• Sector antennas used on cell phone towers are ideal as outside antennas;
• The outside antenna should have high gain;
• Suitable bi-directional amplifiers are commercially available;
• Smartphone apps that provide signal strength and base station ID are useful;
• With the arrival of “Long Term Evolution” (LTE), covering both voice and data frequencies becomes important.
• Android did not in the past provide information about what frequency band the phone is operating on — with API Level 24, Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Number is available: EARFCN for LTE, UARFCN for WCDMA and ARFCN for GSM).
• Some providers (e.g. Verizon Wireless), do not encode base station geo-location in the signal (unlike e.g. U.S. Cellular);
• In some regions, some providers (e.g. SPRINT) encode the center of the area that an antenna is designed to cover rather than the base station geo-location;
The FCC licenses the spectrum, yet does
Some antenna gains may be overstated in manufacturer's listing
(common exception: sector antennas);
• Some antenna gains may be overstated in manufacturer's listing (common exception: sector antennas);