Full Project – Design and simulation of a GSM signal strength boosting system

Full Project – Design and simulation of a GSM signal strength boosting system

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1.1 Background of the Study

A GSM signal strength boosting system, which can also be called a repeater system, refers to a system that works automatically to receive weak GSM signals from base station of mobile operators, and amplify such signal for better communication of devices under its range. Due to how important mobile and wireless communication has grown to be in different areas of life, the level of research into boosting GSM signal strength to serve areas with poor coverage has been on the increase (lepzig, 2017).

The boosting system can either be analog, where the received signal is amplified without any form of processing the signal, or it could be digital, where the received signal is further processed as well as amplified. A GSM signal strength boosting system, which operates only in a given band of frequency, is a single band system. The dual and tri-band variants operate two and three bands of frequencies respectively. The latest of these systems make use of the processing power of microprocessors to implement a more efficient and reliable signal boosting system.

The GSM signal strength boosting systems are being applied most in office buildings where downtime is not tolerated. Also due to the fact that these buildings suffer a lot from penetration loss.

Mobile and wireless communication have grown over the years to become a basic need in modern society. Mobile phones are used everywhere, not only outdoor, but also more and more indoor. In these environments, customers demand a good coverage and quality of service for their numerous activities. Nevertheless, communication systems were not deployed to satisfy specifically these requirements. Communication Operator deployment requirements typically guarantee coverage, with certain quality requirements, of a minimum percent of the geographical area and population. Planning tools, key elements for efficient dimensioning of a network, usually provide only outdoor coverage predictions. They estimate the path loss from the Base Station (BS) to the center of streets where mobile terminals are assumed to be. Therefore, an extra signal attenuation associated to building penetration is required in the planning of the network. Building construction characteristics and city morphology have a strong impact on propagation characteristics.

GSM signal strength usually suffer losses due to free space, diffraction, refraction, human activities and other factors. These affect the overall performance of the GSM signal inside building. Most mobile radio systems operate in areas where there is no direct line- of-sight path between the transmitting and the receiving antennas. Due to multiple reflections from various objects, the electromagnetic waves travel along different paths of varying lengths to the receiver simultaneously. The interaction between these waves therefore causes multipath fading, resulting in increased path loss as the distance between the transmitter and receiver increases. Building penetration loss accounts for the increase in attenuation of the received signal observed when the mobile is moved from outside to inside a building.

There is therefore the need to ensure that signals from Base stations, which have attenuated to a certain degree, are amplified, to enable customers receive better quality of service. The desire to meet this need gave birth to idea of carrying out this project.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

With the advent of GSM technology, telecommunication services have been brought nearer to an average individual. However, GSM technology is not without problems, as it is not an uncommon sight to see a mobile user at some location move from inside to outside of a building in order to have an uninterrupted communication and better quality of service. This is because when a GSM signal passes through a medium not transparent to electromagnetic wave; it experiences a loss known as penetration loss. This work is to improve and boost GSM signal strengths in areas with poor GSM network coverage.

1.3 Objective of the project

Due to the quest for better quality of service, and improved voice calls, there is the need to ensure that GSM signal strengths are close to, if not exactly like they are while emanating from Base stations. This work generally looks at making that a reality with engineering tools and methods, and not following the line hobbyists would tow. However, taking a closer look into the work, the objectives include the following:

  • To design and simulate GSM signal strength boosting system, to improve the strength of signal in areas with poor GSM network coverage.
  • To solve the problem of bad GSM network coverage in certain areas of the campus with poor coverage, using Engineering methods.
  • To amplify weak GSM signals to improve their strength.
  • To offer better communication and data services as well as reducing the rate of dropped calls due to weak GSM signals.

1.4 Scopes of study

The scope of the works is completely centered on improving GSM signal strength for better communication. In this work, the reasons why GSM signals is attenuated was established. The range of frequency of operation for the boosting systems is 890MHz – 970MHz. Therefore, design and choice of other system components are based on this operating frequency.

The outdoor antenna used for the setup is a uni-directional one. This is to achieve the desired high gain needed for better functionality. The transceiver which forms the heart of the signal strength boosting process, is duplexes, to achieve directionality of communication.

1.5 Significance of study

The Communication signals attenuate with time as they travel from Base stations. There is the need to regenerate the signals when they travel over a longer distance, so that the strength of the signal remains the same. Even communication operators now implement this in all cells with their Base stations.

On careful observation, it did be seen that there are quite some significant number of repeaters implemented by communication operators. The signals leaving the Base stations suffer attenuation as they are being transmitted. Before these signals are much attenuated, repeaters at specific and strategic locations regenerate them. This ensures that the quality of signal reaching the customer is good. For applications where the portable/mobile radio is beyond the range of the office or another mobile, a repeater system allows them to communicate by extending coverage.

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Full Project – Design and simulation of a GSM signal strength boosting system