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How to Increase Cell Signal in the Office

Posted on 03/29/18 by Nicholas Jones

About nine of every 10 people in the U.S. and Canada have a cell phone, and we expect to have service wherever we are – at home, the office, school, commuting, shopping, at the gym, restaurants and bars, the park.

You name it. Wherever we go, we expect our phones to work.

how to increase cell signal in the workplace

So when we are in a place that has no or poor cell reception, we often get incredibly frustrated because we’re accustomed to having a connection and now we don’t.

Years ago we thought bad cell reception was limited to rural locations that weren’t covered by enough cell towers.

But now we know it also happens right in the middle of urban areas, thanks to all the obstacles that block cell signals from reaching our phones.

Maybe your work space, regardless where it’s located, has lousy cell reception or no reception at all.

Everyone hates having bad cell signal. So here are our best tips to improve your cell reception in your workspace.

Simple suggestions to boost cell signal in the workplace

First, if you have a case on your phone, try taking it off to see if the signal improves. Also, pay attention to how you hold your phone when you make a call. Be sure you’re not inadvertently blocking your device’s internal antenna.

And keep your phone battery charged up. A low battery can negatively affect your phone’s ability to get and hang onto a cell signal.

Our best tips to boost cell phone where you work

1. Go outside. Building materials like concrete and steel, even coated ‘energy-efficient’ glass block cell signals. So to get better reception, just step outside. By reducing the obstructions between your phone and the cell tower, your reception will usually improve.

2. Find the nearest cell tower. When you know where the cell tower is located, you know which direction your signal is coming from. Once you know that, you can experiment to locate better signal inside your office or other workspace. For example, move to the side of your building that’s nearest the tower to see if your cell reception is better there.

3. Change location to see if reception is better. In the previous point we hinted that cell signal strength is not uniform throughout buildings. So even if you don’t know where the nearest cell tower is, you can move to the other side of the building to see if the signal is better there. Or step out into the hallway. Or try your call next to a window, where signal may (but not always!) better penetrate the exterior walls of the building.

4. Increase your elevation. We already pointed out that anything between you and the cell tower can block the signal. So if your workspace has multiple levels, move up to see if your cell signal improves. A higher location reduces the chance of obstructions blocking the cell signal. If you can go up to the top floor of your building or even out onto the roof, try your call there.

5. Try Wifi calling. While this doesn’t do anything to increase your cell signal, it may improve your calling capability. All newer smartphones allow native Wifi calling and texting, which is supported by all major U.S. cell carriers. There also are a bunch of messaging apps now for audio and video calling. So if you have solid Wifi coverage in your office or workspace, the Wifi network can be a perfectly good substitute for the spotty cellular network.

6. Switch to 3G. Turn off your LTE service to see if you can get a better connection and improved coverage by using the 3G network, or perhaps even the 2G network where it’s available. Some areas are still primary covered by the 3G mobile network, so LTE service may not work very well. How you turn off 4G service varies by carrier and phone model. A ‘how to turn off 4G’ Web search will return plenty of results.

7. Get a cell phone signal booster. If all else fails, suggest to your boss, the facilities manager or to the IT department that your workplace install a cell signal-amplifying device, like a cell phone signal booster. They will boost signal for iphone and android phones.

Cell signal boosters do not create a signal. Rather, they collect and amplify existing cell signal, then redistribute the amplified signal inside your workspace so your phone picks it up. Boosters typically work with multiple carriers and they don’t require an Internet connection.

They are manufactured and sold by companies like Wilson Electronics. To see how they work, watch this video.

For commercial buildings over 7,500 sq. ft., we recommend our WilsonPro brand of cell phone signal boosters.

To sum up our tips for boosting cell signal in the workplace:

  • Take the case off your phone
  • Don’t block the internal antenna
  • Keep your phone charged
  • Step outside
  • Find the nearest tower
  • Try another room
  • Go up to the top floor
  • Try Wifi calling
  • Switch to 3G
  • Get a signal amp

To learn more about cell boosters, click below.

Learn more about cell signal boosters


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Read our Consumer Guide to Cell Phone Signal Boosters.

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