FAQ ID # 158
Last Update : 2012/02/20
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Question / Issue
Will increasing cellular signal strength increase throughput speeds?

Answer / Solution

Signal strength does not have a direct correlation to throughput speed. but signal quality does, because poor signal quality will cause more packet retransmits, drops, etc.  You can achieve good speed throughput even with low signal strength as long as the signal is constant and free frome excess noise and interference.

You can add a higher gain external antenna or place the antenna in a more favorable position to increase both signal strength and quality.  Remember that the length of the coax cable and number of connectors will increase both the signal loss and noise. You also want to eliminate any sources of interference the may be present near the external antenna. Keep the antenna away from motors, radios, lights, CRTs, etc).

A cellular signal amplifier, while it increases the signal strength to the modem, will also amplify any noise, multi-path or other interference detected at the antenna. This can sometimes lead to worse signal quality even though the signal is stronger. Amplifiers should only be used in situations where the signal without the amp is very low or no signal can be obtained without the smaplifier.

We recommend reviewing our TechNote on Cellular Antenna Issues for more information. (see below).

Related Links
TechNote: Cellular Antenna Issues

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