19
Mar
09

Curing Poor Cell Phone Coverage

“My cell phone coverage stinks!” is a common cry from Montclarions.  When you drive around the village, it’s a hit-or-miss proposition.  Carrier signals vary from one neighbor to the next, in a seemingly random fashion.

“The Hills are probably the worst area to service from a cell phone provider’s standpoint,” explained Soren Jensen, who lives in the Village. “The geography combined with the need for line of sight and limited range requires you to be able to ‘see’ a cell tower in order to get reliable service.”

Ancient Phone Switch

Before you give up and simply rely on old wire lines, consider these tricks while at home.  Props to Paul Lindner, who shared some ways to fix your limited or non-existent cell phone reception:

  • Try a cell phone repeater: Amplify the signal with a device like zBoost.  This might work if you get some reception on your roof already, but not indoors.
  • Use a special cell phone: Buy a special, unlicensed mobile access (UMA) cell phone, and then rely on your WiFi/Internet service to make calls.
  • Look into a femtocell: Ask your carrier (i.e. Sprint or Verizon) for this device, so you can make Internet calls from any cell phone model.

It seems like you have nothing to lose by trying out some of these in-home solutions.  If you can freely use your cell at home, then lucky you!

P.S.  Thanks to everyone complaining about their cell phone carriers and coverage tonight, on the Montclair SIC message board…such inspiration.

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1 Response to “Curing Poor Cell Phone Coverage”


  1. 1 A nonny Mouse
    March 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    With their, “T-Mobile@Home” service, T-Mobile has a UMA WiFi service that requires no special arrangements with the carrier. You’re required to sign a 2 year contract and are fairly limited by the phones you can use; basically either a blackberry or very low-end disposable. But they’ll give you a wireless router that is fairly easy to set up and configure.

    In Shepard Canyon at least, ATT has boosted their signal recently from “totally unacceptable” to “horrid” (from sometimes one bar to sometimes three bars.)

    Also while the iPhone can’t do UMA, with apps like Truphone it can do VoIP (Voice over IP, like skype.) This is a bit more limited than UMA, but if you don’t like the UMA built-in phones, you have that option.


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