Cingular give you more bars? Not at my desk!
August 16, 2006 4:12 PM   Subscribe

Cell phone signal! Arggg. How can I improve my coverage at my desk?

I work in a
small real estate office
, next to a swim school, complete with a pool and all the pipes to fill it. It's a single story building, we are in the middle, not an end. Cingular or Tmobile has full bars on the phone at the windows, but near our desks one bar, dropped calls, sometimes no signal at all...

I bought a
Digital Antenna Model # 4KPR-15R dual band 50 dB gain wireless cellular
, where you put some antenna box suction-cupped to the windows, then 15 feet away a transmitter that is supposed to boost that same signal. Based on the description, if you have good signal at the window you should be good to go.

Well, it gave me full bars at my desk, but dropped calls worse than ever! I'm returning it...

Forwarding calls to the hard line is not a solution for me as many non-realtor calls come in on that phone and I can't expect the receptionist to answer all those calls.

One idea that will cost more is getting a WIFI phone from Vonage, then fowarding to that but I'd rather not have to do that.

Other details, tried my RAZR, Samsung C20x and Treo 650, all with Cingular and T Mobile. Changing carriers isn't an option I want either. Another person at the office has Sprint and coverage is a little better, but I want it to be great, where I could walk around the whole office looking in files, checking someone's schedule, sitting at my desk....

There must be another solution someone here has for me!

posted by thilmony to Technology (5 answers total)
Is your phone blue tooth compatible? If so, maybe you can leave the phone where it has good reception & wear a bluetooth headset while you walk around the office looking in files, etc...
posted by tastybrains at 5:28 PM on August 16, 2006

cell phone booster
posted by caddis at 5:31 PM on August 16, 2006

It's hard to be sure from reading the page you linked to, but it looks as if it was repeating the forward link but not the reverse link. Which is to say that it was making it easier for your phone to hear the cell, but doing nothing about making the cell hear the phone.

An antenna (at a window) connected to your phone by a wire (which actually plugs into your phone) is probably the best answer. It shouldn't need to be powered. If that doesn't work, probably nothing short of a microcell will -- and the phone company isn't going to install a microcell unless you and your coworkers make a lot of calls, since they cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Different cell companies have different cell buildouts and different loading patterns. If you have a friend with a Verizon phone or a Sprint phone, invite them into your office (during working hours) and see if their phones work. But keep in mind that for Verizon and Sprint the "bars" display on the phone tells you next to nothing. It's possible to have a perfectly stable call with zero bars, or to drop a call with 4 bars. The only real way to check if Sprint or Verizon phones work is to actually make calls from that spot, during the period you're concerned with. (In other words, the fact that they work at 9PM doesn't prove they'd work at 10AM.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:39 PM on August 16, 2006

I'm wrong; it was bidirectional.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:18 PM on August 16, 2006

Response by poster: thanks everyone
posted by thilmony at 1:55 PM on August 17, 2006

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