Guest post by Mike (my Dad) Brilliant:
The Consumer Cellular signal I receive inside my home varies from lots of bars to none, and, therefore, is not adequate for every-day use. Many of my cellular calls are garbled from the start or start out being clear but soon become garbled with most eventually being dropped. Most of my calling is done in one room, but the signal is weak throughout my home. Since the walls of my home are the 2x4s covered with tarpaper, chicken wire and stucco I can understand why the signal is reduced. In the past, I tried using a signal booster, but it did not solve the problem. The Cel-Fi PRO Smart Signal Booster is supposed to enable calls in poor conditions, so I am writing this to provide my experience with it.
Upon opening the box, it is quite noticeable that the contents have been exceptionally well protected inside a double layer box with space between the layers. Inside were four papers, two plastic boxes (the receiver and sender units which are called the Network Unit (NU) and the Coverage Unit (CU), two power supplies, two mounting brackets, and hardware for mounting the brackets to a wall or ceiling.
The exteriors of the Network Unit (NU) and Coverage Unit (CU) are all plastic, and upon picking up the CU, the plastic gave a bit and made the noise of plastic rubbing against plastic.
The mounting instructions are separate from the Quick Start Guide, but should be incorporated for simplicity as they are in most other electronic products. There is also some redundancy in the paperwork. Two times the papers instruct the consumer to register the signal booster with their cellular service provider. Then a separate piece of paper with the same instruction is included for a total of three times.
These are just minor criticisms; and in the end, the basic setup of the Cell-Fi Pro is extremely simple. Determining the location of the NU and CU, which is extremely simple, is the hardest thing you have to do. By properly locating them, you have actually completed the installation. It is that simple. You wind up with the two boxes plugged into wall sockets in two separate locations within the building. Although two mounting brackets with hardware are included, the two boxes need not be attached to a wall or ceiling in order to work, but the instructions to mount them are included for special situations. Including the mounting hardware is a nice touch that is left out of many products today.
The wireless connection of the NU and CU is done automatically once both are plugged in. There is nothing to do but wait a couple minutes for them to connect to each other, and they are ready for use.
The effectiveness of the Cel-Fi Pro is at the heart of why one would spend the money to boost a cellular signal. What is important is whether or not calls are garbled and dropped. Without a signal booster in my home, there are very few calls that are not garbled, dropped, or both. With the Cel-Fi Pro, almost all calls are completed regardless of the number of bars on my phone.
I only care whether or not I can constantly rely on my cell phone for every-day use. The indicated signal strength on my phone does not matter. Now, I usually have more than one bar since the signal is now stronger; but even when the boosted signal results in only one bar, I can expect my call to be completed with no problems.
Sometimes, I do have a dropped call, but this is the result of the Cel-Fi Pro receiving a signal that, even when boosted, is still not adequate for cell phone use. In that case, there is nothing that can be done, but I don’t feel the Cel-Fi Pro is at fault.
Overall, my experience with the Cel-Fi Pro was excellent. Once I took the time to find the strongest signal, I was literally done with the installation. The NU and CU connected themselves automatically. There was nothing else to do. The result was very good. I went from having an almost useless level of signal to having a very satisfactory level. The Cel-Fi Pro made my cellular service usable. I can now use my cell phone in my home whenever I want. What an amazing improvement.