The big mobile network operators spend a tremendous amount of money advertising how their coverage and speeds are better than their competitors. If you believed everything you saw on TV, you would have to think that in fairly populated areas of the USA that there would be no chance of a dropped call or slow download speeds. In reality, this is not the case, and the best marketing can't do anything for technology that can't possibly be everywhere you need it.
I live 42 miles from the heart of New York City, and despite being one of the most densely populated regions in the country, with millions of wireless subscribers to satisfy, my home happens to be in a dead zone for all of the major operators. The T-mobile and AT&T maps claim there is coverage that they respectively describe as 'satisfactory' and 'moderate', while Verizon's coverage map is fairly honest showing a good sized void of coverage over my property. There are some hills and trees which contribute to this situation, but if you position yourself in just the right spot in the backyard you can actually get decent call coverage and strong 4G signal. This doesn't help if you want to use your phone in or near the house, but it does make a strong case for installing a product like the Wi-Ex
zBoost SOHO DataBlast YX550-VLTE-AWS.
The principle of the Wi-Ex zBoost SOHO DataBlast YX550-VLTE-AWS is fairly simple... It is a booster which will pick up available 4G data signals with its outdoor antenna, transmit that signal to the base unit via a 50 foot cable, and then make that signal available to up to 2500 square feet indoors thanks to the antenna found on the base unit. Before taking a closer look at the unit provided for review, let's take a look at some of its technical data, as taken from the official product page
on the Wi-Ex website...
Specifications for zBoost VLTE Band:
» Uplink: 704 to 716MHz
» Downlink: 734 to 746MHz
» Band Supported: 17
» Network(s): LTE (Verizon)
» Output Power: +20dBm in UL and +13dBm in DL
Specifications for zBoost AWS Band:
» Uplink: 1710 to 1755MHz
» Downlink: 2110 to 2155MHz
» Band Supported: 4
» Network(s): AWS (T-Mobile, Sprint)
» Output Power: +20dBm in UL and +10dBm in DL
General Product Specifications:
» System Gain: 60dB
» Power Consumption - Power Supply Current: 3W standby; 7W max signal - 2.0A Max
» Wall Supply Voltage: 100-240VAC 50-60 Hz ; 5.0VDC
» System Certifications: FCC Parts 15 & 22, Industry Canada
» Base Unit Size and Weight: 5" x 7" x 1.25" - 9 oz.
» Operating Conditions: Indoor Use Only (40- 105 F)
» Coverage (open areas): Up to 2500 sq ft
» Increases indoor 4G data speeds on Verizon LTE & AWS networks
» Coverage up to 2500 square feet
» Supports multiple users simultaneously
» Improves upload and download speeds
» Easy to set up - comes complete with everything you need
» No cradle or connections to your phone
» Extends phone battery life (uses less power when signal is stronger)
» Protects the carrier network using patented technology
While there are a handful of different units available from Wi-Ex, the zBoost SOHO DataBlast YX550-VLTE-AWS is designed to work with phones/devices on Verizon's LTE network and phones/devices on an AWS network (including Sprint and T-Mobile). Those with service from AT&T or other networks need to look at Wi-Ex's other products to find a device that is right for them.