Tired of waving your cell phone around trying to establish a strong signal? Do your calls seem to cut in and out at the worst moments? Maybe your doctor has warned you against watching Netflix on your mobile because the unreliable internet spikes your blood pressure. All of these are symptoms of your device receiving a weak signal, which are usually caused by thick obstructions such as a garage, terrain, or even long distances between cell towers and your phone.
While a good cell phone signal booster will be the best solution for your 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE data signal issues, let’s first explore several alternative options which may sometimes help maintain connectivity.
How to Improve a Weak Cell Signal
Change your Environment
Because weak cell signals are often caused by obstructions near your device, the simplest way to stay connected is to change your environment. This can include leaving the building, moving to a higher location, shutting off competing signals in the area, finding a nearby window, or turning into Superman and leveling all nearby buildings. Clearly, none of these options are very realistic, especially in the long term or at scale.
We hear this one a lot from people who are fed up with their unreliable signal and are naturally looking for a scapegoat. The problem with making the jump to another carrier is that all carriers use the same cell tower technology and compete for the same high-density population centers. If AT&T hasn’t bothered to put up a tower close to your rural location, chances are, Verizon is guilty of the same thing.
However, improbable is worlds better than impossible, so if you are serious about this option, here’s a guide to finding your nearest cell tower where you can compare proximity across carriers.
Subscribe to a Femtocell
Chances are, you’ve never heard of femtocells and for good reason–they’re a little redundant. You can think of a femtocell as a midget cell tower. Both take signals from a landline and broadcast it for nearby devices. However, where cellular base stations often have a range of 25-50 miles, most femtocells can only manage about a 10 meter range. Furthermore, this option only works in a home that has access to wired broadband, is specific to one carrier, and makes you ask yourself if the extra fees associated with femtocells are worth the incredible security risks.
Subscribe to a Satellite Phone
While a satellite phone would allow you to make reliable calls, it’s a very narrow and expensive solution that won’t let you do anything else. Not only does a quality satellite phone start at over $1,000, but with the additional fees running at up to $2/min of phone time, calling for just an hour everyday will rack up a monthly bill of almost $4,000. Good luck explaining that bill to the family.
Cell Phone Signal Booster
Here at SureCall, we live and breathe signal boosters for a living, so it should come as no surprise that we are sanguine about this solution. But take a second look, and you’ll notice that there’s much more to it than that. Signal Boosters are systems which collect a weak signal, boost it, and broadcast that boosted signal inside a home, office, or vehicle. There are no monthly fees, major security risks, or other inconveniences with signal boosters because they are designed to solve your cell signal problems, no more and no less.
How Does a Cell Phone Signal Booster Work?
Signal boosters are systems which boost the incoming and outgoing cellular signal strength. Signal boosters chiefly solve two weak signal strength issues: those caused by long distances from cell towers, or those which are caused by obstructions such as building walls, or even a mix of both. This means that anyone who experiences at least 1-bar of connectivity on their phones just outside of their home, office, or vehicle can expect to benefit from a signal booster, as a signal booster cannot boost a zero-bar or non-existent signal.
For a broad overview of how a signal booster system works, see the graphic below:
Economics of a Cell Phone Signal Booster
With all of the features that go into a top notch signal booster, it is high wonder that some of SureCall’s award-winning boosters are starting for as low as $200. Compared with similar products such as the $1,000 satellite phone with monthly rates up to and above $4,000 or even $500 radar detectors which only need to worry about detecting radio frequencies instead of detecting and boosting bi-directionally across multiple bands, signal boosters are financially a smart decision as well.
Take a simple example of a family of 4 who is subscribed to Verizon’s Unlimited Beyond plan at $250/month after taxes and fees, which adds up to about $3,000 for an entire year. Let’s say the family lives in a remote area with weak signals and picks up the popular Fusion4Home at its current $250 price-point to maintain reliable cell signals. Even in an extreme situation where the booster only provides a marginal 50% performance boost to the total Verizon data being utilized and we ignore the intrinsic benefits of having full text, voice, and data connectivity where the family otherwise wouldn’t, the booster would have paid for itself after only a few months of service.
As if the math alone weren’t convincing enough, SureCall boosters are built with only high-quality heat-resistant materials and come backed with a 60-day no questions asked money back, 3 year warranty, and lifetime US-based tech support, ensuring absolute peace of mind at no risk to users. Check out the infographic below for more details on why SureCall boosters are the best in their class.
How Well Do Cell Phone Signal Boosters Work?
Now that we’re familiar with how signal boosters work, let’s take a closer look at how they are used. The examples below are sourced from real situations where people solved their cell signal issues with one of SureCall’s signal booster solutions.
Signal Booster in Small Rural Home
Our first example tells the story of Jack and Brenda Whitehead, who had been living in a rural eight-acre Texas property for almost a decade without cell service inside their 1,600 sq ft home. This was due to their uniquely challenging environment where the nearest cell tower location was far away and the combination of having trees and metal walls further hampered an already weak incoming signal. Unfortunately, this was a problem for the family because Jack operates an 18-wheeler and receives all of his business orders by text/call, which was impossible inside the home.
That’s when the family decided to pick up the Fusion4Home kitted with the Omni and Whip antennas. Despite being skeptical at first, the Whiteheads were pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of entry-level booster, which not only improved but gave them nearly flawless signal throughout their home.
With the home no longer being a cellular “dead zone”, Jack can now pick up work orders seamlessly from the comfort of his home while the family and even guests enjoy the benefits of strong cellular signal thanks to the fact that SureCall boosters operate on all North American carriers.
“After 7-years of no service, we still catch ourselves running to the porch when a call comes in and then remember we don’t need to because we have the SureCall Fusion4Home.”
Signal Booster in Large Suburban Home
Our second example examines a family living in their dream 18,000 sq ft home located in Carmel, Indiana. Having designed and built this home themselves, the family moved in only to realize that their original non-SureCall signal booster wasn’t living up to expectations. Over the next four years, the family had become so disillusioned with the possibility of having any sort of operational signal strength inside their home, that they had resorted to bunching their patio furniture around the only area where they still received some sort of signal–not exactly what they had envisioned when they set about planning their dream home years ago.
However, their contractor referred them to SureCall, and we designed a deployment centered around the Fusion5X 2.0 booster (meant for small offices/large homes) in combination with 5 indoor panels for maximum coverage throughout the home. This took their signal strength from less than 1-bar on their phones to a 3-bar average, a significant difference in connectivity.
Signal Booster in Small Business
Some of our boosters for home models can also serve smaller businesses just as well. Just ask Ridge to Reef Farm, an agricultural leader in the U.S. Virgin Islands who suffered a major setback to their business after the Category 5 Hurricane Maria tore through the area and knocked out communications in 2017. Forced to drive across the island just to make business calls, the manager decided to give SureCall a chance by picking up the popular Fusion4Home.
As a result, the Ridge to Reef Farm community now receives the full 5-bar signal strength inside their buildings, giving their business a boost as well as encouraging their tourism to blossom with guests being able to upload media to FB and Instagram while on-site.
Signal Booster in Large Business
On the larger end of the corporate spectrum is the story of a 300,000 sq ft Kaiser Permanente Hospital in San Jose, California. Being in the business of saving lives everyday, Kaiser had a serious connectivity issue in their fortified building, which was doing a good job of preventing people inside the building from talking to each other as well as the outside world. Kaiser’s telecom contractor, RSRF, designed a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) revolving around SureCall’s Force5 industrial booster in combination with an array of inside antennas to provide full coverage throughout each floor and room of the hospital. Despite the tricky requirements of deploying a booster system in an active hospital, Kaiser was so pleased with the results, they brought SureCall in a second time to extend their coverage into the basement.
Signal Boosters in the Police Department
We first take a look at Charles’ story. Charles is a California State Police Officer of almost a decade who would experience communication issues in certain areas of his rural town. Needless to say, this can be a big problem when your line of work puts you in high-impact situations day in and day out. Charles picked up a Fusion2Go 3.0 booster, our most popular model for vehicles, and when we followed up with him a few months later, his reaction was:
“It [Fusion2Go 3.0] gives me way better cell service and I’m more connected on the job now than I have been in the seven years I’ve been on the force here.”
Signal Booster for the On-the-Go Professional
Charles’ story is very exciting and here at SureCall, we’re glad to see Police, Hospitals, and other cornerstones of society relying on our boosters for their reliability and performance. Our final example, however, peers at stormchaser extraordinaire Brandon Clement and his wild passion.
Brandon has been chasing storms for more than 20 years. He is often first on the scene of mother nature’s fury so that he can better share her frightening majesty with the rest of us sitting at home. In addition to being dangerous, this line of work also comes with rigid cellular connectivity necessities since Brandon needs a way of reliably sharing his footage with the world while on-the-go.
What’s more, the nature of the storm brings with it its own challenges. Hurricanes knock down cell towers, tornadoes tend to only happen in rural fringe areas away from cell towers, and the snow deposited by blizzards can often interrupt signals as well.
Despite these obstacles, or perhaps because of them, Brandon picked up the Fusion2Go 3.0 and has since never looked back. He says about his experience:
“I’ve tested other cell phone boosters and SureCall’s are the best. Being able to call emergency services can sometimes mean life-or-death and I only trust SureCall in those situations.”-Brandon Clement