Nextivity Cel-fi DUO 3G/4G/LTE Cell Phone Signal Booster - for T-Mobile Cellular Service
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- Reduce Dropped Calls and Dead Zones. All you need is 1 bar
- Easy to Install-True Plug and Play, Self-Configuring, No Cabling and Professional installation Not required
- Cel-Fi is the only Cellular Signal Booster Approved for use on the T-Mobile Network
- The Cel-Fi All Digital Booster can Cover up to 13,000 sq. ft., making it ideal for Homes and Offices. All Digital Simultaneous Voice and Data 3G/4G/LTE (Dual Band MHz 1700,1900)
- Cel-Fi has been Approved by the FCC for 100dB Gain-Providing a larger Coverage Area and 1000 Times Greater Gain than current analog boosters
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Each Cel-Fi system can SUPPORT up to 60 Concurrent Users All Digital Simultaneous Voice and Data 3G/4G/LTE (T-Mobile Dual Band MHz 1700,1900) Peace of Mind Guarantee: 30 Day Return policy and 2 Year Product Warranty
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First, here is how this works, it's kind of complicated, but in the end it's a great solution.
There are two parts to the system:
The signal tower transceiver (the larger unit), communicates with the the cellular service towers. You will need to plug it in, and place this unit in an area of your dwelling where it can get good cell service. There are lights right on the front, that are very responsive (shows a result within 1-2 seconds), so you can quickly find a good "sweet spot".
In order for cellular phone manufacturers to make tiny handsets, they have to make compromises on the antennas, this unit is large and can accommodate a larger, higher gain antenna and can thus get better reception than your phone. For example: upstairs, I was lucky to get 2 bars on my phone, this one easily got 4 our of 5, and I found a few good spots where I got 5 out of 5 on the main unit. So generally you will place this as high as possible (2nd story if possible, or on top of a book case, etc.) near a window, or wood wall... frankly any place that works in your home where you get a good signal is fine. Note that it needs to be in a climate controlled area, so in an attic where it can become hot will not work long-term.
The small signal generator: This is the 2nd part. It is plugged in at a different location in your home. The tower box and the signal generator box then communicate with each other via a 5.8GHz radio signal. I'm assuming that it uses some form of WiFi based communication, not sure. The smaller box has a numeric signal strength meter that indicates how well it can communicate with the 'tower box'. This helps you judge if you are too far away. They suggest "8" as being really good, mine generally says "7" where I put it, and I'm getting great results. Generally you want to position the smaller box centrally, in the area where your indoor coverage is worst.
The system is then able to take the cellular tower data that is obtained by the larger box, and send it to the smaller box, where it goes out and services the phones in the home. Downstairs, we average 5/5 bars to 3/5 bars, previously it was 1 bar if you were lucky, and if the phone was in your pocket 0 bars. Previously, it would hardly load a simple web page without about 30 seconds worth of waiting, and I never had the patients to wait for the speed tests to complete. **Now, calls come through consistently, and data is now averaging in the 10Mbit range, which is better than a lot of people's home DSL connections.**
Advantages of this system over other repeaters:
1) All repeaters are more or less just taking the existing signal and repeating/amplifying it. This means that you need to have separation between the antenna that is communicating with the tower, and the antenna that is producing the new signal for your phones. Using this wireless method works remarkably well.
2) Some repeaters are more "dumb" devices, that blindly just amplify what they are hearing, regardless of what it is. This device seems to have a lot more electronic "logic" in place, to prevent feed back, and ensure that it is communicating with, and repeating, what it is supposed to.
3) The higher gain antenna in the larger unit helps to pull in a better signal that your phone can get.
4) You don't have to run any cable outside (or anywhere). There are no antennas to mount, cables, plugs, ladders, etc. to deal with. You simply plug one unit in, and plug the other unit in. Installation is easy easy easy.
5) Since it's using the signal from a real cell tower, it will gracefully hand off the call / data service from your amplifier unit, to the real towers if you go outside, or come indoors from outside.
Advantage of this system over internet based micro cells:
1) The micro cells, will use your internet connection to generate a cellular signal. (similar to VoIP systems, where voice calls go over the internet) The problem is, these tend to have difficulty handing off calls and data to the real cellular towers, so when you come indoors and the phone switches over to your micro cell, your phone call or data service will drop briefly.
2) It uses your internet data for calls/service (though this is very insignificant)
3) If you lose internet at your home, you lose your microcell... and possibly your home cell service if the micro cell isn't smart enough to disconnect from your phone when it loses the internet feed.
Disadvantages of this system:
1) It is keyed to one particular cellular carrier. This means if you get the TMobile unit, then it services TMobile signals ONLY, and will not help an AT&T user. (and vice versa)
2) The main unit is not huge, but large enough that it will not fit on your average window sill. This means that it has to be on a table top, shelf, etc. (The other unit that produces the indoor signal is much more compact)
3) If you lose power, you lose your cell amplification, and placing this on a UPS unit for backup power, requires two UPS units, one for each part of the system.
4) Both units have lights that are on all the time... so if you want to place this on a night stand, the LEDs might disturb some sleepers
5) It is expensive (however talk to your cellular provider, mine sent me one for Free, I just had to pay for the tax and shipping)
This is a really graceful solution for those people that have poor coverage inside their homes, and so far it has worked absolutely great for me.