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. That’s because there are about 5 main causes of poor cellular signal:
Cell tower distance (of course)
External interference (trees, hills, mountains, valleys, metal structures & high buildings)
Building material & construction (metal, concrete, thick walls, energy-efficient installations, etc.)
Internal interference (electronics, metal objects, anything magnetic or electronic can interfere with cell waves)
Some simple tips that help:
Move outside or get near a window.
Avoid standing under or near tall structures
Reduce interior clutter
Get higher. Usually the second floor of the home gets better signal.
As mentioned, weather may also affect service, too, like rain, snow and thunderstorms. Sometimes the wind can literally carry signal to or away from you.
Just remember this, less things between your cell phone and the cell tower, the easier the two can keep communicating. Cellular signals are very fickle by nature. Sometimes, a slight move here or there can drastically change reception.
Speaking of cell towers…
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.
It looks old and takes a bit of time to load, but the amount of data it provides is best-in-class. You’ll need a little patience to mine out the data.
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 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.
SWITCH FROM 3G TO 2G
If you continue to experience low signal strength in a particular area, you can boost signal on your phone by switching from 3G to 2G. It may, however, consequently lead to a lag in the Internet speed, but you, in all likelihood, will have signal strengthened to makes calls and send messages. “Switching to 2G can allow users to get better voice signal as long as operators’ 2G coverage in that area is better than 3G coverage. Do remember that most often 2G is propagated over a lower frequency band than 3G and has a more widespread network (in most cities) than 3G, hence the likelihood of getting better signal for voice (driven by better coverage) on 2G (as compared to 3G) is quite high,” explains Rohan Dhamija, partner, head – India & South Asia, Analysis Mason.