Often, users are faced with the fact that the carrier's signal is either too weak or completely absent. The connection is interrupted or lost, the web access speed is low or there is no Internet at all.

Whatever the reason, users are trying to find a solution to reinforce the network. Today, the most popular means are a 5G/4G amplifier and Starlink technology.

What is Starlink?

It is a global satellite system deployed by Elon Musk's SpaceX company to provide satellite Internet access. It promises to be faster and more reliable than the Internet via landlines. The architecture of the Starlink system consists of three main elements: a constellation of satellites in a near-earth orbit, land stations and user terminals. Such a terminal is a plate 60 cm in diameter weighing about 5 kg and mounted on a foot whose height reaches 50 cm. 

When you use Starlink, your data is transmitted to satellites that send it to land stations. This data then passes through the main Internet landlines and is sent back to the satellites which transmit it to your antenna. This process allows a fast Internet connection that has minimal latency.

The Starlink kit includes everything you need to connect to the Internet: Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables and base. The system is user-friendly and quite easy for installation.

The company offers service plans for home, business, cars and boats.

The main advantage of satellite Internet is that it is available wherever there is a Starlink signal receiver, and its global coverage does not depend on the operator's wired or wireless network.

Inconveniences of Starlink 

Despite its benefits, Starlink also has some disadvantages.

  • To access the Internet with Starlink, you need to purchase equipment and, in addition to that, pay a monthly subscription fee. All this is not cheap at all.  The service plan for the house Starlink Residential starts at $120 per month, and the cost of equipment begins at $599. The Starlink Business package costs from $140 per month, and subscriptions for vehicles Starlink Roam and Starlink Boats are priced at $150 monthly, with equipment starting at $599.
  • Satellite Internet can be accompanied by delays and even losses in data transmission. SpaceX is trying to solve this problem with a larger number of satellites.
  • Musk's antenna must be located above all obstacles, including trees, otherwise users will lose part of the signal and quality.
  • The more people who connect to Starlink, the more the speed decreases. This is another reason why Starlink needs more satellites.

Now let's consider another option for amplifying the cellular signal.

Introduction to Mobile Signal Repeaters 

A network repeater is a device that boosts the signal coming from a carrier's base station.

In addition to the booster box, the kit includes outdoor and indoor antennas, coaxial cables, power supply and other necessary accessories.

The signal received by the repeater is transmitted in a certain frequency band. For example, a 700 MHz booster manages only this frequency. In this case we are talking about single-band amplifiers. 

The frequency determines the type of signal increased by the amplifier. This could be a repeater for a specific signal type (2G, 3G, 4G or 5G) or a multi-band booster that amplifies multiple signal types simultaneously.

Signal repeaters are mainly designed to improve the network indoors. However, there are models capable of stabilizing the connection outdoors, that means in cars and boats.

Advantages of mobile signal amplifiers 

With a booster, you obtain several benefits, namely:

  • Improving signal quality. The repeater provides a good network in a building with poor reception. So you can make calls, receive messages and surf the web without problems.
  • More stable Internet connection. Signal improvement leads to more reliable Internet access without delays or interruptions. 
  • Network amplification wherever needed, even in a vehicle. The signal no longer depends on terrain, building materials or weather conditions.
  • Users can easily install a mobile signal booster by themselves.
  • Affordable prices.

Comparison of mobile signal amplifiers and Starlink 

So, let's summarize the above in the table below.

  Booster Starlink
Where to buy In an offline store or online shop. Pay attention to reputable manufacturers who offer ready-made kits. On the official website, or from other online sellers, the number of which is currently limited. If you purchase equipment, you must also purchase a subscription.
Cost The price varies significantly depending on the number of frequencies and the coverage area of the amplifier. As a result, users can choose the best option according to their needs and at a much lower cost. The most popular package, Starlink Residential, starts at $120 per month, with equipment beginning at $599. 
Subscription No subscription. You pay only once. Monthly payments.
Installation The installation is quite simple, it can be carried out by the user. This equipment is more cumbersome, but the users can install it themselves.
Signal quality Reinforcing and stabilising the weak cellular signal. Improving not only 5G/4G Internet, but also voice calls (GSM).. Fast Internet with minimal delay, provided there is a user terminal. Starlink does not process voice unless it is digitized.

We have presented two technologies to improve mobile Internet. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Decide for yourself what to choose.