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Old 10-08-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
terrie
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Default cell phone reception booster?

First...I know squat about cell phones as I don't have one...'-}}

The condos in my complex get really lousy cell phone reception. I've always attributed it to the fact when they built the complex, rather than using wood studs for wallboard support, they used metal.

The other day, my sister's landline went out and I was in her place when it happened. She tried using her cell phone (an iPhone--not the latest model) and couldn't get a signal so we went to my place and she used my landline phone to call the phone company.

This got me to wondering if there is something she could buy to boost the signal for her cell phone in her apartment. Do they make something like that and what would I search for online?

Thanks...

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Old 10-08-2010, 03:28 PM   #2
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Brief search turned up this: http://www.mobdev.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions.html

Although it's aimed at the UK market, there's bound to be something similar for the US.

   
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:58 PM   #3
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[ cell phone reception booster ]

http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...eption+booster

But I can't vouch for any of them -- I imagine they would depend on there being a location with better reception and accessible to her where she could locate the booster.

You'll find discussion about boosters from time to time on Compuserve in the

Gadgets & Gear Community

   
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:51 PM   #4
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robin: Although it's aimed at the UK market, there's bound to be something similar for the US.
Lots of useful info there...thanks...

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Old 10-08-2010, 07:57 PM   #5
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hugh: I imagine they would depend on there being a location with better reception and accessible to her where she could locate the booster
Yeah....I did a search similar to yours after posting--probably should have done that before posting...'-}}--and from what I can gather, any of the useful options are pretty pricey generally starting in the upper $300 range for true wireless where the phone does not have to be attached to any sort of antenna/booster.

I did find one for just a tad over $100 but that's still more than my sister would want to spend--I was hoping for something in the $30-$50 range...

I'll check out Gadgets & Gear too...thanks for the links...

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Old 10-09-2010, 06:19 AM   #6
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Y'mean like "The Door"? The one that leads outside so she's not surrounded by metal studs? ;-)

She might want to check to see if her phone and carrier support WiFi calling. If so, it can make calls using wireless rather than the cel network. Given a decent WiFi signal, she'll get better voice quality and coverage inside. The main downside is that it tends to eat batteries quickly.

   
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:16 AM   #7
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Cell phone boosters are used a lot in the oil patch (where I work), for remote locations where tower coverage is weak. This brand is pretty popular, though they are expensive ($300-$700). Another issue that sometimes crops up is that in really marginal areas, the device ends up boosting a crappy signal, so that while your cell phone may show 5 bars, the signal may be unusable, especially for data transmission.

   
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:52 PM   #8
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steve: Y'mean like "The Door"? The one that leads outside so she's not surrounded by metal studs? ;-)
LOL! The problem exists even if she goes outside on her balcony (she lives on the 3rd floor) and also if she were to go out into the building's hallway--basically, she would have to walk down 3 flights of stairs and go outside the building...


>>She might want to check to see if her phone and carrier support WiFi calling. If so, it can make calls using wireless rather than the cel network.

Interesting...I suggest that to her...as I mentioned, she has an (older) iPhone so she's got ATT...not sure if it would cost her more to use wifi...

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Old 10-09-2010, 12:54 PM   #9
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howard: though they are expensive ($300-$700).
And from the diagram (thanks for the link), it appears that the cell phone has to be attached to the device/antenna which is awkward...

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Old 10-09-2010, 01:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie View Post
And from the diagram (thanks for the link), it appears that the cell phone has to be attached to the device/antenna which is awkward...
Not necessarily. Some do, but some of the Wilson boosters use an internal (i.e. inside the house) antenna; it's a rectangular, black plastic thing that plugs into the main booster unit, and sits on a counter-top, or sticks to a wall. It "broadcasts" the boosted signal a few metres, so you just have to stand close to it with your cell phone to get the boosted signal. I've used them before, and they work quite well most of the time. You do have to attach a mag-mount or other type of antenna that sits outside the building and picks up the signal from the cell phone tower. So it uses two antennae: one outside and one inside.

   
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