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April 22, 2016 — by KEN PERKINSSHARE ARTICLE
Many people have asked us about the difference between a femtocell, sometimes called a microcell, and a cell phone signal booster, like this Home 4G. Both can improve your cell coverage, but they operate differently. This post breaks down the differences for you.
How a Femtocell / Microcell Works
A femtocell is a low-power base station that works with your broadband Internet connection to enhance cell phone coverage by creating a signal source, a “micro” cell site, inside your home. For consumer use, the coverage area is typically a single room.
Voice and data traffic moves across your cell carrier’s network and is delivered to the femtocell via an Internet gateway. Your phone communicates directly with the femtocell, which typically has a range up to about 50 feet.
Residential femto models usually support up to four or five simultaneous connections, while enterprise models can support a dozen or more.
How a Cell Signal Booster Works
A cell signal booster works by detecting the cell signal outside a building, bringing it inside and amplifying it, and then rebroadcasting the amplified signal to the interior space so your phone can use it.
These systems are bi-directional, meaning that it will also help your cell phone communicate with the tower using the same process in reverse order. Cell phone booster systems can be used to boost the signal in weak signal areas and inside buildings where cellular signals can’t penetrate..
For a deeper explanation you can check out this How Boosters Work page.
Signal Booster Pros
Signal Booster Cons
Booster systems do not create cellular signal. They enhance existing signal. If there is no detectable cellular signal, a booster system will not work. However, a signal can be too weak for your phone to detect, but still be picked up by the ultra-sensitive receivers of a signal booster.
Want to learn more? Check out our Consumer Guide to Cell Phone Signal Boosters!SHARE ARTICLE
TAGS: microcell & femtocell