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5 Things You Can Do To Get Better Cell Signal In A Portable Office

5 Things You Can Do To Get Better Cell Signal In A Portable Office

Posted by Greg Knell on 4th Feb 2022

Portable offices are used more today than ever before. If you've worked in one, you know how important good cell signal is inside. Here's what you can do to get better cell signal in your portable office.

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Businesses are constructing more portable offices than ever before. They allow companies to increase productivity and organization by expanding their space. Portable office’s increasing popularity has much to do with their many appealing characteristics. They’re mobile, multifunctional, customizable, affordable, and extremely accessible. This last characteristic is especially attractive to contractors, employees, and decision makers. In some industries, on-site accessibility is imperative. These office alternatives typically rely on reliable internet and strong cellular connection so that team members working in them are readily available.

This is where the major challenges with portable offices lie. Because keeping a consistent connection is imperative, they must spend resources to make sure this happens. If an employee in a portable can’t maintain at least an adequate cellular signal and internet connection, they render the whole point of a portable office moot. You would think that businesses who choose to construct portable offices for their employees would prioritize cellular signal in the planning phase. Many do, but many do not. Business that don’t are stifling productivity and jeopardizing safety with poor data connections and poor call quality.

For a business using portable offices, sustaining smooth operations depends on strong cellular signals. Decision makers in these organizations need to understand weak signals, know what causes them, and know how to fix them.

Are Portable Offices Really That Common?

Yes, they are. In fact, the rise in portable office popularity largely coincides with the rapid cellular technology advances of the last two decades.

2003 was the year they introduced the Blackberry. Apple’s iPhone followed only four years later. Every year since then, many new and exciting innovations are unveiled in the world of cell tech. What started with text messages and mobile email blossomed into mobile apps and video streaming, social media, and who knows what next.

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Internet and cellular technology have made it possible for people to work pretty much anywhere they can get a signal. And as 5G advances, more and more people are already using the hotspot feature on their smartphones to connect their other devices to the internet. Traditional Wi-Fi is no longer the only way for you to work from your laptop. In fact, soon it may not even be the preferred or the most convenient way.

Enter Portable Offices

Alongside all of this was the ascendance of the portable office. There are many industries out there that operate in under-developed or remote locations. Areas like this usually have poor cell signal. Portable offices (construction-site trailers, real estate sales offices, etc.) are common for these types of businesses. If contractors and subcontractors are involved, there’s a good chance you’ll see a portable office nearby. Lumber operations and timber harvesting, remote mining operations, and oil and gas exploration are also industries that use portable offices regularly.

Reliable cell signal is more than important to outfits like these. It’s imperative for the day-to-day survival of business operations. Let’s quickly lay out how weak signals come to be in portable offices, and then follow that up with the 5 things you can do to get better cell signal in a portable office.

Weak Cell Signal In Portable Offices: Why Does It Happen?

There are two main reasons. The most predominate reason is the most obvious one: the nearest cell tower is far away. The farther the signal has to travel from the cell tower to you, the more it weakens. The other common reason has to do with the construction of many modular structures. This includes mobile homes, as well. It’s very common for these structures to be constructed with commercial-grade materials such as wire mesh, foam-injected insulation, anodized aluminum, and steel.

What do all of these materials have in common? They’re very good at blocking cell signals.

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Are There Apps That Help With Cell Signal Strength In Portable Offices?

There are apps that claim to do this, but mobile app technology cannot directly influence cellular signal. We posted an entire article on this topic.

5 Suggestions to Improve Cell Signal In A Portable Office

1. Get a Cell Phone Signal Booster

We’ll start with the clearest solution. In many situations, just getting a cell phone signal booster will remove the need to try anything else. SureCall has a variety of models available, all designed for particular circumstances. Considering the topic at hand, look here and here to view the very best options for portable offices. All the choices you’ll find there on our website are easy to install and do not require any professional experience to set up.

When searching the internet for signal booster, you may come across larger, pricier booster setups called active distributed antenna systems. These certainly serve a purpose. But it’s almost certain that if you’re looking for a cell signal solution for a portable office, you won’t need something like that. A simpler, passive antenna system (which describes most of the SureCall options) will be more than sufficient for you.

With SureCall, you’ll have a signal booster that:

  • is easy to move if needed.
  • only requires you to pay once for the kit. No monthly charges at all.
  • is carrier agnostic (meaning it works with all network providers).
  • comes with 24/7 customer support.
Flare 3.0 Signal Booster for Home
SureCall Flare 3.0

If you would prefer to try something first that is free or close to it, here are four DIY things you can consider before purchasing a signal booster.

2. Purchase a Mobile Hotspot

In some situations, this can solve signal problems in portable offices. If the portable office only has one person working inside and the signal is just barely weak enough that it’s causing slight annoyance, a mobile hotspot may work for you. Though they aren’t as strong as full signal booster kits from SureCall, these small devices are very popular and are extremely helpful in the right circumstance.

They’re certainly cheaper than a signal booster out of the box, but mobile hotspots have recurring fees. When you buy one, you have to then call your carrier and have them add the device to your cell phone plan, which adds money to your bill each month. But if you’re on a budget and you suspect your situation requires only a small solution, then by all means try this.

3. Check For Software Updates

This is an often overlooked solution. Many of us don’t regularly remember to check and see if our phone has a software update waiting to be installed. But your phone’s ability to locate and use nearest available cellular signal largely depends on you keeping the phone updated. It’s good to get into the habit of checking. If your phone is “being weird” (as people sometimes say), this usually puts your phone’s functionality back on track.

And this goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, just in case. Make sure that your phone is connected to the right Wi-Fi connection. If there’s more than one connection available in the portable office, one is often better than the other.

4. Reboot Your Phone

Hands holding iPhone in power off mode

This solution is in the same vein as checking for software updates, but even simpler. If your devices are having trouble with cell reception or are otherwise acting up, try rebooting your phone and see if the problems go away. Sometimes this is all it takes. This can also work for computers, tablets, and even TVs that seem to misbehave.

If this doesn’t work, take it a step further. Turn the phone off and then remove the SIM card. Gently clean the card and then put it back in the phone. Boot the phone back up, and see how everything feels after that. We’ve had customers say this made a difference for them.

5. Switch Carriers

Hopefully, your cell signal problem doesn’t come to this. You should have already done your research regarding which provider has the best coverage in the area where your portable office is located. If not, check online to see. Look at the websites of Verizon, T-Mobile, etc. and take a look at their coverage maps. You should be able to quickly learn what the strength of coverage typically is in any given area.

Remember that a cell phone signal booster can’t boost a signal that doesn’t exist. There needs to be at least a weak signal in order for a signal booster to do its work. If your carrier doesn’t have any coverage in the area in question, perhaps it’s time to switch to one that does.

How To Choose The Right Signal Booster For Your Portable Office

Before clicking the purchase button, there’s one important question to answer on your own first. What is the square footage of your portable office? With this knowledge, you’ll easily whittle down your choices to two, maybe even one, best option. At SureCall, the specs for each model are laid out clearly. Click here to view all available SureCall models.

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5 Things You Can Do To Get Better Cell Signal In A Portable Office - Conclusion

Portable office or not, recent data shows how important tablets and mobile phones have become in the modern workplace. 62% of employees polled in a national workforce study throughout many industries said these devices are key to workplace productivity. Close to 40% of them said that each year they use tablets and smart phones more. For employees that work in industries and areas where portable offices are most common, staying connected with these cellular devices is even more important.

If you or your employees use portable workspaces and are experiencing cell signal issues, try these suggestions. If problems persist, reach out to us and we’ll customize a solution for you.