I live in a rural area and the mobile signal coverage is fairly poor from all the main service providers. The entire household is on Orange and we just about manage with coverage. However, my employer recently switched from Orange to O2 and, on my work mobile, I now have calls that are frequently one-way or drop out completely. As the UK Telephony Manager for a global engineering company I can hardly be uncontactable by telephone and so O2 have installed a signal booster for me.

Booster in cellar

The equipment is an Andrew MR918S repeater. It receives a 2G signal from a nearby (1.5 miles) donor transmitter and then amplifies the signal and re-transmits it on two indoor antennas. The repeater runs at 900MHz on GSM. It contains a standard SIM and uses some form of internal modem. The whole unit is the heat sink, though black would have been a better colour perhaps.

The booster consumes about 45W, which at my current electricity tariff of 9.135p/kWh, costs about £36 per year. This is a bit more than I thought. However, any guests or visitors who also use O2 will benefit too.