Signal boosting – an update

Just the other day I mentioned my quest to get a mobile repeater. The reason, as you will have seen from a few of my most recent posts, is because the signal in the area I’m now currently based is a poor and I really need a mobile phone signal booster. Sure, the view is great – fields in all directions as far as the eye can see. The internet connection through the fibre-optic cable is great too and far faster than I could ever get at home.

Actually, just as an aside, it’s quite interesting how the business park came into existence. The farmer, who wanted to make better use of his barns, converted them into offices but knew that the remote and quite idyllic location also meant a rather rubbish internet connection. In modern offices a ropey ADSL or FTTC internet connection just isn’t going to cut it. In this location even a supposedly “superfast fibre” connection with the likes of BT or another ISP is going to run at around 4Mbps. That, when you’ve got 30 or 40 staff attached, is going to run quite badly.

So, the farmer got to thinking and, along with other land-owners in the area, he dug his own trench across the field and got fibre-optic directly to his (rather beautiful and large) home, plus the business units, offices and other local residents too.

Being out in “the sticks” helps too. You don’t have to worry about digging through roads, footpaths, pipes or other utilities which may happen to be buried. It’s a big field, so running a trench along the edge and towards the connection point in the local village was the solution to his problem.

The result is a 1Gbps bearer which positively flies along.

So why, you may ask, don’t I use a Vodafone Sure Signal or a Three Home Signal? Well, I could. I could do that right now. These devices plug into the internet connection and put out a small GSM signal which your phone hooks into. Then you get a signal and you can make and receive calls. You can text and browse too, but there’s some downpoints you need to consider as well. Firstly, you may have to register each phone with the base unit. In a moderately large company this can take a while to do. Also, let’s face it, these boxes are designed for houses. In an office you may not get coverage all the way through, and you may need to buy another Sure Signal before repeating the process of adding handsets all over again. Not only that, but you’re locked to one network, so you don’t have the complete freedom to switch your company mobiles to another network. Visitors will have problems even if they’re on the same network as you’ll need to add them in, and the hand-over between these units and the “proper sized” masts outside isn’t always smooth.

So, the hunt is still on. I’m still looking for a repeater to solve my signal woes. I want the ability to use any mobile phone on any network – whether it be a traditional major network or an MVNO like Tesco Mobile, iD Mobile, giffgaff or whoever. You also don’t have to faff about registering each phone and there’s the ability to push out a much wider coverage.