A WiFi network won't extend the voice and text capabilities of most cellphones, but it does extend the usability of a smartphone in several ways:
- It allows you to use the Internet (email, web browsing) even if you don't have any cellular signal,
- Once you have your AyrMesh network in place, you can extend your cellular coverage using Femtocells (for example, AT&T and Verizon) - these connect to your IP network and route cellular traffic across it, acting like little cell towers.
- If you have a phone from Republic Wireless or Scratch Wireless, then it automatically uses your WiFi network to route your calls, texts, and data, and only uses the cellular network for backup. Newer phones for Verizon can do this, too, and other carriers will almost certainly follow. If you have one of these phones, your AyrMesh network absolutely extends your cell phone coverage.
Wilson Electronics makes very good cellular amplifiers/repeaters if you only want to extend the cellular network.