In most cases, yes. If you buy a new cell booster that uses RG6 cable with F connectors (and that means all of them but the most expensive ones) you can use unused cable company wire instead of running new cable. When it comes to RG6 cable, it’s not fair to say that it’s all the same, but cable that is rated for cable television use is always going to be good enough for cell booster use, because cell boosters use similar frequencies but carry much less information.
Does the booster use the right cable?
If the booster uses N connectors instead (similar to the ones pictured) you can still use RG6 cable but you will need a pair of these adapters. They are a bit pricey if the only goal is to save a little effort by using existing wire, but it can be done. You do need to know that in most cases, cable with N connectors has lower loss than RG6 cable and the amount of signal received by your phone may be somewhat lower because you used RG6 cable. Since the goal here is to increase the signal received by your phone, you might want to think twice before using old cable with this sort of booster.
Is the cable up to the challenge?
Before using old cable, inspect it carefully and replace any corroded ends or barrels. While the cable itself doesn’t break down, improperly installed cable can crack with years of sunlight, and barrels and connectors can get very badly oxidized over the course of just a few years in wetter climate. Unlike TV where it’s very clear that you’re having problems, cell boosters will just not work quite as well, so you won’t be getting your money’s worth and they may not work at all with enough corrosion or poor quality cables.
If the cable itself runs through your walls, there may be other parts you can’t see that could potentially block cell phone signals. Whether it’s for cellular use, satellite TV, or cell boosters, the standard is the same. Installers should run single lengths of cables with no breaks within the walls. If breaks, or “splices” as they’re called in the industry, are needed they should be visible.
However many installers just don’t follow that rule. I can tell you as someone who’s dealt with this, a lot of electrical contractors just put splices anywhere they want and then you need special equipment to find them. It can be a real pain which is why most professionals won’t re-use in-wall cable unless they have to.
What else can you use old cable for?
As to the next question, can you then use the cable that comes with the cell booster for your cable or satellite installation… it’s not recommended. Most boosters come with cable with crimped on ends, which is not recommended for use with cable or satellite TV. It might be ok for a short-term solution, but it should never be used over the long term.
Get the cables you need at Solid Signal
Federal guidelines say that every cell booster should come with all the cables you need for a proper installation. However, if you need longer cables or different cables, be sure to shop the awesome selection you’ll find at SolidSignal.com.