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Problems Using The Repeater, Why Do They Happen?

Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Founder - Cardswitcher

Former - Chief Financial Officer @ Worldpay

Malfunctions can occur in the operation of any complex electronic device. The production capabilities of any, even the most popular and promoted brand, do not allow for reducing the percentage of defects to absolute zero. Moreover, when using complex telecommunication devices, including repeaters, malfunctions may occur due to incorrect use of the device. If you have problems using EE signal boosters, this article is for you. We will look at the most common problems with this device.


How The Repeater Works

A mobile communication repeater is an electronic RF signal amplifier, failures in the operation of which can occur both due to the fault of the manufacturer (manufacturing defect) and due to incorrect switching or settings. When choosing equipment, we recommend giving preference to repeaters of well-known brands that have managed to establish themselves in the market of equipment to enhance cellular communications. Large manufacturers monitor brand reputation, production technology, and quality of elements and materials, which ultimately allows for minimising the percentage of defects. It should also be noted that the manufacturer must provide the buyer with a warranty.

However, even a high-quality and fully functional repeater, including Vodafone or EE mobile signal booster may not provide the expected result. Let's look at typical problems with repeaters.


The Repeater Doesn't Turn On

First of all, we recommend that you make sure that there is a voltage of 220V in the electrical network. In addition to unscheduled power outages, the root of the problem may lie in the low voltage of the network, which is often found outside the city.

If the repeater does not turn on, make sure you are using the repeater with the correct volt-ampere power supply. Often, power problems occur when the unit's plug is carelessly connected to the repeater's socket. If the standard power adapter is out of order, you can buy a new power supply for the repeater. The requirements for the power supply are usually set out in the complete documentation of the repeater: 

  • instructions; 
  • passport;
  • operation manual. 

In the absence of documentation, you can rely on the values indicated on the nameplate of an old or defective adapter.

The Repeater Does Not Amplify The Connection


Another typical problem that a user of a working repeater may encounter is the lack of tangible improvements in the quality of communication. It would seem that the amplification system should work if the repeater is powered, and antennas and cable assemblies are connected. Why does the repeater not work and what should the user do?

If this problem occurs, we recommend that you begin your diagnosis by examining your RF environment. If the repeater was purchased and installed prior to the analysis of available cellular networks, it is possible that the community does not have coverage of the required communication standards.

It is important to find out if there is cellular coverage in the area for which your amplifier is designed. Installing a repeater is advisable only if there is an initial (even the weakest) signal, but in the absence of coverage, the amplifier will not be able to process the signal (since there is no incoming signal).

You can study the radio frequency environment using smartphone applications or special equipment - a spectrum analyzer. Purchasing an analyzer is expedient for frequent installation and adjustment of amplification systems (for example, for an installation organisation).


Low Mobile Internet Speed

Even with the normal operation of the repeater, the user may experience low 3G/4G internet speeds. One of the common causes of this problem is the overloading of the operator's base station equipment. In this case, replacing the repeater or other component of your amplification system, unfortunately, will not lead to an improvement in the quality of the connection. To diagnose the cause, it is recommended to try using the services of another operator that can provide high-speed Internet broadcasting for a large number of subscribers.


The Repeater Shows a High Signal Level, But There Is No Connection

This problem may be related to the loopback of the amplifier. With such a problem, the internal antenna transmits the signal to the external antenna, and the device amplifies the signal in a circle. Thus, the signal of the device is improved, and not the radio wave sent by the base station.

This problem occurs if the external and internal antennas are too close to each other. You can remedy the situation by changing the distance between the antennas. In addition, such a problem may arise if the antennas are directed at each other. A detailed study of the documentation and the implementation of the rules outlined there helps to avoid signal loopback.

If the features of the room do not allow you to spread the antennas to the required distance, you should use the manual adjustment of the repeater. Even if your repeater belongs to the budget segment and does not have built-in adjustment, there is a solution. These are external attenuators that are installed between the repeater connector and the antenna cable assembly.


Lack of Signal Amplification With a Correctly Selected Repeater

In the event of such a problem, first of all, we recommend checking the switching order of the system as a whole. Cable assemblies must be connected to the antennas and repeater, play between the connectors or loose thread connection is not allowed. The outdoor antenna cable must be connected to the appropriate connector on the amplifier case: it is impossible to arbitrarily swap the switching of the external and internal antennas. Do not discount the possibility of failure of cable assemblies. The central core of the cable may be damaged during operation or installation.



The main benefit of repeaters is that they increase the strength of the mobile signal, resulting in more stable and clear calls, faster data transfers, and less chance of disconnections. If you have problems with the quality of the connection, we recommend that you contact UCtel. The company is helping to improve both 3G and 4G signals through the use of Vodafone, three, and EE boosters of mobile signals.

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Written by:
Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Founder - Cardswitcher

Former - Chief Financial Officer @ Worldpay

Stephen brings a wealth of experience honed through years in the financial sector, particularly in the card processing payments industry. His illustrious career spans key roles at PwC, Natwest, and the role of CFO at WorldPay, before going on to found card processing comparison site, CardSwitcher. He is passionate about helping growing businesses to understand the card processing landscape so they can make savvy financial decisions.