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Seven Tips on Selecting a Quality Amplifier

Posted by on Jul 25, 2015

With an estimated four billion cell phones in use worldwide and the reliance on mobile voice and data on the rise, a strong cell signal is more important than ever. To address the issue of dropped calls, slow data and bad cellular signal strength, cellular amplifiers have emerged as a viable tool to address cellular connectivity. However, consumers are at risk of purchasing an inferior product that will not help them stay connected.

To protect buyers from low-quality products, consumers need to know what to look for, when purchasing a cellular amplifier. Five features cellular amplifiers must have to ensure purchase of a quality product are Bi-directional amplification (Two distinct amplifiers in one case. One downlink, one uplink.), high “Downlink” receiver signal sensitivity (downlink is the signal from the cell site to the phone), high “Uplink” output power (uplink is the signal from the phone back to the site), oscillation detection and shut down, cell site overload protection and 100 percent unconditional customer satisfaction guarantee

weBoost recommends that consumers review the following criteria before choosing a cellular amplifier. With these elements, cellular phone and data card users can be confident that the amplifier they are selecting will virtually eliminate dropped calls, increase data rates and provide a quality cell signal.

1. Bi-directional amplifier: Look for a unit that is bi-directional, meaning the amplifier boosts both the cell site’s downlink and uplink signals. Some amplifiers on the market boost the downlink signal to the phone, with no amplification of the uplink or outgoing signal. In this scenario, users will show an increase in bars and might be able to receive calls but will not have the power needed to reach back to the cell site for a reliable call.

There are two components to ensuring reliable cellular communication. The first step is receiving a strong signal. A high gain outside antenna collects weak or distant cellular signals and sends them to the amplifier. The downlink amplifier then boosts those signals and rebroadcasts them inside a vehicle or building to nearby cell phones and data cards.

The second part of the equation is transmitting a strong signal back to the cell tower via the uplink amplifier and outside antenna. This is typically the weakest link during a call from a standalone cell phone from inside a vehicle or building. Cell phones are inherently low power devices due to battery limitations. Uplink amplification places a stronger signal at the cell site, which allows the phone itself to operate at lower power levels (due to how cellular systems are designed to operate). High power uplink amplification therefore yields two benefits: Better call reliability and longer battery life.

All weBoost amplifiers are designed with a very sensitive downlink amplifier and a high power uplink amplifier.

2. High receiver sensitivity: Receiver sensitivity is what allows amplifiers to pick up weak signals that a phone alone may not hear. Find an amplifier that has high receiver sensitivity; however beware of misleading sensitivity claims. Some amplifier manufacturers claim to have high sensitivity but do not measure sensitivity using testing methods which simulate a real world environment. An amplifier being able to hear a signal in real world, weak signal environments is the key to amplify a call.

3. High output power: The lack of output power from the phone to the cell site is the reason most dropped calls occur. Many amplifiers in the market today are designed with less output power than a cell phone or data card in order to prevent oscillations (feed back) and/or to keep cost down as less power means less expensive components and simpler designs.

4. Oscillation prevention: As in any amplification system, improper installation such as placing a wireless cellular amplifier’s antennas too close together can cause an amplifier to oscillate, similar to a microphone being too close to a speaker causing feedback. Improper design of these wireless amplifiers (amplifiers which do not connect directly to the phone) can cause cell sites to be disabled, violating FCC regulations, until the cell carrier intervenes and has the offending amplifier removed from service. A quality amplifier should have a reliable and proven method of quickly and automatically detecting and shutting down an offending amplifier. Many amplifiers on the market have no oscillation protection or in some cases simply provide a light indicating an oscillation with no automatic shut down. These amplifiers provide no protection to the cell site. There are currently no oscillation prevention industry standards though all Wilson Electronics wireless amplifiers are designed with proven and patented automatic oscillation protection.

5. Cell site overload protection: A quality amplifier should be capable of monitoring proximity to a cell tower and when near a site and automatically reducing its output power. An amplifier operating at full power when too close to a cell tower will overload the site and impair service to a large number of users once again leading to intervention by the cellular operator. Many if not most amplifiers in the market today do not have such a feature. There are currently no overload prevention industry standards though all weBoost amplifiers are designed with overload prevention circuitry.

6. 100 percent customer satisfaction guaranteed: Because of the wide variation in actual results between the various amplifiers on the market with similar claims, users should identify if a company stands behind its products and should be skeptical of sellers and manufacturers that do not offer an unconditional money back guarantee. Also, read the fine print to make sure the guarantee you are getting is legitimate. A company that guarantees its products and offers extended customer services to the end user, such as a U.S. based tech support helpline, is a good indicator that the product is of high quality.

7. Design Excellence

Inquire as to the prospective supplier's engineering team. Many suppliers today are not able to maintain the extensive research and development team needed for reliable amplifier performance. Choose a vendor that has a full time engineering staff solely dedicated to the design of quality amplifiers and antennas.

Choose weBoost

weBoost delivers proven, tested cellular amplifiers for in-building and mobile applications with industry-leading performance and quality.

Buy a good quality amplifier, today!

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.

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