How Is Cell Signal Measured?
From a simple point of view, cell phone signals are typically measured using decibels (dBm). As such, the network sends the decibels to the mobile during communication. The signals from the network usually range from anywhere between -30 dBm to -110 dBm. However, in the case where you’re closer to 0 decibels, the signal on your mobile will be stronger.
When signals have a measurement that is better than that of -85 decibels, it is seen as being a very good signal strength. Most if not all mobiles tend to show bars that signify the strength that the device is getting. However, it should be noted that the bars are not an accurate representation of the strength that you’re getting on your mobile.
If that last bit got you somewhat confused, it just simply means that there isn’t a specific standard for the industry. Hence, both 3G and 4G cannot be properly represented via these bars. So, the same goes for saying that three bars on Sprint maybe two bars on Verizon. I would highly recommend that you have a look at Signal Solutions to see the services they have to offer.
Besides the carrier being used, the bars on your phone can be dependent on the way that you hold your device. It can also depend on the activity or manufacturer of the phone. If you’re thinking of using the field testing mode for Android, the following can be done after navigating to the menu.
1 – Press on About Phone
2 – Next go to Network or Status
3 – Lastly, you can navigate to Network Type And Strength or Signal Strength
Additionally, the test mode can also be activated using the following:
1 – Head to Settings
2 – Select More Settings or More Options
3 – Go to About Phone
4 – Select Mobile Network
5 – Then choose Signal Strength
For some of the older Android devices on the markets, you can easily access testing mode using the following:
1 – Go to Settings
2 – Then select General
3 – About Device
4 – By selecting Status you’ll be able to see the signal strength
If for some reason you’re unable to figure out the strength on your mobile, you can simply look in your operations guide. However, there are some apps in the Play Store that give this information. One common app is the SignalCheck Lite App. With the use of this app, you’ll be able to view your signal strength.
Don’t forget, when your dBm is closer to that of zero, your signal is much stronger. Hence, -100 would be poor and 50- is considered as much better and even much stronger. If you didn’t already know, the signals are strongest when they are closer to towers.
With the continued advancement of technology, there are little to no areas that don’t have cell towers in them. However, cell signals can be disrupted within the environment by various factors.
What Blocks Cell Signals?
If you’ve ever had a dropped call, or your texts and documents didn’t send, there are several things that would have blocked your signal. Some of these issues even occur while driving through tunnels, on the subway, in office buildings, while entering the parking garage and on many other instances. This tends to occur because of what is known as the dead zone.
Up to 72% of US citizens complain annually about dropped calls. New research has indicated that at least 6% of them say that they experience this at least a couple of times each day. In some instances, cell signals can be impeded by the natural elements. Some of these include steel, brick, concrete, glass windows and many others.
Additionally, as the population increases, the networks become overloaded. Due to this, you will experience some lag in your services. Even when more and more people are using their devices in the same space, you’ll experience some service disruption.