Honeywell CELL-EXTRA - AlarmNet External Antenna Cable for CDMA Communicators Reviews
Submitted on 08/01/2019 Alarm Grid
This is an official review from Alarm Grid. We do not recommend the Honeywell CELL-EXTRA CDMA Cellular Antenna. This antenna will only work with CDMA communicators on Honeywell Panels. If you are still using a CDMA communicator, you should upgrade to a Verizon LTE Communicator instead. You may find that you get stronger signals from the Verizon LTE Network, thereby eliminating the need for an antenna in the first place. And even if you don't and you still need an antenna, you will eventually have to upgrade to LTE in the near future anyway. You may as well do it now.
Verizon is in the process of shutting down their CDMA Network. You can no longer activate CDMA communicators for use with AlarmNet and Total Connect 2.0. And once the CDMA network is shut down, all CDMA communicators will no longer function. Verizon has not publicly stated a date for when their CDMA network will be put out of service, but we do know that it will be within the next few years. Once that happens, the only way to keep using your current alarm system for cellular monitoring service is to upgrade to an LTE communicator.
There is very little point in buying a cellular antenna that will only work with the CDMA network. Although the Honeywell CELL-EXTRA CDMA works great with CDMA communicators, it is not compatible with the newer LTE communicators. The Honeywell CELL-EXTRA will only help you for a short period of time before the associated CDMA network is shut down permanently. You should just go ahead and upgrade to an LTE communicator right now. You may find that the LTE communicator provides a stronger and more reliable connection than your current CDMA communicator.
LTE networks are more powerful than their CDMA and 3G predecessors. Our technicians have encountered many situations where users who upgrade to LTE modules have stronger cellular signals as a result. In some cases, this can eliminate the need for using an antenna to boost the cell signals. You may indeed find that this is the case when you upgrade to LTE. Even if you don't get stronger signals, at least you will have a long-term solution for your panel. You can then get an LTE antenna or cellular amplifier if necessary. A good LTE-compatible antenna to use for this purpose is the Honeywell CELL-ANT3DB Weatherproof Antenna. If you don't need an outdoor antenna with that much power, the Honeywell CELL-ANTSMA and the Honeywell CELL-ANTU are more affordable indoor models. You can also go the cellular amplifier route to boost the signals for all the compatible devices in your household. A good cellular amplifier to use is the WeBoost 470101.
Bottom line, do not get the Honeywell CELL-EXTRA. Try upgrading to a Verizon LTE Communicator first. You will have to do that anyway soon, and you may find that it boosts your signals enough so that no antenna is needed. If you do still need an antenna, you can then get one of the LTE-compatible options.