Want faster data? It's not all about signal

Posted by Gudrun White on

We frequently receive calls where people want faster data through their 4G router. Whilst we love selling antennas sometimes we'd rather advise the customer an antenna is not going to help much. Why would we do that?

Data throughput relies on many factors, signal strength, tower features, congestion in the network, antenna orientation amongst others.

If you've got 3 - 4 bars of 4G it's unlikely that you'll see improvement by increasing signal strength, BUT an external antenna using "MIMO" (Multiple IN Multiple OUT technology, can double speeds compared to a single antenna. How does that work?

Essentially instead of having ALL the traffic carried on one signal, 2 signals are used. These signals have an orientation to the tower. Usually we see antennas designed to receive a signal in vertical plane, ie. the elements of the antenna are up and down. With MIMO the antennas are oriented differently, one 45 degrees to the left of vertical, and one 45 degrees to the right of vertical. Here's an example from our range:

Wideband 4G MIMO Yagi

Wideband MIMO 4G Yagi

So yes, even if you have a good signal you can still double your speeds. What can you expect in speeds?

This is so much a function of the tower you are connecting to. If the tower is congested no amount of signal  improvement is going to help. This is often seen where your speeds vary throughout the day, and are particularly good at "off peak" times. Another indication is that your uplink speed is faster than your downlink speed. In these situations perhaps consider a different provider!

Yep - our antennas will get you better speeds in low signal areas, but first check and see if your tower is showing signs of congestion.

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