Loading... Please wait...

Wilson Boosters Extend Range in Agriculture Dept. Road Test

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014

Contrary to what many believe, cell phone signal boosters are not expensive in relation to their critical benefit in boosting a poor and weak cellular signal. Cell phone reception repeaters for vehicles come with magnetic roof antennas and range anything from $199 to $499. While traveling through rugged rural terrain with poor or low cellular coverage, the cell phone signal booster can extend the cellular signal. This is what DAFS (United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service) came to find out. Cell phone signal range was increased enhancing the safety and communication of the staff of MTDC (Missoula Technology and Development Center).

Wilson Signal Boosters Extend Range in Agriculture Dept. Road Test

Major Concern.

According to Ted Etter, an MTDC project leader and electronic engineering with 20 years’ knowledge in various areas in wireless communications, process control, instrumentation, equipment testing among others, the agriculture and forest service employees at the MTDC are usually out of cell phone signal coverage while offering critical services in far-flung rural regions of United States.

MTDC has its own working employee radio network. It allows them to remain in contact with dispatch and co-workers. However, cell phones have become a reliable alternative, particularly in areas where the two-way radio face delays in message forwarding.

Proposed Solution.

Due to the poor cell phone signal in these rural areas and distant towns, the Forest Service sought to evaluate whether a cell phone signal amplifier system kit can enhance the cellular signal and improve cell phone communication even where radio networks were unreliable.

One of the reasons why cell phones cellular coverage range is limited is largely because of the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) functioning on the 300-3000MHz radio spectrum, as well as mobile phones limited power of transmission. The typical cellular phone operates within the 800-1,900MHz frequencies. This limits the connection between a carrier’s tower and a cell phone.


At times, the line-of-sight problem limiting communication can be dealt with by reflecting the signal off rock walls and buildings or bending it over hills and ridges. These indirect lines of cellular coverage allow a signal to be present for a couple of miles. On other hand, line-of-sight coverage line of movement allow cellular signal to be spread over a longer distance.

Signal power.

Other reason why cellular devices experience low signal coverage is due to the power or quality of the reception transmitted. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has guidelines in place restricting the power of the radio frequency transmitted by a mobile phone. Radio transmissions aren’t affected by the size of the battery in carrier towers but the cell phones’ batteries have a direct effect on their power of transmission.

The operating life of a typical cellular device on a cell battery is affected by the power of the transmitter and the broadcasting length as a person is communicating through the cell phone. Generally, a cell phone's power of transmission is around 0.25 of a watt.

Note that the antenna shape and location also has an effect on the cell phone reception. An antenna capable of reaching maximum range for a cell phone shouldn’t be in-built but external. However, those types of cell phones with external antennas are practically non-existent except for some that have hung on to them and still use the 2G & 3G network services that unfortunately may be phased out in future.

Cell phone signal boosters.

Through a vehicle cell phone signal booster, the cell phone’s coverage can be extended with ease. Vehicle cell phone amplifiers are powered by the electrical system of the car. An operating life of the repeater isn't affected or tangled with the internal cell phone battery.

A cell phone amplifier system comes with two unique radio frequency (RF) repeaters. One of the RF amplifiers extends the received cellular signal on the phone from the carrier's tower. The other RF amplifier boosts the cellular signal transmitted by the cellular device to the cell tower. Normally, the cellular device’s range has the power augmented by around two watts.

Cell phone signal boosters are used with vehicle-roof-mounted antennas. The kit's effectiveness is affected by the design and size of outside antenna. Most outside vehicle antennas come with magnetic bases that allow them to be moved whenever required to other cars.

Cell phones coupling to cellular signal boosters take place through plug and cable with outer antenna jack. Then an antenna attachable to a mobile phone or a cell phone signal amplifier antenna mountable inside a vehicle a foot or two from the cellular device.

Due to the fact that agricultural and fisheries department employees are mostly on the road, the issue of a quality reliable signal comes in. Rugged detached terrains, rural surroundings with ridges, hills, forests, water bodies and far away from closest cell towers meant that a better solution was required.

Not many cell phones come with external jacks for antennas. As such, MTDC (Missoula Technology and Development Center) went out of its way to practically test how cell phone repeater antennas would work with the cell phone signal amplifier to enhance the signal in these terrains.

Proposed Solution.

MTDC decided to use the weBoost Wilson cell phone signal boosters and kits for the test. The reason why Wilson products were selected is because they come in kits easy to assemble and install and perfect for precise uses. Wilson amplifier models using 6V power sources were used in the evaluation. The power plugs the size of cigarette lighters come with voltage regulators that decrease the voltage to 6V from 12V as required.

The evaluation also involved outside antennas of 12 inches in length with magnetic bases allowing them to be fixed on the roof of the vehicle. The internal antennas within the vehicle were either indirectly or directly coupled with the cellular devices.

About Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC).

MTDC started in 1940s as the Forest Service support facility with initial activities including enhancement of cargo and human parachuting methods. The 1960s saw MTDC expanded to cater for diverse services with programs spreading across the United States encompassing all types of equipment needs for the Forest Service in the nation. Currently, the center works with State and Federal institutions, research groups, higher centers of learning, private firms and diverse agencies to meet its goals.

The Forest Service campus buildings occupied by MTDC in Missoula have various buildings with staff offices, electronics lab for testing and designing of instruments for diverse resource requirements and test facilities. Among its many duties, MTDC is involved in pickup of tree nursery systems, electronic device measurement, audiovisual crew safety and supervision, guiding fire shelter training and facilitation and enhancement of aerial ignition electronics among others.

About Wilson Electronics.

Wilson electronics is the top manufacturer of cellphone signal amplifier technology across United States. Through weBoost Wilson cell phone booster equipment, Wilson ensures only the most advanced, powerful, certified and efficiently designed cell signal amplifiers are manufactured to provide the most powerful cellular reception possible. For decades, Wilson Electronics has been offering top of the range and high quality cellular signal booster system kits for residential, vehicle, marine and commercial use.

Results After Driving Around with Wilson Cell Phone Signal Amplifier.

Agriculture and forest department test center, MTDC, carried out driving tests in Montana across six national forested areas. The tests, carried on a Ford Escape hybrid vehicle had the outer antenna magnet-mounted towards the vehicle’s roof center. Involved in most of the evaluation was an internal contact model antenna.

The results showed that the internal booster antenna and the amplifier had equivalent results where the antenna was close by about a foot to the cellular device.

As the distance between the cell phone and the internal amplifier antenna was increased, for instance two feet away, the cell signal and range quality were still enhanced.

The test involved LG VX3450L mobile phone with a diagnostic screen showing the strength of the signal received and quality of the cellular signal. The LG cell phone was on the Verizon cell carrier service. It is the strongest and widely spread network in the diverse terrain of western Montana.

Evaluation of the signal with the installation of the Wilson cell phone signal amplifier was done when the vehicle was parked and when on the move by the passengers (not the vehicle driver since the Forest Service Health & Safety Code Handbook has prohibited its drivers from driving while using hand-held cellar devices and two-way radios).

Western Montana terrain

In lots of sections across western Montana, small towns dot the area with cell phone signals spaced out about 20-30 miles. Normal driving around all these areas and towns without a cell phone signal booster sees the driver and the passengers out of range for 10-20 miles. With the installation of a cell phone signal amplifier however, the test found out passengers easily enjoy a quality cell signal continuously.

The test actually found out that Wilson cell phone reception repeater allowed the cellular signal range to be continuously available in all highways in between towns across hundreds of miles in sections where coverage and cellular range is almost unknown.

For areas with towns being the sole provider of cell phone signals for miles, the Wilson cell phone signal amplifier extended the range by seven miles doubling the signal for cellular devices.

For road networks into towns where the highways were straighter than most, the cell phone signal was boosted by over ten miles. In areas where the roads had sharp, steep drainages and turns, the cellular coverage was expanded by 2-3 miles.

More Test Information.

During the MTDC Wilson vehicle cell signal booster test, calls would be placed to voice mails and offices to record the quality of the audio from different terrain, towns and highways. For instance, the LG mobile device’s diagnostic screen would register a -104dBm signal strength with coverage under -106 dBm not registered by the phone.

However, once the Wilson car cell phone signal booster was activated, the cell signal strength was found to increase significantly by around 26 dBm (-100dBm signal would be extended to around -74dBm).

MTDC found out that cell phone signals deep inside the different national forests were no match to the Very High Frequency (VHF) 30-300MHz networks. Nonetheless, with the introduction of the Wilson cell phone signal booster, the Forest Service saw its vehicles enjoying a cell phone signal many times better. As a result, the forest and agriculture center employees saw reduced delays when they wanted to contact radio dispatchers; they simply forwarded their queries through cell phones.

External jacks for antennas are almost nonexistent for cell phones. The agricultural and forest center found out that contact antennas that come with cell phone signal amplifiers are the most effective method of extending coverage. However, the test involved multi-user Wilson cell phone signal boosters and didn’t evaluated Wilson cradle cell phone signal amplifiers.

The test also found out that the best place to permanently install a vehicle cell phone signal amplifier inside the car in a safe location with fine ventilation was below the passenger seat. Routing of antenna and power cables need to be done better to avoid cable damage, tearing and tripping passengers.


Extensive weBoost Wilson cell phone signal amplifier evaluation study in rugged far-flung rural terrain confirmed a vehicle cell phone booster is a wonderful addition to any type of vehicle whether on highways with poor coverage or towns with low cellular signals. The good thing is that the new crops of vehicle boosters from weBoost/Wilson are actually much better than the 3G model MTDC tested.

These include Drive Sleek, Drive 4G-S, Drive 4G-M, Drive 4G-X, Drive 4G-X OTR and Drive 4G-X RV truck, RV, boat, truck and car cell phone signal amplifiers with top-quality benefits across the board such as:

  • Boosting text, voice, 3G and 4G LTE data speeds.
  • Work with all cell phone service providers across the United States and Canada.
  • FCC approved and certified.
  • Work with all types of cell phones.

Are you having the same problems in your organization, residence, vehicle, agricultural, fisheries, forest and landscaping company in rural and far-flung areas with poor cell phone signal? We're weBoost Wilson authorized installer, dealer and retailer. Give us your location details, your requirements and any related information and we will design the best cell phone signal booster system to meet all your coverage needs. The proposal will include a quote of both the equipment and installation required to rectify the entire cell phone coverage issue at an affordable cost and fast. Give us a call 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.

© 2022 Cell Phone Signal Booster. | Retail Storefront Address: Accessory Fulfillment Center, LLC., Houston, TX. | AFC LLC. is an authorized reseller of Wilson Electronics, LLC. brands weBoost & Wilson-Pro. |