Everyone on Norris Lake uses Verizon Wireless. Verizon has the best tower coverage here and works great except in our house. In our house, we can only get 1 bar — sometimes 2 bars, depending upon if you lean back in your chair or not (I kid you not). As a result, we would drop calls or hear only parts of a conversation. I would always have to call people back on the land line. It was unusable.
On a trip to Big Ridge State Park, a few weeks ago, the conversation turned to Verizon and one of the ladies, (thanks Emily L.) said that she got Verizon’s Network Extender and it solved their problems. I knew this device existed but this was the first time I had heard of anyone who actually had it.
Fast forward one week and let me shout to the world that we can now use our Verizon cell phones in our house! We went from 1 bar to 5 bars and the phone calls and service are consistent, clear, and reliable.
Being technical, I was curious about the technology. The Network Extender plugs into your existing Broadband (or DSL) internet router (requires a minimum of 3 MB of bandwidth). Because of this, the calls are using VOIP (Voice over IP), according to tech support. It has an internal antenna, with an optional, external antenna (i.e. a thin wire) if you need a little more help, which is there solely to determine time and position for 911 call support. When the device arrives, you simply need to call Verizon to activate it, like you would a new phone, let it boot up, and it works! Read FAQ here.
The really nice thing is that you pay one fixed price ($249) and there are no monthly access fees. At the time I ordered it, I said if they had any discounts in effect, then I would purchase it right away. Miraculously they found a $100 coupon that they could apply.
Later I mentioned to Emily that I had taken her advice and that I was thrilled with the results. It definitely solved my problem. She went on to share that since their cell phones work so well, they only have an incoming phone line to support their DSL connection – people can call in, but they cannot call out, except for 911 calls. The advantage here is that Century Link does not charge for the incoming line — you get it free to support DSL. Hmmm. Maybe I will be evaluating this next.
Life is an Adventure!