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Cell Phone Signal Booster Vs Distributed Antenna System (DAS)

At first, a distributed antenna system (DAS) seems like an ideal solution to boost cell phone signal in a building.

They are generally more powerful than a commercial cell phone signal booster. However, once the pros and cons are weighed against each other, a pro-grade cell signal booster does the job without the added hassles, headaches, and especially, costs.

Here are the Top 5 reasons for businesses to consider commercial signal boosters over distributed antenna systems:


1. Costs.


On average, a DAS system is 3 to 8 times the cost when compared to an enterprise signal booster of equal coverage.

Whereas a cell signal booster simply takes the existing signal, amplifies it, and rebroadcasts the enhanced signal into the building, distributed antenna systems require more expensive components and dedicated monitoring systems to virtually do the same job.

For example, a majority of DAS systems use fiber optics to transmit signal from one component to the next. While a very good performer, it requires custom cabling, intricate installation, and specific equipment to decode data to and from the fiber optics.

And this is only one component of DAS. Other equipment adds to the cost, workload, and deployment time, which results in higher maintenance fees.

Many signal boosters use the standard RG-6 coax cables that are used by satellite and cable TV providers. Many buildings are often pre-wired with existing RG-6 outlets which may help with antenna installation, therefore, reducing time and cost.


2. Carrier Permission


Cell signal boosters are FCC-certified and given immediate blanket consent for use with all major carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and many more.

With DAS systems, carrier permission is required to install a carrier-specific amplifier (repeater) to connect to their core network and other costly equipment to transmit the signal.

This requires the carrier to invest in the project. And how do they pass on the cost?

Lengthy contracts up to 10 years. A required large amount of subscribers. Cell phone subscriptions that must fall within their own network and data plans.

And this is only for one carrier.

To get a neutral distributed antenna system host to work on multiple providers, more permission, more time, and eventually, more fees are added.

And this is if the carriers agree with the initial design. If not, DAS users must rework their plans for alternatives to satisfy the carrier’s requests before approval. Again, this takes more time and politics. Ultimately, the carriers make the final decision.


3. Installation Time


From beginning to final installation, deployment time for DAS requires a minimum of 6 months. This includes carrier permission, connecting equipment to carrier core networks, custom cabling, and installing antennas.

Compared to a signal booster installation time of comparable coverage, deployment time is around 6 weeks.

That’s 4X faster.


4. True Cause of Poor Signal is Mostly Indoors


The majority of cell phone calls and use are made inside buildings. And the majority of weak cell phone signal inside buildings isn’t caused by distance from the cell tower, but interference from building material.

This is especially true in the city and other places around urban development.

Building material like thick concrete and brick, metal, steel, glass, radiant barrier, and other conductive material (electric, magnetic or energy-efficient) disrupt and weaken cell signals before even reaching to cell phones inside offices and buildings.

So while 3G & 4G signal may be already strong or adequate on the outside, it’s impeded by the inside.

A cell phone booster amplifies the cellular signal from the outside up to 32X and rebroadcasts the boosted signal inside the building. DAS requires expensive equipment to connect to the carrier core networks, requiring multiple carrier approval. All to virtually do the same thing.


5. It’s Already Being Used by The Big Names


Department of Defense, Microsoft, Nike, GE, Coca Cola, Chevron, Valero, Halliburton, Apple, and many more.


Best Signal Boosters for Buildings


A single commercial cell phone signal booster can cover multi-story buildings up to 50,000 sq ft. Multiple signal boosters can be combined, so the amount of coverage is indefinite for most businesses. A signal booster supports all carriers, all cellular devices that use 2G, 3G, and 4G services for multiple people in an office (hundreds and more).


Wilson Pro Signal Boosters


Up to 25,000 sq. ft.

  • Boosts voice, text message, 3G & 4G LTE data
  • Works for multiple cell devices
  • Works with all carriers, networks, and phones
  • Up to +70 dB Gain
  • Great for urban areas

Our Review:

The Wilson Pro 70 Plus (Models: 463127 - 50 Ohm and 460127 - 75 Ohm) is an upgrade to the Wilson Pro 70.

With a gain of up to +70 dB, it can cover up to 25,000 sq ft under best conditions. Installers say on average they see around 10,000 to 14,000 sq ft with customized plans & additional antennas. However, poor signal areas and other factors such as internal building material and layout could see much less.

The Wilson Pro 70 Plus features the same technology like the Wilson Pro 70 with one key difference: better attenuation.

What does this mean? A key downside to the Wilson Pro 70 is that it can be overwhelmed by powerful signal such as being too close to the cell tower that it’s pulling in too much and overloading the repeater. However, the Pro 70 Plus comes with superior attenuation processes which manages to put on the ear plugs as the cell site screams into the microphone.

If you have strong outdoor signal, a Pro 70 Plus is better equipped to handle it, ensuring your repeater does not overload. So we highly recommend this unit for city and urban centers rather than the Wilson Pro 70.

Only at
  • FREE shipping, no minimum purchase.
  • 30 Day money back guarantee.
  • Lifetime support.

Up to 35,000 sq. ft.

  • Boosts voice, text message, 3G & 4G LTE data
  • Works for multiple cell devices
  • Works with all carriers, networks, and phones
  • Up to +70 dB Gain
  • Great for commercial warehouses

Our Review:

The Wilson Pro 1000 (Model: 460236) is a leader in the space of efficient and cost-effective enterprise repeaters.

With a gain of up to +70 dB and +15 dB on the downlink –the highest available of any pre-approved cell phone repeater in the market–it can cover up to 35,000 sq ft under best conditions. Installers say on average they see around 15,000 to 25,000 sq ft with customized plans & additional antennas. However, poor signal areas and other factors such as internal building material and layout could see much less.

The Wilson Pro 1000 comes in either wall-mount or rack-mount format. It also comes in different customizations for different uses.

Comes with XDR technology, which ensures the repeater will never shut down. It also has a color LCD screen, which shows the status of your coverage.

Wilson Pro 1000C: A Wilson Pro 1000 with remote monitoring capabilities.

Wilson Pro 1050: A Wilson Pro 1000 with an in-line repeater for longer cable runs.

Only at
  • FREE shipping, no minimum purchase.
  • 30 Day money back guarantee.
  • Lifetime support.

Up to 100,000 sq. ft.

  • Boosts voice, text message, 3G & 4G LTE data
  • Works for multiple cell devices
  • Works with all carriers, networks, and phones
  • Up to +70 dB Gain
  • Great for industrial manufacturing plants

Our Review:

The Wilson Pro 4000 (Model: 460231) is a the most power commercial repeater in the market.

It is not just one repeater but 4 repeaters in a single unit capable of providing up to 100,000 sq ft under best conditions. Our Installers say they’ve seen coverage ranging from 40,000 to 60,000 sq ft with customized plans & additional antennas. However, poor signal areas and other factors such as internal building material and layout could see much less.

It also features XDR technology to prevent shutdown due to incoming hot signal and has color LCD for easy antenna set up.

The Wilson Pro 4000 comes in either wall or rack mount form factor.

Only at
  • FREE shipping, no minimum purchase.
  • 30 Day money back guarantee.
  • Lifetime support.

This doesn’t mean DAS should not be considered. For very large venues such as stadiums, convention centers, and airports, DAS may be the better choice. In areas where there is virtually no outside signal or where there is a potential for overcrowding the network, DAS is also a good option.

It’s recommended to consult a cell signal booster and DAS expert for thorough plans, pricing, and realistic outcomes.


How May We Help You?


Wilson Amplifiers is the leading provider of cell phone signal boosters. Cell phone boosters amplify 3G & 4G LTE for any phone with any carrier for home, office, or vehicle.

We seriously hate dropped calls and poor coverage, so it's our goal in life to stomp on spotty signal like the little roaches they are:

  • Free consultation (ask us anything) with our US-based customer support (sales@wilsonamplifiers.com) or call us at 1-800-568-2723.
  • Free shipping.
  • Better signal or industry-leading 90 money-back guaranteed. No questions asked.
  • We want everyone to be satisfied, so we provide lifetime technical support and a 2-year warranty for all products.

Ask us anything and we'll be glad to help.


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