Cell signal at our home on every carrier is really bad, thanks to the 3-storey apartment beside our lot (I wonder why our subdivision let it be built right there!). At most, we often get zero to 2 signal bars inside (average of –107 dBm, which is considered beyond the weak level already) and around 2-3 outside.
It is really frustrating since it has so many effects, fast battery draining on devices, dropped and missed calls, and delayed text messages. So frustrating that it made me to ask someone working for a mobile network company on who do I get in touch with in regards to requesting a cell tower for our area, I mean, is it even the right thing to do? Anyway, that person has told me that requesting a cell tower is not as easy as abc (but I hope my request gets submitted) as the company needs to assess many factors, one of which I assume, is the market. So, requesting for a cell tower is not certainly a choice, but there is another choice. A femtocell. I was a little bit surprised by the answer, and after a bit of digging, I found these..
The Globe AirBoost. Globe AirBoost is a femtocell, a device which acts like a small cell tower which can be placed inside homes or other places with weak cellular signals. It amplifies and repeats the signal available and requires and connects to your home broadband connection to transmit the data (SMS, calls, mobile data) to the network. It is quite common in other countries like the US and UK but I didn’t know until yesterday that Globe also offers a femtocell.
Here are some key facts about Globe AirBoost:
- Femtocell used is the NEC FP810
- Allows 8 simultaneous calls
- Uses a SIM card
- Energy consumption is <5w
- Works with GSM 900MHz (Band VIII) and 1800MHz (Band III)
- Works with 3G 850MHz (Band V), 1900MHz (Band II), and 2100MHz (Band I)
- Up to 14.4Mbps downlink and 5.76Mbps uplink (still depends on the broadband connection it hooks into, i.e. if your home broadband has a speed of 5Mbps, then the maximum speed the femtocell can get should be less than or equal to 5Mbps)
Don’t get your hopes up though, the Globe AirBoost is only available for Platinum subscribers, that is, those who can pay P5,000 or P10,000 a month for their phone service.
What am I hoping is that Globe should offer the AirBoost to anyone who always experience weak cell signal at their place (which should be verified by e.g. site visit) even for a fee. For example, the AT&T offers the MicroCell for around $150, I even saw at their forums that some get it free if they are on an area with no coverage at all since it is cheaper than putting up a cell tower.
What do you think? Do you need Globe AirBoost? Are you willing to pay for it? How much?
Images Credit: PhilMug (Elbert Cuenca)