Maybe if handset manufacturers put decent antennas in...
Everyone seems to want phones to be as small as possible. Or at least, that's what the manufacturers would have you believe. I wonder how effective these reduced-size antennas are.
More to the point, ever tried to buy a phone with an external antenna jack? Yes sure, there's capacitive coupling, but you loose a few dB through one of those, so it totally nulls any benefit of the external antenna.
Want to truly boost your signal? Get a phone with an external jack, a suitable adaptor, and read up on some antenna theory. You can make an efficient antenna in about 5 minutes, and it'll cost you $2. A bit more effort, and you can make yoursef up a directional yagi antenna which would enable you to pick which tower you want to connect to and greatly improve your effective radiated power.
If we create demand for this sort of thing, companies will start including the antenna jacks in their devices, and we can benefit without needing to resort to hap-hazard approaches like unregulated repeater station installations.
Not sure where to start? Drop in to your local amateur radio club and ask there.
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