Third Party Review of GSM/3G Signal Booster Nikrans MA-1000GW

Greetings to our readers! Today we’d like to share with you a detailed review of our best-selling Nikrans cell phone booster performed by engineers from website. Below we offer you their detailed review.

Today we are going to talk about cell phone connection problem that usually appears when distance between the base station of a mobile operator and your location is large. The good news is that weak network signal can be improved with the help of a special device – cell phone booster. We have been lucky to get a cell phone booster Nikrans MA-1000GW for testing, and here we share our impression and experience.

As everybody knows the range of a cell phone base station (BS) is 30-35 km in direct visibility conditions, while in a densely built-up area this parameter reduced to 4-6 km. Actually that is a pure theory, while in practice when you move about 8-10 km away from the base station, your phone calls start to break off.

We have mounted the MA-1000GW in a house that is 11 km away from the BS. The signal reception inside the building is null and the patio is also beyond the signal coverage. If you climb onto the roof, the cell phone screen shows 1 bar.

Let’s take a thorough look at the booster MA-1000GW. The device is shipped with the complete booster system including indoor and outdoor antennas with cables and connectors, a power supply and mounting brackets.

Nikrans MA-1000GW specifications:

Coverage: 1000m2
Up-link freq: 890-915MHz & 1920-1980 MHz
Down-link freq: 935-960MHz & 2110-2170 MHz
Up-link Gain: 60 dB
Down-link Gain: 65 dB
Power supply: AC110~220V±10%, 45~55Hz
Working temperature: -25 - +55 °C
Size (mm): 217 x 107 x 32
Booster Weight: 0.9 kg

As you can see in the specifications the mobile booster functions in the entire GSM frequency band and in WCDMA 3G band as well. The outdoor antenna works at 800-2400MHz and has 10dBi gain index. The indoor antenna gain equals 5dBi.

According to the technical characteristics, MA-1000GW is a dualband cell phone booster that ensures stable mobile connection on the territory up to 1 square km. But note that this parameter refers to open areas, while inside the building the coverage area will decrease significantly due to multiple obstacles.

Well, as for the installation, the process takes really little time because the repeater set is ready for instant mounting as it includes every accessory that you need. We managed to mount the whole system within 30 minutes, taking into account even installation of a pole for an outdoor antenna on the roof. The outdoor antenna is of directional type, so during its installation it is essential to consider how high it is mounted and where it is directed. External antenna diagram should not interfere with the indoor antenna’s so as to prevent the system from overlapping and interference. The external antenna should be directed towards the nearest BS because only following this condition you will get a maximum possible signal. You can easily change the direction of the antenna thanks to mounting brackets adjustable around the axis and vertically.

The indoor antenna is omnidirectional and should be mounted in the center of the zone that you need to cover. If a building has several floors, it is recommended to place the antenna on the top floor.

Most of the time is required to place and direct the outdoor antenna correctly. You can do it by using a special application such as GSM Antenna Tool or MDMA. We have used GSM Antenna Tool (Myamplifiers comment - this program is available on Russian language only) which is compatible with all routers, including 3G ones, and runs on Windows via real or virtual COM port. This is a free program that permits to detect signal level that the antenna receives.

GSM Antenna Tool

Thanks to soundtrack and signal level indicator you can easily direct the antenna towards the base station. Having achieved the best result possible, you should fix the antenna by tightening the mounting brackets. In our case we managed to get -60dB which is quite good taking into consideration large distance to the base station.

Having mounted and adjusted both antennas, it is time to turn on the cell phone booster and test the connection quality. The MA-1000GW gets plugged into 220Wt socket with the help of the 5B/3A power supply included in the set. Coaxial antenna cables features N-type connectors; the outdoor antenna cable gets connected to BTS port of the repeater, and the indoor antenna cable to MS port. The front panel of the cell phone repeater has got five indicators: PVR indicator for power supply (turns on green when the repeater works), ALM indicator for alarm. If the system works correctly, ALM indicator is off; it turns on only when the incoming signal is too strong, if jammers create interference or in case of short circuit on the line. All that leads to system restart or turn-off. The other three indicators show the incoming signal level.

The house where we have mounted this MA-1000GW repeater has a total area of 180 m2, consists of one floor and has brick walls without metal constructions. The indoor antenna has been mounted in the center of the house on the ceiling. After turning on the cell phone repeater we have got perfect signal communication within the house except the adjacent storage room. The signal level there is lower – 2 bars – but it is still sufficient for making or receiving phone calls (-95dB). Inside the house and on the patio within a radius of about 20 meters the signal level is -60/-70dB with flawlessly working 3G Internet. 3G modem has registered in HSDPA band without problems. 

The cell phone booster set includes two RG-58 cables of 5 meters for the indoor antenna and 15 meters for the outdoor one. If the situation permits it, we recommend shortening the cable length, which decreases signal attenuation. Especially it refers to the external antenna cable as passing through 15 meters the signal damps a lot. So it is highly recommended to fix the repeater close to the outdoor antenna, in an attic or loft, for instance.

You can use the cell phone booster together with other antennas that give a larger gain level. For 3G signal enhancement MIMO panel antenna suits perfectly, for example. So as to increase signal density, you may use a splitter and additional indoor antennas. That will significantly increase signal quality and coverage area.

Summing all our impressions up, I shall note that Nikrans MA-1000GW is a truly useful device. Its price is some lower than one thousand US dollars. Well, yes, there are cheaper analogs but it is worth noting the repeater quality – the device is well-built, and you will doubtlessly note that when you first take it in your hands. The repeater is made of metal, not cheap plastic. Besides, it is important to mention that the repeater comes in a full set with all the necessary for instant mounting, which makes the installation process fast and easy even for non-technical people. All these advantages together with excellent technical characteristics play a significant role in choosing a repeater brand.

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