Mobile signal survey: Appendix 3 – Local solutions

There are a number of options for boosting mobile signals on a household-by-household basis.

WiFi calling

Depending on your mobile telephone contract and the model of telephone you use, it may be possible to use ‘WiFi calling’ when your phone is connected to a wireless internet connection. This effectively allows your phone to connect to the mobile network through the WiFi signal rather than the phone’s 2G, 3G or 4G connection, and allows you to make and receive calls and text messages as normal even without a mobile phone signal.

Information about this, and compatible tariff plans and phone models, is available directly from mobile providers such as:


Femtocells are effectively extensions to the mobile telephone network that connect to the mobile network over a broadband connection and provide a local ‘mast’ for the mobile signal. If you have a reasonable broadband connection, you may be able to obtain a femtocell ‘booster box’ from your mobile telephone provider – but they are getting harder to find.

Vodafone: Sure Signal

  • Discontinued

O2: Boost Box

Three: Home Signal

  • Discontinued

EE: Signal Box

  • Discontinued

Private signal boosters

Mobile telephone repeaters are regulated by Ofcom, and at present their use is highly restricted. Signal boosters are only permitted to be used if:

  • The aerial that receives a signal from the mobile phone network is inside a building – i.e. it is not legal to mount an aerial outside
  • The booster works on one network only – i.e. you cannot have a booster that amplifies two or more networks at a time

These boosters will only work if there is at least one bar of mobile signal somewhere in the building in which it will be used, such as by an upstairs window. The devices typically cost a few hundred pounds, and are available from specialist suppliers. It is important to note that many devices available on-line are not legal for use in the UK.

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