Wilson Electronics Makes Cell Calls More Reliable
|Brian Allread is a senior manager with Wilson Electronics.|
Consider this scenario: your high-net-worth client, for
whom no expense is ever spared, hears his cell phone
ring and immediately runs outside to answer it in the
only place where he can get a decent signal. In these
situations, the cell signal outside is at least adequate, but the signal inside is
poor to non-existent, usually due to the distance from the cellular tower,
regional terrain issues, or building materials like brick, stone, concrete, metal
or steel, all of which block signals from getting inside. That’s where Wilson
Electronics’ cell booster comes in. It captures the cell signal from outside,
amplifies it, and then re-transmits the now-boosted signal throughout the
home or building. The result is a strong, reliable signal inside that can be
used by multiple voice and data users simultaneously, regardless of which
cellular service provider they have. To learn more about this product, RS
interviewed Brian Allred, one of Wilson’s senior managers.
Does your product require special training and tools from a
Wilson makes a few DIY booster models, but they’re typically used to
provide signal coverage for only a few rooms or an area smaller than a
house. On the other hand, Wilson has more than 10 models that have been
developed specifically for professional installation and designed to cover
entire homes or large buildings. These boosters and related components
require skills usually associated
with professional integrators,
like roof mounting of antennas,
pulling cable, and adjusting
the booster to provide optimal
Do you have a certified
Yes. The program is brand new
and still in testing. We plan to roll it out for all interested installers at
What kinds of cellular devices will your boosters support?
Wilson boosters support any device that uses North American cellular
frequencies for voice or data communication. So that means cell phones,
data devices like cellular modems and data cards, and cellular-enabled
tablets and internet hotspots like Novatel’s MiFi.
Do all boosters on the market support all carriers?
|Wilson Electronics’ AG Pro-Quint Five-Band 4G-3G Indoor Cellular Signal Booster was introduced at the recent CTIA show. Each installation also requires an exterior antenna (inset).|
No they don’t. Some boosters support only devices operating on a specific
carrier’s network. While there are exceptions, Wilson boosters by and
large support devices operating on all carriers’ networks. The current
exceptions are 4G boosters. Wilson has manufactured boosters that will
boost Verizon’s 4G LTE on its 700 MHz band and a booster that will
amplify the AWS band. Both can be used in conjunction with other
boosters that will work for all 2G and 3G networks. Additional boosters
that will support multiple bands, including 2G, 3G, and 4G, should be
available later in 2012.
Do boosters require any special permits or licenses to own or install?
No. The Federal Communications Commission has recognized that in
many areas signal boosters are needed to provide consumers with reliable
access to cellular service. In addition, Wilson has worked closely with
Canadian cell carriers to design boosters that ensure their customers in
remote areas have reliable service. Wilson boosters can be installed in all
50 U.S. states and all Canadian provinces without special license or permit.
What’s the value proposition and go-to-market strategy for your
Wilson installers/resellers can make up to 40-percent margin on product
sales, plus an installation fee on top of that. This can be an excellent source for
additional revenue, especially since a Wilson booster system is not a difficult
installation for professional installers. A Wilson booster is a great add-on sale
when an installer is already in the customer’s home doing another installation
and is able to quickly notice if the customer has poor cellular signal and can
offer a booster solution to fix that problem. Wilson products are sold through
multiple distribution channels, as well as dealer direct.