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CEL-FI GO featured in Farming Ahead

Boosting phone reception with a CEL-FI GO

A simple lack of reception, call drop-outs, and others that go straight to message bank are all daily occurrences for people who live in rural and remote areas of the country. Unreliable coverage is more than just an inconvenience – it is a safety issue in an emergency situation. It also holds back farmers from adopting new technology that depends on a reliable signal.

Often the situation can be improved simply by using a more sensitive handset which is able to access a signal from further away from a mobile phone tower. But many of us find the poor selection of sensitive phone handsets does not offer us the kind of phone we are looking for. See our research report on page 21 for more information.

One thing we can do is use a high gain external antenna, which can be connected directly to our phone handset using a patch lead, or through an inductive connection via a suitable cradle. The drawback is that most phones have no antenna plug, and phone cradles lose much of the antenna’s gain through the inductive connection.

Fortunately, there is another way. A mobile repeater can be hooked to a high-gain antenna to amplify the signal. It then re-broadcasts this signal inside the vehicle, where it supplies a phone handset with a far stronger signal. No physical connection between the phone and the repeater is required.

The beauty of the system is it means any phones and mobile broadband devices (on a particular network) inside the vehicle can benefit from the boosted signal. Also, the system works perfectly in conjunction with in-built Bluetooth phone handsfree systems fitted to most vehicles.

While we usually shy away from recommending any one product over another, the CEL-FI GO is the only mobile repeater which is authorised and approved by Telstra to operate on its NextG 850MHz 700/1800MHz 4G bands. Kondinin Group trialled the CEL-FI GO when it first arrived on the market, and now use one as part of our test gear when testing 3G/4G phone antennas.

While the system is expensive at a tad over SI 000 (inc GST), it does save having to upgrade hands-free car kit phone cradles every time you change handset.