Cure for the Cell Phone Dead Zone at Home

Finally, there is a “fix” for people who have cell phone deficit disorder syndrome.

Do you or someone you know suffer from poor cell phone coverage at their home or office? A Cell Phone Dead Zone? I had to run out my back door every time my cell phone rang so I could talk to people from my patio. I simply had no coverage inside my house. This was frustrating and actually cost me money. That’s right, I had to maintain a seldom-used landline for emergencies.

One day I was lucky enough to perform a home inspection for a client who worked at a company that designs cell phone antennae. She told me about “Femtocells” which are offered by some cell phone companies. These devices plug into your broadband router and work like a mini cellphone tower in your house.

Network Extender

Network Extender

Several cell phone companies offer these devices. Verizon calls then “Network Extenders”, AT&T calls them by their technical name “Femtocell”.

Installing this device could not be easier. You simply plug it into your router and put the small GPS receiver next to a window. The unit must be able to pick up a GPS signal to establish its location for emergency phone calls.

Once the GPS signal is established, your phone automatically connects to the extender when you get home. You don’t need to do anything! The extender will handle up to three phone calls simultaneously. So to make sure your neighbors don’t hog the connections, you can register up to 50 phone numbers that the device will recognize, excluding all others. However, it will only provide coverage for three phone calls at once. If you have an office with poor coverage, you could purchase several of these so that more calls can be handled at the same time.

The list price for the Network Extender from Verizon is $250, but they occasionally offer discounts. The best part is that it is a one-time expense and there are no monthly charges for it. I was able to disconnect my landline which saves me $25 per month. So the Network extender will pay for itself in a few months.

Please note that not all devices improve data, so be sure to ask if the device your provider sells improves both voice and data service.

About the author: Philippe Heller is the president of The Real Estate Inspection Company in San Diego. It is the largest home inspection company in San Diego County and uses the latest technology to perform inspections.