Gadget of the week: Bolton Technical Signal Booster

What is it?

When a company called Bolton Technical first launched the WilsonPro A500 Signal Booster in South Africa in 2021, it did so at a time when working from home had become a new reality and mobile data signaled a new priority.

For those living in areas with patchy cellular coverage, it’s been a lifeline for both work and home use, giving voice and data signals a dramatic boost. Until then, consumers had to be content with the easy amplification provided by portable boosters from wireless carriers.

At the time when mobile data was becoming an essential element of the connectivity mix, whether as a main connection or backup, a good signal and a decent laptop battery were enough to avoid load shedding. However, at that time the country was not subject to constant daily outages.

Since then, the dragon of load shedding has spread across business continuity, both for remote workers and in offices.

Well-suited for the home office, the A500 meets only part of the challenge of a larger work environment. However, in response to the latest new anomalies, Bolton Technical has launched the next model, the WilsonPro A1000 Signal Booster.

It’s around 50% more expensive, but twice as powerful. An external antenna is installed on a company’s roof and aimed at distant cell towers. This is connected to a wall mounted panel containing an internal antenna which is connected to the booster unit.

Our tests under normal conditions and normal power supply were impressive. A normal download speed of 28Mbps has been doubled, providing fiber-like connectivity. While the A500 increased a maximum download speed of 4 Mbps and a 2 Mbps upload to 38 Mbps down and 57 Mbps up, the A1000 took our download speeds to over 55 Mbps , with a similar upload.

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However, the solution really came into its own when it came to load shedding.

The booster still worked regularly thanks to solar power, which is now accessible to small businesses thanks to rental options that balance monthly costs with electricity savings.

Without signal boosting, we didn’t have a mobile data connection via MTN during load shedding. With the WilsonPro A1000 enabled, the MTN signal jumped down to 13 Mbps and up to 28 Mbps. This may not be fibrous, but it does mean that the dragon named Loadshedding suddenly had its teeth pulled.

Equally important, where previously we could barely hear a cell phone call during load shedding, we now had clear voice communication. The dragon’s flames have been extinguished.

How much is it?

R13,950 including VAT at

Why should you care?

Load shedding will be with us for years to come, and even if we install solar power, cell towers no longer have the battery or generator capacity to survive multiple outages in a day. As a result, data signals are close to zero and voice calls are often not possible. A powerful signal booster can retrieve data and voice signals from remote towers outside of a load-shedding area, keeping work and communications flowing.

What are the biggest negative points?

• As with the previous model, it’s still only compatible with 3G and 4G signals, although 5G support is on the way.

• Special installation is required to ensure antennas utilize remote towers that may not be affected by load shedding.

What are the biggest positives?

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• It works on MTN, Cell C, Vodacom and selected Telekom bands,

• No monthly fees or data costs.

• Restores both mobile voice and data usage.

• Bolton Technical support team will assist with installation.

* Goldstuck is the founder of World Wide Worx and Editor-in-Chief of Follow him on Twitter at @art2gee