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Cell signals inside commercial and residential buildings are often appallingly weak or unreliable. This can be especially frustrating when you can get a clear signal outside the building. Installing a workplace cell phone booster improves the signal, which can be a lifesaver if the Wi-Fi goes down, leaving employees unproductive.
Learn more about how cell phone boosters help resolve cell phone dead zones and dropped calls with these answers to frequently asked questions.
1. Why do cell phone calls drop when you enter buildings?
When you walk into a building, you put large exterior walls between you and the nearest cell towers for your carrier. Even if some of the signals get through, they may drop too low for reliable coverage. If you had low-quality coverage outside the building, then it only degrades more as you travel further inside.
What happens to cell signals inside metal buildings?
Metal buildings can kill your cell phone signal entirely. Even if you get a reliable signal outside, it can stop dead once you step into the building — resulting in dropped calls and interrupted texts. In fact, metal is the most disruptive building material for the radio frequency (RF) signals used by cellular devices.
What happens to cell signals inside buildings with low emissivity windows?
Low-emissivity (low-E) coatings lower heat transfer and block ultraviolet light, reducing energy bills and damage to drapes and furnishings. Unfortunately, low-E coatings also affect the RF signals used by cell phones.
Low‑E glass has a metallic film designed to block electromagnetic (EM) radiation. This minimizes ultraviolet (UV) and heat energy (infrared) passing through the glass without interfering with the longer wavelength of visible light. Because RF signals also fall on the infrared spectrum, low-E glass presents a challenge for cell phone users.
2. How do cell phone boosters work?
WilsonPro workplace cell phone boosters work by enhancing RF signals. Solutions designed for small businesses and enterprise-level applications can dramatically improve cell phone reception inside your building.
WilsonPro boosters consist of the following parts:
- Outside antenna
- Inside antenna
The outside antenna captures the cell signal, which is boosted by the amplifier before being sent to the inside antenna. The inside antenna broadcasts the improved signal in your working space.
When you use a WilsonPro cell phone booster, the external antenna collects signals from cell towers in the area. This signal goes to a booster system located inside. Then, internal antennas broadcast the boosted signal within the building. The process is then reversed to broadcast the signal back out to the carrier’s towers.
How It Works
Cell phone signal power is expressed in decibel-milliwatts (dBm) and ranges from approximately -30 dBm to -110 dBm. The closer the signal is to 0, the stronger the signal. Usable signals start at -85 decibels. With a WilsonPro cell phone booster, you can typically get a signal of -70 dBm or better, depending on the conditions at your site.
When unboosted cell signals travel through the walls of the building, they lose much of their strength — resulting in a bad signal. Cell phone boosters increase the signal within the building, giving your employees and guests greatly improved cellular performance. Choose from a range of commercial cell phone boosters that meet your needs.
3. Why do certain cell phones seem better at making calls inside a building?
There are several factors that impact how your cell phone performs inside a building. While some devices have better service due to the quality of the components, the most important factors don’t have much to do with the phone itself.
Proximity to Cell Tower
If you are close to a cell phone tower for your carrier, then you may get a superior signal for data and voice, depending on network congestion in the area. However, carrier frequency and your location within a building can scuttle your coverage, resulting in lost calls and slow data streaming.
Carrier Frequency (Lower Is Better)
Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and other carriers use different frequencies. Low-frequency waves pass through concrete, wood and other materials better than high-frequency waves. For example, if your provider uses 800 MHz and a coworker’s provider uses 2100 MHz, you may get better reception inside the building.
Location in the Building
Location within a commercial building also impacts cell phone signal reception. If you’ve been relegated to a subterranean floor, work in the middle of the building or sit far from the nearest window, you probably won’t be able to use your phone at work very often. Those sitting on the top floor by a window may get excellent coverage all day.
4. How can I get my carrier to fix cell signal issues within my commercial building?
You might have a hard time getting carriers to invest in coverage for a single building. First, unless you issue company smartphones and go with a single carrier, employees and customers may subscribe to several different carriers. Second, individual carriers spend tons of money on upgrading infrastructure to improve their services. The impetus lies in increasing geographical coverage and improving service overall. So, a single building isn’t high on the to-do list.
That leaves it up to facility managers or building owners to install workplace cell phone boosters so you can get more bars on your mobile cellular devices.
5. What makes the cell signal worse in certain rooms?
Whether you work from home or an office building, reliable cell phone and Wi-Fi coverage are crucial. You may notice that you have a stronger connection in certain rooms. This is annoying, inconvenient and could impact your business by leaving a poor impression on customers.
Where you stand or sit during your workday impacts the strength of your signal. The cell tower location is one factor that influences this phenomenon. If your office has walls made of metal or concrete it can weaken the signal. Alternately, a room by a window facing a cell phone tower on the top floor may get excellent cell phone coverage.
If the coverage is bad inside, but you get excellent coverage at the coffee shop down the road, then this could be an issue with your carrier’s coverage. You might want to check with your carrier about whether infrastructure upgrades are scheduled in your area. If not, it may be time to shop around for a different carrier.
Steel, brick, concrete and wood can kill your cell phone signal. However, you may not know that fiberglass insulation also degrades your signal. Along with blocking out the cold and heat, it blocks cell coverage.
6. How can I test signal strength in each room?
Check your mobile phone signal strength, which is more accurate than the number of bars. Learn more about how to test the signal on your Android or iPhone here.
If you already have a home office set up, then you will want to put your cell phone booster there. If you aren’t sure where you want to work on a regular basis, then you can test the signal strength in several rooms using your cell phone.
Investing in a cell phone booster is almost a must in enterprise-level companies, hospitals, retail centers and anywhere that customers and employees need reliable cellular coverage.
Shop for WilsonPro cell phone boosters that meet your needs here.