In the 4G(LTE) network the Signal quality has a huge impact on Data speed. In this article, we have covered
- What is signal quality and how it is measured?
- Common scenarios where Signal quality is normally measured poor.
- Possible ways to improve the Received signal quality.
First thing first, let us talk about the performance metric which measures the quality of the 4G signal and that is SINR (Signal to Interference & Noise Ratio).
SINR is the ratio between the usable signal to an unusable signal (other tower signals + external noise). So the idea is if the usable main tower signal is strong over unusable signal then SINR should be higher and we will have a very good quality signal.
On the other hand, if there is too many tower signal coming in and the main tower signal is not Dominant, the SINR will measure low which means devices will have to resend the same message few times to make sure it reaches out. which eventually results in poor data speed.
Below is a Performance table in relation to SINR
Next, sharing some scenarios where the SINR could measure poor.
- When you have more than three-tower signal reaching your location and you are using an OMNI antenna., which can receive signal from all directions.
- When you are using a directional antenna but there are some towers behind the main tower overshooting.
- When there is a hill or any object in front of your directional antenna which is reflecting other towers signal from other direction.
Ways to improve SINR.
- If you are using an OMNI antenna then need to swap it with a directional antenna. Directional antenna only receives a signal from where it is pointing at. So other tower signals or noise coming from other directions will not be received and SINR will improve.
- Using a directional antenna, measure the SINR for all the towers available around and find the best one. If you do not know where the towers are, then check the article How to locate nearest towers around you.
- Changing antenna polarization. Try position the directional antenna in different polarisation like Horizontal/ Vertical/ +45degree/ -45degree and find which position is measuring good SINR