Is Verizon Wireless Network Extender a Ripoff?

81 thoughts on “Is Verizon Wireless Network Extender a Ripoff?”

  1. Although I no longer use the Verizon Wireless service, when I did (for two years +) I used the zBoost product, which is a basic broadband wireless RF (multi-band) two-way repeater. It looks like a little WiFi AP, but is not. It connects an outdoor antenna that I have (via coax) to an indoor repeater and allows me to get the signal anywhere inside my house. While I had to pay for the device, it is independent of my broadband use (and therefore operates despite my broadband ups and downs). It does not consume broadband bandwidth. It does leave verizon paying for their own bandwidth. It SHOULD NOT be necessary, but it is because their tower is not close enough to my home. Best of all, it works across multiple bands, so now that I have a new wireless carrier, I continue to use it and it works well with my current AT&T service.

  2. Nothing on that site indicates a monthly fee of any kind. In fact, the pricing ($249.99) vs Sprint’s $99.95 + $5 a month tells me that they will just sell it outright.

  3. zBoost looks interesting, but even more expensive than Verizon’s proposed femtocell.

    I’ve been pretty happy with T-Mobile’s WiFi phone service. Of course, T-M doesn’t have nearly Verizon’s coverage, so this service is more important for them. Whether it’s getting coverage in remote spots (My garage is one. Friend’s beach house is another), or making/receiving nearly free calls between US and foreign hotspots, has been a deal at $10/month.

  4. @Paul

    I have been using the T-Mobile WiFi service and it makes more sense to me because I ported my home number to that line and now get a pretty decent service on my mobile and my hope for an extra $10 a month, which in the end is saving me cash overall.

  5. @Peter,

    We have heard that there is plans to charge. I have asked for clarifications from the company and hopefully I will hear back soon even though it is a holiday. I will update that to reflect it clearly.

  6. For me the question is – would this be your own private femto, or would it also give service to neighbors? If it gives universal service, things are easy (and dandy) for Verizon, as they get extra coverage and revenue, but trying to tie a femtocell to a particular phone is hard. Any nearby device would identify the signal as a valid Verizon network cell, try to register, and be denied by the network – causing your phone to lose coverage or its battery die from the multiple handover retries. Remember, if you have better coverage from your femto, likely so does your neighbor. Any insight into this?

  7. While I don’t know Verizon’s exact business model, I imagine the minutes carried via the femto cell are not counted towards your monthly minutes. In a way, the consumer can (a) move to a less expensive monthly plan and/or (b) drop the wireline voice service

  8. porting your home number makes sense, as long as you are the single user of the phone. studies have shown people view home number as sort of a family thing and porting it over to one person’s device usually does not work. now more interesting services can be created….

    also porting over the number does not have anything to do with wifi or femto. that is more of an handset issue.

  9. @ Anon – ah, the battle for the home number. With no children yet I’m no expert in the ultimate family phone setup, but it seems like you could use a common virtual number (from Ring Central, Grand Central or others) to reach BOTH cell phones simultaneously (whoever answers first gets the call) and send messages to all through email. Yeah, I know – try explaining it to the spouse who wants a real home phone number…

    @ Om – How long have you been using the T-M WiFi arrangement? I’ve had a few dropped calls, would be interested to know if you think this is an acceptable main phone.

  10. @Paul … about two months. I got sick and tired of paying dozens of bills and decided to go simpler. Not much in terms of dropped calls. AT&T has more dropped calls and I forward all my iPhone calls to that number at home and even in the office.

  11. There would be no need for Femtocells if the carriers figured out a way of leveraging Wi-Fi which is ubiquitous. With Wi-Fi there is no need to worry about signal strength in the house (or even at work). Other than T-Mobile, there is no carrier willing to seriously consider building business models with Wi-Fi. Of course their primary concern is revenue streams. Notice how tepid the response has been by some of the major carriers to fully embrace dual mode phones and integrated voice over Wi-Fi services.

    It does not cost much to add Wi-Fi capabilities to phones these days – and while voice quality may be a concern over Wi-Fi, again, with recent developments around Quality of Serive (QoS) and truly voice optimized handset designs (as opposed to merely “voice capable” handsets), I believe it is time to start demanding more from the carriers – instead of being forced to install yet another piece of technology which is designed to primarily serve their problem of poor coverage and offloading capacity to broadband networks.

    We as end users should start demanding more optimized dual mode handset support from the carriers – and start using more of the 3rd party voice over Wi-Fi services on capable phones. If more users demand support for voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi), carriers would be forced to listen – or risk being overtaken by other competing services and business models.

  12. paul, this is anon…

    agree with your comment about the common virtual number with a grand central or similar service.

    this is a simultaneous ring service. i have tried this in my family, by porting my home number to vonage and configuring simultaneous ring on all the mobiles in the family. works ok. confuses a lot of people though…

    unfortunately vonage becomes another subscription… not sure if there is any free option out there…even if there is, it needs to pretty reliable, since all calls will come to it….

    the other option is to port the home number to the wireless plans…but the current implementation of t-mobile us, (i.e. UMA) cannot provide the simultaneous ring service…maybe t-mobile should roll this out with an IMS core… this + the UMA will be a nice plan…any one from tmo are you out there ??

  13. The point about zBoost is that it works for all cellular (except for iDen (one of the two sprint networks — for which they have a separate product) is that it works for multiple operators, you own it, and there is no monthly fee. I found it to be a reasonable expense and it works relatively well.

  14. I’ve never understood the business model. Why should I pay the provider (one-time or monthly) to improve the signal in my house. If they don’t improve their network I go somewhere else. Femtocells should be a way to reduce churn, which the carriers should pay for. I’ll never buy one…

  15. I admit to not being a “techie”, but I have read a lot during the past couple of years concerning the pros and cons of femtocells. It is my understanding that the combination of local topography and construction materials used in building homes bear responsibility for most cases of poor indoor cellular signal reception.

    Personally, despite being surrounded by VZN towers (all within 3 miles of my residence), I can barely obtain enough signal to complete calls while inside my condominium. This situation has been a major frustration for years. Even installing a repeater/amplifier system at a cost of $400 provided only modest signal improvement. Frankly, I cannot wait until VZN launches its femtocell product – and am willing to pay extra for the service if it does as is advertised.

    I am no defender of wireless carriers. Yet, if they were to “guarantee” full 5-bar signals (both indoors and outdoors) withinin their service territory, I think it is fair to say that they would have to erect tens of thousands of new towers. Surely we all must have a pretty good idea that it is expensive to construct and operate towers (assuming carriers can first successfully navigate the maze of local zoning rules/regulations as well as prevail over the howling hordes of backward-thinking “NIMBYs” that come out of the woodwork to protest new tower construction). Assuming carriers would succeed in expanding the numbers of towers, logic dictates that consumers’ cost for cell service would rise, likely by a substantial amount – each and every month going forward.

    I’m willing to “grant” carriers’ the benefits that will accrue to them from marketing fentocells as this product will also benefit us consumers in the form of stable base pricing, made possible by not having to pay carriers for the costs of adding thousands of new towers.

    To those that already receive strong indoor signals, I say “fine and dandy”, you have no need for a femtocell nor no need to criticize the wireless carriers. But for the large base of cellular customers (like me) who are frustratingly forced to “put up” with poor to nonexistent indoor signals, I happen to believe that a majority of us will be willing to pony up a few more bucks (a one-time charge, perhaps) to obtain a strong, reliable indoor signal.

  16. Hey, Mike! You asked: “would this be your own private femto, or would it also give service to neighbors?”

    As far as I can tell, Verizon’s leaked marketing materials don’t explain whether or not you can restrict access to the 5,000 square feet of coverage promised, which they also characterize as covering 1 to 3 floors. Sprint’s system allows you to specify up to 50 phone numbers that may use their femtocell (as part of the basic monthly cost).

  17. Folks and Om,
    You should understand that it costs billions of dollars to build or strengthen a cell network.

    With this option , say a half a million of the existing 30 million something verizon customers buy this one , that will be
    125 millions made by verizon. They do not have to fix the network , still make some revenues. And increase coverage.

    On why Sprint or Verizon are not letting 3G on this device ??? ,,, its because the ISP ( Comcast, VERIZON 🙂 , ATTT 🙂 and Time Warners of the world) might complain about their bandwidth being used by the cell companies.

    I am fine with a one time payment option as long as IT WORKS ( both voice and 3G services ).

  18. Hey, Glenn (and any other interested parties):

    First of all, despite little publicity, Verizon DID introduce their femtocell named “Extended Network” (I have the complete, official Verizon User Manual/User Guide available in .pdf format). I confirmed this by calling customer service at *611 yesterday (Jan. 25th)

    To answer your specific question, the User’s Manual states “To prevent ‘unauthorized users’ from accessing the base station and diminishing your available bandwidth you have the option to restrict the use of your Network Extender by logging into My Verizon at http://www.verizonwireless.com.(see page 12 of the User Manual).

    Therefore it appears that you can make your femto your own, private femto, irrespective of whether the coverage area extends into a neighbor’s residence.

    To learn almost everything about Verizon’s Network Extender simply go to http://www.verizonwireless.com, enter “Network Extender” in the search box. Click on the first item that comes up entitled “FAQs: Network Extender” and the page that comes up yields tons of FAQs and answers. Then, scroll down the FAQ page to the section entitled “Network Extender Setup” and in the first FAQ, click on the link to “User Manual” and “User Guide” and a .pdf file will load up.

    The User’s Manual and Guide contain a wealth of information about the femto, but obviously more questions can be posed to customer service or to personnel at a Verizon store.

    No, in case anyone was wondering, I am NOT an employee of Verizon. I’m just a customer with long-term frustrations over having virtuall no signal inside my condo.

  19. Thanks, Rick. The press release went out today, it looks like. Pricing is $250 minus a penny.

    But, Rick, you missed the mention in the user guide on page 7:

    “If a handoff to the nearest compatible cell tower is not possible and all
    channels are not in use, one channel may be available for an
    unauthorized user to access. Callers on the managed access list are
    always given priority access to the Network Extender”

    So…you cannot actually restrict access at all times. Since 3 calls can be placed at the same time, this means that unless you’re using all 3 channels with authorized phone numbers, someone can always use your connection, even when they’re unauthorized.

  20. Glenn, you are most welcome for the info – I hope it was of benefit to you. As far as what I missed on page 7…I’m but an amateur!!! Finance is my “game”!

    I appreciate your correction of my statement and pointing out the potential for unauthorized users. I would rather suspect that situations in which an unauthorized party makes use of an owner’s femto are going to be fairly rare, but folks should certainly be aware of the potential.

    I’m not sophisticated enough to know what the financial impact of an unauthorized user would be, but I am so fed up with having only a barely usable signal in my modest townhouse-style condo (which, by the way, is located in a densely populated suburb in a decent-sized SW Ohio metro area) that I’m not likely to be too concerned…or, should I be???

  21. Rick, there’s no way to know whether this will be “fairly rare” or not. And there’s also no intent to make it easy to turn registration on. So most users will likely always be allowing up to 3 other callers to use their line.

    But the actual additional cost (none for the vast, vast majority of broadband subscribers in the US), or bandwidth suckage (very slight) isn’t the point. It’s the fact that what’s theirs is theirs and what’s yours is theirs.

    Even when they tell you you can control how your femtocell is used, they are being misleading in terminology and intent.

  22. Glenn, your statements certainly look to be “right on”.

    I am generally aware that much of customers’ use of femtos will accrue to their carriers’ benefit. Carriers touting femtos certainly seem to be in no hurry to share this information with their customer base.

    However, if and when femtos catch on in a big way, competitive pressures may very well result in carriers’ lowering their rates. I’ll place my “bet” that competition will eventually even out disparities between providers and users of products and services!

  23. @Glenn: thanks for your digging into details! Looks like they are going to be extending their coverage for free, by having people pay for the infrastructure and bandwidth costs. What I’m wondering is how long will it take until someone figures out how to inject “custom” NMEA, replacing the GPS’ real one, to make these things work anywhere…

  24. I have been waiting for something like this. I live in a newer home in Florida built to the latest hurricane codes. Because of this, the structure has a ton of steel which blocks most radio signals. If I walk outside, I have full signal strength but inside, I have dropped calls. Verizon has the best service in the area and since I do not have a home phone, I am happy to pay a one time expense to allow my Verizon phones to work properly inside my home.

  25. This is a total ripoff where the only ones to benefit are VZW. They sell us the repeater, use our bandwidth to give them better coverage and evidentally to allow other users to be able to burn up our home bandwidth as well, and unlike T-Mobiles @home thing this actually still burns up minutes when you use it!!! How does this benefit anyone BUT Verizon with a way to expand thier network on someone else’s dime???:

    Mail I got back:

    Dear John,

    Thank you for contacting our Verizon Wireless website. We are happy to assist you with your question.

    Any airtime used when using the Wireless Extender will be deducted from the applicable plan minute allowances. The Wireless Extenders does not provide you with unlimited talk time.

    We hope you find this information helpful. Other troubleshooting tips and helpful product information can be found at http://www.verizonwireless.com/data. If you need assistance in the future, please feel free to contact us by email or call us at 1-800-922-0204. It has been a pleasure assisting you today. We appreciate your business and thank you for choosing Verizon Wireless.

    Sincerely,

    Carlos
    Verizon Wireless
    Data Technical Support

    —–Original Message—–
    From: XXX
    Sent: Tue Jan 27 00:57:08 CST 2009
    To: vzwkanaCustServiceSE@GL.Verizonwireless.com
    Cc:
    Subject: Bill Charges

    Form Message
    Market ID: Florida
    Zip Code: 34667
    Mobile Area Code: XXX
    Mobile Prefix: XXX
    Mobile Suffix: XXXX
    SSN:
    Primary Subject: Billing
    Secondary Subject: Bill Charges
    Message Body: Wireless Extender QUESTION
    Does this product use minutes when placing calls over MY internet connection? or are they free minutes like tmobiles product does?

  26. I’ve now installed 2 of the the Verizon “network extender” femtocell units, one at home at one at work and they work very well, or at least as good as your Internet connection. It’s a very nice setup and if you’re like many of us in the hills of NH with no hope of cell coverage this is great way to get your monies worth from the mobile phones.

    I highly recommend this device.

    On the Zboost, total piece of junk in my opinion but might work ok if signal strength outside your house is quite strong, just too weak on the inside.

  27. I have had it for a week, also in the mountains of NH. The thing works incredibly well. 3-4 bars in my 3000 sf home and yard. Finally after 11 years of no coverage it is here.

  28. I just called and had a lengthy discussion with Verizon. The part about allowing unauthorized users was really bothering me. The one key thing that swayed me to order it was that you have to register with the extender by coming within 15 feet of the extender. Once you register, you can go within 5000 square feet away from the base but only if you register. In my house/neighborhood that would be pretty hard without me knowing.
    Either way – I have 30 days…

  29. I’m have a problem with Verizon’s pricing model. My situation is that, in my house, I ALWAYS have two bars on my phone. But I NEVER can make or receive calls. I’m in a hilly area and the coverage stops just down the street near the top of the hill. But I ALWAYS have one or two bars on my street and in my house. So, I’m fine with getting this hardware. But I think Verizon should be supplying this one their dime. Else, I would say their advertisements of “more bars …” is a fraud, as having bars has nothing to do with the ability to make or receive calls.

  30. I live in an area where there is no signal from any provider. I purchased an Verizon wireless network extender, using my Cox broadband I get perfect wireless signal inside the house. If you are in a blindspot and have cable/broadband Internet access, I highly recommend it. $250 is a small investment in my opinion after having zero coverage before.

    Hope this helps,
    Nick

  31. If you complain loud enough to verizon they’ll cut you a discount. I got mine for $149. You will likely have to open a ticket with their data tech support 1st to prove that the coverage in your area is weak.

  32. I purchased the Network Extender about a week ago and have had very good results.

    I now have four to five bars in most of my house. I did have to play around with the placement – it works MUCH better when placed in the middle of the house – the signal emits in a circular radius and only goes out to a circumference of roughly 40 feet in diameter.

    So I am very pleased with it and think its worth the $ (I got mine for $199). Also, I question how many ‘unauthorized users’ could access the extender considering you manage the access on-line and MORE IMPORTANTLY it doesn’t cover that much area, so basically, someone would have to come inside your house, register their phone and then MAYBE they could access the signal outside your house.

    Just my 2.5 cents – thanks!

  33. What about the distance between 2 extenders? I have a large building i am trying to use this in with 2 floors… I want to cover it and I don’t want interference between extenders. They say in their information that 2 extenders aren’t recommended in the same building. The coverage area is 5000 square feet.

  34. I was desperate for range at my house where cell calls dropped like flies so I ordered the extender on Thursday at 4:20pm and it was delivered the next day. Setup was very easy — Verizon even sent a video on how to set-up via e-mail and so far the thing works as advertised. The price, well, who wants to pay $250, but it is what it is and worth every penny for the for the coverage I now get. I also appreciate that the cell phone coverage in my neighborhood is not really a fault of Verizon, but has more to do with “not in my neighborhood” mentality as it relates to cell phone tower placement around here.

  35. Lol I see a lot of bashing this new product. Let be realistic here. Because of the material made in a lot of buildings the signals from cell towers just cannot penetrate. For example we just build a brand new office for our company. We are pretty close to a Verizon cell tower. However b/c our building is made of steal it’s like we have wrapped our building in tin foil. If you buy a window you get good receptions start walking towards the center of the building and watch your bars go to zero. Products like these are very much needed.

    Compare this product $250.00 a node compared to a professional relay system that was going to be about $15,000.00. No brainer buy a few $250.00 nodes and be done with it.

  36. I got an extender in January and it works perfectly. $250 is excessive, but at least there’s no monthly fee (as there shouldn’t be).W/o the extender, I always had to go outside to make/take calls. It’s worth the $.

  37. No dice on the discount. Spoke to 3 different CSR’s and none would budge on the price. Maybe you have to threaten to kill your plan or something. That would be a fairly impotent threat involving 3 $175 early termination fees.

    I had just upgraded my plan, added a 5th line and upgraded 3 phones but they didn’t care.

  38. I haven’t received it yet but its coming by mail but I was able to talk them down to 50% off. So it only cost me $125 bucks. Which I think is what it should’ve cost in the first place.

    I’m sure I’ll be happy with it especially since it was only $125.

    1. Got them down 60% to $100.00.

      How? First I had them put in a service ticket and they then verified my home has poor service (a few doors down and it’s 3G?!?). I had recently bought 2 Droids, work partially from home, have a $160/mo plan, a two-year commitment which will roughly equate to $4,000.00 over the next two years for Verizon. I told them I would push my complaint to the highest level to break my contract and they would thus lose this revenue if they didn’t provide me with a network extender for free (also threw in a bit about the cost of obtaining new customers rather than retaining current customer). They came down 60% and I took it.

  39. $250 is a ridiculous cost for Verizon’s Wireless Network Extender a.k.a. femtocell product. Heck, I need to buy it because the service at home sucks! Think about it. They charge me $250 because their service sucks. I don’t get it!!

  40. I think it is worth it. I’m in a valley and have NO reception despite being close to a tower. If I could switch to another carrier I would, but nothing works on my street. Verizon comes the closest but still does not work indoors. The device itself works perfectly for me, and I can now drop vonage as a home office phone which will make up the fee pretty quickly (that said, it is still overpriced).

    Also great to be able to always get emails on my blackberry in real time instead of getting 30+ at once every time I walk outside.

  41. i bought my Verizon Wireless network extender for $206.00 and its the best device i ever purchessed. it works like a charm in the dead areas. i get full bar where i recived nothing before. i HIGHLY RECOMENT this device to anyone considering to purchess it. I do agree that its over priced tho.

  42. I was charged $249.99 each for two of them as a state agency. Device is by Samsung. Not the best purchase I’ve made, but making due.
    Pros: it extends coverage & gives you strong signal where you had none.
    Cons: requires GPS contact for e911 & to keep you from taking overseas. GPS is detachable, but included mini-coax is only 25ft. 100ft cable is $100. GPS must literally be taped to window glass, not frame of window in my building. My installation is under ground, and concrete firewalls block easy access to a window. Blackberry does not roam well from extender to extender – drops call before picking up 2nd extender. Especially tough if I start a call in my office, walk out of building & start to drive away. Drops call – I’m told it shouldn’t be doing this.
    Overall: This is what Verizon sold me. I’m lukewarm on it – they should have a better product and I hear one is in the works. I shouldn’t be paying to extend their network, and if I do I need it to at least work seamlessly. But it allows the administrator who’s phone won’t even ring at his desk to receive calls.

    1. The GPS does NOT have to be taped to a window. You only need the GPS near a window for the initial setup. After that you can pretty much put the device anywhere in your home. My Network Extender is a good 15 feet from the closest wall (for best coverage inside). The only limitation is how long you need to run your Ethernet cable to your router.

      I have a large house, and my two Verizon phones (Droids!) both work very well now, whereas they didn’t work worth s*** inside my house before the Extender was installed. I am in the middle of a metro area, but there is a literal concrete and steel wall of grain elevators between myself and the closest tower. My signal strength meter bounces all over the place when I am not actually using the phone. Once I place or receive a call, I get a consistent 4 bars (out of 4) instantly.

      You can buy the Extender from Verizon online for $200 including overnight delivery. Just use the promotion code “ACC20” (no quotes) on the appropriate line on the order form and it will deduct $50 from the regular $250 price.

      The device allows me to drop my wired service from Qwest, saving me nearly $50/month. Since we have two phones, its $100/phone. It works perfectly for me, so it is worth it.

      It’s pretty seamless. I can walk into my garage and down the block about 100 feet and it still connects. I know it’s on the Extender because of the two little beeps you get before your cellphone connects.

    1. Apparently Verizon can’t afford to provide adequate service to it’s customers. I’ve put up with poor service for 2 months and countless phone calls to Verizon. Poor customer service puts a company out of business…

      Will puchase the extender but will also jump to a better carrier as soon as better technology is provided. Bring on the competition…

    2. $50 off if you order from Verizon online (at least for now). Use the promotion code ACC20 and the $250 regular price will be discounted by $50. As far as I know, that’s the least it’s ever been. I seriously question that anyone is getting it for less, unless some guy is selling cheap on eBay. I checked eBay, and they are all being bid up over $200, and there is no warranty. Doesn’t make sense to use eBay unless it is way less than $200.

  43. Well you’re all pretty lucky. I can’t even get a GPS signal. I am going on hour # 4 now moving it in every window in the house for up to an hour. Currently it’s taped to a skylight. We’ll see if that works. I am seriously not that far out in the country. 40 miles north of Detroit. It’s ridiculous! Plus they wouldn’t give me my 25% corporate discount that I get on accessories even though it’s considered an accessory. What’s up with that Verizon? I have to pay for their lack of signal strength and if the extender doesn’t work I have to pay an additional 35$ restocking charge to return it. ARRGHHH! Very frustrated.

    1. Katie,

      It sounds like you may have a defective unit. How far out in the country you are has no effect whatever on GPS signals. In fact, there should be fewer obstructions to get in the way than if you were in a populated area. You should at least try exchanging it for another unit before chucking the whole thing.

      As I stated earlier, you can get a 20% discount on all accessories, including the Network Extender by entering promotional code ACC20 on http://www.verizonwireless.com. I know it works, because that’s the way I bought mine.

    2. Check that the device is NOT being blocked by a firewall. We hooked up one at work and had a similar problem. Our firewall guy checked the logs and noticed it was being blocked. Once our firewall guy poked a hole through, the device connected to both Verizon Wireless and the GPS. In fact, we ended up NOT having to use the external antenna and placed the device near a window. The ports are in this document: http://wirelesssupport.verizon.com/faqs/Equipment/network_extender.html?t=4#item59

  44. You are a moron!! The fact that you don’t have signal doesn’t mean they need to fix their infrastructure. If you live in a brick building, a tall building above the cell towers, or even down in a valley you will not have optimal service. If you don’t like it, don’t have a cell phone and all of the benefits that come with it!

  45. I just purchased the extender and now I have full signal and go go anywhere in my house or to the driveway and not drop the call. I live 3 miles from the tower but have a huge mountain of rock, trees and houses in between. There is no monthly charge for the use and does not interfere with my internet service using two phones. If I would have only bought a house 200 feet at the end of my subdivision, this wouldn’t be an issue. But a small price to pay when the service works everywhere else.

  46. Whoever TC is needs to take a breath. It can absolutely be impossible to get an indoor cell signal due to things beyond Verizon’s control (e.g. building construction). That being said, Verizon will be flamed by people that get crappy reception when VZW marketing drones on about its venerable cellular coverage. For an individual, if the $200 lets you kill-off a landline, then it is easily worth it. I suppose that there are other easy justifications, too. Frankly, it sounds like a nice-to-have dispensation to Verizon, in some cases.

  47. I have recently purchased a network extender. Outside the house I have great reception, inside the house the signal comes and goes. I will happily share some bandwidth for a reliable phone. So far, calls using the extender are crystal clear, where they used to be choppy. The device is $250 with a $50 mail in rebate right now. There are no monthly services charges.

    I do feel a little wrong that I am paying to extend their network. I can keep access to the device to my phones, but that just seems petty. I would happily take a larger one from them and share with more of the neighborhood.

    $200 one time charge to be able to have a great strong signal inside the house is not too bad.

    Jacob

  48. I have used the AT&T micocell and it seems like a better product.

    1. The AT&T model get’s 3G data connection. Note: I am confused about this because shouldn’t the device be using my internet connection? In the case of a site in NM. the user gets faster data speeds via the bonded t1’s then at&T 3g network.
    2. AT&T’s device lets you let only numbers you want to have access to the device. (look I’m ok with 911 calls going out but that may screw up the police as they will come to my location rather then the callers) Note: all of this is a mute point if your property is big enough nobody else is going to ride your connection.

    So my recap is this: should be locked down device that supports data speeds as fast as your local internet connection… Aka work like wifi.
    If you home is a dead spot this is far easier then messing with a repeater. THose are great if you can run the wire and keep the outdoor antenna 50′ (as the crow files) from the indoor antenna… but it’s not fun.

    Sean~

  49. We got the service extender just today.. We live in Missouri in the boonies, HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO USE MY CELLPHONE WHILE ON MY COUCH!! We have NEVER been able to have service here, and with the service extender we can finally use our cellphones! It is pricey, but amazing!

  50. Just an update…I’ve been using the wireless extender unit for a week now. We moved recently from the state capital to 30 mins outside of the city where our cellphone signal was extremely poor, and non-existent inside.

    I do think its messed up that all Verizon stores/retailers do not offer this device over the counter. Inside, you must contact Verizon by phone and wait for them to ship it to you. Our experience did not go smoothly. Because of so many issues with our service, we were told we’d be given a discount and be able to purchase this suggested device for $99. The rep went on to say it would be sent via FedEx and arrive in 2-3 days. Because our home phone had not yet been hooked up yet, those 2-3 days seemed like eternity (especially since we have a home-based business).

    When nearly a week passed, we called Verizon to inquire about our order. We were told that the order had been canceled. HUH??? What for? They said it was because they could not confirm the discounted price. Why didn’t anyone call, I asked. They had no answer for that. Finally, after speaking to three different reps, they put the order back into the system and apologized. They shipped it via FedEx overnight and it did finally arrive.

    When opening the box, I happened to read we would need a broadband internet connection. I was NEVER told this by any of the reps I had spoken to previously. This was very misleading. I assumed it would communicate solely via GPS/satellite. Because we did not have our internet hooked up, we had to wait another 10 days!

    The device really is worth having…IF you already have the internet. It’s VERY easy to set up. One AC cord for power, one ethernet cable to your router, and you’re good to go.

    There are NO monthly fees of any kind. Just the purchase price of the unit. I get 4 out of 4 bars throughout most of the house and I’m certainly happy this equipment is available. Otherwise, my Verizon service would be useless here at home. Hope this info helps.

  51. Nov 2010, I live in a dead zone no cell reception. Spoke to a verizon rep and he offered me a 50% discount on the extender and recieved it in 3 days. Set it up and I have full service inside my home. All for $132.00 one time fee. NO monthly fee’s. Rep was very helpful.
    Happy in Erie Co, Pa

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