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I'm working on a GSM/3G Project and my team has a small doubt about antenna gain selection.

All along we were using a 3dB PCB Antenna connected via U.FL/IPEX connector. The antenna does a good job for normal areas where there is cellular connectivity but in slightly far away areas it doesn't seem to latch on to the network.

I have a Moto G (XT1033) 1st gen which latches to the network in the same region. Just to rule out my phone I tested the same site with different phones and they didn't seem to have a problem latching to the EDGE network.

So we were wondering what would the signal gain on normal cellphone antenna be?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to rule out my phone I tested the same site with different phones and they didn't seem to have a problem latching to the EDGE network. That tells you nothing. Are all phones using the same network ? I mean, is the distance to the basestation the same ? Are they using the same frequency band ? Some phones are more sensitive than others, this is not only determined by the antenna but also by the receiver inside the phone. There are many factors playing a role in this, not only the antenna. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2016 at 9:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Did they all have the same circuit internally? \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    May 10, 2016 at 9:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Same SIM Card, Same network, Same band. I am using the QuectelM95 for the GSM Project, the phones have the snapdragon core for android phones and some older processor on the non smartphone devices. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2016 at 10:11

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Internal antennas of mobile phones are necessarily small. Gain value of small omnidirectional antennas is theoretically limited, and in practice does not exceed 5dB. Gain values of 2 or 3 dB are common.

So I suppose the difference between your project and common mobile phone lies in electronics, not the antenna.

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