Poor mobile reception? Why a signal booster might help

Signal boosters

If you live in a remote countryside area, or even in a basement flat, then there’s a chance you’ll suffer from a poor mobile phone signal. And, while you might not be able to speak to anyone, you aren’t alone. We hear almost daily from frustrated phone users who can’t get a signal at home.

Increasingly, network providers are suggesting you hook yourself up to a signal booster. But do they work?

Signal boosters harness your home wi-fi connection in order to enhance your phone’s reception and 3G connection. Depending on your network provider they can be either hardware or software based; with hardware versions consisting of an adaptor that plugs into your mains, and software versions being a downloadable app provided by your network.

Regardless of the type, both versions work by enabling your mobile phone to piggyback your home broadband. Any calls you make will therefore be relayed over your internet connection, while your call charges will remain unaffected.

Signal boosters – available services and costs

Of the main networks Vodafone, EE and Three offer a hardware solution, with Orange and O2 offering a downloadable app. Vodafone’s Sure Signal is priced £100, with EE and Three charging about £110 for their alternatives. However, EE often only offer their Signal Box to business customers, while Three’s Home Signal may be available for free on loan depending on individual circumstance.

Orange’s Signal Boost app meanwhile can be downloaded directly from its website, with different downloads available for Apple, Android and Windows Mobile handsets. O2 pay monthly customers can download the similar O2 TU Go app for Android and Apple devices. Both are free services that don’t require any separate hardware (other than your existing broadband router).

Signal boosters – a Which? member’s experience with Vodafone’s Sure Signal

We provided a Which? member with a Vodafone Sure Signal booster. The member lives in an area of Cambridgeshire that suffers from poor network coverage, meaning his mobile reception is intermittent at best.

As a scientist with an IT background, our member said setting up the device was ‘easy’ but was less impressed with its performance. Describing his 4,400 sqft bungalow as ‘too big for it,’ he explained that while his signal was excellent when his phone was near to the signal booster, his reception degraded until it ‘vanished completely’ as he walked into rooms further away.

Signal boosters – should I buy one?

‘Never!’ in the words of our member, who makes the point that ‘it is up to Vodafone to provide a signal for this area – not for each household to pay them extra money.’ We’d tend to agree to some extent, however, if you live in a truly remote area then the chances of any network extending its coverage to you in the near future is probably unlikely.

Therefore a signal booster might be the answer to your poor reception, though it’s worth considering the free software solutions of Orange and O2 when looking to take this option.

What if even a signal booster can’t help me?

If your provider doesn’t provide you with a service that is deemed to be with reasonable care and skill, then you’re entitled to terminate your mobile contract for breach of that agreement with no financial penalty.

Please check our Consumer Rights page for details of your rights and what you need to do should you feel that the mobile phone reception in your home counts as non-performance, and your network is therefore in breach of contract.

Have you had any experience with any of the signal boosters mentioned about? If so, please let us know in the comments section below.

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73 replies

  1. I have two Suresignal devices in a Barn, used as a home and Cottage and would recommend them to anyone that needs a reliable signal. I live in a rural area on the very edge of the reception area for all providers.

    You cannot overcome the laws of physics: radio waves will struggle to make it through thick walls and metal backed insulation at the edge of reception areas. Unless we want the countryside peppered with masts, you’ll have to live with a signal booster. Likewise, if you choose to live in a basement, you will also struggle to get a signal.

    Making the most of a booster in a large house is a matter of sensible placement – in the centre of the building on an upper floor would be best. Also, the Vodafone device does vary its power output depending where you say it will be used – it may have been possible to increase the power and range during set-up.

    We also bring the problem on ourselves with our new, sleek, smartphones. Remember the old phones with the antennas that pulled out or were a stub on the top: much more efficient with a much better range. Now the antenna is buried in the phone case which again reduces efficiency.

  2. Reception being particularly intermittent where I live, I downloaded the O2 app and started the sign-up process. Problem is, part of the sign-up requires entering a code which they sent to me via text. Too bad that poor reception prevented me from receiving the text! Sad that O2 didn’t think to send the code by email…

    1. O2 might want to sell you’re mobile number to advertising companies,I think that’s the only reason why they insist on sending a text.

  3. I have a Vodafone SureSignal which, initially, had patchy reliability but seems OK now. In a large house with foil-insulated walls it can struggle a bit, but is far better than nothing – which is pretty much what our reception would be without it. Note that it needs to be connected (by an ethernet cable) to the broadband router, so this will naturally restrict your placement choices. I’m intrigued by the ‘downloadable apps’ – can someone explain how these boost reception? Do they force the phone into a high-power mode (normally reserved for emergency calls) in low-signal areas, with predictable consequences for battery life?

    1. The EE App is a sophisticated VOIP App that sends your conversation over your internet connection instead of using the mobile network. A neat way of approaching the issue. However, you will be paying for the calls you make over your wifi in your own house, when you could use a cheaper VOIP solution. The benefit is that you have a single number and can also get your text messages.

    2. Thanks Suresignal User – so it seems like all of these apps will still rely on some sort of internet connection, which of course may be a problem depending on location/circumstances

    3. Suresignal User – I had an app when I was on O2 but it was very intermittent and although you received the text messages you could not reply to them in the normal way. It was hopeless. Is this the same with the EE App?
      I would appreciate your input. Thank you.

    4. please could you email me the name of this app as Ive been searching for it. Im on android with a samsung S5 on EE.

      EE havent heard of it either lol

      paul@hel”yerfarm.c”o.uk please take all the ” out thanks

    5. Paul, ive been looking into this….EE don’t use an app. They use a signal box which plugs into your router. Its out of stock at the mo & you have to pay for it. Price depends on your location & the reception bars in your area. As yet i have no experience of its benefit. Originally i wanted to upgrade to the Orange phone inorder to get the signal booster but was missold the EE phone. I am yet to decide if im keeping it as all i want is to get a mobile network reception in my house!

    6. Hi. You say you were miss sold your new Phone? I called EE today to complain again about my poor signal and was offered a free signal booster box if I upgraded my phone which I did. I also changed my broadband provider to E E a the same time. One completed i asked to get put through to the department which originally offered me the free booster only to be informed that there was no such offer, that EE don’t sell booster boxes only give them to qualifying customers of which I was not, and any way that they were all out of stock and didn’t know when they would have any more. Lucidly I have 14 days to cancel my new contracts. Is this similar to your experience?

    7. Sod battery life, how about predictable effects on human life?
      They’ve spent the last 20 years working on reducing power output of radiowave transmitting devices which we hold next to our brain. Now they’re saying ‘hey, just turn the power up!

  4. Forgot to add – you can use a WiFi extender eg using the house ring-main, which will enable you to plug in a Sure Signal remote from where your router is located. As an aside, these ring-main WiFi extenders work really well – they’ve been essential for getting WiFi round our house

  5. I run a business account with O2 and at my old house had variable reception although according to O2 it was in a good reception area.After 2 replacement phones without any improvement O2 agreed to supply me with a signal booster for free (hardware which plugs into the router not an app) which solved the problem. We recently moved to a rural location with virtually nil reception and the booster works fine although the broadband isn’t great either so we have to be careful with downloads as the booster will disconnect whilst large download takes place i.e. catch up tv xbox gaming etc.

  6. We have had the Vodafone Sure Signal for two years. I worked out it would pay for itself in a few months as otherwise we were using our landline to make falls to mobiles – a very costly option. We can now call mobiles from our mobile phones. The service generally is excellent. Occasionally it fails or the box needs to be reset ( power off and on again usually does it). Coverage in our house and immediately outside is very good. Would commend it.

  7. I have used the O2 app and it worked well around the house – the normal signal fades on one side of the house away from the mast so this was a good solution.
    The one downside I’d like to share is that I couple my phone with my car’s inbuilt Bluetooth and with the app on, and even when I change the setting on the app to try GSM first, incoming and outgoing calls fail over Bluetooth. The app seems to add an extra ‘handshake’ that messes up the car’s Bluetooth protocol.
    It felt like a catch 22 and I uninstalled the app as hands free working in the car took priority. To give O2 credit when uninstalling there was a screen prompting for feedback so I could advise them of the issue.

  8. We got Vodafone Sure Signal because of the high cost of phoning mobiles. Even though we had to buy new smart phones (we had basic phones) in the long run we have saved a lot of money.
    Only 4 phones can be registered with the signal box and we have never added in visitors – mostly because I haven’t had the time to check out how. Other drawbacks are power cuts and inadvertently turning off the Sure Signal. It can take half an hour to get the signal back.

    1. 32 Phones can be registered and up to 8 calls made at once – if your broadband can take it.

      I put all my (vodafone using) friends on it when the visit. Easy to do online.

    1. MnM is correct. This Which? article is terribly researched.
      There is no downloadable Orange (EE) Signal Boost app. (The link does not take you to webpage where it can be downloaded as the article mistakenly claims, because you cannot download the app, from anywhere.)
      The only way you get Signal Boost is if the phone you chose happened to be one of the few Orange handsets which have the app pre-installed. My old HTC Desire S did, and it worked well. My current HTC One (M7), which I have had 10 months, doesn’t and I miss the facility so badly that I wish I had switched from Orange rather than lose it and have no signal in a couple of places I spend a lot of time.
      As for the Orange / EE version of Vodafone’s Sure Signal, it exists, but try finding concrete info on one, much less getting hold of it.

    2. No it’s not. Apple is Marmite

      And We Hate Apple.

      .

      Sick of seeing apps developped just for Apple or for apple first. Nice to hear about an app not available for Apple.

  9. The Orange Signal Boost app is only available for Android, Blackberry and Nokia (not iPhone or Windows Mobile) and cannot be downloaded & installed, it’s only available as a preinstalled app on supported Orange branded handsets.

  10. I have vodafone sure box since they came out and they do work well i live in countryside we had a mast down the village which actually gave me a full signal on my mobile till one day my signal dropped to practically zero i phoned vodafone they did fib at first and said it must be my moblie till they owned up and said the mast had been swithed off i had just renewed my contract 1 month before they gave me a free sure signal box after threatening to leave them telling them it was they who broke my contract by switching off my signal that was over 10 years ago i have new sure signal box which i purchased just before christmas it works well the only problem if your internet goes down so does your phone signal as it works through the router .

  11. I have just taken out a sim only contract with three. Before doing so I explained to the salesman in the three shop that we get very poor or no mobile signal where we live in rural Cornwall, regardless of network. He assured me that there would be signal and so I took out the contract.
    Once at home, I had no signal at all on my phone, so contacted three and was transferred to their network solutions team. They carried out a check and I emphasised that I had been assured I would have signal. They called back 15 minutes later and told me that normally home signal boxes were for 24 month contracts with a handset but ion my case they would make an exception and would give me a box for free. 2 days later I have the box, super easy to set up and works brilliantly! I have full bar reception on my iphone everywhere in the house.
    Would Definitely recommend three

  12. How to get a signal booster on EE

    Phone customer service on 150
    Mention you had a little bit of signal in your house before but since the last few months the signal doesn’t appear and calls go to voicemail. It was never this bad.

    You can’t make or receive a call unless you go upstairs and hang out of the window or sit in the garden. When you do get a signal by the window people complain that you break up or sound like your underwater.

    For you the biggest and best network is not that at home, it’s crazy and you’re really annoyed etc.

    This what EE do:

    Notes for staff
    Consumer PAYM customers that are affected by Network optimisation, should be dealt with by the Device Escalations team. If the network optimisation impact to the customer is classified as red or amber, the G3 Signal Box unit can be offered free of charge (FOC). If the customer’s impact is green or none for Network Optimisation then normal network diagnostics should be followed and the criteria below should be used via Coverage checker should they insist on having the Signal Box.
    If customer wishes to buy a Signal box 1st line tech and CS agents should
    1.Establish customer does have an indoor coverage issue
    2.Determine and agree a price with the customer using the price guide,
    3.Order out the signal box
    4.Add appropriate product.
    Customers who are unhappy to pay for a signal box should be handled as BAU escalation.
    If a customer asks about costs and why they should be charged please explain the costs go towards the device and the maintenance of the signal box service. Each signal box runs at a cost to EE which we try to reduce for the customer.
    Customer situation
    Charge for Signal Box

    Decommissioned area

    Free (BAU)

    0-3 bars in coverage checker

    75% discount – charge £26.70

    4 bars in coverage checker

    50% discount – charge £53.40

    5 bars in coverage checker

    Full price – charge £106.40

    The special £26.70 price can still be offered to high value customers
    Customers who have been with us for more than 2 contracts
    Customers who have multiple lines (+2)
    Customers with an average monthly spend (inc MRC) £50+

    The special £26.70 price can still be offered to high value customers
    •Customers who have been with us for more than 2 contracts
    •Customers who have multiple lines (+2)
    •Customers with an average monthly spend (inc MRC) £50+
    Customers should be advised that Signal Box is for customers who have no indoor coverage and is intended for voice and sms services only. Customers are recommended to use their home WiFi if available for any data services.

    1. I have recently transferred two mobile phones from Vodafone to a package with Utilty Warehouse who piggy back onto Tmobile/EE.. I had a sure signal with Vodafone as reception inside house was not good. Reception with EE is now almost non existent. UW don’t have signal boosters. EE/Tmobile dont give them out unless you have an account with them directly.What do do. Go back to Vodafone (expensive) do you know if I buy a Pay as you go card and register with T mobile will they give/sell me a signal booster and does it work with multiple nos?

  13. Vodafone used to be great for signal, but in recent years it has deteriorated badly. Guildford is hardly rural. I have tried to sort this out with Vodafone inside of by contract for a free signal booster. But no luck. Personally, I see no reason why I should pay extra for them to provide a service I already pay for. Especially, when non-hardware solutions are available.

    Anyway, today I said goodbye. Contract finally up and guess what I get offered a box for free!! Not a chance. After 10 years you have lost me forever.

  14. BEWARE if you have switched to fibre broadband! I used Vodafone’s Sure Signal for the last few years. It worked great until I switched to fibre broadband. It just stopped working. I have gone through a series of troubleshooting steps with Vodafone, including paying my ISP to give me a static address, and nothing has worked. I received a series of excuses, including having to take the Sure Signal for repair!

    I got my IT Consultant to follow up and this is what he was told: “Vodafone has admitted that the Sure Signals do not work on Fibre, it is due to the data packet size (MTU) of your new fibre broadband. ADSL operates up to 1500 MTU however fibre operates at a low packet size 14xx.”

    I now need to find a provider with a booster that will work with fibre broadband. Any suggestions? I’m weary of going back to T-Mobile (Orange) as I had terrible reception and heard that EE have cut back so it’s even worse now. At least with Vodafone, I can get 1 bar without the booster. Seems like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

  15. I switched to BT FTC with no issues. I have two Suresignal devices and moved them without issue from the ADSL on Talk-Talk with a simple plug-in and reboot.

    I’ve since moved from BT as an ISP to Plusnet with no issues. I kept the BT Home Hub (Version2?) as a router as I wanted to minimise any changes to my home network. It’s still working fine. Your issue maybe with your routter – is there another router you can try?

    My experience is that Suresignals are not always happy working through switches. I have both of mine connected directly to the router (the benefit of a flood-wired house with CAT5 in all rooms).

    The big issue is with the reliability of the devices themselves – both of mine have been replaced with newer models as the older ones have each failed after about 2 years.

  16. Vodafone sure signal DOES work with fibre broadband.

    Our v1 needed a firmware update when we first migrated and I’ve also heard that there are issues with the BT home hub version 3. However I swapped that out within a week of having fibre.

    In short one had fibre for 4 years and a sure signal for about 6.

  17. was told by EE SIGNAL was being inproved in my area, was talked in 4G with new contract. signal only outside 100 mtrs away from house. trying to run bis from home. no chance. signal has got weaker….. contract spend £50 + a month. .Have been on to EE many times about this, being told to turn phone of. had enough of it now.. Is signal booster, the answer…

    1. If you have already got (or can get) a landline home phone with a good broadband internet service, then the EE signal booster should allow your mobile calls to be routed to and from EE via your landline and internet.

      I think that sounds definately worth trying.

  18. According to EE today they no longer supply this booster. Spent a good hour on the phone in an EE shop trying to get this service which I was told at sign up was available if I needed it. Of course since my contract, not even a month old. I have neither a data signal nor even 1 bar most of the time. Not very good when you have to go upstairs, stand on the ottoman to eventually get a signal. Have left it with the manager of the store as he had not been told of the change in policy and was still offering this service. He was none too pleased as it didn’t do a lot for his credibility.

  19. Instead of booster / broadband WiFi solutions why can’t they provide a transmit & receive aerial on my roof linked by a cable to another inside my house?

    Not exactly rocket science??

    1. They do provide systems like that, they have used them for in building commercial coverage for years…. The problem is that they are governed by law so need to be set up properly so as not to interfere. You can buy them on the Internet, but they are not legal to set up and use.

      You would need to contact your operator and get them or an approved installer to set it up for you, which is not cheap.

  20. For 02 customers i recommend you download the TuGo App on your smartphone. I was literally pulling my hair out trying to find a way to get a signal around my house in the countryside until someone recommended TuGo. After a simple registration I am now able to make and receive calls like normal on my mobile phone as long as I’m in range of my broadband router. The call quality is pretty good and I can hear everyone perfectly. I can also send and receive texts like normal – I just send via the TuGo app. On setting up the account you do have to click on your call preference – IE: if you prefer your calls to come via the app 1st or the network 1st before trying the other.

    I have also found the app works abroad too – even Australia and the USA without costing me anything to make the calls or send texts. It just comes out of my normal 02 monthly bundle. Perfect!
    Please note I don’t work for any telephone company. These are just my findings on downloading the TuGo app on my Samsung GalaxyNote2 smartphone.

  21. Re:New3user
    Consider yourself very lucky!
    I am on a 30-day rolling contract in a poor area and 3 carried out same test and put me through to signal booster department.
    They said even though 3 confirm the signal is poor in my house they will not send a free booster box out to me or even sell me one because I am not on a contract.
    I said I am on a 30-day rolling contract which is still a contract as that is what they call it!
    I am only on three so that I can get a signal when at work, seen as every other sim I tried in my sim free iphone couldn’t get a signal!
    Apple jut need to invent a dual sim iphone then I’ll be sorted!

  22. Karlos. Don’t you have broadband? Surely if you’re on a rolling contract it would be best to sign up to o2 on sim only or whatever on a new monrhly basis( thats if you have a smartphone and broadband?).

    Believe me- i live in the 1% of the country where there is zero network coverage. My calls are routed via my broadband so i have to be in range of the router but i get 100% of my calls and messages now with no delay.

  23. I’m with O2 for mobile phone plus my ipad , I have cellular data wifi on ipad

    At home I have broadband which works fine , however when I take ipad out the house
    I can’t get a proper signal with O2 , it’s very difficult getting on sites etc , I bought the
    Cellular data ipad with the O2 mobile network thinking I would have internet on the go
    Is there any way I can boost this signal while I’m away from home ,

  24. I have been following this conversation and being deaf I need a booster as the signal is poor. I was on Vodafone but the signal has disappeared with me so I am on EE Orange. I have seen boosters advertised for sale – are they legal? or does one recommend them? I am confused.

  25. If the problem is you cant get a mobile signal at your home then do the following:

    If you have broadband then get yourselves a smartphone. Eg: iphone or android phone.
    Subscride onto an o2 contract.
    Download the o2 ‘TuGo’ app ( any mobile phone shop will do this for you for free).
    You will now be able to receive your phone calls and text messages etc as long as you are in wifi range.

  26. I’ve got a Nokia Lumia 920 Windows phone on a Tesco contract which uses the O2 network. Rubbish reception where I live.
    Tu Go is not available for Windows phones and is for O2 customers only – not Tesco.
    Has anyone tried alternatives such as Viber, Zoiper or MobileVoip?

  27. I have both Orange Signal Boost (wife and daughter use it) & a Vodafone Sure Signal box (work provided) at home.
    As said in previous threads both technologies “back haul” the mobile call across the Internet.
    As such, how well this technology works is very dependant on the state of congestion on your internet link at the time of the call. So if you suffer from poor Internet speeds (as most rural user do) then you’re going to have variable call quality at best!
    In my particular case the only way I can make “Signal boost” technology work for me is to call the recipient straight back from my work Avaya VoIP phone (which seems provides some sort of quality of service for VoIP calls over the “net”). My daughter and wife have to resort to using the normal BT land line to return calls.
    However text messaging generally works well.

  28. My experience is exactly as “it will work”s post above. Great post! Should add that if you are not in a red area as I wasn’t you find out where one is and say you work a lot in that area!! I.e. You have been effected by optimisation (funny optimisation has a different meaning in the mobile world for some reason) However, the EE signal box is rubbish – yes the 3G signal is there and calls can be made and received but the quality is similar to that of talking underwater!! Tried repositioning and through the 2 different routers I have a home.
    Complained to EE/orange – they, as previously posted, have stopped sending them out now. The customer service rep did say they were rolling out a wifi solution which doesn’t need any additional hardware in the very near future which should solve all our problems. We’ll see?

  29. I’ve used sure signal very successfully for several years now. We have no mobile signal and rely upon the sure signal from Vodafone. I have added several more sure signal units to my wifi extenders as it gives coverage throughout the house. The plug-in wifi extenders don’t work as my house has several electrical breaker boxes. Instead, I use Apple airport, which has hugely improved the stability of my wifi network. Rarely do I have any problems now, with my wifi or my phone signal.

  30. What about signal boosters for cars?
    I note that Wilson Electronics’ products receive excellent reviews, but they seem to be a US-based company and when I type in “UK suppliers of Wilson signal boosters” all I get is people selling boosters on ebay.
    With a signal booster for a car, it seems to me that you really need an expert to wire it in.
    Any suggestions?

  31. Having been a vodafone customer for the best part of 20 yrs mainly because their transmission frequency carries twice the distance as their competitors using the 1800kc/s. I’ve always lived in the country and have rarely had a useable signal at home, even near Oakham which is about as central as it’s possible to get in UK.
    In recent years however vodafone coverage has become a joke, i can rarely get a decent signal outside (only in major cities) and I’ve never been able to get a reliable signal indoors without a “sure signal”
    It works ok, at moment i have 3 out of 4 bars on my signal strength histogram and given that in rural ayrshire we have fibre optic broadband, well its OK that’s all

  32. EE signal box
    what happened with me,
    It was very very hard work dealing with the ee operator but as I have 3 contracts with them in a very poor reception area I eventually got one free of charge and it works for ANY 3G mobile phone.
    Some ee operators don’t seem to know about the box. If your getting nowhere just call back and speak with another.
    I now have 4 mobiles that for the 1st time have a signal indoors.
    Does a great job. Just persevere !

  33. I’m currently with plusnet normal broadband but am thinking of upgrading to fibre.

    Can anyone tell me if this’s ee signal bow will work also with fibre?

  34. I have an EE contract and have never had very good reception in the house. After speaking with an engineer at EE, who was very helpful she offered the signal boost box for the cost of delivery and also went through some settings on my phone. I said I would try the new settings before making a purchase. In the mean time my neighbour who also has a poor connection was sent a signal booster box from t-mobile. It hasn’t done a thing for her phone as it isn’t 3g compatible……they didn’t ask her that question!!!……..but my mobile uses her box and has improved my signal hugely!!! We live in terraced houses…….so idoes this mean if she didn’t have unlimited BB would she be paying for my calls???

  35. January 21st, 2015
    I have an EE contract and have never had very good reception in the house. After speaking with an engineer at EE, who was very helpful she offered the signal boost box for the cost of delivery and also went through some settings on my phone. I said I would try the new settings before making a purchase. In the mean time my neighbour who also has a poor connection was sent a signal booster box from t-mobile. It hasn’t done a thing for her phone as it isn’t 3g compatible……they didn’t ask her that question,.but my mobile uses her box and has improved my signal hugely. We live in terraced houses…….so idoes this mean if she didn’t have unlimited BB would she be paying for my calls.

  36. My kids have both have iphones on Vodafone with no signal issues at all at home. I have a new Samsung & cannot for the life of me get a signal. The phone’s been sent off for repair, had sim reader, antenna, sim card checked & all is how it should be, yet I cannot for the life of me, make or receive calls and texts. I never had an issue with my old blackberry Q10. Would spending £100 on the Vodafone signal booster make any difference, bearing in mind my daughter’s iPhone 4s has no signal problems whatsoever

    1. Depending on how much longer your in contract with vodaphone it would probely be best for you to go with EE .
      Most of their handsets now have what they call signal boost built in the phone.
      It automatically connects to your router via wifi.
      You don’t need to take their broadband either , just phone.
      My signal box is no longer required.

  37. Not sure if this has been mentioned, but O2’s TUgo app is only available to pay monthly users and NOT pay and go users. So there is absolutely no help for those of us that do not want to pay through the nose on a monthly contract.

    1. The EE signal box doesn’t need registering to phones and will work with other networks that piggyback off EE, like Virgin. So you can buy one on eBay. Make sure it’s an EE one though. Generic ones don’t work in the same way, through broadband. I had two of them in my 3-floor house. One couldn’t reach every room.

      O2’s signal box is only available to business customers and each phone has to be registered online, so you can’t buy one from eBay and register your phone unless you have a business account.

      Since late 2015 EE introduced what they call ‘WiFi Calling’ on certain models of phone, instead of an app. The phone must have this built in. iPhone 5 upwards can do WIFi calling, as can various high spec Samsungs and EE’s own cheap Android phones. You turn it on in settings then when the phone is connected to wifi of reasonable speed you can make and receive calls and texts just as if you were connecting to a mast.

      I’m now with O2 and their app isn’t as convenient, because you have to make and receive calls and texts through the TuGo app instead of the usual iMessage and Phone apps.

  38. Hi

    I brought Vodafone Sure Signal about 5 years ago and it worked well for about a year. Then I had problems with it so I stopped using it as the signal had improved in my house. However last year I moved to a new house with a poor signal so I reinstalled my Suresignal. It didn’t work. I phoned Vodafone who said that as I hadn’t used my Suresignal device for a year it wouldn’t work any more. When I questioned why it wouldn’t work I was told the sim card in it had gone out of date, which was absolute rubbish. When I pointed out to Vodafone that nowhere in their literature about Suresignal did it say I had to continuously use it to ensure that the box continued to work they refused to replace it. I could pursue this with a fit for purpose action but I have decided it isn’t worth the pain and will simply change provider at the end of my contract. So Vodafone have lost a loyal customer for the past 20 years who has regularly spent over £100 per month, for the sake of simply swapping a device which probably costs them less than £10. Just shows when you want good service, as a general rule go to small companies who care about their customers.

    1. The signal booster I have with EE is as I was told by ee registered to the postcode , not number IP address .
      Possibly the same with your sure box.
      Unfortunately there is very little training given to these so called tech people at customer services on this matter.

    2. Practically the same as my experience. Loyalty just doesn’t count. Funny though they alway want to know why you’re leaving them but nothing changes for the better, it just gets worse.

  39. Very frustrated with Vodafone reception so opted for a Vodafone booster, was shocked and offended by the cost of £100. It proved overly complicated to set up was limited to specific numbers entered by us (God forbid that a neighbor or passerby might benefit) and proved unreliable (especially considering the cost!). Got so bad that I eventually bought my way out of the contract at a further expense of £318.00 am now O2 and about to download O2 TU Go app. In short an appalling experience that cost me well over £500 for little return and a lot of stress and frustration.
    I live and work in Bristol and Glocester and all places in between.
    Regards. Angus

    1. What if even a signal booster can’t help me?
      If your provider doesn’t provide you with a service that is deemed to be with reasonable care and skill, then you’re entitled to terminate your mobile contract for breach of that agreement with no financial penalty. It’s the law. Have a Google. They perhaps owe you some money?

  40. I have just bought an i phone 5s, prior to this has an iPhone 4. I never had problems with the signal in my home in fact I had a brilliant reception. However, since I changed to a monthly sim on the 5s i have not had a signel or reception for the past 14 hours.

  41. Where we live there is no indoor or outdoor mobile coverage, but I’ve just fitted a device called Home Signal from the 3 Network. Plug it into a mains socket and connect to your home broadband router with a cable and we now have a signal right through the house.
    It is supplied at no charge, although if you leave 3 and fail to return it a charge of £75 is applied.
    Details are online, but you can register up 32 phone numbers to use the device, and up to 4 phones can be using it at the same time. Of course, they have be 3 customers.
    I did need to use Tech support to get it to work, but they were very helpful.
    We did try using 3 in Touch, but this would only work when you were in the same room as the wireless router.
    This Home Signal is excellent and has saved me paying Talk Talk £7.50 a month for a calling package. All together well pleased!

  42. Now have EE booster box, which was free after EE confirmed we are in a poor area and we said we cannot use their network , but we have been with orange\EE for over 20 years

  43. Hi I live in a remote area with no network coverage in/outside the house. I purchased a sure signal box approx 5 years ago and it has been invaluable. Relatively trouble free except when broadband goes down. When I have had a problem the technical support from Vodafone has been excellent, even when the issue was with plusnet the broadband provider who gave me very little help.

    1. if it was Vodafone that supplied you with their product it’s their job to give customer service, not sure why you would expect Plusnet to give advice on a product they never supplied in the 1st place.

    2. @Westkent: Problems with these devices may come from the device itself, or may be related to your ISP’s network. If the fault is with the ISP network, they need to fix the issue.

  44. Not being flippant , or maybe I am , just not trying to be, but ford aren’t going to give advice on my garmin sat nav I have connected within my vehicle.
    Same scenario surly!

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