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iPhone 5s is useless inside my house


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Jun 3, 2013
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So I upgraded from a 4s to a 5s this past June on TM jump plan. I never really notice connection issues inside my house until I lost my internet service and no longer have wifi. Me and my mother cannot talk on our iPhones inside the house. We have to go outside to talk on the phone and to access the internet. My phone never gets LTE inside my house and I have to turn off LTE just to get 4g singalong that last about a minute before it falls to E. I have to keep the phone plug in because it eats my battery life in about 15 minutes from a full charge. I don't watch videos or play games only FB or LI. I've been on the phone calling tech support each day and they even have commented how difficult it is to hear me before the call drops. Funny thing is that I have an old Kyocera phone on virgin mobile that gets excellent signal within my house. I have no house phone. So I'm paying all this money for a phone that we can only use while outside. By the way, I live in Philadelphia Pa and should be getting LTE. Right now as I type this, my signal is on E. I have step outside my house just is I can post this message because I have no service inside my house. And, I'm tired of calling TM customer support only to be told it's my house that is causing the problems.
Unfortunately, there is no way to solve your problem without texting a cell phone booster or something like that.

Cellular signals are not designed to go through walls of buildings. So, they degrade when trying to pick them up inside a house.

There are many boosters on the market to "bring in" the cell signal inside your house. If I may, I recommend getting one of those.

Marilyn hit the nail on the head (as usual). T-Mobile offers a way to improve the signal in your house call "Cel-Fi". Everything you need to know can be found here:


I guess they sell it, but when I called to complain they offered it for free.

Same story...my iPhone 5s and my wife's iPhone 5 were getting one, sometimes two dots/bars at best, with Edge or no-service in some parts of our house. We got rid of our land line a while back so this was not only frustrating but worrisome. After contacting T-Mobile and setting up their "Cel-Fi" we now get four, sometimes five dots/bars though out our house!

From what I can tell it takes whatever cell tower signal it finds, boosts that and creates a private cell network within your home.

After suffering poor cell service for about a month after switching from Verizon to T-Mobile I called their support department (always awesome people BTW) and the CSR suggested trying their "Cel-Fi" equipment. I was skeptical, but they said it was free and to give it a try. (There's a $500 equipment charge if it's not returned if/when we leave T-Mobile.) They said it is location-specific and that it would be programmed with our address in case we called 911 from home.

A box arrived a few days later. As you can see in the linked page, the "Cel-Fi" consists of a black box about 8 inches tall by 5 inches square with small led signal strength bars on the front plus a smaller black box about 6" x 5" x 2" with a numeric (0 to 9) led signal strength indicator. Both simply plug into a power outlet.

The larger box is supposed to be located wherever the strongest cell signal can be found in your house (usually by a window). The other box is then located somewhere else in the house, away from the larger box...wherever the signal strength indicated on it is strongest. Done.

I knew where the signal was the strongest in our house; an upstairs bedroom, so I placed the larger box there. My iPhone 5s and my wife's iPhone 5 would generally get one or two dots/bars there if we were lucky. The box constantly shows three to four bars, even flickering on five now and then. Ostensibly it has a superior antenna array compared to a cell phone. After experimenting with the location of the smaller box I found that it would get a 7 or 8 in my office. Perfect, because I often couldn't get any service in there.

Now we both get somewhere between three, four and sometimes five dots/bars everywhere in our house and on the back patio as well! The call quality is always excellent too.

I had never heard of a "Cel-Fi" but it turns out that other providers have similar offerings. My brother-in-law has Ting (Ting uses Sprint's network) and he was having the same issue. Sprint has their own program but you have to buy the box yourself (about $75 from Amazon). He says it works great though.

So my advice would be to call your cell provider and see if they can't work something out for you. If you're with T-Mobile ask for their "Cel-Fi" service.

Hope that helps!