Posted by Admin on July 15, 2016
Learn all the ins and outs of commercial cell phone signal boosters by Wilson Pro. A free custom design quote available upon request!
Wilson Pro Commercial Cell Phone Signal Booster Guide
Table of Contents:
Today we’re living in a very digital-savvy society. People are more connected than ever before. Did you know that at least 90% of American adults own a cell phone? Did you know that one-third of these people describe their cell phone as, “ something they couldn’t even imagine living without?”.
This dependency we have on our cell phones also extends to the workplace. This is where we exceedingly see professionals relying on their cellular devices. They rely on it to connect with their customers. They rely on it to work remotely. They rely on it to stay in touch with colleagues. A recent study confirmed what we had already known - that a reliable cell signal has become vitally important. This study reported that 88% of both small and medium businesses use their cell phones for business purposes. Another survey showed that more than two-thirds of cell phone users believe that indoor wireless connectivity in the workplace has become essential. In fact, most of these survey respondents said they believed that workforce productivity would be increased with a stronger cellular signal.
In both non-residential settings and business environments we’re seeing more and more people coming to rely on a strong mobile reception. This is actually strange because only 2% of commercial buildings are offering reliable cellular coverage with dedicated technology. Therefore, it is quite clear that there’s already demand for strong signal reception in commercial settings. Undoubtedly, this demand will continue to grow. For buildings not offering this technology in support of the growing demand, a viable solution is a Commercial Cell Phone Signal Booster.
“Obstruction” and “distance” are the two main reasons for cell phone reception problems. With obstructions, almost any obstacle can become a problem for cell signal. With distance, if your phone is too far away from a cell tower, then the signal will either be very weak, or totally undetectable.
A cell phone signal booster, also known as a cellular amplifier or repeater, amplifies both voice and data signals in order to reduce lost connections and dropped calls. The result is a more reliable and stronger signal, faster data uploads and downloads, and clearer voice quality. There’re commercial grade amplifiers for large indoor spaces, such as hospitals, office buildings, warehouses, schools, and so on. There’re consumer cell phone boosters for both the home and for vehicles.
Basically, a mobile phone is simply a two-way radio with a modern user interface. Using radio-frequency signals, your mobile phone is able to communicate with a cell tower. Therefore, whether you’re in a residential or commercial space, the cellular signal amplifier works to intensify the signals being received from a cell tower, thus improving cellular and data reception.
A decibel (dBm) is typically expressed as a negative number, like -88. The cell phone signal is stronger the closer the reading is to 0. As an example: -79 dBm is a stronger signal than -88 dBm. One of the strongest signals you will see is a reading of -50. A weak signal is indicated by a reading of -100 dBm or worse yet, -110 dBm. You may not have any service at all if the signal becomes weaker than that.
It is critical to have a strong outside signal, and one way to determine whether a cell signal amplifier will work in your specific situation is to go outside your office and make a call on your cell phone. If you’re able to complete the call, there’s every reason to expect that the outdoor signal is strong enough to create a better indoor signal. A booster system can be compared to a megaphone: your voice is amplified by a megaphone, but if you whisper into the megaphone the amplified whisper will only be audible for a short distance. However, when you yell into a megaphone your amplified yell will be heard over a longer distance. And, of course, if you don’t say anything into the megaphone, then no sound is produced at all.
Ideally, a Signal Meter will be used to determine the signal strength both inside and outside the building: A Wilson-Pro Signal Meter is a professional tool used by installation experts to determine accurate signal readings. The WilsonPro Signal Meter is a handheld professional-grade device, designed to detect and display with absolute certainty the available signal frequency, bandwidth, and strength. Wilson Pro Signal Meter has an LCD display and rechargeable battery, allowing installers of cellular signal boosting systems to make the most informed decisions. It works with 700, 800, 1900, and 2100 MHz spectrum bands and is capable of detecting signals both indoors and outdoors. This meter is capable of measuring all major bands used for cellular signals in the United States, including those using 4G LTE networks. A Signal Meter is the most accurate way of assessing cellular signal booster installation needs in commercial environments where multiple users on multiple carriers need high-quality signal strength.
Professional Installers: Please contact us to purchase your own signal meter.
Fortunately, it is an uncomplicated process to have an amplifier installed for an in-building commercial space. There’s simply no time for dealing with poor reception if you have a commercial building. Both your customers and staff require strong cellular signals for all devices and all carriers. They rely on clever lasting solutions to ensure the smooth running of the business. Typically, a commercial-grade indoor cell signal booster can improve the signal coverage area up to 35,000 ft.² per amplifier. Depending on the size of the building, they are often installed in zones. Of course, all situations present new variables, and these are best handled by a certified installer. Contact us for an installation quote by a certified installer(s) depending upon the size of the project.
Typically, there are two factors that impact the size of the indoor area an amplifier is capable of covering:
Below we have listed the major benefits of using an installation professional.
No commercial building is exactly alike. They can range from between 20,000 square feet and 200,000 square feet. Different types of building materials and different layouts create unique requirements for cell signal amplification. Professional installers are qualified to identify all the requirements for jobs of this size. This includes how many amplifiers will be required and other special conditions that must be considered. As an example, there could well be two nearby towers, but you may only need to boost the signal from one of them. A professional installer is qualified to design a booster system to boost the signal from one of the towers whilst filtering out the other one using channel filters we sell.
There’s no requirement for laying fiber or connecting cables to a tower with Wilson Pro solutions. As part of the installation process, installers conduct site surveys and measure the signal strength.
All Wilson Pro amplifiers are FCC approved under the consumer label, reassuring commercial clients that the products they are purchasing are legitimate.
Cell booster system design can become complicated in large buildings. Wilson Pro installers can proactively assist with design needs. This ensures that the right products are installed in the right way for the very best results.
Wilson Pro’s are proud that their products and services are generally priced well below the competition. Why not speak to one of our certified WilsonPro installers regarding a quotation for your commercial space?
Unless you specifically purchase an ongoing maintenance plan, there’re no recurring fees for installation of a cell phone signal amplifier.
Please continue reading to learn more about Cell Phone Signal Boosters, how they work in commercial buildings, and how to determine the best solution for your space.
For most commercial building installations, Wilson-Pro uses Omnidirectional Antennas. Generally, an Omni directional antenna on a building’s roof reduces the need for the pointed accuracy of a directional antenna. This is because your omni antenna makes an ideal choice for when the outside signal is sufficient - not too strong, and not too weak. Wilson Electronics offers wide-band solutions. This means it is able to pick up signals from various towers and various carriers. These Wilson Electronic boosters then amplify and reproduce the signals inside the structure. This amplifying and repeating of signals indoors provides improved coverage for all personnel. Thus, the best choice for commercial installations may be Omni antennas.
WilsonPro’s also offer Directional Antennas. They are perfectly ideal for environments where the signals outside would especially be too strong or too weak. There’re situations where finer level of signal strength control is required. Directional antennas are designed to point directly at a cell tower. In situations where the signal is either too strong or too weak (> - 45 dB or < -80 dB), it may be necessary to locate the tower for that particular band in order to either strengthen or weaken an incoming signal. Therefore, directional antennas would be the perfect answer for such specific situations, needs, and requirements.
Let us now discuss the differences between outside antennas and inside antennas, including the installation options for each.
A donor antenna can also be referred to as an “outside” antenna. This is simply because it is typically located outside of a commercial building. The donor antenna is the part of the cell signal booster that communicates with a cell tower (also known as the signal source). Most signal boosters have a stand-alone donor antenna which is connected to the booster unit via coaxial cable.
The two types of Donor Antenna are “Directional” and “Omnidirectional”.
A Broadcast Antenna is also known as an “inside” antenna because it is located inside the building. The Broadcast Antenna is the part of a cell signal booster that transmits the amplified signal to cellular devices, such as cellular phones, within the building. Similar to donor antennas connected to an “Out” port in most signal amplifiers, there’s also stand-alone broadcast antenna which is connected to the signal amplifier via coaxial cable to an “In” port.
Two main types of Broadcast Antenna are offered by WilsonPro: “Panel” Antennas and “Dome” Antennas.
Please visit the following blog post for resources on locating cell phone towers near your building:
What is “Gain” as referred to, in antennas and boosters? The measurement of an antenna’s or booster’s signal output relative to its signal input is known as, “gain”. Typically, gain is expressed in decibels. Decibel is the standard unit of measurement for signal improvement. When a booster provides a maximum of 50 dB gain, it means that the boosted signal coming from the unit is at least 50 dB stronger than the un-boosted signal going into the unit. Gain refers to the level of signal boost that an antenna or booster is capable of providing. With everything being equal, a booster with a higher gain value will cover a larger area or provide a stronger signal than one with a lower gain value. An amplifier with a specified system gain of 70 dB is capable of covering a larger indoor area than an amplifier specified at 50 dB gain.
In a perfect world, a strong outside signal and high gain booster would provide the necessary indoor coverage area. However, realistically, very few situations are perfect. Building materials, obstacles, and variable incoming signals can all affect how large an area a booster can cover.
One of the easiest things you can do to improve cell reception is to locate your nearest cell tower. A WilsonPro certified installation specialist can plot your nearest cell towers on a map and thus determine the direction of your signal. With that information at hand, the installer can quickly locate the best signal by aiming the antenna at the tower.
The following are more specific decibel classifications if you wish to peruse them. Or you may simply skip to move on to the next important sub-title. This information is technical in nature, and provided for those that would be interested but is not important to know this to understand the basic concepts of a signal booster.
dBi: dB (isotropic). This refers to a forward gain of an antenna compared with the hypothetical isotropic antenna, which evenly distributes energy in all directions. Linear polarization of the EM field is assumed unless noted otherwise.
dBd: dB (dipole). This refers to the forward gain of an antenna compared with a half-wave dipole antenna. 0 dBd = 2.15 dBi.
dBiC: dB(isotropic circular). The forward gain of an antenna compared to a circularly polarized isotropic antenna. There’s no fixed conversion rule between dBiC and dBi, as it depends on the receiving antenna and the field polarization.
dBq: dB (quarterwave). This refers to the forward gain of an antenna compared to a quarter wavelength whip. Rarely used, except in some marketing material. 0 dBq = −0.85 dBi.
dBsm: dB (m2). This refers to the decibel relative to one square meter: measure of the antenna effective area.
dBm−1: dB (m−1). This refers to the decibel relative to reciprocal of meter: measure of an antenna factor.
WilsonPro offers the first rack mounted booster (amplifier) that is capable of boosting signal over up to 140,000 square feet of indoor commercial space using 16 interior antennas. It is a 50 Ohm system (“Ohm” explained below). The next lower tier being offered is the Wilson Pro 70 Plus series which can boost up to 50,000 square feet of in-building space. These booster kits are built on both 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm systems so either type can be purchased. The next lower tier is Wilson Pro 70 series which can boost signal up to 25,000 square feet of inside space. This is also built on both 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm systems so either type can be chosen as needed. The user, or installer, can make a decision based on existing infrastructure or square footage.
Ohm measures impedance, which is the resistance to electrical energy flow. Both the Pro 70 and Pro 70 Plus are available with 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm. When it comes to cellular signal boosting solutions, we always suggest using amplifiers, antennas, and cables of the same impedance – either 50 Ohm or 75 Ohm. Please note that the Pro 70 Plus Select only comes in 50 Ohm.
All cell signal boosters use coaxial cable to connect antenna(s) to the booster unit. All signal boosters are certified by the FCC and Industry Canada with their specific length of coaxial cable. Any substitution of shorter cables than the ones that arrive with your booster could be a violation of FCC and IC regulation.
We know that cell phones use the radio frequency spectrum in order to communicate. Specific frequency ranges (or bands) of the RF spectrum are assigned to services, such as 4G voice and data, or to a specific cell carrier, such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. With commercial cell signal booster installation, WilsonPro ensures that signal quality is improved for all users in a single space, regardless of which device or carrier they use.
For a signal booster to be sold in the United States it must be certified by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). In Canada, the certifying body is IC (Industry Canada). These certifications give consumers assurance they need that cell signal boosters don’t cause harmful interference on the cellular network and that they work as they are intended to. Every amplifier sold by WilsonPro is FCC and IC Certified, guaranteeing they will work as promised.
WilsonPro cell signal boosters improve both data and voice signals on all cellular enabled devices (tablets, phones, cell modems, etc.) and on all North American cell carrier networks.
Wilson Pro can amplify an entire frequency range, which means it offers wide band service, and within that range individual carriers use specific frequencies. The result is that improved signal strength is experienced with devices across all carriers. Why not call us for your commercial cell signal booster solution? You can expect to receive expert guidance, top-quality service, and a reliable system designed specifically to enhance your commercial operation and keep it running smoothly for many years to come.
If you have poor cell reception and you’re looking for an in-building solution, it is Wilson Pro’s recommendation that you start with a site survey. This is a professional service devised to assess the building and surrounding areas in order to determine the existing signal strength. A signal meter will probably be used by an installer to plot the location of nearby cell towers and calculate the existing signal strength. Depending on the size of the building, this process can take one hour, sometimes longer.
Once a site survey has been completed, and depending on the strength of the surrounding signal, it is up to the installation professional to determine whether a cell signal booster will be effective in the commercial space. Your installer will calculate how many antennas and boosters will be required, then put together a list of required materials.
In conjunction with support from a certified Wilson Pro installer, we will prepare a quotation for you depending on the services and materials required. It would be up to you to decide whether to move forward with the purchase and installation design.
Installation can generally be coordinated quite quickly, depending on the size of the building, any special customizations and the products required. The timeline will be determined by us, a solution provider and will be based on the number of antennas, amplifiers, and coaxial cable required, in addition to any anticipated difficulties with running the cable.
You can see from above that boosting indoor cell reception begins with assessment of existing signal strength outside the building. This is followed by a certified solution provider determining how many antennas and amplifiers will be required, in addition to designing and implementing the most effective installation. The timeline for these works to be completed will depend on the size of the building, strength of the existing signal, and any necessary modifications.
We assure you that commercial cell signal boosters are ideal for improving the reception inside a building, thus making a huge difference to communications on all carriers. If you wish to learn more about WilsonPro’s cell signal coverage solutions and commercial cell signal amplifiers and how they work, please contact us today!