Farm Progress is part of Informa PLC’s Informa marketing department
This website is operated by one or more companies owned by Informa PLC, and all copyrights belong to them. The registered office of Informa PLC is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
View all markets and offers »
View all farm businesses »
Farmers rely more on their smartphones to understand news than ever, but they also rely on the location of the device in the field and tracking other factors of the business. However, if you live in a remote area, cellular service is still unstable, and major operators are not racing to expand their networks beyond cities. What are farmers going to do?
"I think I know very little about cellular repeaters," said Jon Mykrantz, vice president of sales for Wilson Electronics' corporate division. "People usually think it's a problem with their mobile phone or a problem with their carrier. They don't always know the necessity of being close to the tower and what it means."
He shared that sometimes you will see people come to the window for better signals, but this is not always the solution. If you are too far away from the tower and your smartphone antenna cannot "see" the signal, then you are looking at a single service on your phone, or worse.
The cellular repeater acts as a large antenna booster next to your phone, pulling in the signal to facilitate communication. The components of the system are relatively simple-external antenna, internal antenna and signal booster. While we are simplifying the process, Mykrantz pointed out that the company is making the process easier.
"The advantage of our system is that we can keep end users away from headaches," he said. "What we provide is the ability to capture cell signals from the outside and introduce them."
He explained that the Wilson repeater system can handle all major carrier signals, which are usually on different frequencies. The company’s engineers who make cell phone repeaters no longer need to know which carrier you have: just turn it on and let the machine find the correct signal for your cell phone.
"An agreement was reached with [Federal Communications Commission] Part 20 of the standard, stating that you can place the repeater wherever you want, as long as it does not interfere with other signals, you can accept it," he explained. "Not many people are familiar with these; they will think of the old cell boosters you put on the windows."
The industry has come a long way from those cells boosting the signal to systems that can be as extensive as three external antennas, which can be pulled in and boosted in large buildings. "If you have a steel plant, we can get cell phone signals inside," he said. "In buildings with a lot of glass, Low-E glass has a problem that allows signals to enter. We solved this problem."
Mykrantz works on the commercial side of Wilson Electronics, where boosters are installed in office buildings when the tower is too far away. You may not need to install a huge complex system for that new farm shop, but you can tailor it to your needs.
"There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the type of system we install," he said. "But in general, if you have a large barn with equipment in it, you might consider using the WilsonPro 1300 repeater system."
He explained that installation involves installing the antenna at the highest point of the building, connecting it to the controller and adding the internal antenna-and then you are up and running. Mykrantz said that a commercial system may cost $10,000, but there are different methods.
On the consumer side, the company offers WeBoost products, just like the system shown in this story. They can provide better driving signals to multiple users in the car.
No matter what you need, a cellular repeater can solve your connection problems. There are several companies on the market, but to learn more about how they work, you can visit wilsonelectronics.com.
More information about text format