How Boosters Work

How Signal Boosters Work

We get asked all the time how signal boosters work. Luckily, it’s not all that different from your TV or FM/AM radio, since both kinds of technology are based on radio waves. The antenna on your radio picks up signal from a radio tower, it’s amplified inside and then transmitted as sound for our ears to hear. Radio waves travel at the speed of light but depending on the frequency, the distance they can travel alters. Higher frequency waves can only travel short distances, while lower frequency signals like AM radios can travel very long distances. Unfortunately, cell phone signals can only travel so far from a cell site. When there’s no environmental interference or other cell sites, a cell mast site can radiate out up to 30-45 miles; however, this rarely occurs. In hilly or mountainous regions, this capacity can be limited to 3-5 miles. In urban environments, multiple sites may be installed within a quarter mile of each other. This allows the cellular networks to handle the heavy load of mobile users in a more densely populated area.

Signal Boosters Amplify Received Signal

We’ve discussed environmental factors that impact signal elsewhere, which you can read about here. The bottom line is that whatever is causing your poor signal woes, it’s a major pain. This is why signal boosting technology is becoming more and more relevant to help pick up the slack in coverage. However, it’s important to note that signal boosters do not and cannot create cellular signal on their own. A signal amplifier can only amplify received signal; in an area with no signal whatsoever, there is nothing to enhance. To test how much received signal your phone is actually getting in your area, check out our blog post on doing field tests here.

How Our Boosters Work

As we said, cell phone signal boosters work essentially the same way your FM radio does in your car. It picks up signal from a mast site with an antenna based outside of your desired location, the signal then runs from through a low-loss coaxial cable to the signal amplifier where the received signal is then amplified, and transmitted through another coaxial cable to the indoor antenna where the amplified signal is then received by cell phone and other mobile devices. The difference between the FM radio and the signal booster is that the booster will also work in reverse by picking up the outgoing signals from mobile devices on the indoor antenna, amplifying that signal, and sending it through the outdoor antenna back to the cell site. The end result is better voice quality on calls, no more dropped calls, speedier texting, and faster uploads and downloads of data, and extended battery life for mobile devices.

Installation is Easy

Our wideband boosters are approved by the FCC and IC to work with all U.S. & Canadian carriers and made to be perfectly compatible with all manufacturers’ devices. Our line of vehicle and home boosters are made to be easy in install by the end user and do not require approval from carriers, but do require registration with your cell phone carrier. Every consumer kit we sell has everything you need to get started. Some users may find that they need additional indoor antennae, cables, or other components. If you find you need more accessories, check out our accessories page. HiBoost’s commercial and industrial lines of boosters require approval from network providers and installation by professional integration experts. We're here to help. If you have any questions, concerns, or need help picking out the right signal booster for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.