Quick Summary of Boost Cell Signal At Work (10 More Questions Answered)
- How Do I Choose An Installation or Building Integration Company To Fix The Cell Signal In My Building?
- Can’t I Just Install The Booster System At Work Myself?
- How Many Sq Ft Does A Booster System Designed For The Workplace Cover?
- Can I Cover More Area In My Building By Installing Two Booster Systems?
- If A Building Has A Cell Signal Booster, Will Calls Inside Drop Sometimes?
- Can I Set Access Restrictions On The Cell Booster System At Work?
- Do I Need to Have Multiple Booster Systems Installed For Each Carrier?
- Can Workplace Booster Systems Use Existing Fiber Cables And Ethernet?
- How Do I Know For Sure If My Building Is Compatible With A Booster System?
- How Do I Know Which Cell Booster System To Choose For My Building?
1. How Do I Choose An Installation Or Building Integration Company To Fix The Cell Signal In My Building?
There are lots of booster system installation companies out there. And as you would expect, they aren’t all created equally. Some are big corporations that handle huge commercial installations that involve hundreds of thousands – even millions – of square feet. Others are small outfits that give you a box of components with instructions to do it yourself. And everything in between.
How do you know which one to go with for your building? Here’s some info to help you boost cell signal at work:
How Experienced Are They?
There’s definite risk involved in choosing a company that’s only been around for 2 or fewer years. For commercial installations the one you pick should have a positive, and somewhat lengthy, track record of installing cell signal booster systems in commercial buildings.
Are They Interested In Understanding Your Problem?
Call and talk to a representative. Ask them questions about their process, system design, technology, customer service, etc. Do they give confident, professional examples? Or does it seem like they don’t really know what they’re talking about? Also, are they asking you questions? If not, this isn’t a good sign. They should be asking about your building and presenting solutions.
Do They Perform The Installation Themselves?
What we mean by this is that some companies out there hand-off commercial installation duties to a third party. They do this because they’re mainly in the business of selling parts, not designing systems. Primarily the company you choose should have system design expertise within their organization. These companies take responsibility for the success of their product AND service.
Do They Provide Longterm Support?
Make sure the company you choose offers post-installation support. You need to be able to discuss repairs, upgrades, warranty issues, and questions 5+ years down the line. A company like this will keep a detailed record of your installation.
Have They Received The Proper Training?
Ask if the installer you’re talking to has received training from the manufacturer before starting the installation. For example, SureCall’s tech support or sales team can offer a list of installers and/or integrators who have received training, and which level of training they have received. This training gives the installation company the resources and know-how to properly conduct a pre-install site survey, and diagnose and resolve challenges throughout the installation.
2. Can’t I Just Install The Booster System At Work Myself?
In some situations, yes. But in most situations, we recommend having it professionally installed. For example, if the system being installed only requires 1-4 inside antennas, you might be able to do it yourself. Anything larger than that should be installed by a professional. Especially if it’s a multi-floor installation or otherwise complex situation. There’s just too many variables involved.
Remember that the proper equipment, the right design, and correct installation all need to come together for your booster system to function properly. Correct installation is just as important as buying the right equipment. If you’re not sure what to do, it’s best to not take the chance and instead have someone do it for you.
3. How Many Sq Ft Does A Booster System Designed For The Workplace Cover?
The online description of a particular booster, as well as its product packaging, will indicate the approximate square footage it covers. But these numbers are not 100% accurate in every circumstance. That’s because, truthfully, the coverage of a particular booster is calculated mathematically and depends on things like booster gain, signal strength outside the building, how many splitters and coax cables were used in the installation, the presence of concrete walls, and other things.
A capable installation company will be able to calculate your exact signal strength since they will design and install the system. If they can’t, or can only give you a rough estimate after performing a site survey, that’s not a good sign, and we’d recommend choosing a different company to boost cell signal at work.
4. Can I Cover More Area In My Building By Installing Two Booster Systems?
Sometimes, yes. A long, single-story, rectangular building would benefit from two amplifiers. One on both ends of the structure. Two systems with shorter runs of coax cable are going to experience less signal loss than a single system with long runs of cable.
Also, there are some very oddly-shaped buildings out there. If you consider your building to be strange in such a way that you suspect it might require a custom-designed signal booster system, consult an expert before going forward with anything.
5. If A Building Has A Cell Signal Booster, Will Calls Inside Drop Sometimes?
In general, the answer is no as long as the booster system that’s been installed in your building is carrier agnostic. This means that it doesn’t matter what network a person uses. All carrier frequencies are boosted. But if the booster system is not carrier agnostic, some people (depending on their carrier) will sometimes drop calls, as the system may not work for them.
Additionally, external factors like a large stadium or event nearby may sometimes pull the cell tower signal away and cause the signal to fluctuate. Additionally, work on the tower or complications can affect the service, but both of these examples tend to be very short-lived and rare in nature.
6. Can I Set Access Restrictions On The Cell Booster System At Work?
Most likely no. These types of settings are usually not available with cell phone signal boosters. Because they operate in the same way as a cell tower, it’s too difficult to discriminate user access.
But in reality, this shouldn’t be a problem for 99% of buildings. The walls of your building, even drywall, do a great job of containing the boosted signal inside. It’s very hard for the boosted signal to penetrate your building’s outer walls.
7. Do I Need to Have Multiple Booster Systems Installed For Each Carrier?
This is why we recommend a carrier agnostic booster, or a signal booster that boosts all signals for each cell carrier, simultaneously. This is the most cost effective solution, and works off of the phones in building and their signals to provide specific boosts.
8. Can Workplace Booster Systems Use Existing Fiber Cables And Ethernet?
Typically, DAS or carrier specific booster systems will work with fiber cables. However, they are typically much more expensive at $4-5 per square foot, significantly more than those using coax cables, which are typically $1-2 per square foot, or even less.
For Ethernet cables, probably not. Most commercially-designed signal booster systems that use Ethernet cable aren’t as adaptable in that way. They require a dedicated cable run from antenna to booster. And if you have multiple antennas, which you most likely will in a commercial installation, each one must have a direct connection from the booster. Ethernet cables cannot be run through routers and switches, at least as far as cell signal boosters are concerned.
9. How Do I Know For Sure If My Building Is Compatible With A Booster System?
As long as you hire an experienced, qualified company to design and install your signal booster system, it’ll work. It’s not the building that causes problems. Incorrectly designed and incorrectly installed systems create the problems. Your building is certainly compatible with a cell phone signal booster system, but make sure they offer to perform a site survey first to build your recommendation.
10. How Do I Know Which Cell Booster System To Choose For My Building?
The best course of action is to talk with a professional who has received certification or training from a booster company. Then, explain your signal issue, details about your building, etc, and let them recommend how to boost cell signal at work. Before having that conversation, you’ll do well to gather some preliminary information about the following things:
Outside Signal Strength
The stronger the signal directly outside your building, the better. If it’s strong, your booster system will only amplify it even more inside your building. Also, the stronger the outside signal is, the more square footage your signal booster system will cover.
System User Load
This refers to how many devices on average will be utilizing the signal booster system at any given time. The number of users influences the equipment necessary as well as how it’s designed, and poorly designed signal boosters have limitations on how many users can effectively use their equipment.
How many square feet are we talking? 5,000? 50,000? 500,000? The more space that needs a signal, the more powerful the system needs to be. This is why an initial site survey is crucial to maximize your coverage throughout the space.
Building Materials And Structure
What is your building made of? Mostly drywall? Or is it thick steel? Every wall, no matter its makeup, acts as a barrier to the signal. How dense they also needs to be considered. Materials and structure will also influence the number of necessary inside antennas and where they should be placed.
What goals do you have for the cell phone signal booster system to be installed in your building? Know the answers to questions like:
- Is cell reception worse in certain areas of the building?
- Are there some areas where there’s no signal at all?
- Is it important to have a quality signal throughout the entire building?
- Do you need to support a bring-your-own-device system at your office, where most every carrier is represented? Or does everyone who works there use company-issued phones with the same carrier?
- What’s your timeframe? How soon do you need the system installed?
You need to know what kind of funds you have available for this project. What can you afford? Carrier specific solutions can be very effective, are typically recommended for installations over 1 million square feet. But the vast majority of buildings can be covered with less expensive, but still highly effective carrier agnostic solutions. However, if budget is a challenge look to have the signal boosted in the most needed areas first.
Once an expert (referred to as an integrator) has created a system design for your building, they’ll determine what equipment is needed. To do this, the integrator will consider your budget, expectations, building materials, coverage area, system user load, and outside signal strength. All the items previously mentioned. The signal booster system should be customized to your specific issues and building characteristics.
Building size plays a big role in equipment selection, as well. The smaller your building is, the more options you typically have when it comes to equipment. Buildings with square footage less than 100,000 fit this description.
Larger buildings (including multi-story structures) usually need systems with more customization. We’re talking about buildings well over 100,000 sq ft. There are more variables involved that affect what to install and how to install it.