Is there a way to amplify a cell phone signal to account for very long cable runs?

Oh, if only I could say yes.¬†Just last year before the new FCC rules took effect, I could have sold you this Wilson 811201 to let you address really long cable runs. Unfortunately, FCC rules say that line amplifiers can’t be used with cellular boosters or even sold separately. It’s part of the plan to make cell boosters easier to use, but it does make it a little harder for large installations.

If you plan to cover a very large area with cell boosters, for example over 10,000 square feet, the better plan is to use multiple cell booster kits, perhaps with additional antennas. The real cost difference is actually pretty minimal actually.

It’s worth pointing out that just because an amplifier is rated for cell phone frequencies does not mean it will work. For example, Sonora makes excellent line amplifiers but they aren’t bidirectional, meaning that if they were used for cellular use they would amplify the signal from the booster but not to the booster. You’d get great reception but no one would be able to hear you when you speak.

The FCC seems to be willing to make some tweaks to the process of cell booster certification so in the future it may be possible that we’ll see some 15dB bidirectional amps like we saw in the past but for now, that’s just off the table unless you are willing to plan out your entire system and submit it for FCC approval.