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Choosing the Right Signal Booster

Before buying your signal boosters, there are few things you need to know and consider. You should know what carrier you would use the booster for and also what frequency they operate on.

Here in Ireland, Mobile Networks and Carriers uses 2 GSM bands (900/1800 MHz), 2 UMTS (AKA 3G) bands (900/2100/), and 2 LTE bands (800/1800 MHz). LTE 2600MHz is used in other countries, but not yet in Ireland.

So How Do I Choose the Right Signal Booster?

To choose right one, you ultimately need to know what frequency band your mobile carrier is transmitting in your area, then match that to a signal repeater we have in store and make sure they're compatible. So if you want to boost LTE signal, you will either need a 800MHz or 1800MHz signal repeater.

Learn more about mobile carrier frequencies used in Ireland in the next section below.

Irish Operators And Their Frequencies

To know what each carrier/operator uses, refer to the Irish Frequency Band table below.

Take note of the following info to better understand the table, and you'll get the idea on what signal repeater to pick:

  • 4G LTE is either at 800, 1800 or 2600Mhz
  • 3G (AKA WCDMA) is either at 900 or 2100Mhz
  • GSM (Voice) is always at 900Mhz
Carriers Frequencies Used Technology
3 (Three) 900MHz GPRS, EDGE

900MHz, 2100MHz UMTS, HSPA+

800MHz LTE, LTE-A
Vodafone 900MHz GPRS

2100MHz UMTS, HSDPA, HSPA+

800MHz, 1800MHz LTE, LTE-A
Meteor 900MHz GPRS, EDGE

900MHZ, 2100MHz UMTS, HSDPA, HSPA+

800MHz, 1800MHz LTE, LTE-A

So now that you have an overview on Irish Frequencies, read below for further guide.

Know What Signal You Are Receiving in Your Area Using Field Test

Your phone will typically connect to a frequency in your current location. Once you know this frequency, you'll be able to choose the right signal repeater.

The frequency will be one of these :

  • 900Mhz (Band 8) - Used for Voice Calls (SMS), 2G Data (EDGE, GPRS), and 3G Data at 900MHz.
  • 800Mhz (Band 20) - Used for 4G LTE Data at 800MHz
  • 1800Mhz (Band 3) - Used for 4G LTE Data at 1800MHz
  • 2600Mhz (Band 7) - Used for 4G LTE Data at 2600MHz
  • 2100Mhz (Band 1) - Used for 3G Data at 2100MHz

To know what frequency your phone is currently on, you need to go through a process called Field Test.

The process won't require you to have any specialized equipment, all you need is your Phone. It could be an iPhone or Android.

Field Test and Service Mode

The main goal of this guide is for you to know what frequency you are getting from a network operator's mast. To get this info, Field Test or Service Mode will help you get the frequency info by getting the ARFCN/UARFCN/EARFCN value or the BAND Number.

Each phone type (iPhone/Android) has a different procedure. Generally, it involves calling a special number to bring up the hidden menu.

NOTE: Read the Field Test guide dedicated to 4G LTE Network on this page.

Make sure you do the following before starting off with this guide.

Ensure:

  • WIFI is switched off.
  • Your mobile data is switched on.
  • Your 3G or LTE is switched on.

Field Test on iPhone

NOTE:

  1. Please do this test somewhere outside your house, where there is mobile signal.
  2. You need at least 1-signal-bar.

Step 1: Check Your Phone's Signal Indicator

What symbol do you see:

  • E - If you see the E symbol or just the signal bar, then you're on data connection using GSM/EDGE 900Mhz (Band 8).
  • 3G - Means you're getting 3G signal, buy you need to know which frequency it's on.
  • 4G or LTE - you're getting LTE signal, but you need to know the specific frequency.

Step 2: Dial the Access Code

Tap Phone Icon on your iPhone and dial:

*3001#12345#*

Then tap call button.

You should now be in Field Test mode.

Field Test For 3G

Under Field Test screen:

  • Tap on the UMTS Cell Environment menu to bring the phone to the next screen.
  • Then look at the number listed next to Downlink Frequency or UARFCN number. It will be something around 10589 or 3088. For newer iPhones, you will further need to go to UMTS RR Info to get the Downlink Frequency or UARFCN number. Take note of the values. From the Reference Image below, 10713 is the value for the UARFCN and Downlink Frequency.
Reference Image: How to Field Test 3G on iPhone
Reference Image: How to Field Test 3G on iPhone
Field Test For 4G/LTE

Under Field Test screen:

  • Tap Connected mode LTE Intra-frequency Measurement menu. Then on the next screen...
  • Find E-ARFCN or any menu that has ARFCN on it. Take note of the value next to it.

Step 4: Get the Actual Frequency from Frequency Calculator Page

Reference Photo: Frequency Calculator
Reference Image: Frequency Calculator Page
  • Go to the Frequency Calculator page and paste in the Downlink Frequency or UARFCN number.
  • Look for the the drop-down menu labeled Select Network Type.
  • Select 4G LTE or 3G from the drop-down menu, depending on what network you're testing on (3G or LTE).
  • Then locate E/U/ARFCN number (Downlink only) text field. Input the value (Downlink Frequency or ARFCN value) you got from Step 3 above.
  • Then click on Calculate button.
  • Check on the Result.

    You can get the frequency info under any the following:

    • Downlink Frequency (base station to phone): If the value is anywhere between 1800 and 1899, then you're on 1800MHz. If anywhere between 800 and 899, then you're on 800MHz.
    • Band Number: If you see 3, then it's 1800MHz. If 20, then it's 800MHz. Or refer to this info.

    Referene Image (Sample Result): Click here to see sample result.

Field Test or Service Mode in Android Phones

Field testing on Android Phone is needed so you would know what frequency you're on. Each brand/make has a special code to call, so you can enter into Field Test Mode or Service Mode on your Android phone.

Before you proceed:

  • Make sure you turned off your WiFi
  • Make sure 3G or LTE mode is turned on.
  • Mae sure you're getting either 3G or LTE signal.
  • Get at least 1-signal-bar when you're outside of your home.

Procedure

  • Step 1: Check Your Phone's Signal Indicator. Take note if it's getting 3G, LTE, or 2G Edge.

  • Step 2: Dial the Access Code to get your phone into Service Mode.

    Below, you can find specific codes to call for specific phone brand/make:

    • Samsung: *#*#197328640#*#* or *#0011#
    • Sony: *#*#*386#*#* or *#*#*585*0000#*#*
    • HTC: *#*#7262626#*#*
  • Step 3: Get the Downlink Frequency or UARFCN Value.

    Depending how old your phone is, you should be able to locate either of the following:

    1. BAND - Look for the item that mention about Band. BAND 1 for example is 3G Network. If you see this item on your phone, then you're done. No need for extra step below. You can now decide on what repeater/booster to buy.

    2. DL & UL Frequency - If BAND number is not available on your phone, then look for this item and take note of the value.

    You only need to get the DL Frequency value or the Download Frequency. Next go to Step 4. See encircled part on reference image below.

    Reference Image: Photo Reference: Service Mode in Android Phones

  • Step 4: Calculate the Frequency.

    Reference Image: Reference Photo: Frequency Calculator

    Go to the Frequency Calculator page.

    Under Select Network Type choose between options; 3G or 4G LTE.

    Then copy/paste the DL Frequency value on the E/U/ARFCN number (Downlink only) field.

    Then click on Calculate button.

    Checkout the Result. The Frequency can be found under any of the following:

    • Downlink Frequency (base station to phone): If the value is anywhere between 1800 and 1899, then you're on 1800MHz. If anywhere between 800 and 899, then you're on 800MHz.
    • Band Number: Check the number next to it and refer to this frequency info.

    Reference Image (Sample Result): Reference Photo: Sample Frequency Calculator Result

Wrap Up!

So, now that you know what frequency you're getting, you can now choose the right signal booster to use.

To sum it up:

  • If you only need GSM (Voice) signal booster, then look for a booster that supports 900MHz.
  • If you need to boost both LTE Data and GSM Voice altogether, then look for a model that supports both at the same time, but first make sure you know the right. LTE in Ireland can either be 800 or 1800MHz.

You can mix and match GSM Voice, 3G, and LTE. Frequency Band should be the key.

Now you're ready to grab one of our mobile signal booster kit!