There are many forums that list reviews from people who have used cell phone antenna boosters, and most of them mention positive results. However, there are people who are still skeptical about the performance of these devices. They believe that it's just a show piece, and have no significant impact in increasing the signal strength received by the cell phones.
The principle of working of a cell phone antenna booster is similar to that of a satellite. It provides a large surface area for the transmission and reception of signals, thus increasing the signal strength of the phone. These devices are generally mounted at the back of phone battery, or are fixed externally. The booster solves the purpose of amplifying the signal. In areas with limited network coverage, antenna boosters absorb the weak radio frequency signals from the antenna tower of the cell phone service provider, and amplify the received signals. The amplified signal is sent to the internal antenna of the phone. Since they have a large surface area, they have better access to the radio frequency signals as compared to the internal antennas. During the transmission of signals, the same process of reception is followed in the reverse way. The signals transmitted by the internal antenna of cell phones is amplified by the antenna booster, before it is sent out.
The main forms are the miniature antennas, which can be easily fixed behind the battery of the mobile phone. But there are also other versions available. Many people prefer cell phone antenna booster stickers that can be fixed at the back of cell phones. They are compact, and also give a good look to your phone. For people who face a bad reception only at specific places, static antenna boosters are a good option. These devices are not fixed to your phone. They are rather placed in those locations where you have a weak coverage. Suppose you have a bad network coverage in and around your home; in such cases, you can place this booster near the window of one of your rooms. You will see a significant increase in the signal strength. These devices solve the purpose of a repeater as well as an amplifier, within the premises for which they are meant.
The skepticism regarding boosters is mainly because of the tests conducted to check their performance. The test results that are mentioned are generally not explanatory. Reviews given on television programs are generally based on ingenuous tests performed by common people and not engineers working in the field. Big players like Wilson have stayed in this field for a long time, and their products have been appreciated by many users. Though the performance of these devices is generally exaggerated by their manufacturers, they definitely do show a noticeable change in the signal strength.
Many people complain that their signal boosters work well for a considerable period of time, but slowly lose their performance. These are technical issues that manufacturers can help you out with, and it should not be an issue when selecting a particular booster brand. However, it's always wise to know the market reviews of different brands of such devices.