GSM antennas expand the reach of GSM devices such as cellphones and smartphones (such as the ubiquitous Blackberry). They are also commonly used by fleet operators to track vehicles. The most popular mobile standard in the world, GSM is used in cellular networks in more than 200 countries. Whether you're looking to boost your reception on the road, need to expand the reach of your business operations or are considering a GSM device, knowledge of GSM antenna key terms will go a long way. Start with the basics:
GSM, or Global System for Mobile communications (formerly Groupe Special Mobile), is used by more than three billion people across the world. Before you can understand GSM antennas, you have to understand GSM.
Dual-band, tri-band, quad-band
Some GSM devices use two frequency bands (dual-band), some use three (tri-band) and some use four (quad-band). Before you buy a GSM antenna, learn about how many bands your devices use and shop for antennas accordingly. Also, take into consideration if you're likely to travel, as different countries utilize different GSM frequencies.
GSM operates at different frequencies in different countries. For example, in the U.S., it operates at 1.9 GHz and 850 MHz. Before you buy a GSM antenna, make sure it's appropriate for your country. If you travel, take the frequencies of countries you visit into consideration, too.
Parabolic and parabolic grid
Parabolic and parabolic grid antennas are shaped like dishes to concentrate signal reception and transmission in a specific direction. Grid antennas, which are made of grid-like material, are more resistant to wind than normal parabolic antennas.
Omni-directional antennas are equally sensitive from all directions. They are most commonly used where signals will be coming from all directions.
Businesses that want to track their vehicles commonly do so with GPS antennas that utilize GSM. These GSM/GPS systems allow owners to track vehicles in real time.