Before committing to a Signal Booster Installation

Understanding Signal Boosters and how they work: Enhancing Your Cellular Coverage

When it comes to installing a signal booster, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of how they work and what you aim to achieve. The primary intention of a signal booster is not just to amplify existing weak and noisy signal you have (indicated as “HERE” below). You will end up with amplified noisy signal causing unclear voice calls and slow data speeds plus increased latency.  The “Here” below indicates the problem which the majority on signal boosters installation guides tell you to do? “Walk around with your cell phone and find the strongest signal.”

Understanding Signal Boosters and how they work Enhancing Your Cellular Coverage

Instead, the goal is to strategically amplify good, strong and reliable signal that is available at an elevated position (“UP HERE” indicated below) to improve coverage indoors. Makes a whole lot more sense right?

Understanding Signal Boosters and how they work Enhancing Your Cellular Coverage

Why Measuring Signal Strength Matters

To achieve this, it is essential to measure signal strength at an elevated location where the signal will be stronger and less obstructed by trees and structures. Signal transmitted from a cellular base station is mostly weaker at ground level due to obstacles such as trees and buildings. By measuring the signal strength (“RSSI”) at a better elevation, you gain valuable information about the frequencies available on your cellular base station as well as the strength of that signal. 

This information is also critical in selecting the right signal booster that aligns with the signal you actually want to enhance. This is a common mistake made when  buying a signal booster over the internet based on a picture or a cheaper price with no critical information. Choosing to buy a signal booster that amplifies everything mostly leads to overspending when the frequencies transmitted from the base station you are connecting to would give you full signal indoors as well as good data speed.

Choosing the Right Signal Booster

Different base stations utilize various frequencies and technologies, such as 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE, and 5G. In RSA, cell towers transmit on 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100 & 2600 MHz. Rarely does any one cell tower provide all of this spectrum, most two or three of these bands and in rural arias often only one band.

It’s essential to know the frequencies your network operator uses in your area. How to do this is not advertised. By identifying the frequency and signal strength (“RSSI”) with a signal meter measured at an elevated point, you can make an informed decision before purchasing a booster that operates on an incorrect frequency. This approach not only saves you money but ensures that you’re amplifying the best signal available rather than amplifying noise.

Obtaining Vital Information

To gather accurate signal strength information, it’s advisable to consult with experts who have the necessary tools and knowledge. System Design Experts can assist you in measuring your signal strength and identifying the frequencies used by different network providers. Their professional equipment can pinpoint available base stations and select the best-suited frequency option for your needs.

Signal Booster Installation Essentials

A typical home signal booster installation involves an outdoor antenna positioned high above the ground, where the reception is strong (“good RSSI”). The antenna is directed toward the base station for optimal performance. To prevent interference and oscillation, use high-quality indoor antennas and cables that focus coverage indoors without transmitting outdoors through windows.

Isolation of antennae is essential. It is necessary to understand that the majority of signal boosters have AGC (automation gain control) This can vary, but most boosters will be capable of reducing their gain (their amplification volume) by 20dBm. The implication here is that, if critical attention is not paid to the correct installation of antennae and oscillation does occur, it can shut down the booster until there is no amplification at all. Your observation work be is that “ this thing does not work”.

Choosing the correct O/P (output power) of a signal booster is also critical for the same reason as above. We tend to buy or build this that will last and in doing so we over engineer. The steel is twice as thick, the engine

much to strong etc. These decisions have a secondary effect. The secondary effect of too power O/P or Gain in a signal booster installation will also have a secondary effect. An O/P that is too high will effectively cost you much more than needed and has the potential to go into oscillation much quicker that a lower powered unit.

Why Choose Us for Signal Boosters

When choosing a signal booster supplier, consider SDE’s expertise and reputation. With a deep understanding of antennas, cables, and cellular technology, SDE has been a trusted player in the industry since 2012. Amplitec, a specialist manufacturer to the world’s largest market since 2006, is a globally recognized repeater manufacturer known for its reliability, performance and a leader in the onboard intelligence built in their product design.

Our repeaters are ICASA type and network approved, ensuring legality and compliance.

Purchasing from SDE provides you with a proven and tested solution backed by a 12-month factory warranty. Our country wide technical support, voltage surge protection (against loadshedding) and repair services set us apart from other RSA options. By choosing us, you’re not just purchasing a booster but becoming part of a supportive community focused on delivering reliable cellular coverage.


Creating an effective signal booster installation involves understanding the nuances of signal strength, frequency available, oscillation and refraction between antennae, equipment selection and the correct height and placement of antennae. By following the guidelines outlined in our manual, you can make informed decisions that lead to improved indoor coverage and better communication experiences.