ajax loader  Loading... Please wait...
Free Shipping | 30 Day Money Back
Mo-Fri, 8AM - 6PM CST

Finding Cell Tower Locations: The Complete Guide

on March 19, 2018

Where is my cell phone tower location?

At Wilson Amplifiers, we're often asked about coverage maps from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and other carriers on a daily basis. 

While all the major carriers like to show fancy colored maps illustrating their general coverage area across the US, when it comes to your specific cell tower location, you're on your own.

Well, not really. We're here to help.

Today's article will show you all the websites, apps, native tools, and signal meters that will help you find your nearest cell tower.

1. Make Sure Your Carrier Serves Your Area 

People automatically assume having a nationwide carrier also provides nationwide service. But in actually, there are many pockets around USA that aren't served by one or any carrier. 

So it's best to do your homework and confirm the area you're in also has one of the four major carriers or their networks available.

Simply put in your address or zip code for your carrier:

AT&T's Coverage Map

Verizon's Coverage Map

T-Mobile's Coverage Map

Sprint's Coverage Map

Once you can confirm your area is being covered, now it's time to find your cell tower.

2. Websites to Find Your Cell Tower Location 

With these websites put in your zip code or address and it will tell you cell tower locations. While easy and fairly transparent, there's no way to verify if it's 100% accurate. 

Cell providers are constantly adding and subtracting service on cell sites on a daily basis, so the information may be dated. However, it is a good start and when paired with the other techniques we'll mention later, it'll give you everything you need to know.

Recommended: OpenSignal.com

While it doesn't show you the cell tower/site, OpenSignal does have up-to-date coverage heatmaps for carriers around your location. So this gives you a general idea of weak and good coverage areas near you.

Very Good: CellMapper.net

For finding towers in your area, Cellmapper probably provides the best and up-to-date information. It's useable but not user-friendly design takes some time to navigate. But once you do, it provides cell site locations for all major carriers. 

Good: CellReception.com

CellReception shows towers and current user reviews in your area. However, it's data on cell towers seems a bit thin. Still, some data is better no data. And it's also a nice to use when also using other methods to find your nearest cell tower.

Powerful, But You'll Need a PhD: AntennaSearch.com 

AntennaSearch is old, ugly, and possibly outdated, but it provides a wealth of information. You'll need some patience to comb through and click around, but it should provide some insights to cell tower location. 

3. Smartphone Apps to Find Your Cell Tower Location 

These apps use your location and then map out the closest carrier cell tower. Again, it's hard to verify if the information is 100% accurate, but it's a nice tool to have, because it gives you a general idea of nearby cell towers. After all, it's your phone, so it should be able to point to where it's getting its signal. 

OpenSignal:  For iPhone | For Android (best of the bunch)

RootMetrics' Cell Phone Coverage Map:  For iPhoneFor Android

Network Signal Info:  For Android

LTE Discovery:  For Android

4. Use Your Smartphone's Antenna to Find Your Cell Tower Location (Highly Recommended Method)

Of course, your phone needs a signal to work, so why not reverse engineer the process to see where the closest cell tower is at? 

But first a short and informative explanation about cell phone signal.

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

-50 dBm is considered full strength (full bars). -120 dBm is considered a dead zone (no service).

However, it's up to each carrier to define which dBm range correlates to the number of bars. 

Simply put, there's no industry standard to dBm signal strength and the number of bars. What's 1 bar on Sprint could be 3 bars on T-Mobile could be 2 bars on Verizon, DESPITE, receiving the exact same signal and performing at the exact same speeds.

Your number of bars is subjective across all carriers!

But dBm readings are not subjective. They're pure science and math. The closer you are to -50 dB, the better your signal. The closer to -120 dB, the worse your signal. And your smartphone has the native ability to display dBm readings.

Here's How to Access Your dBm Signal:

For iPhone Users 

IMPORTANT: There are two set of instructions for iOS 9 &10 users and iOS 11 users. Starting with iOS 11, Apple has hidden the ability to view dBm signal. However, depending on your iPhone chipset & carrier you should have a 25% chance to view your dBm (more info below).

For iOS 9 & 10 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 iOS 11 Users

Two important factors determine whether you'll be able to access your dBm reading. First is the chipset in your iPhone: Intel or Qualcomm. However, certain carriers will only work with certain chipsets. 

AT&T and T-Mobile will show dBm signal on Intel chipsets but not Qualcomm. Verizon and Sprint will show dBm readings on Qualcomm chipsets but not Intel.

Confusing yes?

So it leaves to having a bit of luck. Here's how to see if you're one of the lucky ones:

  1. Dial and Call *3001#12345#*

    How to access db cell signal on iPhone, Step 1
  2. If you you see this screen, you are an AT&T or T-Mobile user on the Intel chipset. Select LTE, then Serving Cell Measure. Your dBm signal is read as rsrp0.

    How to access db cell signal on iPhone How to access db cell signal on iPhone How to access db cell signal on iPhone

  3. If you you see this screen, you are an Verizon or Sprint user on the Qualcomm chipset. Select 1x EV-DO. Your dBm signal is read as RX AGC0.

  4. How to access db cell signal on iPhone How to access db cell signal on iPhone
  5. If you see this screen, unfortunately, you have an incompatible carrier on the chipset. Best methods are use the websites and apps listed above along with a speed test tool like Speedtest by Ookla around different areas outside your home can give you a general idea of the direction of the cell tower.  

  6. How to access db cell signal on iPhone, Step 2

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

Once you access to your dB reading, walk outside the perimeter of your home. Depending on your carrier & phone model, it takes some time for the phone to refresh, so walk slowly and look for the number closest to -50 dB. Or you can use toggle airplane mode on and off to refresh the dB reading.

After a couple of walk-throughs, you should have a very good idea which area of the house is receiving the best signal, therefore knowing the general direction of your cell tower.

5. Use a Signal Meter to Find Your Cell Tower Location (Best Results)

While using your phone in dB mode is generally a good way to find signal for most people, if you're an installer, contractor, or pro who really wants to be accurate, then getting a  signal meter is a no-brainer.

It's a handheld device that pinpoints all 3G & 4G frequencies & bands, displays signal strength in dBm, and accurately gives cell tower direction within a 45 to 90-degree spread. It's a worthwhile investment for professional telecom users.

6. Poor Cell Phone Service? Then Learn More About Cell Phone Signal Boosters

If you're suffering from dropped calls, unsent emails, slow loading internet, and poor signal, you basically have two options: depend on a landline wifi connection or BOOST your cellular signal. 

Cell phone signal boosters are powerful devices that reach far to the cell tower, pull in the signal, amplify it up to 32X, and then rebroadcast the boosted signal into your home or office.

Here's a quick summary:

  1. Boosts 3G & 4G LTE signal (up to 32x!) for all phones & all carriers.
  2. Flexible solutions: 1-2 rooms up to 7,500 for homes, up to 100,000 sq ft for enterprise models.
  3. Better talk, text, and faster internet. Reliable connection & service.
  4. Complete kit, easy install, no monthly fees.
  5. More bars or YOUR MONEY BACK.
  6. Learn more signal boosters:

Our Cell Phone Signal Booster Guide has everything you need to know about boosting signal in the city or in the countryside.

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.

comments powered by Disqus
This week in Mobile News

Cell phone signal booster guide



WilsonAmplifiers is an authorized weBoost distributor operating in the Houston area since 2011.

For any questions, comments and more
information, please call us at
or email at sales@wilsonamplifiers.com.
We'd be glad to help.

Questions or Comments? Contact Us.

© 2018 WilsonAmplifiers.com
Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

Your sub total is %s.