Weak cellphone signals a common problem, even for owners of the best smartphones on the market. An enclosed area, such as an office building or a car interior, often creates a dead zone that blocks out the signal from cellphone network providers. To fix this issue, you need a cellphone signal amplifier.
There are two types of cellphone signal amplifiers: signal repeaters and femtocells. A signal repeater works by using a large antenna to pick up the cellular network’s signal. Once the signal is detected, it is boosted and rebroadcast at a higher strength. Signal repeaters work with any type of cellphone, but their use is not regulated by the FCC. For a signal repeater to work, the antenna must be aligned correctly with the network provider’s signal. Signal repeaters work well when mounted against a building, but they do not boost your cellphone reception when you are driving your car.
Femtocells are more reliable than standard signal repeaters. They use a combination of a GPS and a signal booster to improve your cellphone reception. The carrier uses the femtocell’s GPS to track your location and works to ensure that your call is handed from cell tower to cell tower as you travel. However, not all networks support femtocell signal amplifiers.
If you have the option of using a femtocell-based signal amplifier with your cellphone network provider, choose that technology. If you regularly take passengers in your vehicle, consider choosing a cellphone signal amplifier that boosts signals for multiple users. An amplifier that has a separate receiver and antenna typically offers the best performance, but single-box amplifiers are easier to install.