I've been using a MaximumSignal cellular amplifier for ~six months. However, my "winter home site" happens to be in an area with exceptionally good Verizon coverage so it's been difficult for me to test the effects of the MaxSignal amplifier. The unamplified signal is so strong that it has been hard to see the difference with the amp on or off.
Well, that's been the case, but it isn't any longer, now that MaxSignal has loaned me one their brand new Super Max indoor antennas. The system is now a beast!
According to the app Signal Check Pro my signal is typically in the -104-109dBm range and my download speeds vary from ~10 - >50Mbps. With the new antenna at distances of ~10' from it I'm seeing RSRP strength of ~-100-104dBm which may not sound like much of an improvement but at these signal strengths not much amplification is needed. My SNR (signal to noise) is running 15-19dB.
What's really wild is when I walk the phone over to the immediate vicinity of the antenna (<2'). At that range you can see an enormous spike of 25-30dBm in signal strength with numbers in the -70dBm range. However, as it is supposed to, if you keep the phone at this close range you can see the system "hunting" and it will eventually restore it to the same -100-105dBm. The system is designed to use only that degree of amplification necessary for maintaining an excellent connection and this is what is being observed. There's no need for the phone to see a -70dBm signal in order for it to perform effectively.
As for measuring download speed, this morning my connection is having an "off day" and I'm seeing speeds of 12-14Mbps using Speedtest.net (through my WiFiRanger GoAC). With the amp running I think I'm seeing a small but statistically significant speed improvement on the order of 10%. It's the sort of small variation that is difficult to measure given the normal variability of the cellular system from moment to moment. Anyway, even as an off day it's well above what's needed to stream HD video!
I hope this helps others who are considering purchase of a Maximum Signal amp--amplification of 25-30dBm is pretty impressive IMHO. It's my understanding that the Super Max antenna is just entering production and should be available well before next camping season.
BTW, the new antenna is rather heavy and I would be reluctant to mount it with Velcro if the coach were moving. At present it is stuck magnetically to my refrigerator door and what I plan to do is attach a small piece of ferrous metal to a spot on the ceiling where it will be permanently mounted. I happen to have several decorative wooden strips on the ceiling and it will be easy to put the metal plate on one of them. It has a very powerful magnet and I'm sure it will be quite secure with it as its attachment mechanism.
Joel (AKA docj)