I live about 6 miles from a cell tower. AT&T is pretty secretive about exactly where they placed their towers; which is nuts, because it is as if Verizon does not know where they are located?! ...only paying customers.
I can get all five bars about half the way up my driveway .. but 1-2-Nada bars at my house .. standing outside.
I knew in advance that reception may be sketchy, so I ordered the Wi-Ex zBoost YX510-PCS/CEL Dual Band Wireless Extender from solidsignal.com ... and to back that up, I got an extra directional antenna; Wilson Electronics 301155 Dual Band Panel Antenna. It's the later device that needs to be pointed toward the tower. I got up on my roof and made a pole that extended over the ridge pointing the antenna in a variety of directions. Going back inside, with the zBoost fired up, I get maybe 2..sometimes 3 bars. (the omni directional, stick antenna included with the zBoost package gets no bars...)
I added another 100 feet of coax and moved the antenna to a more clear section, with the hope that cell signals, like rain, may fall in an open area versus close to the trees around the house. ...to little effect.
My next move is another 500 feet of coax so I can move the antenna closer to the area with the green arrow. It should get me about half way. I did that rather than 1,000 feet because when I walk the iPad up the property line, I get a good signal about 500 feet from the house.
My concern is that the antenna and extender do not naturally capture better signal strength than the iPad itself, so using the iPad as a base signal seaker may be misleading... D'no?!
.... I'll keep adding to this post in case someone has a similar situation. My goal it to delete the Verizion (no love for them...) landline at both my house and business with an iPhone. I'm a Mac loyalist. I run four Mac and have done so since the late 80's.