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How do I get cell phone reception in home with metal roof?

by Ann1937 / January 29, 2011 11:29 PM PST

I am unable to get cell phone reception in my rural mountain home that has a metal roof. When I talk with cell phone providers they tell me their phones will work; however, one must contract with them for a long time (and if it doesn't work, one is stuck with contract/penalty to get out of it). I am using Verizon, which is the best in our area. Is there something I can do to be able to use my cell phone in this metal roof situation, such as special antenna or other equipment? I'd love to have good cell phone reception in my home so I could use it exclusively and get rid of my land line. Thank you in advance for help. AP

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One option- get an amplifier/repeater/antenna
by Pepe7 / January 30, 2011 12:57 AM PST

Wireless reception away from populated areas can sometimes be a crapshoot, let alone when you are trying to bring in a weak signal indoors. You do have options though.

To really do it right requires a one-time moderately pricey solution. Basically, it means purchasing/installing an antenna/amplifier combo to bring in the signal outdoors into your home, past the metal 'faraday cage' you have. It's ballpark $300-500 up front with no extra fees since the carrier equipment is not involved. The added bonus is nearly *all* the carriers work once you get this system up and running. It's bullet proof, unless for some reason Verizon pulls the plug on the cell site you are using.

Getting the antenna placement on the roof is normally the critical part of the equation. Some folks not wanting to have an ugly aerial on top of their suburban home opt to an in-attic placement, but I obviously don't recommend this for you given the metal roof ;). The lower end products/solutions start at around $300 and will cover perhaps a room or section of the house. Go up in price to the next version and you get something that will often blanket the main floor of your house with a usable signal. YMMV, as always with radio waves/reception. What you want is an antenna & amplifier/repeater with 850/1900MHz frequency bands for use in North America.

Wilson is the solution I've helped friends out with, and I have no financial interest in the firm, btw- it's just one that has worked well IME. More info-

Link to their antennas section-

Online shopping for these solutions-

Wi-Ex is another, albeit, slightly less 'industrial' solution.

Let me know if you have any questions on either.

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Many thanks--
by Ann1937 / January 30, 2011 1:28 AM PST

Nothing's cheap, is it? Worth considering though.

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