The following is a Plus Edition article, written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
This week I improved the use of my AT&T cell phone dramatically. At home, my phone used to display one or two bars of signal strength on the built-in display if I was on the main floor of the house. Usage of the cell phone on the main floor was spotty: it worked most of the time, but I did miss occasional phone calls. When the calls did work, I sometimes experienced unexpected disconnects. I estimate that it worked 90% of the time. I expect a better percentage than that from a telephone service.
Moving upstairs to the second floor provided a major improvement in signal strength. The built-in signal strength indicator on the cell phone usually displayed three to five "bars" of signal strength, and the phone seemed to always work well. Unfortunately, most of the time I spend on the second floor is time I am asleep. I don't talk on the phone much from the upper floor.
When I moved to the basement, nothing worked. The signal strength display typically would show zero bars. I couldn't make or receive cell phone calls. Unfortunately, I spend a fair amount of time in the basement.
I spent some money this week and made a great improvement. I now see five bars displayed all the time when I am at home, regardless of which floor I am on at any given moment. Even calls from the basement are now possible as five bars are displayed, and everything seems to work perfectly all the time. In fact, this new solution will even provide cell phone service where no service was available at all before the purchase.
However, if you already have good-quality cell phone coverage at home and at the office, you won't have much need for this solution.
An unexpected side benefit is that AT&T now gives me unlimited calls to any telephones in the USA, day or night. I can now use my cell phone to call home phones, business phones, other cell phones, VoIP phones, or any other USA phone numbers and talk for hours and hours, all without any impact on my monthly cell phone bill.
Even 911 emergency calls work properly. If I dial 911 from my home, I am immediately connected to the emergency services dispatcher that is about one-half mile from my home.
In fact, I spent some money, but I could end up saving a lot of money in the process. The cell phone service at home is now so reliable that I can actually disconnect the old-fashioned telephone service and use only my cell phone for all calls. I never could do that before as the cell phone coverage was either unreliable or non-existent on the lower floors of the house.
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