In a time when mobile phones are the primary means of communication and cellular coverage is more critical than ever before, Michaels Electronics, Toowoomba, has used CRT FarmFest 2018 to showcase its range of Cel-Fi mobile signal amplifiers.
Michaels Electronics salesman, Tim Moran, said a lot of people were showing interest in the products which had the potential to boost connectivity for people living in rural and remote areas with limited cellular coverage.
“Cel-Fi is a smart repeater designed to amplify mobile signal in your home, office, or vehicle and can take your phone from next-to-no service to full service,” Mr Moran said.
“I've done tests 50 and 60 kilometres out of town where people haven't had service for 20 years and now have full signal.
“They won’t give you signal where there's no signal, there's got to be pre-existing signal there, but the issue with that is trying to find that happy medium about whether there's no signal or just no signal on your phone and it won't pick it up.”
In the case of a building, Mr Moran said the technology uses an external antenna on the roof, similar to a television antenna, to pick up the signal and amplify it.
“From there a coaxial cable runs into the booster, back out of the booster into what we call a coverage antenna, and that floods the house with the signal,” he said.
“Generally, if you can get one to two bars into the booster itself, you'll have full signal in the house and maybe a 10 to 15 metre buffer on the outside of the house.
“It’s a similar scenario with the car but just a miniature version, with an external antenna on the bullbar and then a little paddle antenna in the car which amplifies the signal.”
Despite the product being only relatively new, Mr Moran said they have a large client base in western Queensland and companies like Landmark, Elders and Warratah had started using the technology.
“Because it is still relatively new on the market, people still aren't 100 per cent sold on it, but a lot more farmers are taking it on board than what we thought would initially,” he said.