Mainly mobile technology stuff

High Frequencies vs Low Frequencies

, posted: 3-Apr-2009 13:42

Every wireless technology uses one or more frequencies to send it's signals. How high or low this frequency is will affect how far the signal will travel.

Some rules of thumb;
Higher the frequency the lower the coverage
        more power required to cover same distance
Lower the frequency the better in-building coverage
        less likely to be reflected by building material

This is why companies such as TelecomNZ and VodafoneNZ prefer to deploy their nationwide 3G networks at 850 and 900MHz, respectively, rather than 2100MHz. 2100Mhz is primarily used in Urban/high customer density areas due to the smaller cell coverage area required.


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Comment by paradoxsm, on 3-Apr-2009 21:05

2100 can also offer slightly better performance for dataspeeds and it's a whole seperate band channel so it really does make sense to have both bands in the congested areas even for all 2100's apparent coverage "pitfalls".

Comment by Chris, on 4-Apr-2009 10:43

"Lower the frequency the better in-building coverage

less likely to be reflected by building material"

I currently go to high school. In year 12 physics we learned that lower frequencys give you better rarefaction (fancy word for reflection) and that's why they work better, as they will deflect around the obstacles.

But I did fail physics last year and I could easily be wrong.

Author's note by NealR, on 4-Apr-2009 11:24


You have not failed Year12 (yet). My point was that lower frequencies are more likely to miss the building material. Your teachers point is that lower frequencies are more likely to "bend" around things. As a result of both these things you get better coverage with lower frequencies.


Comment by Robert, on 29-May-2009 10:58

Higher frequecies are more easily absorbed by material and don't reflect as well. This is why the darker colours are at the top end of the colour spectrum.

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Neal Richardson
New Zealand

Firstly, I am a engineer. I am not from marketing, sales or public relations. Feel free to correct me if I have got anything technically incorrect.
This blog is a place for me to put technical stuff about mobile networks that I feel may be of interest.

Favorite Question from 3rd form (year8) Science Test:
If it takes three days for a bald headed red herring to swim through a barrel of tar then how long is a piece of string?

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