The New York Times has some options to improve the sad situation of current cell carrier coverage in some areas of the US. From passive options, like the $34.95 Freedom Antenna, to repeaters and signal boosters, like the $299 Spotwave Z1900 or the $399 Wi-Ex zBoost, which uses a 16-inch are-you-boosting-or-just-happy-to-see-me tube antenna. These boosters are FCC approved for consumer use but, apparently, you will run into problems if you ever decide to turn them on. The carriers say that they may wreak havoc in their networks, endanger lives by disrupting emergency services, kill puppies all over the world and destroy entire universes. Meanwhile, the manufacturers say that, while this may be true sometimes, their systems avoid such extremes. And finally, the FCC just seems clueless about their own conflicting regulations on the matter. Maybe the carriers should move their collective butts and either clarify their policy or extend their networks. Maybe that way we won't have to carry antennas like the one after the jump to get proper coverage.

Coaxing More Bars Out of That Cellphone [New York Times]

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