How to truly boost smartphone cell signal and get better reception

How to truly boost smartphone cell signal and get better coverage
MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, Virgin Mobile — all of these are brand names that many of you in the US will have heard of. But these aren't, technically speaking, network carriers. They're MVNOs, or Mobile Virtual Network Operators. Put simply, they don't own the network — they rent it.

And who do they rent it from? The Big Four, or AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Those are the hundred billion dollar companies that own the infrastructure and basically have themselves a wireless quadropoly. Why are we telling you this? Because it's a good example of the enormous difficulties network carriers have when having to blanket as large masses of land with cell coverage. It's why it's unlikely that any new entrant will be at all successful in the US, but also in many other countries, unless it has some seriously deep pockets.

But even the Big Four don't guarantee you good, or any, reception where you live. In fact, so common are cell signal woes that smartphone app developers have been churning out software of questionable benefit. That's because, in the end, there's only so much a software tweak can do to help performance if your smartphone's antenna is weak, or if there's simply no cell tower around. Since we're mostly talking about lack of infrastructure or poor hardware, there's no magical tweak that you can carry out and suddenly get better coverage. And yet, there are things you can do if you're really struggling, but most of them will only apply in certain scenarios.

We compiled a list of what are, hopefully, helpful tips and suggestions. Let's go through each in detail.

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