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What is a Cell Phone Repeater?  

A cell phone repeater (also known as a cellular repeater, cell phone signal booster, or cellular amplifier) is a device used to improve cellular signal in smaller spaces of less than 75K square feet. It consists of three primary components:  

  • Donor (outdoor) antenna 
  • Bi-directional signal repeater (amplifier) 
  • Rebroadcast (indoor) antenna(s) 

How Does a Cell Phone Repeater Work?  

The donor antenna receives any signal detected outdoors. The signal is then sent via coaxial cable and connectors to the repeater, which amplifies the signal and sends it to the indoor antenna(s) via coax cable. The indoor antenna then retransmits the amplified signal inside the building. These three components, installed to maximize indoor wireless coverage, can be configured in a variety of different ways depending on the power of the amplifier, building layout, and desired results. 

A key advantage of repeater systems is that they are carrier agnostic, so they support any major carrier. This means the system can simultaneously accommodate most mobile phone users, even if they’re on different carriers. 

Why You May Need a Cell Phone Repeater 

A cell phone repeater is designed to improve cellular reception throughout a building or in areas of a building where users are experiencing connectivity problems. It can enhance cellular signal strength by up to 32 times. This delivers better talk, text, and data performance, which enhances all communications and enables the new opportunities only strong connectivity can bring (we’ll discuss some specifics later on). 

Poor cellular reception is a more common problem than you might think. Studies show that 1 in 5 buildings in the US do not have reliable cellular service throughout their locations. Commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and public venues often grapple with a variety of connectivity issues, including: 

Weak signal strength: This is one of the most common problems, often the result of building materials and geographical factors impeding signal penetration. 

Network congestion: In densely populated areas like urban centers or public venues during events, network congestion can overwhelm cellular networks, causing spotty service for users. 

Dead zones: Cellular signals may simply not be available in certain areas within a building or facility—especially in larger structures.  

Interference: Interference from electronic equipment or other wireless devices can disrupt cellular connectivity, especially 5G signals. 

What Causes Poor Cell Reception? 

Poor cellular reception can be the result of several factors:  


A building may simply be too far away from the nearest tower. As a result, the signals inside may be weak or undetectable. 

Physical Obstructions 

A strong cell phone signal requires line of sight, so just about any object can block a cellular signal, decreasing reception. Objects that may block cellular signals include both man-made and natural items, such as: 

  • Building materials: Steel, brick, concrete, wood, fiberglass insulation, and even glass can diminish a cell phone signal. Modern Low-E glass can be particularly problematic. 
  • Terrain: Hills, bluffs, mountains, and ridges may all contribute to poor cellular signals. 
  • Vegetation: Heavily forested areas may hinder cell phone reception. Shrubbery and other dense foliage can also block the required RF signals. 
  • Dust: Heavy dust particles in the air may also reduce the transmission of cellular signals. 
  • Vehicles: Cars, buses, and other means of transportation are made of metal that can block cellular signals, making it difficult to make calls or use cellular data on the go. 


Conditions such as electrical storms, high humidity, heavy cloud cover, wind, and snow can reduce cellular signal transmission.  

High Network Traffic 

In densely populated urban areas, poor signal strength may be caused by the extreme amount of cell phone usage, particularly during peak times. This can result in sluggish data transfer. 

How a Cell Phone Repeater Can Benefit Your Organization 

Installing a cell phone repeater in your building can help to ensure consistent and reliable coverage inside—especially in buildings where outdoor signals may not penetrate effectively. 

Reliable cellular connectivity can do a lot for business as well. Considering that many companies have now implemented BYOD (bring your own device) policies and employees are using their mobile phones for a variety of work functions, improving cell phone reception will likely enhance interoffice communication and customer service, as well as boost employee productivity. 

Here are some of the specific benefits: 
Enhanced data speeds: With reliable on-premises cellular connectivity, users can enjoy faster data speeds and reduced latency. This is essential for applications such as video conferencing, IoT, streaming, and cloud-based services, where a stable and high-speed connection is essential. Manufacturing facilities, for example, need to support real-time monitoring and automation to enable more efficient operations and reduce downtime. 

Greater reliability: On-premises cellular connectivity offers a more reliable connection than WiFi. This is particularly important for businesses that rely on mobile communication for operations and customer service. Retail stores, for example, depend on mobile to enhance in-store experiences. Customers have come to expect seamless mobile payments and a fast, reliable connection for product information and reviews. 
In healthcare, this reliability can literally mean the difference between life and death. Hospitals and clinics rely on constant connectivity for electronic health records, telemedicine, and medical device monitoring. On-premises solutions ensure that critical medical data is always accessible. 

Customization and control: Organizations can tailor an on-premises connectivity solution to meet their specific needs, ensuring coverage and capacity for mission-critical areas and functions. Hotels and resorts, for example, need to ensure high-speed internet access in rooms, public areas, and conference facilities to improve the overall guest experience and satisfaction. Educational institutions need to provide students, faculty, and staff with reliable internet access for online learning, teaching tools, and administrative tasks. 

Security: On-premises cellular networks can offer enhanced security features, making them an attractive option for organizations like financial institutions and healthcare organizations that handle sensitive data. By keeping data traffic within their network, you can reduce the risk of data breaches and may eliminate the need for less secure guest WiFi. 

Scalability: The best on-premises connectivity solutions are scalable. For example, WilsonPro systems feature an open design that allows the flexibility to reuse an existing fiber network, upgrade components, expand coverage, or optimize for additional bands as needs evolve. 

Disaster recovery: If traditional networks go down due to natural disasters or other disruptions or emergencies, an on-premises solution can help maintain critical communication and timely response. 

Take the Next Step to Improve Cellular Connectivity—and Your Business. 

Don’t let poor connectivity hold you back. If your organization is experiencing ongoing cell phone reception issues and unreliable signal, consider implementing a cell phone repeater at your location. WilsonPro, a leader and innovator in cellular connectivity solutions, offers a range of products and services designed to meet the needs of businesses in various industries. To learn more, contact an expert at WilsonPro.  

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