What is a Network Booster?
A network booster, also called a signal booster or mobile repeater, is a device used to improve cell phone receptions. Weak cell phone signals are common in many areas of South Africa, resulting in poor call clarity, call dropping, missed calls, and slower 3G and 4G capabilities.
Given how important mobile phones are for everyday life, dealing with a low-quality reception is very frustrating, reducing almost every function on the phone. Network boosters address these issues by picking up better signals across long distances and transmitting them back into areas with poor reception quality.
Both businesses and private residences often suffer from poor receptions, which is why many signal boosters are sold in South Africa, helping people overcome the nuisance of never having a cell phone signal when you need it.
How Does a Network Booster Work?
Although it may appear as a complex device a network booster works in a simple yet effective way. Every network booster comes with four components, including an indoor antenna, an outdoor antenna, an amplifier device, and special cables to connect each component.
The outdoor antenna is placed outside where it picks up cell phone reception signals from a much further distance than a phone. When it receives a good signal, it sends it to the amplifier so it can be further improved before being sent to the indoor antenna.
The indoor antenna then broadcasts the improved signal for mobile phones in the vicinity. Poor signals are no longer present, being replaced with powerful signals that return all functionality to the mobile phone.
There are a few differences between certain network booster devices. For instance, there are cell phone booster devices that operate on several frequency bands, meaning they can improve signals for various mobile networks and 3G/4G signals. Others have massive coverage areas to help broadcast the improved reception across larger areas.
Where Do Network Boosters Work?
There are no limitations for placing a network signal booster beyond locations with absolutely zero signal receptions - and these are quite rare and only in the most remote locations in South Africa.
That means even areas with the weakest possible cell phone receptions can use a network signal booster. The devices can be placed almost anywhere too, meaning a cell phone signal booster can be used in a house, a place of work, or even in a vehicle.
Different signal boosters are designed to accommodate different requirements, so it’s easy enough to find a device for your needs.
For example, if you are self-employed and have a home office with a poor mobile phone reception, it can be a massive inconvenience. You need the phone to make calls to clients and the like, but a lack of reception makes it impossible.
Say you have a Vodacom mobile phone in this situation. To improve the signal for your mobile, you can invest in a Vodacom signal booster designed to specifically improve the signals for Vodacom phones.
This cell phone signal provides you with maximum reception bars for your phone, making it possible to make and receive calls, improving overall call quality and clarity, while letting you use your 4G when needed.
Advantages of Using Network Boosters
Network boosters are versatile pieces of hardware offering many advantages, the most obvious being that your cell phone reception is now hugely improved. You don’t miss any calls due to there being no signal on your mobile, as you’ll always have full reception bars providing you are within the network booster coverage area.
The calls you make and receive are also much improved. There is no crackling or breaking up, and the call will never drop (from your end at least), ensuring you get the maximum use from your mobile as intended.
Better still, a repeater also improves 3G and 4G functions. Poor mobile signals greatly impair or outright blocks 3G and 4G, meaning you can’t use your mobile data to for apps, streaming, downloading, or anything else.
Given the fact you’re paying for mobile data allowances you should be able to use them, but that isn’t always a guarantee with a poor cell phone reception. A cell phone network booster addresses these problems, letting you use your data whenever you want.
Understanding Different Types of Network Boosters
Several types of network signal boosters are available, any of which could be the right type for your needs. There are many types to cover the different frequency bands that South African network providers operate on.
For instance, Vodacom uses 4 different frequency bands to broadcast their signals, so if you are with this network then you need a Vodacom signal booster that operates on these frequency bands.
In fact, a Vodacom signal booster is often compatible with different networks too, as some operate on the same frequency band - MTN signal boosters and Cell C signal boosters operate on the same frequency band so are compatible with each other.
There are single band signal boosters that operate on just one band for a single network, dual band signal boosters that are compatible with several networks, and tri band signal boosters that operate on several networks and 3G/4G.
Single band signal boosters are available for all major South African mobile network providers, including LTE signal booster, Cell C signal booster, MTN signal booster, GSM signal booster, and Telkom signal booster.
If you need a cell phone signal booster be sure to check the device is compatible with your mobile network - most devices clearly state this so it should easy to find a compatible repeater.
Network Booster Coverage Area
Another thing to consider about a network booster is the coverage area. Smaller coverage areas are suitable for small homes, offices, and apartments, while larger coverage areas are necessary for large homes, offices, warehouses etc.
There are many coverage areas to choose from, so be sure to buy one that is suitable for your specific requirements. For instance, there is no point in buying a signal booster with a 3,000 sqm coverage area if you live in a small house or apartment - between 150 and 300 should be more than enough for this.