How do cellular repeater solutions work?
24 January 2014 - 1:01, by , in Blog, No comments

Cellular Repeater Solutions can be designed to suit any size facility and repeat as few or as many carriers that the building owner desires.  The outline below details how they work:


1. Donor (roof) antenna. This is called the “DONOR” antenna. It is usually mounted on the roof, or a side of the structure, where a clear line-of-sight path exists to the distant radio tower.  The distant site is also known as the “Donor”.  This is a two way interface; – the DOWNLINK” is the RF signal direction going INTO the structure.

The “UPLINK” is the RF signal being sent back OUT of the structure.

2. BDA (Bi-Directional RF Amplifier). A very specialized RF amplifier which selects what frequencies are to be amplified in the downlink and uplink paths (they  are different) and increases the RF signal strength in both directions. The FCC calls these amplifiers ‘signal boosters’ and there are very specific federal rules on their operation that should be followed by the system designer.

3. The RF distribution network. The most common method is to use coaxial cables. The coaxial cables fall into two classes; standard (non-radiating) and radiating.  Standard (Non-radiating) coaxial cables route RF signals to multiple indoor antennas placed in areas where radio operation is needed.  Special devices that take a portion of the RF signal out of the main coax cable to feed multiple antennas may be used. There are several types of these devices and they may be called “taps”, “splitters” or “decouplers”, all serving the same purpose.

Indoor antennas can be placed at the end of a coaxial cable or ‘tapped’ into a coaxial cable to allow multiple antennas along the coaxial cable route. This method is called Distributed Antenna System or “DAS”. 800 MHz antennas are typically small and unobtrusive, some looking similar to smoke detectors.  Ideally, the indoor antennas will be located where they are optically visible from every location you wish to communicate, however RF signals can travel through 2 – 4 wood or drywall walls but the signal will be weakened.  In parking garages, low profile (2″ thick, 6 ” diameter) antennas are sometimes glued to the lower side of overhead structural beams with construction adhesive.  Locations of antennas sometimes follow the layout for video surveillance cameras, with both often serving the same area.

About Harris Communications

Harris Communications is a national company based out of Charlotte, NC that specializes in wireless in building cellular signal enhancement and wireless solutions for commercial applications.  They have over 17 years of experience and have implemented wireless enhancement solutions in facilities throughout the United States.  Harris Communications repeater solutions come are custom designed to suit the needs of each individual application, using FCC licensed amplifiers.  They are compatible with all public safety frequencies and all cellular service providers.  Harris Communications is a turnkey company and handles every aspect from the design, installation and maintenance of their systems.  For more information call or email us directly.

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An advertisement to get better in-building cell phone and emergency radio coverage.