Opencell - off-air repeaters and mobile signal boosters

Top tips for businesses considering off-air repeaters or mobile signal boosters

As of April 2018, some off-air repeaters have been exempted by Ofcom from licence requirements. Now the most cost effective mobile signal boosting technology available, many smaller businesses are considering this more affordable way to enable indoor mobile connectivity in buildings which are currently signal dead zones.

Champions of an industry-leading, multi-operator, indoor mobile signal solution enabled by small cells, Opencell are well positioned to explain the pros and cons of signal solutions enabled by this alternative repeater technology. So, if you work for a business with access to the building’s roof and are located somewhere with strong outdoor signal, here are the pros and cons of boosting that signal indoors via repeaters:

Pros:

  • Comparative affordability and quick installation to other indoor mobile signal solutions. SMEs, in particular, often struggle to afford Distributed Antenna Systems or small cell solutions due to the required leased line connectivity or backhaul requirements.
  • A multi-operator system enabling connectivity to all four of the UK mobile networks is possible if four antennas with four amplifiers are installed and then calibrated into one internal antenna system.

Cons:

  • Because of the simplicity of the antenna technologies, they may well be marketed as a plug and play/self-install solution, which is misleading. It’s actually quite tricky to get on the right frequency, and even when you do, other repeaters and outdoor signals can start disrupting your connection at any time.
  • It’s a low-power solution, so while ideal for a smaller building or business, high rise towers or any building with more than two floors will start to compromise the affordability advantages inherent in the technology.
  • This technology will only work where there is viable, reliable outdoor signal to boost via the building’s rooftop. If you cannot gain easy access to your building’s roof or pick up outdoor mobile signal, you will need to consider other connectivity solutions.

And finally, Opencell Director Brendan Hourihane, a long-time expert in repeater and booster technology urges interested buyers to consider that: “Most providers won’t offer an installation and managed service package along with this technology, despite this being the the only way to guarantee ongoing connection quality.”

If you run a small business with good outdoor mobile signal, but nothing once you cross your building threshold, get in touch to learn more about our quick signal viability surveys and bespoke solution quotes. With Opencell, there will be no more dropped business.

6 July 2018