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January 07, 2015

Power is 'Almost' Everything. Excluding Coverage

Like Pythagoras with his lever to move the world, if I have enough power I can boost my signal to get through the cinderblocks of my condo. I know it does not seem like it’s the same scale, but for some reason, it has felt that way personally.

Few things in life modify your behavior like bad cell coverage. I have stood in front of my home after arriving there, or idled in my car to keep the conversation going, knowing full well the garage and the front door were black holes for my signals.

Like a baby learning about the stove, the once-failed call is all most people need to modify their behavior. I was amazed when a Verizon Wireless customer I am friendly with sang the praises of the Samsung Network Extender.

Up to this point the “Best Network and Coverage” was a motto that needed to be “asterisked” *until you come home. However, this Network Extender works, and people are talking about it with little resistance to paying for the device (although many have gotten Verizon to offer it a discount because of their coverage issues).

Another strategy that has come of age and should be reconsidered is the use of repeaters. Last year the FCC managed to cleanse the industry of noise-generating repeaters. T-Mobile takes advantage of that with its Cel-Fi system sold by Quantum Wireless.

These devices simply plug in, but the next problem I have after coverage is battery life.

At CES this week, the Power Matters Alliance and the Alliance for Wireless Power joined forces. These consortiums have a lot of membership overlap, so I am sure they will move quickly to cover the power mats with the NFC and Bluetooth interfaces.

For my wish list, I would love to see my cell phone charge and connect to DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology) phones in the house. Right now these two groups are going to converge on the charging side, but I hope they realize the mobility is lost when the charger is not part of the coverage as well.

Otherwise, it will be a long trip from my front door to the charging station.


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