1. Cell phone towers are powerful... your cell phone is NOT powerful: No service? If your phone shows no signal, it doesn’t mean that there’s no signal available where you are. To get one bar, your cell phone has to be able to not only receive the signal but also transmit its own signal to the tower. Even if you are surrounded by mountains, ridges, and dense foliage, there might be some weak signals invisible to you. Your little cell phone is just not powerful enough to communicate with the tower. Adding50 dBto your output power increases your odds ofestablishing a connection.
2. Cells on wheels: The map above doesn’t show “temporary installations.” The fact is that, from time to time, you may be lucky enough to cross the path/radius of a “cell on wheels.” Carriers use those as a temporary cell site during a disaster (like a major forest fire) or to provide phone coverage for First Nation reserves, remote work sites, or other remote communities. If you carry a signal booster, you might suddenly get one or several bars on your cell phone even ifyou are currently in the most remote location your Jeep can reach.
3. Break distance records (in good weather): Perfect atmospheric conditions may increase the coverage of a cell site to its highest imaginable range. In those conditions, weak signals could travel several miles beyond the normal or believed working range. Those little miracles happen, and off-road adventurers should take advantage of them. When you get stuck for good on an unfrequented trail or a forsaken backcountry road, yon don’t necessarily need emergency assistance. If you stay calm and cool for several days, time and improving atmospheric conditions could finally allow you to ask someone to bring you a spare part or even watch a YouTube tutorial video if you have no clue how to repair something.
4. Reception at high altitude: Unless a potential lightning storm is coming, I always try to spend the night at altitude for three reasons: 1) To appreciate the landscape. 2) I do enjoy listening to AM radio. 3) To improve my odds of getting an Internet connection. A cell phone communicates with a cell tower via radio waves. If you have the opportunity to park your vehicle at the highest possible altitude on a mountain and face a tower in a clear line of sight (without any high obstacles in between), expect incredible results. Once again, your cell phone won’t be powerful enough to connect to a remote tower all by itself, but the signal booster will.
5. Get located by a rescue team: When a hiker is missing in the remote wilderness, rescuers always try to see if the hiker’s cell phone is attempting to establish a connection, or they check when and where was the last time it tried. Only one very short and weak recorded signal could allow rescuers to determine an approximate location. Every year, hikers (although they never got one bar on their cell phone) are rescued that way. I often see off-roaders who carry nothing but a CB radio and a cell phone in the backcountry. If you are one of those guys, I strongly believe that you should (at least) install a quality phone booster in your Jeep. Getting lost or severely injured in the wilderness is not a misfortune that only happens to others.
6. Make friends: As long as it’s powered, the antenna of your booster broadcasts and transmits boosted signals for several users at the same time. So, people using their own phone only have to stand around your vehicle to get a connection (and using their own phone plan, not yours). If you want to become the popular guy at your next Jeep club event, that’s one sure way to surround yourself with a bunch of new friends.