Should you choose a “Dual Band” cell booster?

Of course you want to choose right the first time. The problem is it’s a little confusing when you are trying to choose a cell booster and some of them are labeled as “Dual Band.” Some don’t say that they are single, dual, or 5-band, and that can make it hard to feel like you’re making the right choice.

The term “dual band” is falling out of favor because there isn’t a cell booster out there that doesn’t handle dual bands, unless it’s specifically designed for just data. Dual-band is the bottom of the line now, designed for voice and 3G data. It’s like you know how no one advertises “2G” anymore? It’s because everything does 2G. In fact, everything does 3G. It’s just a question of whether it does 4G and LTE. That’s the real question. So “dual band” isn’t really a selling point.

weBoost no longer calls their 3G cell boosters “dual band”, while SureCall still uses the term at the moment but is probably going to phase it out. It’s just an older term and yes it can be confusing when one booster proudly advertises it, but in some cases (such as older Wilson boosters) that just means the ad copy is a little dated. It doesn’t mean the booster won’t live up to what you need, it just means the “boys in marketing” have moved on to newer models with more features.

By the way, the whole idea of “bands” is more than a little confusing. While we refer to boosters than can do 4G and LTE as well as voice as “5-band” or “quad band” that’s not technically true. If you really want to be very precise there are about 12 bands in use for cellular communication in this country. Some of them are right up against each other so they’re often treated as one single wide band. But it’s not really like that. It’s going to get even more confusing because we’re going to see even more bands opened up for cellular communication and while that won’t necessarily mean you need a new booster, it is going to make the nomenclature a little confusing.

Why won’t you need a new booster? The new bands are just supplementary to the existing ones so you won’t lose access to the old bands, they’ll just get a little more congested.

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 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.