Dropped Calls in 2017? I Don’t Get It!

By Maureen Jenson
Published on: June 16, 2017

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Why are cell phones still dropping calls, in 2017? Whether you’re in an office building, your house or your car (or, for some lucky devils, your yacht), dropped calls are a nuisance and sometimes a disaster. And with texting, streaming and data transmissions, clear reception is a must. I sat down with Joe Wood, National Sales Manager at Wilson Electronics, to find out how the company’s line of signal boosters work and how you go about deciding what’s best for your needs.

Maureen Jenson: Tell our readers about why they might have drop-outs or poor signal strength on their phones in 2017, even if they have 4G coverage and live in a metro area. We’re basically talking about a cell phone transmission tower and an antenna in the phone that picks up the signal, right?

Joe Wood: Dropped calls and slow data are generally caused by three things: distance from a cell tower, building materials in your home or office, or obstruction from tall objects such as trees, topography and buildings. Remember, your phone has a small antenna that has to pick up the radio frequency signals that make up cell phone service, so when you move around in your house or office or in the car, you are relying on that antenna to continually pick up signals that are going to vary in strength. Wilson Electronics started more than 40 years ago producing industrial-strength antennas for cross-country vehicles and first responders. That technology powers both omni-directional and mono-directional antennas to find and amplify signals that other antennas could never find.

MJ: Let’s say I’m having some connection issues and want to cover my house so I don’t drop a call when I walk down to my subterranean garage. Explain in basic terms the technology behind the product.

JW: First of all, here is how the technology basically works. You would install a powerful antenna outside that reaches out to access a voice and 3G, 4G, and LTE data signal, and that signal is delivered to a booster. The booster sits inside your house. It receives the signal, amplifies it, re-broadcasts it via an interior antenna, and serves as a relay between your phone and nearest cell tower. Your devices get increased cell reception and calls and data are fed through the booster back to the network.

MJ: How would I figure out what type of antenna or product will work for me?

JW: Wilson builds many types of systems that fit many different applications. Probably, the most important thing to consider is the amount of coverage area you wish to enhance. We have products that cover small areas, up to large commercial spaces. Our boosters work with all carriers and amplify 3G, 4G and LTE signals so, when installing a Wilson system you don’t have to worry about which carrier you subscribe to or having to re-install a different system if you change providers.

Our systems are sold as kits and include everything you would need to install a fully functional system. Any of our Wilson systems can be expanded to enhance larger coverage areas. This is done one of two ways. First we can simply add additional interior antennas by dividing the signal with splitters or secondly, we would take a “zonal” approach and add multiple systems until we achieve the desired coverage area. Our website has tons of information and explains how the product works and what’s best for any application.

MJ: Thanks, Joe!

Maureen Jenson

Maureen Jenson

Maureen is editor-in-chief for the Technology Insider Group. She has been the editor-in-chief of Audio Video Interiors, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, Home Theater, Technology Integrator, E-Gear and CEDIA’s Electronic Lifestyles Magazines. She is a CEDIA Fellow and IPRO Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.

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