Does a microwave oven interfere with a cell booster?

A customer came to us the other day with an interesting concern. He wrote:

Ever since I put in a cell booster I get a lot of static on my cell. I didn’t get great reception before and now it is really good. Only thing is I can’t use the microwave. What can I do?

Our frontline techs came to me and asked how this could be possible. I had one answer: replace the microwave.

How a microwave works

A microwave oven works by sending radio signals into your food. Really, I’m serious. By sending strong radio signals into your food using a radio wave emitter, the atoms in the food start to move around, generating heat. This warms your food really effectively.

Microwave ovens use a frequency of 2450MHz. This is actually fairly close to the frequency that Wi-Fi uses so that is why using the microwave could affect your Wi-Fi if you’re close to it. However, cell phones use frequencies from 600-800MHz and from 1800-2100MHz so there should be no interference.

So what’s happening here?

The most likely issue is that the microwave is unintentionally broadcasting on the 1800-2100MHz bands. This could be due to faulty shielding or because the emitter is ready to break. Microwave ovens last a long time but nothing lasts forever.

I would recommend replacing the microwave at this point, not just because it’s causing problems with your phone but also because you don’t know what other problems it’s causing. If the microwave is causing interference with a cell phone then it’s leaking radiation and you don’t want to deal with that. A new microwave is cheaper than a couple of years of medical bills.

It’s also possible that the cell phone itself is more sensitive than it should be to the 2450MHz band, or that the cable between the booster’s outdoor and indoor antennas is very close to the microwave. Both of those are pretty unlikely scenarios however.

Why did the customer say the problem only started when he installed the booster?

That’s a weird one but I’d chalk it up to the fact that he had really bad cell reception in the house before putting in the booster so he didn’t notice the problem.

Install a cellular signal booster with confidence

Putting in a cellular signal booster will help you get great reception indoors. It’s better than Wi-Fi calling since all your friends and visitors can use it without your giving them the password to your Wi-Fi. A stronger signal will translate out to faster downloads, longer battery life and a better experience for you. There’s only one place to get the best selection of cell boosters:

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 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.