For many consumers, nothing is more frustrating than poor cell phone reception. In today’s technology-focused society, having access to cell phones 24/7 is a reality and necessity for many. As cell phones have become more important for everyday life and business, new tools have become increasingly essential for ensuring high cell phone reception at home and at work.

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It’s estimated that 35 percent of cell users have trouble with cell phone reception in their home or office. Even as recently as five years ago, there was not much people could do. Options including paying a fee to break your contract with one carrier to switch to another – or consider moving. There were a few products on the market, but most were expensive and only mildly effective. Not anymore. There are several effective, affordable ways to improve cell phone reception that have come into play as technology has improved and prices have come down.

Repeat. Boost. Extend. Not a workout plan – a plan to get your cell phone to work.

Repeaters allow customers to take whatever is outside, and get it inside. The product is a good fit for business owners, as many people can benefit from it at the same time. Repeaters require both an indoor and outdoor antenna. They work in stationary settings – so aren’t a good fit for cars or boats.

Boosters, also know as extenders, enhance what little signal a person has. They are effective for homes, cars and small businesses, as many cover about 3,000 sq. ft. Because they don’t require two antennas, boosters can be effective in moving vehicles or boats.

Set-up varies among products and depends on your location and situation. CNET has a list of products and reviews at and Solid Signal also has the research and resources to help customers make the right choice for their situation.

Factors Contributing to Growth

About one in eight American adults, or 26 million, live in households with no land line, according to a 2006 study by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) mentioned in a recent CNN article. In 2003, only 2.9 percent of adults said they relied solely on their cell phone. In addition, according to a recent Back-To-School Cell Phone Signal Survey, 92 percent of college-aged adults said they have a cell phone, and of these, 87 percent rely primarily on their cell phone.

For those living without a land line, the need for consistent and strong cell reception is vital and has also helped propel popularity of products such as boosters and repeaters.

In addition, cell repeaters and boosters help improve battery life, since phone’s radios don’t have to work as hard. This feature combined with affordable prices (starting from just $199), have also contributed to sales growth in this product category.

Sales of such products actually increased substantially for Internet retailer Solid Signal after the release of the iPhone. Praised by many consumers and many in the media, the product does have its problems like any other phone. It has been shown to have reception problems, and as repeaters and boosters also help improve battery life, have shown to be popular with iPhone users.

The Future

Although there has been some growth in this product category, there is more to come. At this point, there is still a lack of awareness and a lack of trust about repeaters and boosters. At Solid Signal, 90 percent of product inquiries in this category are, “Can I return this if it does not work?” While our answer is always yes, we find few people that actually need to – but there is consumer mistrust.

So, growth will continue as more people have a positive experience they relay to a friend, co-worker or family member.

In terms of the actual products, there is also room for advancement. At this point, repeaters are in the “middle of the road” in terms of capability. They are a good fit for average business and homes – but have room to improve in terms of meeting the needs of larger-scale businesses, and on the other extreme, personal coverage. To meet this need, Wi-Ex, a leading provider of cell phone boosters, has recently launched the zBoost zPersonal. Ideal for a dorm room, apartment, and even on-the-go, the technology starts at just $99. For more information, see The Search for a Strong Cell Phone Signal Leads Outdoors.

In addition, while cell phone companies currently tout the benefits and strengths of their network, a day might come when they admit no network is perfect and seek to partner with repeater and booster companies to enhance their customer’s experience.

Jerry Chapman is the Founder of . Solid Signal was founded in 2002 to help customers find new solutions to enhance technology. The company is an Inc. 500 company and offers satellite, outdoor antenna, consumer electronics and commercial media. The company provides its customers thousands of products to help distribute high-quality, digital audio and video to a variety of different media outlets. Solid Signal offers advice for product selection, installation and troubleshooting to enhance customers’ experience and is also a CEDIA member, allowing the company to better serve professional installers. For more information, visit or call 1.866.374.4625.