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Date Added: 10/25/2018 by Jared W. (WESTLAKE, LA)
Works as described. Fast Delivery.
Date Added: 07/09/2017 by Nick S. (GHENT, NY)
I live in a rural, hilly area, and have long suffered from horrific cell reception. Now that AT&T provides truly unlimited LTE data plans, I thought we would explore it as an option again. Our outdoor signal reception at the best place on our land was at -114dB. Our house and area are not served by DSL, or any other kind of broadband other than satellite Internet, which provided speeds between 3Mbps and 24Mbps (when it worked) but latency at 1600ms to 1800ms. That's 1.6 SECONDS. My son has never been able to play a video game. The satellite services also capped the data usage at 30GB per month and cost $160 per month.
The Cel-Fi amp literature claimed to be able to amplify signal up to -120dB. With the help of the knowledgeable people at 5GStore, we settled upon the Cel-Fi PRO, a Wilson Wide-Band 3G/4G/LTE Yagi Antenna - 314411, and a Pepwave embedded GSM-WAN, WiFi Access Point. We located the nearest tower (4.5 miles away) and I used Google Maps satellite view to pinpoint the tower LAT/LON. We then calculated the angle required for mounting the Yagi on our house.
After installing the Yagi and plugging it all in but, because I was highly suspicious of whether this would work at all, letting the cables hang loose, we powered up the system. Pa-POW. Cellular service in our house for the first time in nine years. I popped open the YouTube app on my phone and watched a HD video. I went to Speedtest.net (not perfect, but hey!) and I measured speeds between 3.2 Mbps and 5.3 Mbps, with latency between 45ms and 80ms. Sure, by contemporary standards that's slow as hell, but for our purposes - research, email, video and music streaming - it's more than adequate, it's damned good. The upload speeds, however, are a disaster - between 200Kbps and 900Kbps. Not so much with the Skyping. That is not a product of the Cel-Fi, but rather my service.
We then committed: we secured the cables on the side of the building, drilled through the exterior wall and passed the cable through, and locked the implementation down. I have a separate review of the Pepwave AP.
There was one glitch: one day, after two weeks, we suddenly lost voice comms but still had data. I called 5GStore, and Dario opened a ticket for me, liaising between myself and Cel-Fi. Within a few hours we were in direct communications, and they were helping me troubleshoot. They examined the system logs and determined that there was no 3G signal, which was confusing, because in my experience, if you get a system like this going and lock in the config, changing nothing, it shouldn't change. Cel-Fi's lovely Rose mentioned that I might check with AT&T. Sure enough, I learned something important: I have *no 3G service in my house, never did. All my service is LTE, and my voice service is AT&T Voice-over-LTE. And AT&T was having a massive outage in my area. Hours later, my voice service returned.
My advice: run LTE discovery (or similar) app and determine what services you have at what levels, so that you understand what might go down, and this will help you troubleshoot.
Our family is tremendously happy with what we have now.
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