This photo has nothing to do with our story, except that it’s a scenic snap of Isla Colon. It gives you a sense of location (tropical paradise), and perhaps a clue why the the place has poor cell phone service.
I want to share a story, really a cell phone booster review, that a customer emailed us quite unsolicited late last year (2014) about her experience. Beyond being a good story, it’s interesting in a good news / bad news kinda way.
The bad news: poor cell reception issues happen virtually everywhere.
The good news: there are solutions out there, like the cell phone booster our customer found, so nobody has to put up with bad cell reception.
Allene Blaker and her husband Clay Blaker are expats who left Texas for Panama more than a decade ago. Below is her story and cell phone booster review about phone reception in Isla Colon, Panama, where they live.
The only thing to remember is that weBoost rebranded in January 2015. We used to be known as Wilson Electronics, the company name used below.
A cell phone signal booster kit that really works
by Allene Blaker
For the last eight years we have had very limited cell phone service and practically no Internet service at our house in an isolated area on Isla Colon. Not long ago, someone referred a signal booster system sold by Wilson Electronics that could possibly solve all our signal receiving problems. After reading many reviews at Amazon.com regarding this particular kit, we decided to give it a try.
We purchased the system, had it delivered to our stateside address and our next visitor brought it down in their suitcase (weighed nine pounds and fit easily into a standard size suitcase along with their own items).
The set-up was fairly simple and when we had everything in place my husband and I turned on our cell phones, which had never worked inside the house at all, and would seldom work on the veranda on windy, stormy or overcast days. We were pretty sure we would not receive a signal this particular day because it was raining and windy, and we were inside the house with the shutters closed.
So you can imagine our surprise when we each saw 5 bars on our phones (mine, MasMovil; his, Movistar). I got my laptop out, inserted the Claro modem stick, and had 5 bars showing there also. And for the first time, I had high-speed Internet at the house. What a huge difference this investment has made in our lives.
I highly recommend the cell signal booster but of course will not be responsible for its not working for everyone. We did our research by reviewing the feedback at Amazon and while most were entirely favorable, a few comments made us stop and reconsider the purchase. In the long run, because we really don’t have a lot of options here anyway, we decided to take the gamble. And we are so glad we did.
The kit included: DB Pro Adjustable Gain 800/1900 MHz In-Building Wireless Smart Technology Signal Booster, Multi Band Omni-Directional Antenna, Wide-Band Panel Antenna, all cables.
First, how it works: The outside (onmi-directional) antenna collects the cell tower signal and sends it through the cable to the signal booster. The signal is then boosted and sent to the inside (panel) antenna. Your cell phone or data card then communicates with the improved signal. When the cellular device transmits, the signal goes through the inside antenna, is boosted by the signal booster and broadcast to the cell tower through the outside antenna.
The kit we ordered through Amazon is: Wilson Electronics 841262 DB Pro 65 dB Adjustable Gain 800/1900MHz In-building Wireless Sold by: J&R Electronics Inc Condition: New Quantity: 1 $340.99 each Shipping & Handling to our Stateside mailing address: $8.09 Total : $349.08
The DB Pro signal booster Allene referenced above underwent a redesign in conjunction with the Wilson Electronics rebranding to weBoost. That booster kit is now called the Connect 3G Omni (model # 472105) and if you want more information you can find it on this page.
Another point of interest in Allene’s story is her comment about getting high speed Internet service through her cellular modem stick. Remember the booster the Blakers installed is a 3G-only booster.
I don’t know if 4G service is available in Panama. But in this case a reliable 3G signal delivered by the booster kit provided high speed Internet service through their cellular modem. Something to consider if you ever need to decide between a 3G booster and a 4G booster.
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