Even people not affected by natural disasters can’t imagine going through a day without their mobile phones. It is no wonder that people rely on these versatile devices for so much. These compact computers provide communication, internet access, and entertainment. But in order to provide all of this, a phone must have a good connection with a tower. If the signal between them is weak or intermittent, the phone cannot do its job.
Nearly everyone has experienced a situation where they want to make an important phone call or check their email, but they can’t because of a bad connection. Some people live or work in an area where their signal is always weak. Chances are that the phone company won’t enhance its signal in a non- emergency situation. However, it is possible to buy personal signal boosters that use technology similar to the ones used during the hurricane.
Most phones today have internal or solid antennas that vary in quality. Phones with better antennas tend to be more expensive, but sometimes even a good antenna will work better with a boost. Low cost boosters are available that clip onto a mobile phone’s home base or car cradle. Make sure that , if the device doesn’t need some outside power source, don’t buy it. A repeater needs power to push the signal out.
The most effective boosters can be put on a house top or small business building that will amplify the signal throughout so that multiple devices can use it at once. Cell phone signals are basically radio waves. Rooftop or outside antennas, called donors, pick up incoming calls and pass them through a cable to an amplifier inside. Besides enhancing reception, these repeaters lower radiation levels from a cell phone, increase data download rates and lengthen battery life.
Signal boosters are available that specialize in enhancing 2G, 3G, or 4G signals. Others are specific to one type of device such an iPhone or Blackberry. Every cell phone provider has been assigned a band of radio waves measured in megahertz (MHz) in which they may broadcast. Each of those radio frequencies takes a different amount of power to amplify so some repeaters specialize in amplifying the signals of a certain provider..
Still other signal boosters are made for the place where they will be used. For example, some are made for a marine environment. As with most products, a consumer can buy cheap models made from foil that barely work at all or top-of-the-line brands that turn a dead zone into a hot spot but cost hundreds of dollars. It all boils down to how much a clear phone call means to you.