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#43012 - 12/02/16 04:06 PM Signal boosters for iPhone
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
My daughter, who lives in another city, writes to inquire about a booster for her cell phones. Where she works in her apartment, signals tend to drop. She has an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 5C.

A local store has a really good price for a weBoost Drive 3G-S Cell Phone Signal Booster. My daughter asks, "My phones often pick up 4G and LTE signals. Will a 3G booster work?"

My initial simple-minded assumption was that any 3G unit should pick up 4G signals but only process them at 3G speed and quality. However, the on-line manual for the unit says: "The Drive 3G-S works with all major North American cellular providers on the 800 & 1900 MHz frequencies. Traditionally, 800/1900MHz are associated with voice and 3G data; while 700MHz and 1700/2100MHz are associated with 4G data.

Is Dad out to lunch?


Edited by ryck (12/02/16 04:14 PM)
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ryck

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#43013 - 12/02/16 06:13 PM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: ryck]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
A 3G signal booster will not work with 4G (LTE) radios; they're entirely different technologies.
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#43014 - 12/02/16 06:35 PM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: tacit]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Thanks. I'll let my daughter know she has to keep looking for a solution.


Edited by ryck (12/02/16 06:36 PM)
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
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#43015 - 12/03/16 08:39 AM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: ryck]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Depending on whom her cellular provide may be, they might offer a booster. I know AT&T will provide a booster called M-cell that works on their signals.
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#43016 - 12/03/16 11:14 AM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: Ira L]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Depending on whom her cellular provide may be, they might offer a booster.

Good thought……I'll get her to check.
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
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#43017 - 12/03/16 12:11 PM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
WeBoost makes a 4g LTE amplifier but it is a tad pricey at $899. I have a weak signal at home and a long talk with my carrier got me a microcell device that works through my cable internet at no cost for the microcell device (regularly $200). It is certainly worth checking into.

Additionally an iPad iPhone running iOS 10.x or a Mac running MacOS 10.12 can be configured to make and receive calls on your cellular number through an internet connection. Even though the call does not go directly through the telco cellular network, the minutes, texts, and data count against the cellular account.


Edited by joemikeb (12/03/16 12:18 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarify
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#43037 - 12/05/16 10:01 AM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: joemikeb]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Additionally an iPad iPhone running iOS 10.x or a Mac running MacOS 10.12 can be configured to make and receive calls on your cellular number through an internet connection. Even though the call does not go directly through the telco cellular network, the minutes, texts, and data count against the cellular account.


This is a very cool feature that I use. Just for future reference, the set-up will work with MacOS 10.10 or later with iOS 9 or later, if memory serves me correctly. I know I have been using it prior to Sierra.
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#43058 - 12/06/16 01:26 PM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Additionally an iPad iPhone running iOS 10.x or a Mac running MacOS 10.12 can be configured to make and receive calls on your cellular number through an internet connection. Even though the call does not go directly through the telco cellular network, the minutes, texts, and data count against the cellular account.

How that that work? It sounds like a good idea. My daughter has two iPhones (5 & 5c) and her iPad is late 2012. I believe she is running the latest iOS.
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ryck

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#43059 - 12/06/16 02:45 PM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I will let Apple Insider answer that for you.

Caution: It drives my wife crazy when my iPhone, iPad, and Mac all ring at the same time.


Edited by joemikeb (12/06/16 03:17 PM)
Edit Reason: add Caution
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#43060 - 12/06/16 02:56 PM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Thanks. I saw that but it seems more about doing it on a Mac, not an iPad, and says more about what should happen as opposed to explaining in detail how to get it to happen.

I'll see what Google finds.
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ryck

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#43061 - 12/06/16 03:47 PM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
Thanks. I saw that but it seems more about doing it on a Mac, not an iPad, and says more about what should happen as opposed to explaining in detail how to get it to happen.

I'll see what Google finds.

There isn't much to making it happen whether you are on the Mac or the iPad.
  • Assuming the iPhone number is associated with an Apple ID and
  • That same Apple ID is associated with an iPad and or an iPhone
  • To place a call on the iPad or Mac, open Contacts
  • Find the phone number and touch/click on the phone icon
To receive a call depends in part on Notification Settings but in general when the phone rings you simply touch/click the Message Notification banner or alert (which contains the caller-id) and there you are.
  • The mistake I make too often is in the window that pops up there is a red phone icon and I am always tempted to touch it which terminates the call.
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    #43066 - 12/07/16 12:37 AM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: joemikeb]
    ryck Offline


    Registered: 08/04/09
    Loc: Okanagan Valley
    Thanks…I'll send that to my daughter and see if she has any questions.
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    ryck

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    #43075 - 12/07/16 09:23 AM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: joemikeb]
    Ira L Offline


    Registered: 08/13/09
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: joemikeb
    I will let Apple Insider answer that for you.

    Caution: It drives my wife crazy when my iPhone, iPad, and Mac all ring at the same time.


    About the all ringing at the same time—I know joemikeb runs the latest of the beta's with all of his OS's, but there was a change in a recent commercial release of OS's so that rings only happen on one device. I don't know how to choose the device (perhaps the one actively in use), but I don't get multiple ringing when I'm on my iMac.
    _________________________
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    #43078 - 12/07/16 10:42 AM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: Ira L]
    joemikeb Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 08/04/09
    Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
    The may be true on my systems too, I had already mitigated the problem through the Notification settings on my various devices. Thanks for the info, I will check it out.
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    #43114 - 12/10/16 01:51 PM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: joemikeb]
    ryck Offline


    Registered: 08/04/09
    Loc: Okanagan Valley
    Originally Posted By: joemikeb
    ….an iPad iPhone running iOS 10.x or a Mac running MacOS 10.12 can be configured to make and receive calls on your cellular number through an internet connection.

    Well, I passed along all your information and instructions to my daughter who reports it works great. She has an iPhone at a window, with her iPad in her den, and is now calling/receiving very successfully. Oh ya, and saved a few bucks to boot. Thanks for the tip.


    Edited by ryck (12/10/16 01:52 PM)
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    ryck

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    #43135 - 12/12/16 09:17 AM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: ryck]
    Ira L Offline


    Registered: 08/13/09
    Loc: California
    Wait! What is it she did that now works great? crazy
    _________________________
    On a Mac since 1984.
    Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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    #43143 - 12/12/16 12:14 PM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: Ira L]
    ryck Offline


    Registered: 08/04/09
    Loc: Okanagan Valley
    Originally Posted By: Ira L
    Wait! What is it she did that now works great? crazy

    She's 2,500 miles away so I can't say for a certainty but I sent her joemike's instruction from Post #43061 and she got everything to work with her iPhone in the livingroom window and the iPad in her den.


    Edited by ryck (12/12/16 12:14 PM)
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    ryck

    iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
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    #43157 - 12/13/16 09:43 AM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: ryck]
    Ira L Offline


    Registered: 08/13/09
    Loc: California
    Got it. Seems as if she is not using a signal booster, but setting things up so one device is situated in a good location and all devices respond to phone calls. Cool. cool
    _________________________
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    #43160 - 12/13/16 10:05 AM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: Ira L]
    ryck Offline


    Registered: 08/04/09
    Loc: Okanagan Valley
    Originally Posted By: Ira L
    Got it. Seems as if she is not using a signal booster…

    That's correct. She kept the 150 bucks in her pocket.


    Edited by ryck (12/13/16 10:05 AM)
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    ryck

    iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
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    #43176 - 12/14/16 11:38 AM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: ryck]
    Virtual1 Offline


    Registered: 08/04/09
    Loc: Iowa
    I helped install a booster at a business here that had a huge open format office, with 6ft glass walls (about 3/4") thick for cubicles, so you could sorta see several cubes in any direction. Unfortunately, that glass turned out to be RF-proof, and cell phones did NOT work there. All they had were a few specific doorways and special spots they found that they could get a few bars if they stood in just the right spot.

    So we put an antenna on the roof and pulled a line down to a closet and installed an expensive bit of kit and ran another antenna into the main hallway, and I was quite pleasantly surprised to see everyone getting full bars.
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    #43178 - 12/14/16 03:11 PM Re: Signal boosters for iPhone [Re: Ira L]
    joemikeb Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 08/04/09
    Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
    Originally Posted By: Ira L
    Got it. Seems as if she is not using a signal booster, but setting things up so one device is situated in a good location and all devices respond to phone calls. Cool. cool

    Just to be sure every one is clear. This is nothing more than FaceTime Audio and the audio bandwidth requirements are small enough to be carried either on an internet or cellular connection. If the call is addressed TO or FROM a phone number it will at some point enter and be carried on the cell phone network.

    The only things needed for this service are:
    • An Apple ID/iCloud account
    • A device running OS X 10.11, Mac OS 10.12, or iOS 10 and registered with the Apple Account (NOTE: the iOS device does not have to have a cellular connection or capability.)
    • a valid cellular phone NUMBER associated with the Apple Account
    • An internet connection
    No cellular phone or data connection is needed. The phone call or text message is carried through the internet connection to some point where it is injected into the cellphone phone and/or data network and the connect time and data volume is charged to the cell phone account.
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