On the face of it this would make good sense, anyone have any thoughts? Is it technically possible to permanently boost the signal?
On the whole, increasing signal strength without planning is not a good idea. At worst, it is an extremely bad idea.
One problem is really that you have multiple base stations, multiple cells, all/mostly attempting to reuse the same spectrum. They are going to interfere ... and careful planning is required to make sure the interference is controlled.
If you just turn up the power in one location, you just move the problem of interference. If you turn up the power in multiple locations, you just create more interference.
The second problem is that each cell only has a certain amount of capacity; the spectrum used by that site only has a limited number of Mbps to share between all the subscribers in the area served by the cell. If you turn the power up, you increase the area of the cell, which increases the number of subscribers. More people get coverage - hurray - but each person gets less speed - boo. Eventually, all your subscribers get peed off.
If you want good capacity, you actually need more base stations, more masts, more sites. And then get each to transmit at lower power, covering smaller areas.
The third problem is that this is a one-way solution to a two-way problem. Increasing power of the base-station works to increase coverage, but you can't get the mobile to transmit with more power. The mobile device might hear a louder base-station, but the base-station might not be able to hear the device.
The whole invention of cellular comms is a confused trade-off, trying to get lots of coverage *and* lots of capacity *and* lots of subscribers, but with limited spectrum to do it with.
The changes you saw might have been adjustments being made to cope with a site failure, where they make a temporary increase in power to restore coverage - and accept the hit on capacity.
Or they might have changed the way they are using the spectrum, and the new frequency doesn't propagate as well to your location.
As usage increases, and as subscribers increase, the only way the network can cope is by adding more sites. That means there is a constant juggle, from any one site, over the spectrum being transmitted and the power it will use.
Edited by WWWombat (Fri 20-May-16 18:42:17)