Do’s & Don’ts of Testing Cellular Failover Signal Quality

DO: Consider extraneous variables such as placement and building material that can affect failover signal strength

What effects signal strength?

Placement & Line-of-Sight – this is the most significant factor. It’s best to place a RocketFailover device with a clear line-of-sight to a tower. Placement is often close to the roof, window, or exterior wall, depending on the building's architecture to ensure the best signal strength. Multi-level structures can also affect signal strength, so be sure to ask about floor placement.

Building Material – it’s important to consider material such as steel, concrete, or brick because they can impede the signal strength.

Surrounding Devices – the devices surrounding the RocketFailover device may also influence the equipment with their signal-to-noise ratios. Placing a failover device with other electronic/network equipment in a data closet can significantly decrease the signal strength/quality.

Weather/Seasons – signal strength increases in the winter, especially in the Midwest because the trees lose their leaves – improving the line-of-sight (meaning summer is the time of year where the signal strength can be the weakest).

Modem Choice – one challenge our customers face is the proper modem selection for their business/network needs. If you’re unsure, please ask as there are multiple considerations with bandwidth consumption.

Signal Strength

The solution: Consulting the Akative engineering team about placement or utilizing external antennas when needed is key.

With years of experience in numerous different settings, Akative engineers can help you get the correct device placement for your business.

We’ve only needed to provide additional help with antennas to get signals in less than 10% of our customers. However, we do have options for omnidirectional antennas, external antennas, or external mounted waterproof units with internal antenna (POE injected, that don’t need to have an internal antenna and don’t lose strength with long antenna/cables). Directional antennas can also improve signal strength, but a change in placement or interior antenna can improve signal quality and strength.

Don't Use Cell Phones To Gauge Signal Strength

DON’T: Use a cellphone to test the signal quality at your location.

Why is it not recommended to use my cell phone to gauge signal strength for 4G Failover?

Simply put, cell phones are a bad way to gauge signal strength for 4G LTE/5G or cellular failover at a business location because they use consumer-grade hardware that isn’t comparable to enterprise-grade RocketFailover equipment. All of our equipment has about 6-times better radio signal than consumer-grade cell phones. Typically, consumer-grade is less robust than what RocketFailover modems have and can give users the impression of poor signal strength.

The solution: What is the best way to measure signal strength & know if RocketFailover is right for my company?

The appropriate way to measure signal strength is to physically have an Akative device onsite.

We have mapping tools that show us where each carrier’s towers are in relation to your physical location and help you with the device's placement. We are able to help you acquire and position inexpensive external antennas if you should need them. Best of all, we have a 30-day risk-free trial to make sure our solution will work for you.

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