AEEM Guide Cell Phone Antennas
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Manufacturers face trade-offs when designing cell phones, and the size and quality of the antenna is one of them. The built-in antenna will not be a problem in densely populated areas where cell phone towers are numerous, but where reception is poor, there are ways to improve reception quality through the use of a better antenna:
  • For your car, a number of window glass and roof top-mounted, external antennas are available. These are not directional, which means that they will help reception regardless of the direction of the neighboring cell phone towers. Antennas can be either permanently mounted to your car or removable (to avoid damage and theft). In either case, you connect your phone to the antenna through a special cable. If you drive mostly in remote locations where the signal is very weak, you may want to also consider an amplifier, which is a powered device that amplifies the signal from the antenna before feeding it to the cell phone.
  • Solutions for the home are similar. Since neither your home nor the cell phone tower move, you can use a directional, “high-gain” antenna pointed toward the tower. These can be installed inside or outside the home, in a location that has “better” reception and connected to your cell phone through a special cable. Although this set up can be effective, keeping the phone connected to a cable seriously hinders the convenience of a cell phone. Also, an external antenna may still be insufficient if the incoming signal is too weak. A better solution, though more expensive, is to connect the antenna to an amplifier/repeater, and connect the amplifier/repeater to a second (non directional) antenna, centrally located inside the home. This setup has the advantage of improving reception everywhere inside your home and all cell phones inside the home benefit from the better reception.
For people that have VOIP and a wireless network at home, alternative solutions may become available when manufacturers release cell phones that can connect to WiFi networks in addition to the standard cell phone networks.

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