Choosing the right Antenna for your application


Why is the antenna so important?

The antenna is a device for transmitting and/or receiving signals - the eyes and ears of your communication system. A good antenna is designed to be “in-tune” to the signal you are seeking - your phone or device “sees” the signal and you hear a clear conversation. Use a poor antenna and you simply cannot communicate effectively.

Determine the frequency in your area

In Australia the current mobile frequency bands can be broken into 700, 850, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 and 2600Mhz. From the early years GSM was on the 900/1800 band, with 3G later being introduced on the 2100 band. As the demand for mobile internet and coverage increased the carriers introduced 3G on the 850 and 900 bands. With the recent introduction of 4G, carriers are turning off their GSM 1800 service and using the space to operate a 4G service. All of our modems support external antennas in either SMA or FME connectivity option.

 

Carrier

GSM

3G

4G LTE

Telstra

900

(shutdown end of 2016)

850

2100

700

900

1800

2100

2600 (testing)

Optus

900

1800

900

2100

700

1800

2100 (NT and QLD)

2300 (ACT)

2600 (testing)

Vodafone

900

1800

900

2100

850

2100

 

What is gain?

The gain of an antenna is a measure of the improvement in transmitted or received signal strength when its performance is measured against the theoretical standard isotropic radiator, whose radiation pattern represents a perfect sphere. Gain can only be achieved by focussing the radiation pattern in the direction in which it is needed by the addition of more radiating elements and/or directors and reflectors.

Mobile antennas should radiate in a symmetrical pattern 360° around the antenna. As gain is increased, the radiation gets compressed into a thinner pattern and reaches out further to the sides. The more gain an antenna has the thinner the pattern becomes and the further the signal can travel or reach. However a thinner radiation pattern may prevent strong signal reception when driving through hills and valleys or amongst built up areas such as city centres where base stations tend to be located on top of buildings.

Another thing to consider is whether the antenna is ground plane independent or not. Mounting an antenna that isn’t designed to work without a ground plane anywhere but in the middle of your cars roof will distort the radiation pattern so you no longer get a nice 360° radiation patterns resulting in dropped calls.

So check the following:

Will most of my use be in the city or travelling through hills and valleys? If so choose a lower gain antenna. If most of your use will be in relatively flat terrain then a higher gain option may suit your needs. Is the antenna ground independent? If not, are you willing to mount it in the middle of the roof of your vehicle?

What is unity gain?

An antenna which does not change signal level is said to be at “unity gain". This would be useful when the signal receiver is very good.  High powered unity gain antennas are used in circumstances to draw the signal to the antenna.

What is a collinear antenna?

A collinear antenna is an array of dipole antennas mounted in such a manner that the corresponding elements of each antenna are parallel and collinear, that is they are located along a common line or axis. Collinear arrays of dipoles are high gain omnidirectional antennas.

What is a base station antenna?

In radio communications, a base station is a wireless communications station installed at a fixed location and used to communicate as part of one of the following: two-way radio system, or; a wireless telephone system such as cellular site. In wireless communications a base station antenna is a transceiver connecting a number of other devices to one another and/or to a wider area. In mobile telephony it provides the connection between mobile phones and the wider telephone network.

What is a multi band antenna?

A multiband antenna is an antenna designed to operate in multiple bands of frequencies. Multiband antennas use a design in which one part of the antenna is active for one band, while another part is active for a different band.

What mounting options do we offer? 

  • Vehicle Mounted – Bull Bar
  • Mast Mounting - Collinear and for Yagi Antennas
  • Marine Mounting
  • Magnetic Mounting – for Portable option
 
Click here to view our full range of antennas