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Cell repeaters and LTE


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I work in an EMI Proof building. It's basically a giant Farraday cage. As soon as you walk in the door, the cell coverage drops out. Some years ago, before LTE was a thing, they installed cell repeaters. Would these older repeaters be able to pass LTE, or will I be stuck on EV-DO at work?

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I work in an EMI Proof building. It's basically a giant Farraday cage. As soon as you walk in the door' date=' the cell coverage drops out. Some years ago, before LTE was a thing, they installed cell repeaters. Would these older repeaters be able to pass LTE, or will I be stuck on EV-DO at work?[/quote']

 

It depends on the capabilities of equipment that is in use. There are many variables and without knowing what is being used as “repeaters” I cannot tell you whether or not it will work. There are other members who are more knowledgeable on this subject than I. Maybe AJ will poke his head in here...

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I work in an EMI Proof building. It's basically a giant Farraday cage. As soon as you walk in the door, the cell coverage drops out. Some years ago, before LTE was a thing, they installed cell repeaters. Would these older repeaters be able to pass LTE, or will I be stuck on EV-DO at work?

 

I don't know who the manufacturer of your repeater product is, so the question needs to be posed to them. I wondered the same thing generally, so I made an inquiry recently to Wilson Electronics, which seems to be a market leader in repeater products for both vehicles and buildings. The response, in another thread, indicated that their frequency coverage will have to be tweaked to handle Sprint's LTE channels.

 

Their response said it was just a problem of frequency bands, not LTE technology itself. But sInce I made that post, I have wondered further about how MIMO (dual antennas) in LTE might be affected, since the repeaters are built around a single antenna.

 

I don't have an urgent need in this regard, but I am interested to see what happens.

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I don't know where the repeaters are in the building, what they look like, who makes them, or anything other than they work for Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T. I get a consistent -90dBMish EV-DO signal inside.

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I doubt that your in building repeaters will work for Sprint LTE. Since the repeaters do work for Sprint EV-DO, we can safely conclude that they are at least PCS 1900 MHz capable. However, they are likely PCS A-F block (1850-1910 MHz x 1930-1990 MHz) capable, as that is the traditional PCS band dating back to 1995.

 

The PCS G block (1910-1915 MHz x 1990-1995 MHz), which Sprint is using for all initial LTE deployment, is a more recent addition to the PCS band. In fact, until Sprint started Network Vision deployment late last year or early this year, the PCS G block had never been in use for cellular type communications.

 

As you can see from its frequency passband above, the PCS G block is a 5 MHz x 5 MHz extension at the top of the traditional PCS band. And your in building repeater system is probably designed to filter out this range, since it was not previously part of the PCS band.

 

AJ

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I was under the impression that repeaters somehow worked with each phone specifically as in connecting and patching through signal, because some units have a limit on how many phones they can handle. Was I mistaken?

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I doubt that your in building repeaters will work for Sprint LTE. Since the repeaters do work for Sprint EV-DO, we can safely conclude that they are at least PCS 1900 MHz capable. However, they are likely PCS A-F block (1850-1910 MHz x 1930-1990 MHz) capable, as that is the traditional PCS band dating back to 1995.

 

The PCS G block (1910-1915 MHz x 1990-1995 MHz), which Sprint is using for all initial LTE deployment, is a more recent addition to the PCS band. In fact, until Sprint started Network Vision deployment late last year or early this year, the PCS G block had never been in use for cellular type communications.

 

As you can see from its frequency passband above, the PCS G block is a 5 MHz x 5 MHz extension at the top of the traditional PCS band. And your in building repeater system is probably designed to filter out this range, since it was not previously part of the PCS band.

 

AJ

 

Thanks for this awesome explanation -- I have never seen it written more clearly.. the G block really is an add on to the previous blocks -- and the up and down channel are seperate "sections of the wavelengths.. cool!!!

 

Thanks. I just found out that Verizon's LTE doesn't work in here either. I didn't even know they had LTE in my area.

 

Verizon's LTE for sure will not work with your repeaters -- because that is in the 700mHz range... you still have hope for your Sprint LTE -- it just depends if they repeaters are very specific on the frequency range -- or if they take up a whole swatch of the 1900 and 850 ranges -- of if they are very specific to certain known frequencies... (I would venture to guess they will work with the new G blocK, but I am not in any way an expert, in fact I know pretty much what I have learned on here and other boards over the years only)...

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