Where is my cell phone tower location?
At Wilson Amplifiers, we're asked about cell tower 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.
While it helps to understand the difference between 4G and LTE, this article will show you all the websites, apps, native tools, and signal meters that will help you find a cell tower near you. All of them have been personally tested, and we’ve found the ones that we believe work best.
1. 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.
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.
Pro Tip: First, type in ‘310’ if you have AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint, and select which one you wish to find a tower for. If you have Verizon, type ‘311’ and select it. This coupled with your zip code or address should show the towers in your area immediately.
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.
Powerful, But You'll Need a PhD
AntennaSearch is old, ugly, and possibly outdated, but it provides a wealth of information.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, as well as lots of extra information for the technically inclined.
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 than no data. And it's also a nice to use when also using other methods to find your nearest cell tower.
2. Make Sure Your Carrier Serves Your Area
People automatically assume having a nationwide carrier also provides nationwide service. But in actuality, there are many pockets around the USA that aren't served by certain carriers.
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:
- Can search for domestic or international coverage.
- Zoom up to sixteen times magnification.
- Map data can be filtered by voice, data, or prepaid coverage.
- Locations are searchable by address, postal code, country, or landmark.
- Locations are searchable by address, city, or postal code.
- Has interactive map
- Zoom up to six times magnification
- Can show region and route data for up to five addresses.
- Zoom up to eleven times magnification.
- Locations are searchable by address.
- Data can be filtered by voice or data coverage.
- Zoom up to twelve times magnification.
- Locations are searchable by address.
Assuming you find yourself covered, you’ll notice none of these sites show any cell towers, instead covering the land with an amorphous blob of various colors. These are also marketing maps, that don’t show any grades in cell coverage - all of them simply worry about “coverage,” not strength of coverage. That’s why you have spotty signal, and why finding your cell tower can be very important.
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.
LTE Discovery (Recommended): For Android
Network Cell Info (Highly Recommended): For Android
AntennaPointer : For Android
These are our recommended apps to help find cell tower locations and coverage quality.
OpenSignal features a compass that points in the direction of your carrier's cell tower and also has a cell tower map.
RootMetrics shows signal quality around your area; however, it does not have a cell phone tower map finder. Still there’s a heatmap around your location with real-world signal strength results from end-users.
Both LTE Discovery and Network Cell Info are powerful, in-depth, and user-friendly enough to show the best cell service in your area. They’re highly recommended apps used by most professionals.
While these apps don’t exactly show you how to boost network signal on Android or iPhone, they’re fairly accurate in determining the general location of your tower and providing information about the quality of signal strength in your area.
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.
How to Access Your dBm Signal (Field Test Mode):
Starting with iOS 11 and 12, Apple has hidden dBm readings in iPhone field test mode. However, depending on your iPhone chipset (Intel or Qualcomm) and your carrier (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint), there’s a slim chance to find your dBm readings through this workaround.
AT&T or T-Mobile iPhone with Intel chipset (iOS 11 & 12)
- Dial *3001#12345#*
- Tap LTE.
- Tap Serving Cell Meas.
- Your dBm is read as rsrp0.
Verizon or Sprint iPhone with Qualcomm chipset (iOS 11 & 12)
- Dial *3001#12345#*
- Tap 1xEV-DO.
- Your dBm is read as RX AGC0.
For any iPhone pre-iOS 11
- Dial *3001#12345#*
- Swipe down notifications bar.
- Your dBm is in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
If you’re unable to find any of these options during your field test mode process, you most likely have an incompatible carrier and chipset. The next best method is performing a speed test around areas inside and outside your home. But once we crack the code on dBm readings on your iPhone, we’ll update as soon as possible.
Field test mode on Android varies by phone model and Android OS version. However, it is generally found under the Settings menu.
- Tap Settings
- Tap About Phone
- Tap Status or Network
- Tap SIM Status
- Your dBm is under Signal strength
Once you have your dBm reading through field test mode or app, walk around inside and outside the perimeter of your home. Make note which areas get the best dBm reading. This shows you the general direction of your cell tower and which rooms inside your home have the best reception.
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? A Cell Phone Signal Booster Can Help
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:
- Boosts 3G & 4G LTE signal (up to 32x!) for all phones & all carriers.
- Flexible solutions: 1-2 rooms up to 7,500 for homes, up to 100,000 sq ft for enterprise models.
- Better talk, text, and faster internet. Reliable connection & service.
- Complete kit, easy install, no monthly fees.
- More bars or YOUR MONEY BACK.