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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When we moved here in the mountains the cell phone service we had no longer worked. We asked the neighbors and Moviestar is the only one that reaches our land. Still we had to stand in a certain place to get a signal. Once the 9 foot wall was built and the walls went up we could only get a signal at times if we stood in front of a window and the weather had to be good.

I bought a signal amplifier kit from the U.S. made by Wilson. The kit came with an interior antennae that attached to the inside of a window with suction cups. This antennae would be fine if we lived in an apartment and had a weak signal through the walls. I added a Yagi antennae which is very strong and mounted it below our wifi antennae on the chimney high above the walls. As soon as it was installed we now have 4 bars consistently, but it hasn't rained yet. The kit amplifies the signal by 30% and we are very pleased with the reception. We normally go to town in one direction but using Google Earth I virtually "drove" down the road the other direction and found a really good cell phone tower less than two miles away, then used a compass to aim the antennae.

The only downside is that the Yagi antennae actually has voltage going to it as it increases the signal as well and it interferes with the wifi so we have to unplug it to get online which is just as well as it is an amplifier so it uses power as long as it is plugged in. I became very power conscious when I moved here because of the tiered electrical charges, we have security lights so it will stay unplugged unless we are using it. I do the same with our router.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The kit would fit in a carry on bag and costs $300.00 total but the lightning protector alone was $73.00, well worth it.
 

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Now please don't laugh at me but a while back I gave one of those antennae away - not knowing what it was for.

We have a Telmex landline and (at the moment) a MagicJack phone. My wife and I both have cell phones (1 TelCel / 1 AT&T). To be honest - our cell phones very rarely ring with personal calls - most are solicitations. I don't answer the cell phone when it rings.

At one point I had a cheapo cdma LG flip phone with IUsaCell. That phone got a signal everywhere. Then AT&T bought IUsaCell and closed down cdma. We went to PROFECO and AT&T had to give us a free GSM phone, and restore our 4000 peso balance. The phone they gave me (a ZTE Blade) is pretty simple and gets a decent signal in the house. I think the quality of the signal has something to do with what all you are asking the phone to do (what apps are active etc). I could be wrong but that is my sense.

We are at 5900 ft and can see the cell towers further up the mountain from us (maybe at 7000+ feet).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Now please don't laugh at me but a while back I gave one of those antennae away - not knowing what it was for.

We have a Telmex landline and (at the moment) a MagicJack phone. My wife and I both have cell phones (1 TelCel / 1 AT&T). To be honest - our cell phones very rarely ring with personal calls - most are solicitations. I don't answer the cell phone when it rings.

At one point I had a cheapo cdma LG flip phone with IUsaCell. That phone got a signal everywhere. Then AT&T bought IUsaCell and closed down cdma. We went to PROFECO and AT&T had to give us a free GSM phone, and restore our 4000 peso balance. The phone they gave me (a ZTE Blade) is pretty simple and gets a decent signal in the house. I think the quality of the signal has something to do with what all you are asking the phone to do (what apps are active etc). I could be wrong but that is my sense.

We are at 5900 ft and can see the cell towers further up the mountain from us (maybe at 7000+ feet).
You are lucky, many place "off the grid" here have no service but Mexico is installing a lot of towers this year.
 

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Guadalajara, México
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You are lucky, many place "off the grid" here have no service but Mexico is installing a lot of towers this year.
I have AT&T which was IUsaCell before AT&T bought them. The coverage is good in big cities but non-existent in small towns or the countryside. I have a very good deal on the package from AT&T and spend most of my time in big cities, so it is fine for me. When I am spending a significant amount of time in a small city, I have a TelCel chip that I put in my phone. TelCel seems to have good coverage everywhere.
 

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The antennae and WIFI router use so little current it would only affect the CFE 2 month electric bill by about 5 to 10 pesos. The hassle to plug the router in and wait for it to reset would be worth 5 pesos per 2 months and keep it from locking up sometimes. IMO.

A 50 inch HDTV uses about $50.00 pesos per 2 months of average use. DISH recievers use a lot more because even with the power off they are on getting a signal and processing it. Fridges, wáter pumps and anything with large motors [clothes dryer or A/C] or heating elements. [toaster ovens etc.] consume 90% of your KWHs. Fluoresent bulbs of 13 watts don´t consumer very much but larger ones start to add up if left on for long periods of time. Incandesent large wattage bulbs are not energy efficient. Laptops consume very little also especially when in hibernation mode when left on all of the time - maybe 25 to 35 pesos per 2 months left on
 
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