Wireless Communications/Wireless relay


I live in an area that has limited options for Internet service. The only options in my area are Dial-up (which I have) and satellite which I will not use do to the 'Fair access policy' limiting downloads and transmission latency.  Three miles from my house is a peak from which I have line of sight to both my house and a wireless tower. Question: Is there a simple relay device that could be used at that location to provide wireless to my house?

Technical Answer:  Yes, you could install a relay on that tower to provide coverage extension into your area.   The relay could be as simple as two back-to-back gain antennas connected to each other with transmission line.  One antenna aims at the tower, the other towards your house.  If the propagation loss is not too high this may work.    A variation on that is to install a 'bidirectional amplifier' (BDA) in the line between the two antennas to provide additional gain in both the forward and return paths.  The BDA needs DC power to operate its circuitry.  

Legal Answer:  You may not be able to do this legally in the USA without a license as you are in effect rebroadcasting the cellular signal to an area not covered by the tower's normal signal footprint.  Cellular and PCS transmitters require FCC license.    If the service is from an Internet service provider and their wireless signals use an unlicensed portion of the frequency spectrum you may be able to legally extend the range with such a relay.  

Wireless Communications

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Jerry Hinshaw


RF and microwave engineering, hardware and systems applications. Avionics, satellite, and terrestrial communications. Space communications and navigation, geo-location services via satellite and ground-based wireless systems. Systems integration of RF and wireless services. Electric Utility RF Smart Meter (SmartMeter) and Smart Grid wireless devices and networks. Utility Distribution Automation.


30 years experience in microwave and RF systems engineering, radio hardware design and development.

about 20 articles, 2 patents

BSEE MSEE Communications Systems

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