Booster for in home cell service?

Is there a way to boost the cellular signal in our home? Wifi is good, but we have always had poor cell service , it is why we switched to Republic wireless years ago. We were hoping that switching from T-mobile to Sprint would help, it does not. Usually this is no problem, but if we lose power, which is a sure thing during hurricanes, then we are left with no or a poor iffy signal. Going outside to hunt for any signal is not an option during a power outage, especially during a storm.
Friends and neighbors in this small “dead zone” area have the same problem.

Hi @SusanMH,

Theoretically, a cell signal booster would help with the specific circumstance you mention. Because, Republic does not own the cellular network, it cannot assist with a cell signal booster. I’m afraid I also have no specific recommendation as to which booster to try. Obviously, you would want to use one compatible with the cellular network your Republic phones are currently provisioned for coverage with (Sprint).

One potential flaw in the plan is I believe the cell signal booster itself would require a power source.

I live in hurricane prone South Florida. I have household Republic phones on both T-Mobile’s and Sprint’s cellular networks. I also keep prepaid AT&T and Verizon SIMs as part of my hurricane emergency kit. If necessary, and presuming someone’s network survives the storm, I would activate one or both. That newer Republic compatible phones are factory unlocked variants makes this a viable option for me.

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Do you have a good signal outside the house? If not, a booster will just try to improve a poor signal, and you’ll be no further ahead.

@rolandh I live in central FL so storms are always a problem so a booster needing power would not work.
I believe the problem is just in a small area, even friends in my neighborhood with AT&T have a problem getting a cell signal indoors, and not the best signal outdoors. Gets better as you drive away from this small “dead” zone… Don’t know if Verizon would be better. I think my old Republic wireless T-Mobile SIM card was a little better, would I be able to switch to that if needed during a hurricane power outage?

@ceedee
Unfortunately the power outside the house is just slightly better. Driving out of the small “dead” zone area improves the signal.
The only time it is a major problem is during hurricane season when we can be without power for extended periods.

I think you will be disappointed if you get a booster. Also, as mentioned, it requires power.

I can sympathize with you. I live within two miles of two cell towers, but neither reach me. I’m in a complete dead zone.

Previously activated Republic GSM (T-Mobile network) SIMs expire after 20 days and must be replaced. I’m confident if you were to reach out, Republic would offer a fresh GSM SIM. Or, if otherwise shopping at Amazon, Republic GSM SIMs are $1 there. Never activated Republic GSM SIMs typically have a shelf life of 2-3 years, so stashing one or more in one’s hurricane preparedness kit wouldn’t be the worst investment a Republic member normally using a CDMA (Sprint network) SIM might make. The caveat is activating a Republic SIM requires working WiFi, so you’d probably want to activate prior to a storm’s potential impact.

As for the rest, it sounds like your neighborhood is in a bit of a predicament. If no one has robust cellular connectivity in the neighborhood, there’s not much that can be done. If it were me, I’d ask my neighbors to see if anyone uses Verizon and what the coverage experience for them is like.

Beyond that, you might want to look into minimal traditional landline service. Are the local telephone lines above or underground?

@rolandh
Telephone lines in my neighborhood are underground, in the surrounding neighborhoods they are above ground. Once the storm has passed, I can always go next door to my aunt’s house, she has dedicated landline.
A Republic and/or Verizon GSM card in my hurricane preparedness kit is a great idea. Will check out to see if any neighbors have Verizon. How long is the pre-paid Verizon SIM card good for?

Hi @SusanMH,

My apologies for the delayed reply. Verizon SIMs don’t seem to have an activate by or expiration date. That said, I typically acquire a new one for the start of the hurricane season. Yes, it’s a $10 purchase and one I hope not to use but I look at it as relatively cheap insurance. It’s certainly much less expensive than what I pay for hurricane related property insurance.

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@rolandh
Thank you.

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