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Home Inspection and Safety Blog

Evaluating a home, and special interest info for home owners

By Philippe Heller | Home Inspector in San Diego, CA

A cure for the Cell Phone Dead Zone

Finally there is a "fix" for people who have cell phone deficit disorder syndrome.

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Do you or someone you know suffer from poor cell phone coverage at their home or office? Did you know that some people consider cell phone coverage when choosing a house?

I suffered from a lack of coverage at my house which actually cost me money. To use my cell phone at home I had to run outside. I had to pay for a seldom-used landline for emergencies.

One day I was lucky enough to perform a home inspection for client who worked at a company that designs cell phone antennae. She told me about "Femtocells" which are offered by some cell phone companies. These devices plug into your broadband router and work like a mini cellphone tower in your house.

Network ExtenderSeveral cell phone companies offer these devices. Verizon calls then "Network Extenders", AT&T calls them by their technical name "Femtocell".

Installing this device could not be easier. You simply plug it into your router and put the small GPS receiver next to a window. The unit must be able to pick up a GPS signal to establish its location for emergency phone calls.

Once the GPS signal is established, your phone automatically connects to the extender when you get home. You don't need to do anything! The extender will handle up to three phone calls simultaneously. So to make sure your neighbors don't hog the connections, you can register up to 50 phone numbers that the device will recognize, excluding all others. However it will only provide coverage for three phone calls at once. If you have an office with poor coverage, you could purchase several of these so that more calls can be handled at the same time. 

The list price for the Network Extender from Verizon is $250, but they usually offer $100 off. The best part is that it is a one-time expense and there are no monthly charges for it. I was able to disconnect my land-line which saves me $25 per month. So the Network extender will pay for itself in six months.

Please note that the extender does not improve mobil broadband coverage. It only improves your coverage for making calls.

About the author: Philippe Heller is the president of The San Diego Real Estate Inspection Company in San Diego. It is one of the largest home inspection companies in San Diego County, and uses the latest technology to perform inspections.


By Laura Sargent,  Thu Mar 17 2011, 04:10
This is great information! I made add this to my errands TODAY! THANKS SO MUCH
By Allan Erps,  Thu Mar 17 2011, 04:51
Great information, thank you!

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