Here's a detailed look at the three main components of the cell phone booster.
Exterior antenna is mounted on the roof or fascia of the house or building. The objective is to find a spot that is as high as possible, that is able to catch the weak 3G and 4G LTE signal.
There are two types of outside antennas:
Omni-directional antenna: This type of outside antenna catches signals in a 360-degree angle. Omni-directional antennas should be used if you want to boost signals from multiple carriers and the outside signal is already reasonably strong.
Uni-directional antenna or Yagi antenna: A Yagi antenna is shaped like a triangle and catches outside signal from a 45-degree field of vision. It has a reach that goes much farther than what you will get with an omni-directional antenna. This is normally used to boost signals from a single carrier, and is preferred when the outside signal is weak.
An amplifier or a cellular repeater receives the signal from the outside antenna and boosts it by 32X times. Amplifiers are measured in terms of dB (decibel) output. Amplifiers used in home-based systems offer anything from 500 to 20,000 sq. ft. of coverage.
Most exterior cell phone signal strength ranges from -50 dB to -120 dB. In terms of bars, -50 dB means full bars and -120 dB means zero bars or a dead zone. Amplifiers boost the cell phone signal so as to get the reading closer to -50 dB.
You should get a +60 dB gain at least with an amplifier. The best and most powerful amplifiers give you a +70 dB gain. Amplifiers that have been specifically designed for vehicles should give a +25 dB gain at least, with a maximum of +50 dB gain.
If you are able to get a consistent -94dB or better signal outside, then signal amplifier will be able to multiply signal to boost reception indoors substantially. However, the typical cut off point for signal boosters to be able to amplify is -105dB outside signal. If exterior signal is less than that amount, say for example, -115dB, then signal amplifier will not be able to help in such a situation.
An inside antenna is another important component of the cell booster. When the much improved signal is passed on from the amplifier to the inside antenna, the inside antenna rebroadcasts this much enhanced signal to areas within the house, building or vehicle.
There are two types of inside antennas:
Panel antenna: Panel antennas are wall-mounted and rebroadcast the strongest signal received from the amplifier to the areas that are closest to them. They are ideal for a small apartment, studies room, home office, living room or bedroom, or a cabin.
Dome antenna: Dome antennas are ceiling-mounted. They distribute the signal equally through the area.
Some signal booster brands prefer panel antennas while others choose dome antennas with their devices.
Wilson Electronics, which makes cell boosters under the weBoost and Wilson Pro brands, generally makes use of panel antennas. These're uni-directional antennas which are more powerful but it they are required to be pointed towards nearest cell tower providing most signal strength. SureCall signal boosters on the other hand mostly uses dome antennas. These're multi-directional antennas that are not as powerful in attracting signals but they draw signals from all directions.
We sell both WilsonPro/ weBoost and SureCall devices.