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Phones are getting ever more powerful, and the advent of 5G means faster, lower-latency data connections, too. However, these faster networks are more prone to signal disruption. And when you add in an increasing trend towards greener and more energy-efficient buildings that are more likely to disrupt mobile signals, it becomes clear why so many offices and other large venues have issues with cell phone service.
Even reliable mobile carriers like Verizon have areas where signals don’t reach. Working in an office or staying in a hotel with a poor connection is frustrating, but the good news is that it’s something building owners often have the power to prevent.
Unreliable cell phone signals are a problem across the United States. According to research conducted by Statista, there are 273.8 mobile phone users in the United States as of 2019, meaning the cellular networks are under heavy use. With such a large number of users, even small areas of poor signal are likely to impact a significant number of people.
In some cases, correcting a bad phone signal is just a matter of resetting the device or making sure the SIM is properly seated and the device is fully charged. Sometimes, however, the problem is not just the device, but a truly weak signal in the building.
Here, we consider some of the best ways to improve the Verizon phone signal inside your business.
1. Understand the Environmental Factors That Interfere With a Phone Signal
Before it’s possible to fix issues with a cell phone signal, the cause of the issues must be identified. Many common building materials can cause problems with cellular signals. Even glass walls and windows can interfere, especially types with double or triple glazing. Often, something as simple as opening a window can improve a weak cell phone signal.
In some cases, it may be external factors causing the problem. Tall trees, nearby hills or mountains, or tall buildings can all impair signal strength. In densely populated areas, demand may be the culprit, as local cell towers may not be able to cope with the demand from the number of users connected to them at peak times.
2. Use Wi-Fi Calling for a Stable Connection
Most carriers, including Verizon, offer Wi-Fi calling. This feature uses your internet connection to make phone calls, and it can be a good option for people faced with a very bad phone signal.
The downside of Wi-Fi calling is that it requires a stable internet connection, and it consumes some bandwidth. The bandwidth demands are fairly modest and should not be a problem if it’s only one or two people trying to make calls. But in a large office with a lot of employees, the bandwidth consumption may become more noticeable.
In addition, Wi-Fi calling only works while the user is connected to the wireless network. This means users could not start a phone call, and then walk out of the building and continue talking.
For this reason, Wi-Fi calling is only a temporary fix to the problem of a poor cell signal. It is, however, something that can be set up fairly quickly on most modern phones. See our video guide for directions on enabling this feature on your handset.
3. Use a Verizon Network Extender inside Your Property
Verizon has some of the best 4G coverage in the country and is rapidly expanding its 5G network. Their coverage is not without its gaps, however. Many business owners find that the cell signal strength in their commercial buildings is poor due to circumstances out of both their and the network’s control.
Verizon provides 4G network extenders to help reduce problems with a cell phone signal. These devices connect to the Wi-Fi or landline internet connection in the building and use that to communicate with the Verizon network. This means they can work even in areas where the Verizon signal is very weak.
The downside of Verizon 4G Network Extenders is that they require a stable internet connection and only improve the signal strength for Verizon users. Any clients, suppliers or other visitors to the property who rely on a different network for their mobile connection would not benefit from the device.
In addition, network extenders have a limited range and signal strength themselves, meaning they work best for smaller commercial buildings.
4. Identify the Weakest Signal Areas in the Building
Before you start spending a lot of money on network extenders or signal boosters, gather as much information about the commercial building as you can.
Walk around the property and make a note of areas where you tend to lose cell signal. Think about the areas that are infamous for being signal dark spots, and the areas where people usually go when they need to make a call.
Map out the building, highlighting those spots. Note that the number of bars your phone shows for signal strength is not a particularly good indicator of how good the signal is. There is no standardized meaning of what “one bar” or “four bars” is across device manufacturers.
You’ll get a better idea of how good or poor cell signal strength is by using the diagnostic tools available on your phone. We’ve produced a guide to putting your phone into test mode that works with most iOS and Android devices. Use that testing mode to get a better understanding of signal strength in key areas of your building.
Once you have that information, consider calling in a professional to figure out how to fix the issues. A certified signal booster installer can provide you with suggestions for the most effective places to install a booster to get maximum coverage across your business’s commercial space.
5) Use Commercial Cellular Amplifiers for Better Signal Strength
There are many models of commercial cellular amplifiers on the market. At WilsonPro, we have a selection of models available that are compatible with Verizon’s mobile network and other major providers, such as T-Mobile and AT&T.
These boosters are carrier-agnostic, meaning they amplify all of the signals they pick up. This means all users in the building can benefit from the booster, even if they’re on a smaller, less well-known local network. In addition, the devices are FCC approved. They will not interfere with modern electrical devices and will not impair the signal strength for others in the area.
What’s more, our devices are compatible with current 4G standards and 5G too, helping you future-proof your office, retail space or hospitality venue.
Commercial cellular amplifiers work using a small external antenna placed outside of the building in an area with a good signal. The signal is transported via a wire from that donor antenna to a device that amplifies the signal and transmits it to any mobile devices inside the property.
Because the device amplifies all the signals it picks up, multiple devices can make use of the enhanced signal. This means your employees or customers can take advantage of the improved signal for better voice calling, more stable connections and faster mobile internet speeds.