What is a Cellular Repeater?
Cellphone technology has seen tremendous growth over the years. So, you can understand my shock when I set up my office in a building only to barely get cell phone reception. I scoured the internet for a solution, and cell phone repeaters came highly recommended for unsent text, dropped calls and slow 4G LTE data speeds. But what is a cellular repeater, really?
A cell phone repeater improves the cell signal in outdoor and indoor settings. As its name suggests, it amplifies the signal by repeating tower signals indoors and turns a dead zone laden with dropped calls into a full-bar zone. Most cell phone repeaters are designed to operate in confined spaces like vehicles and buildings.
Let’s look at how it works, and where you should install your cellular signal amplifier for the best results.
How Does a Cellular Repeater Work?
Cell phone signal boosters work like cell phone towers to broadcast cell phone signals. However, a cell phone repeater cannot manufacture signals. Instead, it repeats them from an outdoor signal. Regular cell phone repeaters have three components including:
- External donor antenna
- Signal amplifier
- Coverage unit
The external donor antenna receives signals from the closest signal tower and passes them to the signal amplifiers. These amplifiers boost the signal and transmit it to the internal coverage unit. Your cellphone then picks up signals from the repeater system instead of the weak signal outside.
These three components have many different arrangements depending on cellular signal booster power and desired results. In addition, powerful cell phone repeater systems can have many signal amplifiers and coverage units depending on the building’s number of users or square footage.
Where Can You Install a Cellular Repeater?
You can install a cell phone repeater anywhere there’s a decent donor signal. While your building or office might have poor cell signals inside, the roof or the side of the building is likely to receive strong cell phone signals.
Some places you can install and use a cell phone signal booster include a building with a glass windows, concrete, brick and heavy-duty construction materials like metal walls. Also, buildings or homes blocked from nearby cell towers by a mountain, hill, or a large obstacle can benefit from installing a cell phone repeater.
Moreover, you can install directional antennas like the SureCall Fusion2go 3.0 on vehicles to provide you with fast data and voice service.
Are Cellular Repeaters Compatible with All Carriers?
Many cell phone repeaters on the market today are available in either single carrier or multi-carrier. They are designed to amplify frequencies from carriers including Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. Therefore, it’s crucial to know your carriers’ frequency and network (3G, 4G, 5G LTE signal) you intend to use the cell phone repeater if you just want specific bands amplified.
For 3G networks, carriers often use 800 MHz Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) and 1900 MHz Personal Communication Services (PCS). Most cellular boosters amplify 3G and 4G signals from different carriers. However, only a handful of cell phone repeaters support newer technologies. Also, since different carriers operate 4G and 5G LTE signals on different frequencies, you’ll have to get repeaters specific to your carrier.
Some of the best multi and single-carrier cell phone repeaters include:
- Cel-Fi Quatra Series – this is a single or multi-carrier signal booster for your business or office. It’s permitted by the FCC and can boost 5G signals covering up to 50,000 sq ft.
- Cel-Fi Go X smart signal booster – is a powerful AT&T signal booster that boosts power up to 100dB. Moreover, it uses an app for remote monitoring and increases coverage up to up to 20,000 sq ft indoors. You get the option of a panel antenna or a Yagi directional antenna and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
- Uniden U70 – This is a great multi-carrier option that covers areas up to 20,000 sq ft. This solution also has the option of a panel or Yagi directional antenna.
What is the Difference Between a Cell Phone Booster and a Repeater?
They generally achieve the same goal, and the names are often used interchangeably. But if you were to nit-pick, a cell phone signal booster is created with hardwire applications in mind, while cellphone repeaters are created to offer wireless coverage in an area.
Also, a cell phone signal booster is often used in Machine-to-Machine applications, while a cellphone repeater is often infused in Distributed Antenna Systems to offer wireless cellular coverage.
Are Cell Phone Repeaters Safe?
Yes, they are safe. Cell phone boosters, like the Cel-Fi Quatra for example, are created with high-security requirements. The radiation they produce isn’t more than what’s emitted by cell phones, personal computers and TVs. While cellphone radiation can be harmful, using cell phone repeaters helps to reduce their levels.
How? Well, when cellphones encounter weak signals, they struggle to maintain a connection to the network. In a bid to preserve the link, they use more power which translates into more radiation. Using a mobile signal booster negates the need to do this, saves cellphone energy, and reduces harmful radiation.
What is a Cell Signal Booster System?
Cell phone signal booster systems are a connection of three components: the outdoor antenna, an amplifier, and an indoor coverage unit that together collect outside signals, amplify them and rebroadcast them within a building. The three components are connected through either coaxial or ethernet cables and are easy to install.
Are Cellular Repeaters Legal?
Yes, they are. However, there’s a legal process every cell phone booster on the market should go through to be FCC approved and authorized for sale in the US. With that said, below are some key points to note:
- Cell phone signal boosters should be sold as complete signal booster kits
- Cell phone boosters should be registered with the carrier it’ll be used with. This process takes less than 5 minutes.
- Every signal booster kit should adhere to the minimum gain standard so that it doesn’t interfere with the carrier’s network.
How Can ATG Help Me?
If you don’t have the best cell phone signal strength in your warehouse, building or office space and need to boost it, ATG’s here to help. ATG can easily set up a turn-key installation of a cell signal booster system in your building to help amplify any carrier that you desire. We’ll custom tailor a solution for you to get the strongest signal in the system’s coverage area. You’ll also benefit from professional installation from our team of certified professionals.
For more information, you can request a quote from ATG. We boost cellular network coverage at buildings in the Mid-Atlantic region:
- Maryland (MD)
- New Jersey (NJ)
- Pennsylvania (PA)
- Virginia (VA)
- Washington, DC
We can help find the best solution for your company’s needs when it comes to wireless, mobile, and other device technologies.REQUEST A PROPOSAL