Mobile blackspots are still a common problem throughout the UK. However, the situation is slowly improving, but we are still a long way off from the universal coverage that mobile operators are striving for.
A lot of tech has been released in the past few years which can be used to combat poor signal. Some of the solutions are more ideal than others. Below, we take a look at the ways that you can boost mobile phone signal legally.
A mobile signal repeater
There are 2 types of repeaters been sold in the UK. Repeaters made in China, and StellaDoradus repeaters, designed and manufactured in Ireland. Read this article to see all the main differences between the two.
We recently did an in depth post about the downsides of using femtocells to increase mobile signal. Femtocells are fine if you are in a building with very few mobile users who all use the same network. They rely on a solid broadband connection, connected via ethernet, in order to connect to the mobile operator through the internet, rather than through a broadcasting tower.
Femtocells were very popular a few years ago, but they have many problems. They’re very restrictive because they are locked to a particular network and only a low number of users can use them at a time.
Femptocells limit the number of calls to between 10 and 30 users at a time….not suitable for large offices and public buildings.
WiFi calling is essentially the same as a femtocell, except your mobile device can connect to the network through the internet via WiFi, rather than relying on a femtocell.
This is a much more elegant solution than femtocells ever were. Mobile operators have made this possible by releasing their own proprietary apps that users can download onto their devices. The app then communicates with the network operator over the internet.
What is great about WiFi calling is that it is not restrictive – as long as you are connected to a WiFi connection, you should be able to text and call. However, WiFi calling is still prone to technical issues. It completely relies on the amount of available internet bandwidth, as well as the quality of the router. If you have poor quality internet at home, or a very slow internet connection at the office, you will struggle to get a good, solid connection to your network provider. In fact, call quality will be directly affected by the amount of available internet bandwidth – if there are lots of people downloading files and watching videos on the same connection, this could cause your calls to become patchy.
Furthermore, the current generation of WiFi calling apps released by mobile networks have appeared to be buggy and less intuitive than what was expected. Batteries can be drained very quickly when WiFi calling is used, due to the device connecting to WiFi and 3G/4G networks simultaneously. Also, because this a new technology, mobile apps have been extremely buggy. Saying that, on paper, there is no denying that it is a great idea – it is the execution that is lacking at the moment.
From a consumer standard, WiFi calling appears to be a gimmick – another example of how mobile operators are failing to invest in their own network infrastructure. Network operators will still charge for texts and calls delivered via WiFi, despite the fact no data is actually delivered using the mobile network.
This is fantastic news for network operators; they still profit from customers calling and texting, yet no extra load is placed upon their network. It’s a win win situation. With this in mind, it is hard not to see these developments as another example of network operators trying to offset customers over to WiFi networks, rather than improving their own 3G and 4G networks.
Move higher up or close to a window
This trick has been known about for many years, and it still works. Mobile signal will usually be the stronger the higher up you are. It will also be stronger at the point where it propagates into a room, i.e by an outside window.