Personal Cell Spot

RicKaysen

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Today I took delivery of one of T-Mobiles personal cell spot devices. I was told that if I had at least one or two bars of LTE, this would be the gadget to give me enhanced signal in my apartment. Placing the window unit where the required signal was present, I find that the receiving unit still only showed one bar. Where's the boosted signal? Has anyone else had different results with this thing?
 

Almeuit

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Today I took delivery of one of T-Mobiles personal cell spot devices. I was told that if I had at least one or two bars of LTE, this would be the gadget to give me enhanced signal in my apartment. Placing the window unit where the required signal was present, I find that the receiving unit still only showed one bar. Where's the boosted signal? Has anyone else had different results with this thing?

The window unit grabs the signal and shows what it is holding (such as that 1 bar). It then boosts the signal to the other unit and you get more bars inside due to it. It just boosts the coverage inside your house but it won't make the LTE faster or anything.

My review below explains more on how it works.

http://forums.androidcentral.com/t-mobile/552803-t-mobile-cel-fi-4g-lte-signal-booster.html
 

RicKaysen

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So...it takes that one bar signal and transmits it to the other room as a one bar signal? when i was with AT&T, i had a micro cell that took my crappy signal and gave me five bars. that's kinda what i was expecting.
 

Almeuit

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So...it takes that one bar signal and transmits it to the other room as a one bar signal? when i was with AT&T, i had a micro cell that took my crappy signal and gave me five bars. that's kinda what i was expecting.

The MicroCell uses your home internet to give you cell signal -- That is different. This takes an existing cell signal and just boosts it into the house.
 

LeoRex

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So...it takes that one bar signal and transmits it to the other room as a one bar signal?

Oh, you'll get a stronger signal... but like the old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. No matter how strong the booster unit gives you inside the house, it is at the mercy of the source connection that the window unit can get. That window unit has the advantage of being powered, so it can crank the ol' gain on its internal amplifiers, but if the signal it gets is weak, you ultimately end up going over that connection....

These boosters do a couple of important things.... they provide a strong signal to your phone so your phone's transmitters don't have to increase the amount of power being used to maintain the connection. And it also helps extend the signal throughout the house (T-Mobile's wavelenths don't penatrate walls all that well). They don't miraculously take a weak or poor signal and turn it into something that seems like you are parked next to a tower.

Let me explain it using how it works at my house:

If I turn off my booster (and disconnect from WiFI), I get a somewhat poor signal... -110dBm or so, with a low SNR (signal to noise ratio). I get LTE in certain spots, but that often drops down to HSPA in parts of my house. Voice calls get that familiar digital stutter in spots. If I stand on my porch, where my signal is best, I get LTE data speeds in the mid to high teens. And when I look at battery stats, my phone signal can consume up to 25% of the power used over the course of a full day.

If I turn on my booster (which sits on a table on the afformentioned porch), the window unit gets 2 or 3 bars of LTE (out of 5). My booster unit shows an ideal connection to the window unit. My signal is 25 to 35dBm better, which is a huge improvement, with a much higner SNR. I would maintain an LTE connection throughout my house (and a decent amount outside)... and if I look at my battery stats, my phone radio draws a fraction of the power it did when it had to communicate to the remote tower directly (about a 1/3rd or less). Voice calls are clear, steady and reliable.

BUT...... if I do a speed test.... I pretty much get the same up and downstream speeds as I did without the booster, standing in the same spot as the window unit. No matter how much the signal is boosted, its still, at its heart, a weak signal and subject to the issues that a weak signal brings (i.e. lower data speeds).
 

DumDee2

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The window unit grabs the signal and shows what it is holding (such as that 1 bar). It then boosts the signal to the other unit and you get more bars inside due to it. It just boosts the coverage inside your house but it won't make the LTE faster or anything.

My review below explains more on how it works.


wrong, its a signal booster hence "booster" the window unit boost the signal, on band 2 and 4 while base unit repeats signal throughout a given area.

In my case i get no lte signal at all in my house or in my neighborhood, i literally have to drive like 5 mins up the road before i start seeing 1 or 2 bars. With the signal booster i'm getting 2-3 bars of lte at 99- 108dbm.

Without the booster i'd be lucky to get 5mb down 1mb up during the day and around 10mb down 2mb up at night
Now i get around 30mb down 6mb up during the day and around 45mb down and 10mb upload night

All on my t-mobile g2
 

Almeuit

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wrong, its a signal booster hence "booster" the window unit boost the signal, on band 2 and 4 while base unit repeats signal throughout a given area.

In my case i get no lte signal at all in my house or in my neighborhood, i literally have to drive like 5 mins up the road before i start seeing 1 or 2 bars. With the signal booster i'm getting 2-3 bars of lte at 99- 108dbm.

Without the booster i'd be lucky to get 5mb down 1mb up during the day and around 10mb down 2mb up at night
Now i get around 30mb down 6mb up during the day and around 45mb down and 10mb upload night

All on my t-mobile g2

It can help since you'll have a cleaner signal but it doesn't amplify the signal to make it better as in super fast. The cleaner signal can help get better speeds inside since you're actually reaching the tower now but it's not doing what you're thinking.

As shown below it amplifies the existing signal into the house.. Which would increase your speed since you're getting the signal finally in the house but it's not making that LTE somehow faster than what the tower offers since it's using the towers signal.

Takes T-Mobiles signal from outside the window and sends it to the coverage unit, where it can be rebroadcast throughout the home.
 

DumDee2

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It can help since you'll have a cleaner signal but it doesn't amplify the signal to make it better as in super fast. The cleaner signal can help get better speeds inside since you're actually reaching the tower now but it's not doing what you're thinking.

As shown below it amplifies the existing signal into the house.. Which would increase your speed since you're getting the signal finally in the house but it's not making that LTE somehow faster than what the tower offers since it's using the towers signal.

A booster is an amplifier. It looks for particular bands and boost the signal if possible. There are always exceptions like someone is too far away, or interference from buildings in front of the tower signal booster where the booster doesnt provide any noticeable benefits. Of course your not gunna get LTE speeds faster than the tower. The whole point is to get as close to the maximum as possible and the only way to do that is with a stronger signal strength. Like LeoRex said.

Oh, you'll get a stronger signal... but like the old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. No matter how strong the booster unit gives you inside the house, it is at the mercy of the source connection that the window unit can get. That window unit has the advantage of being powered, so it can crank the ol' gain on its internal amplifiers, but if the signal it gets is weak, you ultimately end up going over that connection....

.
 

Almeuit

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A booster is an amplifier. It looks for particular bands and boost the signal if possible. There are always exceptions like someone is too far away, or interference from buildings in front of the tower signal booster where the booster doesnt provide any noticeable benefits. Of course your not gunna get LTE speeds faster than the tower. The whole point is to get as close to the maximum as possible and the only way to do that is with a stronger signal strength. Like LeoRex said.

Ah I guess I got confused on what you were saying .. it sounded like you were telling me I was wrong and that it actually boosted the LTE signal from the tower -- Which you agree it doesn't so I guess I am not sure where I was wrong in my previous post.
 

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