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Boosting mobile signal indoors. Top 3 boosting technologies reviewed.

19 Sep 2017
header wifi calling

There are 3 choices for boosting mobile signal in your home, or large office, factory, shop or hotel…

  1. Mobile signal Boosters
  2. FemtoCells
  3. WIFI calling

My name is Ferd. I am an electronic design engineer working for Stelladoradus. I design boosters and understand in detail how these technologies work.

1) Mobile signal boosters

Mobile signal boosters are very simple. They receive the mobile signal outside your building  and “transfer” it  inside your building.

See the diagram below: (the signal booster is in red)

apature1

 

A: Signal inside house is poor (1 bar) , especially when the person is far from the window.

B: By installing a signal booster (red), the signal on your phone is restored to 5 bars.

Signal boosters amplify ALL mobile operators. This may seem obvious but this is actually a huge benefit. All the other boosting solutions I will mention in this article amplify only 1 operator.

The second most important benefit is that they are much cheaper than other boosting technologies for what they do. (ie boost all operators and networks)

Signal boosters can even distribute mobile signal throughout large buildings, see below:

City_people_425px

Lineamps_city_425px

 

2)FemptoCells

fempto

For small shops and buildings, a Femtocell might work for you. A Femtocell is a small, low-power cellular base station, typically designed for use in a home or small business.  It connects to the service provider’s network via broadband (such as DSL or cable). Yes, you do need broadband for these systems to work.

Current designs typically support four to eight simultaneously active mobile phones in a residential setting depending on version number and Femtocell hardware, and eight to 16 mobile phones in enterprise setting.

Femtocells are operator specific. This means that they only work for one operator and will not boost the signal for all operators. This is often a deal breaker for enterprise solutions.

Secondly, Femtocells do not scale  well for large buildings. They are better suited to smaller environments.

Pros:

Cheap, works well for small environments like homes.

Cons:

You neeed existing broadband. Only boosts one operator. Does not boost GSM. Does not scale will for larger buildings.

3)WIFI calling

wifi calling

Wi-Fi Calling lets you make calls anywhere you have Wi-Fi, even when there’s no mobile signal. Just use your phone as normal.

All calls you make with it will come out of your plan’s minutes allowance as usual.

To take advantage of Wi-Fi Calling:

  • your mobile operator must offer this service.
  • you need a  compatible device:
    • iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus or iPhone SE
    • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016 and 2017), A5 (2016 and 2017), S6, S6 edge, S7, S7 edge, S8, S8+, Note8 or XCover 4
  • good WIFI already in your home(at least 5MBps up and down)
  • Your phone must be logged into the WIFI router.

Pro’s

  • Cheap solution.
  • No install required(if you already have WIFI)

Cons:

  • Not suitable for enterprise(many customers) as each customers phone needs to log into router with username and password
  • Requires existing Wifi signal to be high quality.
  • Only works for some mobile operators and you need the latest smartphone.
  • Only works for one operator. You would need to set it up for all operators assuming they all offer this service.

 

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