Coverage Holes – 40 Years and Counting


Dropped calls caused by holes in cellular coverage are nothing new. But we’re also realizing that poor coverage can also mean poor data performance. Here’s why it happens.

Let’s begin with some basics. Cellphone signals are transmitted from antennas mounted on towers, on the side of buildings, in church steeples, disguised as trees or in all kinds of other crazy places. The term cellular refers to the fact that the transmitting footprint of a mobile phone antenna is intentionally limited to a relatively small area or cell. So that means…

If these cells do not overlap or the signals are blocked we end up with areas of poor cellphone reception.

If the coverage areas are too large, we can get cross talk or no network connection.

If the coverage areas are too small then we can end up with major gaps between cells.This delicate balance is something that mobile operators have been struggling with since Martin Cooper made the first handheld mobile telephone call 40 years ago.

These days it’s even trickier, because everyone has a mobile phone and will use it both inside buildings and outdoors. In fact, more than 70% of all mobile phone calls made today originate indoors. This also happens to be one of the hardest places to provide coverage because the materials used in the walls, ceilings and floors do an excellent job of blocking the signals from the towers outside.

Providing ubiquitous coverage is the goal of every mobile operator. But putting up more towers won’t solve the indoor coverage issue. That’s because every time the operator adds a new tower, or changes the tilt of an antenna to help with coverage in one area, it only opens up a hole in another. After all, we’re really just talking about a fancy two-way radio system.

So what can we do when we’re experiencing dropped calls, slow download speeds and poor battery life? That’s something we address with our Cel-Fi smart signal boosters. We offer a highly effective way to get that “last mile” coverage you’ve been missing.

By the way, did you hear about the wedding between the two cell towers? The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was amazing! Got a better cellphone joke to share? (We’re sure you do!)

By the Cel-Fi Team