Can you use a cell booster in a hospital?

It’s a fact of life. Each of us, sooner or later, will end up in a hospital. It may not be for us. It may be for a loved one. But we’ll be there. It could be for a happy moment like the birth of a child, or a sad moment such as an unexpected illness. But, one way or the other, we’ll end up there.

Most people (hospital employees aside) have a desperate need to communicate in hospitals. They may be anxious to pass along news of something great, or something sad. They may simply need to hear someone else’s words to soothe them. This is frustrating, because cell service in hospitals tends to be pretty bad. It’s actually designed that way.

Why is cell service so bad in hospitals?

Hospitals are built differently from other commercial buildings. The walls are often thicker in order to accommodate more wires. That leads to more wiring. There’s a lot of concrete and hard surfaces that could interfere with cell service. Hospitals are often built so that patient rooms are on the outside while waiting rooms are on the inside. That means a cell signal has to penetrate much further to get there.

More importantly, hospitals often have shielding that is designed to keep cell signals out. While most of the fear and paranoia about cell signals has passed, a lot of hospitals have extra shielding to keep cell signals away from patients who are being monitored or kept alive electronically. This may not be needed, but it’s still there. Add to that, there can be a lot of shielding in areas where large machines can be used.  MRI machines and other devices generate powerful electric fields that can cause problems for both patients and computers. Even microwave ovens need extra shielding so patients aren’t affected.

Can you even put a cell booster in a hospital?

That’s the key question, right? The answer is, definitely yes. It may be a little harder making sure that everything is done right. Sometimes just getting a cable down from the roof can be difficult in hospitals.  But it is very definitely possible.

For hospitals, I recommend using something like the WilsonPro 4000.  The WilsonPro 4000 is essentially four cell boosters in a single package. Each booster can serve a large area, or the antenna lines can be split so you can have multiple smaller antennas. This is often the best solution for hospitals. Using multiple antennas creates small zones where cell service is really good. There will still be zones where it isn’t, but in many cases the system can be designed so those are areas where cell service is less important such as operating rooms. I mean, no one wants to think of a surgeon taking a break to answer a text, right?

Choose the best solution for you, or let us help

If you’re a hospital facilities manager and you’re looking for a cellular booster solution, we’re here to help. Check out the great selection of boosters available at! If you have questions or need a special quote, call our 100% US-based call center at 888-233-7563. Our techs can design a custom solution for you and even recommend the accessories you need for a perfect installation.

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.