Carriers have tools in place to correct many reception problems.
Dead zones are dreaded words for mobile phone users. The ability to get a wireless signal on your cell phone is one of those never ending battles we seem to fight. Mobile phones have become a critical item in our day to day lives and the ability to not be able to use it is very frustrating. This is all because “dead zones”, which are areas where there is not wireless coverage. We have all experienced it at one time or another. It may have been a dropped call or the frustrating “No Service” display on the screen. Either way, one would think that given the rapid growth of technology, wireless carriers could work to resolve these dead zones. There are solutions which are available, but they come with costs which make the carriers money and provide limited benefit.
All of these rely on the same idea of extending their network through the use of a home based extender. They come with names like microcell, fermtocell, picocell, network extender, etc. and all serve the purpose of bringing a strong cell phone signal into a home or business. They have very limited range and you can configure them to only work with your phone. These connect into your network connection to the Internet, such as with XFINITY or U-verse, and provide a wireless signal taking very little bandwidth. For this, they charge fees to make revenue from these devices.
Verizon changes a one time fee of $249.99 which is pictured above. You can find these on eBay with a large number of listing. I am a Verizon customer and have chosen to live outside the city. Having purchased the Galaxy S3, I am not getting the kind of service I would like at home which is 3G. At work I get a 4G signal and am near a cell pod which provides a very strong signal. Getting a network extender looks to be a solution to no signal on one side of the house and a poor signal on the other. Other carriers charge either a one time fee or a monthly fee. The problem with this is they are missing an opportunity to resolve dead zones in neighborhoods and need to take advantage of correcting the problem. And charging a fee is not an option.
Currently, most of the microcell devices allow you to block other wireless phones from accessing the device. And these devices are carrier specific. By giving these away for free and opening up the signal for say 200 yards, they could blanket 8 to 10 homes or more with a solid wireless signal. It would also require that they not allow for any restriction for access. By providing these free network extenders, they could provide for strong signals in areas where they do not have complete coverage or areas where coverage is weak. It does appear that the carriers are more interested in making money than keeping customers happy.
There are drawbacks for using this as a way to provide for better coverage. The positive side is that you can start a call on your microcell and leave your location and your phone will switch over to your wireless settings. On the flip side, you cannot be using your phone and then have it switch over to the microcell when you return. It just will not work. The other potential one is that signals may interfere with your neighbors. Given that it is the same signal as you get from a cell tower, that is an unlikely situation.
The cost of putting up a cell tower is expensive and trying to have complete coverage is difficult. With the cost of these much smaller cell pods, carriers could solve a lot of their problems with coverage and keep their customers happy and loyal. You only have to look back on the iPhone and AT&T coverage to see how fast something can get out of hand. For those who experience spotty coverage at home or work, this would be a great solution. For carriers, this would provide for happier customers.
Sounds like a win-win. What do you think?