My first thought to your question is, No.
But if your smartphone supports “UMA” Unlicensed Mobile Access, then you can use WiFi as a boost in poor coverage areas and switch back and forth as needed. Not all phones or cell phone providers use this option, check with your provider.
You can make an internet connection from your smartphone to the WiFi for data like, email, Facebook, Google, and other App’s you might have installed on your cell phone.
You could get a signal booster for your home. Do you have line of site to the nearest tower or are you in a low lying area? Does standing on high ground make the bars “signal” stronger? If so, a booster might make the difference.
Have you tried switching the network your phone is set to? There usually is a way to change it in the setting area of your phone. And, there might be 2 or 3 different network's to select from. It might make a difference.
There are “cellular repeater’s” that boost the signal in homes or offices, but they do need a couple of bars first to boost.
The UMA option would be your best option if your cell and provider allow it.
Hope it helps,
I just got a new Note 3 and currently it is running on T-Mobile. I wanted the specific version of the phone that they sell after reading a bunch of info on Note 3's.
I had been running an LG on Straight Talk over Verizon towers and my plan was to stay with T-Mobile for 40 days with this Note until I could unlock it and then go back to ST but this time use an AT&T sim, as their coverage seems to have improved where I am - or so says the coverage map.
I am in a rural area where right up the road, I can get wireless coverage on the cell and folks can get DSL but I can't get either. Like I'm in some hole, even though I'm not in a low spot - I am actually on a knoll.
I will try a booster, too. And see if there are any towers coming out here soon. I do know there was a balloon test not long ago about 5 miles from here.
Everett, your answer gives me hope that maybe there IS some way I could be able to use my cell phone as my only phone at my home...my situation is very similar to Julie's in that I also use straight talk but cannot get a reliable signal and any calls I make or take drop constantly (although I can text and go online on my phone at my home with no problems. But unlike Julie, I am in a low lying area in the woods and don't believe I have line of sight...where I stand and how high I am does definitely affect whether I have an signal at all and how strong it is. I never have more than one or 2 bars at most. I would like to try a booster before trying other providers, since straight talk has significantly better prices...where would you recommend I look online to research signal boosters that might work for me? Do you have any particular booster you recommend for people in my sisituation? I know nothing about boosters and am not sure where to start. Again the cell phone would be for me at my home, and not to be used for business purposes. I had never heard of UMA before, but will see if I can educate myself about that and see if my phone supports it...thanks so much for the info on this subject.
The “Tower Franchise’s”! You mentioned 3 different cell providers. Think about it this way:
If your T-Mobile service is coming through a Verizon tower, then T-Mobile is paying a few cents for that access. The same is true for AT&T going through a Version tower. Or a T-Mobile tower, or anyone of the many other smaller company’s that setup systems in remote areas.
They all nickel and dime the other cell provider for the usage.
They might be choking down one provider’s usage because they could not come to a deal on the usage “DATA”. Just like many people on the forum get more, or less depending on the amount they pay for the increased usage.
I use to do a lot of gold prospecting, and many times I was in the deep boondocks. I had AT&T and could not see any bars “No Network Connection”. A guy standing next to me with a Walmart $20 cell phone had 3 or 4 bars. I was paying $78 a month.
AT&T was not paying for the local Billy Bob tower service in that area. They did not think there were enough AT&T customers to make it worthwhile. Walmart did pay! For the Billy Bob and all other tower services.
One way to check when you get the “No Connection Available” situation is 911. If your cell phone says, you can make emergency calls if needed, then B&B tower service is required to connect your due to state and federal law and general all around safety for the human race. IF IT’S an Emergency!
Point being, you might have a signal from SOME provider, but is your “Paid For” provider paying for the signal “Data”?
Google your home area, and look for Billy or Bob, they might have a plan for you???
Hope it helps,
Thanks again for all of your help.
Very good information Everett. I've never heard of UMA either...but I do remember cell phone with antennas that stuck out of phone.
T-Mobile brought Metro PCS a few years ago...and, so far they have not changed their no frills pricing .But, the good thing is they include T-Mobile towers in their coverage.
I haven't tried the booster because even when I'm in town in my office, using Wifi to call is very unreliable - drops calls all the time and since they 99.9% for business, that just didn't cut it.