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Getting the best out of Cellular Installations

When installing Cellular equipment (Routers, Parking meters, Utility meters etc.), the problem to solve is how to make sure reliable data is transferred to a point where it is analysed and acted on

The questions often asked are, what company has the best equipment? what network has the best coverage? Or Should I use an internal or external antenna? 

One aspect of the installation that is quite often neglected is the antenna. It is worth remembering that signals are transmitted and received by the antenna and not the hardware. Use a low cost, low power antenna and you will not get a reliable signal, regardless of how good your equipment is or whose SIM card you use.

Many Cellular installations are, by their nature, in remote locations. This means patchy network coverage and costly if engineers are despatched to troubleshoot problems.

In these instances, the best antennas to use are external wall or pole-mounted antennas.

These normally come in two types, Omnidirectional or Directional. They need to be installed in as high a position as possible, with low loss cable extension to reduce signal loss and cover all the frequency bands in 2G, 3G and 4G technologies.

Directional antennas perform best but, as the name suggests, they work best in a single direction and need to be in line of sight to the nearest appropriate mobile cell.

The next issue to resolve is the best SIM card. All networks will tell you that they have the best coverage but not all of them will have the best coverage in multiple installation sites. To determine what Sim card should be used where the best way is to use a Cellular Signal Analyser SNYPER device to determine the best network in that area and location of the nearest and strongest cell for your Directional antenna.

By taking these simple steps companies can maximise performance, regardless of the equipment used.

Siretta are a leading developer and manufacturer of Industrial IoT products, software and solutions. We have extensive knowledge and experience within IoT with a focus on cellular technologies in support of 2G (GPRS), 3G (UMTS), 4G (LTE), NB-IoT and LTE Category M as well as the emerging 5G.

4 Oct 2019, 7:48