Measuring Cell Signals

August 22, 2022 0 Comments

The strength of cell phone signals is measured in decibels (dBm) received by a cellular network from a mobile phone. Usually, signal strength range from around -30 dBm to -110 dBm. The cell signal is stronger the close the number is to 0. Good signal strength for cell signals is considered to be any signal measuring better than -85 dBm.

Most mobile devices display a set of bars to show the strength of the signals that are being received by the device. However, the bars on cell phones do not measure signal strength accurately. That is due to the fact that there is not any industry standard for what is represented by a bar or whether it is measuring 3G voice or 4G data performance. For example, three bars of coverage on Sprint’s network might be two bars on Verizon’s. In addition to differences between carriers, the number of bars that are displayed will be based on previous device activity, the phone manufacturer, and the way the phone is held. As an alternative, you can also use WiFi signal instead of a regular signal if you have access to it. For more information, check out the pros and cons of WiFi calling.

Field Test Mode

If you are wondering about the signal that is being received by your phone, determining what your phone’s dBm is more accurately measures the strength of your signal than relying on how many bars are shown. There are several different ways this can be done, depending on your specific device. It includes conducting the field test mode which is available on both Apple iOS and Android devices.

On iPhones, Field Test Mode gives detailed information to users about their providers, cellular connection, and signal. the Field Test Mode displays iPhone cell signals as a number instead of signal dots or bars.

If you cannot determine the signal strength of your Android devices by using this or another method, refer to the operations guide for your device. Apps like SignalCheck Lite are also available in the Play Store, making it possible for the signal strength to be read.

Keep in mind that the closer to zero that the dBm number is, the stronger the signal is. For example, -50 is considered to be a strong signal, and -100 is a poor signal.

Cell signals are strongest when a phone is near a cell tower. These days, there are not many areas where there is not some type of cell tower infrastructure nearby. However, numerous environmental factors may impede the cell signal from being able to reach your phone to provide you with a reliable connection.

Most likely you have experienced dropped calls, or been in the middle of receiving or sending a document or message, and then suddenly the progress is halted. It might occur while entering an office building, driving into a parking garage, riding the subway, or driving inside a tunnel. However, sooner or later everyone enters that dreaded dead zone. Pew Research reports that 72 per cent of all Americans say they have experienced dropped calls, while 6 per cent say that several times per day they have dropped calls.

So what things block cell signals even in places where there are lots of cell towers and supposed plenty of coverage? Briefly put, many things. Natural barriers in the environment can impede cell signals. They include LEED-certified windows as well as thick vegetation or forests including thick vegetation as well as mountainous terrain, and forests. Inside, strong cell signals may be impeded by glass windows that are LEED-certified as well as common building materials such as steel, concrete, and brick.

Also as the number of cell users continues, networks are getting bogged down by devices that are competing for signals. This is why you will likely experience lags in service whenever you are at a conference, concert, or another event where there are many people who are using their mobile devices and cell phones.