I Have Poor Cell Signal in My Office Building, How Do I Fix It?
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If you’re a building owner or manager dealing with a poor cell signal in an office space, the question of how to remedy the problem is likely familiar. This may be especially true if you’re regularly hearing the grumblings of unhappy tenants or employees who expect quality cellular coverage to be a given as part of their lease.
In an age where people expect to be constantly connected, poor or no cell signal is unacceptable — and even more so when it comes to paying tenants. There are countless business functions for which they rely on strong cellular signals. Dropped calls, slow browser loads, and slow download speeds can wreak havoc on businesses, both internally, and with customers that visit your tenants’ offices.
Read on to learn how to boost cell signal in an office building.
Lack of Cell Signal at work Affects Employees & Customers
Landlines and intercom systems are long gone. Today, business teams rely on robust connectivity to communicate via platforms like Skype and Slack, and to collaborate via cloud-based platforms like Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365. When connectivity issues hamper the effective use of these applications, productivity and morale suffer.
Furthermore, customers and clients visiting your tenants’ businesses expect to be able to quickly and easily get online to access personal information they may need when meeting with a lawyer or mortgage banker, for instance.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to pull up a document or record, only to have the page fail to load.
Having a guest Wi-Fi network is an option but also creates the hassle of logins and not automatically working when customers enter the store. With Wi-Fi access there is the option of Wi-Fi calling, but some people may not be able to access this on their phones.
What Causes Poor Cell Phone Reception?
Whether poor signal is plaguing the entire building, or there are just known “dead zones,” the construction and infrastructure of the building itself are often the main culprits in the loss of signal. Common building materials like concrete to steel can impede cellular connections.
Even if your building is in an urban area surrounded by cellular towers, the signals they emit may not be able to penetrate some building materials. Many modern buildings are now energy efficient, which is great but also inhibits cell phone signal. Learn more in this article on the top 5 surprising things that block cell signal.
The first step is to identify the areas of your building where cellular signal strength are weakest and strongest. Many people rely on the bars they see on their phone to measure signal strength. But those bars have little to do with the actual strength of the cell signal within your office building.
There is no standard for what the bars mean or what they measure, be it data or voice performance across 3G, 4G, or 5G networks. The number of bars is also subjective to the cell service carrier, the phone manufacturer, or even the way you hold your phone.
You can get a more reliable measure of your building’s cellular signal strength by using the “field test mode” options available on both Android and Apple iOS devices.
Working with a professional who can perform a comprehensive site survey using a professional-grade signal meter is the most reliable method for identifying cell signal strength and weakness, however. These meters accurately detect and display signal frequency, bandwidth, and strength under all conditions.
Alternate Ways to Boost Your Cell Signal at Work
Mobile connectivity in buildings is a troublesome reality with modern-day workplaces. We appreciate the convenience of a cell phone and detest how landlines keep us tethered to our desks, but a simple walk through the office can drop your signal to nothing or cause you to miss that next important call.
While there are ways to boost your cell signal at the office, there are some DIY efforts that may help you improve your signal. However, if you're dealing with a particularly troublesome issue with no cell service across an entire department, floor or building, you'll want the help of an expert.
First, determine whether the issue is universal or limited to just a few users. If it’s the latter and you can find commonality, you can avoid a larger fix than necessary. Of course you'll still have to address their needs, but you may be able to get away with a limited amount of upgrades or a spot solution instead of attempting to address an issue that may not affect everyone.
Absent a commonality, you can always try resetting people’s phones. While it's not a fail safe and likely won't do much, a simple reset can free up much needed resources and get your team members back on the network in as little as 10 or 15 minutes.
If these steps don’t work, you can also try searching for better reception in the building. We're all familiar with those building "dead spots" that'll end your call faster than you can say, "Hello?" -- and all it takes is a few minutes of your time to hunt for the good reception areas in your office, the conference room or even the hallway, and designate them as call areas. Better yet, if you have a wired or wireless headset, you can improve reception by placing your phone in a corner, by an open window or by the door while you take your calls at your desk. Even just placing your phone on your desk or up on a bookcase can help increase coverage, so try all the nooks and crannies in your office before giving up. Who knows? You just might discover a new location with rock solid service.
Another common workaround for a poor signal at the office is to enable WiFi calling if your phone and carrier supports it. Since your office is likely already blanketed with WiFi, you can leverage your existing network to support your phone's poor cell reception. You'll have to check with your phone and network, but it's usually not much more complicated than downloading an app or enabling a setting to start making and receiving calls on WiFi. Changeovers can happen as you enter and exit the building and the fact that it needs to be set up on each individual phone means large rollouts are unfeasible or impractical at best.
If none of the above seems to work, or you're looking for a more robust solution, take a look at the network itself. If reception is great outside the building but nonexistent within, you might need a cell phone booster or repeater that can bring the existing signal in. As mentioned, the problem is that modern buildings use materials that reject and cause troublesome behavior with cell signals. The good news is that a cell phone booster is an easy and economical way to remedy poor cell reception at work, so keep reading to find out more.
How Do I improve Mobile Signal Strength in Building?
The good news is that there are cell towers just about everywhere these days — even in non-urban areas — and the signals from these towers can be used to boost the cellular signal within your building or at work. Through the implementation of a WilsonPro solution, which uses passive DAS technology, you can significantly boost the cell signal within your office building.
Passive DAS captures outside cell signals and amplifies them as much as 32 times. Those signals are then rebroadcast within the building, giving tenants the strongest signal possible.
Because passive DAS is carrier agnostic, anyone in the building can access the boosted signal, regardless of their cellular carrier. Passive DAS is an affordable and effective option for office building managers and owners because it can be installed in a matter of days at a fraction of the cost of competing solutions.
WilsonPro cellular amplifiers are easy to install and you can even get a demonstration in your building to see how it will work. Watch this video below to see how it works in action.
By increasing your office building’s cell phone signal strength, you will better serve your tenants by:
- Improving the quality of voice calls
- Decreasing the number of dropped calls
- Increasing the speed of data uploads and downloads
- Extending cell battery life (since phones aren’t constantly searching for signal)
With these improvements, you’ll no longer have to deal with the issues — and unhappy tenants — that result from poor cellular connectivity. If you’d like to learn more about how to boost cell signal in your office building and what WilsonPro solution is best for you, contact WilsonPro today.