The performance of cellular devices like mobile phones, cell phone service booster, etc., depends on their uplink and downlink powers. The signal received from the cellular tower is the downlink, and the signal leaving your phone is the uplink. In the world of telecommunication, they pertain to the coverage and speed of the cellular network. Moreover, any issues with these two factors cause problems like dropped calls, bad connectivity, reduced call quality, and data speeds. The purpose of this article is to give you a better understanding of uplink and downlink in cellular devices, read on to know more.
Reasons For Reduced Uplink And Downlink Performance Of Your Phone
- Cellular Tower Distance: The cellular reception is directly affected by the distance from the tower, i.e. the further you are greater the reduction in reception, and vice versa.
- Weather: Weather conditions like rain, snow, fog, clouds, thunderstorms, etc., reduces the uplink and downlink. This is because static electricity and water particles with ions found in the atmosphere deflects the cellular signals that are essentially radio waves.
- Geographic Features: Mountains, hills, trees, tall structures, etc., in the line of sight between the cell phone and the cellular tower affects the downlink and uplink.
- Interference: Electronic devices and other radio frequencies can interfere with cellular signals because they are radio waves.
- Building Material: The materials used for constructing buildings like glass, metals, plywood, bricks, etc., attenuates cellular signals.
- Traffic: During peak hours, congestion in the cellular network affects the quality of cellular connection.
Measuring The Uplink And Downlink Power Of Cellular Signal
The cellular signal strength is measured in decibels (dB), and it ranges from -50 dB to -120 dB. -50 dB is good signal strength, -80 dB is average signal strength, -90 dB is below average signal strength, and -100 dB to -120 dB is considered the dead zone. Also, keep in mind that in cell phones it is commonly represented in bars, ie-50 dB will be full bars and -120 dB will be no bars. Furthermore, most cell phone connectivity issues arise when the signal strength is between -90 dB and -100 dB.
The increase or decrease in signal strength in decibels is measured exponentially, i.e. +3 dB means two times the power, while -3 dB means the power is halved. Listed below is a chart that shows the increase in power for the increase in decibels (dB).
- +1 dB = 1.3 times increase in power
- +3 dB = 2 times increase in power
- +6 dB = 4 times increase in power
- +10 dB = 10 times increase in power
- +20 dB = 100 times increase in power.
Improving Uplink And Downlink Using Cell Service Booster
The cellular coverage varies from person to person due to the reasons like distance from a cellular tower, location, building materials, interference, weather, etc. As a result, it affects the uplink and downlink. This can be resolved by installing a cellular signal booster at your home, office, or commercial establishments. These devices receive a weak cellular signal, amplifies them, and retransmits them to your cellular phone. Moreover, they are bidirectional devices, i.e. they also transmit the signal from your phone to the cellular tower.
In a commercial-grade cell phone service booster, the increase in signal strength is capped at +70 dB for maximum gain and coverage area. However, due to the factors affecting cellular coverage mentioned earlier, for the majority of users, the gain is usually within the range of +3 dB to +42 dB. But this ensures that you get a minimum of two times increase in the signal strength and a better coverage area. As a result, you get improved data speeds, call quality, and will be able to avoid the issue of dropped calls.
Selecting Cell Phone Service Booster
Most often when selecting between different models of signal boosters from the manufacturer, the downlink powers are usually the same, but the key difference will be in their uplink powers. This translates into a difference in their coverage areas. For example, consider two signal boosters from one manufacturer. One model has an uplink of +24.7 dB, while the other has an uplink of +20.4 dB. The average difference between the two is +3.24dB, i.e. the former is 2.11 times more powerful than the latter. The first gives a coverage area of 100,000+ sq ft, while that second gives a coverage area of 50,000 sq ft.
The other factor that influences the uplink and downlink power is the external antenna used in the cell service booster. There are mainly two types of it, namely the omnidirectional antenna and the unidirectional antenna. The former receives the signals from a 360-degree field and is suitable for areas with moderate cellular connectivity. Its major disadvantage is that it has a lower forward gain. The latter receives signal(s) from a single direction and has a higher forward gain. Because of this, it is suitable for areas that have poor cellular signal reception like rural areas.
These are the important factors that you should know about uplink and downlink powers that plays a critical role in cellular communication.