Many of the terms we use reflect language used by industry experts, and we recognize that this can be hard to understand for consumers looking to better understand our products. Here is a list of terms we often use in relation to boosters and their definitions to help you.

AGC- automatic gain control. This can also be referred to as automatic volume control (AVC). The purpose of the AGC is to provide controlled signal amplitude, even with variances in the amplitude of the input signal. Basically, think of this as how your thermostat regulates the temperature within your home despite fluxes in temperature outside.



Bluetooth- a wireless technology standard invented by Ericsson in 1994 that exchanges data over short distances from mobile and fixed devices, and can be used to build personal area networks.

CDMA - code division multiple access; a channel access method used by different radio communication technologies. As a form of multiple access, several transmitters can send information simultaneously over a single communication channel.

dBm - abbreviation for the power ratio in decibels (dB) of the measured power referenced to one milliwatt. Used in radio, microwave, and fiber-optical networks. It is a measure of absolute power capable of expressing very large and very small values in a short form. 

Directional antenna - also known as a beam antenna. This antenna radiates or receives greater power in specific directions allowing for increased performance and reduced interference from unwanted sources. They perform better than omnidirectional antennas in situations where you need a certain direction. Common types of directional antennas include Yagi antennas and log-periodic antennas.

EDGE- Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution or Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution. This is a digital mobile phone technology that allows improved data transmission rates. It is a backward-compatible extension of GSM. It is a pre-3G radio technology. It was used on GSM networks in 2003. 

External Antenna -an omnidirectional or directional antenna installed outside to pull in the radio signals from the cell phone tower. Omnidirectional antennas are included in our Travel 4G kits for automotive use, and directional antennas are included in all of our consumer booster kits. 

GPRS- General Packet Radio Service- a packet oriented mobile data service on 2G and 3G cellular communication systems' global system for mobile communications. 

GSM- Global System for Mobile Communications. A standard introduced by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)

HSPA+ -Evolved High Speed Packet Access or HSPA+ is a technical standard for wireless, broadband telecommunication; it is the second phase of HSPA. It can achieve data rates of up to 42.2 Mbit/s. Advanced HSPA+ is a further advancement of this technology and can attain data rates of up to 84.4 and 168 Mbit/s. Uses antenna array technologies such as beamforming and MIMO. 

Internal Antenna - an antenna installed indoors to redistribute the amplified signal from the booster. Indoor antennas are included in HiBoost booster kits. 

ISO- short for isolation. The amount of signal that travels from the input to the output of a switch represents the measure of isolation in decibels (dB). -65 dB is considered the best for isolation. When two antennas are physically close to each other, radio frequency isolation is decreased. The two antennas can "hear" each other. This is why we recommend in all of our manuals that you place the outdoor and indoor antennas far apart from each other to reduce this kind of interference. Using building structures such as walls will help increase isolation. 

LED - light emitting diode. This is the kind of light source in our boosters for our alarm lights. 

LTE- short for Long Term Evolution; this stands for the evolving technology standards of mobile service providers to keep data speeds improving across their networks. 

MGC- manual gain control. Our boosters come with automatic gain control software to help balance the booster. It's rare a consumer will need to manually adjust the gain on a booster; these are more often used by engineers to dial in a more specific frequency. However, should you need to manually adjust the gain for a better result from the booster, this is what you adjust. 

MiFi- a brand name to describe a wireless router that acts as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. These can be connected to a cellular network and provide access to the internet for up to ten devices. Introduced into the U.S. by Novatel Wireless in 2009. An alternative to this is using your mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot using "tethering," if your phone is capable of doing so. 

Omnidirectional antenna- a kind of antenna that radiates or picks up radio waves in all directions in one plane, commonly referred to as "doughnut-shaped." Commonly used for radio broadcasting, and in mobile devices that use radio such as cell phones, FM radios, GPS, and for base stations that connect with mobile radio stations, police dispatches, and communicating with aircraft. Omnidirectional antennas in our kits include the whip antenna in our Travel 4G kit. 

Panel antenna- a dipole placed ahead of a flat-panel reflector. Uses UHF (ultra high frequencies), often used for cellular base stations or wireless networking. These are included in our Home kit as the indoor antenna for redistribution of the amplified signal indoors. 

PCS- personal communications service. PCS refers to any of several types of wireless voice and/or wireless data communications systems. It gives a user an all-in-one wireless phone, paging, messaging, and data service. 

RSSI- received signal strength indicator. This is the measurement of the power present in a received radio signal. 

Signal Booster

Signal Repeater

Signal Strength




YAGI antenna