Questions about cell phone signal boosters
August 12, 2014 11:28 AM   Subscribe

My roommates and I are moving into a basement suite, and we are concerned about the lack of cell phone reception there. I am interested in purchasing a cell phone signal booster, but have a few questions.

- Why are they so expensive ($300-$500)? Are there any good, cheap ones?
- Are signal boosters specific to a cell phone carrier? To GSM or CDMA? To frequency? I use Wind.
- My roommates and I use different carriers. Will this be a problem?

I know absolutely nothing about this, as you can tell. Please explain to me like I'm 5.
posted by tickingclock to Technology (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If you guys can switch to either T-mobile or Republic Wireless, both those carriers can use either cellular or wifi for calls and texts. I live out in the country where there is no cell signal, and I explored the femtocell option (some are specific to carriers, some are not), and decided that switching to a phone/carrier that could just do it over wifi was way simpler. Plus, both those carriers have plans that are way cheaper than average.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:37 AM on August 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Sorry, your profile said NYC but it looks like Wind is a Canadian cell provider? If you're in Canada the only option I know about is one of the cell boosters that is not carrier-specific such as this one. But I am not in Canada, so perhaps there is a provider there who offers wifi calling and text?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:52 AM on August 12, 2014

Response by poster: I'm in NYC right now, but I'm moving to Toronto at the end of the month and my cell phone will be with Wind Mobile in Canada.
posted by tickingclock at 12:10 PM on August 12, 2014

Best answer: On an android, GrooveIP hooks your phone up to wifi. You just need to fiddle with a few settings with your cell provider for forwarding your calls to it when signal is crappy. The app itself takes over cell service when you're connected to your chosen network. We used it in a no cell reception area and it worked great and cost nothing.
posted by merocet at 1:10 PM on August 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Ooh, I'll look into GrooveIP. Thanks!
posted by tickingclock at 10:36 AM on August 13, 2014

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