Cell-cellular Antenna
Installation Guidelines

Cellular antenna type and placement is as important as the cell modem unit it self

  There are a number of factors to consider when selecting the type of
antenna and it's placement - if the cellular signal is good in the area of the installation
almost any antenna and mounting will work - but if your cell signal is weak take heed -
these guidelines will help you improve your signal to noise levels and reduce over all
error rate and dropped calls.

 Antenna Installation Guidelines

  There are a number of factors to consider when selecting the type of antenna and antenna placement location. 
A few of the factors include:

·         the distance to the nearest cell site

·         the degree of down-tilt used on the cell site antenna array

·         the type of terrain and foliage between the antenna and cell site

·         the existence of man-made obstacles such as buildings and/or water towers between the antenna and cell site or radio interference.

·         the distance between the Cell modem antenna placement and the cellular system tower

·         the height of the antenna above ground level

·         the type and length of cable used to attach the antenna to the Cell modem


6.2.1    Know the location of the closest cell sites.  The cellular carrier can provide the appropriate location information.  This information will assist you in positioning antennas and enable you to do a path check between the cell site and your location for any man-made or natural obstacles.

6.2.2    Man-made and natural obstacles such as buildings, water towers, mountains, hills and trees can cause the cellular signal to deteriorate or even block the signal.  Raising the antenna, relocating the antenna, or choosing a higher gain antenna may improve reception.

6.2.3    The antenna should be placed as close to the CS-832 as possible when beginning to evaluate possible locations.  If a high quality connection is not possible in close proximity to the CS-832, then different placement locations should be tried.  Depending upon signal strength, the antenna may need to be mounted external to the building.  

6.2.4        The type and placement needs of the antenna can vary significantly over a small distance (as little as a few feet horizontally and/or vertically), so different antenna placement locations should be tried if a high quality connection between the cellular system and the Cell modem is not established or ahs a high error rate.  

6.2.5    Always elevate the antenna as high as possible so that it has a clear path to the cell site.  

6.2.6    If the installation location is well within the range of the cell site, a unity gain antenna or a 3dB gain antenna should be sufficient for an acceptable signal strength. However, if the installation is on the “fringe” or just outside the range of the cell site, a higher gain, directional antenna may be needed to establish an acceptable connection.  

6.2.7    The antenna cable should be laid as straight as possible with no kinks, twists or bends. If the cable has be to coiled, keep the radius of the coils as large as possible.

6.2.8    The antenna and cable should be as far away from any other transmission sources as possible to minimize potential interference from those sources.  Other transmission sources include other antennas, radio frequency (RF) generators and AC power lines.

6.2.9    If attempts to establish a high quality connection are unsuccessful, relocation of the entire installation may be necessary.  Prior to moving the entire installation, attempt to access a different cell site through the use of directional high gain antenna.  Even though the cell site may be farther away, the different direction may avoid man-made or natural obstacles that are blocking the cellular signal.  

6.2.10  Remember that while the distance that the Cell modem unit can be from the antenna is limited, the distance from the CS-832 to the meter/telephone equipment to which it is connected can be 1000 feet or more.  Thus, the Cell modem  does not have to be located with the meter/telephone equipment to function properly.  This aspect of the equipment gives significant additional flexibility in the installation process.

6.2.11  No matter what type of antenna is being used, propagation patterns vary, as does reception.  You may want to try different locations to achieve the best results, even if a given location appears adequate.  Once the best antenna type and location is determined, permanently mount the antenna.

Elevated Feed

Omni antennas are designed for most cellular installations.  These antennas can be mounted under a variety of scenarios and will provide adequate signal strength for data applications in most areas.  You should use an antenna that does not require a ground plane and should be mounted as high as possible with a direct line of sight to the nearest cellular site with the shortest coax lead possible.

Mount the antenna VERTICALLY on a solid surface in a location so that its perimeter is clear of any metal objects and/or obstacles.


Point the antenna towards the cell site.  Make sure the elements (the bars on the antenna) are positioned vertically.  It should be in a location so that the transmission path is clear of any nearby metal objects and/or obstacles.

Yagi antennas
For a very remote installation, a directional antenna (may be desired.  This type of antenna concentrates the transmitted power in the direction it is pointed.  These antennas can be designed to have a wide “beam-width” or a narrow “beam-width”.  The narrower the “beam-width”, the higher the gain of the antenna.

It is critical that directional antennas be pointed directly at the cell site.  The direction of the nearest cell site can be determined by contacting the cellular carrier for your area.

Saying clear of any and ALL power lines
will help the noise level
and keep you from getting

burned or killed

Cell Antenna Dual Band  Magnetic Mount Portable
High gain Yagi and High gain antenna
Antenna Adapters, Cables & Connectors

jump to cellular antenna installation guidelines
jump to
Mobil antennas guide


a DCE Company

301-924-7400 EXT 25 x 17

e-mail Sales at drowe@data-connect.com

jump to ... Home Page