Are Cell Phone Boosters Necessary At Airports?

Cell phone boosters, also known as signal boosters, are pieces of hardware designed to boost wireless signals by up to 32 times. They are most effective in indoor environments with cell signals present outdoors. Indoor spaces like offices and public buildings can make excellent use of cell phone boosters.  Commercial signal boosters are available in the market that are able to cover almost 140,000 sq ft in area. 

Mechanics Of A Cell phone Booster

A signal booster basically amplifies the incoming and outgoing cellular signals, thereby giving much stronger signal strength than just a cell phone could achieve. Cellular signal booster consists of 3 major components; a donor antenna, signal booster, and the broadcast antenna. The donor antenna collects the weak signals from the outside and transmits it to the amplifier through a cable. The amplifier boosts the cell signal and transmits the boosted signal to the broadcasting antenna, resulting in amplified cellular reception indoors. This functioning is reversed when a call is made from the inside.

Significance Of Cell Phone Boosters In Airports

Airports are often full with occupants. Passengers and workers together tend to total hundreds or even thousands in large airports. Open Wi-Fi signals in airports are often insecure and vulnerable to hacking attempts such as snooping and malware attacks. Airports are usually huge closed structures and signal dampening materials like sheetrock and glass are used extensively in their construction resulting in quite weak cellular signal reception inside the airport buildings. This coupled with the massively fluctuating population inside the structure and insecure public access Wi-Fi in airports call for a powerful cellular signal inside airports.

Types Of Cell Phone Signal Boosters

Analog Signal Boosters

A lion’s share of the current signal boosters are analog. They provide a gain of 60-70 dB. Analog boosters can amplify the frequencies of all the carriers. In analog boosters, all the major components like the donor antenna, amplifier, and the broadcasting antenna are separate modules connected via cable.

Smart/Digital Signal Booster

Smart signal boosters use powerful baseband processors to amplify the signals. Compared to their counterparts they provide almost 100dB gains. Though more expensive, they provide significantly higher boosts and also they have features like a single module for amplifier and broadcast antenna and the exclusion of an outdoor antenna.


The growing number of airplane passengers and the concern for cyber security is a good enough reason for airport authorities to start installing cellular signal boosters ASAP!