As of May 2017, More than 50% of US households no longer have a wired landline phone. They rely on cellular phones only. Although the percentage is smaller, a significant number of business also have no landlines and use only cell phones. Many technicians, field reps, sales staff, and other personnel in large businesses have only a cell phone for voice communication. Some of these workers exclusively use a cellular connection for personal or business data communications as well. And yet, cell connections are not always reliable.
Despite what you hear from Paul Marcarelli, the “can you hear me now?” guy, there are many, many places where cellular voice is spotty, and cellular data is unavailable. It is not because the Big Four are exaggerating their ability to cover the areas they claim. Rather, when they broadcast a signal, they cannot be responsible for all the things that get between their towers and the receiving devices. Unlike a wire, which can be installed around things and through them, cellular signals are subject to interference or at least degradation from both natural and constructed obstacles.
Cellular obstacles in the natural world include dense tree cover, terrain features like hills, and even weather. While sight lines may improve in winter when trees have shed their leaves, snow particles in the air can really mess with a signal. Natural obstacles are nothing compared to the ones we build to get in the way of cellular broadcasts. Brick, cement, layers of sheetrock, even window energy barriers can stop a signal dead in its tracks.
Cellular signals are measured in decibel-milliwatts, not bars. There is a dBm meter built into every phone. Learn how to find it here. The signal range is -50 dBm to -120 dBm. Minus fifty is a strong signal (5 bars, if you must), and -120 dBm is a dead zone. Anything under -110 dBm will make a connection more or less impossible. A good usable signal is down to -90ish dBm. You can have a decent cell call at -95 dBm, and maybe use data too. Yet, if you have -85 dBm outside you will struggle to get anything deep inside a structure. Even getting in a car, with its sheet metal body, can turn an acceptable outdoor signal into something marginal. The solution is to get that reasonable signal outside, inside of your structure.
In May of 2013 the FCC approved cell phone repeaters to take an outside signal and broadcast it indoors. The FCC rule also allowed boosting that signal on the way. With a correctly positioned antenna outside to capture the best possible signal, a cellular amplifier can create indoor spaces with full voice and data coverage. Since that 2013 rule, cellular amplifiers have become essential tools in many applications and several companies have jumped into the market that Wilson Electronics has pioneered.
While there are more than a few vendors for cellular boosters, Frontier Computer has chosen Wilson Electronics for our preferred distribution partner. We are offering the full line of Wilson cellular amplifiers to our resellers. Wilson Electronics is based in the United States and holds a number of patents in the radio technology space, including one of the best and most reliable methods for oscillation prevention and carrier cell site protection. In plain English, Wilson amplifiers will not interfere with cellular broadcasts, they will only extend and amplify them.
Wilson offers two distinct product lines. The WilsonPro amplifiers are industrial grade solutions from multiple antenna amplifiers for applications as large as 100,000 sq. ft. to small 4G LTE M2M units that can be built into ATMs or Sales Kiosks. One of these, the WilsonPro Signal 4G, has been paired with Pepwave routers frequently by Frontier Partners. Like Peplink and Pepwave, industry leading WilsonPro amplifiers are only available through Certified Technology Integrators with trained, experienced installers.
Using the same technology developed for the WilsonPro line, Wilson offers the weBoost products for homes, small business, and vehicles. All weBoost products are engineered, assembled and tested at the company’s headquarters in St. George, Utah. The weBoost amplifiers come in complete kits with everything needed for a self-install. Although the weBoost products are designed for end-user installation, they are still powerful tools that have application in many commercial setting, such as assuring a steady signal for cellular fail-over in networks or in vehicles for first responders. Many commercial installers will find applications for weBoost amplifiers.
To find a Frontier Partner WilsonPro or weBoost reseller, or to become one, contact Frontier Computer.
As it has since 1976, Frontier Computer can provide IT hardware, enterprise computing support, Peplink SD-WAN routers, SIP communications, and Wilson Cellular Amplifiers.