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WIMAX 4G Repeater / Amp?

Discussion in 'Sprint' started by robertdahlgren, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. robertdahlgren

    Thread Starter

    Has anyone found a solution for a stand-alone WIMAX 4G Repeater / amplifier?

    I only get 0 to 1 bars of 4G at home on the EVO even though I'm in a geographic 'best' coverage zone and am trying to find a way to amp this up to be usable.

    Searching around I've only found ones that are super expensive (commercial grade, $2000+) as opposed to CDMA repeaters that run $200.

    Stopped at the sprint store today and they have nothing available and have not heard of anything coming.

    Clear also does not report any devices being available.


    THEFORCE Android Enthusiast

  3. robertdahlgren

    Thread Starter

    Those are great for extending 3G EVDO etc. (regular cel repeaters) but don't include the Clear 4G wimax signal unfortunately which is what I'm trying to amplify. I get great 3G signal just not 4G.
  4. Aragorn

    Aragorn Well-Known Member

    Considering calls are still made on the 3G network and 4G is used only for data, why not just use Wi-fi which uses less battery anyways?
  5. robertdahlgren

    Thread Starter

    I would like to use the 4G mobile hotspot as a backup high speed data setup for the house.
  6. bossxii

    bossxii Member

    Not sure if you have already done this, but reading the "Clear" forums about home service it would seem the placement of the router, or in your case the phone has a huge effect on signal strength. Have you tried different area's of the house, such as setting the phone in a window on the N, E, S, W side etc... upstairs vs down? Just a thought, it seems to make a big difference when using the Clear wireless routers. Good Luck!

    I intend on using my phone in the same manner if i can get decent coverage at the house.
  7. robertdahlgren

    Thread Starter

    That's the 0 to 1 bar variation for me. Near a window that faces the local transmitter I can get 1 bar sometimes, inside it's 0 bars and data timeout errors.
  8. Not to be completely brutal about this. But for the most part, signal boosters (non powered) really don't help that much. Not really. Repeaters (powered) are a bad mojo issue. To get one that is not installed by your carrier is expensive and on the gray area of legal. In the future you will be able to get one installed on the side of your house. But we are not there yet.
  9. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Why not just use wifi at home?
  10. robertdahlgren

    Thread Starter

    I would like to use the 4G mobile hotspot as a backup high speed data setup for the house for the times when FIOS is out which is surprisingly often.
  11. colnago

    colnago Android Expert

    If object/wall penetration is an issue, in an otherwise strong signal area, that doesn't bode well for WiMax as a technology, or at least the frequency that its on for Sprint.
  12. Yes but it also allows intense radio overlap with lte can not.
  13. hookem12387

    hookem12387 Member

    Are they actually good at extending call coverage? Because I get horrid coverage inside my (metal) apartment building, and was planning on picking up an airrave (ugh at the $5/month...absurd)
  14. robertdahlgren

    Thread Starter

    Yes they work great and you can get one from the sprint store itself or other resellers and literally just plug it in at home. There's no monthly fee on a repeater just electricity to feed it.
  15. apexkevin

    apexkevin Lurker

    I ordered the following antenna from amazon "Wide Band Directional Antenna 700-2500 MHz" $53 hoping it will boost reception of wifi and clear 4g wimax, I am also adding on a bidirectional amplifier from Radio shack for $40, this is made for tv signal but the frequency range matches, just have to adapt N-female (50 ohm) from antenna to 75 ohm on amplifier...

    I ordered this hoping to pull signal from 40 miles at my ranch with 2 Yagi and marine omni directional... will post updates..
  16. mpike78

    mpike78 Newbie

    im 150 ft from a wimax antenna and my clear gets the maximum 5 bars 10-15mb down though my evo depending on where i am in my APT i get anywhere from 1 bar to 3 bar but even on 1 i get 4-6mb down. with wimax your going to get your best signal outside or next to a window, also facing the antenna. its not true line of site but close. only thing i can recommend is to put your phone up in a window to get your best signal then wireless tether to your pc's
  17. eieio

    eieio Android Expert

  18. Daddio28

    Daddio28 Lurker

    Hi Robert -

    Please forgive the length of this post, folks, but based on my experience, I think it's necessary if we're going to eventually find a solution to this.

    Okay, for starters, I'm in a similar situation. I live in Conroe, TX, just north of Houston. I am right on the fringe of the 4g coverage area, but in it; and supposedly at an In-Building address (according to both the Sprint and Clear public maps). I am unable to get any kind of consistent, strong 4G signal. For the most part I'm stuck on 3G (which is pretty darn good itself), and when I get 4G, it never lasts for long. It almost seems to know that I'm using it, and shifts me back to 3G. :)

    Anyway, after a month-long nightmare with Sprint Tech Support, Advanced Tech Support, Escalations Dept, Ticket Team, Case Team, etc. (with three scheduled call backs that never happened), I finally got a response from a Clearwire engineer (via Sprint) that: "while you are indeed in a 4G in-building area, you're getting a low RF due to landscape, obstructions, trees, etc." Which of course is something I asked a month earlier and was told "no, that's not it".

    Okay, I'll get off my Sprint rant.

    Well, once I found out precisely where the closest tower was, I realized that the signal is having to get past (over, around, through, something) an old, tall, two-story corrugated steel antique barn that is about 200 feet from our house and in a direct line to the tower.

    I asked the case worker to ask Clearwire if there was anything I could do to improve my signal. And while the response was not exactly favorable, I got the impression that there may indeed be something we can do. The official response was, "We're sorry, but there are no consumer products available for this at this time . . . only 'Wimax repeaters' for business solutions".

    What I think that means is that there's no "inexpensive" way to do it. However, the Sprint case worker (because I cannot, of course, speak directly with a Clearwire engineer) talked to others and directed me to evdoinfo.com. From there, I got to 3gstore.com and a product called:

    Wilson Cellular In-Building Wireless Dual-Band SOHO Cellular/PCS - 801245

    Yeah, I know, that's a mouthful. Anyway, the information is here:

    Wilson Cellular In-Building Wireless Dual-Band SOHO Cellular/PCS - 801245 [AM-WL] - $389.95 : 3Gstore.com, Mobile Broadband Made Easy. CradlePoint Routers, MiFi, Antennas, Amplifiers and Verizon & Sprint EVDO Modems.

    It's rather pricey at close to $400, and it is not an all-in-one kit (still need to get antennas, cable, etc.). For that matter, I don't know if it will even work. But it's the closest thing I can figure that might work. If nothing else, it doesn't have the usual Wilson disclaimers about not working with NEXTEL systems, etc. In any event, I plan on contacting Wilson to see what they think. Because if I can get an antenna high enough, I should be able to get over the neighboring barn, which I assume is the chief culprit of their "obstruction" comment.

    Incidentally, one of the ways I justified getting an EVO in the first place (and upping my plan from messaging to Unlimited Data) was with the idea that if I could get good 4G signal at home, I could (at least theoretically) go ahead and dispense with my cable Internet service altogether.

    Please keep me posted on anything you find out and I will try to do the same on this thread. Thanks.

  19. SeaFan

    SeaFan Lurker

    I'm in the same boat as the rest of you.

    FYI (Daddio) - that Wilson item you've referenced is only good for boosting a 3g signal (800 Mhz - 1900Mhz)

    Here are the only two Wimax boosters that I have found (both require an adapter to physically connect to the device - which will not work with my Epic)



    The Kyocera booster sounds promising - but still does not seem to be publicly available.

    I will also update this thread if I find anything further.
  20. robertdahlgren

    Thread Starter

    Pinging this up as its been a few months and I'm still interested if anyone has gotten a solution acquired and working.
  21. A few things. 1.) Non powered booster/enhancers/antennas really do not work. 2.) Most wimax soho's require an license to run. 3.) You are looking for what is called a wimax repeater. The only way you can get a wimax repeater is through sprint or clear. If you get the wimax repeater from, lets say south korea, it will not work on clears network. I would call sprint, state your problem and see what they can do. If you by a soho or repeater that is not from sprint, it will not work. It has to be in sprint and clears system to work.
    clwoodwork likes this.
  22. savagela

    savagela Lurker

    I'd like an update on your 4g repeater setup. Did it work?
  23. reggier14

    reggier14 Lurker

    I agree with your conclusion, but not quite your reasoning.

    Non-powered antennas certainly can improve your signal. Not tremendously, but it can help you go from a weak signal to a usable one. But, phones don't have connectors for external antennas anymore. That option can work pretty well with some data cards, but not phones.

    My understanding of the problem with wimax repeaters is just that they're not available. There are a few consumer/soho oriented repeaters for 2G/3G GSM/CDMA phones. They don't need to be registered- they're just repeaters, not femtocells. The only problem is availability- I don't think there are any consumer-level wimax repeaters.

    You're right that they're a bit of a legal gray area. The FCC has largely let them fly under the radar thus far. It's legal to transmit at the low powers at the repeaters use, and the repeaters from the major companies in the US have been certified to the FCC's requirements. But, largely due to complaints from Verizon and AT&T about possible interference from these devices, the FCC is thinking about regulating them. Whether their motives are pure or greed, Verizon and AT&T want to control the use of repeaters on their networks.
  24. RF Expert

    RF Expert Lurker

    The boosters will not work that you refer to. I have developed a excellent external antenna system for the Houston Texas Clear area.
  25. mraroid

    mraroid Newbie

    RF Expert....

    Will this booster work with the HTC EVO 4G WinMax? Can you post additional details? Perhaps the frequency range that needs a boost? Any other info you can share?



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