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Thinking of getting a signal booster? Wait right there..

Thinking of getting a signal booster? Wait right there..

You young kids might call it “bantz” now, but I was having a “discussion” on Twitter with a few people about the in-building penetration provided by networks operating on 900MHz. The likes of O2 and Vodafone both seem to get through the walls of my home but, using the exact same transmitter location on a different frequency, EE suffers a bit. I know there’s lots of variables at play here, including transmitter power etc, but doing a bit of research before buying a phone is always helpful.

Take the coverage maps for example. I found that my weekend without a signal was the result in the sometimes-fictional network coverage maps. So, if you’re going to buy lots of phones for your business, it’s probably best to start off with a Pay As You Go SIM card in a phone to see if the signal actually reaches inside your office.

If it doesn’t, or it does and the magical 4G / 3G power drops down to GPRS, you could be considering a different network. However, many networks will fix this problem with something like Sure Signal (Vodafone), EE Signal Box, the O2 Boostbox or the Three Home Signal device. All of these solutions are called femtocells and use your broadband connection to reach their network. The box will then output a local GSM signal for you to use.

Thinking of getting a signal booster? Wait right there..

There’s other solutions which you can utilise without any additional kit, with many networks offering apps to let you call over WiFi. Three have their inTouch system, O2 have TU Go, EE have their WiFi calling and some MVNO’s are now doing the same, such as Virgin with their SmartCall app.

It’s important to try and make a distinction, but unfortunately there’s an element of confusion about all this. I’ve spoken to Paul Ockenden from PC Pro, who wrote this rather excellent piece a couple of years back about this very situation. Currently the Ofcom site states quite bluntly..

Don’t be tempted to try and boost your signal with a mobile repeater – because if you do, poor reception could be the least of your problems. The unlicensed use of mobile repeaters is illegal in the UK. People using them can face a fine of up to £5,000 and up to a year in prison.

Who wants a year in jail? Not me. It can make the whole process of boosting your signal a little “tricky”, so remember the following…

1Femtocells are described in this other Ofcom link and are also detailed as being “smart repeaters”. Although they sound similar to the “boosters” or “repeaters” you may have seen online, they are not.

Ofcom attempt to clarify by defining a “femtocell” or “smart repeater” as ..

Small base station transmitters that may be installed by a user and connect to the host mobile operator network via a fixed broadband connection. So-called “Smart Repeaters” are controlled by the mobile network via its transmission spectrum without a fixed physical connection. Some mobile network operators are beginning to offer services using these devices which offer improved in-building coverage and data rates.

Thinking of getting a signal booster? Wait right there..

2 – The “signal boosters” you’ll find online (after a quick Google search) are usually grabbing the local signal from “the air” and then re-broadcasting it. This isn’t allowed and, although they may or may not be broadcasting it at the same power / frequency as a femtocell / smart repeater, they’re illegal because they …

a) Are not supplied by the networks. “Only the mobile network operators are licensed to use equipment that transmits in the cellular frequency bands.”
b) It’s probably not allowed to be used in the UK. “All radio apparatus placed on the market or put into service in the UK must meet the requirements of the Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Equipment Regulations 2000″.
c) Although it’s probably safe, how do you know? The licences given out to UK mobile networks are very strict and have controls on transmitter output power and location. If you’re throwing up a transmitter yourself which you purchased from one of these retailers, how do you really know it’s safe?

If you’ve got something in your home or office that wasn’t supplied by the networks and simply sucks the signal from a local (proper) transmitter and re-broadcasts it, it’s probably not legal. If you’ve got something with a network logo on and it’s plugged into your broadband, that’s legal.

However, to further complicate things, the Nextivity signal booster we reviewed is legal.

It’s OK for Vodafone to plug gaps with big Sure Signal kit and it’s cool for EE to create their own micro network but you can’t “extend” a mobile network without a licence or without using the officially sanctioned kit from a licence holder.

Thinking of getting a signal booster? Wait right there.. Thinking of getting a signal booster? Wait right there..

What of those signal boosting stores here in the UK? Well, sadly they’re usually not in the UK – no matter what address (usually a mail drop) or phone number appears on their website. They sometimes say they’re legal in the UK, and they even sell antennas plus boosters that’ll cover 5000 sq metres, but they’re simply not legal. I’m sure there’s a few of these dotted around the UK, and I’m sure that people will continue to purchase them.
Thinking of getting a signal booster? Wait right there..
Legality is one thing, but as we’ve seen before with pirate radio broadcasting, although it’s illegal to turn on a powerful FM transmitter, you can still buy them easily and they’re a whole different kettle of fish to the tiny FM transmitters in your car.

The post Thinking of getting a signal booster? Wait right there.. is original content from Coolsmartphone.

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  • Wilson Electronics releases three 4G multi-band signal boosters, no soup for Sprint

    DNP Wilson Electronics releases three 4G multiband signal boosters, none for Sprint

    Even if you live in an area with 4G coverage, you might not get the best service inside certain buildings, and that's where companies like Wilson Electronics come in -- just take a peek at its Sleek 4G-V, for example. At MobileCon 2012, the antenna maker added three more to its lineup. They are the Tri-band 4G-V, the Tri-band 4G-A, and the Tri-band 4G-C, and are meant for Verizon's 4G LTE, AT&T's 4G LTE, and T-Mobile's "faux-G" network -- the latter of which is also recommended for use throughout Canada. The antennas are designed to boost the signal of older legacy networks too, so no worries if you don't live in an area blessed with 4G. No pricing and availability just yet, and we don't see any sign of a Sprint antenna either. To get more details, catch the full PR after the break.

    Continue reading Wilson Electronics releases three 4G multi-band signal boosters, no soup for Sprint

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    Wilson Electronics releases three 4G multi-band signal boosters, no soup for Sprint originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 10 Oct 2012 08:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    AT&T reveals new multi-beam antenna tech for live events, could offer data speeds five times faster (video)

    AT&T reveals new multibeam antenna tech for live events, promises five times the speed

    AT&T's improving its coverage at live events by establishing a new (impressive sounding) setup -- the five-beam multi-beam antenna. It works by dividing its customers' signals into five narrow parts, illustrated above by the color bands, upping the bandwidth by splitting traffic to each segment, enabling up to five times the data traffic. Ma Bell even used similar technology to craft a "super" multi-beam antenna, which expands the same idea into two rows of nine, possibly offering up to 18 times the speed of a typical single-tower arrangement. AT&T adds that this setup also reduces dropped calls and failed uploads, and is apparently already being put to use at live concerts and games. Not quite wrapping your head around it? Check the video after the break.

    Continue reading AT&T reveals new multi-beam antenna tech for live events, could offer data speeds five times faster (video)

    AT&T reveals new multi-beam antenna tech for live events, could offer data speeds five times faster (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 25 Jul 2012 11:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

    Permalink   |  sourceAT&T (YouTube)  | Email this | Comments

    Wilson Electronics’ Sleek 4G-V Verizon flavored signal booster reports for service

    Wilson Electronics' Sleek 4GV Verizon flavored signal booster reports for service

    If you're often finding that your super-duper 4G service is more LT-Eh?, than LTE, then you might have been curious about Wilson Electronics' Sleek 4G-V cellphone signal booster. If you were, it's time to stop waving your hand in the air looking for bars, and stick it in your pocket in search of some sheets, as it's now available in stores. Of course, it's Verizon customers who'll benefit the most, with the Sleek 4G-V being designed with the big red's 700MHz service in mind. That said good old 2- and 3G services are still given a leg up. The MSRP remains $129 for the standard "in-vehicle" model, with an optional accessory kit for indoor use (no price at this time). If this message kept dropping out, head over to the window past the break for the PR.

    Continue reading Wilson Electronics' Sleek 4G-V Verizon flavored signal booster reports for service

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    Wilson Electronics' Sleek 4G-V Verizon flavored signal booster reports for service originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 11 Jul 2012 07:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Terahertz bandwidth: the key to 1,000x faster smartphones, laptops and pipe dreams

    Much like carbon nanotubes and quantum computing, terahertz technologies have been promising miracles for nearly as long as humans have been able to distinguish water from fire. We exaggerate, but barely. A crafty team assembled at the University of Pittsburgh seems to have no qualms with moving forward, however, recently announcing a new physical basis for terahertz bandwidth. Those involved managed to have success in generating a frequency comb -- "dividing a single color of light into a series of evenly spaced spectral lines for a variety of uses -- that spans a more than 100 terahertz bandwidth by exciting a coherent collective of atomic motions in a semiconductor silicon crystal." For those who managed to make it through the technobabble, we're told that the ability to modulate light with such a bandwidth could "increase the amount of information carried by more than 1,000 times when compared to the volume carried with today's technologies." Smartphones, computers and even airline check-in kiosks that operate 1,000 faster than they do today? Sure, we'll take that. But, how about give us a ring when Wally World deems it ripe for commercialization? We'll be waiting -- pinky promise.

    Terahertz bandwidth: the key to 1,000x faster smartphones, laptops and pipe dreams originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 21:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Three zBoost signal amplifiers to be unveiled at CES: SOHO Xtreme for home, zForce for car and 4G-V for Verizon LTE

    If you live in or commute through so-called "dead zones" for mobile service, then let us introduce you to the latest swath of signal boosters from Wi-Ex, each which are set to be unveiled at CES 2012. The first two -- compatible with the 800MHz and 1900MHz frequency bands -- include the zBoost zForce, an in-car amplification rig that'll retail for $99 (or $149 with the gooseneck adapter), and the zBoost SOHO Xtreme, which covers up to 5500 square feet and will set you back $549. Both products are ready for immediate availability. Finally, set for release in Q2 2012 is the zBoost 4G-V, which is designed specifically for Verizon's LTE network -- although, its price has yet to be announced. If you need a little boost in your life, be sure to check the gallery below and full PR after the break.

    Continue reading Three zBoost signal amplifiers to be unveiled at CES: SOHO Xtreme for home, zForce for car and 4G-V for Verizon LTE

    Three zBoost signal amplifiers to be unveiled at CES: SOHO Xtreme for home, zForce for car and 4G-V for Verizon LTE originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 06 Jan 2012 04:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Wilson Electronics unveils Sleek 4G-V LTE signal booster for Verizon

    Wilson Electronics on Tuesday unveiled the Sleek 4G-V, the world’s first LTE signal booster. It will work with Verizon’s 700MHz 4G LTE network as well as 2G and 3G networks on 1800/1900MHz frequency bands. Like similar booster models, the Sleek 4G-V can be strapped to the roof of a car to help boost LTE signal in low-coverage areas, and Wilson Electronics says the antenna is 20 times more powerful than any LTE handset. ”Verizon Wireless customers who use LTE-enabled phones and data devices can now enjoy the same benefits of Wilson boosters that others on 3G networks have long enjoyed,” Wilson’s director of business development Laine Matthews said. Wilson expects the Sleek 4G-V to be available during the second quarter of next year for $149.95. The company’s press release follows below.

    Wilson Electronics Introduces the World’s First 4G Mobile Signal Booster at 2012 International CES

    New Sleek 4G-V boosts voice and data communications on 2G and 3G Networks, as well as Verizon Wireless™ LTE

    LAS VEGAS – Jan. 9, 2012 – Wilson Electronics (www.WilsonElectronics.com), manufacturer of North America’s top-selling line of cellular signal boosters, announced at 2012 International CES the world’s first 4G mobile signal booster, the Sleek® 4G-V.

    In areas with Verizon Wireless™ LTE service the Sleek 4G-V will ensure a strong LTE signal as well as conventional 3G or 2G signals. Benefits include fewer dropped connections and no-service “dead zones,” faster data transfer rates and improved battery life for wireless devices.

    The Sleek 4G-V is on display at the Wilson Electronics booth #35219 in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, level 2, through Jan. 13.

    The device, with an MSRP of $149.95, boosts all LTE, 3G and 2G cellular signals on 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 1900 MHz frequency bands. Designed for use in a vehicle, the Sleek 4G-V can also be used indoors with the purchase of an optional accessory kit – perfect for boosting signal to 4G wireless hotspots like the Verizon JetPack.™

    “Verizon Wireless customers who use LTE-enabled phones and data devices can now enjoy the same benefits of Wilson boosters that others on 3G networks have long enjoyed,” said Laine Matthews, Wilson’s director of business development. “For those troubled by a weak signal, the Sleek 4G-V provides a strong, reliable connection so they can connect with confidence.”

    In areas not served by Verizon Wireless LTE, the Sleek 4G-V will amplify any existing signal on 800 MHz and 1900 MHz bands. This allows the user to enjoy a strong, reliable cellular signal even when no 4G service is available.

    The Sleek 4G-V delivers more than 20 times the power of a typical cell phone, but weighs only three ounces (85 grams) and measures just 2.5 by 4.5 by 2.5 inches (6.4 x 11.4 6.4 cm). Simple, do-it-yourself installation is done in a matter of minutes.

    The Sleek 4G-V will be available in the second quarter of 2012 from most Wilson resellers. It is designed for ideal use with a Bluetooth headset or other hands-free device. Additionally, like all Wilson signal boosters, the Sleek 4G-V features very sophisticated cell tower protection technologies developed over more than a decade of research and development.

    Wilson Electronics introduces the world’s first LTE signal booster ahead of CES

    Love Verizon's LTE but just can't seem to get bars of service in your office or home? Wilson Electronics has announced the Sleek4G-V, which the company claims is the world's first 4G mobile signal booster. We haven't found any contenders to the claim, but either way the signal enhancer is bound and determined to beef up your high-speed data. In addition to providing Verizon-specific LTE, Wilson promises 2G / 3G connectivity for all major US carriers (iDEN capabilities excluded) just in case you need to actually, y'know, make calls on your phone. While it's designed primarily for outdoor use, an optional accessory kit can be purchased to make it work indoors quite soundly. Listed for $150, the Sleek4G-V should make its way to retailers by the second quarter of this year. Check out the press release for all the details.

    Continue reading Wilson Electronics introduces the world's first LTE signal booster ahead of CES

    Wilson Electronics introduces the world's first LTE signal booster ahead of CES originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 03 Jan 2012 03:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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