The antennas are oriented towards the optimal teleoperator's base station. You can find the locations of the base stations from the Cellmapper.net map service or the teleoperator's customer service.
The typical distance to a 4G and 5G base station in the city is hundreds of meters and in urban areas from a few hundred meters to a couple of kilometers. In rural areas, there are clearly fewer base stations, and sometimes the nearest mast is even ten kilometers away. Generally, however, there are already masts 3-5 km away.
There are many different antenna models. Some models have very precise directionality and in other models, the directional beam is wide. We recommend using directional antennas when the base station is more than 3 km away.
1. Attach the antennas to the antenna mast or wall mount pipe facing the optimal teleoperator base station. You can find the locations of the base stations from Cellmapper.net map service or the customer service of the teleoperator.
The typical distance from a 4G or 5G base station in a city is hundreds of meters, and in a suburban area, it ranges from a few hundred meters to a couple of kilometers. In a sparsely populated area, there are clearly fewer base stations, and sometimes the nearest mast is even ten kilometers away. However, there are generally already masts within 3-5 km.
There are many types of antenna models. Some models have very precise orientation, while others have a wide beam. We recommend using directional antennas when the base station is over 3 km away.
2. There are three types of antennas regarding orientation. With an omnidirectional antenna, there is no need to orient it at all, and with a panel antenna, a rough orientation towards the base station is enough. With directional antennas, the beam is the narrowest, and thus, with directional antennas, it is possible to maximize the reception of the signal arriving at the antenna as well as the signal sent back to the base station.
3. Directional antennas may require a little more time in the installation process than other models, but often it is worth the effort to ensure a stable and fast internet connection. Due to the narrow beam of directional antennas, even a 20 cm change in orientation can significantly affect signal reception and transmission.
4. When using directional antennas, make sure to check the orientation with a few speed tests, for example, on the speedtest.net page, and adjust the antenna orientation if necessary by 20 cm at a time.
5. After orientation, tighten the antennas, and connect the cables from the antennas to the router.
Most often, external antennas are oriented towards the nearest base station, but sometimes a more optimal base station can be found in another direction, which may be even a couple of kilometers further away than the nearest base station.
It is advisable to orient the antennas towards the base station further away in situations where there are high terrain obstacles between the nearest base station and the antenna installation location that prevent the signal from reaching the antenna.
Signals also reflect from trees and building walls, but if there is a high terrain obstacle towards the base station in the immediate vicinity of the antenna installation location and in another direction, there is even a lake between the antenna and the mast, then the orientation is probably better towards the direction of the lake.
It is good to note that the signal sent by the base station can reach up to about 10 kilometers away. Sometimes, there may be fewer internet users within the coverage area of a base station that is further away than the one closer, which means that the farther base station may be a better option.
At times, the installation location may be located between two base stations, and both directions may have equal terrain conditions. In such cases, it is advisable to find out from either the operator's customer service or the Cellmapper coverage map service the direction in which the operator's base station transmitters are aimed.
First, check which internet service provider you use and where the most optimal base station of the operator is located. You can inquire about nearby base stations from either the operator's customer service or the Cellmapper coverage map. In addition to the location information of the base station, it is recommended to find out on which frequency band the base station transmits signals and in which direction the operator's base station transmitters are aimed. Sometimes, a base station that is farther away may be a better option for directing your own antennas than the nearest one.
Check whether your router has SMA or TS9 connectors. The SMA connector is screwed on, while the TS9 connector is pushed in. Many routers with an SMA connector have 15 cm antennas screwed into the connection points. You can find more instructions on how to connect an external 4G antenna to your router here.
Select the highest point with the best visibility to the base station direction as possible for installing the 4G/5G antenna.
Before starting the installation work, estimate the distance between the antenna installation location and the router. Antennas come with cables of different lengths, from two meters to ten meters, and if necessary, antenna cables can be extended with extension cables. Note that a cable longer than 20 meters will significantly attenuate the signal, so if possible, we recommend connecting a maximum of one extension cable when the antenna's own cables are not long enough. Read more about this in our guide: How to choose the most suitable 4G/5G antenna?
After connecting the external antennas to the router, you can test the signal's download and upload speeds using a speed test.
Antenna Guide is a collection of Nordic Antenna articles related to choosing the right antenna, antenna installation, and antenna alignment. You can also find general information about TV and 4G/5G issues in our guides.
Learn more about common antenna knowledge from our guides below:
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