The modern world is more connected and persistently online than ever before. The rise of the 4G cell phone network established mobile phones as the primary access point for users not just for communication but for a whole range of everyday business, news, and entertainment needs. More than 80% of Americans own a smartphone, and 47% of those users say they couldn’t live without their devices.
In this environment, consistent service is key. The last thing a smartphone user wants to cope with is a weak cell phone signal. But weak, inconsistent, or poor-quality signals can happen for a number of reasons. Averse weather, interference from building materials or terrain, distance from your nearest cell tower, or network overload can all contribute to poor signal. Here, we’ll look at some easy ways to compensate for weak cell phone signal.
1. Check Your Battery Status
Start with the basics. The lower your phone is on power, the more difficulty it has in locating a signal. Mobile devices are generally set up to conserve power as much as is practical and will devote less power to acquiring signal when their charge is low. That can result in low-quality signal.
Making sure your phone is charged should be a priority. There are some simple ways to conserve power for longer, like:
- Using Bluetooth or NFC only when absolutely necessary
- Lowering the brightness of the screen
- Ensuring that the phone’s firmware is up to date
- Turning off push notifications
- Making sure there are no apps running in the background unnecessarily
A portable phone charger is useful for keeping your phone charged during travel.
2. Check Your Device Settings
Another basic source of problems with cell phone signal can be the phone’s settings. There are a few factors you’ll want to check, depending on the kind of device you have.
If you’re not getting data service, check that your phone isn’t in airplane mode and that its data is activated. Make sure the phone’s data and time are set to your current time zone. Mismatches in this setting can cause glitches in service.
Make sure that your voice and data are set to receive signals from the correct generation of network (3G, 4G, or 5G) for the strongest signal in your area. Check that all updates from your carrier have been implemented. Another option is to reset all the phone’s settings and restart it.
If these aren’t the source of the problem, it may be that your SIM card is physically damaged or not properly seated. Removing the battery, wiping the SIM card with a soft, dry towel, and then replacing the battery may address this kind of problem.
If none of these measures resolve the problem with your signal, then it’s time to look for other possibilities.
3. Check for Objects That Might Generate Interference
There are some kinds of interference that you can’t do anything about short of physically changing your location, such as terrain or building material interference. One source of interference you can address is electronic devices.
This is generally a rare and nuisance-level phenomenon, but it happens. Cell phone signals are basically radio waves being transmitted at a certain range of frequencies. Electromagnetic waves, generated by electrical devices, can sometimes occur at frequencies that interfere with cell phone service, often because the cell phone is having trouble deciding which signal to use to transmit data packets.
This can happen with WiFi signal broadcasters. It’s not uncommon to experience slowed data connections or text messaging when your home WiFi is on. The easiest solution is either to switch the WiFi off or, better yet, to simply run your phone’s data through the WiFi router.
If your home is cluttered with other electrical devices, especially “smart” Internet of Things (IoT) devices, these can be sources of interference. To avoid this issue, you may consider clearing such clutter as much as possible in at least one or two rooms of your home.
4. Try Using a Femtocell
A Femtocell is a kind of miniaturized access point for cell phone signal. Used to expand cell phone service in a single, focused location — such as a home — these extremely compact cellular access points provide limited but useful bandwidth for internet surfing, texting, and calls. Essentially, they transform an existing internet connection into functional cellular service, useful for those who have access to high-speed broadband but struggle to access reliable cell phone signal and whose carriers don’t offer WiFi calling services.
Femtocells function like a miniature cellular base station and are easy to attach to a network modem. Once attached, they can provide five-bar connectivity from anywhere in your home.
However, there are some disadvantages to Femtocells. Their use of existing broadband means that your cell is competing with your other devices for bandwidth whenever it’s functioning, which can significantly slow down web browsing when you’re simultaneously calling or texting someone. It generally requires a connection of 50 Mbps or faster for both to function seamlessly together.
More importantly, Femtocells are a relatively expensive kind of solution that can cost upwards of $300. They only function with a single carrier, and you have to commit to monthly broadband service bills if you want to use one.
If you wouldn’t normally need the kind of robust broadband that Femtocell technology demands, this can wind up costing more overall than it’s really worth—especially compared to less expensive and more flexible solutions like a cell phone signal booster.
5. Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Your Home or Vehicle
The most reliable and easy way to compensate for poor-quality signal is to get a cell phone signal booster like those provided by weBoost.
Cell signal boosters bring together three basic components:
- An antenna outside the structure that’s used to pick up the external signal from the nearest cell tower.
- An amplifier that boosts both the received signal and your own device’s communications back to the tower.
- An indoor antenna that distributes the boosted signal in your home or through your vehicle.
These elements — coordinated through proprietary digital technology — work together to make the inbound signal up to 32 times stronger. The boosted signal ensures you have reliable service for everything from calling and texting to data. The booster works with any carrier, providing you with flexibility as well as solid service.
There are a number of possible options when choosing a cell phone signal booster. Fortunately, they are an economical and easy-to-use tool, and there’s likely to be a booster available that fits your space or works for your vehicle.
If you want to make use of cell phone signal booster technology to boost the reliability of signal for your home office or in transit, the professionals at weBoost are happy to talk with you and recommend the best possible solution for your needs. Contact us today and enjoy cell phone service at its best.