We have some buildings with little to no cell phone reception. Does anyone have solutions for this issue?
Fortunately, there are three options for dealing with this, and only three.
Option 1. Wifi Calling
Option 2. Bring in a vendor to design, construct and manage a cellular repeater solution
Option 3. Bring in a lot of vendors to design, construct and manage a cellular distributed antenna system
I wish that wifi calling worked well enough, but if you are serving a lot of people, often it doesn’t.
We have had a very good time with cellular repeated solutions if they are impeccably designed, well specified, and professionally installed.
We find vendors that are experienced designing and installing cellular repeaters, including the ability to do on location cell strength surveys with directionally aware, band aware, carrier aware scanning.
We typically specify Wilson Pro equipment, Enterprise 4300 being our typical choice. We typically budget 2$ per sq foot covered, with a 20k minimum.
We are looking for our designers to have a great uplink antenna array design, and well thought out cable pathing.
Get all that right and it works well. If you can’t afford to get it right - then get wifi right first, and use wifi calling until you can afford to get it right.
We use SureCall Force 5 (ver 1) which as worked very well for us. However it being older, this model does not support 5G. Newer models do support 5G.
I believe SureCall, Wilson Pro and CelFi all make excellent professionally installed options. I think in those realms it’s more about finding a partner who can design and certify the system and provide ongoing support more so than the specific hardware used. That said, building out a system today you want to be sure you have appropriate coverage of the LTE bands expected to be used in your area for the next several years and/or to be sure your system is expandable to meet those capabilities down the road.
Keep in mind these large coverage systems (more than a few dozen feet of range) all require registration with the carrier (you are, after all, using their frequencies) and an FCC or carrier approval for commissioning. This isn’t going to be something you can order off Amazon and string up in your office over a slow Monday.
WARNING. This is NOT a CONSUMER device. It is designed for installation
by FCC LICENSEES and QUALIFIED INSTALLERS. You MUST have an
FCC LICENSE or express consent of an FCC Licensee to operate this device.
Unauthorized use may result in significant forfeiture penalties, including penalties
in excess of $100,000 for each continuing violation.