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7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Cell Phone Signal 2016

on February 14, 2016

You're in a Traffic Jam for Cell Phone Signals

It’s a different world, right? 

In the beginning, the most common cell phone reception problems dealt with dropped calls and poor voice quality. 

Now, poor cell phone reception also affects text messaging, email, internet, apps, social media, and other real-time services.

Absolutely nothing is more FRUSTRATING than waiting...and waiting for something to send or load but the progress bar sticks at 99% then just fails.

Not acceptable. Not in today's always on, always connected world. 

You're paying for these high monthly cell phone bills. You deserve to get what you're paying for. Because without reliable 3G & 4G LTE signals, your cell phone is basically a glorified calculator that takes photos.

However, there are a few easy tips and tricks you can use to help boost your cell phone strength.

1) Clear Out Obstructions

Your cell phone and cell phone tower play a game of Marco Polo every time you use your phone. One yells “Marco” and the other shouts back “Polo.”

When there’s a clear line of sight between them, it’s easy for the two to hear each other. But when there are objects and obstructions in between, it gets a little harder for the two to communicate. 

When you see people raising their phones or moving to a window, they are basically trying to reduce the interference between the cell phone and cell tower.

Some simple tips that help:

  • Move outside or get near a window, away from thick walls, insulated interiors, etc.
  • Avoid tall barriers such as trees, hills, mountains, metal structures, and high buildings
  • Reduce interior clutter (e.g. magnetic & electronic clutter can interfere with cell waves) 
  • Get higher. Usually the second floor of the home gets better signal. 

All these tips should help get you better reception.

Weather may also affect service, too, like rain, snow and thunderstorms. 

Just remember this, less things between your cell phone and the cell tower, the easier the two can keep communicating. Even shifting your position a few feet can contribute to better reception. That's how fickle cellular signals are!

Speaking of cell towers…

2) Locate Your Nearest Cell Phone Tower(s)

Knowing the closest cell phone tower locations helps tremendously when it comes to getting the best reception: the closer your phone is to the tower, the better the signal strength. 

Websites:

Cell Reception
Put in your zip code or city and state and the magic happens. 

Find cell tower locations by the major carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, & T-Mobile). And read reviews and ratings by users like yourself.

Open Signal:
Open Signal ranks the top 4 carriers and their signal with a cell phone coverage map and then further compares your area cell phone signal nationwide and even worldwide. 

You can also refine the type of cell phone signal by 2G, 3G, and 4G.

Apps:

  1. OpenSignal: For iPhone | For Android
  2. Akvelon's Signal Finder: For iPhoneFor Android
  3. RootMetrics' Cell Phone Coverage Map: For iPhone For Android

These are our recommended apps to help find cell tower locations and coverage quality.

DIY (The Best Way):

Your smartphone is a great way to find signal strength.

First, a short technical explanation and surprising truth.

Cell phone signals are measured in dB (decibels). They're basically radio waves, the AM/FM kind. All cellular devices operate within this standard:-50 dB to -120 dB signal level.

-50 dB is considered full strength (full bars). -120 dB is considered a dead zone.

This is why you can't trust the number of bars on your phone too much.

Because there's no industry standard and practice to label dB values to number of bars. 

In plain English, what might be 1 bar on Verizon is 2 bars on AT&T and 3 bars on Sprint, despite receiving the exact same signal and performing at the exact same speeds

The number of bars is subjective across all carriers!

But dB readings are not subjective. Just plain old science, math, and truth.

OUR RECOMMENDATION:

  1. Find dB readings on your phone.
  2. Walk around your house.
  3. The number closest to -50 dB is where you get your best signal.

So how do you find dB reading on your smartphone? It's usually under the settings menu. However, we've included a quick guide for iPhone and Android users from  one of our cell phone booster guides:

How to Access Your dB Signal:

For iPhone Users

  1. Go into Phone Mode

    How to access db cell signal on iPhone, Step 1
  2. Dial and Call *3001#12345#*

    How to access db cell signal on iPhone, Step 2
  3. You'll enter Field Test Mode

    How to access db cell signal on iPhone, Step 3
  4. Drag down your notifications bar and you will see your dB reading in the left-hand corner.

    How to access db cell signal on iPhone, Step 4

For Android Users

  1.  Access Settings

    How to access db cell signal on Android phones, Step 1
  2. Then General

    How to access db cell signal on Android phones, Step 2
  3. Go to About Phone

    How to access db cell signal on Android phones, Step 3
  4. Network or Status

    How to access db cell signal on Android phones, Step 4
  5. You should see your dB Value

    How to access db cell signal on Android phones, Step 5

Now you understand how to read and find dB values on your phone. Walk around the house and find that place to get better signal.

3) Keep Your Battery Full

Your phone needs to do many things. Connecting to a cell tower takes a constant supply of power, so if you’re low on battery, your phone might not have enough juice to find a signal.

The following best practices should help conserve battery power:

  • Turn off hardware options like Bluetooth and NFC when not in use.
  • Lower screen brightness
  • Close unnecessary & unused apps working in the background
  • Turn off push notifications
  • Update to latest firmware
  • Keep phone away from extreme temperatures

But if still find your cell phone lacking power before the end of the day, we'd recommend a portable battery charger or case.

4) Don’t Block Your Cell Phone Antenna

Before the rise of smartphones, most mobile phones had external antennas. They were the vital part of the machine that gathered and sent signals to the cell tower. 

However, with most smartphones today, the antenna is now designed to be tucked inside the phone.

Great for cosmetic reasons but difficult for increased reception, because those interior antennas still need to do the same job.

By holding your phone in landscape position (sideways), your hands may be effectively blocking your antenna from the cell tower. Although the newer smartphones have designs to combat this problem, with a smartphone in a rugged case and gripped with both hands, you'll still get the occasionally no-signal burp.

To avoid such antenna problems, try holding your phone in an upright position with your antenna free of a blockage, it should help increase cell phone reception.

5) Find Some Me Time

A cell phone tower can hold a few hundred to a few thousand users. What happens when everyone tries to access that tower at the same time?

When you’re at a concert, festival, crowded public event, or major sports game, there’s bound to be a horde of picture taking, Facebook and Vine selfies out there. With so many people and their smartphones and tablets, it overwhelms the cell tower.

Which leads to the following problems:

  • Dropped calls
  • Poor call quality
  • Slow internet
  • Super slow uploads & downloads 
  • Stuck text messages
  • Spotty service.

Instead of completing for signal bandwidth and clogging up the network, finding a less populated area should help improve your situation. Of course, if you followed Step 2 above, you already know how to find the nearest cell towers.

6) Use Your Wi-Fi Network

Wi-Fi Calling (also known as Unlicensed Mobile Access or UMA) allows using your broadband landline wifi to make calls & connect to the internet

As of now (February 2016), T-Mobile and Sprint offer full wi-fi calling support, while AT&T and Verizon only support wi-fi calling on select phones (Apple iPhone 6 & later models for AT&T and Samsung Galaxy S6 & later models for Verizon).

So if you already have landline internet, connecting your cell phone to it should be able to help boost reception service. 

7) Change Network Carriers

Well, you’ve done everything you could, but there’s still no progress. If your phone is fully paid for or past its two-year contract, it may be time to jump ship and find a carrier better suited to fulfill your mobile needs. 

And most carriers are eager to get customers to switch, so you might be able to get a new or highly discounted smartphone or bill.

For example:  Sprint offered a 50% cut on bills if customers switched carriers. T-Mobile will pay for any early termination and old payment plan fees. So keep an open eye for carrier deals. They're everywhere.

We recommend using  opensignal.com to research carrier service heatmap for your location. Search by ZIP code and compare network rankings in your area. 

With that information along with understanding cell tower location, it should give you much better information about the quality of your carrier's and competition's services.

There's a lot of variables to consider. 

Verizon might have more 4G coverage nationally, but if you live near an AT&T cell tower, you might have to reconsider. Perhaps talk and text is more important to you than internet data, so T-Mobile's or Sprint's 3G plan might be more cost effective. 

So take your time and do the right research. 

Bonus: The More Reliable Solution

Cell Phone Signal Booster Guide

Look, the are two scenarios and you can be the judge of which one is more likely: 

One: You can wait for your carrier to finally notice your pain and do everything they can to get signal into your home or car.

OR

Two: You take matters into your own hands and pull in whatever signal you have, boost it multiple times with a cell phone booster, and enjoy the better, stronger signal.

Cell phone signal boosters are powerful FCC-certified devices that pull in your weak 3G & 4G signals, amplify it up to 32X, and rebroadcast it to an area in need in your home or car. 

Are they pricey? Well, answer this question first: how much can you deal with poor signal and life with constant interruptions every day for the rest of your life?   

Cell phone boosters are: 

  • One-time purchases with no monthly fees
  • 2-year manufacturer's warranty & lifetime technical support
  • Fully legal and approved by all US & Candian carriers
  • Free shipping, no taxes outside Texas, and 30-day trial period
  • Made in the USA 
  • Works for any cellular device on any US & Canadian network

It's a sound investment for your convenience, business, and even emergency.

Unless you're ok with dropped calls, poor voice quality, long loading screens, and spotty service, it's worth to learn more about how a cell phone booster can help boost your cell phone service and coverage.

Signal boosters come in three categories: 

Homes & Small to Mid-sized Areas  

Cars, Trucks, RVs, & Boats

Commercial Buildings & Enterprise Solutions


Need help? Email us today ( sales@wilsonamplifiers.com) or give us a call at 1-800-568-2723. A cell phone signal expert will gladly assist you in getting better signal instantly.


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