How to improve wireless cell coverage at home

Filed under: CARRIERS - Nov 24 2016

Do you have poor wireless cell coverage at home due to wireless carriers having trouble locating their cellular transmission antennas, towers and poles in residential neighborhoods? Resident complaints that cell towers will decrease property values or become eyesores within the landscape have persuaded elected officials to deny the permits needed to construct new cell sites.

Fortunately there are a few solutions that will improve wireless cell coverage within the home or other small-to-medium size buildings where coverage is weak. All four major U.S. wireless carriers now offer Wi-Fi Calling, which is available on many of the latest smartphones. Alternatively, the carriers also offer a small device that connects to your home broadband internet connection technically called a “femtocell” – which improves the wireless signal to cell phones located nearby. Each carrier has their own branded femtocell – links for the individual carrier’s femtocell offerings follow:

Wi-Fi Calling can be a better alternative – it uses the existing wi-fi connection in your home to connect your phone to the wireless cellular network through your home broadband internet connection. When connected, calls and text messages will typically be as clear and reliable as your wi-fi connection. Check with your carrier and/or smartphone manufacturer for instructions on how to setup Wi-Fi Calling.

The advantage of Wi-Fi Calling vs. getting a femtocell is that if you have a compatible smartphone and a Wi-Fi router, there is no extra cost to setup Wi-Fi Calling. A femtocell can cost up to a few hundred dollars, however carriers will sometimes discount or fully subsidize the cost for the device for their more profitable customers.

 

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