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Your Experience with Cell Phone Signal Boosters

Your Experience with Cell Phone Signal Boosters

(OP)
Hi Folks,
I've been asked to do some research on Cell Phone Signal Boosters for a large warehouse/plant. I have looked at some sites and some resellers but I am trying to get a deeper understanding through people who have used them and who may have tried more than one. This is what I know:
2 floors : 75K sq.ft. and 50K sg.ft.
concrete and rebar construction
from what I can tell VZW's signal is strong in the area. That will be the primary carrier used within the building, but i'm sure others will be used too.
So, any strong recommendations (or de-recommendations) would be appreciated.
Thanks!
AEB

RE: Your Experience with Cell Phone Signal Boosters

First, was it your intent to provide coverage of the entire 125K ft2?
Second, how many simultaneous users will be on a call at the same time?
Third, are you looking to just enhance cellular/PCS bands (3G) or LTE (4G) as well?
These questions determine the type of BDA (bi-directional amplifier) you will need.
Wilson, Cellular Specialties, and CommScope all make dual band DBA’s. If you need to enhance 4G as well, you will either need a tri-band unit, or a separate BDA for that band.

Please note, the FCC recently issued a Report and Order (new regulation) for amplifiers. It is quite lengthy, full of legal jargon, and confusing as all get out. The basic jist is that BDS’s have been classified in two categories, Consumer Grade and Industrial Grade. The Consumer grade is a smaller, lower power system typically with one donor (outdoor) antennas and one or a few subscriber (indoor) antennas. The Industrial Grade is considered to be a larger, more powerful system usually slated for large in-building distribution.

The FCC requires that all Consumer Grade BDA’s be registered with the carrier being enhanced. If the intent is to use this with multiple carriers, then it should be registered with the carriers in your area. The Industrial Grade BDA’s must be installed by a “qualified” contractor, and you must obtain prior approval from the carrier/s before commissioning and operating the system. This process is a pain, and usually requires the operator to submit engineering documents detailing the system design, location, etc, and usually results in you having to sign a retransmission agreement/contract with each carrier.

Bottom line, if you are looking to provide coverage for more than a small operating area within your factory, then I would enlist the services of a communications company that specializes in installing these systems. It will save a lot of hassles in the end.

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