Verizon is the biggest of the four nationwide cell phone carriers in the United States, and it claims to have the widest 4G LTE coverage — providing service for 98 percent of the country’s population.
This huge network is impressive and makes Verizon a good choice for those who travel a lot and want to feel confident they’ll have a cellular signal everywhere they go.
Unfortunately, its massive network is not perfect, and some Verizon customers still struggle to get a reliable signal in their homes and vehicles. Every large provider is going to have some dissatisfied customers, but is it the network that’s bad, or is something else at play?
Why Is Your Verizon Cellular Signal Poor?
To understand what’s going on with your Verizon cell phone signal, you first need to understand how mobile technology signals like 4G and 5G work.
Cell phone signals are sent out using a huge network of transmitters. The main base stations are very high-powered and can send signals a long way. These stations are augmented by a large number of smaller transmitters dotted around towns and cities. Each of these transmitters acts like a repeater, picking up a signal and boosting it to send on to other nearby transmitters.
A mobile phone signal is a form of radio wave. Unlike AM or FM radio, mobile phone signals use a very high frequency. They can travel a long way in clear air, but those radio waves are easily disrupted by obstacles.
And the list of potential obstacles includes almost everything around you — the metal walls of your truck, the stone or brick walls of an old building and even trees can all impact your cell signal. Every time a cell phone signal has to pass through something, it gets weaker.
The list of things that can obstruct and weaken a cell phone signal include:
- Natural obstructions such as hills, mountains or foliage
- Buildings (even tinted glass windows can reduce signal strength)
- Weather conditions, including fog
The farther you are from a cell phone tower, the weaker a signal is.
This phenomenon is already noticeable with 4G signals, and it’s likely to get even worse when 5G becomes the default standard. A clear, unobstructed 5G signal is very fast and has low latency, but unfortunately, 5G signals are even more vulnerable to attenuation and blocking than 4G LTE.
Verizon (and other mobile providers) work around these limitations by putting up transmitters everywhere they can. This means if you live or work in a large city, you can usually expect a good signal.
Those who live in areas that aren’t as densely populated, and therefore aren’t as high of a priority for cellular providers, may encounter more problems.
Cell Signals Work Best in Obstruction-Free Environments
You’ve probably already noticed that cell signals work best in open environments. That’s why you may find that you lose your signal when going through a tunnel or into an underground public transit station. It’s also why people have a habit of stepping outside to take a call.
While it’s nice to have the excuse to step outside on a warm day, living with a poor signal day-in and day-out is far from ideal. Missing calls and being unable to reliably use apps that require a data connection in your home or while on the go makes for a poor end-user experience.
Some people opt to switch providers if they have a poor cell phone signal. While this can sometimes work, Verizon’s extensive coverage means it’s hard for other providers to compete. If you have a poor Verizon signal, it’s unlikely that AT&T or Sprint would be much more reliable.
How Can You Improve Your Verizon Cell Signal?
There’s not a lot that consumers can do on their own to improve their cell phone signals. In the short term, keeping your phone fully charged and trying to position it near an open window could help.
Another option is to switch which band your phone is attempting to use. If, for example, the 4G signal is very poor in the city, you may find that you have a more reliable signal, albeit at lower data rates, if you switch over to 3G.
You may also be able to improve your day-to-day experience by turning on Wi-Fi calling whenever possible, which forces your phone to rely on the Wi-Fi connection instead of 4G for most tasks.
Fortunately, it’s possible to boost your cell phone signal using either a Verizon Network Extender or a signal booster. These technologies take slightly different approaches to the problem of poor signal, but they both achieve the same goal, giving you a stronger Verizon signal wherever they’re set up.
How Do Verizon Signal Boosters Work?
Signal boosters work by collecting the signal from outside its location, boosting it, and then rebroadcasting the signal inside.
A signal booster is made up of several parts:
- A receiving antenna that is positioned outside the property in a location with good signal
- A booster to process and amplify that signal
- A transmitting antenna inside the building that sends the boosted signal to your device
The weBoost Verizon signal booster is an FCC and carrier pre-approved device that does not require an internet connection, and it can boost 3G, 4G, LTE and 5G signals.
What’s more, the device doesn’t just boost Verizon cell phone signals — it works with all U.S. cell phone carriers. So if you have friends or colleagues on Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T or other major mobile carriers, they can also benefit from a signal booster.
Verizon Network Extenders vs. the weBoost Signal Booster
The weBoost cell phone signal booster relies on the presence of an outdoor signal. The signal doesn’t have to be powerful, but it does help if it’s stable.
If you just want to boost a Verizon signal and you have an Internet connection at home, you have another option. The Verizon 4G LTE Network Extender is a tool that creates a ‘mini tower’ in your home or office.
For Verizon’s network extender to work, you must have a fixed internet connection. This means it doesn’t work in vehicles. The device creates a cell signal for you, and then feeds the data back to the network — meaning it competes with your other internet traffic. If your kids are streaming games or your partner is watching Netflix and you have a low bandwidth connection, then you might notice some degradation in performance.
In addition, since the network extender works only for Verizon customers, visiting friends using other networks won’t be able to take advantage of it.
Choosing a Verizon Cell Phone Signal Booster
There are several weBoost Verizon signal boosters to choose from. For use at home, consider the weBoost Installed | Home Complete. This is the most powerful signal booster in the weBoost family of products with up to 7,500 sq ft of coverage.
For use in vehicles, the Drive Sleek may be a good choice. It’s an affordable, reliable vehicle cell phone signal booster. Another option is the Drive Reach RV for those who require a little more power in an RV or camper van. weBoost signal boosters not only work for Verizon, but also every other US carrier network.
If you’d like to know more about the range of weBoost signal boosters and get a quote for booster installation, contact us today to discuss your requirements. Our team is here to help you get connected.