By Bob Van Buskirk
June 27, 2013
Competition drives business. If we aren’t competitive, we quickly fall behind competitors and will likely become irrelevant. And perhaps no technology impacts our ability to remain competitive more than cellular communication. Consider that there are almost 28 million small and medium sized businesses in the United States, and according to a report conducted by Harris Interactive and Bank of the West, 88 percent of them use cell phones for business. And of that number, CTIA research states that 45 percent of them say cell phones are essential.
Of course, you don’t need statistics to understand how vital cell phones are to business. If you’re like most of us, you live it in your professional and personal life. We all rely on our cellular devices daily, inside the office and out, for both voice and data.
Unfortunately, weak or spotty cell service can occur almost anywhere, especially in office buildings, and a lost or weak signal can result in frustration and missed business opportunities.
It’s widely understood that cell service can be unreliable in rural or outlying areas because of distance from the nearest cell tower, but this is hardly the only cause of a faint signal. Hills and other terrain features, or even trees and vegetation, can also block or weaken signals, leaving many suburban customers with inadequate coverage.
And even in urban areas like New York City or San Francisco that are well covered by cellular networks, construction materials, particularly concrete, steel, and window films used to increase energy efficiency and reduce sun glare, will often block a signal from getting inside where it’s needed.-¨
Cellular signal boosters provide an easy and inexpensive solution for businesses to boost cellular signals and improve connection quality inside offices, cars and homes.
What’s a Cellular Signal Booster?
Cellular boosters take a weak signal - sometimes one that’s even too faint for a cellular device or handset to detect - and amplify it to a strong, reliable signal level.
Boosters also amplify your phone’s outgoing signal as well, giving it added strength to connect to the cell tower. This is often the weak link in the system, which is why you can sometimes see your phone has a bar or two of signal, but you still cannot carry on a conversation without a poor connection or dropped calls.
A typical booster installation for a building includes an outside antenna, a signal booster unit (also known as an amplifier) about the size of a paperback book, an inside antenna or antennas, to retransmit the amplified signal within the building (mounted on or inside a wall or ceiling), and cable to link all the components.
“Much of the demand we see for signal boosters is for commercial buildings that are so well built that the cell signal can’t penetrate inside,” said Robert Galeano, whose southern California company, Cellular Outlet, has done a large number of booster installations. “In most situations, we’re able to quickly and easily install these systems with little or no disruption to the daily workflow and without unsightly equipment.”
Signal boosters are an effective solution for a variety of reasons:
- Boosters work with any cellular-enabled device, including smartphones, tablets, and cellular modems. -¨
- They support multiple voice and data connections simultaneously-¨.
- They are bidirectional, amplifying both the downlink signal (cellular tower to device) and the uplink signal (device to cellular tower). -¨
- Most signal boosters are manufactured to be carrier and device agnostic - in other words, they boost signals for all operating systems and cellular networks-¨.
- Signal boosters strengthen signals in both receive and transmit modes and are capable of increasing data download speeds.
- They extend battery life for cellular devices, since they reduce the continuous searching or “pinging” for a cellular tower signal and they use less power when receiving a boosted signal.-¨
- They allow installers to optimize performance for the particular structure and location where they’re installed by providing easy-to-use controls that adjust the downlink amplification level and the uplink transmission power-¨.
Obviously, we’re not always in our offices. There are cellular boosters also available for in-vehicle use, too, since simply being inside a vehicle can increase signal interference and reduce reception quality. For convenience many in-vehicle boosters are portable and easy to move from vehicle to vehicle so you or your team members can also travel with them.
Today remaining competitive in business is not a choice. It’s vital for businesses and business professionals to maximize relevant communication technology and product solutions. Cellular signal boosters simply and efficiently remove one of the frustrating and unnecessary obstacles that can impact our ability to meet our customers’ needs.
Bob Van Buskirk is president and CEO of Wilson Electronics LLC, the leading maker of cell phone signal boosters and accessories. The St. George, Utah-based company designs and manufactures all its boosters in the United States. Reach him at [email protected].