Did you know there’s such a thing as a cell phone booster?
June 24, 2016 — by KEN PERKINS
You have a smart phone that in theory keeps you connected to friends, family, work and entertainment anywhere you go. But occasionally for a variety of reasons, you can find yourself in a situation without cell phone coverage.
As in no signal. Can’t call. Can’t text. Can’t stream video or music. Can’t. Do. Anything! On your phone. Yeah, we’ve all been there. It’s one of the frustrations of modern life.
But nobody needs to put up with that. You can have strong, reliable cell phone signal at home or in your vehicle or even at work. While the concept might seem a little strange to you, the tech behind boosted cell signal is actually pretty straightforward.
It involves amplifying a radio frequency (RF) signal, very similar to what happens when you listen to FM radio in your car. Only a cell phone signal booster amplifies the RF bands that carry cell traffic – both voice and data.
Do these cell phone signal boosters actually work?
That question dates from years ago when there were scams that claimed to enhance cell phone reception but didn’t really do anything except take people’s money.
The short answer is “Yes, nowadays cell signal boosters actually work.” They can boost the cell signal strength inside your home, workplace or vehicle by 32 times or more.
You don’t need to take our word for it. There are lots of third party tests and video reviews of cell boosters out there. If you want, you can watch some of them by clicking on the links below.
Before they can be sold in the U.S. or Canada, all cell signal boosters must be tested by an independent lab and then certified by the respective government agency. In the U.S. that agency is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In Canada the certifying body is Industry Canada (IC).
These government certifications are assurance for consumers that (a) cell signal boosters have been tested and proven to work as manufacturers claim, and (b) that boosters don’t cause harmful interference on the cellular network.
How Do Cell Phone Boosters Work
The tower antenna (1) communicates with the tower. The booster unit (2) amplifies the signal. The device antenna (3) communicates with cellular devices inside the building. Without the booster system, the RF signal may be blocked by construction materials so it doesn’t reach the building interior. Cell signal boosters also work inside vehicles.
Cell phone signals are carried by RF waves, in the same way as terrestrial radio signals. Let’s go back to our car radio example mentioned above. Those FM signals are collected by an antenna, amplified and re-transmitted inside the vehicle so you can enjoy music, sporting events or talk show programming.
Cell phones operate on different frequencies than FM does. But a cell signal booster uses very similar technology to collect, amplify and re-transmit signals inside your vehicle, home or other interior space allowing you to enjoy on your cellular device the voice and data traffic that the signals carry.
Your cell phone, at least the communications function, is essentially a two-way radio operating behind a very modern user interface. A cellular signal booster works like this:
detecting and collecting very faint signals (much fainter than your phone can detect)
helping those faint signal bypass various obstructions
amplifying the faint signals to a usable level
broadcasting the amplified signals to an interior space so they can be used by your phone or other cellular device
A cell signal booster system comprises just three basic components, and coax cables to connect those components.
1) First is the outside (or tower-side) antenna. This antenna communicates with the cell tower. Signals from the tower are passed along coax cable to the second component . . .
2) . . . the booster unit. This unit amplifies the signal and passes it along another length of coax cable to . . .
3) . . . the inside (or device-side) antenna which distributes the amplified signal to the interior space where cellular devices can use it.
In addition, a cell phone booster helps transmit signals from your smart phone or other cellular device back to the cell tower, completing the communication loop. That’s why a booster lets us enjoy calls and YouTube videos on our phones even in places where the cell signal is normally pretty weak.
We humans have known how to transmit, receive and amplify RF signals for more than a century now. When you think about it, signal boosters are pretty much just the evolution of communications technology.
So now you know – if you need enhanced cell coverage you can get a cell phone booster for your home, vehicle or office, and enjoy a strong, reliable signal.