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How Do Cellular Radio Commercial Signal Boosters Work?

Feb 18, 2018

Many people would like to know how cellular radio commercial signal boosters work. Fortunately, the principle of operation is very similar to that of radios and TVs, as all these devices use technology that is based on radio waves. A radio or TV antenna receives a signal from a tower. This signal is then amplified by the device and transmitted as sound or images on a screen. All radio waves travel at the speed of light, but the distance they can travel depends on the frequency. Radio waves with higher frequencies can only travel short distances, while a lower frequency signal like those used for AM radio can travel for a very long distance. Cell phone signals can unfortunately only travel a relatively short distance. Providing that there is no interference from the environment or other cell sites, a cell phone tower's signal can typically travel about 30 to 45 miles. This however rarely happens. In urban environments, it is common to install multiple sites within 1/4 mile from each other to allow the networks to handle the heavy load of mobile users in densely populated areas, while the signal will travel only 3 to 5 miles in hilly or mountainous regions.

Commercial Cell Radio Signals are only "Amplified" by Signal Boosters, Never "Created".

Having poor signal is always a huge pain, irrespective of what causes the signal to be weak in the first place. This is the main reason why signal boosters are increasingly being used to help resolve problems caused by insufficient coverage. It is however important to understand that signal boosters can never actually create cellular signal. A signal booster's job is to amplify a weak signal, but there needs to be a commercial cellular radio signal in the first place for it to work. In areas without any signal whatsoever, cellphone boosters won't work because they have nothing to work with.

How Commercial Radio Cellphone Boosters Work.

Commercial Radio Cellphone Boosters essentially work by using the following six steps:

  1. The base station provides a strong mobile radio signal, but can't deliver it to your area.
  2. Outdoor antenna picks up a weak mobile signal from the base station.
  3. The signal goes from outdoor antenna to the booster through the cable.
  4. The booster amplifies the signal and transmits over indoor antenna(e).
  5. Indoor antenna spreads the boosted signal around the building.
  6. Your mobile phone receives a strong signal and starts communicating with it.

How Commercial Cellular Radio Signal Boosters Work

The difference between TV and radio signals and cell phone radio signals using a signal booster is that the booster works in both direction - receiving and sending. Outgoing signals from mobile devices will be picked up by an indoor antenna, amplified by the booster and then sent back to the cellphone tower by an outdoor antenna.

Overall result is improved talking quality on calls, reduced dropped calls, faster texting, and speedier data downloads and uploads. All improvements ultimately translate to extended battery life for mobile devices.

Easy Installation.

Our wideband signal boosters are IC and FCC approved and work with all U.S. & Canadian carriers. They are also manufactured to be compatible with devices from all mobile device manufacturers.

Both our consumer home and vehicle booster ranges are simply installed by end users. Although consumer grade booster installation does not require approval from carriers, registration with your specific cell phone carrier is needed. The consumer kits we offer include all the components you need to get started in typical scenarios. Some customers may however need additional indoor antennae, cables, or other components for their specific installation. If this is the case, please visit our accessories page to find what you need as separate items. Our industrial and commercial ranges do require approval from network providers and need to be installed by professional integration experts. We are however always here to help you in whichever way you need. We offer professional installation of cellular radio commercial signal boosters. If you have any concerns, or questions, or would like us to help you to pick the right signal booster for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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3 comments

  • Speaking of commercial cell phone boosters, does anyone know whether schools can block cell phone signals? I’ve had students and parents ask me this question.

    H. Daniel Logan on
  • While the answer to the question, “what’s the best cell phone signal booster” probably depends on personal needs, it’s good to know how they work. It was good to read this because I was uncertain whether cell phone boosters would work where there’s no signal—they won’t. However, they’ll really help when you have a weak signal and want to be able to use your phone.

    Frank Shapiro on
  • I’ve been talking to my friends about cell phone boosters because we all have problems with getting good reception and avoiding dropped calls. One question that often comes up is do cell phone boosters work in rural areas? I think it’s a relevant question we’ve all had problems making calls while out in remote areas. I’m glad I came across some cell phone antenna booster reviews while browsing this site as well as explanatory articles like this.

    Gerald Pullman on

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