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Cell phone signal booster?

 
soublondie
(@soublondie)
Advanced Member

Just moved and get horrible cell phone reception (on both AT&T and Sprint) at our new house on STT. Has anyone tried and successfully used a cell phone signal booster? If so, advice on what type of device works best? Thanks in advance!

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Topic starter Posted : May 18, 2011 10:17 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Wilson performs better than Z-Boost but is also more expensive.

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Posted : May 19, 2011 12:06 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

For a booster to work you must be able to pick up some signal. We had the usual problem where you could only get a signal in a certain spot near the corner of the deck. I did some research and settled on a Zboost YX545 (dual band unit). I got mine on ebay but it took a couple of cancelled transactions to find a vendor that would ship here (via usps). If you are patient you can score one for about $250-270. There are more expensive options that may do a better job, but this worked for us. We have both Sprint and AT&T and are on east end, STX.

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Posted : May 19, 2011 12:09 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

I had a similar problem in NJ, but not in STT.

If you have Sprint, as I do, they offer a device that looks like an additional cell in your home. BUT you need a DSL line. So if you connect this to a router you can get PC coverage by the router and phone service by the local device.

The device is free (99C a year) for five years. Then it is $5 a month.

But I GET GREAT CELL COVERAGE.

Billd

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Posted : May 19, 2011 1:17 pm
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

AT&T offers a similar device in areas where they have high voice and particularly data usage from smart phones (NYC & San Fransisco). For it to work AT&T's network must be set up both from a hardware and software standpoint to recognize the micro cells. I have asked AT&T about them.

As everyone well knows the USVI isn't a high priority to AT&T so they don't have any plans to make this feature available here even though it would solve many of the reliability problems we have when one cell tower craps out on the island and there isn't any over lapping coverage.

Perhaps Sprint cares more and they will support the device, but it does take more to make it work than just purchasing a gadget.

Jim

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Posted : May 19, 2011 3:58 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

http://www.cellantenna.com/

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Posted : May 19, 2011 5:06 pm
soublondie
(@soublondie)
Advanced Member

Thanks, guys! My work will pay for it, as of course they want me reachable at all times, so I'll take a look at the Wilson and ZBoost options. Bill, that's interesting - never heard of such a thing. I'm actually getting DSL through Innovative so maybe that would be an option.

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Topic starter Posted : May 25, 2011 4:08 pm
sloop jones
(@sloop_jones)
Advanced Member

ATT has a device as well. Google "femtocell".

On the East End of STJ, and also at Tortola facing locations on STJ, a cell booster works well.
In locations that receive the BVI signal, a DIRECTIONAL ANTENNA is a must option.
Without one, the cell booster pumps up the BVI signal, causing international charges if that is the call route.

Sloop

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Posted : May 26, 2011 9:33 am
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

The procedures to attach the air rave from sprint are pretty simple. You need to connect the device to a DSL line. Then you will see the the lights indicating that the connection is made. Then you call Sprint up and advise them. They go through a process to establish that this DSL link is now active for your contract. This includes making a phone call. The air rave appears as a phone on you sprint bill. That is it. I also have it connected to a dedicated router port.

The range is very limited. They way cellular works it uses small areas of interconnecting RF areas for you cell coverage. When a phone goes through one RF area to another there is a soft hand off at a central switch. So you can drive through from one area to another. The air rave does not hand off. It is an island of RF signal that allows you you use the phone in your home only. Before I put this in my home I had one bar of signal. Now I have 5 bars throughout my home.

Go to the sprint store and ask them more about this device.

I'm sure that other carriers have things like this. It is not made by Sprint buy by a separate company.

Bills

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Posted : May 26, 2011 12:01 pm
Ericw
(@Ericw)
Advanced Member

here is a good looking one for sale
http://moofi.woot.com/moofi/nonviolentprotest

fyi it only works with the ATT 850 MHz band.

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Posted : May 26, 2011 3:21 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Beware of the Wi ex zBoost. Disappointing results if any, in many cases.
These work much better but kinda pricy. http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/building-solutions.aspx

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Posted : May 26, 2011 3:27 pm
shibuya
(@shibuya)
Advanced Member

http://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Extenders-YX545-Dual-Band-Booster/dp/B003VOW5WI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1332212285&sr=8-2

got this one. we go from zero bars in the house to 2-4 now.

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Posted : March 20, 2012 2:58 am
CarlHartmann
(@CarlHartmann)
Advanced Member

The AT&T 'Microcell' works well in New York City, it works through your Internet broadband
-- but AT&T said it would not work here. Always the skeptic, I brought ours down to try it. Unfortunately, they were correct -- it would work -- but it will not "authorize". I asked if they would add the USVI, but after several requests, no answer.

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Posted : March 20, 2012 8:53 pm
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

In the past few days I have started noticing the 4G indicator on my AT&T Iphone at some points on STX. Perhaps if AT&T is rolling out 4G service on STX either the signals will be better and/or the new equipment will support the microcell.

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Posted : March 20, 2012 9:49 pm
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

I had to call AT&T yesterday about an a cell phone issue. I asked then about the Micro Cell and the person on the phone told me that they will now work on STX and they are available either on line or at the company's store at Sunny Isle.

If they in fact work this is probably the best way to get a stronger signal and during AT&T outages if your internet service is still working you could make and return cell phone calls in the vicinity of hour home or where ever you had the micro cell installed.

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Posted : March 23, 2012 2:05 pm
CarlHartmann
(@CarlHartmann)
Advanced Member

I'll check at Sunny Isle in the next few days, but I "chatted" with ATT online about my Microcell account and they said no.

You are now chatting with 'Eric Mitchell'

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eric Mitchell: Thank you for completing the pre chat survey. I will be more than happy to assist you today. It is my priority to resolve this today and respond to any other questions you may have. As a valued customer, I will also review your account to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.
How may I help you today?
You: Hello...I have a 3G Microcell -- can it now be used on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands -- I was told that
Eric Mitchell: I can check.
Can I get your Zip Code?
You: Thank you -- I appreciate that. 00820
Eric Mitchell: Just a moment while I check.
You: Thank you.
Eric Mitchell: Unfortunately the service is not yet available in your area.
You: Thank you for checking !! Have a nice day.

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Posted : March 23, 2012 9:45 pm
captpete
(@captpete)
Advanced Member

The procedures to attach the air rave from sprint are pretty simple. You need to connect the device to a DSL line. Then you will see the the lights indicating that the connection is made. Then you call Sprint up and advise them. They go through a process to establish that this DSL link is now active for your contract. This includes making a phone call. The air rave appears as a phone on you sprint bill. That is it. I also have it connected to a dedicated router port.

The range is very limited. They way cellular works it uses small areas of interconnecting RF areas for you cell coverage. When a phone goes through one RF area to another there is a soft hand off at a central switch. So you can drive through from one area to another. The air rave does not hand off. It is an island of RF signal that allows you you use the phone in your home only. Before I put this in my home I had one bar of signal. Now I have 5 bars throughout my home.

Go to the sprint store and ask them more about this device.

I'm sure that other carriers have things like this. It is not made by Sprint buy by a separate company.

Bills

...

If you call Sprint Service and ask for AirRave service technician...they can boost the signal.
Make sure the GPS antenna is well in sight of the sky...and that the AirRave is at least 6 ft from your router...the more the better.
The further from the router the better the unit will work.
It comes factory set for only a few thousand square feet of non-blocked service.
Concrete and re-bar cause the raidio signal to go astray, so do aluminum window frames...so to speak.
They are all limiting factors.
They can jump-up the usage area upward to 8000ft sq for all signal services, voice and data.
Just a phone call away.
A direct line to Sprint AirRave tech: 866-556-7310

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Posted : March 24, 2012 9:33 pm
stxrocks
(@stx_rocks)
Advanced Member

It sounds like AT&T is planning at least one new cell on the east end of STX. I am assisting a friend of mine with a ground lease proposal for a new tower. The tower owner has told my friend that AT&T will be the anchor tenant. I believe they're trying to provide coverage along those few spots where the road along the coast is shielded by terrain from the East End / Cotton Valley tower. The site will most likely also provide coverage in the Tipperary / The Sight area.

I am guessing that since the tower moratorium has been lifted, we'll start to see additional towers pop up.

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Posted : March 29, 2012 10:42 pm
davidthedrake
(@davidthedrake)
Advanced Member

In the past few days I have started noticing the 4G indicator on my AT&T Iphone at some points on STX. Perhaps if AT&T is rolling out 4G service on STX either the signals will be better and/or the new equipment will support the microcell.

This is just a side effect of the new iOS version. They simply replaced 3G with 4G.

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Posted : March 30, 2012 2:28 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

In the past few days I have started noticing the 4G indicator on my AT&T Iphone at some points on STX. Perhaps if AT&T is rolling out 4G service on STX either the signals will be better and/or the new equipment will support the microcell.

This is just a side effect of the new iOS version. They simply replaced 3G with 4G.

I knew it was all too good to be true. At least I got to fantasize about faster data speeds for a few days. 😎

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Posted : March 30, 2012 4:58 pm
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