2017: The Year in Cellular

2017 is almost over and that means a look back at the world of cellular. This ended up being a pretty big year although most of the news happened in the last three months.

The story of year for a lot of people is the merger that wasn’t. T-Mobile and Sprint were rumored for over two years to be merging in a deal that would have sunk the new company. This time it seems like it was actually Sprint’s owner Softbank who pulled away, restoring sanity for everyone. The move leaves four major national players in the US cellular market and while it keeps both Sprint and T-Mobile down in their perennial #3 and #4 spots, it also preserves competition and allows T-Mobile to keep innovating without being stuck with 20 years of Sprint’s yellow baggage.

Closer to home in the world of Solid Signal, the big news is that people are finally becoming aware that good cell service at work isn’t a luxury. New distributed antenna systems and professional-quality cellular boosters are coming fast and furious from our friends at SureCall and WilsonPro and it’s just in time for a whole wave of new construction. Folks, 20 years ago you might have gotten your cell company to put a tower or amplifier up for you at no charge, but today it’s the property owner’s responsibility. It’s just as important as electricity and business-class internet, and it’s time to step up if you own a commercial building. Call the professionals at 888-233-7563 to get the perfect recommendation for a system that will work in your office building!

In handset news, it’s hard to imagine a bigger or more anticipated launch than that of iPhone X. Sure, Samsung has an awesome phone in its Galaxy S8, but it didn’t make the same splash in the media as iPhone X. Apple had been serving up lookalike phones for over three years, with top and bottom bezels that looked distinctly 2010-ish, and in one stroke they finally joined the ranks of the modern cellular handset. I’m not saying the iPhone X is head-and-shoulders above the premium Android crowd, but at least it’s finally caught up. And Face ID actually works, which is a bit of a surprise.

The product of the year here at Solid Signal had to be the weBoost Drive Sleek. Finally, someone delivered a cell booster for cars that isn’t just good, it’s –dare I say it– sexy. With installation so easy a child could do it and an innovative design, the Drive Sleek looks like it would be right at home in a luxury car. Power ratings are the highest allowable and it also gives you a nice vent mounting option so your phone can be in your line of sight if you want. As a bonus, you can charge your phone through its passthrough charger, although wireless charging is still not available.

Another bit of Solid Signal news, we now sell AT&T Prepaid phones. There are a lot of good, legitimate reasons to have a prepaid phone, and if you’re interested then check out our growing selection.

As I write this, there’s still no decision from the Supreme Court as to whether it’s legal to search someone’s phone without a warrant, or use decryption software to routinely search a phone without there being a serious threat. This is a pretty big deal honestly because at this point most personal communication takes place on cell phones and if the court ruled that you had no expectation of privacy on a cell phone that could literally change our culture.

As 2018 prepares to roll out to us, I think we’re all hoping that the courts, the Congress, and the FCC make smart decisions about cellular communication. Either way though, Solid Signal will be here to give you the best in cellular signal boosters and accessories, as well as prepaid phones.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.