How do Cell Phone Signal Boosters work and
what are the benefits?
- Cell phone signal boosters provide up to a 3 watt
signal boost. Dual Band Signal Boosters only recently became
available when the technology made it possible for the signal to
dynamically boost. Without the proper technology, the booster
will overpower the signal coming from the tower resulting in either
a poor quality signal or damage to the phone and tower. As a
result, we only recommend dual band signal boosters from companies
working with the service providers to produce boosters that will not
over amplify the signal. All signal boosters we carry have
been thoroughly tested with the service providers to ensure they
will provide the maximum boost possible without causing damage.
Signal boosters can either be wired or unwired. Wired cell
phone boosters require a phone with an external antenna port and
external antenna cable or car kit. This type of booster
connection provides the best signal performance gain available when
used with the correct antenna.
Unwired Signal Boosters are an active repeater system. One
antennas is placed in the car/office/home/ or boat, usually as close
to the cell phone handset as possible, with the external antenna
placed outside of the vehicle/home/office/ or boat. Generally
the greater distance between the two antennas the better performance
gain is achieved.
Choosing the right cell phone antenna and/or
cell phone signal booster can make
a substantial difference in your cell phones signal strength. So
what should you consider when purchasing a cell phone antenna or signal
If replacing the antenna on the phone itself, be
sure the new antenna is compatible with the phone frequency. For
instance, while the same model of phone may be offered by Verizon
and AT&T, the antenna on the phone is tuned for different frequencies.
Even though the Verizon one may fit in the AT&T phone (and vice versa),
it will not provide any signal due to its tuning to a different set of
External Cell Phone Antennas and Signal Boosters require a number of
considerations when buying.
How will the external cell phone antenna connect to my phone?
- Many phones have an external antenna port on the back that plugs
into either a car kit with an external antenna connection or can be
used with an external antenna adapter. When these options are
available, any external antenna tuned to the frequencies the phone
uses are an option (limited only by where the antenna will be used
as discussed below).
When the phone does not have an external antenna port, the only
option that really works is a wireless amplified repeater kit.
Over the past few years there have been a number of products
advertised as working on phones without an external antenna port.
Regrettably, none of these products have proven to actually work.
One of the most recent examples was a signal boosting sticker you
attach to the back of the phone. There is no third party
verification this item actually provides any signal benefit at all
and we never experienced a benefit from the product on any phone we
attached one to.
The current trend with cell phone manufacturers is to not add the
external antenna port as they are moving away from car kits due to
Bluetooth technology. As a result, there is not an inexpensive
way on the market at the moment to increase signal strength in these
What service provider will the cell phone
antenna or cell phone signal booster be used with?
- Most service providers use frequencies compatible
with Dual Band/Tri-Mode antennas. The exception is Nextel
which, while compatible with Dual Band/Tri-Mode antennas, is only
using the analog frequency. As a result, analog only antennas
will work with Nextel units. If Nextel upgrades their system
in the future this may not be the case though.
For the same reasons listed above, a good quality cell phone dual
band signal booster is the best choice in all cases but Nextel.
A signal booster designed specifically for the Nextel system is the
best option when the booster will be used with a Nextel phone.
Signal boosters for dual band networks have only recently been
introduced into the market. These new boosters amplify the
signal only when necessary up to a maximum of 3 watts. By
dynamically amplifying the signal, the service providers antennas
are protected from signal overload as is the phone. As a
result, we only carry cell phone signal boosters from companies with
a proven track record of providing units approved by the service
Where will the cell phone antenna or signal
booster be used?
- Some cell phone antennas can be used in
almost any application. Antennas such as the Arc Wireless Freedom Antenna
can be used in a car, home, office, boat, and even on a park bench.
This type of cell phone antenna has the ground plane built in and so
does not require mounting on a metal surface. All home/office
antennas have a built in ground plane so they can be used anywhere
you can mount them.
Vehicle antennas require mounting on or near a
metal surface. These antennas use the metal surface as a
ground plane to bounce the signal. Without the metal surface,
these cell phone antennas will not provide any signal improvement.
Cell phone vehicle antennas come in a variety of mounting options
including glass mount, magnet mount, mirror mount, trunk mount and
Glass mount antennas mount to a window and pass
the signal through. These types of antennas are relatively
easy to install but usually come with the cable and connector
separate so the cable can easily be run under the carpet or inside
the car panels. As a result, terminating the end requires the
correct tools or an installer. These cell phone antennas also
do not work well with a dark aftermarket tint on the window or on
rear windows with defoggers.
Magnet mount antennas attach to the car with a
magnet on the base. These magnets have a protective coating
that keeps the base from scratching the cars surface. Mag
mount antennas are the easiest cell phone antenna to install as you
just put it on your roof or trunk. Because this type of
antenna is so easy to install, it also is easy for others to remove
so caution is advised.
Trunk and Mirror Mount Antennas mount using a
bracket that attaches to the trunk or mirror. Trunk mount
antennas do not have a built in ground plane as they use the trunk
to bounce the signal. Mirror mount antennas generally require
a built in ground plane to bounce the signal.
Permanent mount antennas require a hole to be
drilled in the vehicle and the antenna mounted through the hole.
These types of cell phone antennas generally require the help of a
Marine cell phone antennas have a built in
ground plane as the boats surface will not properly reflect the
Please let us know if you have other questions
regarding antennas or signal boosters. We will be more than happy