What’s the longest run you can have with a cell booster?

Everyone knows cellular signal boosters are practically mandatory today. At least, everyone who knows about them. Nine out of ten people have bad cell service sometime during the day, and yet only about 1 out of 20 have a cell booster? Why? Because the rest don’t know cell booster exist.

Luckily, our phone reps at Solid Signal are on the front lines making sure that people know there’s an option. They’re answering questions every day about cell boosters and how they make indoor cell service so much better. They get questions every day. They tell me the best ones so I can put them up on our company blog. That way they’re just a google search away.

Cell boosters in a big building

This question comes from someone who needs great cell service in a warehouse. In order to get the best reception, the outdoor antenna needs to be pointed west. Unfortunately, the boss’s office is all the way to the east. Putting the outdoor antenna high up over his office turns out to be a problem, because the roof is covered with solar panels. So, our customer asked,

How long can the cable be between the booster and the antenna? It’s 150 feet from where I want to put the antenna to where I want to put the booster.

The answer really depends on two things.

1. The type of cable

If you’re considering a very long run, you’ll want to use a professional-grade booster from WilsonPro. Commercial cell boosters don’t use the plain old 75-ohm cable that home boosters do. Home boosters use that cable because it’s what antennas and cable boxes need. Pro-grade boosters use LMR400 low-loss cable that works much better over long runs.

With home boosters, I tell people you shouldn’t have more than about 100 feet of cable between the outdoor antenna and the booster. With LMR400 cable you can go about 200 feet.

Keep in mind that as the cable runs get longer, the effectiveness of the booster gets lower because there’s less signal to work with.

Your choice of booster

In a case where you need a very long run, your best choice is the WilsonPro 1050 booster system.  The 1050 is the only cellular signal booster with a built-in line amplifier. Line amplifiers enhance the signal over a single long line. Since 2014, only one booster has been rated by the FCC to use them, and the WilsonPro 1050 is the only booster you can buy with a line amplifier. The amp won’t even work with any other booster.

In a case like this one, the customer was advised to put the outdoor antenna on the roof, as close as possible to the tower. Then, the booster is connected inside the building below the antenna.

From there, LMR400 cable is run to the other side, with the line amplifier somewhere in the middle. This provides plenty of signal for the office, since the line amplifier allows for total runs up to 300 feet.

Bottom line, the customer ended up happy because they got the right advice.

Ready for a cell booster?

If you are ready to stop worry about bad cell service, give the folks at Solid Signal a call at 888-233-7563. They can help you find the right booster whether you’re in a 200 square foot room or a 20,000 square foot warehouse. There are great solutions out there… what are you waiting for?

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.