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850-950MHz Antennas w/RP-SMA

Use of 900 MHz Frequency Band to Pass Signal through Trees

Frequencies 900MHz and 2.4GHz are Best for Penetration of Obstacles such as Trees.

The rule of thumb is that the lower the frequency the better the range. All things held constant (antenna gain, RF power, etc) you should be using lower frequencies to get better range. Thus lower frequencies such as 900MHz have better range (but lower signal strength) and will penetrate through obstacles better than higher frequencies such as the 2.4GHz or the 5.8GHz.

To pass through tree(s): You can use 2.4GHz or 900MHz: Depending on thickness of trees:  If the tree(s) are not too thick or if your link is from a high point to a low point, 2.4GHz will probably suffice.  But if 2.4GHz is over-crowded or the tree(s) are thick, 900MHz would be a better solution.  The lowest-cost option for a short link, to pass through a single thick tree, or a small group of trees, is to use a LOCOM9 on each end of the link.

900MHz and its Effectiveness with No Line of Sight Applications

It can be difficult to establish point to multipoint or point to point wireless links when you have buildings, trees and other obstructions in the line of sight.

Of all the unlicensed ISM frequencies in the world, the low-frequency 900MHz is perfect when you have a no line of sight situation due to having to pass the signal through trees and forests. It will not be absorbed by leaves or water unlike signals from the higher frequency 2.4GHz. This means that the 900MHz is perfect when dealing with foliage and trees in the line of sight. Since it has a very low frequency it penetrates obstructions such as buildings and trees for up to 1500 feet.

Moreover, 900MHz frequencies can not only pass through obstacles such as trees and buildings, but they can also diffract around them if they are too thick, as long as there is enough room. 

Drawbacks of the 900MHz Frequency Band

While the 850-950MHz frequency band is the best for passing signal through trees and obstructions, it has a few drawbacks that include:

  1. Limited Bandwidth in the Spectrum – There are only 26MHz in the 900 MHz spectrum as compared to almost 400 in the 5.8GHz band. This means that there may be a lot more devices using the same spectrum such as baby monitors, paging towers and such, which may interfere with the quality of your signal.
  2. You get significantly lower data rates on the 900MHz bad as compared to the 2.4GHz or the 5.8MHz band. Most of the time you will only get between 1 and 1.5 Mbps and no more. This is very little, say when compared to the 10 to 20 mb/s on the 5.8GHz frequency.
  3. The 900MHz frequency cannot be used without a license in most countries of the world except for the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, and Canada.
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