Loading... Please wait...

Cell Phone Boosters: The Complete Guide

Posted by on Jun 05, 2015

Cell Phone Boosters

Become an expert in choosing the most suitable cell phone booster!

Cell phone booster topics discussed in this blog:

1. The Capabilities of a Signal Booster

2.   The Coverage Area of a Signal Booster

3.   The Signal Strength of a Signal Booster

4.   Which Outside Antenna?

5.   Amplifing Power

6.   Which Inside Antenna?

7.   Which Cables?

8.   Carrier Frequencies

Cell phone signal boosters are designed to take a pre-existing signal that are typically around to you, and then “amplify” it, making it stronger and transmitting it to another area which doesn’t have a signal: or at least, a very weak signal.

Typically a cell phone signal booster comes with external and internal antennas, an amplifier and a cable to connect all the parts together. Sometimes, as with the  cell phone cradle booster, it can all be in one handy unit, but it is more common to find the parts separately - Hence the need for a cable.

1.   The Capabilities of a Signal Booster

In order to work, a cell phone signal booster requires a signal to already exist within its range. It will take this pre-existing signal and broadcast it to another area. They are not capable of creating signals. If your external antenna cannot pick up a signal, the kit will not work.

2.   The Coverage area of a Signal Booster

In general, cell phone signal boosters are organized by their coverage in square feet. Ideally, the external antenna should have a strong signal while the internal antenna is placed in a great location and there are no big obstacles between the two to prevent signals from being transmitted.

In the real world, such situations do not present themselves often - it is recommended to pick a more powerful cell phone signal booster to compensate for weak signals as well as obstacles.

3.   The Signal Strength of a Signal Booster

Ultimately, the strength of your signal along with the location of your external antenna will determine how much coverage your signal booster will deliver in your home, office or vehicle. Therefore, it’s important to know how strong the signal is, and how much square foot coverage your cell phone booster advertises.

It’s also important to understand what your phone’s bars are telling you. There are no real international standards for cell phone bars - yours may have five, or less. The industry rule of thumb is that each bar of your phone’s signal represents 5/10 times the power of the previous. If your cell phone signal bars are low, at just one or two, a cell phone signal booster can significantly improve coverage.

4.   Which Outside Antenna?

There are two types of external antenna you will come across when looking for your cell phone signal booster. What you want will determine which you should get:

·   Omni-directional antenna: these antennas receive and send signals all around them, giving you the ability to reach multiple towers in your area. This antenna is great if you have a moderate to strong signal in your local area that you want to boost

·    Yagi antenna: these antennas receive and send in one direction only, but with the advantage of increased distance. If you live in an area with weak signals, a yagi antenna can focus on and boost one signal only, giving you extra power 

5.   Amplifying Power

Just like sound, amplifiers are rated in decibels, a measurement that determines the power of your amplifier. Decibels are logarithmic, which means that for each 3 decibel increase, the power doubles in strength (and decreases accordingly the other way around). Broadly speaking, stronger amplifiers give you more coverage in your chosen area - if your signal is weak, remember this!

6.   Which Inside Antenna?

Just like outside antennas, you also have a choice of two internal antennas to choose from when finding the right cell phone signal booster for you.

·   Panel antenna: these antennas receive and broadcast in one direction only, and are great for big spaces or multiple floors. You can mount these on a wall facing downwards or upwards to extend coverage over floors

·   Dome antenna: these multi-directional antennas can cover one floor of a building and should be mounted in the center of a room for complete coverage. They are not suitable for multiple floors. 

7.  Which Cables?

In the vast majority of cell phone signal booster systems, cable is used to connect antennas to the boosters. Unfortunately, this technology is lossless and you can expect to lose some signal depending on the quality of the cables.

For example, Ultra Low Loss weBoost-400 cable or Wilson-400 cable will lose some 2 decibels of power over each fifty feet, while cables such as those you use for cable TV lose even more at 5 decibels for the same distance.

The best solution is to use the shortest,  highest quality coaxial cable you can, in order to guarantee maximum signal is getting through to your cable boosters from the antenna. Always try to get the right amount of cable for best results.

8.    Carrier Frequencies

Cell phones work because they communicate with cell towers across the country that use radio waves. Each carrier has a different frequency. This means you need to ensure that your cell phone signal booster is designed for the right frequency, otherwise it simply won’t work.

Simply put, most major carriers use one of two frequencies for their 2G and 3G networks, 850MHz (cellular) and 1900 MHz (PCs). Lately, many cell phone signal booster manufacturers, such as weBoost, have started to make dual-band amplifiers that can handle boost. Some weBoost boosters also enhance 4G and 4G LTE signals for high speed wireless data transfer using mobile phones.

Buy Cell Phone Signal Booster Now

Questions? Call us for a FREE product recommendation or try our automated Cell Phone Signal Booster Selector Tool. Need a cell phone booster installer? We offer installation services by a certified installing team that installs boosters nationwide across USA and Canada. Submit location details for cell phone signal booster system design & installation quote to have your amplifier kit installed by professionals.

© 2021 Cell Phone Signal Booster. | Retail Storefront Address: Accessory Fulfillment Center, LLC., 9099 Westheimer Road, Ste. G, Houston, TX 77063. | AFC LLC. is an authorized reseller of Wilson Electronics, LLC. brands weBoost & Wilson-Pro. |