The Cell Phone Antenna Booster Guide - Everything You Need to Know
By Jeff · February 8, 2013
Poor cell phone reception and dropped calls are part of our day to day lives. While this is tolerable in some situations, if the place that you're not getting good reception is in your home or office, then that becomes a problem that you really need to fix, otherwise you risk missing important calls, dropping a call during a critical conversation or not having reception during an emergency.
In this guide, we're going to discuss what causes weak cell phone signal, poor reception, and dropped calls, as well as what a cell phone antenna booster is and how one can be used to amplify your cell phone signal, improve reception, and eliminate dropped calls.
What Causes Poor Reception?
There are typically two main causes of poor reception, either you're at the edge of your carrier's coverage area, or the materials used in the construction of the building that you're in are preventing a clear signal from reaching you. There are also situations where these two causes act together to cause reception problems and dead zones too.
Edge of a Coverage Area
Cellular carriers provide cell coverage by setting up cell towers to broadcast and receive cellular calls from their customers. These cellular towers are strategically placed to provide coverage to the greatest number of potential customers. Unfortunately, the further you are from a tower, the less signal strength you'll receive, which means that there are large areas that get very weak signal which isn't strong enough to make or receive a call. We'll discuss in the next section how a cell phone antenna booster can help in this situation.
Recently, there have been significant advancements in construction materials for homes and buildings, which help with energy conservation, reducing health risks, and more. One downside of these advancements though are that many of these new construction materials end up blocking cell phone signals from entering the building. Many people then find themselves in the situation where they get good signal outside of the house, but lose their call when walking into their brand new home. This is also a situation where a cell phone antenna booster system can be an ideal solution.
What is a Cell Phone Antenna Booster?
A cell phone antenna booster (also known as a cell phone signal booster or a cell phone repeater), is a system which amplifies an existing cell phone signal and broadcasts it to an area which does not currently have good signal. A cell phone antenna booster system is typically comprised of an external (or outside) omni or yagi antenna, a signal amplifier, an internal antenna, and cable to connect all of those components together. The system works by having the external antenna receive a cell phone signal from the closest cell tower. It then passes that signal over a cable to the amplifier, which boosts the strength of the signal and then broadcasts it to the inside of the building via the internal antenna.
Solving the Coverage Area Problem
A cell phone antenna booster is able to solve the problems experienced when you live or work on the edge of a coverage area by boosting the weak cell phone signal that you typically receive to a usable level. Additionally, it's possible to use a directional outside antenna and aim at the closest cell tower, which would then result in an even stronger signal, since the system is now setup to interact directly with the tower. As long as you're able to receive one bar of signal outside while on the edge of a coverage area, then a cell phone antenna booster will work for you.
Solving the Construction Material Problem
A cell phone antenna booster is also able to solve the construction materials problem. Typically the issue is that the signal cannot penetrate the external of the house, so a cell phone antenna booster circumvents the construction materials by passing the cell phone signal over a cable from the outside antenna into the house (to the amplifier). The system boosts the signal for good measure, and then broadcasts inside of the house, effectively eliminating the construction material that is causing the problem.
As you can see, a cell phone antenna booster is designed to solve both of these problems simultaneously, so even if you're faced with the situation where you're both on the edge of a coverage area AND have a building constructed of cell proof materials, you can still have great signal inside with a cell phone antenna booster.
How to Choose the Right Cell Phone Antenna Booster
Ultimately, you're looking for a cell phone antenna booster that supports the cell phone carriers that you use and can cover the necessary square footage that you need. We typically recommend starting with your cell phone carrier, and then choosing the right cell phone antenna booster based on the current outside signal strength and coverage area. UberSignal has created special carrier pages which help you determine which cell phone antenna booster will work for you, so we recommend starting there. Otherwise feel free to browse our signal booster systems for Home & Office, Large Buildings, and Vehicles. If you need to cover multiple carriers, very large buildings, or have a unique situation that you'd like our advice on, we're always happy to talk and provide expert guidance.
Please contact us with any questions and we'll be glad to help you find the right cell phone antenna booster to solve your cell phone reception problems once and for all.