Ways to improve cellphone reception include using a signal booster device that amplifies the existing cellular signal by repeating it and using a cellular base station that utilizes a broadband Internet connection to communicate with the cellular network and functions as a makeshift cellular signal tower. As of 2015, carriers such as Sprint, Verizon and AT&T allow the use of the Wi-Fi calling feature that enables cellphones to use a wireless network if the cellular signal is weak.
A signal booster device works best when placed in a spot that receives several bars that indicate coverage, allowing it to repeat that signal and provide coverage in areas that previously had no coverage. The prices of these devices typical range between $25 and $50, while some carriers provide them free of charge, particularly in locations that have poor coverage overall. For example, T-Mobile offers an option to pay a deposit for a signal booster and receive the money back after returning the device.
Cellular base stations, also known as femtocells, serve as a solution in cases where there’s no existing signal to boost. The only downside is that they require a stable broadband connection capable of meeting the minimum download speed requirements that specific carriers dictate. The Wi-Fi calling feature automatically switches between using the cellular and wireless networks depending on the signal strength, which allows for a seamless transition in case the signal strength varies.
Boost signal strength and quality by clearing obstructions that are blocking or interfering with reception. Metal meshes, such as screen doors and windows, absorb electromagnetic radiation, decreasing indoor signal quality. These metal meshes can be replaced with plastic counterparts to improve reception.
Phone applications like Fresh Network and Open Signal claim to boost signal strength by disconnecting the phone from the network and then reconnecting it to the strongest signal tower. Some applications can also recalibrate the phone's radio for maximum efficiency. Although they aren't inherently capable of boosting the signal strength or quality, some apps can still enhance performance in poor signal quality conditions.