"Works! Expensive and challenging to install."3.5 starson by NeonScribe
Pros: My T-Mobile service in an exurban location went from unacceptably poor to usable but still not perfect.
Cons: Expensive. Only works if there is a consistent signal available in at least one location in the house. The boosted signal did not pass through reinforced concrete construction. Took a few hours of experimentation to install.
Summary: We have a second home in a semi-rural area in the New York City metropolitan area. T-Mobile claims to have coverage in this area, but our house is at a low elevation relative to the surrounding terrain. My wife and I each have a new iPhone 5S. We were unable to make or receive calls anywhere inside the house. If we left our phones in a windowsill in the living room we were able to get text messages and enough of a signal to at least get a "Missed Call" notice on the phone. Inside the house both phones indicated "No Service" almost everywhere. It is a wood frame house with three stories, with the living room below grade on the high side and level with terrain on the opposite side. The floor above the living room is a concrete slab garage floor covering the entire footprint except for an inside stairway on one end of the house.
I tried the Window Unit at several locations on the top floor of the house. I was able to find a few places where I could get an almost steady two bars. Often the third bar blinks on and off and once in a while the second bar disappears leaving just one bar. Then I tried placing the Coverage Unit on the bottom floor where the T-Mobile service is the worst. I discovered that the Window Unit was not able to communicate with the Coverage Unit through the concrete floor. I tried placing the Coverage Unit on the middle floor, but I discovered that the Coverage Unit was not able to communicate with a phone when the concrete floor was between them. I experimented with placement of both units for a couple of hours. I finally found a spot that was able to cover all three floors of the house as well as quite a bit of the surrounding area. Surprisingly, the ideal location turned out to be sitting directly *on* the concrete slab at the outside wall of the house along the wall where it is highest above the terrain. From this location I was able to get two bars of 4G service everywhere in the house, make and receive calls, text messages and use the Internet data service (although we also have separate WiFi service via cable modem). I think there are times or places when or where the coverage still drops out, because I have received voice mail alerts without a phone call, but on the whole it seems to be working.
Although this was an expensive solution for us, we are very happy with the result. Previously we had Verizon service, which worked slightly better but still was not reliable enough to use except in specific locations inside the house. We were prepared to back out of our switch to T-Mobile if this booster did not work, but the end result is that we are even happier than we were with Verizon. I'm now seriously considering installing another booster in our house in Seattle, where our coverage is somewhat spotty although not nearly as bad as it is in New York.