How come there's no reception in elevators, subways, basements etc?

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
May seem like an obvious question but you'd think they'd have the tech to allow for reception in these types of locations? Are little devices available whereby you could install them in elevators and receive a signal? I know they have devices to block signals in movie theaters. Doesn't the industry have portable signal extension devices?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Yes there are they are called repeaters and it's usually up to the phone company to put them in and the owner of the property to want them.
  • Reply 2 of 32
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Yes there are they are called repeaters and it's usually up to the phone company to put them in and the owner of the property to want them.



    Really?? Well why wouldn't a company install them? People don't want dropped calls in elevators, people want safety in underground parking lots, people want to use their phones in the subways.



    This would make paying for a parking space more attractive and things like that so why is basically no one doing it? Surely they can't be prohibitively expensive. Are they?



    How are they sold? As GSM or CDMA repeaters separately or what? Are they sold by 3rd party companies or only by the carriers? What are the technical names? I want to search Google Images.



    Thanks
  • Reply 3 of 32
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    There was an article about AT&T offering such a thing on this site a short while ago.



    They are available but they can interfere with other carriers networks which can lead to some fairly severe penalties in Australia, I don't know about other countries.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    Really?? Well why wouldn't a company install them? People don't want dropped calls in elevators, people want safety in underground parking lots, people want to use their phones in the subways.



    This would make paying for a parking space more attractive and things like that so why is basically no one doing it? Surely they can't be prohibitively expensive. Are they?



    How are they sold? As GSM or CDMA repeaters separately or what? Are they sold by 3rd party companies or only by the carriers? What are the technical names? I want to search Google Images.



    Thanks



  • Reply 4 of 32
    The metro (subway) in the city where I live has repeaters so you can still get a signal underground.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Surely you can handle a 40 second elevator ride without phone service!



    I know the Metro in DC, and the Hudson River tunnels between NYC and NJ have service. But then, it's not uncommon to spend an hour inside the tunnel trying to travel that mile and a half



    A repeater is just a radio tranceiver... designed around the specific frequency (or frequencies) it would need to support. In this case, you'd most likely need a separate unit for each carrier you wanted to support. (Proprietary software and all.)



    ... Who are you suggesting will pay for this?
  • Reply 6 of 32
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    didn't think the radio of so fantastic iPhone was a little bit worse, than nokias' that. Neither did Apple pay for repeaters everywhere.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Is that the same Nokia that pulled 5800's from sale in North America due to reception issues



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    didn't think the radio of so fantastic iPhone was a little bit worse, than nokias' that. Neither did Apple pay for repeaters everywhere.



  • Reply 8 of 32
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Is that the same Nokia that pulled 5800's from sale in North America due to reception issues



    Nokia makes lots of phones. So?
  • Reply 9 of 32
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    didn't think the radio of so fantastic iPhone was a little bit worse, than nokias' that. Neither did Apple pay for repeaters everywhere.



    Neither Apple nor Nokia can provide the repeaters. Repeaters must be provided by the service providers.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    Nokia makes lots of phones. So?



    So, Nokia radio not better that, non?



    C'est la vie!
  • Reply 11 of 32
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    So, Nokia radio not better that, non?



    C'est la vie!



    It's firmware (=software) issue that hurts 5800, not h/w one. iPhone 1.0 couldn't process 3G either.

    I tried 5800. Battery isn't worse, rather better (solid 4 days on WiFi). But it's crap as web browsing device as compared to iPhone (the screen is too narrow).
  • Reply 12 of 32
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    Neither Apple nor Nokia can provide the repeaters. Repeaters must be provided by the service providers.



    But Apple (or Nokia) had to order repeaters at least! Nokia doesn't need them, signal level is in average sufficient for the indoor reception. So, it appears to be Apple's headache, doesn't it?
  • Reply 13 of 32
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    It's hardware my iPhone will work on the 3G network in America AND Europe, Australia etc because it works on the 850/1900/2100 UMTS bands you need two 5800's the 900/2100 European model and the 850/1900 NAM model, but that issue is beside the point.



    The opening post asked why mobile phone's (in general) don't work in places where there is no signal, in the middle if the desert in Australia mobile phone's don't work because it costs money for phone companies to put towers there, pay for electricity to power them and technicians to maintain them, as there is very little demand for mobile coverage in the middle of the desert there is no point putting them there.



    I don't have reception issues any where that my N82 doesn't have the same issues.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    It's firmware (=software) issue that hurts 5800, not h/w one. iPhone 1.0 couldn't process 3G either.

    I tried 5800. Battery isn't worse, rather better (solid 4 days on WiFi). But it's crap as web browsing device as compared to iPhone (the screen is too narrow).



  • Reply 14 of 32
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    It's hardware



    Hardly so. Recent reports say customers don't need to replace devices. Downloadable f/w update fixes reception problems. So I'm predisposed to trust Nokia's explanation it's f/w issue.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    my iPhone will work on the 3G network in America AND Europe, Australia etc because it works on the 850/1900/2100 UMTS bands you need two 5800's the 900/2100 European model and the 850/1900 NAM model, but that issue is beside the point.



    It's their design. Nokia's market-specific h/w & f/w configurations guarantee visibly better sensitivity in exchange.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    The opening post asked why mobile phone's (in general) don't work in places where there is no signal,



    With Nokia's phones users just don't notice "phones not working" because phones usually do work in places with lower (than ideal outdoor conditions) signal.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    I don't have reception issues any where that my N82 doesn't have the same issues.



    My experience isn't that happy. Having been going from the office to the restaurant and chatting over phone since years I used not to notice a small tunnel I've been going through until I got iPhone. The signal goes away now each time. I used to phone my wife from my underhouse garage. I have to forget about it with iPhone... etc. etc.

    I'm just lazy a bit, but I think, I would make a video one day, comparing several phones and iPhone reception quality...
  • Reply 15 of 32
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    ... So, it appears to be Apple's headache, doesn't it?



    That some cellphones get better reception that others is obvious. As a MOTO RAZR owner and former user, no one knows this truth better than I. To imply that cellphones made by Nokia or any other manufacturer can arbitrarily receive any signal anywhere is nonsense.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    TTo imply that cellphones made by Nokia or any other manufacturer can arbitrarily receive any signal anywhere is nonsense.



    True. It seems also to be true (there're multiple complaining threads on Apple support forum too) Nokia's phones generally receive better, than iPhone, in places, where average user expects them to: in elevators, in short shallow tunnels, in basements (to reasonable extent)
  • Reply 17 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    True. It seems also to be true (there're multiple complaining threads on Apple support forum too) Nokia's phones generally receive better, than iPhone, in places, where average user expects them to: in elevators, in short shallow tunnels, in basements (to reasonable extent)



    TBH, it's so varied you can't really draw too many conclusions from it. I've had Nokia phones with much better signal than the iPhone 3G, and ones where it's been worse. The next iPhone might have amazing signal, or it might be totally dire.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    I wouldn't count forum complaints as proven fact.



    On Engadget the story about Skype for the iPhone also included Skype coming to the BlackBerry. All of the negative comments were about Skype taking so long for the iPhone, no one even mentioned that it is just as late to the BlackBerry.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    True. It seems also to be true (there're multiple complaining threads on Apple support forum too) Nokia's phones generally receive better, than iPhone, in places, where average user expects them to: in elevators, in short shallow tunnels, in basements (to reasonable extent)



  • Reply 19 of 32
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    I wouldn't count forum complaints as proven fact.

    On Engadget the story about Skype for the iPhone also included Skype coming to the BlackBerry. All of the negative comments were about Skype taking so long for the iPhone, no one even mentioned that it is just as late to the BlackBerry.



    I can say nothing about what is happening to Skype for mobile platforms, but complaints about modest reception capabilities of iPhone are very well proven for me by my everyday experience.

    OK, there will be always doubts and arguments challenging my point of view, I can't help that. It may then be viewed as my future iPhone wish list, which I promote everywhere:
    1. better battery

    2. better radio

    before anything else.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrochester View Post


    The next iPhone might have amazing signal



    That's what I wish Apple would focus on. Before any oled screens, biometric sensors etc.
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