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|Manufacturers face trade-offs when designing
cell phones, and the size and
the antenna is one of them. The
antenna will not be a problem
populated areas where cell phone
numerous, but where reception
is poor, there
are ways to improve reception
the use of a better antenna:|
For people that have VOIP and a wireless
network at home, alternative solutions may
become available when manufacturers release
cell phones that can connect to WiFi networks
in addition to the standard cell phone networks.
- For your car, a number of window glass and
roof top-mounted, external antennas are available.
These are not directional, which means that
they will help reception regardless of the
direction of the neighboring cell phone towers.
Antennas can be either permanently mounted
to your car or removable (to avoid damage
and theft). In either case, you connect your
phone to the antenna through a special cable.
If you drive mostly in remote locations where
the signal is very weak, you may want to
also consider an amplifier, which is a powered
device that amplifies the signal from the
antenna before feeding it to the cell phone.
- Solutions for the home are similar. Since
neither your home nor the cell phone tower
move, you can use a directional, “high-gain”
antenna pointed toward the tower. These can
be installed inside or outside the home,
in a location that has “better” reception
and connected to your cell phone through
a special cable. Although this set up can
be effective, keeping the phone connected
to a cable seriously hinders the convenience
of a cell phone. Also, an external antenna
may still be insufficient if the incoming
signal is too weak. A better solution, though
more expensive, is to connect the antenna
to an amplifier/repeater, and connect the
amplifier/repeater to a second (non directional)
antenna, centrally located inside the home.
This setup has the advantage of improving
reception everywhere inside your home and
all cell phones inside the home benefit from
the better reception.