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Phone Signal Repeaters. Advice needed.


Adumbration
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I connect to the internet by tethering my mobile phone to my computer by usb.  I have a phone that runs android 10 and works perfectly for this function.

 

My data is supplied via a True unlimited data sim at 10mbps speed.

 

I am currently living in a small village that is not too far off the grid but my house is in a bit of a dale (low spot).

 

I want to try a phone signal repeater to see if I can improve my True H signal and thus speed of my data from my True SIM.

 

Here is a random example of one I found for sale on Shopee:

 

https://shopee.co.th/1800-mhz-4G-Repeater-Band-3-4G-LTE-1800MHz-Mobile-Phone-Signal-Booster-Repeater-i.113213618.1748753342?sp_atk=2d4cc94c-57fb-4a6a-9acf-249e74976559

 

1. Has anyone tried one of these types of devices?  Does it work?

2. Can you recommend a brand to buy?

3. I understand I would need a 1800mhz version for 4G (there are cheaper 900mhz versions for sale also).  Is this correct?

4. Is there any other thing I should keep in mind when selecting one of these units to buy?

 

I intend to put the external aerial up on the top of the roof and then plug the main box in to the power next to my computer (with the indoor aerial also set up next to my phone... which is connected by usb to my computer).

 

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Adumbration said:

4. Is there any other thing I should keep in mind when selecting one of these units to buy?

 

Perhaps also look into the legality of using it? I understand some mobile service providers routinely scan for these devices. If there is an identified user from one of these scans, the results are provided to the telecommunications authority (NBTC in Thailand) for their appropriate action.

 

In my country, this action involves advising the owner to turn off and dismantle the repeater. I am not sure if repeaters are regulated or restricted devices in Thailand. You should consider it nevertheless before investing time, effort and money in purchasing one. A handful of countries have banned signal boosters because carriers have found that they can interfere with how their networks function. While it may provide a stronger signal to the person with the booster, it lowers transmission levels for those on the outer edges of the network. As a result, the coverage area is considerably reduced, and a lot of customers within the area or your neighborhood are left without service. It's when they raise a complaint about poor reception that the tower is scanned for issues which in turn leads to such devices being detected.

 

 

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5 hours ago, mvdf said:

Perhaps also look into the legality of using it? I understand some mobile service providers routinely scan for these devices. If there is an identified user from one of these scans, the results are provided to the telecommunications authority (NBTC in Thailand) for their appropriate action.

 

In my country, this action involves advising the owner to turn off and dismantle the repeater. I am not sure if repeaters are regulated or restricted devices in Thailand. You should consider it nevertheless before investing time, effort and money in purchasing one. A handful of countries have banned signal boosters because carriers have found that they can interfere with how their networks function. While it may provide a stronger signal to the person with the booster, it lowers transmission levels for those on the outer edges of the network. As a result, the coverage area is considerably reduced, and a lot of customers within the area or your neighborhood are left without service. It's when they raise a complaint about poor reception that the tower is scanned for issues which in turn leads to such devices being detected.

 

 

Thanks for your input.  Not interested in any of the issues you have canvassed.  Just the technical capabilities and the opinions of anyone that has tried a repeater here in their home or office.

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7 hours ago, ChaiyaTH said:

Buy a SIM router, fits the purpose.

Thanks for that suggestion.  However.  I want to put the aerial high up on the roof.  Also I want to keep the SIM in my phone also and only tether it to my computer when need to use internet at home.

 

I don't want to buy a second SIM dedicated just to a SIM router also.

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You have an AIS SIM; run a speed test on it before you do anything else. If the speed and stability is superior; then you know what to do.

Quite likely you will still persist with the Truemove H SIM regardless; but at least you will know that you have the option to apply an AIS 10 Mbps pack( 200 baht per month currently) if the speed test indicate it is a more suitable product to your needs.

 

Truemove H has not ever been my first choice; partially for the reason you are having issues with now.

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@Bruno123 I read with interest (your post?) regarding the varying specs of AIS v True v DTAC data sims.  In the wake that post I purchased a DTAC 4mbps SIM 1 month validity on Shopee because you identified it as perhaps the best choice.  It is far slower in my location here than TRUE H.  And I have already tried AIS and it runs at about the same speed and consistency as TRUE.  I have used unlimited TRUE SIMS back to back for about 4 years now and they are not perfect but in a decent reception area good enough for what I need.  Problem is I recently bought a little house in a fishing village.  And so I am now going to try and improve my phone service with a signal repeater.  Heaven knows perhaps it will also help the SMS not arriving problem I have now been dealing with for 2 months.

 

I will buy a 1800mhz model because as I understand it that is for 4G and I can see on my phone that the True data sim is running on 4G.

 

I get a weather proof omni directional aerial and put it up above my roof on a piece 2 inch pvc pipe.  I will then run it inside and place the indoor aerial next to my computer.

 

Haven't been able to find any local sellers of these repeaters on Shopee or Lazada so looks like I will have to wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive from China anyway.

 

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32 minutes ago, Adumbration said:

Just tested my True 10mbps Sim on testmy.net.

 

Down: 3.1mbps

 

Up: 93kbps

never heard of testmy.net - the benchmark is normally speedtest.net

I get 89mb with them but only 71mb with testmy...

in my experience of living in foreign countries, you either get good reception or you don't......although houses with thick walls can have an impact

I concur with what someone else has already recommended, get a proper SIM router and attach an external aerial to that

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On 11/26/2021 at 10:02 PM, Adumbration said:

1. Has anyone tried one of these types of devices?  Does it work?

This topic used to come up often here, although don't recall any recent posts. Maybe a search would yield some valuable detail?

 

example: https://aseannow.com/topic/557981-signal-booster/

 

 

On 11/26/2021 at 10:02 PM, Adumbration said:

not too far off the grid

Are you certain that fiber broadband is not available nearby? You might have to pay for a long-run, but it will be worth it.

 

 

Finally check with neighbors, see what they're doing for interwebs.

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On 11/28/2021 at 7:49 AM, Adumbration said:

Just tested my True 10mbps Sim on testmy.net.

 

Down: 3.1mbps

 

Up: 93kbps

Pitiful upload. Let's see AIS. Doubt it will be as bad on the upload.

You can buy a 100 MB in volume package for testing purpose for 10 baht by tapping in*777*70# and then the dial key whilst the AIS SIM is in use. Then use Test My again.

 

 

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On 11/28/2021 at 7:45 AM, Adumbration said:

@Bruno123 I read with interest (your post?) regarding the varying specs of AIS v True v DTAC data sims.  In the wake that post I purchased a DTAC 4mbps SIM 1 month validity on Shopee because you identified it as perhaps the best choice.  It is far slower in my location here than TRUE H.  And I have already tried AIS and it runs at about the same speed and consistency as TRUE.  I have used unlimited TRUE SIMS back to back for about 4 years now and they are not perfect but in a decent reception area good enough for what I need.  Problem is I recently bought a little house in a fishing village.  And so I am now going to try and improve my phone service with a signal repeater.  Heaven knows perhaps it will also help the SMS not arriving problem I have now been dealing with for 2 months.

 

I will buy a 1800mhz model because as I understand it that is for 4G and I can see on my phone that the True data sim is running on 4G.

 

I get a weather proof omni directional aerial and put it up above my roof on a piece 2 inch pvc pipe.  I will then run it inside and place the indoor aerial next to my computer.

 

Haven't been able to find any local sellers of these repeaters on Shopee or Lazada so looks like I will have to wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive from China anyway.

 

 

I am reasonably sure that I did not suggest you buy a DTAC SIM with a capped speed package for speed testing purpose. 🙂

 

 

AFAIK Truemove H's 4G/LTE Bands are on bands: 1, 3, 8, 41. 

 

B1 (2100 MHz)

 

B3 (1800 MHz)

 

B8 (900 MHz)

 

B41 (2500 MHz)

 

Your phone can see 4G bands: 1, 3, 5, 8, 38, 40, 41

 

BUT, your phone does not allow carrier aggregation: https://c.realme.com/in/post-details/1251472971109761024

 

Let's see the results of the AIS speed test and the DTAC SIM whilst we are at it. But add a full speed pack to the DTAC SIM before beginning the test. *104*851*9# will add a 100 MB volume of full speed data at the cost of 10 baht, for you to utilise for the speed test.

 

This is where it's useful to have friends. So they can bring their mobile phones that allow Carrier Aggregation over for network testing.

 

Edited by Bruno123
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@Bruno123 Thanks very much for your informative posts...and especially info regarding True H bands.

 

I have shopped around extensively on both Shopee and Lazada.  I prefer to use Shopee because they have easier refund solution if thing go wrong however I have found the best deals for tri band repeater on Lazada.

 

There are two options.  One with unidirectional outdoor aerial:

 

https://www.lazada.co.th//products/i338454620-s655746340.html?spm=a2o4m.cart.0.0.5ad96108DiVNJ7&urlFlag=true

 

And one with omnidirectional aerial:

 

https://www.lazada.co.th/products/tri-band-900-1800-2100-gsm-dcs-3-repeater-i1453546643-s3787728727.html?&search=pdp_same_topselling?spm=a2o4m.pdp_revamp.recommendation_1.2.58d836faFgpMI7&mp=1&scm=1007.16389.126158.0&clickTrackInfo=99cedd0d-6175-4e85-b93e-982c6618c8c0__1453546643__12093__trigger2i__224806__0.428__0.428__0.0__0.0__0.0__0.428__1__null__null__null__null__null__null____3485.0__0.3802008608321378__4.666666666666667__6__2160.0__82420,85528,88229,88467,89238,89487,89491,92273,92322,107289,108012,112107,117557,120160,120657,121085,121756,121951,122209,122213,122903,126388,126918,127022,128053,129114,129859,129896,129993,129994,129995,129996,130069,130071,130711,130815,131854,136175,136964,136966,137075,137084,137159,141200,141222,142021,142133,142134,149620__null__null__null__3650.16538_3650.16544_955.3631_955.3632__null__13426__null__0.0__0.0________null__null

 

Both have the same kit except for the aerial.  I am going to going to buy the later version with the omnidirectional aerial for two reasons: First, the unidirectional is wide and flat and will probably blow of the aerial tower in strong storm...and...secondly, I am in a little village that is positioned in between two larger towns both of which are about 20 minutes away.  I have tried to search for tower locations online but cant find anything useful.  So the omnidirectional should hedge my bets....right?

Also that aerial is just cylindrical and so should fare better in strong winds.

 

The repeater unit is triband and covers B1,3, and 8 so it should be good to go.

 

A lot of positive reviews with photos and videos from Thai customers who have already bought this set up.  Most say started with 1 to 2 bars on phone then with repeater get full 4 or 5 bars.

 

Price is also seems cheap at circa 2100 baht with free postage.

 

What do you think.

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4G/LTE is conspicuous by it's absence within your choices.

Why do you need a repeater, as opposed to just a outside aerial?

 

Repeaters are so you can receive an improved mobile phone signal inside. 

 

Test the AIS SIM utilising Test My and report the result.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Adumbration said:

So the omnidirectional should hedge my bets....right?

A directional antenna or dish would be better ( better gain/focus = longer distance) but would require more experimentation to point at the correct cell tower.

 

1 hour ago, Adumbration said:

A lot of positive reviews with photos and videos from Thai customers who have already bought this set up.  Most say started with 1 to 2 bars on phone then with repeater get full 4 or 5 bars.

In the write for one it says make sure you have at least 2 bars signal in the area you install the device otherwise "this product can't help you  it needs a good outdoor signal to improve your indoor signal"

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34 minutes ago, johng said:

A directional antenna or dish would be better ( better gain/focus = longer distance) but would require more experimentation to point at the correct cell tower.

 

In the write for one it says make sure you have at least 2 bars signal in the area you install the device otherwise "this product can't help you  it needs a good outdoor signal to improve your indoor signal"

 

I think he is misunderstanding the utility of the product. It is to boost the signal indoors; rather than improving the speeds available to the modem. In other words, if there is no mobile signal indoors so you need to go outside to make a call; a repeater may allow you to use the phone indoors.

 

He needs an aerial/amplifier that feeds a good signal to a router/modem; such as https://www.tendacn.com/product/4g09.html

That, together with an LTE antenna kit.

 

We are still waiting on the other speed tests....

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Cellular signal and data speeds work hand in hand. By strengthening the signal your phone receives, your LTE data speed drastically increases. A signal booster will boost your mobile data speeds, in addition to the benefits of faster texts and crystal-clear calls. Plus, cellular signals travel farther than WiFi, so if you lack a cable connection, this is a much cheaper, more reliable option for fast internet.

 

A cell phone signal booster amplifies the signal from outdoors, rebroadcasting indoors wirelessly to get you the best data rates.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bruno123 said:

4G/LTE is conspicuous by it's absence within your choices.

Why do you need a repeater, as opposed to just a outside aerial?

 

I don't understand this comment.  4G LTE is covered by 2100mhz is it not?  Did you mean 5G?

 

LTE Band ก็คือข้อมูลที่ใช้ในการบอกถึง Frequency หรือคลื่นความถี่ในการใช้งานเครือข่าย 4G ซึ่งในแต่ละประเทศ และแต่ละโซนทวีปจะมีการใช้ LTE Band ที่แตกต่างกันไป เพื่อความเหมาะสม และความลงตัวในการใช้งานของผู้ใช้งาน โดยที่ LTE Band สามารถแบ่งและมีรายละเอียดดังนี้

  • LTE Band 1 : คลื่นความถี่ 2100 MHz (FDD) / (DTAC, TRUE)
  • LTE Band 2 : คลื่นความถี่ 1900 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 3 : คลื่นความถี่ 1800 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 4 : คลื่นความถี่ 1700 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 5 : คลื่นความถี่ 850 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 7 : คลื่นความถี่ 2600 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 8 : คลื่นความถี่ 900 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 9 : คลื่นความถี่ 1800 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 11 : คลื่นความถี่ 1500 MHz (FDD)
Edited by Adumbration
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THAILAND HAVE
AIS (Verygood Singnal coverage1 )
3G 2100Mhz WCDMA/UMTS
4G 900Mhz,1800Mhz,2100Mhz (FDD)
TRUEMOVE-H (Good Singnal coverage 2 )
3G 850Mhz 2100Mhz WCDMA/UMTS
4G 900Mhz,1800Mhz,2100Mhz(FDD)
DTAC (์Medium coverage 3 )
3G 850Mhz,2100Mhz WCDMA/UMTS
4G 1800Mhz,2100Mhz(FDD)
4G 2300 (TDD)
Can support 3CA

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2 hours ago, Adumbration said:

I don't understand this comment.  4G LTE is covered by 2100mhz is it not?  Did you mean 5G?

 

LTE Band ก็คือข้อมูลที่ใช้ในการบอกถึง Frequency หรือคลื่นความถี่ในการใช้งานเครือข่าย 4G ซึ่งในแต่ละประเทศ และแต่ละโซนทวีปจะมีการใช้ LTE Band ที่แตกต่างกันไป เพื่อความเหมาะสม และความลงตัวในการใช้งานของผู้ใช้งาน โดยที่ LTE Band สามารถแบ่งและมีรายละเอียดดังนี้

  • LTE Band 1 : คลื่นความถี่ 2100 MHz (FDD) / (DTAC, TRUE)
  • LTE Band 2 : คลื่นความถี่ 1900 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 3 : คลื่นความถี่ 1800 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 4 : คลื่นความถี่ 1700 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 5 : คลื่นความถี่ 850 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 7 : คลื่นความถี่ 2600 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 8 : คลื่นความถี่ 900 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 9 : คลื่นความถี่ 1800 MHz (FDD)
  • LTE Band 11 : คลื่นความถี่ 1500 MHz (FDD)

The repeater doesn't support LTE. Forget about a repeater.

 

Tired of repeating the same things. Test the SIM and forget about your crazy idea. I've shown you what you need if anything.

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Going to do this once more.

 

The repeater that you have chosen does mention in the small print that it supports Band 3 LTE(DCS).

 

Have you checked on the frequency bands utilised in your particular area?

 

My 4G router connects to Band 1, whilst my phone connects to Band 3. They are next to each other. But Band 3 has a stronger signal.

 

So the first thing for you to find out is which band gives the strongest signal(regardless of network) and in which direction. 

Then you need a good aerial to lock on to that signal and deliver it to your home.

 

So run those speed tests on all SIM and report back. Then we can check out the specific bands utilised and get the correct equipment; as opposed to playing guessing games or trying to build the whole thing around a Truemove H SIM.

 

 

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Test the speeds OUTSIDE the property. Perhaps start with four tests; N, E, S & W. Turning the phone off and on again at each point , but before each test. That way forcing it to find the cell each time. 

Do that with EACH SIM and log the results. This should indicate the kind of speeds you will be getting INSIDE the property with a repeater.

 

If the speeds outside the property are poor, then you'll need a decent aerial. Hopefully, after the tests, you'll have a better idea of where it should be positioned.

 

Don't just start buying stuff without doing the footwork beforehand. Test!

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On 11/26/2021 at 10:02 PM, Adumbration said:

I am currently living in a small village that is not too far off the grid but my house is in a bit of a dale (low spot).

Do you have an Android phone?

You can check signal strenght without additional tools/apps as follows:

Quote

How to find a precise dB reading on your Android

Field test mode on Android varies by phone model and Android OS version. However, you can generally find it under the Settings menu.

Typical sequence:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap About Phone
  • Tap Status or Network
  • Tap SIM Status
  • Your dBm is under Signal strength

Mine (AIS) in the room is a meager -96 dB.

If I go to the balcony it is -83 dB, very significant improvement.

Signal tower is about 1.5 km away, LTE 1800 MHz.

 

Here is a table which qualifies the values:

spacer.png

 

Another poster recommended a SIM router. A good idea if connected to an external antenna. Such stuff is available and does not cost a fortune.

Another idea: invite someone with AIS or DTAC to look up signal strenght :tongue:

True has always been a bad choice for remote locations.

 

Edited by KhunBENQ
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11 hours ago, Bruno123 said:

Test the speeds OUTSIDE the property. Perhaps start with four tests; N, E, S & W. Turning the phone off and on again at each point , but before each test. That way forcing it to find the cell each time. 

Do that with EACH SIM and log the results. This should indicate the kind of speeds you will be getting INSIDE the property with a repeater.

 

If the speeds outside the property are poor, then you'll need a decent aerial. Hopefully, after the tests, you'll have a better idea of where it should be positioned.

 

Don't just start buying stuff without doing the footwork beforehand. Test!

There you go @Bruno123 and @KhunBENQ I have finished tests on TRUE and AIS SIMS:

 

I checked in all locations outside my house.  As I previously posted I am located between two larger villages.  The one to the south/east is the larger of the two and it follow that the best signal for both AIS and True come from that direction.  

 

My house faces west and so the aerial would be best placed at the back of my house.  There is a grove of tall rubber trees directly between me and the larger village.  I might be able to get up above them with a 6 m plus mast mounted on my roof.

 

Test results (outside and pointing in best direction):

 

At this point (I have yet to test DTAC sim) it appears that an unidirectional aerial is a better choice than a omnidirectional because both signals are strongest from the same direction (toward larger town).

 

True SIM is receiving LTE B8 900mhz @ -102 dBm

 

AIS SIM is receiving LTE B3 1800mhz @ -92 dBm

 

Inside readings:

True  -118 dBm

 

AIS    -111 dBm

 

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Just finished testing dtac SIM

 

Outside:

 

Best direction also toward larger town but not in exact same direction as TRUE and AIS. 

 

LTE B1 2100mhz @ -112dBm

 

Inside:

 

No signal

 

NOTE: Intermittently signal would display as B40??  What is this 5G?? or just error due to weak signal?

Edited by Adumbration
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1 hour ago, Adumbration said:

What is this 5G??

that's the stuff that fries your brain....so I wouldn't overcomplicate things with that just yet 😆

is there anywhere in/around/on top of your house that you can actually get into double figures with the download speeds?

how are you measuring the dBm signals......I must admit this is confusing me; in over 20 years of using mobiles/internet/working in IT etc I've never had to measure dBm signals so I'm fascinated I'm missing out on a 'great adventure' 😜🤣

Edited by driver52
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