Why do we need a signal booster and how to determine the best one?

  • We all deal with weak signal, dropped calls, and slow internet speeds in our daily lives. It can be at your homes, offices, shopping malls, and other commercial places.

  • These network problems arise due to the following- Obstruction by building materials, walls, trees, and bad weather. Signal boosters are a great way to eliminate these problems. Signal booster is simply a device that amplifies the signal strength from a nearby cell tower and distributes it in the building.

  • Now, let us find way to identify the best signal boosters. This can be done by performing RF survey measurement by walk testing indoors with the right equipment such as the RantCell App.

  • First, you need to identify a venue such as residence or commercial indoor location, which fits the use case for installing the booster to improve the indoor cellular coverage and QoE (Quality Of experience). Usually such locations will have very poor indoor coverage, voice and data service issues such as call drops, low throughputs etc.


    Following are the list of recommended walk tests that must be conducted using right RF test tool to measure operator in question to pre benchmark QoE without any signal boosters installed within the indoor venue,

  • Long voice call tests example 15mins assuming you will be able to survey the entire area of indoor venue, else choose higher call duration.

  • Upload and Download data tests covering entire venue.

  • Perform idle mode survey of entire venue to measure level of signal levels and to measure the type of RAN technology (ex 2G, 3G, 4G or 5G) served within the indoor space.

    Once the benchmarking is completed within the indoor venue without signal booster, identify core QoE issues and measure KPIs as suggested below.

  • Number of call drops and their location marked against floor plan (KPIs such as CSSR, Handover failures, number of cells serving the cells).

  • Number of call setup failures and their location marked against floor plan.

  • Number sections of indoor venues not having coverage and marked against floor plan.

  • Data connectivity issue, example users dropping to 2G or low mpbs throughput marked against floor plan.

  • Re-perform above tests again by installing signal booster belonging to different manufacturers and compare reports to evaluate which signal booster provides the best user experience indoors. By comparing KPI improvements and reduction in failures etc.

    Indoor RF test tool must support following primary features,

  • Input of floor plans should be possible on RF test tool.

  • While walk testing it should be possible to accurately mark the location on floor plan.

  • Should support 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G and CDMA networks.

  • It must be possible perform voice, data, video and idle mode tests. All of these tests should be automatically repeatable.

  • There should be a support to visualise and analyse the surveyed data overlaid on maps along with floor plans and with automatic report generation with minimal manual effort.

  • Download the RantCell sample indoor residential walk test report and discover more about how RantCell solution is transforming indoor testing by new way of performing indoor survey