: What are the differences between the RS1 and RS2 model? Are they both available? What are the costs?
: RS1 relays a single UMTS (HSPA) channel, and is currently available in Canada (many carriers have more than one channel, but one is sufficient for a given user or home). RS2 is capable of relaying three channels and the Canada Wind Band 4 configuration is not currently available (the applicable Band 4 product is new and has yet to be adopted by the carriers in Canada). I do not know if or when it will be available.
The cost is often free for qualifying carrier customers (contact your carrier for details). Or an RS1 may be purchased through our internal web store http://cel-fi.com/
(use the coupon code “bars” to receive $100 off). Wind has their own candidate selection criteria, and some customers who do not qualify do buy directly from our store.
: Are they both AWS compatible (I am on Wind in Canada)?
: Yes. There are Band 4 versions of RS1 and RS2
: Are they carrier specific? IE: If I move to a new provider will it be useless to me?
: The units are built to be Band specific. Then they are configured for the Carrier. We have configurations for Wind and Mobilicity and possibly others. But the Band 4 unit will only relay a UMTS signal (HSPA) and not GSM, as carriers promote more recent technologies that are more spectrally efficient. IMPORTANT: If you buy from us, the system is delivered as a “white-box” configuration. This means that it may be configured for a specific carrier, but it can easily be moved to a new location, or another carrier’s configuration loaded (you own it so you have options). If it is a carrier supplied asset, it cannot be altered, or even moved to a different network location after 30 hours. This prevents “ebay” type sales etc of their assets.
: Will it be of use if/when 700mhz rolls out in Canada? Perhaps by firmware upgrade?
: No, 700 MHz is not currently supported, and older units could not be upgraded to support the band. It would be a new unit with a compatible 700 MHz radio.
: How many phones do the devices support at a time?
: 6 simultaneous calls or 30 data sessions, or a combination of each before performance would be impacted.
: Do they automatically improve everyone's connection from the moment they come into my house? How would I ensure that my neighbors aren't using it at my detriment?
: The system power controls such that the Coverage Unit (relay output) increases its output power just until the Window unit “sees” the relayed signal itself. This prevents a feedback loop from occurring. In this fashion you may choose to place the two units such that coverage is where you want it in your home, or further separate the two units to create a larger “coverage bubble” that could extend beyond the covered home to some small degree (and yes anyone with that carrier’s service would benefit). But the device is really designed to cover one home, unless someone purposefully places the CU so as to be literally between two dwellings (with maximum allowed Window Unit to Coverage Unit distance – resulting in maximum output/coverage power). But since capacity issues are unlikely, you should not see an detriment to your service quality at all, even if there are a number of people next door also getting some signal benefit.
: What is the lifespan of these units? What is the meantime to failure?
: I do not have the calculated MTBF but I can say from experience that they are designed to run, and do run, for many years. I am honestly unaware of returns for burned out units.
: Do they need to be rebooted often like bad wifi routers/modems? How often?
: No. The units actually reset themselves once a day (night) for the purpose of network retuning, in the event that the carrier makes network changes. Other than that we do not reboot them. I have three routers in my home and I wish Nextivity made them!
:Are you telling me it can't support Wind and Mobilicity at the same time?
: No, not at the same time.
: I'm not sure I understand the significance of it relaying a HSPA and not a GSM signal. What does that mean to me?
:They are different technologies generally operating on different frequency bands. HSPA is both voice and data so no need for GSM/EDGE (which are very slow by comparison anyway).
: What would the process be for getting another provider configured if I left Wind? USB upgrade? Is it free?
: If a white box unit is purchased from us, we as a courtesy generally provide one “reconfiguring” free of charge. Future reconfigurations are performed at a nominal cost (current cost is around U$60).
: The other device I am considering is http://jdteck.com/products/repeaters...dard-kit-white
and I know it will be a pain to install but I'm wondering if you have any perspective on functional advantages your product might have over it.
: Our system provides 100dB of system gain, and the Window Unit uses diversity switching on four internal high gain antennas that adapt to changing network conditions. The biggest factor for you though, may be in the available signal level where our Window Unit, or the competition’s External antenna might be placed. To clarify, take your phone and use it to “measure” the 3G signal in your home (antenna meter must display the 3G or 4G icon as you observe the number of antenna bars). If you have one 3G signal bar on your phone then Cel-Fi should work for you. More is always better, for faster data rates etc. The external antenna solution is needed if you actually do not have a proper signal to relay somewhere in the home (or in a separate garage etc), whereby you would have no choice but to try and get any signal you can up a pole etc with the an external antenna.
: Your answers to previous #1 and #2 seem to be at odds with RS1 and RS2 and its availability to me. Am I to take it that RS2 would technically work but I can't have it?
: Canadian Regulatory approval will not be available on the RS2 in Canada until a Canadian carrier adopts the product, and there does not appear to be a Carrier need for it at the moment. Therefore, you are correct in that it is not available. However, there should be no need for an RS2 as their performance is essentially equal to that of the RS1 which has been successfully deployed in Canada.
: The answer to #6 above may dictate your product choice. If you have a usable donor signal in your home for Cel-Fi to relay, then it will work. If you do not have a signal to relay, then a product with an external antenna may be your only option. Your measuring with your phone will answer that question.
Next I would contact your carrier to see if they can provide you with a free unit. If not and you choose to purchase a Cel-Fi from us, you have 30 days to try it or receive a full refund (less return shipping charges).
If no signal exists in or around your home for either system to work, then the only other options may be a UMA or Femto cell that use an ISP link to serve as backhaul. They tend to be lower power and not as reliable or fast, but at least it’s something.