Cell phone dead zones

Once you depend on your cellphone or Smartphone, finding yourself in a phone dead zone can be pretty traumatic.

The first thing you need to do is establish whether your difficulty is related to your area, your carrier, your house, or your phone. The remedy to your problem will depend to some degree which of these proves to be the difficulty. The steps given below by
alienintelligence-ga are pretty comprehensive. You can purchase gadgets for as little as $10 (such as the RF SuperBooster Cell Phone Signal Booster) and as much as $250 (Wilson Electronics Desktop Adjustable Gain Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home or Office – For Multiple Users

Using an external antenna on your house is the option most likely to improve your signal. If you are simply in an area of poor signal, it might be the only thing that will work. This involves an investment not just in the antenna, but usually also an adaptor kit to allow your phone to use the antenna. (For example the TE-4102CP23 (with Antenna)Cell Phone Antenna Signal Booster Repeater Amplifier 800Mhz/1900 MHz. You may also choose to have the antenna professionally installed, in order to ensure proper grounding (and to “pass the buck” for any liability to the installer).

This is costly, however, and if you want to keep the price low those little gizmos that attach to your phone are not a very viable option. Feedback on them has been poor. The principle they use, however (Passive Repeater) is genuine. Specialty cellular outlets usually carry the “proper” repeaters, though your mall electronics store may not. They will typically look like either a small antenna, or a flat patch that goes onto your window. Essentially they focus the signal in their immediate vicinity, giving your built-in antenna a “leg up”, so to speak. Be aware that while these are a legitimate and well-recognized product, they do not work in all cases. Before you buy one, check the return policy clearly. These will usually cost less than antennas.

A third choice is to purchase a higher-gain antenna for your cel phone. Most manufacturers make a “Hi-gain” or “Fringe Area” antenna for their handsets, which may be easily changed in-store or by the user at home. These work well, and typically cost much less than external antennas. Again, be sure of your return options in case you do not see an improvement.

Older “bag” cel phones are more powerful than handhelds. These are essentially car-mount cel phones made portable by the addition of a carry case, and either a battery or a plug-in power supply. If you can acquire one of these cheaply, most carriers allow a second phone on your account for a minimal extra charge. Simply forward calls from your handheld to the bag phone while you’re in.

Finally, one more option: if you have a landline (regular phone phone)in the house, just forward your calls! The cost is usually modest, even if your local telco charges for call forwarding. You may also be able to get it bundled with one or more features you already have, getting the forwarding for relatively little.

2 Responses

  1. Passive repeaters are a waste of money.

    You need an amplifier, and there are many issues in selecting one. I suggest that if you are not an engineer familiar with RF applications that you call a reputable company such as Wilson and ask to talk with their application engineer before buying a system.

  2. Most ‘bag’ phones are analog not digital and most cell companies have either already phased out analog all together or it’s on it’s last legs. I used to work for Alltel (they primarily support(ed) rural areas) and they phased it out long ago.

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