Cell booster questions

Having had phones on the Verizon and T-Mobile networks for a number of months know I’ve noticed their signals are not as strong as we had with AT&T. In fact our alarm system has been linked to AT&T cell service for many years due to Verizon’s poor signal.

Verizon is the worst with a single tower located across a valley or two of heavily treed areas. For the most part we have to use WiFi for calls unless it is in the dead of night where we might get 2 bars. Verizon is only 4G in our area which is fine for how we use the phone. This is our home phone on Spectrum Mobile which I’m thinking of moving to an AT&T based MVNO. Red Pocket is the provider I’m leaning to at the moment.

T-Mobile isn’t as bad as its tower is located on a high spot but still has trees to contend with. We get a consistent 2 to 3 bars. Unlike when we had Republic’s AT&T service we rarely see 5G service from T-Mobile (with Republic it was the opposite that we rarely saw 4G). I am thinking putting up a cell phone signal booster up on the roof if it will help. 5G service is important for us since the phones become a hotspot when we lose power or internet access during an emergency.

Which brings me to the questions.

It is my understanding due to FCC rules I need to register any signal booster with the network provider. Looking at the T-Mobile site they only have allowances for T-Mobile customers so I assume I need to go through my provider US Mobile. Is this a valid assumption?

I read somewhere, and I can’t find it now, that the type of signal booster can have an effect on whether I can get access to T-Mobile’s 5G bands or not. As I recall it was multi-service boosters vs single service boosters where multi-service boosters lacked the T-Mobile 5G support. Does anyone know if this is still the case? If yes what bands do I need to be concerned about?

I would prefer a multiple network booster since I could also use it to help boost the AT&T signal the alarm system relies upon and our home phone once I get it ported to an AT&T based MVNO.

Thanks for any insight.

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Do you get a T-Mobile 5G signal if you take your phone up to the roof? Is download speed any faster than 4G? I have 5G everywhere, but in most places (at most times of the day) the speed is equivalent to what I get on my 4G-only phone. Marketing :roll_eyes:. If it were me, and AT&T supplied the best service in my area, I would simply put my phones on AT&T (or one of their MVNO’s).

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T-Mobile coverage is pretty good across our area and I am happy with our provider USM. As a result I don’t intend to switch providers. Most of our T-Mobile issues are related to the topography and our house location. We are in the Piedmont of NC. In the same metro area as @southpaw as a matter of fact. I’m sure a signal booster will be effective at improving our inside signal.

Yes we test at 5G speeds when we are outside where we are more likely to have a stable 5G signal. For regular phone use 4G/5G isn’t that important. It is when we are using the phone as a hotspot for 4 - 5 device’s that it becomes important.

Based on what I could find T-Mobile and AT&T use the same tower. Back when Sprint was still around it was a Sprint tower and we didn’t have any T-Mobile service here at the house. It is that they share the same tower that I would prefer a multiple service provider booster. My concern was I read somewhere that the FCC had not approved the bands T-Mobile uses for 5G for multiple service provider boosters. I’ve been trying to find the statement again as it stated the specific bands affected but still haven’t found it. If push comes to shove I can go with a single provider booster but hate the idea of not covering a both providers.

Locating the outdoor antenna is straight forward. I still have some learning on indoor antenna beam widths and patterns to determine the best location. With my house being able to mount it to the balcony ceiling in the center of the house would be ideal. However that decision will have to wait until I determine what type of booster I need and what company’s booster I will be purchasing,

I don’t believe there are any consumer boosters that cover band n71. The industrial boosters that cover n71 are designated for installation by FCC licensees and qualified installers. You must have an FCC license or express consent of an FCC Licensee to operate these industrial grade devices. I don’t believe it’s a matter of the signal frequency so much as the transmission power.