Cellular amplifier and antenna supplier Wilson Electronics has shipped its first in-building cellular repeater for SO/HO applications.
The 50dB-gain 800/1,900MHz repeater, or amplifier, requires installation and could be a fit for custom-home installers. It improves indoor cellular coverage and simultaneously amplifies the signals of multiple phones operating on multiple carrier networks.
The amp, which can be installed in an out-of-the-way interior location, connects to a separately available window-, roof- or attic-mounted antenna. A second antenna inside the house or office wirelessly redistributes the cellular signal to multiple handsets to reduce the number of dropped calls, improve call quality, accelerate data downloads and reduce battery drain.
"The result is much better quality and power of signal on send and receive because our amplifiers have extremely high receiver sensitivity and are at least 10 times more powerful than your cellular device," said spokesman Alan Preston.
The SO/HO unit retails for $360 to $499 depending on the online retailer or wireless dealer selling it, the company said. Roof- and attic-mounted antennas range from $40 to $60, and a dome or panel antenna to redistribute the signal retails for $30 to $60, depending on the dealer.
Another SO/HO model, the 801247, is due in August and is dubbed a desktop model because it looks less industrial and features a flip-up antenna attached directly to the amp's base. An outdoor/window-mount antenna is included. "Our current in-building units are usually put under the desk or away where they aren't seen, sometimes in the ceiling or attic, depending upon the installation," said Preston.
The desktop model will be packaged with inside and outside antennas, cables and all mounting materials and will retail for around $299 to $399, depending on the dealer and the final package, the company said.
The two SO/HO amps deliver 3-watt output and use Wilson's new Smart Technology to prevent power oscillations and to automatically adjust power gain based on a cell site's requirements. The technology, which the company is migrating to its mobile boosters, prevents overloading of the carrier's network and interference with other users on the system.
With the launch, Wilson said it offers boosters for small, medium and large buildings.
The SO/HO amplifier can also be used in RVs and large marine craft, including cabin cruisers. In both applications, installers use either an omnidirectional RV antenna or a marine antenna for the exterior. Wilson also offers cellular amplifiers for mobile applications, including, cars, trucks, RVs and boats.
A low-cost signal booster, the SignalBoost, is not wireless. It uses a universal connector/inductive coupler with a velcro patch for direct connection to a cellphone or data card. It retails for around $145 to $225 and can be used in indoor and mobile applications.