Help me pick out a cell phone repeater?
September 8, 2008 1:42 PM   Subscribe

What do I need to do to get better cell phone coverage in my basement? Everything works fine upstairs but not so much in the basement. I have an antenna already mounted to the roof, I assume all I need is a repeater? If so what kind? The network is AT&T, but I do not need 3G speeds, only the ability to make calls / SMS.

I'm willing to spend money as a client's bill is footing this project, so I am looking for something as off the shelf as possible. I get fine coverage upstairs (say, 3 bars if that is any indication), but in the basement coverage is spotty at best, sometimes calls work, most of the time they don't.

I assume I need a repeater of some sort, but when I look up online there's all sorts at various prices with poorly designed web sites. What do I need? What is a good brand to go with? Do these even work?

Why are all these from sites designed in Frontpage? Does Cisco or a reputable networking company make a product that does this? Certainly offices must face this kind of problem?
posted by geoff. to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Something like this might work for you?
posted by disillusioned at 1:49 PM on September 8, 2008

Expensive but hey, it's not your money, right?
posted by katrielalex at 1:51 PM on September 8, 2008

At my workplace the cellphone provider actually installed equipment for us to provide better service to people on our lower floor, I dont see a option for AT&T Doing that but I did run across this product zBoost.

Cnet gave it a good review here.
posted by gog at 1:55 PM on September 8, 2008

Response by poster: I need 1990MHZ? The ThinkGeek one is listed as $250 and the Clear Voice is listed at $329, what is the difference? Coverage area?
posted by geoff. at 2:01 PM on September 8, 2008

Response by poster: I went ahead and ordered the dual band ZBoost repeater from BeachCamera for only $299. I'll let you know how it works out.
posted by geoff. at 2:32 PM on September 8, 2008

I have a similar situation, and use AT&T. I;ve tried both the ZBoost and the Clear Voice - neither did much at all, other than waste my time.

I'm about ready to try Panasonic's link-to-cell system. A much cheaper experiment (both in dollars and install time). I don't think you'll be able to use SMS much, but it could make your calls much easier.
posted by terpia at 2:50 PM on September 8, 2008

I purchased a zBoost system as well about a year ago, and it seems to help marginally (I'm on T-mobile which uses GSM). That being said getting one or two bars (instead of none) means that I get okay reception where I had none before, but it also means that it will drop calls sporadically meaning that I cannot count on it for important business phone calls.

Fingers crossed that my employer will soon issue an AT&T-service phone, which has better coverage in this area, although I'm still not sure until I get it how well it will work in the basement.

Time to move to a bigger house, where my home office is on the first floor!
posted by scooterdog at 5:57 PM on September 8, 2008

Response by poster: I got the ThinkGeek model, have yet to have time to install it.
posted by geoff. at 9:05 AM on October 6, 2008

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