Why Cellular Signal Boosters Cannot Work Outdoors
30th Dec 2019 /
by Wilson Amplifiers / Comments

Why Cellular Signal Boosters Cannot Work Outdoors

Why Cellular Signal Boosters Cannot Work Outdoors

Many of our users ask: "Why can't I install my signal booster outdoors?" Others ask: "Is there an outdoor signal booster?" Unfortunately, signal boosters only work in enclosed spaces. This is because the signal can "bounce" around an area, but when the area is outdoors, there are no walls for bouncing. Cell phone boosters need a power supply, as well. While that probably could be solved by having a battery backup, the FCC prohibits it...so there’s not much to be done.

See complete AT&T signal booster kits for your situation:

Besides having less efficient performance in comparison to in-building, carriers do not want signal boosters redeploying signal outside. The amount of noise that this can bring into the network can cause issues for the cell towers in the area and should be avoided. If you live in a rural area with a fair number of people sharing the same tower, this can negatively affect everyone's coverage.

Signal boosters are incredibly useful in cases where there’s underdeveloped infrastructure. However, there are other necessary conditions that we must consider when purchasing one of these devices.

The most important of these is whether or not you have existing signal. If the reason you're looking to boost signal outdoors is that you don't have any, you won't be able to boost it indoors, either. Cell boosters require existing signal to function.

Another is the size and layout of the area you're trying to cover. While boosters advertise their power in square footage, interior layout and the shape of your building will affect how much coverage you'll receive.

How Does a Signal Booster Work?

We’ve written a whole article on this, but in short: inconsistent cell signal is what causes your lousy reception, and this means the installation of a cell phone booster is practically mandatory. This may be the only way to make calls in certain areas. This is especially true in isolated areas far from cell tower infrastructure or in buildings made of certain materials.

A signal booster picks up an existing cellular signal, amplifies it, then rebroadcasts it. Imagine that someone (the cell tower) whispers something to someone else (the signal booster), and they shout it with a megaphone. This is how a cellular signal booster works. People in remote areas may want consistent cell signal everywhere - including outdoors - but legal signal boosters, sadly, can’t provide that due to their limited power.

Antenna Location is Paramount

As we said, cell signal boosters take the existing outdoor signal and amplify it so that it reaches further. For it to work correctly, you have to receive the cell tower's signal with enough power.

In other words, for outstanding performance, the amplifier has to receive the signal correctly, so you cannot place it too far. During the configuration, the amplifier itself tells you, with its lights, if it's receiving the signal properly. Some come with an app you can check that out with.

Try out different places until you find a location where the remote devices receive the booster signal at the maximum possible speed. It may seem silly, but a bit further to the left or the right can make the signal dodge an obstacle (a door, a mirror, etc.), which means the cellular booster can have much more range. As we mentioned, the best location will be indoors, since signal boosters don't work outdoors.

OK, There Is No Outdoor Signal Booster. Which Signal Booster Should I Get?

Every cellular booster fulfills the same primary function, but there are logically some differences between them. The weBoost Home MultiRoom, for example, covers up to 5,000 sq ft if the outside signal is good - enough coverage for a number of rooms, a whole floor, or an entire midsize, one-story home. If you’re living in an area with a very weak reception or your house is very big, consider buying the weBoost Home Complete, which can handle up to 7,500 sq ft and has many antenna bundling offerings for multi-story or sprawling homes.

The WilsonPro 70 Plus is also a great choice for buildings. It has a range from 10,000 to 25,000 sq ft. This model is the best choice if you own a large home or a small commercial building since it covers up to 25,000 sq ft. The device has a number of different antenna and configuration options, so you can find one made for your precise needs.

Keep in mind that your amplifier will work optimally only if you’re getting decent external signal strength. Can you use your phone outside of your house but not on the inside? This means a cell booster is exactly what you need. Remember, building material can impede your reception. Fortunately, mobile signal boosters can go through those obstructions with ease. Cell signal boosters are great at amplifying 4G, 4G LTE, and 3G signal for rural or urban areas; however, you need at least some external signal for it to augment. So, if you find yourself wishing you had a signal booster in your yard...odds are, you're just too far away from usable signal to get any juice.

Bottom line

Signal boosters won't work outdoors for a number of reasons - including power concerns, effectiveness, and legal reasons - but they do work extremely well indoors. If you need cell phone signal in your area, get it boosted indoors.

How May We Help You?

Wilson Amplifiers is the leading provider of cell signal boosters. Cell phone boosters amplify 4G, 4G LTE, and 3G 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.