Jonel asked: “I live in an area that doesn’t get good cell coverage, because I live behind a couple bridges. I’m wondering if there’s any product that would boost the cell signal enough so that I can get coverage at my home. Only AT&T works in that area and I have to drive down the street about a mile to get cell signal. Wondering if there’s any product that would help me.”
Your best bet might be to try to get service at home through WiFi. Many modern phones can do VoIP calls over your home WiFi if your phone company allows it.
The process is typically very, very simple, you turn it on once, and don’t really worry again about how your phone is accessing the network. It will probably display WiFi at the top of the screen, but that’s just information. You will be able to make and receive calls exactly the same way you do when you’re using towers.
If your carrier does not allow WiFi calling, they probably do offer a device that will do the same thing, get your service through an internet connection. These devices are known in the telecommunications industry as picocells and act as a very small, portable tower. They’ll use GPS to know where they are and who they can handoff calls to, and they’ll use the internet to route calls to get you service at home.
The downside of these devices is that, unlike WiFi calling on your phone, they will not be free. Some people get lucky and get their carriers to cover the cost, but for most it will be an investment.
Do keep in mind that if you enable WiFi calling on your phone, it will likely prompt you with dire warnings about 911 calls and require you to enter an address for your location.
What’s happening is this, if you’re not connecting to a cell tower, the system has no way of knowing where you are if you were to dial 911 from your cell phone. Therefore, it wants you to give it an address of where you are most likely to be when you are calling using a WiFi connection.
It’s not really a big deal, but it is something to keep in mind. If you ever were connected via WiFi and you did have to call 911 and you weren’t at home, you might have to give them a different address over the phone.