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Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.
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Old 16-09-2020, 12:08   #1
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Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

Indoors at home, I can only get a very weak 4G mobile signal - one bar upstairs and no bars at all downstairs. 3G is hardly any better. I would have hoped for a stronger signal in central London. Outside the signal is strong and my WiFi signal is strong both upstairs and down.

Is there any way I can boost my indoor mobile signal so that I can make and receive calls in all rooms? I have looked online at mobile signal boosters but they are hideously expensive.
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Old 16-09-2020, 12:11   #2
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

Most mobile phone service providers now allow Wifi calling, which allows your phone to route calls to the telephone network via your home wifi. This is a good solution as long as your home broadband isn't too slow, at which point wifi calling can get a bit choppy.

Who is your mobile service provider?

(edit) If it's Virgin Mobile, the instructions are here: https://www.virginmedia.com/help/mobile/wifi-calling

Last edited by Chris; 16-09-2020 at 12:16.
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Old 16-09-2020, 12:53   #3
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

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Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Most mobile phone service providers now allow Wifi calling, which allows your phone to route calls to the telephone network via your home wifi. This is a good solution as long as your home broadband isn't too slow, at which point wifi calling can get a bit choppy.

Who is your mobile service provider?

(edit) If it's Virgin Mobile, the instructions are here: https://www.virginmedia.com/help/mobile/wifi-calling
Thanks for the link, Chris. I'm with Virgin and on 500 Mbs Ultimate Oomph. Unfortunately, I have a Samsung Galaxy S8 which is not supported. There's a note that mentions that other handsets will be added 'soon'. In the Virgin universe 'soon' seems to have a different meaning to everyone elses definition of the word. Being free it's a much better solution than shelling out hundreds for a booster so I guess I'll wait (but not hold my breath).
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Old 16-09-2020, 15:31   #4
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

Are you entitled to a handset upgrade? If they’re not supporting a phone released in spring 2017 by now the chances are they’re never going to.
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Old 16-09-2020, 15:55   #5
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

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Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Are you entitled to a handset upgrade? If theyíre not supporting a phone released in spring 2017 by now the chances are theyíre never going to.
I'm on a SIM-only deal, Chris. Besides, I like the S8. I don't need or want a new mobile phone.

I'm surprised Virgin hasn't an app to do something similar.
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Old 16-09-2020, 16:36   #6
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

Dumb question - have you tried the WiFi calling option on the S8? (as every other Operator seems to support it).

I know the VM site says S9 onwards, but nothing ventured, nothing gained
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Last edited by Hugh; 17-09-2020 at 11:55.
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Old 16-09-2020, 16:58   #7
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

If you have a pressing problem with signal reception right now, and Wi-fi calling is unavailable to you, then you’re left either buying a femtocell that’s compatible with Virgin (Ofcom approved units are £££ I believe) or buying a phone virgin will support for Wi-fi coverage. Also £££ but probably slightly less.

Or, pick a mobile phone service provider that has coverage in the places you actually need it. That’s why I use EE; there are cheaper deals out there, especially for unlimited data which is what I need most of all, but there’s no point taking a cheaper deal if I can’t use the thing.
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Old 17-09-2020, 08:11   #8
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh View Post
Dumb question - have you tried the WiFi calling option on the S8? (as ever other Operator seems to support it).

I know the VM site says S9 onwards, but nothing ventured, nothing gained
There is no WiFi calling option on the S8 - or none that I can find. Android 9 doesn't seem to have it.

---------- Post added at 08:11 ---------- Previous post was at 08:08 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
If you have a pressing problem with signal reception right now, and Wi-fi calling is unavailable to you, then you’re left either buying a femtocell that’s compatible with Virgin (Ofcom approved units are £££ I believe) or buying a phone virgin will support for Wi-fi coverage. Also £££ but probably slightly less.

Or, pick a mobile phone service provider that has coverage in the places you actually need it. That’s why I use EE; there are cheaper deals out there, especially for unlimited data which is what I need most of all, but there’s no point taking a cheaper deal if I can’t use the thing.
I'm on Ultimate Oomph and the SIM is bundled with my package. There is no problem when I'm out and about but it's an annoyance that I can't make and receive calls on my mobile when I'm at home except in the upstairs rooms.
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Old 17-09-2020, 09:22   #9
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

Yes, I get that - I’m just saying you need to weigh the annoyance against the unfortunate truth that fixing it will cost you money. It’s a pity Virgin doesn’t support Wi-fi calling on your handset as that was your only free-of-charge option ... failing that it’s either a 4g signal relay, a new handset, or a SIM from a different service provider with better local coverage. All of which costs, which is annoying. So really you just have to decide which is less annoying.
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Old 17-09-2020, 10:44   #10
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyside View Post
There is no WiFi calling option on the S8 - or none that I can find. Android 9 doesn't seem to have it.

---------- Post added at 08:11 ---------- Previous post was at 08:08 ----------



I'm on Ultimate Oomph and the SIM is bundled with my package. There is no problem when I'm out and about but it's an annoyance that I can't make and receive calls on my mobile when I'm at home except in the upstairs rooms.
Here's how to find WiFi calling on the S9, I expect the S8 to be roughly the same.

https://deviceguides.vodafone.co.uk/...ing-on-or-off/
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Old 17-09-2020, 11:56   #11
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

And here's the Vodafone version of the instructions for the S8

https://deviceguides.vodafone.co.uk/...ing-on-or-off/
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Old 17-09-2020, 12:34   #12
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Yes, I get that - Iím just saying you need to weigh the annoyance against the unfortunate truth that fixing it will cost you money. Itís a pity Virgin doesnít support Wi-fi calling on your handset as that was your only free-of-charge option ... failing that itís either a 4g signal relay, a new handset, or a SIM from a different service provider with better local coverage. All of which costs, which is annoying. So really you just have to decide which is less annoying.
Thanks, Chris. I guess I will have to wait until Virgin adds support for the S8 and hope it's before I need to upgrade my mobile due to old age (the phone, not me - although I am not in the spring chicken category).

---------- Post added at 12:27 ---------- Previous post was at 12:23 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh View Post
And here's the Vodafone version of the instructions for the S8

https://deviceguides.vodafone.co.uk/...ing-on-or-off/
Quote:
Here's how to find WiFi calling on the S9, I expect the S8 to be roughly the same.

https://deviceguides.vodafone.co.uk/...ing-on-or-off/
Thanks, both, but Android 9 on the S8 is not similar to either. Incidentally, Hugh, I could not click through on the link you posted.

---------- Post added at 12:34 ---------- Previous post was at 12:27 ----------

Curious development. I was out earlier today and used 4G. Now, back home and upstairs - the only place I can get any signal indoors, and only one bar at that - 4G is not available, only 3G.
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Old 17-09-2020, 13:45   #13
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

Since changing to the Vodaphone-VM SIM my daughter has been getting very low signal levels where she used to great rock solid connections with the EE-VM SIM.
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Old 17-09-2020, 14:09   #14
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Re: Weak Indoor Mobile Signal.

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, there’s a reason I’ve always been with Orange/EE. Generally speaking they have better coverage in more places. They’re not the cheapest but you get what you pay for, and in a marginal signal area (as is my home location) it makes all the difference.

I now have 4g internet up and running at home with EE; it’s an unlimited data plan sold for phones, not modems (but a handy competition ruling means they can’t stop you putting your phone SIM in a modem if you want to). As a second number on my account, it is £37 a month (though I managed to get them to discount it to £25 for 18 months because their app mis-sold me a rate that was no longer available). I get great signal, and around 80mb down and 10mb up. Once I’ve installed my external aerial I expect that to improve further. That may seem like small beer to you lot on VM, but most non cabled streets relying on Openreach FTTC would fare little better.

Meanwhile, half a mile from here my neighbour got his 4g internet from Vodaphone. He pays less than me, but his speeds are utter crap, barely better than the ADSL line. There isn’t a Vodafone mast anywhere near here, as he’d have discovered if he’d done what I did before committing to purchase and spent a few minutes researching it. Cellmapper reveals that EE has a whole network of masts in the area providing good coverage despite the difficult highland terrain. Its user-submitted signal data shows where it works and where the black spots are, with an accuracy down to just metres in places. The other networks pretty much give up as soon as you leave the population centres.

Truly, you get what you pay for.

Last edited by Chris; 17-09-2020 at 14:12.
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