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Need better cell phone reception? Option #4

Upgrade your antenna. A few cell phone manufacturers make a "Hi-gain" antenna for their handsets, which may be changed in-store or by the user at home. Although these won’t improve signal as much (or at all) as a repeater these antennas are relatively inexpensive and you are not confined to one location.

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Need to get better cell reception? Option number three:

Utilize a Smart Signal Booster. A new category of Smart Signal Booster is emerging. This new category of boosters utilizes super-powerful baseband processors to clean the signal before it is rebroadcasted (hence the "Smart" in the name Smart Signal Booster). Most of the Smart Signal Boosters have gains of 100db (compared to analog booster's gain of 63 to 70db). That's a 1,000 times to 2,500 times difference. Some of these new boosters, while more expensive than traditional analog booster, are completely plug and play: you plug them, and they usually work right away without the need for complex installation of outdoor antennas (usually the donor antenna is inside the booster box). Truly plug and play, they can be used with almost any carrier, require no installation and actually work. Most of the time, Smart Signal Boosters are carrier-specific (ie you need to get the one that works for your carrier), and are under consideration by the FCC's new rules starting in 3/2014.

 
 
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Need to get better cell reception? Option number two:

Try moving outside or to a window to place your call rather than making calls from deep inside buildings.Buildings and other large structures are very unfriendly to cell phone signal. If you are having reception problems on the street, try walking to the nearest intersection, as there you may find better coverage. Cellular band radio waves do not effectively penetrate earth: if you are underground you will likely receive no signal. In addition try downloading a signal map tool for your smartphone. These typically work by pointing the user in the direction of their nearest cell tower and can be extremely effective in locating better coverage.

 
 
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HOW CAN YOU GET A BETTER CELL PHONE SIGNAL?

Over the past 20 years cell phone ownership has increased massively, to the point where over 80% of the world's population has cell phone coverage. The technology needed to provide adequate signal has not kept up with demand, which is why 69% of Americans have experienced dropped calls and poor signal. However, with advances in technology there are ways to improve cell reception.

The newest technologies use "smart" all-digital techniques that can boost the cell phone reception even from poor or weak signals. They work as well for voice (ie fewer dropped calls) and data (higher data transfer).

Keep in mind, poor reception is not something that your service provider will fix just because you want them to. It must be justifiably cost effective for them to put up new towers, which will ultimately be criticized by cities, home owners associations, etc. Most users think there is nothing they can do to improve their cell phone reception by themselves. This isn't always true, and the following will explain what you can do to ensure improved mobile coverage without waiting for a new tower to magically appear.

Over the next couple days we are going to look at some ways to help you get a better signal if your have a tough time getting good service.

STEP #1
Try to keep your battery charged to 2 bars or higher. Your cell phone uses a lot more power when connecting a call than when it is on standby. Often, your battery can be strong enough to attempt a call, but not strong enough to find a signal. If you find you are having signal problems, consider how you might improve your signal.