Testing Different Antennas With Cel-Fi GO


During our GO testing we tested several different antenna types to see the effect this had on the boost and the final signal strength on the phone.

During our GO testing we tested several different antenna types to see the effect this had on the boost and the final signal strength on the phone.

In order to get the maximum ‘boost’ applied to the incoming signal, we had to get the best isolation between the indoor and outdoor antennas.

Default signal strength in the cabin with the GO turned off was -94dB. Test was conducted in a mountainous area in a valley with poor signal.

Below is the result of our test.


Interior Antenna Positions



Bull Bar/ Trucker Antenna  

Booster for 4WD

Trucker Antenna was mounted on the bull bar at the front of the vehicle on the passenger side.

  BOOST (System Gain) 0-9 RSSI on Phone (at driver headrest) db
Input Signal: -89dB    
Dashboard Middle 6-7 -71 to -78
Front Window – Driver 3 -85 to -86
Front Window – Passenger 2 -89 to -90
Sunvisor – Driver 3 -83 to -85
Sunvisor – Passenger 3-4 -80 to -81
Centre Console (Facing Up) 6 -74 to -76
Dash – Under Steering Wheel 5 -80 to -83


Magnetic Roof mount


Magnetic Base Antenna was mounted on the centre rear roof of the vehicle.

  BOOST (System Gain) 0-9 RSSI on Phone (at driver headrest) db
Input Signal: -80dB    
Dashboard Middle 5-6 -68 to -72
Front Window – Driver 3 -87 to -89
Front Window – Passenger 4 -73 to -75
Sunvisor – Driver 6 -72 to -74
Sunvisor – Passenger 7-8 -60 to -63
Centre Console (Facing Up) 9 -63 to -67
Dash – Under Steering Wheel 6 -76 to -78
Under Passenger Seat 9 -89 to -91


On Glass External Antenna


Antenna was mounted on the top of the rear window.

ON GLASS EXTERNAL (rear window) BOOST (System Gain) 0-9 RSSI on Phone (at driver headrest) db
Input Signal: -90dB    
Dashboard Middle 1 -89 to -92
Front Window – Driver 5 -83 to -85
Front Window – Passenger 5-6 -88 to -89
Sunvisor – Driver 1 -89 to -92
Sunvisor – Passenger 4 -81 to -83
Centre Console (Facing Up) 5 -83 to -85
Dash – Under Steering Wheel 4 -90 to -93


Bonnet Gutter Mount


Omni directional antenna mounted on the passenger side bonnet gutter.

BONNET GUTTER MOUNT BOOST (System Gain) 0-9 RSSI on Phone (at driver headrest) db
Input Signal: -86dB    
Dashboard Middle 7 -81 to -84
Front Window – Driver 2 -88 to -91
Front Window – Passenger 1-2 -91 to -93
Sunvisor – Driver 4 -82 to -84
Sunvisor – Passenger 2 -83 to -84
Centre Console (Facing Up) 3 -80 to -83
Dash – Under Steering Wheel 5 -80 to -82


On Glass Internal Antenna


We tested an internal on glass antenna and found there was not enough antenna isolation to warrant a report.



The purpose of this test was to find our how the different antennas affected the boost of the GO. The antennas with the best isolation performed best.

1stMagnetic Roof Antenna
The stand out performer was the magnetic roof mount antenna, due to the roof acting as a separator between the indoor and outdoors antennas. Being high up on the vehicle and having a good ground plane meant the input signal was also better than the rest. Note the test location was done in a valley so the lower gain of the antenna offered a wider reception bubble than the higher gain of the bull bar antenna.


Bull Bar Antenna
This antenna was the second best performer due to the isolation using the front of the car and firewall. The distance between antennas was also a contributing factor. If this test was conducted in a flat terrain area then this antenna could have been the better performer as far as signal on the phone.


Bonnet Gutter Mount
The third best performer due to the isolation of the firewall and input signal strength. However the distance between antennas let this one down.


On Glass Antennas
The on glass antennas was very average when it comes to antenna isolation, with lower boost. Signal strength input was poor and therefore the signal readings on the phone poor. We do not recommend on glass antennas unless you can find one that offers a good input signal. The external on glass provided some boost, however the internal on glass antenna offered close to no difference than with the GO turned off.

We tried to trick the GO by putting the internal antenna under a seat to get the best possible isolation. Even though the input signal was ok and the boost was 9, the phone had a very poor signal reading. With the indoor antenna being under the seat, the signal was barely able to reach the phone.

Taking into account the best performing antennas, the ideal location for positioning the indoor antenna is in the centre of the dashboard facing all passengers. If you mainly want signal for the front two passengers, the centre console facing up was another good position.

If you can get a boost of 7 or better you are on your way to getting great mobile signal.

34 thoughts on “Testing Different Antennas With Cel-Fi GO

  1. Pingback: Powertec Telecommunications

  2. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Terry
    On your testing of CEL-FI Go mobile in the Bull bar set up can you please advise the following

    What sort of distance outside the vechile can I expect to still have signal with my IPhone 6s.

    I currently have a RFI 7.5dbi – 1.2m broom stick Ariel mouted on my bullbar would that need to be changed

    Finally any more news on when you get the final approval from Telstra

  3. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Terry – The product is now approved. Due to warranty reasons the GO is sold in packs including antennas that are all suitable for use. We find that older antennas don’t cover all the bands so your product may not work correctly. With regards to distance of signal outside the vehicle, that will depend on your vehicle, the signal strength and where the antennas are placed. You should get signal just outside your vehicle but we are unable to advise distance due to so many variables.

  4. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Is it possible to have the second antennae / unit loosely mounted in the car so that it can also be relocated into our shack but with the receiving aerial still mounted on the bull bar of our Landcruiser? We would like the option of receiving calls both in our car AND in our shack when using that as an office away from the office ie by moving the second ‘non permanently mounted’ antenna into the shack to repeat the signal to our phones whilst inside there. The shack is a tin shack and the distance of car to repeater would be approx 10m.

  5. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Yes this is possible. The best setup would be to have the adhesive panel antenna that comes with the Mobile GO permanently mounted in the car and have a separate indoor antenna to use for the shed. When wanting coverage in the shed you would need to unscrew the indoor car antenna and connect the shed indoor antenna to the GO. I recommend the indoor wall mount antenna for the shed. Remember to use the WAVE App to optimise the Boost and find the best position for the antennas.

  6. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Riso – If you want to hardwire GO, we would absolutely recommend a professional installer due to the damage you could do to your car. Your installer will also need to understand that to get the maximum ‘boost’ applied to the incoming signal, you need to aim for the best isolation between the indoor and outdoor antennas.

  7. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi can you please tell me where I can find out about price and availability?

  8. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Please advise of the cost. Been waiting for this product to approved….and now it has been.

  9. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Terry. We are setting up our caravan so it can also function as a mobile office. PLEASE NOTE: We NEED to maximise our phone and internet reception capability out bush to be as far reaching as possible!
    (Q1.) Will a Cel Fi repeater help us in this respect?
    The caravan we are buying is a Coromal Pioneer XC (Model 612). I have set out the full name of the caravan as the design AND layout etc can be found on the Coromal website so you can google it and hopefully give us a more informed answer to the following questions.
    We asked Coromal if they could install the Cel Fi aerial cabling into the caravan for us during the construction process. However, they have come back with a ridiculous price to install the cables of between $500 – $850 and that was to simply install the aerial wiring! I’m livid with that price! I suspect it’s because they have no friggin idea of what it entails. In light of that costing…..
    (Q2.) Are you able to find out if your “authorised” installers in Perth have had any experience installing one of these in a caravan before and if so who is it that I would go to ie which one has actually done one before?
    With the Cel Fi’s being so new on the market I am dubious that anyone has had much experience installing these and more so with a caravan installation. We do NOT want to be anyone’s guinea pig project, ie the one they learn what they did wrong with or how they could have done it better! We would like to ensure the job is done at a reasonable cost and professionally and EFFECTIVELY as well.
    (Q3.) Are you able to find out an indicative cost of doing the installation please from your caravan experienced installer if you have been able to find one.
    (Q4.) Could you please confirm if this is the correct one (ie Cel Fi Go Stationary) for a caravan installation as there seems to be conflicting information on your website as to which would be best in a caravan – assuming you believe in Q1 that this will benefit us with maximising our long range .
    Thanks Terry

  10. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Paul – Thanks for your enquiry. We will send you a response offline to get to the bottom of what you need.

  11. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Greg – All phones that run on 3G or 4G (your iPhone 5 does) will be compatible. It is more the carrier – you need to be with Telstra for the product to work. Hopefully an Optus and Vodafone version is coming soon (we are waiting for their testing and approval).

  12. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Does it have any advantage over those devices you can run your mobile through to make it a satphone for outback travel?

  13. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Jon – my apologies for the delay in response. The advantage is that using Cel-Fi products your phone still uses the mobile network, meaning standard call rates on your plan. You will find that calls made through the sat sleeve products are charged at expensive rates and may not be a part of your mobile plan. Regards Cel-Fi

  14. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi just wondering if instead of using the internal antenna if it is possible to directly connect the Cel-Fi Go to my Telstra 4GX Wi-Fi Pro via patch lead?

  15. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Graeme, Whilst this may work in theory, we do not advise to connect a Cel-Fi directly to a mobile device. It was not intended to perform in this way and not enough research has been conducted to ensure it does not cause issues to the mobile device.

  16. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    this product sounds exciting. Reading all the info it keeps saying that a really good barrier between external and internal antennas are required. How do we achieve this using the Marine pack. My boat has a fibreglass roof with a solar panel covering probably 2/3rds of the roof. the internal unit would be kept in the cab. unlike a vehicle that has a metal roof, how do we go with a fibreglass roof.

  17. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Scott, As with a fibreglass caravan, you will need to have as much separation between the antennas as possible. If your boat is not lengthy it may be that the best way is to go for vertical separation and put one antenna on top of the mast. The distance will be down to testing but could need up to 10m.

  18. Powertec Telecommunications says:


    I currently have my phone connected to an external aerial on my 4WD and it increases the signal maybe 1 to 2 bars at best.

    If I purchased one of these can I use my existing mobile antenna which is already wired into the car to connect to your device?

    As I assume my phone just uses its own cellualar connection but connects to the internal aerial now.

    So the car unit just becomes a cradle for charging now.

    Also can you have more than one phone connect to the mobile device at once or is it limited to one phone?

  19. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Mark – you can use your existing antenna with GO but you need to ensure it supports 700/850/1800 MHz. Your phone just gets its signal from the internal antenna that comes with GO. You can have multiple phones or multiple data devices connected to GO. There is a 30 day money back guarantee (less the cost of postage) plus a Technical Support team to assist via phone and email if you have problems with optimisation. Hope that helps.

  20. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hey there, i am looking at purchasing a cel fi go trucker pack for my single cab Ute and was wondering how i could get the best phone best service out of the cel fi, i work in rural NSW and around the Riverina area and is mostly flat type of country, an external aerial would be convenient as well
    Cheers will

  21. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Will – We recommend the Trucker Edge Antenna to get the most out of your GO. This will offer the best gain for flat terrain.

  22. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    I live in remote in the NT, does the Cel-Fi and go work for multiple devices who would be in the vehicle? I have a UHF radio with antenna on the bulbar also will that interfere with the Cel-fi?

  23. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Yes it works with multiple Telstra devices in the vehicle. No it should not cause any interference with UHF equipment as they operate on a completely different band.

  24. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    We are a remote in a fencing camp located in the gulf, what would be the best one to get ? Thanks

  25. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hi Billy, Thank you for your inquiry. It would depend how many square metres you want covered and the indoor and outdoor spaces. Also to confirm your provider is Telstra? I would recommend either the Building Pack or the Indoor/Outdoor Pack but you should probably talk with our staff to advise your exact requirement – call 07 5577 0500. Here is a link for you to have a look at: https://www.powertec.com.au/cel-fi-go-repeater-for-telstra-building-lpda-pack and https://www.powertec.com.au/cel-fi-go-repeater-for-telstra-building-indoor-outdoor-pack If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us.

  26. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    Hello. I am just looking at your test results and are a bit confused I must admit. It would appear that in some tests the signal strength improvement was marginal at best. I thought the product information listed up to 100db gain so I am confused as to how that was/is demonstrated in your real world testing. It would appear, though I could be wrong, that in some instances during your test the Cel-Fi unit was only 1db better than if it was turned off. I am struggling a bit to understand where anything near 100db is achieved. Maybe you could explain this for me as I don’t seem to be understanding. Thanks

  27. Powertec Telecommunications says:

    This article is designed to demonstrate the effects of a poor antenna positioning vs good antenna positioning. The indoor and outdoor antennas require to be isolated from each other as much as possible. In a vehicle you cannot achieve 100% isolation so the Cel-Fi will never boost at full power like it does in a building setup. Network protection features ensure the signal does not isolate (repeat its own signal) and cause harm to the network. Therefore in a vehicle setup with low isolation the improvements on your phone is good, but not outstanding like in a building setup. There is not a direct correlation between the 100dB of gain the Cel-Fi has available and the dB signal reading on your phone. The 100dB of gain relates more to the functionality of the repeater and its ability to provide a large coverage bubble with low signal.

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