Wherefore art thou, iPhone reception?
August 9, 2009 1:37 PM   Subscribe

I have an iPhone and AT&T and no reception at my house. What are my options?

Last year I moved to a nice property in a valley. Unfortunately, I only get spotty reception on my land, and nothing in the house. The addition of the Griffin Clearboost has at least allowed me to get notifications that I have voicemail, but I still can't use the damned thing as an actual phone. My wife gets fantastic coverage with her Verizon phone, of course.

A friend of mine is insisting that all I have to do is hassle the company to have a cell tower added to my area. I am fairly convinced that I lack the constitutional requisites to do this. Is there any sort of booster or repeater available that doesn't cost $500? Have any Mefites had any success with getting AT&T to accede to their demands, or found any better options?

I'm not looking to change carriers, get a Blackberry, or any of that. I just want my damned iphone to work.....
posted by nevercalm to Technology (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
if you have wifi, you can get skype for iphone
posted by camdan at 1:44 PM on August 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


AT&T are testing a home repeater that is scheduled for release by the end of the year. You are still looking at about $300 for that, IIRC. Otherwise I think you are stuck with getting an after market repeater, which as you stated will probably be $300-500.

I feel your pain. Recent AT&T upgrades in my area have allowed me to switch back. I was happy. I missed my iPhone.
posted by Silvertree at 1:52 PM on August 9, 2009


This happened to me when I first got my iPhone. I called AT&T and they told me something about futzing with the tower and I totally blew them off and assumed they were just trying to get me off the phone. Then my service improved a little, but not much. I thought I'd give it one more shot so I called them back and they fed me the same line about the tower. But here's the weird thing,

WHATEVER THEY DID FREAKING WORKED.

And they had a guy call me a week later and ask if my reception had improved. It was shockingly awesome. So I'd give AT&T a few tries before you give up and buy a booster.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 2:41 PM on August 9, 2009


AT&T has some sort of femtocell thing on the way I think. It basically plugs into your ethernet network and uses your home internet connection for backhaul, and spits out wonderful 3G.
posted by floam at 3:31 PM on August 9, 2009


AT&T are testing a home repeater

I'm pretty positive that it's not a repeater.
posted by floam at 3:33 PM on August 9, 2009


You can also try one of these - got a good review from c-net.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:47 PM on August 9, 2009


Yes, it is a femtocell. I didn't think the terminology was that important in addressing the question, and I was in hurry.
posted by Silvertree at 5:25 PM on August 9, 2009


Previous comment wasn't snark. There is a big difference between repeater and femtocell.
posted by Silvertree at 5:43 PM on August 9, 2009


No home reception is grounds for breaking your contract. You might want to consider a different carrier, and phone as the iphone is AT&T only. Complaining about reception and getting the complaint put in their big "places were we dont get signal" database is all you can do.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:12 PM on August 9, 2009


Got the standard reminder to check in a month later...I picked up a 3GS, and now have good reception, as long as I leave the phone near a window...I'm pretty sure that's as good as it's gonna get, which is ok. Thanks all!
posted by nevercalm at 6:56 AM on September 11, 2009


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