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5G Signal Boosters: Read This Before Buying


On the surface, 5G boosters by companies like weBoost, SureCall, and Nextivity seem easy to find.

However, before you purchase, it's critical to understand one thing: signal boosters aren't allowed to amplify the most important 5G bands in the US.

Read on to find out why, how to tell whether the 5G in your area can be boosted, and potential workarounds.

In this guide

Why "5G boosters" often can't actually boost 5G

If you're struggling with weak 5G coverage in your home or office, you might think a signal booster is the perfect solution. 

But before you rush out to buy one, there's something you need to know: 

FCC regulations limit signal boosters from amplifying many 5G bands.

The FCC, or the Federal Communications Commission, is the agency that regulates the sale and use of wireless devices in the US.

The Commission's rules for signal boosters haven't been updated in over a decade, and as a result cell booster manufacturers aren't allowed to sell devices that amplify newly-licensed 5G bands.

But while that's true, it is still possible to amplify 5G signal in some cases. It all depends on which 5G bands your carrier has rolled out in your area.

How can I tell if my 5G is boostable?

The best way to tell if the 5G signal in your area is boostable is to look at the "5G" signal indicator on your phone.

First, turn off your WiFi. If the signal indicator at the top of your phone simply says "5G" (without additions like "5G+", "5G UC", or "5G UW"), boosting might be possible. 

However, if you're on T-Mobile, your options are very limited, even with regular 5G.  

For those eager to dive deeper, let's explore exactly which frequency bands are boostable and which are not.

What are the bands the FCC allows to boost?

The rules governing which bands can be boosted were originally issued back in 2014 by the FCC.

These rules were focused on the cellular frequency bands in use at the time: bands 2, 4, 5, 12, and 13

A few of the newer bands (for example 25, 26, and 66) partially overlap with these older bands and are at least partially boostable. 

If your phone or device is connecting to 5G on one of the bands listed above, it’s very likely you can use a booster to increase your signal.

Which 5G bands can’t be boosted?

5G operates across a wide spectrum, generally divided into low-band (<1 GHz), mid-band (1 GHz to 10 GHz), and high-band (10 GHz+). 

The fastest, most exciting 5G experiences happen on mid-band and high-band due to the greater amount of spectrum available. 

Unfortunately, this is where signal boosters fall short – current regulations prevent the boosting of most mid-band frequencies and all high-band frequencies.

Let's break down the situation for major carriers:

AT&T 5G Bands

Band Number and Frequency 5G Type Shows on devices as Boostable under current FCC rules
n5 (850 MHz) SA 5G
n2 (1900 MHz) DSS 5G
n66 (2100 MHz) DSS 5G
n77 (3.7 GHz) (C-band) SA 5G+
n260 (39 GHz) and n261 (28 GHz) mmWave (very limited availability) 5G+

Verizon 5G Bands

Band Number and Frequency 5G Type Shows on devices as Boostable under current FCC rules
n5 (850 MHz) DSS 5G
n2 (1900 MHz) DSS 5G
n66 (2100 MHz) DSS 5G
n77 (3.7 GHz) (C-band) SA 5G UWB
n260 (39 GHz) and n261 (28 GHz) mmWave (very limited availability) 5G UWB

T-Mobile 5G Bands

Band Number and Frequency 5G Type Shows on devices as Boostable under current FCC rules
n41 (2.5 GHz) SA 5G UC
n71 (600 MHz) SA 5G UC
n260 (39 GHz) and n261 (28 GHz) mmWave (very limited availability) 5G UC

In summary: disable WiFi on your phone. If your phone shows 5G, then that signal is boostable. If it shows 5G+, it is not.

The only exception is T-Mobile: their 5G signal isn’t boostable by any devices.

Are there any boosters that are better at boosting 5G?

Most wideband boosters (such as those from SureCall or weBoost) will amplify 5G signals on the standard, boostable bands we discussed earlier. 

Devices like the CEL-FI GO X G32 can only amplify the “DSS” flavor of 5G. 

The CEL-FI GO G41 offers a bit more flexibility by supporting both NR, SA and DSS 5G signals, however, the boosting limitations related to the frequency bands remain.

Can I boost signal for 5G Home and Business Internet?

We don’t recommend using a booster if you’re using 5G Home or Business Internet.

Instead, a more effective approach is to invest in a MIMO antenna setup like our QuadPro and QuadMini antennas. These antennas provide a stronger, more direct connection to the cell tower, improving your speeds. 

You can find helpful guides on setting up MIMO antennas for hotspots on our website:

Why haven't the FCC rules been updated?

Honestly, we're just as baffled as you are. 

The FCC's current stance on signal boosters seems out of step with the rapid advancement of 5G technology.  The best guess is that it's a complex mix of politics and bureaucracy.

However, that doesn't mean we should stay silent. If you're frustrated by these limitations, make your voice heard! 

We’ve started a campaign here asking the FCC to update rules and enable 5G boosting. Please join us by adding your name to the campaign.