Last night I outlined my issue with changing desk and loosing the ability to use my Cellular service and EV-DO card because of no signal, and now comes word that Mobile Operators are thinking about allowing there customers help solve these very issue for them.
Not many people know it, but you can buy equipment today off the shelf that will boost the mobile signal in your workplace. They start at about a $1000.00 for basic amplifiers and can get very expensive for solutions designed for moderate to big buildings.
I know that folks in my office bitch about this issue every day, and if the carriers would come in and boost the signal we would all be happy. Most people put up with no signal and few are willing to go to the extreme of buying an amplifier like I did. I was not happy to have to spend $250.00 to make my EV-DO work but it was a priority for me.
I actually went and purchased a long distance phone card for the first time in 10 years because making personal Long Distance would not make my boss happy.
GigaOm has some details on how mobile operators are thinking about dealing with these issues by apparently allowing customers to deploy mini cellular sites called femto cellular.
My mom lives in Michigan the service out their really sucks and this idea would go well their. I had put out a offer that if Sprint would like to put a tower up on our property we had plenty of acreage to support it, and I would give them a long lease and rent for free in exchange for free service. I realize towers are multi-million installations but you can’t blame a guy for trying to hook his mom up.
I am going to spin that a little bit in that I will extend the offer in a new way if a mobile company buys me one of these femto cellular units I will be happy to install and plug the thing in at work so that our mobile phones will work.
Do you have the same problem with no signal in the office? I am sure there are millions of us with these issues. [GigaOM]
For about a year now I have had a Sprint EV-DO card that has worked well in all of the locations that I find myself in. But recently I changed offices which moved me from a outer wall in a building with few windows to inner office. I knew I was in trouble when the guys desk I was taking over for told me that if I wanted my cell to work I would have to place it about 20 feet from my desk on top of a cabinet.
Obviously when I plugged in my EV-DO card at my new desk the signal was non existent even though I had perfect reception at my old desk that was less than 30 feet away along with a couple of walls.
I started hunting online for an external Antenna and Amplifier solution. The more I looked the more I become concerned when I found many sites that sold Antennas and Amplifiers did not have a customer support line. With the price of most solutions just under $250.00 I wanted to talk to someone that had a clue.
I finally found one company that had a responsive customer, and a warm body I could call with any questions I may have. Ultimately I ordered a amplifier and antenna from Gordon over at Maximum Signal. Gordon was very helpful and the kit I purchased really did the trick and I have a usable EV-DO card again.
The amplifier – antenna combo raised my signal from like -110 to -85 db it’s not perfect but it’s better than not working at all.
Meanwhile I am hoping Sprint looks at the building and installs a commercial amplifier in it so that our cell phones will work. It really sucks in this day and age to be in a location where the thickness of the walls kill the mobile coverage.
If you need a solution that works I highly recommend using the folks at Maximum Signal!
I will have more to say though about a couple of popular EV-DO sites that I have some serious concerns about in their site information and sales transparency.
I am pretty excited that Sprint is launching EV-DO Rev A. in San Diego but was disappointed to see that Honolulu did not make there 2006 market roll-outs. If you live in a big mainland city you will be getting Revision A very shortly.
I have noticed here in Hawaii over the past two weeks that connectivity has been terrible and I actually went on dial-up this afternoon because it was slow. I am not sure what the issue is but the connection speed has really slowed down.
I have been very tempted to try a new wireless carrier here in Hawaii as they are advertising some impressive speeds and with no Revision A rolling out here soon. I may have to look into it.
I know that some Sprint Reps read this Blog so I am wondering if they can let me know when Honolulu is scheduled for roll-out and can you tell someone to check the tower that is close to Kanehoe because my connection has been really bad. [Sprint]
A week or so ago I was contacted by a person I have met at Sprint and we discussed my connectivity issues at the Honolulu International Airport, he assured me they were going to find out why the gate I was at did not have a connection. Meanwhile I am now a pretty happy camper and have canceled a dial up account I have that was being used from time to time. I am able now to have close to broadband connectivity almost anyplace that I am working from, luckily they turned a critical area on a couple of weeks ago!
The increase in productivity is just amazing, things I would never consider doing before I am able to do now with no issue. So I am a very happy Spring EV-DO user and may even consider paying the cancellation penalty with my mobile provider and switching everything over to Sprint.
It’s just to bad that Verizon was so yet to get on the 3G EV-DO bandwagon here in Hawaii.