Does a cell booster work with all carriers? Even the little ones?

If you don’t have AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, you’re to be forgiven if you get tired of us mentioning those big three major carriers over and over. If you have US Cellular or one of the even smaller regional carriers, or if you use a pre-paid cell provider you may be wondering if the new fancy cell boosters are still ok for you, since we have such a tendency to talk about “the major carriers.”

The good news is that as far as we know, every cell carrier in the US uses the same voice frequencies, so voice service will always benefit from a cell booster, no matter what carrier you have. Almost every carrier has signed on to pre-approve those cell boosters too so no matter who you’re with you’ll have no problem when you tell them you’ve got a new booster. (Remember, you have to do that.)

As for data, almost every carrier will benefit from a 4G/LTE booster; the only ones that could be a bit worrisome are those carriers who use Sprint’s Spark technology. That technology uses frequencies not used by anyone else and booster makers don’t cover it. However, in most cases this won’t be a problem even if you do have Sprint or another provider that shares their network, as your phone should just use the stronger LTE frequencies provided by the booster. You may not get as much boost but you should be able to get something.

The most important thing to know is that even if we only talk about those bigger providers, we’re here for people with all cellular providers, because we know poor cell service happens to everyone.

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.