:

      Australian 3G frequencies
      Australian 4G frequencies

      2. Double check your order to ensure you have ordered and been supplied with the correct Patch Lead for your Modem or Phone.
          If in doubt, please contact us including a clear photo if needed.

      3. The first step is to ensure that you have the correct antenna for your service and that you are pointing it in the right direction.
      If not already done so, please familiarize yourself with the towers and their frequencies.
      Instructions can be found at locate.onwireless.net .
      More info can be found at faq.onwireless.net .

      Tower info can be found at towers.onwireless.net

      4. If, having ensured that the antenna is correctly installed, you find that the antenna system is still not performing, please follow our guides below:

      Antenna stopped working

      Cant get my new antenna to work


      5. If still no luck, please fill out our assistance page by clicking the link below.
         This form provides us with much of the info that we need to assist you to solve you antenna system trouble.

      I'm having trouble getting my antenna to perform.


      Troubleshooting your Antenna Installation FAQ page

About 3G, Next-G and 4G

  • What is GSM, CDMA and EDGE ?

    What is GSM, CDMA and EDGE ?
    • 1G and 2G GSM History:

      1G refers to the first-generation of wireless telephone technology, mobile telecommunications. These analog standards were introduced in the 1980s and continued until being replaced by 2G digital telecommunications. 

      2G, short for second generation cellular telecom networks were launched on the GSM standard in Australia around 1993.
      Benefits of 2G networks over 1G were that phone conversations were digitally encrypted, 2G systems were more efficient on the spectrum allowing for more users to connect with the same bandwidth, introduction of data services for mobile, with SMS text messages and Caller ID. Unfortunately GSM uses TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) technology which requires the handset to respond within 0.577us. This severely limits the distance that the mobile handset can be from the cell tower. GSM uses a Packet Data service known as GPRS with a maximum data speed of about 10kByte/sec. This Range limitation and slow Data Speeds are the downfall of the GSM service. 

      CDMA, short for "Code Division Multiple Access", removed the time based restriction of TDMA multiplexing. This increases the mobile phone range over GSM and improved call quality to users further away from the cell towers. Telstra introduced their CDMA service alongside their GSM service in 1999. Telstras CDMA service was closed on 29 April 2008.

      EDGE, or "Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution" (also known as Enhanced GPRS) is a higher speed version of GPRS providing speeds of around 30kB/s. 

      GSM networks are being phased out in Australia with the GSM spectrum being re-farmed for for 4G LTE services.
      Australian 2G bands:
        900Mhz (Telstra, Optus & Vodafone) and 1800Mhz (Telstra, Optus & Vodafone)

       

      What is GSM FAQ page

  • What is 3G ?

    What is 3G ?
    • 3G Mobile Phone Service

      The 3rd generation of mobile telecommunications technology.

      3G uses the UMTS or "Universal Mobile Telecommunications System" mobile cellular system for networks based on the GSM standard. Developed and maintained by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project), UMTS is a component of the International Telecommunications Union IMT-2000 standard. UMTS uses wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) radio access technology to offer greater spectral efficiency and bandwidth to mobile network operators.

      In Australia the term "3G" is used to market any service using UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+ or Dual Carrier HSPA+.
      Optus 3G is simply any of their UMTS services on 900MHz and 2100MHz.
      Vodafone 3G is anything from
      UMTS to HSPA on 850,900 and 2100MHz. Their new 3G+ service being DC-HSPA+ on the 850MHz Band.
      Telstra Next-G is their branding of 3G and 3G Advanced using
      the UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+ and/or
      Dual Carrier HSPA+6
      on the 850 and 2100MHz bands.

       
       Carrier/Service Band Mode Bandwidth 4 Antenna Type
      Telstra/Bigpond nextG
      850MHz
      (824~894)
      3G UMTS/HSPA Downlink: 875-890 MHz
      Uplink:     830-845 MHz

       Vertical Pol
      Omnidirectional
      Telstra/Bigpond nextG
       (also shown as 4G in some areas)6
      850MHz
      (824~894)
      DC-HSPA+ Downlink: 875-890 MHz
      Uplink:     830-845 MHz
      Dual Carrier
      Slant Pol
      Vodafone 3G
      850MHz
      (824~894)
      UMTS/HSPA 824~894 MHz Slant Pol
      Vodafone 3G+  850MHz
      (824~894)
      DC-HSPA+
      824~894 MHz Dual Carrier
      Slant Pol
      Optus, Virgin (900) 3G 900MHz
      (880~960)
      UMTS/HSPA
      Downlink: 943-952 MHz
      Uplink:     898-907 MHz
      Vertical or Slant Pol
      Omnidirectional
      Vodafone (900) 3G 900MHz
      (880~960)
      UMTS/HSPA Downlink: 951-960 MHz
      Uplink:     906-915 MHz
      Vertical or Slant Pol
      Omnidirectional
      Vodafone, Optus, Telstra
      GSM/
      3G - voice/sms/data
      2100MHz
      (
      1920~2170)
      UMTS/HSPA
      Downlink: 2110-2170 MHz
      Uplink:     1920-1980 MHz
      Slant Pol
       
      Advantages (over GSM)
      Efficiency
      Low RFI

      -
      -

      Handsets transmit at lower power to achieve the same connectivity.
      A 3G phone needs to output only 1/8 of the power
       to perform the same function as a GSM phone. 
      Security  - The 128bit encryption algorithm used for 3G is much more difficult to crack than the algorithm used for GSM. Thus phone tapping is no longer a problem (unless you are a jounalist with Murdock newspapers)
      Faster  - HSPA (HSDPA/HSUPA) protocol provides for download speeds of up to 14Mbps and now
      42Mbps with the new DC-HSPA+ services.
       

      Disadvantages

      Range
      - Although superior in range to GSM, the earlier 3G services, and those in metro areas used the 2100MHz band which is considered a short-range band due to its high frequency.
      This is largely overcome by the use of additional 3G services on the 900MHz band by Optus and Vodafone
      and the 850MHz band by Telstra and Vodafone.

      Refer to the "What Frequency does 3G and 4G use in Australia" section for more band definitions

      More information is available on the whirlpool forum

       

       

      What is 3G FAQ page

  • What is NextG ?

    What is NextG ?
    • Next G is a 3G network operated by Telstra in Australia on 850 and 2100MHz.

      australian telstra 3g 4g coverageNext-G, really a "3.5G" network, was launched in October 2006. By December 2008 the Next G Network was the fastest mobile network in the World, delivering theoretical network speeds of up to 21Mbit/s utilizing features of HSPA+ and Dual-Carrier HSPA. In February 2010 Telstra increased the speed of some services to 42Mbit/s using Dual Carrier HSPA+ technology.
      Next-G is currently used for BigPond's wireless broadband service and Telstra Mobile, which is Australia's largest mobile telephone service provider.
      In September 2011 Telstra launched its 4G 1800 Mhz LTE network, claiming typical download speeds of up to 40Mb/s.
      Telstra Next G is their branding of 3G using the UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+ or DC HSPA+

       Carrier/Service Band Mode Licensed Bandwidth 
      Telstra/Bigpond nextG
      850MHz
      (824~894)
      3G UMTS/HSPA/DC-HSPA+ 830-890 MHz
      Telstra
      voice/sms

      1900MHz
      (1850~1990)
      UMTS
      1850~1990 MHz
      Telstra
      GSM/3G - voice/sms/data

      2100MHz
      (1920~2170)
      UMTS/HSPA
      1920-2170 MHz
      *Services are being continuously updated - subject to change.

       

      What is Next-G FAQ page

  • What is HSPA+ and DC-HSPA+ ?

    What is HSPA+ and DC-HSPA+ ?
    • HSPA+   (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access)

      HSPA+ is an enhanced version of high-speed WCDMA (UMTS) based 3G wireless networks. Being built on 3G, HSPA+ is often referred to as 3.5G. In June 2008 the Telstra Next G network was the first to enable some features of HSPA+.
      In Australia, HSPA+ provides theoretical maximum downlink data rates3 up to 21Mbit/s and uplink data rates up to 5.8Mbit/s when connecting with 21Mbps HSPA+ capable devices. Actual data rates will be much lower, being dependent upon the number of customers connected to a particular tower, the back-haul7 data rate, and the quality of the connection to the mobile phone tower.

       

      DC HSPA+ (Dual Carrier or Dual Cell HSPA+)

      In Australia, DC HSPA+ is able to achieve downlink data rates3 up to 42Mbit/s and uplink data rates up to 14.4Mbit/s when connecting with 42Mbps DC-HSPA+ capable devices,  Through the use of a multiple-antenna technique known as MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) and higher order 64QAM modulation, combining multiple cells into one.
      A typical DC-HSPA+ Telstra tower will have two sets of Receive and two sets of Transmit antennas. Each of these sets has slant-polarized antennas at ±45º rather than the vertically polarized antennas used with the original 3G standard. In addition, to cover an area 360º around the tower, there may be 3 sectors, each spaced 120º apart, each with their own Cell-ID, providing their own data service. Note that the antennas may only be aimed in one particular direction, and there may only be one or two sectors, in situations where the carriers has seen fit to not provide service in all directions.

      Dual DC HSPA+ Yagi Antenna KitsBrowse to web.acma.gov.au/pls..ID=500961 for an example of a DC-HSPA+ capable tower:
      Carrier A: 3 pairs of sectors: 839.8MHz for
      Receive and on 884.8MHz for Transmit polarized at +45º,
      Carrier B: 3 pairs of sectors: 840.0MHz for
      Receive and on 885.0MHz for Transmit polarized at -45º.

      Note also the Emissions Designator for Telstra nextG services on 850MHz always ends with *7WEC.
      Also on this tower is an Optus 3G 900MHz service identified by the
      Em Des ending with *G7W.

      The net isolation between antennas is 90º so that each carrier can operate independently.

      Likewise, to connect at full speed to a DC-HSPA+ wireless internet service, your modem will need to have two separate physical antenna ports connected to Dual Antenna systems commonly called "slant-pol" or "MIMO" antennas.
      Our 16dBi Yagi Kits are perfectly suited for the DC HSPA+ service provided by Telstra next G and Vodafone 3G+.

      Highlighted in the extract from the ACMA radcom website below are one recieve (Rx) channel of a DC HSPA+ service. The other Rx Channel is shown underneath it at 840.0MHz. These two channels have antennas that are slant-polarized at 90°apart. The corresponding transmit (Tx) channels are shown at 884.8MHz and 885MHz.

       
       Carrier/Service Band Mode Bandwidth 4 Antenna Type
      Telstra/Bigpond nextG
       (also shown as 4G in some areas)6
      850MHz
      DC-HSPA+ Downlink: 875-890 MHz
      Uplink:     830-845 MHz
      Dual Carrier
      Slant Pol
      Vodafone (850) 3G+ 
      850MHz
       
      DC-HSPA+ 824~894 MHz Dual Carrier
      Slant Pol

       

      What is DC-SHSPA+ FAQ page

  • What is 4G ?

    What is 4G ?
    • Is 4G the same thing as DC HSPA+ ?

      No. But you'd be forgiven for being confused about this. Technically, 3G DC-HSPA+ could also be called 3.9G. This confusion comes about because a number of Telco's around the world, including Australia's Telstra like to use the term "4G" to describe both their 4G LTE and their fast 3G Dual Carrier HSPA+ services. We've even seen the slower HSPA+ service marketed as 4G by some overseas providers. The problem in Australia is that when we common folk say "4G" they mean "4G LTE".

       

      When is 4G not 4G ?

      When you live in places like Port Hedland WA1. The Telstra coverage map below shows "4G typical download speed 2 to 40 Mbps" service available at Port Hedland WA.
      telstra 4G DC HSPA+ ?? telstra 4G DC HSPA+ ??

      However a search of both the SPENCH and the ACMA website show no Telstra 4G LTE 1800MHz mobile phone services in the area. Filtering the SPENCH search for emissions designators of *DEW produces no results. Our customers have confirmed this also. *** AT TIME OF WRITING ***
      When Telstra first rolled out an advanced version of 3G using Dual carrier HSPA+ on their existing 850MHz band, some of this service was marketed as 4G. Whilst it is not actually 4G, it is quite fast, being capable of up to 40Mbps downlink speeds, about half the speed of true 4G LTE services.
      From this we conclude that, in some locations where the data backhaul is fast enough, Telstra is calling some of their DC-HSPA+ services 4G. This is vital information when selecting the correct antenna and our 16dBi Yagi Kits are perfectly suited for the DC HSPA+ service provided by Telstra and Vodafone.
      For full speed 3G+ and 3G DC HSPA+ you'll need a Dual Yagi Antenna Kit.

       

      4G LTE Services in Australia

      4G is the fourth generation of the mobile phone communications standard, a successor of the third generation (3G) standards.
      "LTE" stands for Long Term Evolution and 4G LTE is Is and advanced 4G service built on 3GPP Long Term Evolution technology.
      What does all that mean? Well 4G LTE is intended to be a faster service lower latency and shorter ping times. As Australias dependancy on wireless internet services grows, the introduction of 4G LTE has reduced network congestion. Like any new technology, as more and more customers sign up for 4G accounts, Telcos will continue to strugle to keep up with demand.

      Telstra 4G LTE

      Telstra were the first to introduce 4G LTE in Australia in 2011 and have their 4G LTE services in major centers around Australia.
      When searching, l
      ook for towers that support the 1.71~1.88GHz band with a Emissions Designator ending with "*DEW".
      Telstra have tested
      4G LTE on 2100MHz in Tasmania but no official announcement to convert its older 3G 2100MHz services to 4G LTE has been made1 

      Optus 4G LTE

      Optus is rolling out 4G LTE FDD services in Australia on the old 2G GSM 1800 band so look for towers that support this 1.71~1.88GHz band with a Emissions Designator ending with "*W7D--".
      Optus has anounced that it will use the 2300MHz licenses it acquired from Vivid Wireless to introduce 4G LTE TDD services in some capital 2.3GHz band with a Emissions Designator ending with "*W7W-- (to be confirmed)".

      Vodaphone 4G LTE

      Vodafone are installing their new 3G + service and a 4G LTE service simultaneously. Cell Towers with Vodafone 4G LTE use the 1.71~1.88GHz band and Emissions Designator ending in "???". *TBA

      For full speed Telstra Optus or Vodafone 4G LTE, you'll need a Dual MIMO Yagi Antenna Kit.
       Carrier/Service Band Mode Bandwidth 4 Antenna Type
      OPTUS 4G LTE
        Available sometime after January 2015
      700MHz 4G LTE 700

      UL 703-713MHz
      DL 758-768MHz

      MIMO
      X-Polarized
       5
      Telstra 4G LTE
        Available after January 2015
      700MHz 4G LTE 700 UL 713-733MHz
      DL 768-788MHz
      MIMO
      X-Polarized
       5
      Telstra - 4G LTE 1800MHz
      (
      1710~1880)
      4G LTE FDD
      Downlink: 1805-1820 MHz
      Uplink:     1710-1725 MHz
      MIMO - X-Pol
      Optus (and Virgin)- 4G LTE
      1800MHz
      (
      1710~1880)
      4G LTE FDD Downlink: 1840-1850 MHz
      Uplink:     1745-1755 MHz
      MIMO - X-Pol
      Vodafone - 4G LTE 1800MHz
      (
      1710~1880)
      4G LTE FDD TBA MIMO - X-Pol
      TBA 1 Telstra - 4G LTE 2100
      not confirmed
      2100MHz
      (
      1920~2170)
      4G LTE
      Downlink: 2110-2170 MHz
      Uplink:     1920-1980 MHz
      MIMO - X-Pol
       Optus - 4G LTE TDD 2300
      2300MHz
      (
      2302~2400)
      Band 40
      4G LTE TDD
      98MHz bandwidth
      shared between UL/DL
      MIMO - X-Pol

      Optus - 4G LTE 2500
      Available sometime after October 2014

      2500MHz
      (
      2500~2700)
      Band
      4G LTE TDD? UL 2550-2570MHz
      DL 2670-2690MHz
      MIMO - X-Pol
      Telstra   - 4G LTE 2500
      Available sometime after October 2014  
      2500MHz
      (
      2500~2700)
      Band
      4G LTE TDD? UL 2510-2550MHz
      DL 2630-2670MHz
      MIMO - X-Pol
      TPG   - 4G LTE 2500
      Available sometime after October 2014
      2500MHz
      (
      2500~2700)
      Band
      TBA
      UL 2500-2510MHz
      DL 2620-2630MHz
      TBA

       

      What is 4G FAQ page

  • What are the Australian 3G frequencies ?

    What are the Australian 3G frequencies ?
    • Australian 3G Wireless Broadband & Mobile Phone Frequencies

      The information provided is current at time of writing and subject to change without notice.
       
       Carrier/Service Band Mode Bandwidth 4 Antenna Type
      Telstra/Bigpond nextG
      850MHz
      Band 5
        
      3G UMTS/HSPA DL: 875-890 MHz
      UL: 830-845 MHz

       Vertical Pol
      Omnidirectional
      Telstra/Bigpond nextG
       (also shown as 4G in some areas)6
      DC-HSPA+ DL: 875-890 MHz
      UL: 830-845 MHz
      Dual Carrier
      Slant Pol
      Vodafone 3G
      UMTS/HSPA 824~894 MHz Slant Pol
      Vodafone 3G+  DC-HSPA+
      824~894 MHz Dual Carrier
      Slant Pol
      Optus, Virgin (900) 3G 900MHz
      Band 8

       
      UMTS/HSPA
      DL: 943-952 MHz
      UL: 898-907 MHz
      Vertical or Slant Pol

      Omnidirectional
       
      Vodafone (900) 3G UMTS/HSPA DL: 951-960 MHz
      UL: 906-915 MHz
      Telstra voice/sms
      1900MHz
      UMTS
      1850~1990 MHz Vertical Pol
      Vodafone, Optus, Telstra
      GSM/
      3G - voice/sms/data
      2100MHz
      Band 1

      UMTS/HSPA
      DL: 2110-2170 MHz
      UL: 1920-1980 MHz
      Slant Pol
       
      Australian 3G Bands FAQ page
  • What are the Australian 4G frequencies ?

    What are the Australian 4G frequencies ?
    • Australian 4G Wireless Broadband & Mobile Phone Frequencies

      The information provided is current at time of writing and subject to change without notice.
       
       Carrier/Service Band Mode Bandwidth 4 Antenna Type
      OPTUS 4G LTE  
      700MHz
      Band 28

      4G FD-LTE 700

      from 31 DEC 14

      UL 703-713MHz
      DL 758-768MHz

      MIMO
      X-Polarized
       5 
      Telstra 4G LTE  
      UL 713-733MHz
      DL 768-788MHz
      Telstra (700)  4G  700MHz
      Band 28
      4G FD-LTE  703~803MHz   
      Telstra - 4G LTE 1800MHz
      Band 3
      4G LTE FDD
      DL: 1805-1820 MHz
      UL: 1710-1725 MHz
      MIMO
      X-Pol
      Optus (and Virgin)- 4G LTE
      DL: 1840-1850 MHz
      UL: 1745-1755 MHz
      Vodafone - 4G LTE TBA
      1 Telstra - 4GX
      4G Carrier Aggregation
      700+1800MHz
      B28 + B3

      4G LTE
      703~803MHz
      + 1710~1880MHz
      2x MIMO X-Pol
       Optus - 4G LTE TDD 2300
      2300MHz
      Band 40
      4G TD-LTE
      2302~2400 MHz
      shared between UL/DL
      MIMO - X-Pol

      Optus - 4G LTE 2500

      2500MHz
      Band 7

      available: TBA

      4G FD-LTE
      UL 2550-2570MHz
      DL 2670-2690MHz
      MIMO - X-Pol
      Telstra   - 4G LTE 2500
      4G FD-LTE UL 2510-2550MHz
      DL 2630-2670MHz
      MIMO - X-Pol
      TPG   - 4G LTE 2500
      4G FD-LTE UL 2500-2510MHz
      DL 2620-2630MHz
      TBA

      1 Telstra has branded its 4G CA (carrier aggregation) service as "4GX"

       

      New 4G LTE 700MHz and 2500MHz Mobile Broadband Spectrum

      new australia 4G 700MHz and 2500MHz bands
       
      The information provided is current at time of writing and subject to change without notice.

       

       

      Australian 4G Bands FAQ page

  • How Much Signal is a Good Signal?

    How Much Signal is a Good Signal?
    • Acronym Description Acceptable values
      RSSI:

      Received Signal Strength Indication
      RSSI is a dBm signal strength indicator of the wideband signal for the band to which the device is connected.

      RSSI is a value that takes into account both RSCP and Ec/I0.
      Calculated as follows:
      RSSI [dBm] = RSCP [dBm] – Ec/I0 [dB]

      The higher (less negative) the RSSI value,
      the better the signal quality.

      Range (dBm)
      Rating Expected Connectivity
      ↑ -51
      to -73
      Excellent Should not be affected by cell breathing/loading
      -75 to -83 Good Normally no problem.
      Should hold a connection, even with heavy cell loading.
      -85 to- 95 Fair Workable under good conditions where interference from neighboring towers is not present. Could suffer poor data speeds and occasional dropped connection.
      -97 to -113↓ Marginal Low data speeds and regular disconnects due to cell loading/breathing and dropped connections.
      RSCP:

      Received Signal Code Power
      The pilot channel power level received by the mobile handset or modem for the connected cell (code signal) . Different cells using the same carrier are compared using this value to make cell re-election and cell handover decisions.

      Ec/Io:

      Energy per chip (Ec)
      to total received power (Io) ratio.
      This is the ratio between the connected code signal (RSCP) from the cell tower and the total noise, interference from other towers and non code signals (RSSI).

      Higher (less negative) values can indicate a better signal quality. However EC/Io is often misleading due to the nature of the interfering signals, and varies with the number uf users connected to the cell.
      This value is less than 1 and negative when expressed as dBm.

      Calculated as follows:
      Ec/I0 [dB] = RSCP [dBm] – RSSI [dBm]

      Cell ID:  The ID number of the Cell tower For Fixed Wireless installations, this value should not change.
      If Cell ID changes at particular times of the day, especially at peak hour traffic times, this indicates that the tower you normally connect to is over loaded/oversubscribed.

      Signal Strength vs Quality FAQ page

Coverage Maps and Cell Tower Locations

  • Coverage Maps

    Coverage Maps
    • Mobile Phone and Wireless Internet Coverage Maps

      Australia

      telstra nextg antenna coverage map logo

      Telstra Next-G Coverage Maps

      Click here to view: Telstra Mobile Phone and Mobile Broadband Coverage Maps
      Maps show current Telstra coverage based on expected speeds rather than service type.
       optus mobile coverage map

      Optus Coverage Maps

      Click here to view: Optus Mobile Phone and Mobile Broadband Coverage Maps
      Maps show current Optus coverage for single and dual band 3G and the new Optus 4G service.
      optus mobile coverage map

      Exetel, TPG, GoTalk, iiNet, Dodo, Revolution, B Mobile...

      Optus Mobile Phone Coverage Maps shows services for these Optus resellers.
      Maps show current Mobile coverage for single and dual band 3G and the new Optus 4G service.
       virgin mobile coverage map

      Virgin Mobile Coverage Maps

      Click here to view: Virgin Mobile Phone and Mobile Broadband Coverage Maps
      The Virgin Mobile network uses the Optus network.
      vodafone mobile coverage map

      Vodafone Coverage Maps

      Click here to view: Vodafone Mobile Phone and Mobile Broadband Coverage Maps

      crazy johns mobile coverage map

      Crazy Johns Coverage Map  (Now Vodafone)

      Click here to view: Crazy Johns Mobile Phone and Mobile Broadband Coverage Maps
      Crazy John's mobile and mobile broadband service is on Australia's Vodafone Network.
      telstra wholesale reseller antenna coverage map logo

      Kogan Coverage Map (Telstra wholesale reseller)

      Click here to view: Kogan Mobile Coverage Maps Kogan plans resell Telstra's wholesale 2G and 3G services. This is not as comprehensive as the full Telstra coverage.
      Kogan has no 4G LTE service at this time.
      Boost Mobile coverage map

      Boost Mobile's Coverage Map  (Telstra wholesale reseller)

      Click here to view: Boost Mobile Coverage Maps Boost Mobile plans resell Telstra's wholesale 2G and 3G services. This is not as comprehensive as the full Telstra coverage.
      Boost Mobile has no 4G LTE service at this time.
      nbnco fixed wireless coverage map

      NBNCo

      The NBN Fixed Wireless service is being rolled out to households outside the proposed fibre optic areas and it is estimated that about 4% of Ozzie premises will have access to this fixed wireless service.
      The service uses advanced technology similar to LTE or 4G on 2300MHz, with wireless internet connection speeds up to 12Mbps download & 1Mbps upload. NBN contracts to Skymesh for its Fixed Wireless services. Hardware is supplied by NBNCo. Hardware includes an outdoor roof-mounted antenna/modem with network termination inside the building.
      Thus we do not supply antennas for NBN equipment. More Info.
      Click here to view the NBN Rollout Map.

      New Zealand

      telecom nz mobile coverage map

      Telecom New Zealand Coverage Map

      Click here to view: Telecom NZ Mobile Phone and Mobile Broadband Coverage Maps
      A visual guide to the the XT network's 3G mobile voice & data coverage areas for 97% of kiwis.

      Malaysia 

      CELCOM mobile coverage map

      Celcom Mobile Phone Service - Malaysia

      Click here to view  Celcom Malaysia Coverage Information
      At time of writing, no detailed maps were available on the telco's website. Celcom uses the 900MHz but mainly the 1800MHz band for GSM and the 2100MHz band for their dual-channel HSPA+ 3G network. The Celcom 3G network provides speeds of up to 42Mbps.
      yes.my mobile coverage map

      YES 4G Mobile Phone Service - Malaysia

      Click here to view  YES Malaysia Coverage Information
      YES uses the 2300MHz for their 4G WiMax network.
      yes.my mobile coverage map

      P1 4G Mobile Phone Service - Malaysia

      Click here to view  Packet One (P1) Malaysia Coverage Information
      P1 uses the 2300MHz for their 4G WiMax and aG TD networks.
      P1 also has licences in the 2.6GHz band that may be put into service at some future date.


      Philippines

      globe philippines coverage maps

      Globe Telecom Mobile Phone Service -Philippines

      Globe Telecom website
      GSM Frequency Band - 900 MHz/1800 MHz (Dual Band)
      3G Frequency Band W-CDMA (UMTS) - 850Mhz/2100 MHz
      UMTS/3G 1900(uplink)/2100(downlink) (Dual Band)

      globe 4G LTE philippines coverage maps

      Globe 4G Mobile Phone Service -Philippines

      Globe Telecom website
      HSPA+ WiMAX 1800Mhz

      smart philippines coverage maps

      Smart Communications Mobile Phone Service -Philippines

      Smart Communications website 
      Smart LTE coverage
      GSM Frequency Band - 850Mhz/900 MHz/1800 MHz (Tri-Band)
      3G Frequency Band W-CDMA (UMTS) 2100 MHz
      UMTS/3G 1900(uplink)/2100(downlink) (Dual Band)

      sun cellular philippines coverage maps

      Sun Cellular Mobile Phone Service -Philippines

      Sun Cellular website
      GSM Frequency Band - 1800 MHz (Single Band)
      3G Frequency Band W-CDMA (UMTS) 850Mhz/1900Mhz/2100 MHz
      UMTS/3G 1900(uplink)/2100(downlink) (Dual Band)
      4G (live LTE, WiMAX, HSPA+)
        UMTS Frequency Bands for Philipines

      Phone Apps to Locate Cell Towers

        OpenSignal iPhone and Android App  

      OpenSignal for Android

      OpenSignal for iPhone





       

      Coverage Maps FAQ page

  • I live close to a phone tower but get poor signal.. whats with that?

    I live close to a phone tower but get poor signal.. whats with that?
    • Why do I get poor signal from the mobile phone tower located just next door.

      There's a number of reasons why this could happen. Most commonly, the problem is to do with the characteristics of the antenna on the phone tower.

      Your location may be higher or more commonly, lower than the direct horizontal signal path from the cell tower antenna. Cell Tower antennas have a very narrow beam-width to enable the signal to reach a long distance. While the design tries hard to distribute the signal equally to all locations, this is often difficult to achieve, with some customers very close the tower missing out on signal.

       
      The further you are from the tower, the lower the signal strength. As you get closer, the signal strength normally increases. Counteracting this, is the reduction of transmitted power available as your vertical angle becomes more accute.
      Full Signal
             
               
      Within +/- 7° of Tower Height
             
               
      Good Signal
        Poor Signal
         
      Medium Distance   Close to Tower    
               


      H = Tower Height
      Above Ground
      (AGL)

           

      Close to phone tower but get poor signals FAQ page

Smart Antennas, Boosters and Repeaters

  • Are 3G Signal Boosters legal in Australia ?

    Are 3G Signal Boosters legal in Australia ?
    • Legal Boosters

      There is currently only one legal signal booster that may be used in Australia. It is called the "Smart Antenna" or "Cel-fi Repeater".

      Cel-fi Smart Repeater for Telstra (aka Smart Antenna)

      These boosters are legal because they have passed the criteria required to ensure that their use will not affect other cell phone users. Put simply, the Cel-fi is not just a signal booster, but an intelligent mobile phone device in its own right.

      Only Legal 3G repeater

      Just like your 3G modem or mobile phone device, the Cel-fi device actively communicates with the cell tower. The tower measures the power of the signal coming the Cel-fi transmitter and sends commands that adjust the power output. The cell tower is in control of the Smart Antenna's power output. Of course its much more complicated than just that, but this is primarily the reason why these boosters are legal.

      The Smart Antenna has the ability to attach a external Yagi Antenna to further increasing the quality of your next G connection.

         

      Dual band Cel-fi Smart Repeater for Optus 

      The Cel-Fi Repeater has been tested, authorized and approved by Optus for use on the Optus 3G Network.  The second generation Cel-Fi RS-2 is a cost-effective and intelligent indoor coverage solution for the Optus 3G network operating on the WCDMA 900 and 2100Mhz band designed to improve indoor voice quality and increase data speeds for 3G consumers.  Cel-Fi has the ability to provide maximum coverage, be network friendly and can be easily installed by the end user.

      Only Legal 3G repeater

      It does this in several ways by

      • continuously monitoring power levels of the cell tower it is connected to and constantly adjusting the Cel-Fi's output power. 
      • only amplifying the Optus mobile signal, operating within a set frequency band.
      • giving the service provider the ability to shut down the repeater remotely if needed.
      • not interfering with the carrier’s network or other users on the network.
      • having a unique installation process to eliminate feedback into the mobile network.
         

      Boosters for Vodafone.

      The Smart Antenna (cel-fi) is, at the time of writing, not available for Vodafone customers.
      Rumor has it that the other telco's are looking at devices and these may be available in the future.

         

      Why are boosters illegal in Australia ?

      The ACMA has declared mobile phone boosters as a prohibited piece of customer equipment under the Telecommunications (Prohibition of Mobile Phone Boosters) Declaration 2011.
      A quick search of the web will reveal that there are more than one 3G, GSM and 4G boosters available. Some are on eBay and others are offshore ".com" websites. These sellers don't tell their customers that if they use these boosters in Australia they will be breaching the Radio-telecommunications Act 1992. Also, Australia has significant Consumer Protection laws against sellers intentionally misleading their customers. Thus you'll notice that the above website is not end with ".au" meaning that this is not an Australian website. 

      Active Boosters are illegal in Australia for very good reasons.

      1. All devices that transmit on the Australian mobile phone frequencies require licensing by the ACMA:
        • Certification of devices to meet criteria such as Harmonic distortion, interference to adjacent channels and power output to name just a few.
        • Determine that the device will operate within the regulations laid out for the Australian Radio-frequency Spectrum.
      2. Feedback from poorly installed boosters can make the RF stages unstable, causing transmission of very high power RF on the 3G network bands.
        The cell tower will lower its power output automatically in response to seeing high power "handheld" signals.
        • As a result all other customers that normally use this tower will be affected by lower signal strength and less ability to connect to the affected tower.
        • There are a number of Emergency services using similar services on adjacent RF bands. An unstable repeater can generate spurious emissions, not only on the intended 3G frequencies but across a very wide range, effecting emergency service communications as well as other 3G phone users.
      3. Local signal nulls and interference to neighboring services.
        • Signal Nulls can be created due to the fact that the same Cell ID is being re-transmitted at a second location, creating "interference  bands".

      What happens if I get caught using an illegal booster ?

      The maximum penalty for operating an unlicensed transmitter, in this case an illegal 3G Signal Booster, in Australia is $220,000.00 or up to two years imprisonment.
      The ACCC has recently announced that it intends to increase the powers of Australian Customs to confiscate and fine those importing illegal signal boosters into Australia.

      How can Telco's find tell that someone is using an illegal booster ?

      Any telco can easily track down the source of transmitters that are interfering with cell tower operation. With today's technology the software that runs the cell phone system simply logs the data to a report.
      The technician will have in a matter of seconds, all the information needed to pinpoint the exact location of the interference based on triangulation between sectors and time domain measurements between the tower and the devices attached to the booster.

       

         
         

       

      Legal 3G Repeater FAQ page

Phone Diagnostics and Settings

  • iPhone Field Test

    iPhone Field Test
    • How to access the Apple iPhone Field Test mode.

      To check which band your iphone is using:

      1. Dial  *3001#12345#*
        Note that you can put this number into the contacts list but you cant dial it from there. You'll need to copy-paste it to the keypad.

      Which Band or Frequency is your phone is using.

      The Downlink and Uplink Frequency data shows a code that represents the exact frequency that your phone is currently using for its Voice and Data connection. While in the Field Test Mode:

      1. Select UMTS Cell Environment.
        This is for 3G connection info, the GSM Cell Environment is useful only when connected to a GSM or EDGE service.
      2. Select UMTS RR Info.
      3. On this screen you'll see the 3G info. Scroll down until you see the Downlink Frequency or Uplink Frequency line.
      4. Enter the Uplinlk and Downlink codes into the calculator below.

      Find the Cell Tower MCC, LAC and Cell ID your phone is connected to.

      The Cell ID, Location Area Code (LAC) and Mobile Country Code (MCC) can usfull in diagnosing connection problems.

      1. Select UMTS Cell Environment.
      2. Select UMTS RR Info.
      3. Scroll down until you see the Cell ID  line. It will be a hexidecimal number like "af0f4aa"
      4. Go back to  Field Test main screen.
      5. Select MM Info.
      6. Select Serving PLMN.
      7. Here is displayed the Cell ID, Location Area Code and Mobile Country Code

       

       

      References:

      Field Test Codes for many other phones here:

      http://www.unwiredsignal.com/data/shopcart7/content_db/Phone-Test-Modes1.pdf

      UMTS frequency/bands:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UMTS_frequency_bands

      Link to this page

Modem Info Screens, Diagnostics and Settings

  • Sierra Wireless 760S

    Sierra Wireless 760S
    • 3G and 4G connection information is available by logging into the 760S admin screen.
      Then About Your Mobile Hotspot > View Details

      You'll see a screen similar to this:

      Network:
      – Current radio band : WCDMA 2100
      – Quality : 63
      – PS Service Type : UMTS
      – Roaming : false
      – Network Selection Mode : Auto
      – Country : AUS
      – Network : YES OPTUS
      – MCC : 505
      – MNC : 2
      – LAC : 32200
      – RAC : 0
      – Cell ID : 196648917
      – Channel number : 10713
      – Primary scrambling code : 55
      – MNC format : false
      – PLMN service error bit mask : 0
      – IP address : xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
      – Primary scrambling code : 55
      (Cell 1)
      – RSCP : -94
      (Cell 1)
      – Ec/Io Measurement : 6
      (Cell 1)
      – Serving Cell Info : D59FB80B 05F52000 C87DFFFF FF00FFFF D9292326 FFFFFFFF FFFF00
      – Rx level (in dBm) : -99

  • How do I access diagnostics info on my modem ?

    How do I access diagnostics info on my modem ?
    • Antenna Diagnostics

      To determine the strength and quality of the Wireless Broadband signal you are getting to your modem or router you will need to check the Diagnostics pages of the device your using.
      Unfortunately, USB modem connectivity software that comes with a modem purchased from telstra can has the diagnostics information locked out. You may need to download the connectivity software from the modem manufacturers web site. Also many Mac versions of this software has reduced functionaliy, and often cannot be customised to display more info, as can the windows version.

      3G/4G Router User Guides and Firmware Upgrades:
      Some Netcomm routers require a firmware upgrade to fix a bug with the external antenna connection:

      How to read the Diagnostics Information:

      Below is an example of the Optus Wireless Broadband Manager softare for the Huawei Modems.

      What is RSSI RSCP Ec/Io and Cell ID for 3G wireless broadband manager

      Important Definitions:

      Acronym Description Acceptable values
      RSSI:

      Received Signal Strength Indication
      RSSI is a dBm signal strength indicator of the wideband signal for the band to which the device is connected.

      RSSI is a value that takes into account both RSCP and Ec/I0.
      Calculated as follows:
      RSSI [dBm] = RSCP [dBm] – Ec/I0 [dB]

      The higher (less negative) the RSSI value,
      the better the signal quality.

      Range (dBm)
      Rating Expected Connectivity
      ↑ -51
      to -73
      Excellent Should not be affected by cell breathing/loading
      -75 to -83 Good Normally no problem.
      Should hold a connection, even with heavy cell loading.
      -85 to- 95 Fair Workable under good conditions where interference from neighboring towers is not present. Could suffer poor data speeds and occasional dropped connection.
      -97 to -113↓ Marginal Low data speeds and regular disconnects due to cell loading/breathing and dropped connections.
      RSCP:

      Received Signal Code Power
      The pilot channel power level received by the mobile handset or modem for the connected cell (code signal) . Different cells using the same carrier are compared using this value to make cell re-election and cell handover decisions.

      Ec/Io:

      Energy per chip (Ec)
      to total received power (Io) ratio.
      This is the ratio between the connected code signal (RSCP) from the cell tower and the total noise, interference from other towers and non code signals (RSSI).

      Higher (less negative) values can indicate a better signal quality. However EC/Io is often misleading due to the nature of the interfering signals, and varies with the number uf users connected to the cell.
      This value is less than 1 and negative when expressed as dBm.

      Calculated as follows:
      Ec/I0 [dB] = RSCP [dBm] – RSSI [dBm]

      Cell ID:  The ID number of the Cell tower For Fixed Wireless installations, this value should not change.
      If Cell ID changes at particular times of the day, especially at peak hour traffic times, this indicates that the tower you normally connect to is over loaded/oversubscribed.

      Modem Diagnostics FAQ page

  • Modem Connection Software and Diagnostics

    Modem Connection Software and Diagnostics
    • Huawei

      Mobile Partner software is a  graphical user interface for huawei 3g usb modems developed by Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. Available for all versions of Windows (Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Xp), Mac (Lion), Ubuntu, Linux.

      You can also download software for your modem from the  Huawei Support pages.

      Sierra Wireless

      Software to suit your Sierra Wireless Modem can be downloaded from their Downloads page.

      ZTE Telstra

      Software to suit your ZTE (Telstra) Modem is included on the internal drive of the dongle.
      To access the Diagnostics page, Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the OPTIONS icon.:

      zte diagnostics screen

      To set ZTE MF821 modem to specific modes, you can use the Modem Terminal function to send AT commands.
      Reference: whirlpool.net.au

      Some examples:

      AT+ZSNT=0,0,0 – Automatic mode (will select between LTE (4G), UMTS (3G) and GSM (2G)
      AT+ZSNT=1,0,0 – Force 2G mode only
      AT+ZSNT=2,0,0 – Force 3G mode only
      AT+ZSNT=6,0,0 – Force 4G mode only

      at+ZRSSI=?
      +ZRSSI: LTE: RSRP,RSRQ; WCDMA:RSCP; GSM: RSSI
      AT+ZRSSI? – In 4G mode gives RSRP, RSRQ; In 3G mode gives RSCP, and in 2G mode gives RSSI.

      AT+ZPAS? – "MODE", "CS/PS", where mode can be EDGE, UMTS, HSPA+, HSPA, LTE, and CS/PS is Circuit Switched/Packet Switched.

      To UN-LOCK your MF-821, use free software such as available from dongle.lk
      * We take no responsibility for software we link to. As always when downloading any third party software, make sure your virus checker and firewall are up to date.


      Stop Mobile Broadband Manager loading automatically at windows startup.

      Older versions of Telstra Mobile Broadband Manager had a simple option to disable it from loading automatically each time you started windows.
      How to disable launch mobile broadband manager at windows startup

       

      How to disable "Launch mobile broadband manager at windows startup" on Windows 7 

      Later versions of Telstra Mobile Broadband Manager, have no such option, so you need to manually remove the auto-run entry in the system registry.

       Using the Registry Editor (if you dont know what this is, then you should not attempt this task)

      1. Find the entry for BigPondWirelessBroadbandCM.
      We found it under:
      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]

      2. Delete the entry for "BigPondWirelessBroadbandCM"="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Telstra\\Mobile Broadband Manager\\TelstraUCM.exe\" -tsr" or similar.

      3. Reboot the PC and you should note that the Telstra Mobile Broadband Manager no longer starts automatically when booting windows.
       
      Disclaimer: Editing the registry entries can be disastrous if you do something wrong. We take no responsibility and conseqences of editing the entry described above.

       


      Third Party Modem software

      A number of free software is available for communicating with commonly available USB modems.

      MWconn and ixconn

        • standard settings for several Internet providers 
        • up- and download speed in kBytes/s
        • used data volume in kByte (with round option)
        • used online time (with round option)
        • mode of operation UMTS(3G)/GPRS(2G)
        • LTE support (Huawei E398)
        • used speed range EDGE on/off, HSPA on/off
        • signal strength in percent and dBm
        • network name and cell id (if provided by modem)
        • homezone status
        • battary status

      MWconn Downloads page

       

      Mobile Data Monitoring Application

      MDMA Downloads page

      Set the bands that the modem will use.


      Wikipedia - more info

      More info can be found on wikipedia.

       

      Modem Software FAQ page

  • Modem Antenna Connections

    Modem Antenna Connections
    • Here to show where the antenna ports are located on various modems.
      If yours is not listed or to report an error, please post your inquiry using the Q&A form at bottom of this page.

      More info regarding which antenna port to use can be found here

       

      Sierra Wireless 760S
      Telstra BigPond Mobile Wi-Fi 4G

      Netgear 782S
      Telstra WiFi 4G Advanced

      Sierra Wireless AirHub for 760S
      AirCard Hub DC102A

      Netgear Charging W-Fi Dock

      Main antenna ports Sierra 760s Main antenna ports Sierra 760s
       

      Sierra Wireless 320S
      Telstra BigPond Mobile Wi-Fi 4G

      Main antenna ports Sierra 320s
      Main antenna ports Sierra 320s

       
       

      Huawei  B593 3G 4G modem Router
      Optus Huawei B593 4G WiFi Router

      Main antenna ports Huawei B593 4G wifi gateway
       

       

       

       

      Which Antenna Port FAQ page

Payment, Shipping and Refunds

  • How to Pay your Order or Quotation

    How to Pay your Order or Quotation
    • How to pay (re-pay) for your Quotation or Order

      The following instructions are useful when:

      • Your order payment method failed,
      • You changed your mind on how you'll pay for your order or 
      • You have accepted a quotation and wish to formalize the order.
       
      1. Sign in to your account:
      Click this link to sign in
      2. Select your order: Click on your order number

      3. Select your payment method:

      4. Click "Pay order"

      Select your payment method and click "Pay order"

      Please Contact us immediately with any questions.
      To print a PDF version of the order: Sign-in into your account, select the order then press Print your invoice to PDF file

      For Direct Bank Payment:
      Please Copy and Paste the bank account details shown at the bottom this invoice when making an internet banking transfer.
      If you've already make the payment by bank deposit, please check your bank account statement to confirm details.
      If you've already paid by PayPal or Credit Card, please
      Contact us and we will check the status of the order.

       

      How to order FAQ page

  • Refunds, Shipping and Terms of Supply

    Refunds, Shipping and Terms of Supply
    • Shipping and Handling
      Packages are generally dispatched within 2 business days after receipt of payment.
      Express Post items are dispatched same day if ordered before 2:00PM Central Australian Time.
      Australian orders are
      normally shipped by Australia Post eParcel or Express eParcel  .  The exception to this is when items are shipped directly from our other warehouse(s).
      For small orders, Regular Parcel Post is sometime offered. This is cheaper but has no tracking. 
       
      Shipping fees include handling and packing fees as well as postage costs. Handling fees are fixed, whereas transport fees vary according to total weight and/or volume of the shipment.

      Conditions of Order
      We advise you to group your items in one order. We cannot group two distinct orders placed separately, and shipping fees will apply to each of them.
      Very special care is taken to protect all items during packaging. Boxes are amply sized and your items are well-protected.

      Shipment Cost:
      To calculate exact shipping costs, simply log in, add your items to the cart, then proceed to checkout, all the costs are shown prior to finalizing your order. Use the Shipping Estimator to calculate your shipping costs.

      Delivery Times:
      Where applicable *Unless stated otherwise in the Product Description:
      Express eParcel: - 1-4 business days if ordered before 2pm Monday to Thursday ,
      eParcel Parcel Post: - 2-7 business days if ordered before 2pm Monday to Thursday.
      Australia Post does not deliver on weekends. Orders placed over the weekend or on public holidays will be dispatched on the next business day with normal delivery times applicable.

      Delivery Tracking.
      Regular Post does not include insurance nor traceability.
      eParcel Parcel Post has Tacking Number.

      Express eParcel
      has Tacking Number.  

      Shipping Disclaimer & Liability.
      If your delivery is not received within the times specified above, copy the tracking number from the invoice or eBay sales record and paste it into the Australia Post Parcel Tracking page. If you feel If goods are physically damaged upon delivery, please lodge a formal claim with Australia Post immediately, before leaving the Post Office. 
      REMOTEONE take no responsibility for non-delivery of, or damage to items once they are handed over to Australia Post. We will not be held liable for losses incurred against items that have been shipped but not delivered. However, should you have any problems resolving delivery of your order, please contact us via the Start Communication
      link shown on your order details page.

      Warranty & Returns:
      We are Australian distributors for all our products and provide full support and warranty for all products via the RMA (Return Merchandise Approval) facility built into our web site. Australian Law provides consumers with standard guidelines for Return Merchandise, please refer to the Office of Business and Consumer Affairs for more information.

      Refunds:
      Were a refund (either Partial or Full) is due:
      A: If you paid for your order via Paypal account or the PayPal credit card payment facility
      your refund will be transferred using PayPal.
      B. If you paid by Cheque or Direct Bank Deposit
      your refund will be transferred by direct transfer to your account. You will need to supply your account details to allow us to complete the refund. We do NOT send refunds via cheque.

      Dead-on-arrival or faulty items:
        We will replace and ship any faulty item within it warranty period free of charge.

      1. You must first lodge a RMA Request prior to shipping the item back to us.
      2. Once we receive the returned item, we will test it for faults or other concerns as discussed.
      3. If the item is found to be not faulty, in perfect working order, we will return the item at the customers expense. In this case shipping costs will apply and must be paid prior to shipping. Non-Faulty item shipping costs can be paid here.
      4. If the item is found to be not faulty, in perfect working order, but we have, at our discretion, decided to accept the return, a re-stocking fee (see below) applies and will be deducted from the refund.

      If you have ordered the wrong item or decided that you no longer want the item:
       We may, after consultation,
      at our discretion, replace the item with a more appropriate item if available.
       In either case, the following applies:

      1. The order balance will be adjusted to reflect the cost of difference of the alternate re-supplied item.
      2. Any additional payment required must be received before the re-supplied item(s) will be shipped.
      3. A re-stocking fee of is payable.
      4. Customer will be responsible for shipping costs of the re-supplied items.
      5. The original shipping cost will not be refunded,
      6. We must receive all items that have been approved for return/replacement in perfect un-marked and re-saleable condition.
        • ALL original internal plastic, bag and other internal packaging must be returned in perfect condition.
        • Copy of the original invoice and/or RMA approval MUST be included.
        • ALL items must NOT be MARKED, CHIPPED, SCRATCHED, DENTED, BENT or ALTERED in any way from its delivered condition.
        • ALL Mounting Brackets, U-Bolts, Nuts, Bolts, and other hardware MUST be returned (unless other arrangement has been agreed).
        • The cost of missing or damaged items will either be deducted from the refund/credit or the whole return may be rejected.
      7. An RMA (see instructions below) must be lodged and items received in re-sale able and complete condition.

       If an article has been returned to us as undelivered:
       If the postal service returns any article to us as being address unknown, undeliverable or because it has been
       awaiting collection at a Post Office or Depot for more than 14days:

      1. The items will be returned to stock until we are contacted by the customer..
      2. If re-shipping is required, payment of the shipping cost to the (corrected) address is required.
      3. If no longer required, our standard re-stocking fee (see below) will be deducted from any applicable refund.
      4.  An RMA (see instructions below) must be lodged and items received in re-sale able and complete condition.

      Restocking Fee
       Where applicable, the following fee applies for items ordered by mistake and non-faulty returns.
       (unless by other arrangement)

      • $10 plus 10% of item total value of items returned..
      • This fee will never be more than $20 but is rounded up to the nearest $2.
        For example, the Restocking fee for a $200 antenna order will be $20. If returning an incorrectly ordered Patch Cable (cost $17.90), the fee would be $12.

      How to make payment for additional shipping costs and/or item replacement costs
        To make a payment for the agreed balance of a replacement item, or return of non-faulty item, where no new order has been generated.

      1. Click here to make payment for the additional costs.
      2. Enter the agreed price.
      3. Checkout.

        As soon as we have recieved the payment , we will ship your item. 

      To lodge a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) Request :

       1. Go to My Account.

       


      2.
      Sign-in to your account.

       


      3. Go to My Account and click Orders. 

       

       

       

      4. Select the order in question.

       

       

       

       


      5. Click: Request service or return of a product  

       

       

       

       

       



      6. Enter the details and press Return

       


       

      If agreed, we will have you ship the item back to us and inspect its condition etc.
      If all is good, we'll notify you of
      the request approval by email as soon as possible, and arrange any refunds or credit coupons as agreed

      ©    ABN 866 208 063 99

       Web Site Terms & Conditions

       

      Refunds, Returns and Shipping FAQ page

  • When will my order arrive ?

    When will my order arrive ?
    • Please check our Refunds, Returns and Shipping FAQ page for Delivery Time information.
      Delivery to SA destinations usually take only 1-4 days, but not always, it can be up to 7 business days.
      Delivery to remote locations normally take up to 7 business days, and in some cases even longer.
      Express Post is faster and is overnight if you are located in a "guaranteed next day" location as defined by Australia Post.
      We have on very rare occasions seen over 21 days for AusPost to deliver to remote destinations.
      Please let contact us if your parcel does not arrive within the 7 business days and we will investigate with the carrier.

      Parcels sent by eParcel or eParcel-Express will have a tracking number that will be shown on your "Order Completed" notification email. To track your item please visit Track my order and enter the tracking number(s).
      Small Parcels sent by Regular Post do not have tracking information and normally take the same time as standard eParcel.

      Your parcel  was sent :        DD-MMM-YY
      It should be delivered by:
              Add 9 days to include weekends

      More information can be found on our Delivery FAQ page

International Shipments

  • International Shipment Terms

    International Shipment Terms
    • Handling
      Packages are generally dispatched within 2 business days after receipt of payment.
       

      Conditions of Order
      We advise you to group your items in one order. We cannot group two distinct orders placed separately, and shipping fees will apply to each of them. Special care is taken
      during when packing to protect items  transport. Boxes are amply sized and your items are well-protected.

      Shipment Cost:
      To calculate exact shipping costs, simply log in, add your items to the cart, then proceed to checkout, all the costs are shown prior to finalizing your order. Use the Shipping Estimator to calculate your shipping costs.

      Restocking Fee
       Where applicable, the following fee applies for items ordered by mistake and non-faulty returns.
       (unless by other arrangement)

      • $10 plus 10% of item total value of items returned..
      • This fee will never be more than $20 but is rounded up to the nearest $2.
        For example, the Restocking fee for a $200 antenna order will be $20. If returning an incorrectly ordered Patch Cable (cost $17.90), the fee would be $12.

      Delivery Times:
      Where applicable *Unless stated otherwise in the Product Description:
      Express Parcel International: - 5-14 business days with Tacking Number.
      RegisteredParcel  International: - 7-22 business days
      with Tacking Number.

      Shipping Disclaimer & Liability.
      If your delivery is not received within the times specified above, copy the tracking number from the Invoice and paste it into the Australia Post Parcel Tracking page. If you feel If goods are physically damaged upon delivery, please lodge a formal claim with Australia Post immediately. 
       We take no responsibility for non-delivery of, or damage to items once they are handed over to Australia Post. We will not be held liable for losses incurred against items that have been shipped but not delivered. However, should you have any problems regarding delivery of your order, please contact us via the Start Communication
      link shown on your order details page.

      Dead-on-arrival or faulty items:
       We will replace and ship any faulty item within it warranty period free of charge.
       Please lodge a RMA Request prior to shipping the item back to us.

      If you have ordered the wrong item or decided that you no longer want the item:

      1. If we are notified before the item has been shipped we will provide a full refund without fees.
      2. If already shipped prior to notification, we cannot alter the order nor provide any refund.

       If an article has been returned to us as undelivered:
       If the postal service returns any article to us as being address unknown, undeliverable or because it has not
       been collected from a Postal Office or Depot:

      1. The items will be returned to stock until we are contacted by the customer..
      2. If re-shipping is required, payment of the shipping cost to the (corrected) address is required.
      3. If no longer required, our standard re-stocking fee (see above) will be deducted from any applicable refund.
      4. An RMA (see instructions below) must be lodged and items received in re-sale able and complete condition.

      How to make payment for additional/resupply shipping costs and/or item replacement costs
        To make a payment for the agreed balance of a replacement item, or return of non-faulty item, where no new order has been generated.

      1. Click here to make payment for the additional costs.
      2. Enter the agreed price.
      3. Checkout.

        As soon as we have recieved the payment , we will re-ship your item. 

      International Shipments Terms FAQ page

References and Footnotes

HelpDesk - Contact Us

  • Contact us

    Contact us
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