In the 21st century, almost everyone owns a smartphone. These devices can do most of the things a desktop computer can do, which makes strong cell phone signal more essential than ever. Where official carrier networks fall short, cell phone signal boosters step in to close the gap and ensure stronger mobile service for millions of consumers.
Signal boosters are compatible with different mobile networks, and the advancement of network technology is always unevenly distributed. For some users, 3G technology remains important even as 5G mobile networks become a reality. In this article, we’ll look at what 3G mobile networks are, why they’re still strongly represented in the marketplace, and which cell signal booster is the best choice for 3G mobile devices.
What Is 3G?
During the smartphone revolution, generations of cell phone technology became standardized — their infrastructure reaching far and wide. We’re currently seeing the culmination of this epoch-making technological shift with the rise of the 5G network, which is expanding and consolidating broadband wireless resources to work directly and seamlessly with the Internet of Things (IoT). Its predecessor (and the still-reigning standard) 4G unified network architecture and protocols started in 2008 — delivering a fast broadband internet experience. 3.5 G, as the interim step between 4G and its predecessor standard, was most directly responsible for unleashing the modern mobile app market by providing High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) starting in 2005.
However, the real starting point of the modern, mobile-dominated internet was 3G, which was the first generation of mobile networks to provide 144 kilobit-per-second peak data rates starting in 1998. This substantial advancement in mobile networks is still alive and kicking as a network standard in many regions even in 2021. Although 3G networks are in the process of being decommissioned (a process that will have neared its end by the end of 2022 in the United States), they still matter to millions of Americans that still use them. At the end of 2019, as 5G was making its debut, nearly a fifth of American consumers were still using the 3G mobile standard.
The sunset of 3G technology is already in process. Verizon is at the head of this particular curve, having planned to discontinue its 3G services by the end of 2020. Other carriers will be following in 2021 and 2022, with the last major U.S. carrier aiming to decommission its 3G resources by the end of 2022. Until that point, the fact remains that millions of Americans will continue to be 3G users in need of cell signal boosters.
What Does a Cell Phone Signal Booster Do?
There are a few factors that contribute to a poor cell phone signal:
- Natural barriers
- Adverse weather
- Building materials like metal, concrete, or coated glass
- Network traffic
- Restricted bandwidth
- Distance from the nearest cell tower
Given the number of ways in which cell phone signals can go bad, it’s hardly surprising how often mobile users in America confront the problem of a weak or poor quality signal.
A cell signal booster addresses this problem by capturing existing signals and amplifying them through transmitters installed inside a particular home, office, or vehicle. With the right cell signal booster come considerable benefits:
- Reduce or eliminate dropped calls. A strong connection means you stay in contact with the people that matter most.
- Pay less for phone data. The efficiency of data transfer to your phone will increase enormously, allowing you to browse online news sources and other sites seamlessly.
- Enjoy a longer battery life. Your phone is less likely to expend energy in fruitless periodic searches for a weak or inaccessible wireless signal.
- Improve safety. A reliable cellular connection means more reliable access to 911 in places where you normally might not be able to get a signal.
Cell phone signal boosters are certainly worth the cost if you need help compensating for a poor or weak signal. The question remains, which particular booster will be best for your needs? A crucial part of this question is the specific type of booster you choose.
What’s the Difference Between Single Carrier and Multi-Carrier Signal Boosters?
One cause of weak signal is interference from competing cell phone signals. The FCC works to restrict the possibility of this happening, which leads to certain restrictions on the parameters of signal boosters.
The kind of signal booster that works with multiple mobile carriers is likely to amplify cell phone signals across the range of cellular band frequencies. To avoid interference, the strength (or gain) of multiple-carrier boosters is restricted to between 64 and 72dB. For use in a vehicle, the limit is 50dB.
A different kind of signal booster is designed to work with a single carrier at a time. This involves a sacrifice in versatility. If you need to amplify signals from multiple carriers for different users, a single-carrier booster won’t be sufficient. If everyone in your home or office is on the same carrier, then the restrictions on strength for a single-carrier booster are different. In a home or office space, the upper limit is 100dB, while mobile or vehicle use has an upper limit of 65dB.
If you don’t mind a certain trade-off in versatility, then a single-carrier cell signal booster can provide you with stronger amplification. But for most users, a multi-carrier signal booster will prove more efficient and flexible in the long term.
The Best 3G Cell Phone Signal Booster
There are still plenty of options on the market for the cellular user looking to get the most out of their 3G network before the transition to the modern 5G standard is complete. Consistently placing near the top of any list of the highest quality, most popular, and most affordable signal booster solutions is the weBoost Home MultiRoom. An affordable and efficient solution for the small to medium home, the MultiRoom booster delivers an ideal balance of amplification strength, versatility, and ease of installation and maintenance.
This is just one of many cell phone signal boosters provided by weBoost. Contact us today to get a more complete picture of our solutions or to get expert advice on the best option for your needs.