How to Boost Cell Phone Signal and Get Better Reception
By Jeff · November 17, 2012
Weak or patchy cell phone signal in your home or office can be the source of much frustration. At best, it’s a mild chronic annoyance – and at worst, unreliable cell coverage can end up being a serious problem in a crisis situation. Despite cellular networks improving their coverage every year, weak, patchy and lost signals are common enough to be a significant issue for many people.
If you live or work in an area with consistently weak reception, you’ll find it can hamper many aspects of your daily communications. Particularly frustrating is the presence of a “dead zone”. Dead zones are small areas, sometimes even in populated, well-connected cities that are devoid of any cellular signal. If you’re unfortunate enough to have a dead zone in your home or place of work, you’ll find yourself having to go upstairs, downstairs or outside to communicate via cell phone, which can be a frustrating drain on your time and energy.
Why do Some Areas have Weak Signal Strength?
There are a couple of reasons why you might have a weak cell phone signal in a given area. Cell phone signals are transmitted via radio waves, and to make a call, your phone needs to send and receive radio waves to and from the nearest base station. This is a transmission outpost set up by your cellular network. The radio waves don’t need a completely clear path to your cell phone, but if there are large, solid obstacles between your cell phone and the base station (such as mountains! ) then you may have trouble getting a signal. The strength of the signal also depends on how close you are to the nearest base station – the further away you are, the weaker the signal will be. Cell phone signal strength can be an issue if you live in a rural or remote location.
So what can you do if your signal is patchy or weak, and you really need to get better cell phone reception? A cell phone signal booster system is one solution, and it’s an effective way to obtain strong, consistent signal strength inside a given building.
What is a Cell Phone Signal Booster System?
The underlying concept is actually fairly simple. The purpose of a cell phone signal booster system is to pick up a cell phone signal from an area where the signal is present, and transmit it to where you need it – typically inside your home or office building. The system amplifies the signal to ensure that it’s consistently strong enough in the area in which you need to improve cell phone reception.
To boost cell phone signal with such a system requires three key components. First is the external antenna, which is placed somewhere where there is existing signal. If you’re looking to improve cell phone reception in a building such as your home, you’d find the spot on your roof where the signal is strongest, and place the antenna there. It’s important to find a good spot – the strength of the signal picked up outside will determine the range of signal you get inside, so it’s worth taking the time to place the external antenna carefully.
The external antenna is connected via cable to the second part of the system inside, the amplifier. The crucial job of the amplifier is to strengthen the signal to the point that it’s strong enough throughout the area that you need to get better reception in.
The amplifier is connected to the internal antenna, which broadcasts the signal through the space inside your home, where it can then be picked up by your cellular phone.
The benefits of a system like this are obvious – when properly set up, a cellular signal booster system eliminates unreliability, weak signal and dead zones and provides a consistently strong signal inside your building.
How do I Choose the Different Components?
It is possible to put together a cellular signal boosting system on your own, but if you choose to go this route it helps to be aware of the options for each component.
When selecting your external antenna, bear in mind that there are different kinds of external antennas, designed for different purposes – and they have trade-offs. A directional antenna is more powerful and will result in a stronger signal, but it can only communicate with towers in one general direction, so it may not work if you need to boost multiple cellular networks. An omnidirectional antenna will transmit and receive in all directions, but the signal will be weaker so it may not be ideal if the outside signal is very weak.
Additionally, different networks can operate on different frequencies. Some networks even use more than one frequency, depending on the type of service – 3G or 4G internet may be transmitted on their own frequency. Not every amplifier receives every frequency, so this means that you’ll need to choose your amplifier based on the cellular networks and services you’d like to receive. The easiest way to do this is to start by choosing the carrier that you need boosted, and then selecting the booster that fits your situation.
Internal antennas vary in their size, shape and mounting. Your choice here will depend on where you’d prefer to place the antenna – on the ceiling or on the inside of a window, for example.
Can Someone Help me Pick the Best System for my Needs?
The answer is most definitely yes. Unless you have a unique situation or a very large space, an all-in-one signal boosting kit could be the right fit for your home, office or vehicle. The advantages of buying the equipment in a combined package are obvious – you'll have a well tested system that's in use all over the world and can see ratings showing how well it has worked for other people. A specialist will be able to assess your needs, and make sure you walk away with the combination of equipment that’s right for you. As a result you’ll be able to get better cell phone reception, with the network and services you want, exactly where you need it most.
When you’ve had enough of poor reception and dropped calls, give us a call at (800) 590-3564 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!