Lagging data and limited cell signal are frequent problems in South Africa.
There are many contributing factors to poor signal, but it usually comes down to one of the following causes: physical distance from the cell tower, external obstructions such as trees, hills, mountains, valleys, or dense foliage (especially pinecones).
One of the leading causes of obstruction is also the fact that you want to get reception inside a building and the building itself or the layout of the building (e.g. your home or office), reduces the signal.
Fortunately, solutions exist for all types of buildings across South Africa, and we’ve created this list of recommended solutions that will improve your call reception or data connection.
Whether you’re in a remote area with poor cellphone signal inside your house or in a large city with hard-to-penetrate buildings, our recommended antennas and signal boosters get the job done.
They’ll extend your network signal with low-cost options for up to 1,000m2 coverage – depending on your product model and outside signal strength.
If you are looking for an easy-to-install, unobtrusive antenna, have a look at the XPOL-1 Series of antennas from Poynting Antennas.
The XPOL-1-5G is the latest, innovative, wideband antenna in this series, which will be available from August.
A top pick to improve signal for any Mi-Fi/ LTE router
The all new XPOL-1-5G is the second-generation version of the popular XPOL-1 Antenna. The new version is a cross-polarised, omni-directional antenna that offers clients a future-proof, wide band option that performs exceptionally well across 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G frequencies.
The antenna offers 2×2 MIMO capability and a 4×4 MIMO option. The 4×4 variant can be used for a 4×4 router or in a dual 2×2 modem.
The XPOL-1-5G antenna also has a variety of mounting options to make the installation process easy.
The antenna can be wall or pole mounted to be used as an outdoor antenna or the antenna can be window mounted with the help of suction cups.
The new XPOL-1-5G antenna is expected to be wildly popular amongst those seeking a wideband solution to improve signal for a variety of applications, and is the perfect cost-effective, 5G futureproof solution to bring signal directly to a variety of LTE or Mi-Fi devices.
To improve signal in a building for both voice and data or where a very weak signal exists, we would recommend the use of a signal booster in conjunction with an antenna to amplify the weak signal and broadcast strong signal in your home or office.
Poynting recommends products from the WilsonPro and weBoost line, manufactured by Wilson Electronics in the US and locally distributed by Bolton Technical.
The Wilson Electronics Line of weBoost and WilsonPro Signal Boosters boast the following features:
- Powerful amplification power ranging from 50dB gain to 74dB gain
- Tri-band signal boosters that cover 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE bands
- Work across all the popular South African cellular networks
- Work across all phones and devices
- ICASA-approved products
- Offer a 30-day money back guarantee and 1-year product warranty
A top “Plug and Play” signal booster solution
The weBoost AH100-PP or “Plug and Play” kit is an easy-to-install signal booster option for spot coverage with up to 50dB gain.
It’s a no-drilling, no-fuss unit that anyone can set up within a couple of minutes. It comes with a window or pole mountable omni-antenna and a cable can be brought in through the window and plugged straight into the booster.
The stylish Wilson Desktop Antenna can be placed on a cabinet or desk and will transmit the stronger signal within a room.
The unit can also be taken with you wherever you go for a truly portable signal booster solution.
The Plug and Play kit is an economical option if you’re on a budget and only need spot coverage, for example at a desk or work station.
It’s also a great option if you need to stabilise your Mi-Fi/Wi-Fi router which relies on a SIM card for Internet connectivity.
A top choice for single rooms
The WeBoost Home AH100-Pro Signal Booster is an affordable, yet versatile solution, fully capable of improving your indoor cellular signal.
The kit comes with a 50db gain amplifier and is paired with a powerful indoor and external antenna. It covers up to a maximum of up to 150m2 depending on the outside signal strength.
Its cable can be brought into the home or office via a window for an easy installation – requiring no drilling. When purchased with an optional vehicle expansion kit, it doubles as a vehicle signal booster for your car, SUV, 4×4 or caravan.
The best cellphone signal booster for medium-sized homes
The WilsonPro A500 Cell Phone Signal Booster is the most popular cellular booster for average-size homes and offices.
75% of customers who’ve purchased one have found it to be the right fit for them, so it’s usually the first one Poytning recommends for medium-sized home or office coverage.
The signal booster can be purchased as a DIY installation kit or can be installed by one of Poynting’s certified installation teams. The powerful amplifier with up to 70dB gain can be paired with various options for indoor and outdoor antennas.
It features higher uplink and downlink power than most competitor cell signal boosters, meaning it’s more likely to work well in weaker signal areas.
For extra-large homes, offices, and heavy-duty coverage
For larger homes, offices, warehouses, or commercial buildings this is your best option.
The WilsonPro A1000 Cell Phone Signal Booster is the most powerful commercial unit in the WilsonPro range, which provides up to 74dB gain, and is the best option for weak signal areas as it has the highest output performance in the range.
It features Automatic Gain Control technology to stabilise signal strength and can cover up to 1,000m2. Depending on the incoming signal strength, the amplifier can be paired with up to 4 internal antennas, and signal can be split to various rooms in a home or office.
You won’t beat the power of this unit, and if you are looking for a top-of-the-range performer that is capable of covering a large area you won’t do better than this.
Bolton Technical is the sole distributor of WilsonPro and weBoost cell phone signal boosters in Africa.
All its Cellphone Signal Boosters are ICASA approved, and amplify 2G, 3G and 4G LTE cellphone signal for all phones, across all popular networks (including Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom).
For a rree consultation (ask us anything) with its Johannesburg-based customer support team, email them on [email protected] or call 011 749 3085.
Poynting Antennas is a top global provider of integrated antenna solutions. We innovate, design, and manufacture market-leading products used in wireless communication.
Established as a consultancy in 1990, Poynting evolved into an official PTY in 1997 and in 2001 established Poynting Antennas.
Poynting supplies antenna solutions for wireless high-speed data applications. We provide solutions for 3G/4G/5G and LTE, GPS and Glonass, IoT LoRa and Sigfox as well as RFID and Wi-Fi applications.
Please contact us at [email protected] or 012 657 0050 should you want more information on any of the antennas we offer.
This article was published in partnership with Poynting.